Three Dead Bugs

Ever since I moved to a senior retirement living situation I've participated in a memoir writing class. And I love it. Mostly I pick my own topics which I've posted here on occasion. However, I also like to respond to prompts others write in response to. Lately the prompt exciting most of the writers has been our first and/or favorite automobiles. Of course with that topic I also had to join in. Here's the piece I read to the class last week.   Three Dead Bugs I had three bugs. I bought my first car, a Volkswagen bug, in 1961 so I could get to UCLA and back. And it served its purpose. Its old light blue body, built in 1957, cost me three hundred dollars, thanks to my father’s good negotiating skills. But unfortunately it died an accidental death. I had parked it on a hill, affixed the parking brake, which then failed and poor Bug Number One rolled down the hill and was smashed to smithereens when it hit the car at the end of the road. I figured the only way to get over … [Read more...]

The No Good Ex

I hadn't thought much about my ex husband until I heard he had recently died. We were divorced in 1965. If you’ve had an ex-husband or wife you’ll probably get this. That no matter what happens it’s always the ex’ fault, right? Mine did everything wrong – aside from being as handsome as a young Marlon Brando and having, at least in my mind, a terrific job as a film editor at MGM (he won an Oscar for "Towering Inferno"). He drank too much, he smoked weed, he went bar hopping with his high school buddies instead of staying home and paying attention to me, and he also fucked around. But none of those things were why I decided to leave him. I got pregnant. And at first he seemed to like the idea. So did his parents. They believed my having a baby would mean I finally would stop working and become a real housewife and mother. After all, it was the 1960s and that’s what most women did at that time. They didn’t have good jobs or think about their careers. Except I liked my job and I … [Read more...]

Read about David Kalish and his debut novel right here

WOW Women on Writing has done it again. They have introduced David Kalish and his first novel, The Opposite of Everything, to me and my reading audience. And I'm sure you won't be disappointed.  The Opposite of Everything is David Kalish' debut novel that explores the comic side of tragedy.  Inspired by his own brush with cancer and divorce, author Kalish makes comedy out of his past. Equal parts love story and Job-like allegory, The Opposite of Everything traces the hilarious descent of a man stricken with disease, divorce, and an over-supportive father and the contrarian strategy he uses to resurrect himself. When Brooklyn journalist Daniel Plotnick learns he has cancer, his fortunes fall faster than you can say Ten Plagues of Egypt. His wife can't cope, his marriage ends in a showdown with police, and his father accidentally pushes him off the George Washington Bridge. Plotnick miraculously survives his terrifying plunge --and comes up with a crazy plan to turn his life … [Read more...]

Ten ways to reinvent yourself after sixty

I am Naturally Savvy's Over Sixty Expert, contributing about an article a month at the website. This piece was originally published on March 31, 2013. Please go there to read more of my articles on topics relevant to women over sixty. I love exploring ways for us to keep moving, keep working, keep creating, keep experiencing life to the fullest no matter how old we are. I first heard of the term reinvention when I entered More magazine's February 2010 Reinvention story contest. My story about how I returned to work outside my home and began to write regularly after the suicide death of my son came in eleventh in the number of votes received out of over 500 entries. With that, the term reinvention became part of my vocabulary. I write about it frequently. Nora Ephron said it's good for women to reinvent themselves every ten years. She also said reinvention seems easier for women than for men. And I agree. In fact, seven years after I went back to work full time, I retired and … [Read more...]

It’s never too late for second chances

I've known my friend Pat since the first day our younger son, Ben, walked into his Kindergarten class. Pat was there to drop off her oldest son, Andy, while wheeling her daughter in a stroller. She was young and trim in her white tennis outfit. Though Ben probably had the oldest mother of all his classmates, it didn't matter. Pat and I became close dear friends as did Ben and Andy. We lived around the corner, we had dinner at each other's houses, we celebrated birthdays and special occasions together, and we spent weekends up at her family's house and/or condo in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. Though I played tennis too in those days, I never played at Pat's level. But our boys took tennis lessons and played in tournaments together with Pat and me on the sidelines. Ben and Andy - tournament winners Pat and Madeline at the tournament Unfortunately, things weren't always happy in the house around the corner, and after Pat's third child married, she decided to end her … [Read more...]