The Baby Boomer Generation Gap

The-Jokes-On-Me_Cover_web

(Special Note: The Joke’s on Me, ebook edition, will be on sale for $3 off its regular price from Friday, June 28 through Saturday, June 29)

The burgeoning genre of Baby Boomer Lit fascinates me. I love the stories authors are telling about the challenges confronting this generation as we face our mortality but still want to squeeze more out of life.

Often forgotten, however, is that technically, baby boomers represent (mostly Americans) born between 1946 and 1964. That’s a span of eighteen years, for those of you good with math or who happen to have a calculator handy. So theoretically, two generations could be contained within this one moniker: two generations with very different goals and ideals. Continue reading

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Body Dysmorphia is OUT OF CONTROL! Now Affecting the Mannequins

Kristen Lamb’s blog today is funny but sad. Bring back the curves!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Many men and women suffer over body image issues. We try to eat healthy, work out and yet we can never measure up. For most of us, we just wear black in mourning for our pre-baby figures. We live in yoga pants and the idea of bathing suit shopping requires three stiff drinks and a Xanax. For me? I haven’t worn shorts in fifteen years.

Is the pressure to be thin too much? The actresses and models get skinnier and skinnier by the year. When did ZERO become a SIZE?

I actually happen to be a size 6-8-10-12-14-16-22 depending on where I shop.

And then, when I DO finally get drunk enough the urge to shop, I am greeted with this:

And then THIS:

Whatever happened to wanting to look like Marilyn Monroe or Jane Mansfield? Women used to be soft and curvy and sexy. Now we aspire to look like…

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The Other Half of the Story

P&L-Cake-TopperYou can’t stay married to the same person for almost twenty years without amassing a goldmine of writing material. In some form or other, I’ve used a lot of events from our “real life” in my fiction, good and bad. The bad ones somehow end up funnier. Heck, if life gives you citrus fruit, why not squeeze them into tasty adult beverages for other people’s entertainment?

This past weekend, we were with family, and one story led to another. It never takes much prompting for my husband to start telling the Tale of the Worst Day of his Life. Although the years have magnified each horrible turn by a factor of ten, it originally started like this: Continue reading

Author Spotlight no.267 – Laurie Boris

Author Spotlight #267 reporting in today from Morgen Baley’s Writing Blog! Come visit and leave a comment!

MorgEn Bailey - Editor, Comp Columnist/Judge, Tutor & Writing Guru

Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and sixty-seventh, is of contemporary fiction writer Laurie Boris. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look here.

LaurieLaurie Boris has been writing fiction for almost thirty years, inspired by the work of Joyce Carol Oates, TC Boyle, John Irving, Vladimir Nabokov, Gail Parent, Nora Ephron, and many other brilliant, prolific, and funny writers.

With a degree in advertising and psychology from Syracuse University’s SI Newhouse School of Public Communications, she started writing articles for her local newspaper and promotional copy for freelance clients. Between projects, she tried a few short stories, some which were published in small literary magazines and later, on the Web. Two won honorable mention in a Writer’s Digest annual competition. One took first place in a contest sponsored by a women’s website, judged by author Katherine Center.

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Of Dogs and Writers

Yesterday, I reviewed KS Brooks’ sixth book in the Mr. Pish educational series, Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm, but Carol Wyer says it so well here that I wanted to share.

Facing 50 with humour.

Mr PishamazonSome days you read a book by a fellow author and think ‘This is mega. It’ll be a massive hit. I wish I had written it. Dash it all! It’s brilliant.’

This is one such book.  The entire Mr Pish series is not only delightful but educational, and if I had grandchildren I would buy them the entire series. (Having no grandchildren, I actually bought them for myself.)

Her latest release is Mr Pish Goes to the Farm. Again, it is a series of postcards ‘written’ by the adorable, and I mean adorable, Mr Pish who is quite probably one of the most photogenic dogs I have sever seen. K.S Brooks is an award winning photographer, so each postcard is accompanied by beautiful photographs.

There are lots of children’s books about farms and farm animals but this one stands out for me, packed as it is with information about farms…

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Tools of the Trade: Graphic Artists

SD505One snowy evening last year I was goofing off taking a well-deserved break on Facebook when I started chatting with a woman from Rhode Island. It turned out we’d both worked in graphic arts in the days before desktop publishing. We grew nostalgic about the tools we missed: T-squares, melted wax, non-reproducing-blue pencils, drafting tables. I told her that I’d worked late every Thursday night for three years in the bullpen of a Boston advertising agency to type-spec and paste up ads for the Sunday newspapers. Every sweater I owned had bits of border tape stuck to the elbows. One time I even found a piece on my cat. Soon we’d attracted a small crowd of our former colleagues, and we swapped X-acto knife horror stories and fond memories. Continue reading

Traits of the Successful Author—Self-Discipline

This blog from Kristen Lamb inspired me today. Hanging with writer friends who push me to raise the bar on my work and DON’T let me slack off have made such a difference in my writing. They inspire me, too.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Last week, I talked about the first trait of the successful author, discernment. I deliberately addressed discernment first because discernment keeps us in balance. No amount of “success” is worth our peace, our health or our relationships.

Also, we’ll need discernment to manage the second trait of the successful author—self-discipline. Why? Because even self-discipline needs to be disciplined. Sometimes we need to re-prioritize.

For instance, last week, my mom went in for emergency surgery. She’s fine and home now and THANK YOU for all your love, prayers and well-wishes. I also had a niece graduating from high school. I took off a few days because I was exhausted from edits, anxiety over my mom and racing across town from hospital to graduation. Self-discipline can easily become like a religious legalism, and we need to guard against that to be healthy and successful long-term.

But we still have to…

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Sneak Peek from Sliding Past Vertical

Typewriter - Once upon a timeHappy Friday! It’s raining like mad here, but I’m a happy little duck. I have a title for the new book (more about the meaning of that in a later blog), Husband and I are working on the cover, and the manuscript is going through beta readings. Meanwhile, I wanted to share a bit. If you’d like to sign up for my mailing list and be one of the first to know when the book hits Amazon, hop over here and leave me your e-mail address. Thank you! Continue reading

Traits of the Successful Author—Discernment

This post by Kristen Lamb hit home with me today. I edit, write, and do my other wordly tasks with such ferocity. But sometimes I need to pick my head up out of my work, because the world hasn’t stopped moving just because I closed my writing room door.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Many of you who follow this blog have a dream to be a successful author. This requires writing, social media, blogging, revisions, and on and on and on. It’s a lot of work and life, family, kids, day jobs, and housework all provide tempting distractions. The past two days here in Texas have had gorgeous weather and I just wanted to go do something outside and enjoy the balmy temperatures before being thrust into three months of triple-digit hell.

But I needed to finish my revisions. Sigh.

Tuesday, I spent all day with a paper copy of my new book doing line-edits for the umpteenth time. I was finding stuff three other outside editors missed. I worked until my vision was so blurry I couldn’t keep going. Wednesday? Instead of going outside? I finished entering the revisions.

Ah, Life

I was going to indulge in sleeping in today and maybe…

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How Research Can Save Your Book

barclayI’m funny about doing research for my novels. If I’m not collaborating on a project, I like to wing it with what I can pull from my subconscious memory, on the first draft at least. Then I go back and fill in the missing holes. It’s fun to cover a fresh printout with sticky notes and make lists of what I need to know. But I’m kind of geeky that way. Continue reading