Saturday, June 28, 2008

Check Out Today's Writing-Related Post on my Other Blog, "Never too Late!"

A Poll for Boomers and Seniors

Do you usually get your books from on-line stores like, from brick-and-mortar book stores, from other retail stores, or from the library?

Yesterday I posted a poll asking that question, but I've discovered that the poll format does not work. Please keep on adding your comments here. I'm still anxious to learn about where you get most of your books.

The results so far have been mixed, as I expected.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Power of Senior Writing: Perhaps I've Made a Difference

As in most of my other writing, my main goal in my twice-a-month eGenerations column, now more than a year old, is to encourage boomers and senior citizens to write, to record their memories, experiences, and wisdom for their families. I often wonder if anyone is listening, but in at least one case, I think I've encouraged a senior to write.

I've never met Wayne in person. I met him through eGenerations, where he contributes to his journal and to the forums. Wayne lives far away. He is over 80, widowed, disabled, and confined to a wheelchair. A daughter is his caregiver.

That sounds depressing, doesn't it? I can tell from his posts that he does get depressed by his situation. He even said goodbye to his eGeneration friends some time ago, but he came back in relatively good spirits. Wayne hasn't had an easy life--losing his beloved wife was a major tragedy for him--but he somehow manages to maintain an ironic sense of humor.

In his eGenerations profile, Wayne lists his biggest challenge as living and his wildest dream as walking. I'm old enough to understand.

Here are some excerpts from several of Wayne's eGenerations journal entries and comments.

"Twenty-one offspring at ages from 60 years to minus 5 weeks. Most of my hand-me-downs will not be material, but will be my memoirs, just recently written and covering the events of a family from its start to my finish. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for what it is worth."

"Seniorwriter, I think I have started writing out of frustration and confusion. I am frustrated because I cannot do what I always did and I'm confused because I don't remember why. Writing of any kind seems to help put facts and figures in place, in order, while otherwise they are just bouncing around in my mostly dried out gourd of a head. In some of us, God forgot to include the zerk fitting and so we were never properly maintained."

(I had no idea what a "zerk fitting" is, so I looked it up. It seems that it's a fitting providing a way for grease to be forced into mechanical joints that need grease to prevent wear and make movement easy. Perhaps those of you who are mechanically inclined knew that. What an appropriate image Wayne has used for some of the problems of aging!)

In a longer journal entry, Wayne wrote:

"I just finished proofing and printing out my memoirs, and possibly just in time, as I seem to be losing more of my abilities daily. Darned Golden Years. Anyway, I ended up with 62 half-pages (5 1/2 x 8 1/2), including some pictures and genealogy charts and historical records. I managed to find a "Four Seasons Winery" binder which fits in real well with my four seasons of progress: The Early Years to 21, The Middle Years to 65, The Later Years to 75, and The Ending Years to--God only knows. Looks real professional too.

"Wish I had met Seniorwriter earlier and started writing earlier. So many memories and so little time. Our offspring and theirs deserve to know something of their ancestry for a variety of reasons, one reason being health. I was able to offer some medical/genealogical information to the doctor of a 3-year-old grand-niece which will help prevent her from going through a lifetime of genetic Crohn's disease.

"I would like to make this recommendation to the general membership of eGenerations: write it down in some, any form so that those coming after you will have some of your knowledge, your experiences to treasure, or in some cases to avoid. Memories are all we have to leave sometimes, and oh yes, we're all going to leave them here.

"I would like to thank all of you for the help you've given me and the encouragement to keep on writing."

Many thanks, Wayne, for heeding some of my suggestions and writing your memoirs. You've made me feel that there's an audience for an old, retired writing teacher. Perhaps I can still make a difference in a few lives.

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More Senior Poetry

See my other blog, "Never too Late!" for a review of Real Poetry for Seniors, by Ed L Dorsey.

Another Rictameter Project Completed? What's Next?

One of my few regular readers asked what's next? Well, as usual, I'm happy to have finished my alphabetical series of rictameters as planned, so I'll probably go on to other things.

Have you noticed how easy it is to ignore unpleasant or tedious tasks to do something you love? That's the story of my life. Now I have to get back to reality: getting my condo ready for sale, attacking the closet clutter, filing my "important" papers that form an untidy pile in my study.

My other blog, "Never too Late!" needs work too. Time to finish a couple of book reviews. Time to enjoy the summer weather.

I'm sure I'll keep writing something nearly every day. Try it. As usual, I urge everyone to write. If I have any readers who don't, now is a good time to start. How about buying and reviewing my books? And think about self-publishing your own. It's a great feeling to look at a book with your name on it, no matter whether it sells or not. It's all about self-expression and enjoyment.

Happy writing, and I'm sure there will be more rictameters later. I miss them already.

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne
Styne photo of my computer desk

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Zebra Stripes

Zebra Stripes

Posing among
The bushes, trees of South
Africa. Your stripes so vivid,
Yet you can hide from foes or humans when
You need to. Part of nature's plan,
Its pattern. Lucky that
I saw you there,

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne
Photo by the author in Kruger Park

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Yellow Contrasts

Yellow Contrasts

Color of the
Sun, so vivid, bright and
Promising. A lively color,
Hue of lemons, daffodils, some roses.
Why, then, does it mean cowardice,
Jaundice, weakness also?
Please just cheer, us,

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: X for X-ray

X for X-ray

Well-known x word
With just two syllables.
Then we have Xerox (famous brand),
Xebec (graceful sailing ship), xenon (gas)
And xylem (plant tissue). Why so
Few x words, rare letter?
Glad we have you,

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Weather Wonder

Weather Wonder

Fierce storms, flooding,
Devastation, followed
By warm, sunny days, but there are
Clouds way off there somewhere to keep our minds
Upon the future, wondering
What's coming next. You keep
Us in suspense,

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Voting Rites

Voting Rites

Privilege, right,
To choose. But tired of campaigns, it's
Sometimes hard to make that choice. I sometimes
Wonder if it really matters.
Still, we must keep trying,
Never give up

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Urban Life

Urban Life

Yes, my life is
Urban. City living
Seems to suit me. Stores nearby, to
Eat, browse, be entertained: all awaiting
Attention, opportunities
To enjoy life, being
Active, living

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Thinking Hope

Thinking Hope

Good thoughts, bad thoughts,
Dreams of joy or fears that
Doom is near. We can't stop thinking,
Pondering the world around us, planning,
Acting on our thoughts to make our
Better dreams come true, to
Bring change through our

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Sugar Sweetness

Sugar Sweetness

Grains of sweetness,
Joy or bane to health? No
Matter what the dangers we still
Love you, eat our cakes, our cookies, candy.
Poor nutrition, foe of teeth, but
Yet we can't ignore your
Lure, temptation,

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"R" Rictameter #2: Red Ball Musings

Artist Kurt Perschke's
Red ball on tour in Sydney, Australia

Red Ball Musings

ed ball.
Strange, giant work
Of art before my desk.
Fifteen feet in diameter,
It looms a mystery designed to stir
Imaginations of all, to
Make us wonder. Is it
Art? Perhaps so,
Red ball.

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

For further explanation, go to my other blog, "Never too Late!" or

Rictameter of the Day: Rainbow Promise

Rainbow Promise

Bright and cheerful,
Rare sight in the sky to
Lead us to that pot of gold, not
Real, but nice to ponder, arc to hope and
Brighter days, to better weather,
Sunshine, joy. New promise,
Vivid, lovely

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Questions


Yes, we all have
Questions, big and small and
Universal, easy or not
Possible to answer. We need questions,
Curiosity to find those
Elusive answers. We
Survive through our

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Parking, City Style

Parking, City Style

Bane of city
Dwellers. Meters, lots, or
Garages, costly, hard to find,
Elusive spots of pavement far away
From where we're going. As we age,
Handicapped signs help, but
Do we need cars,

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Orange Appreciation

Orange Appreciation

Cheerful color,
Tasty fruit to eat while
Dreaming winter dreams of places
Where the trees are dotted with these orange
Orbs designed to bring us joy. Your
Fruit and color join to
Make us love you,

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Nothing to Do?

Nothing to Do?

Emptiness or
Chance to rest and think, to
Reflect, relax, dream, plan, or just
Be happy having free time luxury?
Escape life's rat race, slow down to
Enjoy those precious times,
Careless, doing

Copyright 20008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Morning, Retiree Style

Morning, Retiree Style

Time to arise,
Drink coffee, start the day
With energy and courage, hope
For good news, ideas, plans for times of
Action, achievement, good friends to
Fill the day with plans to
Face another

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Laughter Joy

Laughter Joy

Tonic, joy, reviver.
We may disagree on what is
Humorous, but we must not give up our
Sense of wonder, never lose our
Natural urge to search for
Funny things, for

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Kitchen Observations

Kitchen Observations

Bright and shiny,
Gleaming stainless steel and
Granite. Cabinets with all the
Tools one needs to fashion glorious meals.
So why do I not cook such meals?
I'm just disinclined to
Cook in any

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

In Chicago? Come to the Fair

If you live in or near Chicago and are making plans for the weekend, think about attending the Printers Row Book Fair. I'll be there at the IWPA tent on Dearborn near Polk (booth BB). This will be my third year at the fair, and it's fun.

This is your chance to see and hear some famous authors, as well as to talk to us unknowns. I'll be featuring all three of my books, Reinventing Myself, Seniorwriting, and Elder Expectations.

Of course there are a lot of books to buy, including mine, but entrance to the fair is free, the crowds are friendly, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

For more information:

Rictameter of the Day: Justice for All?

Justice for All?

Well-known people
Facing juries, tried for
Fraud, pornography, or other
Crimes that lawyers say they've done, for breaking
Laws, disrupting lives. Expensive
Trials, good breaking news, but
Is it really

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Instant Everything

Instant Everything

Everything is
Instant. Replays, Coffee,
Messages that come to tell us
Not so much. Everything so quick, so brief.
No time to think, relax, ponder,
Savor or enjoy this
Complex world. Too

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Happiness, Elder Style

Happiness, Elder Style

Yes, I'm happy.
Young? No. Agile? No, my
Body doesn't work so well. It
Aches and creaks and tells me when it's time to
Rest, withdraw, to ponder, write, think
About the future. Hope
Can still keep me

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rictameter of the Day: Growing Season

Growing Season

Flowers, grass, and
Trees turn brilliant colors
Overnight as spring moves in to
Cheer the city, bring life, joy, hope, dreams that
Winter will stay far away as
Long days, warm nights being us
Spring renewal,

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne