Monday, April 2, 2018


I was first published at age fifty.  I’d had some success as a photographer, but starting a writing career as an older author was a challenge with that urge to play catch up, to make up for lost time.  Back when I was starting out a talented writer friend (a few years my senior) was becoming more and more disenchanted with her day job.  She was a very successful Realtor, but wanted to be a very successful full-time writer.  I knew where she was coming from.  At the time I, too, was still tied to a day job far from my calling.  We were both published writers, but our royalty checks weren’t paying the bills.  Over coffee one day my dignified Realtor/writer buddy made a suggestion.

      “We’re not getting any younger and we’re also not getting noticed.  Why don’t we collaborate on a steamy romance novel?  How long could it take to write sleaze?  We’d be full-time, in demand writers and in the money before the ink was dry.” 

Obviously, this gal had a quirky sense of humor and, apparently, so did I, because I agreed.  The plan was to each write an initial first chapter and then compare notes and pick a solid direction for our sizzling project. 

 I stared at the blank computer screen for quite a while.  I lit a passion flower candle, poured a glass of wine, finally conjured up an almost sensual sentence.  My palms were sweaty, breathing labored, heart pounding.  I wrote another one.  The nausea was building.  By the third sentence I was lightheaded.  I hit delete, ran to the bathroom and scrubbed my skin raw in a hot cleansing bath.  Think I would have had a cigarette if I still smoked.  My almost writing partner was not disappointed.  When I shared my feeble attempt at smut, she admitted to signing off on the idea after typing her first three words.  We had both come too far in personal growth to get derailed by false pretenses.  What we wrote had to be the truest form of who we were.   And while we’d likely never be wealthy writers, we felt rich beyond words for having fought and won a tough inner battle.  We had followed our hearts and heads to some voice of maturity that didn’t cave in to an overnight sordid success story. 

My Realtor/writer friend is gone, but I continue to write; still creating the good stuff that takes forever and that, I hope, adds to the life and health of the community.  The older I get the happier I am with the choices I make and the books  and articles I author.       

I like to think that aging cultivates living simply, graciously, and spiritually. Developing our art in these interesting senior years when there are memories to investigate, experiences to honor, and talents to uncover is a limitless project.  What a wonderful time to explore and grow, to step back and see with an open heart, to revel in possibilities waiting to be shared.  

What artistic talents are waiting for you to identify, to nurture, to age into?

One of the projects I wrote in these my grandma years is the novel Dearest.  It's all about mimes, magicians, puppeteers, a wayward clown, a prominent doctor, and a missing bracelet.  If you were ever into magic you might remember popular magician and former Dean of American Magicians Jay Marshall.   He was my father-in-law. 

 Link to books

 Don't forget my Aging in Good Spirits articles available here

 Best Wishes from This Old Girl.

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