Archive for February, 2012

Zits and Wrinkles

February 28, 2012

Zits and Wrinkles

It just doesn’t seem fair  to have zits and wrinkles at the same time. My neighbor was complaining about that today as we were reading the paper and have tea and coffee. She said that at sixty-six she should at least be done with pimples. I sympathized. What else should we be past at our age?

  • Wearing mini-skirts or short-shorts
  • Cramming for an exam
  • Looking for a job
  • Breaking in a husband/wife/lover/girlfriend/boyfriend
  • Chasing after toddlers 24/7
  • Supporting children financially
  • Bragging
  • Blaming our parents
  • Sleeping on the ground
  • Holding grudges
  • Drinking and driving
  • Moving furniture by yourself

Got any others to add to the list?





The Single Senior Goes to a Writers’ Conference

February 20, 2012

The Single Senior Goes to a Writers’ Conference

            I went to a writers’ conference in San Diego over the weekend. Three colleagues, Phoenix area writers, and I boarded the plane on Friday very early in the morning with high hopes but secret doubts. We all had appointments for one-on-one sessions with editors and agents to get feedback on the first fifteen pages of our completed books.

We noticed that there was another event at the hotel, a Marriage Retreat. Were they retreating from marriage or to it?

After a leisurely brunch at the hotel, we went to the first of many sessions that covered how to plan, improve, publish, and market our books. Most of the sessions were excellent, and even the so-so ones contained a pearl or two of wisdom to improve my writing and marketing.

On Saturday morning I had the first of my five appointments. The New York agent and I discussed my book. He thought my writing was hyper-real and natural. He asked me to send him four more chapters! I felt like I had climbed Mt. Everest!

It was a comedown when the second New York editor was less than wild about my writing. She liked the characters and idea but thought I needed to work on my dialogue.

The third appointment, with a California agent, was even less laudatory. She also liked my characters and idea but . . .

I was thrilled that one wanted to see more, but disappointed the others saw a lot of work to bring my book up to snuff.

On Saturday afternoon I was sitting with an author at a table in the lobby when a woman came over, looking discombobulated. She said she had taken the elevator with an airline pilot. They both got out on the eighth floor. She was turned around and not sure where to locate her room. (At this point she confessed that she’d had a couple of drinks.) The pilot asked her the room number and pointed her in the right direction. When she got to her room, the phone was ringing. It was the pilot. She said she was “creeped out” and ran back to the conference.

The author (male, married, and seventy-eight) inquired why she was upset. He thought that she should have taken it as a compliment. My question was, “What did he look like?” I figured he must have been a toady guy, or threatening. The author then wanted to know if it would have been okay if he was handsome. I had to think about that. I replied that if he appealed to me, I might react differently, but handsome was in the eyes of the beholder.

The distraught conferee kept babbling, but she calmed down. She was drunk.

That evening the mariachis from a wedding reception across the hall made it difficult to hear the evening speaker at the conference’s banquet.

The next morning, Sunday, before the eight a.m. speaker, one of the conference directors said pilots were hitting on the conferees. A pilot had come into the bar the night before, dressed in his pilot’s cap, jacket, and shorts. He tried to put the make on several of the women writers.

I went to a session and then packed up and checked out. The front desk clerk gave me the pass to the business center so I could print out my airline boarding pass. I was surprised to see five people in the small room with three computers on two walls. A man was sitting on one side but not doing anything. He said there was something wrong with the computer, but continued to sit there.

As I waited my turn to use the computer on the other side, he asked me where I was flying. I replied “Phoenix.”

“That’s too bad,” he said. “I’m flying to Denver later and could have comped you a drink.”

It took me a second to realize he was a pilot. And one who wanted an afternoon delight. I didn’t feel creeped out or threatened. Rather I laughed to myself, felt complimented and glad I wasn’t a desperate woman in search of any man.

My next appointment, with an author and freelance editor, was positive, although she said to throw out the prologue. She gave me suggestions while complimenting my writing style.

At the beginning of the final one-on-one session later in the afternoon, the freelance editor told me he loved the prologue. He had some suggestions, but thought I was on the right track.

The “experts” had contradictory advice. What I learned was to trust myself. Consider suggestions, but ultimately it was my book. I think it’s in writers’ natures to doubt ourselves since we work in isolation without much feedback. I will try to stay focused on the positives I received instead of dwelling on the negatives.

I will do some revising before I sent the agent the next four chapters. I’m still ecstatic that a New York agent wants more.


Happy Valentine’s Day (?)

February 15, 2012

The Single Senior and Valentine’s Day

By Annie Weissman


     Valentine’s Day was always an important holiday for me. It meant candy and cards. When I was in elementary school, my mother would buy me an oversized cardstock book illustrated with cupids, flowers, hearts, and birds. I punched out the Valentine cards from the perforations and agonized over which classmate got which card. Candy hearts with the printed messages would be included in the envelopes. I would receive a card from almost everyone in the class. These were delivered to a special Valentine’s Day mailbox that we made in school. It was unmitigated bliss. It was all about friendship and crushes.

     Valentine’s Day was ruined for me in 2002. My husband decided that was the day to tell me he had rented an apartment and our marriage was over.

     So Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday. It has bitter memories as well as bygone sweet memories. During each of my two marriages there were times when I was full of love for my spouse. None of the beaus I’ve had in the past ten years of singlehood have made the day special.

     Today I finished revising my novel, ate dark chocolate with sea salt that was a present from my best friend, played computer Scrabble, and hugged my dog. Happy Valentine’s Day indeed.

Single Senior Initiation

February 4, 2012

Single Senior Initiation

            Last night I performed a Single Senior Initiation. I have a best friend who’s been divorced for over a year. She hasn’t put her tippy-toe into the dating pool. She’s very attractive, bubbly, and intelligent. And short. That counts a lot for a female single senior. It’s a huge advantage since we were brought up in the age when women didn’t date men shorter than them. So if you’re a short female, all men are available to you.

We went to The Rhythm Room, one of my major hangouts. The Bad News Blues Band, from Tucson, was scheduled. I love them, especially the saxophonist. One of the best attributes of The Rhythm Room is the variety of ages and social strata. People are from their twenties to their eighties, with many in the senior range. It’s a friendly place where people like to get up and dance. You can always tell the ones who’ve taken lessons, and it’s fun to watch them. The attire runs from jeans and tee shirts to sequined dresses.

The cover charge was eight dollars. The band was supposed to start at nine, but I’ve never known one to be punctual. I met my friend at 8:30 outside the front door. We went in, paid the cover, got our hands stamped, and decided on bar stools that were at the edge of the dance floor. We’re not big drinkers. I ordered a soda water and she ordered a diet soda. My friend took off her fitted leather jacket she had bought on our trip Florence nine years ago. She was definitely dressed for clubbing. She had on an open lacey black blouse with a solid black camisole underneath. She looked hot. I had on a plunging neckline jersey top but had strategically tied a scarf in place.

A fellow in a black panama hat came up and introduced himself to us. He asked if we liked to dance. We both nodded and he said we would take our turns on the dance floor. This immediately calmed my friend. She was already not going to be a wall flower. Some people were dancing to the canned music, which I can’t understand when a live band is going to be playing. Why not wait for the real stuff?

The band started late, of course. Many people got up to dance. The Panama Hat asked my friend to dance the second song. I was asked to dance the next one by an older but sexy guy. I usually have no problem asking a guy to dance, and eyed some fellows sitting behind us, but decided to leave that piece for the next time. My friend was also asked to dance by a dapper preppie senior.

We stayed for one set. The music was toe-tapping and the vibes friendly. I couldn’t have picked a better initiation.