Avoiding age related stereotypes is not always easy, one has to be on the look out all the time especially when one's hair is white and younger people with well constructed mental images abound. Plus I am always aware of avoiding doing the stereotypical -- which is especially hard when my most serious hobby is quilting. Who quilts? Those who live with stereotypes instead of experience think it is little old ladies. [They are quite wrong most of the time.]
And what kind of stories are little white haired ladies likely to write? Of course, sweet "I remember, kiddies, when I was your age..." stories or -- stories about golden retrievers or darling cats and, of course adorable grandchildren. All these I have avoided, not so much consciously but because it's not what I am interested in reading or writing. In fact I am, by my own defintition, not a short story writer. But in the last year I've become a short story writer somewhat by happenstance. Swap-bot, a site I enjoy for the swaps [what else? and some camaraderie among those over 50] offers writing swaps which usually start with a prompt of some type and require either a poem or a short story. Consequently I have written several of each and I'm getting the knack of the short story.
The current swap's prompt is in the form of two sentences chosen at random from a book and sent, with no context, to a partner to be the inspiration of a story. Alas and alack! I was sent two sentences the day before yesterday that inspired a story with a cat as a main character. I had an idea that the main event would be the birth of kittens. I resisted this impulse for about 24 hours. I don't write that kind of thing! Not me, no way. So this morning, after breakfast, before I even got out of my pajamas I sat down and wrote a 2500 word short story about a cat who has kittens. Yuck! It's a really sweet story. I amused myself with an arch kind of tone and choice of words of too many syllables to put it in the children's category. No, it's more of an adult parable but a disgustingly gentle and sweet one. And I greatly enjoyed writing it.
What the hell? Should I give in and admit that despite periods of considerable grumpiness, as has been evident in a few recent posts here, I really am a rather sweet white haired lady? I have written that I enjoy surprises both in writing and in quilting. I will admit that in fact, this morning's outpouring of feline "ah, gee!"- ness was a surprise that I enjoyed.
What Do Retired People Do All Day? - It's a favorite question from younger adults, about those who are retired from the workplace. What do we old folks do with all that time once taken up with...
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