The Baby Boomer Generation Gap

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(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

It’s Boomer Lit Friday!

Dont_Tell_Anyone_200Happy Friday! Once again, it’s Boomer Lit Friday. Every Friday, a bunch of us who like such things post snippets from our “Baby Boomer Books,” and the lovely Shelley Lieber has graciously offered up her blog where you can see what other authors are up to. Here’s a teensy bit of Don’t Tell Anyone. Please hop over to the Boomer Lit Friday blog and read and comment on the other participants. Enjoy, and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Previous to this bit, Adam, Liza, and Charlie were attempting to get Estelle to agree to a biopsy.

——

Liza pounded the elevator button. “You’re sick. That was sick and cruel. How could you say something like that?”

Adam shrugged. “I panicked.”

“You couldn’t say something like, ‘We love you and we want you to get better?’ You had to tell your mother I was pregnant? In her condition?”

“You mean you’re not?” Charlie said.

They both scowled at him.

“I was looking forward to being an uncle.”

“Your brother is sick,” Liza said.

Charlie smiled. “Yes, but he’s creative.”

“So, what, I’m supposed to fake being pregnant now? Excuse myself every so often and pretend to throw up?”

“For a while,” Adam said weakly.

“And then what?”

“We are trying, Liza. Who knows, we might even be pregnant by then.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “At the rate I’m learning new things about you? I sincerely doubt it.”

Boomer Lit Friday!

Happy Boomer Lit Friday, where once again we show you bits and pieces of our baby boomer books. Check out the lovely Shelley Lieber’s blog to see what my compadres are up to.

Here’s a smidge from Don’t Tell Anyone. Estelle, at the stove making chicken soup for her sons and daughter-in-law despite their protests that she’s still too weak from chemo, has just passed out.

—–

It was nothing, Estelle said, as Adam and Charlie helped her onto the sofa. No need to call the doctor. She’d just been feeling a little faint, a little light-headed. It was probably because she hadn’t eaten today. Since nothing tasted good, she didn’t want to bother.

But sometimes, her senses of smell and taste returned, not evenly but in rushes, like a breeze through an open window when the wind changed. They came with memories. They came with no warning. The soup did it to her this time. She’d put in the water and the cut-up chicken, skimmed off the fat, dumping spoon after spoon into the coffee can next to the sink. Still she could smell nothing. She added the quartered root vegetables, the salt, and the dill. Nothing. Then she looked over and saw Adam’s face, and Charlie’s face, and the different ways they looked like Eddie and like her parents, and it was as if someone had broken down a door. She smelled the simmering chicken, parsnips, and onions and saw her mother’s sickly face, the hollowed eyes and the skin stretched tight across the bone. Estelle saw her father’s hand raising the spoon to her mother’s lips. And then Estelle felt weak all over as the floor rushed up to meet her.

—–

It’s Boomer Lit Friday!

The-Jokes-On-Me_Cover_webHi, everyone. It’s Boomer Lit Friday, the Passover edition, where we explore books about…yes, you guessed it. And no, I don’t mean matzoh balls. Please pop over to Shelley Lieber’s website to catch snippets from the other twenty-some authors participating in this week’s Boomer Lit Blog Hop. What the heck IS Boomer Lit? Glad you asked. You can learn more about that here.

Meanwhile, here’s a bit from The Joke’s on Me. Frankie’s sister, Jude, has already left to attend Seder at her third ex-husband’s weekend place in Phoenicia [just up Route 28 from Woodstock]. Frankie intends on meeting them there later, after the suspiciously familiar local kid they’d hired to do yardwork gets picked up by one of his parents. The parent who shows is also suspiciously familiar.

—————

“Dad, this is Frankie. Jude’s…I mean Ms. Goldberg’s sister. She lives in Hollywood.”

I literally could not move or speak. Of all the ways I imagined seeing Joey again, this scenario didn’t make the list. I was always fresh and beautiful, coming to congratulate him on his perfect game. We’d go back to my place for drinks, and I’d show him my Oscar, my Emmy, and my pair of Golden Globes. Our reunion was not supposed to be in my mother’s house, with me coated in dirt, sweat, and grass clippings, and introduced by the son who should have been ours.

Joey’s eyes crinkled amusement at the corners. “Really,” he said. “Frankie, huh? Cute name. Short for something?”

“Something.” My muddy knees turned to jelly. The road map of his years had begun to etch into his skin, gray feathered his temples, but I saw the boy in the man’s face when he smiled.

I saw the boy remembering the girl.

—————–

Special April Fool’s Day contest! Dream up an April Fool’s prank and enter on this post. Best prank wins an e-copy of The Joke’s on Me.

It’s Boomer Lit Friday!

Don't-Tell-Anyone_cover1Happy Friday! Once again, it’s Boomer Lit Friday. Every Friday, a bunch of us who like such things post snippets from our “Baby Boomer Books,” and the lovely Shelley Lieber has graciously offered up her blog where you can see what other authors are up to. Here’s a teensy bit of Don’t Tell Anyone. Please hop over to the Boomer Lit Friday blog and read and comment on the other participants. Enjoy, and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

——

 

“You’ll do it,” Estelle said.

“Me?” A fist tightened around Liza’s stomach. “Oh, no. I’m not—”

“Adam and Charlie won’t. They’re too softhearted. Good boys, but weak-willed, like their father. May he rest in peace. So you’ll have to do it.”

“What are you saying?” Liza glared at her. “That I’m cold-hearted enough to…kill a person? Is that what you’re saying?”

“Oy, no, of course not. I’m saying you’re practical. You’re a practical girl. At least that’s what Adam says about you. You’ll know how to do it.”

Liza threw up her hands. “So what do you want me to do? Push you out a window? In front of a bus? Hold a pillow over your head?”

Estelle appeared to consider her options. “The pillow would work. I saw Cary Grant do it in a movie. Or you could get me pills. People take pills. Marilyn Monroe took pills. Some people think it was the Kennedys, but I know it was pills.”

It’s Boomer Lit Friday!

The Joke's on MeHappy Friday, everyone! Today I’m participating in a different sort of blog hop. Each week, the Boomer Lit Friday blog hop will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. Make sure to check out excerpts from other participating authors, too.

Today, here’s a bit from The Joke’s on Me:

“Bad workshop?” Joey shook his napkin out of its complicated arrangement, set it in his lap, and returned his full attention to me.

“It’s Ethan.” I let out my breath. “He came home high last night. Courtesy of his father’s stash. He said it was a one-time deal, but I don’t believe him. I’m pretty sure Jude’s oblivious. Lev probably thinks it’s a big joke. And poor Aunt Frankie’s trapped in the middle, laying out all the terrible things that could happen to him and threatening to tell his mother if he doesn’t shape up.”

“And poor Aunt Frankie never partied with the burnouts in the Drama Club way back when?”

I raised an eyebrow.  “We only pretended to inhale. So what are we supposed to do when Junior asks why Mommy and Daddy look so stupid in all of those old pictures?”

“Hope and pray good sense skips a generation.”

“Hey.” I pretended to take great offense. “I do the jokes. You’re supposed to be the straight man.”

He regarded me with great seriousness. “Frankie, if I’m not a straight man, one of us is at the wrong table.”

This Week: Is It Spring Yet?

Daytlna-500-Danica-Patrick-poleThe skies have been a little gloomy in my slice of the Hudson Valley, but if it’s time for Daytona and the Oscars, spring can’t be far behind. Although I’m not having as good a week as Danica Patrick, it’s still pretty sweet around here.

  • I don’t know if you caught this, but the lovely and effervescent Dames of Dialogue let me stop in for tea and a chat.
  • Have you heard of Baby Boomer Lit? With America’s largest age cohort knocking on the doors of, well, aging, this is a genre whose time may have come. Author Claude Nougat, on the heels of her new book, A Hook in the Sky, has started not only a Goodreads group devoted to the idea but also possibly a movement. Lynnette Schneider, a book blogger and member of this group, gave Don’t Tell Anyone a very nice five-star review.

Lots going on with the Indies Unlimited crew to report.

  • The rockin’ fabulous K.S. Brooks has been very active with Indie Authors for Hurricane Sandy. On Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time, you can hear what she’s been up to and how you may be able to help.
  • Krista Tibbs posted this terrific article, showing us how the old writing canard, “show, don’t tell” actually works.
  • Our resident scam-buster, Rich Meyer, stirred up some interesting discussion about crowdfunding for indie writing projects. What do you think? Practical method of fundraising or begging for dollars?
  • Science fiction author and all-around nice guy Chris James just published the second novel in his Second Internet Café series, The Second Internet Cafe, Part 2: The Cascade Annihilator. If you’d like to grab yourself a free copy, check out his website for details.

Last but not least, in one week I’ll be trying not to panic taking Don’t Tell Anyone out for its first public appearance, at The Golden Notebook, a local independent bookstore in Woodstock, New York, where I launched The Joke’s on Me. Jackie and Nan, the lovely women who run the place, are great to support local indie authors. If you’re in the area (Saturday, March 2 at 5:00 p.m.), I’d love to see you!

I hope YOU had a good week!