Saturday, December 27, 2008

Geezer in training recommendations

As a geezer in training here are my recommendations on aging:
1. Do it. The only thing worse than growing old is to be denied the privilege.
2. Try to have a companion or friends on the journey with you.
3. Stay involved: volunteering, writing, painting, reading and nagging your children. As they say, old age is the period when a person is too old to take advice but young enough to give it.
4. Exercise: if your are able, walking is both a physical and mental boost. I also believe in alternative to the South Beach diet called the North Woods diet: eat less and exercise more.
5. Don’t be afraid to take naps. My favorite bumper sticker: “Consciousness—that confusing time between naps.”
6. Set your priorities: decide what is important for you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Author events

At some signing events I am the only author present and other times I’m part of a group event. At a recent group event with four other authors, I signed some books and discussed my novel and writing with a group of readers. But the other enjoyable part of the event was the dialogue with the other authors. We had a great give-and-take on issues such as what inspired us, what we first began reading and the roles of parents and teachers in inspiring good readers. Several of the authors as children read books under the covers at night with flashlights and we shared examples of teachers who inspired us, like my second grade teacher who got me back on track.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Through the Looking Glass

I recently attended a play put on by a group of senior actors that dealt with myths of aging. It was titled, “Through the Looking Glass.” The play started with a group of older people sitting on the stage in chairs. Then a young man went to the podium and announced that he was a doctor and would give them a lecture on aging. As he began pontificating, the older people stood up and told him what he was saying was a bunch of hooey and then proceeded to share personal stories on what aging was really like, the good and the bad. It was humorous and very entertaining. Most of the actors were between seventy and ninety years old.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Independent books store that require authors to pay for book signing events

One of the disturbing trends in my area is large independent book stores charging authors for holding book signing events in their stores. The largest independent book stores in both Denver and Boulder are doing this now. It’s described as a promotional co-op fee and for authors with large publishers who allocate promotional dollars, the publishers will cover this fee. But for those of us with small or medium-sized publishers where the promotional nickel is all ours, we have to step up to paying this fee. At the store in Boulder this fee is $200. This means I would have to sell approximately 100 books to break even. I’ve been to some very well-known author’s events at this store and they sign 50 or so books. This does not bode well as a financially sound opportunity for me. My dilemma is that I want to support independent book stores but they don’t seem to want to support me. I can hold an event at Barnes and Noble or Borders without paying a fee.