Yesteryear

Yesteryear –  the past, from a long time ago

Don’t you just love that word? It conjures up the sights, smell and sounds of the past. But to me yesteryear is not merely a word, it’s a state of mind. An attitude that’s purer and simpler in tone. Less hurried, easier on the eye and on the mind. It’s effect on me is serenity.

So on the eve of my 50th birthday, I am going to make a pact with myself to chillax, as my daughter would say and take the time to smell the roses. In fact, I might even grow the roses, turn off the phone, tablet, TV and just play cards, read a book, bake a pie (gluten free, of course) and return to the days of yore.

If any of you have the opportunity, join me. I’ll just pop the kettle on…

 

If the universe were formed by fields of energy, like auras around all things, then we would know why we have disease and why we have love and happiness and work together to create positive fields for everyone to enjoy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2013: Baby Boomers – Want to Write a Novel?

Ok, I’ve decided to take the plunge. I will attempt to add 50000 words to finish ” The Last Baby Boomer” novel by 30 November. Wish me luck!

The WordPress.com Blog

It’s just a few days until November, and you know what that means: National Novel Writing Month, better known ’round these parts as NaNoWriMo, is near.

Have you always wanted to write a novel?

We know some of you have been waiting all year for this month! For those of you who are new to this project, here’s the gist:

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Daily Prompt: Seven Wonders

Every morning I wake up to about 50 blog posts that I follow. Some days I read them one by one. Others I browse according to my mood. Today I saw this…

Khalid Gibran once said that people will never understand each other unless language is reduced to seven words.

My take on this is simple – My eyes mirror your intentions and humanity.

What are your seven words?

Blogging For Idiots

Repost from an earlier blog of mine – Writus Interruptus

Fortuitously, my daughter has absented herself on a school camp. Two whole days to myself….what to do?

Blog….of course, what else.

Happily returning to my Writus Interruptus Blog, I realise, with not a small amount of trepidation, that my previous twelve posts have NOT been published.

Not intending any slur on WordPress, I have to admit that the fault clearly lies with me. My inexperience has caused me, in my stolen writing moments, to neglect to press the Publish button. Not once, not twice, but 12 times!  Der…..!

My neglected posts stare accusingly at me from the Drafts page.  Unwittingly unpublished, unviewed and uncommented  on.

Further to this humiliation, I look back through my Pages, New Posts, My Dashboard etc. and am forced to face the reality that I did not place any tags, links or ping backs on my site. I meant to.  In fact, I could swear that I did this in May.  As a result , I have VERY FEW Views and ONLY ONE Comment on the posts I did manage to publish.

Alright, I concur that the Views are all from me and I hastily posted the Comment under an assumed name this morning.  There – laugh all you like.  My blog is a Claytons blog, a non-blog and I am a failed blogger!

Which leads me to the title of this Post.  Is there a  ’Blogging for Idiots’ book out that I can borrow from the library?  Or a concise website that explains how to bring traffic to a blog.  Before I add insult to injury and ruin any chance of ever having an audience for my blogs, please advise me what I’m doing wrong!

I’m now too deflated to post all of my Saved Drafts today.  So I’ll start with one – written some time ago and try to pick up the pieces and redeem myself to my non-existent blogees.

“BEFORE you get blogged down by the technicalities of creating your new blog, visit the help pages on WordPress, several other writer’s posts or try to locate a copy of Blogging for Idiots.  I’m told that it actually exists!

Writus Interruptus wins again!  AAARRRRRR!

The Baby Boomer Death Counter

 

 

After spending sometime online conducting research for a novel I’m writing, I discovered a shocking fact. There is a whole movement out there in cyberspace bent on facilitating the demise of the Baby Boomer. In fact there is even a Baby Boomer Death Counter at the below link (warning – only for the morbid).

http://www.jameslove.com/Baby_Boomer_Death_Counter.html

Now I am not a Group #1 Baby Boomer, but one of the Jones Generation being born after 1955. I found out yesterday, much to my horror that, irregardless of the group we belong to, there are many a Gen X,Y,Z,W or Vex person who is looking forward to our premature downfall. There are web and Facebook pages with titles such as, “Die Boomer Die” (content obvious), “Boom Town”, which documents our demise in detail and my personal favourite, the blog, “How to Kill Baby Boomers, Dead”.

To add insult to injury, there is also a cheery novel entitled “Boomsday“, which suggests within it’s evil little pages, that we should all be offered assisted suicide as a way to save money for future generations. On the up side, it was also suggested that this would only occur after the government paid for a little holiday for us wrinklies – our last hurrah! The upshot of all this is that we Baby Boomers should be all but a dim memory by the year 2050.

AM I the only one who wasn’t aware on any of this before yesterday?????

Well, I have suffered my fair share of ageist discrimination – nothing more, nothing less than the average woman over 45, I suspect. But…..how dare they!

Inspiration comes in many forms. And so to my blog. Stopping short of an all out counterattack on the’ Die Boomers Die’ group, I ‘turned to WordPress. Fellow Baby Boomers. WE do not have to take this lying down (or even sitting in our Jason recliners). We will not be stopped. We have things to say…and by golly, we will speak out about this injustice to these most valuable members of our society. I invite all of you to contribute! Post, comment, vent, gibber…….whatever it takes!

But for now – adieu until tomorrow. It’s almost 9.30 and I need my beauty sleep.

Comrade Vikki aka. possibly the last Baby Boomer!

Seeking Boomers to Write Old Style Poetry – aka Death to Senryu!

“Purple haze –

Your hairspray in the dawn light

You choke but it’s a pretty sight”

                                                                  Vikki Belling

Is this an example of Senryu?  Is it a good, fair to middling or an appalling example pray tell?  Honestly – I don’t know, though suspect it’s not.

Is it just me or does anyone else want to scream – “Death to Senryu, Kyoka and Tanka?”  Haiku – is less immodest, but, I don’t get brevity.

As there is an eye for abstract art, Senryu, Haiku and it’s related forms must have an ear or an eye to appreciate them.  Gen Y you say. Well granted, I do confess to being plump with Baby Boomer pride when I intone – “What is wrong with rhyme?”.  If my poems could be put to music and have a symphonous sameness about their endings, am I a lesser poet in this world of today?  Please I implore you – enlighten me (before I feel duty bound to enrol in a Haiku masterclass)!

I am struggling with how Japanese forms of poetry born out of a way less permissive society and funnelled through a permissive society , the United States of America, have relevance to we Writers in Australia?

The proof however is in the abundance of pudding and everywhere one clicks these days, there is a Haiku, Senryu or Kyoka journal or competition in evidence.

So if you would like to contribute some of YOUR abbreviated missives with those wonderful ‘dashes’, see such blogs as: http://prunejuice.wordpress.com/

So what has solicited this sudden Senryu hatefest….

Today I was told that I am an old-fashioned Writer. Looking around, I don’t spy a quill and ink, scroll of parchment, or even a dilapidated typewriter. Which leads me to believe that I am just not au fait with what today’s generations want from literary scribblings (or Notebook tappings). According to one person at least, I am an epic literary failure.

I apologise for not having written a novella, a Short + Sweet play or Film Bite.  My works tend to run to pages, not characters or lines. And I have never ‘tweeted’ my work or txtd a microstory to your mobile. Soz.

Am I missing the point of today’s literature?  Are my novels destined to be published in minute quantities to be found languishing amongst the mags at the local Nursing Home until all the War Children and Baby Boomers die off?

Enough ruminations. A blog is a ‘newish’ concept for me.  An attempt to work through  some of the befuddlement I experience as an ‘aging’ Writer.  I trust that those with similar questions or those in the know will comment….or send me copies of your Sonnets, Rhyming Ballads or Bush Poetry.

PS Give me Bush Poetry any day!

Lists, Lists, Lists

If you read my blog entry on inspiring boomers to write, you might have gathered that I was being a trifle sarcastic. Now don’t get me wrong, many good things come out of America, but GODDAMM IT, one of those things is NOT the profusion of bucket lists of stuff you’ve done, want to do or aspire to be.

I WAS guilty of being a list person when I was younger…..(well, I still am but I don’t publish my boring old lists for all the world to see). Yes I have been to 66 countries, yes I have read innumerable books, watched endless movies and endeavoured to complete a bucket list before I die, but why?

Why do we need lists? If you are a Baby Boomer who is relying on a list as the old memory is not as reliable as it used to be – great! That’s what lists are for. As well as for when you’re moving house and you have a hundred things to do, you’re at university or school and have a hundred assisgnments or it’s Christmas and the family is coming to you this year and you have a hundred items to buy. But what is the fascination with writing a list of books to read, or places to go in the holidays? Do a NIKE and Just Do It!!!

Memory has so far not been an issue for me. People in my family have memories like the veritable elephant, much to the chagrin of other relatives, friends and acquaintances. And writing a list these days feels like a commitment….the rebel in me just wants to tear it up or just go somewhere that’s not on the list just to say – “Ha ha, I can”.

Out of curiosity, I did a search on WordPress for blogs that are based on lists/goals etc. and there are quite a few. One I particularly liked was “The 50 Year Project” where the Writer details progress on visiting 192 countries, reading 1001 books and watching the Top 100 movies (whose Top 100, I don’t know). Admittedly, I was strangely drawn to this blog to monitor the Writers progress. I assume that the Writer is younger than 30, because any activity that is going to take 50 years to complete is probably not on a Baby Boomer’s list. But good on them I say.

I am not blogging to criticise or pooh-pooh others. I find the fabric of the web an immensely inspiring and occasionally baffling canvas through one can re-assess one’s own life and goals. But I promise – in the words of Taylor Swift (my daughters fave artist) that “I will never, ever,  bore you with liiiistts”. Sing along now….

Hey Facebook Friends….yes, YOU!

Now I have your attention, I’d like to ask you a question. Why are we Facebook friends????? Please do tell.

Most days, like today, I wake up, toddle down the stairs and make myself a hot caffeinated drink, turn on a phone, tablet or PC and check my Facebook. Why do I do this?

A. Because I am a creature of habit

B. Because my Facebook friends are my friends in real life too and I want to see what they’re up to

C.  Because I am an agoraphobic voyeur

D. I have no idea.

First to guess the answer gets a prize….

Well, now I have to tell you that you’re wrong. I have never much been a creature of habit (though these days I do follow more of a similar pattern than ever before. Although many of you are my REAL life friends, I have not seen most of you for years. As for the third choice – possibly. But I’ve never been diagnosed as ‘agoraphobic’ and I’ve never been caught voyeuring, so not sure I qualify on NO. 3.

Actually it’s D. I don’t know why the -!@_)+)% I go on Facebook religiously every day. But I do.

Last night however, I committed a mortal sin. One that I would never have contemplated doing…oh, about a year ago. I shared one of those Give Me A Hug type posts designed to see who actually reads anything you post or share.

What have I become?

I’ll tell you what – BORING! A victim of marketing, a Candy Crush Saga pathetic, click-o-matic machine -like follower of all that is presented on the screen in front of my face, whether I like it or not. A Facebook Automaton.

Fine’ I’ve confessed, but what to do. Well from now on, I am only gong to ‘Like’ if I really like something. Only going to ‘Share’ if it will absolutely help someone or make their day. Only going to answer ‘Game Requests’, if you are sending me things on games and post only when I have something unique to say.

Follow my social network experiment and see how long it takes for me to return to Automaton status…..

Wait, if I post this now, does that count?????

 

 

Wild Boomer Women Just Wanna Have Fun!

 

Wild Boomer Women helps to create new friends, memories

By Connie Cone SextonThe Republic | azcentral.comSun Oct 20, 2013 10:03 AM

Nervous laughter floats across about a dozen women as they head out to the football-field-size parking lot to choose the motorcycle they will ride for the next few hours. “All right, ladies, let’s go have some fun,” Sue Barenholtz calls out.

Today, they are attempting a beginner’s lesson at TEAM Arizona Motorcyclist Training Center in Gilbert.
Coach Earl Thompson circles the women, now sitting atop their bikes.
Barenholtz, 57, grins beneath her black and gray helmet. “This isn’t so easy. This thing is heavy,” she whispers, attempting to stay upright.
Stretched in a single line, the women follow orders and turn on their engines. “Go slow,” Thompson says. “Walk it with your feet.”
Barenholtz’s bike lurches and quickly stalls. She laughs and looks around. She’s not alone. Several women struggle against the weight of the bikes and fight to stay upright. Within the hour, at least three will tip over.
“Easy Rider” this is not.
It’s one of the more adventurous outings for this group of women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, a fellowship known as Wild Boomer Women.
Barenholtz is the self-appointed queen.
After an amicable divorce in 2006, the Phoenix resident came up with the idea of coaxing female Baby Boomers out of their comfort zones with the promise of making friends and exploring new activities. Wild Boomer Women events run from the mild — bowling, going on wine tours and learning to make biscotti — to the wild — rock climbing, river rafting or pole dancing.

Upcoming events include a self-defense class and a ride on the Dolly Steamboat on Canyon Lake outside Apache Junction.
On a recent Friday night, a set of another dozen members turns out to bowl a few lanes, down some pizza and mingle. Again, Barenholtz leads the way. She stands behind the foul line, shimmies her shoulders and takes a deep breath.
“You got it, Sue, you got it,” a teammate calls out. Barenholtz, who’s trying to pick up a spare, turns and grins. Another breath and she swings the bowling ball back and then forward, releasing it into the air about 3 feet off the ground. It lands with a loud thud and spins down the lane toward the remaining five pins. Barenholtz stands frozen, watching as it veers left and into the gutter. “Oh, dear, not so good,” she whirls around. But no worries. This night is meant for fun, not fierce competition.
The group might never have been created if Barenholtz had more friends willing to help her celebrate her divorce. At the time, she was re-energizing her career as a business consultant and thought going out with friends would be the perfect way to christen her next chapter in life.

She sent out e-mails inviting close friends to a male dance revue. She was shocked and saddened by many of the replies.
“They wrote, ‘I’m not comfortable with that’ and ‘I’ll be happy to meet you, but after the show.’ I had always been a wild child and my response was, ‘Really? What’s wrong with gorgeous men?’ It just blew me away. I thought, ‘I’ve got to find some girlfriends who want to go out and have some crazy fun.’”
With no children herself, Barenholtz said most of her friends were married with families and a different lifestyle. She figured there were others like her, Boomers who had found it hard to form new friendships to do more than just grab a movie and dinner.
“I wanted to be fun again, like I was in my younger years,” Barenholtz says.
One Monday, she put the word out on Meetup, an online network of groups with common interests. By Friday, she had heard from 100 women wanting to know more. The women were from a mix of life situations: single, married, divorced, widowed. Some in longtime relationships, some with kids, some without.
“At this age, you’re faced with so much,” Barenholtz says. “There are different burdens now, like taking care of your elderly parents. You may be experiencing an empty nest with the kids gone and you and your spouse or partner having to figure each other out, anew. So you need to get out of the house, you need your girlfriends.”
Most members first attend a happy hour to find out what this club of midlife go-getters is all about. It’s not hard to distinguish newcomers from members. The regulars are the ones wearing the sparkly tiaras, the women with purple and red feather boas draped across their shoulders.
Barenholtz’s crown sparkles atop her shiny brown bob at these monthly events. She’s there to greet potential members, more often than not, and introduce them around so no one feels ignored or unwelcome.
“I say: ‘This is Kathy. Be nice to her.’ I look back five minutes later and it’s like they’ve known each other forever. That brings me joy and it reinforces the fact I’m doing something good.”
Barenholtz often hears how much people enjoy the group when newcomers show up for a second event. “There was a woman who was going through a divorce after 38 years of marriage. She pushed herself to come and she had told me that she felt the group saved her life.”
Those responses motivated Barenholtz last year to transition the organization from a social group to a business, with an eye on national expansion. Annual memberships begin at $59; women can pay $99 and receive access to special events and the opportunity to host their own events.

To date, about 400 women from across the Valley have joined, including 48-year-old Peoria resident Kerry Press.
She wasn’t immediately a fan of the concept or the group’s name. “Honestly, I consider my mother a Boomer baby,” Press explains. “And the ‘wild’ part? I thought it was just going to be elderly women trying to regain their youth.”

A breast-cancer survivor, Press says she didn’t want to spend time on something that wouldn’t enrich her life. But she soon discovered the group was composed of “well-rounded, well-educated women” all looking for the same thing: a good time. “When I realized it was about having fun, that kept me coming back,” she says.

She gushes over one of her favorite outings. A professional chef from Italy invited the women into his home and plied them with Italian wine, Italian cooking and even broke out into song, in Italian, of course. “He sang while we were eating,” Press recalls. “It was wonderful.”
Douglas Kelley, a communications professor at Arizona State University, has spent years researching relationships and points out that close ties can shrink as people age.

“There are a lot of women who have kept long-term friendships that were based on their kids” and now that the children are grown, the reasons for those bonds no longer exist, he says. Still other women are becoming single at middle age because of divorce or death of a partner.
But friendship can be vital to one’s physical and mental health, he says. “One of my favorite quotes on the subject is from Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.’”
Kelley, 56, says friendships are often more resilient than the connections people have with family or romantic partners. “You may not talk to a friend for six months and then sit down with a glass of wine and just easily connect and care deeply and love each other and all those beautiful things. … Friendships can be very safe places.”
And people in their 50s and 60s can still explore life and make new friends. After all, Kelley says, “You may have to ride out 30 years. You’ve got to have new choices.”
Barenholtz wants women to feel inspired, vibrant. “Life is very fragile and goes so quickly,” she says.

 

Do you know some potential Wild Boomer Women? Get out your contact lists and start a group today. You never know who you’ll meet!