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Ask anyone if they’d like to go back to their youth and there are some who would jump at the chance. However, I think most would emphatically decline … and a few might actually shudder.
Despite our glorification of it, youth is often a time full of worries: school; career; relationships, money, kids. A period with no idea of who we are, or what we really want in life. Most of the time we’re out there on our own, winging it, doing our best to cope.
I’ve been thinking about it lately because, Heaven willing, I’ll soon reach an age I used to think of as old.
I’ve lived through the Korean War, the development of the hydrogen bomb, the USSR launch of Sputnik, the assassinations of President John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
I was as excited as every other American when we landed men on the moon. I worried about the draft during the Vietnam War (drew anti-war cartoons for several publications) and watched the news coverage of the Berlin wall coming down.
I saw the beginning of the Internet, and participated in developing web sites for it. I witnessed the horror of 9/11; worried about our troops during our country’s invasion of Afghanistan and wondered at the nonsensical Iraq War (remember the missing “weapons of mass destruction” no one ever found?).
I suffered, along with my friends, in the Recession that began in 2007 and lately have worried about the chaotic coming of Donald Trump.
When I stop and think about it like that, it seems like I’ve witnessed an awful lot already. I had a mini career in advertising, and a major one in public relations and marketing.
Still, I sometimes feel like a kid.
For me, age is not a disability. Every day is another chance to do the things I want to do. Time, after all, comes in one large bundle that includes the good, the bad and the disappointing.
We have to accept the whole bundle, even the tragedies, sad as they are. We don’t so much choose life. It chooses us, and age can be an enormous help to an author.
I can hear you asking again … why?
For one thing, it makes us freer, calmer, better friends with ourselves. My personal likes and dislikes are crisper.
I can recall my first experience with the green of spring, special holidays with family, my unique friends and (unfortunately) all my mistakes. I understand more deeply the people I love.
How can you fail to find something to write about in that?
I’ve written stories my whole life, but I didn’t begin to do it full-time until I retired from the 9-to-5 business routine. I thought at the time I might already be too old. However, I’ve discovered the creative richness and energy of the mind doesn’t care how old you are.
I write every day because I understand really well, perhaps for the first time, the cliché that each moment that passes is gone forever … never, ever, to return … but, as authors, we can be as young or as old as the characters we make up.
I’m working every day on my next novel (Dead End Street). Although I’ve published six books in the last four years, I have a lot of stories rattling around in my head.
So, what exactly does that mean?
I still have writing to do.
My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.
Visit my web site’s home page to hear the remarkable interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show.
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