Who writes her first book at age seventy? That would be me.
Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real is a collection of essays speaking to and for baby boomers, a generation transitioning to senior citizenship. My essays catalog the strangeness of turning seventy and becoming the family matriarch, coupled with the wonders of adapting to an ever-changing world.
The book is a portrait of a longtime educator and advocate. Essays follow me through my roles as a daughter of aging parents, mother of grown children, and now grandmother of eight. They highlight the importance of forging community in a time of increasing isolation, maintaining loving relationships, embracing change, advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves, knowing when to hold on, and learning how to let go.
Underlying my writing is my belief in the power of love, grace, kindness, caring, and acceptance—served up with a strong dose of opinion and a deep appreciation for the happy chaos. After seventy years of experience on this earth, I know one thing for sure: The journey is terribly strange—and often far too real.
I began my book project in earnest last June, thinking it could be done as part of a summer vacation. As I plowed through the summer, the excuses piled up and I felt like a senior version of Bridget Jones. I began to realize writing a book was much harder than I had anticipated. I was easily distracted by things like taking my granddaughter on a photo shoot. You get the idea. It took me until the end of August to realize I was writing this book for my mother, who died in April. She always thought I should write one. By October, there were so many issues that cried out for blog posts. It was time to admit it was not possible to write a book over the summer. At least not for me. And it was time to get back to advocating.
If you buy my book, I hope you will also write a brief customer review on Amazon. For those who prefer e-books, the Kindle and Nook editions should be available by the end of the month. Thanks to Jimmy Greenfield and ChicagoNow for giving me the opportunity to start writing after I retired. And thanks to all who encouraged and supported me and followed me in this slightly insane journey.
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