If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

June Interviews

6/3 Gretchen Archer, Double Trouble
6/10 Kaye George, Deadly Sweet Tooth
6/17 Annette Dashofy, Til Death
6/24 Adam Meyer

Saturday Guest Bloggers

6/6 Mary Keliikoa
6/13 William Ade
6/20 Liz Milliron

WWK Bloggers:

6/27 Kait Carson
6/30 WWK Writers--What We're Reading Now


Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel, and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination! All are winners but without Agatha Teapots. Onto 20121!

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

When Did I Become Old?

I'm on the left with the heavy pack, my sister is on the right.

Last week fellow blogger Carla Damron lamented because she had just turned sixty and thought that meant she had become old. It made me smile because when I was in my sixties, I just considered that upper middle-aged. When I turned sixty I took up backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah National Park with my younger sister Elaine, and three of her teenagers. I continued backpacking there and on other trails until my sister had a heart attack and didn’t want to backpack anymore. Her heart is fine now but she didn’t want to hike in mountains where there was no cell phone service. I can understand that.

I'm heading out to trim branches in my woods.

Sometime after I turned seventy, I stopped considering myself as upper middle-aged and started referring to myself as the little old white-haired lady who murdered people. Rather shocking to new people I meet, but they always laugh when I explain it is only on the written page. In less than a year and a half, I’ll be turning eighty. In spite of this age that seems so very old to people younger, I don’t feel old at all, unless I consider the arthritis in one of my knees that goes away when I’m on my morning walks. I can’t keep up as fast on walks with my California daughter, Mary, either, but I’m often faster walking with friends who are younger than I am. Also, I’d need to do some muscle building to swing a twenty-five pound  backpack on my back anymore, but I’m still able to clean out pony stalls and dump wheelbarrows almost full of their manure, and believe me it’s heavy.

As I’ve been getting older, I started reading advice to those of us over a certain age – actually anyone who is eligible to belong to AARP and gets their magazine. One of the things that always worry those of us who are older is our forgetfulness, i.e. the word for something we know so well but can’t think of at the moment leaving gaps in our conversation. It always comes to me eventually but it’s embarrassing while searching for that word. Or running into someone in the grocery store from our past and we know we know them but can’t think of their name. From talking to others, I know this is common when we age and doesn’t mean we’re heading for Alzheimer’s.

Because I’m an avid reader not only of books, but magazines like TIME, Reader’s Digest, and  AARP as well as The Tribune Chronicle I’ve subscribed to for more than fifty years, I’ve learned that reading is good for your brain and helps stave off dementia. I’ve learned coffee is now considered good for you as is dark chocolate.  I’ve learned that exercise is very important to help keep us physically healthy.
My library when the table was cleaned for company.

In an article in my local newspaper by Lindsey Tanner in the Feb. 3rd edition of my newspaper, she writes games and crafts may safeguard an aging brain, and most benefits were seen by computer users. Hooray! I spend several hours or more each day on the computer mostly writing, although I think she was referring to playing games on the computer something I’ve never done. She did write the study looked at five kinds of activities that are thought to keep the brain sharp: computer use, making crafts, playing games including chess or bridge, going to movies, or other types of socializing, and reading books. From all the books I read, I should not be getting dementia anytime soon in spite of brain freeze at times.
Moose tracks, my favorite ice cream.

Humor columnist Burton Cole in the Sunday issue of my local paper a few weeks ago or more wrote that a scientist at a university in Japan says eating ice cream right after waking up can improve alertness and mental performance. I forgot about that. I’ll have to remember that tomorrow morning when I come dragging myself downstairs still yawning and wanting my morning coffee more than anything.

A picture I found years ago. I don't know who they are.

A lot of people moan and groan about getting older, and yes, I wish my left knee didn’t hurt, but I’m lucky it feels fine most of the time and always after I get up and walk awhile. I get a little embarrassed when looking for that word I can’t quite remember at the moment, but I know that doesn’t mean I have dementia. Recently, I read that we have higher self-esteem because we no longer worry about what people think. For instance, because I have toes that aren’t straight anymore, I only wear tennis shoes, to church, shopping, or just about anywhere, except for boots when I go out to do barn chores and it’s raining or there’s lots of snow on the ground. I do have an old ladies pair of black oxfords I wear to weddings. Maybe my self-esteem if better because I’ve lived alone for over twenty-five years and have managed my life quite well, thank you very much.
Just a few of the cards I have giving discounts.

When I go to movies with friends or siblings, I always get a discount, and that’s true with many other places. Some McDonald’s even offer coffee at senior rates, which is nice when I’m traveling with my siblings and we stop for a break. I have a life time Golden Age Passport to all National Parks, museums, and anything else connected to the National Park System. Not only that, but anyone else in the car with me like my daughter is admitted for free, too. There are other places that often give senior discounts like some public gardens.  I also have an Ohio Golden Buckeye card which gives me discounts to some places.

Although many women my age do not like to be called, Honey, Dearie, Sweetie, etc. by waitresses, nurses or the kid pumping my gas, it doesn’t bother me, at all. Also, I find now that instead of being ignored at the entrance to a building or a restaurant, men stand back and they motion me go first with a smile and a nod.  It’s nice getting that kind of notice.
Just a small portion of the CDs I have. One of my cats is there.

Reading and music are other things that help us stave off dementia and I think worry, too. I listen to a lot of music, and if it’s Celtic or Bluegrass, I may start dancing in the living room while my dog stares at me wondering what I’m doing. If it’s Beethoven, especially with the Emperor Suite or Rachmaninoff with the Paganini Rhapsody, more than likely I’ll be directing my imaginary orchestra from my nesting chair with my cats watching me or in my car while I’m driving some place. My kids used to get embarrassed when I did that in the car when they were young afraid someone they knew might see me. I also think writing helps, too, whether it’s writing stories, poetry, books, letters to friends or writing in a journal as I do every evening. It helps clarify our mind and keep it active.
Just one of the many gardens I have.

As for me, I think I’m reasonably healthy, and my mind is fairly active because I keep busy. As I’ve already mentioned, I have friends and family. I write, read, garden, and take care of my numerous critters, which are supposed to be good for older people, and I mow my own lawn and not with a riding mower. I rake leaves in the fall, and weather permitting I walk almost every day in my woods. I mostly eat healthy making sure I get my daily fruit and vegetables and I usually skip unhealthy food. And better yet, not much upsets or makes me angry, and I have a sense of humor. Life is good for this old white-haired woman who murders people, too many to remember without going through every one of my books and short stories.
This was taken at Malice almost three years ago.

How do you keep healthy?
Do you worry about getting older?


Jim Jackson said...

Gloria -- there are young people at any age and old people at any age. I figure you will always be young for your age (and that's a compliment).

I don't worry about getting old. It happens without any effort on my part. I don't do anything special to ward off age, but I do keep myself physically and mentally active.

~ Jim

Ann G said...

I've been teasing my husband Ryan a lot lately as he's about to turn sixty. But sixty doesn't seem anything like as old as it did when we were young. I don't think that's entirely because we were young - my dad was 52 when he died, and looking back, he seemed much older than many sixty or seventy year olds do now.

But maybe that's about Jim's point - maybe he was always old in that way.

Ryan always looked young for his age - we'd been married ten years when a door to door salesman knocked and asked to speak to his mum!

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, I agree with you that's it's what we do to keep active both physically and mentally, and our outlook on life. I always said I was going to live to be a hundred? Will I? Who knows.

Ann, sixty is not old anymore. You can stop teasing him. Like I believed when I was in my
sixties, it's only upper middle aged now.

E. B. Davis said...

We know so much more about good health than we used to and that information has helped people ward off the symptoms of old age. Being mentally and physically active and having spiritual faith helps everyone no matter the age.

I agree with Jim--I knew people in high school who acted and looked middle age. I've often wondered if they stayed the same as they aged and grew into their looks and demeanor. Maybe they got older and older and now look 90 even though we are in our early 60s. I don't keep up with my high school class, so I'll probably never know, but at our 20th reunion, the last I attended, they looked the same as they had in high school. In general, the women looked better than the men, but then I think women have been raised on the notion that looks count so spruce themselves up more.

Beach chicks don't age well since we've been out in the elements, but I'd rather be natural than go get a facelift, even if I'd be a great candidate. Just call me droopy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gloria, I used to say I was middle-aged too until I realized for that to be true I'd expect to live to be 116. I love everything about growing older except the occasional physical pain or necessary surgery. You are waaaaay more energetic than I am and much better at self discipline. I'm one of those who lag behind when we walk. You are far ahead of me chatting away and I can't even hear you. LOL But you are a delightful inspiration. Looking forward to my older-older years. Thanks for the good example. AND the idea about eating ice cream in the morning! LOL -- Laurie

Warren Bull said...

Sometimes I worry about getting older, but then I think about the alternative.

KM Rockwood said...

I don't worry about getting older--what would be the point of that? While I am younger than you,Gloria, I am not in as good health. I have learned to listen more to my body, rather than expectations from other people about what I should or shouldn't do. Once I realized (in my 60's) I have a serious heart defect, all kinds of past things that puzzled me for my entire life fell into place.

That aside, I find that, with very few exceptions, each year of my life is better than the last one.

Mary said...

You rock Mom! Your my hero!!

Shari Randall said...

Sign me up for the breakfast ice cream!
The one concession I make to aging is coloring my hair, since my husband has almost no gray hair! If I let myself go natural, people think he's my son taking his mama out for dinner. So until he starts getting more gray, it's off to the hairdresser I go.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

old age is a mindset. Who's got time to think about it when it's almost time to start weeding, deadheading, and fertilizing?

Gloria Alden said...

E.B. You're right we know more about how to maintain good health now. Unfortunately, not everyone adheres to eating healthy and exercising, too. Even though the sun on a beach may not be good for you, it's so much better than sitting in a chair watching TV all day long. I've
gone to every high school reunion but one when I was expecting baby #4. Some age better than others, but I'm finding a lot haven't and more and more are deceased with each new reunion.

Laura, go ahead and eat that ice cream. You'll wear it off as the day progresses. It's better than eating it at night and then going to bed.

Warren, you are so right! :-)

K.M. That's a good way to look at it. I think each year of my life gets better, too, not necessarily in energy, but in the good things in life.

Thanks, Mary!

Shari, hopefully he'll go gray soon so you don't have to keep doing that. Actually, I get more positive comments on my hair now than when I was coloring it.

Sasscer Hill said...

Of course I worry about getting older. I worry about my husband who just turned 70. I worry about myself who has lymphoma, a lousy back, and somehow turned 65. I must say, however, that Medicare is terrific!!
Selling the huge historic home in Maryland and moving to a one story, down sized home in lovely Aiken, SC was the best thing I ever did. No snow, no ice, and at last sidewalks, a two car garage, and a covered breezeway to the kitchen door. I landed a two-book deal with St. Martins, wrote two books, a novella, and am working on a third novel since moving, so life is good. I feel like now that I am older, my priorities are finally straight. I've learned not to waste time on people I have nothing in common with and to not feel guilty about it. Who has time? At this age, I know life is SHORT.

Gloria Alden said...

Sasser, you have such a positive attitude, I'm betting you live far longer than you think you will. And look how many good things are happening for you. Congratulations on the two book deal. I think even more better things are in our future. By the way my sister-in-law, who is only one year younger than me, is engaged to a man in his mid 80s who is quite active. She was lonely for years after my brother died, and now is happy again and active and totally enjoying life.

Unknown said...

Gloria, I'm amazed at all the physical challenges you take on--I don't think I could have done all that even when I was a teenager! But I think every age has both its rewards and its problems. At least I don't have to worry about acne any more! And I'm no longer grading essays every night and every weekend, and my grandchildren are certainly adding a lot of life to my "certain age." Enjoyed your column!

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, B.K. Yes, acne was a big problem for me, too. I remember my best friend at the time as we were getting ready to go to the prom and waiting for our dates, said, "You look nice. It's too bad your acne is worse tonight." That ruined my evening. And yes, I'm not grading papers every evening or working on lesson plans, either. I hope to see you at Malice.