Yesterday I had to mail a small package from the post office. There was one person ahead of me at the counter whom the postal worker obviously knew. It’s like that in our small town. I wasn’t paying too much attention to their friendly conversation until the postal worker mentioned turning fifty this year. Boy, you could have fooled me. She looked good, tanned and trim, painted nails, a bright cheerful smile.
It got me thinking about aging – something we all do every day. A newborn on day two of his life is twice as old as he was the day before. Talk about aging! Whereas I’m only twice as old as someone who is thirty two. Dancing numbers around like that is fun and sometimes helps to put things in perspective. To my grandchildren I look old, I guess. But if I hadn’t aged how would they recognize me? Could I still look twenty five and be Grandma to them? I don’t think so.
The fertile ground of a writer’s imagination is seeded with thoughts like this. While penning my mystery - working around in the little gray cells - I indulged in some critical thinking about cross generational ties. Is there a great divide that cannot be crossed so that say, a teenager, could never appreciate anything an octogenarian might offer? Can a twenty year old ever come to the aid of someone who’s fifty? Aren’t we all just human beings at different stages of life with something to give in any of those stages? I came to the conclusion that we should dismiss the idea of a great divide and take wisdom, wit, humor and grace wherever we find it.
The upshot of all that heavy thinking was my decision to give my MG (main gal), Minnie Markwood, two young sidekicks. I am a bit weary of the over-emphasis these days on all things Baby Boomer and the attending baggage. Yeah, yeah, a lot of us were born in the twenty years following WWII. So what. You’ve gotta be born sometime. Minnie is a child of the those years, but Rashawna and Joel - still in their twenties - are Right Now kids and trying just as hard to make it in this world as Minnie ever did.
So they band together, giving and taking from each other, and solving a long standing crime while they’re at it. With wisdom, wit, humor, grace and a whole lotta scary. I’m so hoping this particular formula will hit a sympathetic note with my readers – no matter their ages.
When it was my turn at the post office counter, I shared some stories of turning fifty with the nice postal lady. I told her I began writing at that age and her eyes popped wide. “Really? That’s great.” Then I told her about my mystery coming out in November and that my launch would be right in Kinderhook. And she said, “Oh, you’ll have to let us know about it!”
“I’ll send you a flyer,” I said, so pleased at her response.
After all, at the tender age of fifty she's got many, many years yet to read my books. Wink.
Image: AKARAKINGDOMS Free Digital Photos