Yes, I admit my age.

Turning 40 was the best thing I ever did.  OK third best thing, I must be cheesy and say marrying my husband and having my girls rank above turning 40.  For different and totally selfish reasons, 40 is awesome.  I know, I just told my age (sort of).

Leftovers from party.

Leftovers from party.

Things I learned at 40:

  1. I care even less what most people think of me socially.  Which is saying a lot.  I’ve never been one for peer pressure.
  2. I like short hair, it’s easy get over it.
  3. No, I’m not dying the grey.  Unless it’s blue, I really want blue hair.
  4. No I’m not going on a diet.  Real women have curves.  I can still fit in my pants so it’s all good.

40 was the catalyst for many things, writing was on of them.  I have be a closet writer my entire life.  Dabbling in poetry and short stories.  I had the dream of writing a novel, but didn’t know how to start.

At 38, I had been looking for a “real” job for several years and was working part time at a job I hated.  Happy was not a word I would use to describe that time in my life.  I saw all of my plans up in smoke.  I wasn’t a spy, I had never lived in New York, and I wasn’t a bestselling writer.  I couldn’t do much about the first 2, but I could work on the last one.

In true teacher fashion, I checked out every book on writing a novel.  I actually read 2 cover to cover and ended up buying them.  I sat down wrote out my characters, compiling page after page of back story, and plotted on a giant sheet of construction paper.  A year later I had a 60,000 word mystery.  After editing, I sent it to a major New York agent- who quickly replied back she liked the idea but it was amateur.  Ouch.  That hurt.

I put the novel on the shelf and took a break.  I’ve been “practicing” with short stories.  Short stories tend to get a bad wrap, but they are great to try out new things.  I haven’t given up on my novel or novel writing.  The agent was right, it is a good story and it was the work of an amateur.  I’m OK with that.  I’m writing and I’m happy.  Pass the ice cream.

What have you learned from turning______? (you pick the age)