Saturday, August 30, 2008

Advantages of Growing Old

There are some definite advantages to becoming a “senior citizen.” I’ve started ordering from the senior menu at restaurants and find that the portions which are supposed to be smaller are very adequate and much less expensive. We took our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter to a water park this summer. Their admission fee was $38 but my wife and I got in for $5 each. What a deal. And at the University of Colorado people over the age of 55 can audit any course for free with the instructor’s permission. I did this when I first started seriously writing. I audited two fiction writing courses over two semesters, wrote a series of short stories and immersed myself in fiction writing. And finally, the best deal of all. At the age of 62 you can purchase a Golden Age Passport for $10 which allows free entrance for the rest of your life of your car full of people into any National Park in the United States.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I just returned from a week in Estes Park, Colorado. When on vacation I don’t write or blog and only briefly check email. My wife and I reunited with three other couples from California, Oregon and Georgia (the guys all went to graduate school together and we’ve been friends for forty years). This was a wonderful time to catch up on kids, grandchildren, health (a topic that comes up for people our age but wasn’t an issue forty years ago) and to see beautiful scenery. We spent a good deal of time hiking and driving within Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the way we saw deer, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, marmots, pika and the ever present squirrels and chipmunks. My wife even had part of a sandwich snatched out of her hand by an attack duck. After a long day on the tourist trails, one of our friends raced into the house where we were staying and informed us, “Give me my tea and no one gets hurt.” The punster in the group upon hearing about a section of the mountains that gave eerie and haunting sounds when the wind blew said that it was called Peak-a-boo. We haven’t been together as a group for several years, but picked up right where we left off. Beautiful mountains, good health and great friends. What more can you ask for.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Television Interview

Yesterday I was interviewed for a program on a local television station. Along with fellow Colorado author, Beth Groundwater, we answered a number of questions about our novels and our writing experience. Although I have given numerous talks, this is the first time I’ve been interviewed on television since I was sixteen and beat the seventh ranked tennis player in the country in my age bracket. Yesterday, at first I was nervous, but since it wasn’t a live broadcast, any mistakes would be edited anyway. I talked about geezer-lit mysteries, by octogenarian protagonist Paul Jacobson and the juvenile mystery I’m now writing. I felt it went well but will have to see once I can view it. Ten years ago as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, I taught a business course that was videotaped. I hadn’t watched myself give a presentation for a number of years and was surprised at the “ums” and “ahs.” It gave me great feedback on improving my presentation skills. It will be useful to watch this interview when it’s aired to see how I can continue to hone my speaking ability.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Juvenile Mystery Novel

Who says families and writing don’t mix? This weekend our son, daughter-in-law and eight-year-old granddaughter visited, and in addition to the water park, swimming pool, movie, hide-and-seek and other great activities, I had a chance to read part of my juvenile mystery novel draft (for middle grade readers eight to twelve years old) to my granddaughter. She was my first listener and gave me terrific feedback. She found two errors that I need to correct and picked right up on one of my clues. Now that they’ve headed home, I’m ready to jump in to begin revisions tomorrow.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Retirement Homes Are Marvelous

Last week I spoke at two retirement homes and had a great time talking with the residents who attended. Before the presentation started, we chatted about where everyone previously had lived, and they shared how they had converged on Colorado from all over the country. This makes sense because, as I’ve mentioned before in this blog, Colorado is ranked as the state with the fifth highest growth in population of people sixty-five and older. At one of the retirement communities after everyone had recounted their various locals of previous residence, we discovered that three people had lived in Waterloo, Iowa. This was intriguing to me since my son lives in Iowa, but of more interest was that the three didn’t know this before. They had a great time comparing notes. One of the most animated people in the audience came up to me afterwards, and in further conversation, I found out she was ninety years old. Another attendee was 102, laughed at my jokes and shared some of her experiences. As you would expect, most of the people attending were women. Also, they tended to buy the large print edition of my book.