Bras & Voices

At a book signing the other day someone asked how difficult it was for me to maintain separate and distinct voices for the four main characters in my novel, The Oys & Joys. I laughed. And after I painted a picture for the audience, they laughed too.

Because this is what happened . . . well, wait a second . . . let me first explain for those that haven’t read the story. The four main characters are friends and call themselves The Oys & Joys. Of course, you’ll discover why in the book which is a roller coaster year out of the life of  Lizzie, Sassie, Grace & Ruby–women on the back side of middle age.  Each chapter is written through the eyes of one of these women.

And yes, keeping their voices distinctly theirs throughout the story proved challenging. But luckily, while hurrying through Kohls one afternoon to buy a baby gift, I tripped in the bra department. Practically fell flat on on my face as a matter of fact. And not just because I can be a major klutz. Apparently, the store was in the midst of a huge bra sale. I mean expensive, fancy and if I must say so myself–very sexy–bras hung on those sale racks. Or at least some still did–seemed as if the majority had fallen onto the floor. Where my left foot slipped on one and down I went.

My first thought: Damn, this place is a mess. My second thought: Damn, this bra looks exactly like a ‘Sassie’ bra. Underwire, beige with bright pink lace & tiny bow–very Sassie-like. So I picked myself up and found a bra matching the personalities of each of the other three women.  Then anytime I had an issue hearing a character, I hung her bra up near the computer–and her voice sang to me.

If I ever sell a million copies, sell the movie rights– or at least get The Oys & Joys on Bookbub, I will frame the bras and hang in my living room.  🙂20161207_164152

 

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An inspiration to us all

pickleballI discovered a new game, or at least, a new game to me. I’ve been exercising twice a week with a personal trainer—have to pay for the privilege because if I don’t, my best intentions never ever get me to the gym. One day, I see this notice—Pickleball, Tuesday and Fridays. Pickleball?

Wow, have I grown to love this fun, exhausting, fast moving game. It’s a combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton. Smaller court than tennis, an oversized ping pong paddle, and a lite plastic ball with a mind of its own like a badminton birdie.

One night, several months ago now, I played for almost two hours. My last two games: me and a college student (about 21?) against a woman (early 50’s?) and a guy (late 40’s?—who shall remain nameless). After the fast paced, challenging games we sat down to rest. I proudly patted myself on the back. After all, I’d recently turned—gotta be honest in a blog, right?—okay, so here goes . . . I’d recently turned . . . bite my tongue  . . .  66! And I’d held my own, worked in sync with my partner, and hit a couple of really really good shots.

We talked for a little while before packing up to go home.  And when I got up to leave the guy (who shall remain nameless) says to me, with a smile on his face—yes, absolutely a smile  . . . a friendly smile, not with a smirk or anything.

Anyway, he says: “You’re an inspiration to us all.”

“Really?” I asked. “I sure don’t feel like an inspiration.” I smiled back. Well, I had hit some excellent shots. And we’d won one game. And I never missed a serve. I felt inspired.

Halfway home, it hits me. Whack. An inspiration? Ha! Like I’m OLD, yet still capable of playing Pickleball. Even with one foot in the grave?

Several weeks later, I asked the guy (who shall still remain nameless) about the incident. He, of course, did not intend to insult me in any way what-so-ever. I choose to believe him. In fact, we sort of bonded over the snafu, and I’ve reminded myself not to create sandcastles in my head that aren’t built yet. Grace, in The Oys & Joys, used to build sandcastles in her head all the time. But not anymore.

 

Feeling naked, fully clothed

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Whew! My first blog ever. I think I’ve responded a few times to other blogs but never put myself out there with a blog of my very own. But here I am, taking the first step or should I say, taking off the first piece of clothing like a striptease artist because that’s exactly how I feel. Here I go, my sock flying in the air. And I totally admit, my big toes are ugggly. My mid-sixty body ain’t so shapely either. Also, I’ve written a novel and putting it out there makes me feel naked also. Maybe I ought to go to Hippy Hollow—I hear naked sunbathing still goes on there. And pass out copies of my book: The Oys & Joys—a year in the life of four baby boomers—Lizzie, Grace, Sassie and Ruby. These ladies, ready to reach for the moon, think life will be less complicated, more relaxed but find the road a bit bumpier than anticipated. From boatless boat slips to attempted murder (well, he did deserve it) to DNA surprises to sexual awakenings (yep, at any age). Then past secrets collide with the present. And secrets never ever die quietly.