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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Milestone or millstone?

cj Sez: I am pleased to announce that I recently passed another annual milestone: I had a birthday—of course, the cake was chocolate.

I spent the day taking advantage of free celebratory lunches and free desserts at more than one restaurant. Interestingly, those freebies were not age-based. That is, I didn’t have to be a certain age to qualify. But that age thing is a big deal for me and a lot of women, maybe “most” women. Aging can be a millstone if you let it.

We (that plural pronoun includes men) have come to the realization that the world is geared to the younger generation. They get ads for computers, tablets that can do everything but dance, hundreds of phone apps, outrageously sexy vacations, every sort of sports equipment you can think of, and flirty workout apparel that’s sure to inspire you to shape and tone. Past the age of let’s say 35, it seems the majority of advertising is aimed at medicines … for constipation, overactive bladders, or erectile dysfunction.

Agents, some of whom look like they’re two years out of high school, voice their interest in finding the unique voices of young writers that they can “develop.” I was personally exposed to this attitude at a conference a few years ago, and it put a damper on my ambition…for a short time.

Then I decided, I didn’t need an agent to write. Personally, I didn’t even “need” to be published, (although I have appreciated very much publishers' affirmations of my story telling skills).

I did and do, however, need to write.

Here’s a quote by author Babette Hughes that I keep on my computer:

Age is not a disability, it is a second chance at life. I’m 92 years old and Post Hill Press has just published my three-novel Kate Brady series; (The HatThe Red ScarfThe Necklace); I’m working on my fourth novel (Searching For Vivian) and fifth book, and am a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. 

(cj sezBabette is now 94 and has published that fourth novel, as well as a memoir, Lost and Found. If this post seemed familiar, it’s a modified re-run.)

I had a wonderful time at the 2nd Annual Mobile Literary Festival today, an event that shines the spotlight on local authors and poets, both traditionally and self-published.

The talented writers conducted workshops on marketing and publicity, writing the forbidden, story creation, and an emerging writers’ workshop exploring world building and character development methods. Poets read from their published works; and fans of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism, and the supernatural enjoyed the Speculative Fiction discussion panel.

All of that in one day. And it was free! The Festival was sponsored by the Mobile Writers Guild, the Mobile Public Library, and the Metro Mobile Reading Council. Thank you and sa-lute.

So, tell me. What keeps you from writing? More importantly, what inspires you to write?

That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

And now some verbiage from my sponsors:
PIECES ANTHOLOGY…I’m thrilled to have two short stories included in this collection of short stories and poems by more than 20 authors from the Gulf Coast of Alabama, including USA TODAY best-selling authors Carolyn Haines and Craig A. Price Jr. The anthology is available at
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