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The Huffington Post article written by my son

Huffington Post article 5/13/15

I want Charmaine Gordon’s elderly women’s empowerment fiction to go viral and, while it might not, her work is deserving of it because it is devoted to a small, somewhat overlooked, yet important genre that deserves all the attention it can get.

This woman happens to be my 84-year-old mom and I unapologetically stand atop my desk (metaphorically, that is) trying to find a way to let the world know of this movement in women’s fiction that should have its own section at bookstores. Elderly women’s empowerment fiction certainly has as much value as a cat video or fail compilation, but lacks some of that immediate Oomph. The appeal of the viral videos harking to the wunderkinds, the GoPro thrill seekers and the likes are impressive, yet aren’t we just as moved to see the dance videos in which the elderly hear good music and abandon crutches, walkers and any assistance and kick in with power dance moves of their own?
(see * note at bottom for reference info)

I’m a self-serving son, I know. I’m comfortable touting my mom’s work and I’m proud of her for doing it, but this is not only for my mom. There are a few people out there whose parents could really appreciate this fiction for the hero’s problem-solving skills, romantic life and sheer chutzpah in the face of younger, strong authority figures ready to put the thumbscrews to the seemingly meek old lady. What’s more, Charmaine’s tales reminds us to “Do your creative stuff now!”… the kick in the pants my mom’s intrepid spirit offers to every aspiring senior citizen with an agenda of “shoulda-coulda-wouldas.”

Her books have “what are you waiting for?” written all over them.

Charmaine “The Mom Bomb” Gordon sent me a few of her credos to accompany this article. Being her own best advocate she was willing to equip her son with a few essentials she knows well: “It isn’t over ’til it’s over,” “Survive and thrive no matter who’s in the beehive,” “Life throws plenty at you… so keep dancing.” (That my mom would appropriate one of Yogi Berra’s quotes is fitting, since she and my dad ran a mom ‘n’ pop shop in golf equipment sales and sold Yogi his golf clubs for a stretch of time in the 70s and 80s.)

In the face of adversity, my mom found a voice in this semi-autobiographical niche writer’s market. Her declining health hampered her athletic, self-sufficient style and demanded that she trade her tennis racket for a cane, but it hasn’t slowed her down that much. She had a long tenure in New York’s theatrical productions — small parts in movies, plays and tv soap operas — but ultimately resigned herself to the realities of the spasmodic dysphonia that attacked her larynx. Getting older and no longer capable of enunciating onstage, she took to storytelling in written form. Short stories led to longer ones and when she had a novel-length tale, she shopped herself to agents and found a publisher, one she’s been with for 5 ½ years now. Her first book, To Be Continued is currently optioned for a tv movie.

The characters populating her fictitious neighborhoods always focus on an elderly lady beset by obstacles/prejudices. Through her own wiles she solves/fixes things and exacts retribution from a stalker or other persons with an evil agenda. Due to the tone in her first book — one in which an amorous heroine and her lover cavort and carouse through the first many pages on a sexual skill level reminiscent of the non-stop love world claimed by basketball hero, Dr. J — I lovingly poke fun at her efforts by referring to it as either “old-lady soft-core porn” or “soft-core, old-lady porn” a term of endearment that jokingly belies my feelings.

Gone are the days of despicable phrases like “too much information,” the popular 90s saying that tries to rebuff anyone veering away from some Groupthink form of standards and proper decorum. Bring on elderly women who delight publicly in the search for a satisfying love life. Just as Annie Sprinkle wishes to spread her message by encouraging people to proudly and sexually become their own machines of change and freedom, so can my mom’s writing inspire in its own way for seniors, because my mom’s characters stand strong and unflappable in their entire lives. This genre provides a voice and setting for active elderly women and it appeals to the ever-growing elderly population that shouldn’t be relegated to ignored corners of society. Aren’t these metaphors the same ones we wish taught to every young girl? It shouldn’t be a big leap for any woman over 70, 80 or 90 to be reminded of her potential, right? Perhaps this is the stuff of which revolutions in elderly care can take hold.

Aside from her writing skills, the small but steady fan base my mom continues to develop is due in part to her own spirited personal story, coupled with the senior hero’s story arc. Charmaine has a website, twitter and facebook pages, and works hard marketing her work and embracing current technology. She isn’t about to be left by the wayside and she is not alone in this, teaming up with other women writers to publicize their books in smaller forums around the web. Bearing in mind a lineage of fine women writers who managed to break the age barrier — from Flannery O’Connor to Joan Didion to Maya Angelou to Agatha Christie, this type of novel deserves some investigation and newsworthy attention, not merely because one of those writing in this vein raised me, but it is going to take some influential people offering their business and money knowhow to raise national-level awareness. I’m not claiming my family’s talents to rank with the finest, but I am saying that it always starts from a point of passionate investment, no matter what the investigation; and my mother is certainly passionate and has found a worthwhile cause… and I find myself wondering how to best help spread her message. I believe in the concept behind the brief, delightful TED talk by Derek Sivers, in which a movement gets started by a leader valuing the first followers who choose to embrace that movement, and in doing so become leaders themselves.

As a relatively recently graduate of Goddard College’s Masters of Fine Arts program in Interdisciplinary Arts (yes, a shameless plug for my beloved higher education program), I see many noteworthy examinations within my mother’s genre, including but not limited to social engagement and equality rights. In these times where race relations, handicapped empowerment and gender equality have loud voices, the voices for the elderly speak softer and still require vociferous support from media news outlets.

My mom’s vocal chords are weaker than they once were, not unlike so many seniors, so I suppose it takes words on news/blog sites like this one to push her message out there just a little more. After all, books like hers are only for you if you plan on getting older some day yourself, so it’s not merely a niche market, is it?

[* Because the music was removed by copyright infringement for the fun original, this link goes to the CNN-news version that still has the soundtrack.]

Follow Paul Gordon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GisforGarbage      

Paul, my dearest son, wrote this a while ago. He is married to a Dane, living in Copenhagen. We confer every day about what we call stuff. Eva, his beautiful wife and talented artist is the best I could ask for.

Love to all. I’m improving day by day and plan to keep up with weriwa on time.

You may have heard my latest book has been released.

Beware The Blue- Eyed Thunderbolt is the title. :2 young girls need a good home. Their new Dad is selfish; their almost new mom is great. They make a plan to work things out and by the end of the book, it does work out. Add in cats and one puppy; the story is fun.

 

 

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The WiP has just begun

Always ready, Madeline Brown prepared for work. Excitement filled her because tonight, after work, she headed up the Christmas party. Her slim body had showered, make-up put on with care, and today she would wear her hair down instead of the usual boring bun at her neck. She had long wavy blond hair she’d hidden all these years working at the bank, rising to a better position from time to time and now she was the boss’s right hand woman. Pretty damn good for a forty-five -year -old woman who did this on her own but now she is so ready for a man. She strutted around her small bedroom after dressing. The new slinky black dress with a low neckline might do the trick tonight. A business jacket had to go over it with a silk scarf to cover her cleavage. She was pleased and excited buttoning the gorgeous new black coat with a fur collar. Oh baby, time to shine. With her Lady Smith in the black leather bag, Madeline was out the door.

Click. click. click came from behind her and as she turned, she whipped the Lady Smith out ready to shoot; she yelled. “Who the hell are you tracking me.?” She looked to see a frightened Bijon Frise at her feet and she bent down as snowflakes fell to lift the small pup into her warm arms. “Are you lost, sweet thing? Don’t worry, I’ll find your home.”

 

for more delightful snippets:

http://www.wewriwa.com/

 

News! To Be Continued in Portugues

Cobrir a revelar! Coming Soon! Charmaine Gordon’s To Be Continued em breve em Português!!

 

Cobrir a revelar!

Minha História Continua

Charmaine Gordon

Elizabeth Malone acorda a manhã depois de uma incrível noite de paixão com seu marido de quarenta anos para encontrar uma nota: Querida Lizzie, não é você, sou eu. Abandonada por seu marido, decepcionada com a atitude casual da filha Susie, o pai está tendo uma crise de meio ambiente, Beth decide restabelecer-se como o vencedor que ela já foi. Quando Frank Malone retorna, ele está em uma grande surpresa!

 

Elizabeth Malone wakes up the morning after an amazing night of passion with her husband of forty years to find a note: Dear Lizzie, it’s not you, it’s me. Abandoned by her husband, disappointed in daughter Susie’s casual attitude Dad’s having a mid-life crisis, Beth decides to re-establish herself as the winner she once was. When Frank Malone returns, he’s in for a big surprise!

 

Em breve em Português!

 

 

 

To Be Continued Sneak Peek Video (English)

 

 

 

Charmaine Gordon

Charmaine Gordon writes books  about women who Survive and Thrive.  Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Six novels and many novellas and short stories in five years, she’s always at work on the next story. The novels include To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission and The Catch.

Charmaine’s first novel with Vanilla Heart Publishing, To Be Continued, has been optioned for a television movie! “I didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, I’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. I learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, I was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand-in leg model, my first job giving me entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, I began another career and creative juices flowed.”

You can reach Charmaine at http://authorCharmaineGordon.wordpress.com
And on her FB page  http://www.facebook.com/charmaine.gordon

 

Translator for the Portugese Editions

Selma R. Silva

Selma R. Silva has been a translator and interpreter since graduation in 1984, She was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and had the chance to study languages since her early teen years. Years of hard work, travel and research have led to the perfect time and place to delve into the rewarding experience of literary translation.

 

 

 

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The Last Touch of the WIP

When last seen, Shari hurried into the men’s room, saw a tall handsome guy washing off his um hands and raced to the bathroom. Her last words were, “Well, I’ve seen more of you than you have of me.”

excerpt:

The doctor and his former patient sat close together in a restaurant, near the music. She put her finger against her lips to indicate she had something to say.

“Years ago when you were my doctor and I was expecting, we saw each other often and my husband decided this wasn’t healthy. He began searching for a new home in another town once we had the baby and so it went. We had fallen in love with each other and he sensed it. I want you to know I loved him but I never forgot you.

Joan, I felt and still feel the same way about you and after a while as we get reaquainted, I want us to marry and we’ll spend the rest of our lives together.

He held his hand out for a dance; they fit so well together and Joan said, “I do, my love, I do.”

for more snippets:

http://www.wewriwa.com/

Here comes the WIP, for better or worse

Last week, we discovered another character, the doctor who twenty -four years before, delivered Joan’s daughter Shari, now a Captain in the Army. And then to his delight, he discovers beautiful Joan, at the Saturday Skeet Shoot.  They hug as Shari watches from afar and the older couple, both no longer married, make plans for dinner.

excerpt: “Honey, I’m sorry to leave you alone but he’s invited me to dinner and dancing at a club where the music is slow.”

“Mom, it’s fine, I need some rest; the baby bump is wearing me out; she rubbed her tummy in expression.”

The kind doctor sat next to Shari and as a physycian, he had a few questions. “You’ve lived a hectic few years overseas and now, suddenly, you’re a pregnant widow. This is a difficult time for you but pardon my intrusion, my son is divorced, a doctor in practice with me, and he’s lonely so maybe you two can get together.”

Shari gave a laugh, said that would be cool but right now she had to go to the bathroom and away she went in search of the ladies room. Down the hall, she saw men’s room no ladies room in sight so she marched right in to find a man tapping off his privates, then washing his hands. Since she had a serious need to go to the bathroom, she hurried in, finished and left to find the good looking young man still at the sink.

“I thought I saw a woman rush in but couldn’t believe it until I saw your Army shirt.”

“Well sir, I saw more of you than you saw of me.”

Enjoy more snippets:

http://www.wewriwa.com/

 

The WIP and what’s happening now

After all the tragedy losing her husband, then Shari’s Mom Joan asks her a serious question.

“Did you love Chris? When you spoke to him you appeared to be merely friends.” Shari’s sad face expressed a world of grief. “Mom, I barely knew him. We met at a party, had sex and the next thing I knew, I was pregnant. Life was so different over there, so crazy in many ways. I never should have joined the military and now I’m trapped but at least the baby has a father on her birth certificate.

Excerpt: “Mom, where are you heading?”

“It’s Skeet day at the club. I joined and I’ll be back in a couple of hours so relax, walk  the dogs.”

“I can shoot and well because dad taught me so I’m going too; wait while I change.”

At the club, while Joan got in line after introducing her Army Captain daughter, a pleasant man spoke to Shari. “I’m a doctor and my advice to you is to relax; no shooting in your condition. Shari heard his name and cried out, “Wait just a darn minute; you delivered me years ago, I’ve heard your name from my mom.”

The doctor’s eyes lit up and he said, “Is she here, wait I see her just as beautiful as ever.”

She thought, Oh my God, mom’s single and men will be after her.

The nice doctor rushed over to take Joan’s hand and from a distance, Shari watched a romance begin.

For more snippets:

http://www.wewriwa.com/

 

 

Starting Over-a taste of this book

This is later in the book but I’ve always loved this part. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Ater playing tennis, the four friends gather in the whirlpool room. Emily sat alone in the hot water, steam rose all around her. The door opened, wisps danced and settled in disturbed air, Time for a chat with women she’d known since childhood,

Margaret, Jesse, and Shelly eased into the w, ter to surround Emily, the hub of the wheel in this circle of friends.  Bubbles sprang into action, strategically placed jets pulsed to bring comfort to aches and pains. Her friends waited.

“When Larry died suddenly,” Emily spoke in a soft steady voice, “I should’ve left well enough alone. A happy marriage of thirty years is almost more than a person could ask for. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.”

The women leaned toward Emily to hear every word over the noise of the pool.

“So I meet this man, great on the exterior; damaged on the inside; I want companionship, he’s starved for love. And the sex is incredible. He’s a walking hard-on. Yes, our time together is one long orgasm. Do you know what I mean?” No one did.

So we get married and he installs a fancy burglar alarm better than the White House and when I accuse him of controlling me, he’s distraught, says he’ll stop looking in the rear view mirror before he loses what’s right in front of him. So we go for a run and he lags behind. Suddenly a stranger appears and Pat’s not around and I run, looking for him. And when I find him, he’s in the water, dead.”

Emily sat dry-eyed. Tears streamed down the faces of her friends.

Emily said, “I never should have let him into my life.”

“Now who’s looking in the rearview mirror,” Shelly said.

“One long orgasm?” Margaret shook her head.

The mood was broken.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this snip from Starting Over. I sure did. Thanks for stopping by. You can find the book on Amazon, B&N and more. Thanks.