Monday, May 15, 2017

Retired and Retiring

Mary and I decided to change the title of our blog because we're retiring. We've both given up all of our freelance writing and editing except for the fiction. I guess if you only work at what seems like play, you're retired.

Then again we've always been retiring in the sense of being shy and diffident, at least when it comes to making a public spectacle of ourselves in order to sell books. Our retiring natures extend to Internet social media, like Facebook. Mary shies away from the invasion of privacy involved. I cringe at how you need to accumulate, "friends" or followers. To me. social networking sites feel too much like parties and the minute I walk into a party I'm immediately flung to the wall by the centrifugal force of the social whirl.

But both of us would love to receive -- and respond to -- comments here. Talking to people one at a time is different than addressing crowds. Unfortunately, crowded social networks are the preferred method of communication these days.

We hope to post to this blog more frequently than in the past. Mary has a strong interest in Golden Age detective novels and will continue with her reviews, but we have other interests as well and are also at an age where we can be forgiven -- hopefully -- for pausing to look back along the road we've traveled. And then there's our writing. We've learned quite a bit over the past decades and writing during retirement, which so many of us aim for, poses its own challenges.

We won't pretend to be writing teachers, however. Neither of us has ever taken a writing course, or attended a workshop. We both agree writing can't be taught. It's something you learn to do on your own. We all develop our own methods and write in our own styles. There are no tricks or magic formulas.

Too many years ago, while I was living in New York City, I was invited to a party by one of my former college professors. An accomplished painter, she was showing off her newest -- and very pricey -- canvases to potential buyers. As an impoverished student from the sticks I had less than nothing in common with the well heeled big city art crowd in attendance. Her enormous expressionist paintings wouldn't have fit on the wall of my apartment. I couldn't have afforded the paint to cover the canvases let alone buy the artwork. Luckily, my professor had invited another student from the small Pennsylvania college were she taught, a friend of mine. We retreated to a shadowy, far corner of the loft and talked and joked in the relative quiet as we observed the social melee from afar.

Mary and I are hoping this blog might serve a similar purpose as our own quiet little corner of the Internet.

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