In 2005, just after New Year’s Day, we used our timeshare to visit Spain’s Costa del Sol. Having a rental car, we thought we’d drive over to Granada to see the Alhambra.
Why not? It was less than a three hour drive. We could go and return in one long day. And we would see a different part of Spain and a famous … a famous PLACE.
I learned later it was a fortress built around 900 AD on old Roman ruins, then later rebuilt in the 13th century by the head of the Caliphate of Granada.
I didn’t know…
Once there was a woman who crossed the line. She took her kids, and her sister and her kids, I believe.
She came to the river but it didn’t have a bridge. Later she found a shallow, quiet place and waded across, carrying the littlest one.
She made a clean getaway. I’m not sure her sister was so lucky. Maybe she turned back, or wandered away, or came to harm.
The going was tough. She was on her own for the first time. But turning back was not an option for her.
And then she met another woman, older, and…
It was 2014, January. Off the coast the Pacific Plate slid along the Australian Plate and our house began to shake. We were about 20 miles from the epicenter of one in a long series of New Zealand earthquakes.
There’s nothing like standing on terra firma and have it go unfirm on you.
We’d had a minor earthquake some weeks before, but now we had a long-lasting one, maybe a minute long.
A minute is a long time when you don’t know whether to stay in the house…
A snippet from It Takes Me Back to When. You’ll know just where you are. Or were. Or when.
So connected by common experience are they — our young heroine and her older self — that the younger version receives messages from her future self about certain events, in the hope that being informed means her younger self can intervene and prevent these catastrophes from ever happening, somehow.
These tidbits of information include simple outcomes such as the final score in a certain World Series, and a surprise move by the stock market . …
Just now have you found yourself off-center in your usual world? I think that’s happened to a lot of people: your tried-and-true habits or patterns have probably changed during these past couple of years.
Maybe because of Covid, maybe because of finances, or even because of a change of abilities, a lot of us have taken advantage of our new circumstances to refine what we spend our time on.
I know for me time is ever more precious. It always was in limited supply, and now the special time pressure of being past middle age is always in my thoughts…
Several years ago when I was thinking about writing, I discovered Brenda Ueland. Her book If You Want To Write is well-known by writers, wannabe and otherwise. Her pithy mantra rings reassuringly in our ears:
“So you see, imagination needs moodling — long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”
I’ve found myself encouraged by her on earlier readings, the one 15 years ago, another 8 years ago, another 3 years ago. (Of course I’m just guessing about when I read her before, but it doesn’t matter: I revisit her words of wisdom from time to time when I remember to…
Over the years as I watched space scientist (and husband) John Lewis write textbooks and other non-fiction books about space, I wondered how he’d ever find time to write his favorite fiction genre, science fiction.
He and I met in 1963 on a blind date. I had sworn off blind dates, but my friend was leaning on me, and I said yes.
A few weeks later, on our third date, I learned that John loved space. Never had any woman been treated to such a date. …
The Old Love genre is nothing without love
Old Love, the genre, is about … old love. That is, love involving old people.
Love can include intimacy and passion, even in old people. Also friendship, new or long-term. Also companionship. Also family. Also the loss of all these.
Love is the point of the genre. Maybe with romance, but definitely with more than just happily-ever-after.
In older folks, happily-ever-after isn’t so much about romance as it is about religion.
The trick for a writer is to portray old people realistically, not two-dimensionally. …
When I first saw Larry, the real new neighbor Larry, he inspired a flurry of thoughts that led to a whole new kind of novel, at least for me.
I whispered a few of these notions to Maggie herself, and she just shook her head.
“What?” I asked.
“That’s weird,” she said. “But I will keep my opinions to myself.” Then she turned her back on me.
“Hold on,” I said. “That’s not fair. I told you.”
“Figure it out for yourself,” she said. “You gave me a dog to worry about. …
Old people like me need old-people stories.
In other words, we need a genre of our own. I propose calling it Old Love.
Rule #1 of the Old Love genre is: Create an old person as a character and let her or him tell a personal story. I enlisted Larry, though he didn’t know it.
For a while we lived in a house among the islands of Puget Sound on a suburban cul-de-sac. Next door renters came and went, and then one day came Larry. With his vehicles: an RV, an old red Ford 150, a pickup, and a car…