Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Want to write a book?

And now for something different. Read the following paragraph and I’ll explain:

When he shouted, “Broccoli tonight? You know I hate it!” and pushed away his place, she realized he could no longer be trusted. In none of their brief conversations during a twenty-five-year marriage had broccoli ever been mentioned. From now on, she knew he might say anything.

That short piece is from a wonderful little book in a series called A Magazine of Paragraphs Summer of 1989. (Click here.) Only 32 pages long. Only 3” by 4” in size. A book of mere paragraphs, unrelated paragraphs. Strangely captivating, the paragraphs are about anything. Everything. Some are funny, some are not. Some are poignant, some are not. You get the picture. Each is written by a different author.

That gives me an idea. (and that's usually where the trouble begins...)

Let’s try something. Let’s write a book of single paragraphs – on aging. Any aspect of aging: retirement, grandchildren, health, love, shoe laces, regularity, pill boxes, sports, money. Anything. Even oblique references. Mood pieces. Make us think, help us feel. Any length.

Why aging? For one thing, if we are lucky, everybody ages. But everybody does it differently. What works for you scares hell outta me. Yet, there are some constants.

Plus, aging is a growth market. All those newbies (boomers) will buy the book. They will welcome the training wheels.

Send me your paragraph. If enough of you want to play, maybe we can write a book together. Seriously.

Hurry. We don’t have that much time left.


JohnSBoles said...

Full disclosure: I was born in 1950. So...I am more likely a candidate to purchase the book than to participate in writing. I am interested in the process and outcome. Good writing all.

Blog of Ages said...

We're not carding anybody. All ages welcome.

But you must be this tall to ride this ride.

Ken Martin said...

George, this is a terrific idea! Here's my first contribution. Maybe more to come.

Aging gracefully isn't about doing all the things we used to do or doing them as well as we once did. It's about doing what we can to lead a useful, interesting and active life within the limitations of our ever-diminishing capabilities.

fastalker said...

I need to remember to remind myself not to forget what I need to remind myself. At least that's what I think I remember. But I can't ask you to help 'cause I can't remember who you are or why you are even here. Anyway you probably won't be around when I need to remember what I just forgot. --Ira

Ken Martin said...

After I commented on this idea yesterday, i happened to read an op-ed piece in the Austin American-Statesman that's insightful and moving.

"Facing end-of-life decisions" by Dr. Martin Welsh is available at

Phil Cochran said...

Born in '45, I'm just one step ahead of the "Boomers" and getting increasingly tired. When I started thinking about a 2nd nap per day I went to the doctor to see what's what. "I'm tired all the time, doc, why is that," I asked. "How old are you?" he responded. "64", I replied. "That's why," he said.

The South Plainsman said...

Six years ago I went to my doctor (at age 64) feeling tired all the time. I thought it was just because I was getting old.

After a stress test and an angiogram, I had a quadruple bypass, and then my aorta dissected.

Since I recovered from all of that, I don't feel tired all the time anymore.

ArchGrafiX said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArchGrafiX said...

"You know that you're over the hill when your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill."

Lowell George of Little Feat, in "Old Folks Boogie"

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