Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How old are you-really?

Hi all. Here I am with my regular Sunday evening blog, right on time as usual. NOT! Sorry for the delay, but personal circumstances intervened.
Last week's topic seemed to strike a chord with a number of you. I really appreciated all the comments, which ranged from an affirmation of my own to some rather disparate views; all valid and succinct. Thank you all.
This week I'd picked a topic and Craig Buck's comment from last week affirmed it; the question of age. I'm going to put my own take on this right up front this time. My spiritual age (or, if you prefer, creative age) has nothing to do with the degree of degradation my physical body has endured. After saying that, let me hasten to say that I believe there are factors that do age one, creatively.
After ruining one perfectly good marriage, I jumped right into another, totally ignoring psychologists' advice. We're still together forty two years later. Not that there haven't been bumps along the way; there have. Some serious ones and some not so serious. Because I believe that the totality of my existence is what feeds my creative mind, I'm certain that the disparity in ages between my mate and myself accounts in some measure for my ability to still sound relevant after all the chronological years I've accumulated.
My wife is sixteen years younger than me. Yes, I was one of those dastardly college profs who married his student. It cost me a career and put my sweetheart at a distinct disadvantage for years, but out of it has come a romance that could well be a successful novel, and two bright beautiful daughters who continue to make us proud. Beyond that, I can still relate to younger people, though that is fading and I'm near the end of my creative value as a fiction writer. Well, maybe not, but the world is changing so fast it's hard to keep up any more.
So I'm a septogenarian with a creative drive that's late fifties and a spirit that knows no age limitation. When I was five, I looked up into the night sky at all the twinkling stars and thought, 'somewhere up there is my real father.' Don't get me wrong; I had wonderful parents that I loved and I knew I was their progeny, physically. But I had this 'knowing' inside that my inner being belonged somewhere beyond Earth's bounds; a heady thought for a five year old.
Do any of you recall having mature thoughts while you were still children? My guess is that you did, even if you don't remember it. Now I'd best get this posted before my aging body refuses to leave my comfy chair. So, how old are you?


  1. The new 'It' girl Betty White is 88 and she's on Facebook and the Twitter as she calls it. So my feeling is we are all vital until the very last second when they close the cover down over our heads. Never stop writing fiction Pat. We need you...

  2. Funny - my last book was about a young lawyer romancing his former next door neighbor, who felt guilty and thrilled...oh, I hate watching my parents stumble around. I really did just turn 49 and prefer to write about the lost generation - the ones who are not sweet young somethings or Betty White's.

  3. Hi, Mary and Lisa. Thanks for commenting. This AM I'm faced with an age hangover. Too little sleep and too much to do, so I'll just tread water for an eon or so. LOL
    How do you guys feel about writers of long fiction also doing poetry? My path to creativity has been more or less a switch-back road up a cliff. Maybe down a cliff. I started as a music composer, symphonic stuff and arrangements for college bands. I'd always written little poems, usually non-rhyming, but had never taken them seriously, just like the stories I'd write and discard. When I began writing novel length fiction, it was something of a break-through for me.
    My first ever book is one hundred sixty six thousand words; actually turns a sharp bend at the mid-point, so it could be two books I suppose. A poem at the beginning and another at the end, with poetic prose in the middle.
    Really, I think all my experience with music has enabled me to write such diverse forms. If one follows thematic development, with sub themes and such, it is fairly easy to come up with coherent longer stories.
    I'm rambling, I know, and you guys must think me some kind of kook. Oh, I have a question for you, Mary. I noted your dogs in the picture on the boat. Mind telling me the breed? I'm a dog fancier and have taken on the care and feeding of an unusual canine. He talks. Well, other than the lack of an articulating tongue, he does. This fellow will sit beside us and utter long phrases of dog-talk, using his eyebrows to emphasize his meaning (whether we get it or not). He's a big guy and half Great Pyrenee, half Alaskan Malamute. Those big white guys of yours intrigue me.
    Funny thing, Lisa, I saw Betty White on Fox this morning and she actually sounded her age. Somewhat comforting, since I'm not far behind her. LOL
    Pat Dale