Gran-Lit

This morning, I was reading a piece written by one of our very own bloggers, kasmin. She is an excellent writer. Check out her stuff! I ran across an article on her site about seven new genres of fiction that are emerging and it was fascinating. They all interest me, but one particularly interests me and that is the Gran-Lit genre. If you’re over the age of 40, you really should have a look at some of the writing in this genre. If you’re under 40, you might just be in for a nice surprise!

You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out what it is. More than 90 percent of fiction involves the heroine or hero and most of the supporting characters who are under the age of 40. Most are under the age of 30. Is that real life? Absolutely not. Take the romance genre. People over 40, 50, 60 fall in love and have sex just as often as people in their 20s. The mass market has just tricked us into believing that everyone that is having fun is in their 20s and that could not be any more wrong.

I am sure there is a whole segment of the population out there, in the age brackets of  40,, 50, and 60 who would love their romance novels, and other genres, to be about people their own age. I know that I get tired of reading fiction where everyone is in their 20s. Sorry, but that is not real life. Most of the baby boomers are now 60 years old and above, the original sex, love, and rock and roll generation. Do you think they have just stopped having fun, love, and sex? Since I’m a baby boomer myself, I can tell you, with certainly, that is not true! We, in fact, invented fun!

My novel, a psychological thriller, has a heroine who is 60 years old and I think you will find it a whole lot of fun and a real thriller to boot. I’ve not finished it yet, but I’m diligently working on it. I didn’t know until today that not only is it a psych thriller, but also gran-lit. How fun to be writing in a brand new genre.

So grab a snack and search your favorite online bookstore for gran-lit and let me know what you think. I promise my contribution will be exciting!

Magnet

IMG_0699

All of my life, I have been drawn to writing as if it were a magnet. Even on days like today, when life’s burdens are very heavy for me, I only feel like myself if I write something before the day’s end.

My love affair with writing began when I was a child. I got stories published in the Highlights for Children magazine. Writing was interrupted by the other things that children do. I rode horses. But most importantly, I played the piano. I suppose I can count that, in a way, as writing because I wrote scores of music.

Then came lots of academic writing in the form of scholarly papers. Suddenly, twenty years ago, when I was right in the middle of my career as a college professor, I was hired by a brokerage, which will not be named! For several years, I was a journalist for them and wrote breaking news, while continuing my career as a college professor. I was working for this organization on 9/11/2001 when the Twin Towers came down. I had to cover that story and I will never forget it.

Throughout the decade of the 2000’s, I wrote for a variety of organizations and in many capacities. What I wrote is more important than who I wrote for. I wrote in my field of finance as a freelance writer. I wrote magazine articles on a whole variety of subjects. I developed online courses for corporations and their executives.

Then, I discovered blogging. I had become interested in writing fiction. I had always had an interest in fiction, but I had a busy career. I had really had two busy careers, academia and freelance writing. Writing fiction was a luxury I could never afford until I retired. I started trying my hand at fiction and ended up writing a novel, which is what I am doing now.

To all of you who are younger than me and embarking on a writing career, let me tell you one thing. You can make a living freelance writing. It is not necessarily easy but it is possible. You have to be persistent and organized. That is actually more important than talent. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a class in freelance writing to get started off on the right foot.

I think writing was what I was what I was supposed to do with my life because I’m drawn to it like a magnet. If I’m upset, I want to write. If I’m happy, I want to write. If you feel like that, write, and try to make your living doing it!

kasmin.wordpress.com

The Knock at the Door

IMG_0696

“Dad, can we go to the Children’s Park today?” Jeremy asked.

Greg had been promising his son, Jeremy, that they could go to the Children’s Park in  the Town Square during the weekend for a while now.

“Get your stuff together. Let’s go, son,” Greg said.

When Greg and Jeremy got to the Children’s Park, Jeremy cried, “Look, Dad, something new!” He ran toward a number of large, wooden statues that had been placed in a central location in the park. There were even statues of green Martian men. Jeremy played while Greg purchased a replica of a statue for him.

A tired Jeremy and Greg arrived home in the late afternoon. Jeremy put his statue in his room. Right before he went to bed, there was a loud knock at the door. Greg answered. It was the large green Martian statue.

In a loud voice, the statue said, “Where is my child?”

Jeremy ran to his room, grabbed the small statue, and threw it at him!

Local

IMG_0695

The word local arouses mixed feelings in me. I think it’s important for people to buy local as much as possible in order to sustain small business owners in the face of business giants who invade smaller communities. Wal-Mart, of course, being the main offender. Buying from your farmer’s markets, you local retail stores, your local restaurants, puts money into your community and not in the hands of the corporate giants.

Unfortunately, corporate giants have driven business out of small communities and it is not always possible to buy local because the goods and services you need are not available. In my case, I have to go to the closest large city to get what I need. I used to be able to buy what I needed in my local community.

The word “local” has both good and not so good meanings for me. There is drug trafficking very close to where I live. In a smaller community, it’s not confined to so-called “bad” neighborhoods. It’s everywhere. I live in a nice neighborhood with mostly nice neighbors. There is still drug trafficking. There is also reasonably heavy drug use. I often jokingly say you can’t hire anyone to work for you because they would rather be cooking meth.

Having said all this, there is still a beauty in the local areas of small town America. Even though everyone is busier than they used to be, working and with their families, there is still a feeling of the “sit on the porch and talk awhile” than in the city.   There is more of a feeling of trust of people than you have in a city. I trust every neighbor on my street and feel that I could call on any of them in an emergency or crisis.

Local areas are still beautiful things in the United States. As long as we don’t let a criminal element, such as drug distributors, into our communities.

The Adventure Tour

IMG_0694

“So this was what an adventure tour was like,” Michael thought, as he and Sasha disembarked the small vessel onto Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific.

Pitcairn is one of four volcanic island, still under British control. Population 54. They trudged up the path to their new digs, lodging with a local family. Most families were descendents of the mutineers of the past.

Their family spoke some English. The young girl followed him everywhere he went, aggravating Sasha. Pitcairn was not heavily visited and she hadn’t seen many outsiders. He and Sasha had planned to fish as the waters held all kinds of species of fish. The young girl watched.

Michael and Sasha were fishing in shallow water. Their idea was to get a big fish, something the entire family could have for dinner. They snagged a large white fish. The Pitcairn family would have a wonderful dinner tonight..

Song Lyric Sunday

img_0548

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, our theme is to post a song with a word that describes a sound in the title or lyrics. So in the spirit of my generation:

Have You Ever Seen the Rain

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Written by John Fogarty

Someone told me long ago
There’s a calm before the storm
I know it’s been comin’ for some time
When it’s over so they say
It’ll rain a sunny day
I know shinin’ down like water
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?
Yesterday and days before
Sun is cold and rain is hard
I know been that way for all my time
‘Til forever, on it goes
Through the circle, fast and slow,
I know it can’t stop, I wonder
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?
Yeah
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?
Songwriters: John Cameron Fogerty
Have You Ever Seen the Rain lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

Old Man Red

IMG_0693

“Grandpa, you said you’d tell me a story about my momma.”

“Yes, Dolly, Here goes.”

Old Man Red saw everything. He sat on the fence, behind the well box and within sight of the backdoor. He dominated his territory. Those cats that live around here sometimes tried to bother him and he scared them away.

What really bothered him was the girl. He remembered when she was young. She was only just fifteen. Almost every night, when they didn’t know he was sitting on the fence, she snuck out the back bedroom window. He didn’t know where she went. She came home right before he woke up in the morning.

Today, he couldn’t wait on her. He woke up and crowed. The sun was coming up. She wasn’t home yet. She came running in and I caught her around the waist. I sat down with her, held her, and talked to her. Old Man Red had done something good. The girl never snuck out again.

“Grandpa, what do you mean that he crowed?”

“Dolly, Old Man Red was a rooster.”

“Oh Grandpa, roosters don’t think like people!”

 

An Update about Betsy

IMG_1154

When I am upset about something, I usually write about it. In fact, the first place I turn is usually the computer and I write. Not this time. I wrote a post entitled, “Tender Betsy” a week or so ago. It was about my little dog having a seizure. Since then, I haven’t talked about Betsy, but I’m now writing about her and posting an update. I haven’t written much of anything since Betsy’s diagnosis. I hope writing this update can jumpstart my writing again. Here goes.

After Betsy’s second seizure over a week ago, we saw a veterinarian specifically about what appeared to be a seizure disorder, with the blessing of Betsy’s regular vet. We got some bad news. Before I get into that, just let me say that I’ve not had a good feeling about Betsy for some months now. She had seemed to undergo a bit of a personality change. She was not my sparkly, impish Betsy. Everything seemed to be an effort for her. She was moody. Quiet. She didn’t play with her toys or chew on her bone. There were times she even seemed angry with me, but she clung to me at the same time. I wish I had read the signs better and figured out that Betsy was trying to tell me that something was, indeed, wrong. But, in the end, it would not have mattered.

Betsy does not have a seizure disorder. Seizures are just one symptoms of what is wrong with her. She has a condition that is genetic in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a handful of other breeds – Boston Terriers, Brussels Griffons, and Chihuahua’s (if they have the round head). It is called Syringomyelia. I’m not going into the gruesome details, because they are gruesome. I will say that it develops due to a dog’s round skull and involves the spinal cord and spine. The symptoms are horrible. It is always, always fatal and is genetic in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels like my Betsy.

Betsy is going to die. We can possibly manage her symptoms and conduct pain management – for a while. I can’t define “a while.” It depends on the dog. I think she has been showing symptoms for at least six months.

We have started pain management and she is responding. But, she is pretty stoned on her medicine. I hope she adjusts. I am very conflicted over what we are doing. As we progress along this path, I have to watch her closely and see if we are really giving her any quality of life – or not. I’m not interested in giving her quantity of life because quantity would be for me. I will only agree to this approach if Betsy can have days when she feels good, can play and enjoy her life, have quality of life. If that does not happen, it will be time for Betsy to join my beloved dogs who came before her on the Rainbow Bridge. And wait for me.

When I feel stronger about this, I will write a blog post about the wonderful dog breeders – the responsible dog breeders – that I have been fortunate enough to know. I will talk about the other dog breeders, like Betsy’s breeder, who won’t even answer her phone or respond to my email. All I wanted to know from Valerie was the medical history of Betsy’s sire and dam and she would not give me that information because she knew she had bred dogs that had this horrible disease and she was ashamed. My friends, be careful who you buy a dog from.

I’ve considered starting another blog. About this horrible illness and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Please don’t feel like you have to respond to this. It’s up to you. Do something for your local animal shelter in Betsy’s name. Write a letter to the American Kennel Club, as I’m going to do, and ask that they do not register any more Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for five years until some of their genetic issues are solved. These docile, wonderful companion animals do not deserve this suffering. Mention Betsy whose pedigree name is Cappy Hollow’s Magnesium Bright Light.

Because Betsy has, indeed, been a Bright Light who is being snuffed out far too soon. She is four years old.

Thank you for reading this.

Rosemary