August 25, 2010

The generosity of Twitter

Today is August 25, my parents’ anniversary and the day I began writing my memoir here on this blog and now entitled (Re)Making Love: A Sex After Sixty Story. I began this way two years ago:

I need to live alone

I love romantic comedies: weep over them, quote their dialogue without attribution in conversation as when I am with a man who says he wants to be friends with me, “You actually believe that men and women can be friends?”

My parents were married fifty-four years. I recall each of them: My father: “The circumstances are extenuating.” See the memoir for his echo in my heart.

My mother, from my story “The Burglar” in The Woman Who Never Cooked but here with third-person and the fiction stripped away from the autobiography:

I was often naked with my mother. When my mother was young, she’d be naked—to keep her clothes dry—when she’d bathe me. She’s straighten the linen closet naked. She could be seen changing a light bulb naked. If something needed to be done, my mother did it. Nakedness had nothing to do with what needed doing.

Their lives, their pasts that I know so little of—all four grandparents died before I was born—will infuse my next memoir and will include the piece here, an earlier blog entry entitled “Absent.”

Here are Aaron and Mary, my mother's parents:

The abstraction that defined both my parents: generosity.

I search for my parents’ goodness like the comfort of the womb.

What an odd place to find a sense of them, believe it or not: Twitter: Generosity is the name of the game and generosity is no game: it must be heartfelt.

In the interview I did with the glorious Jane Friedman, whom I highlight here, I say:

Q: Do you have a secret marketing weapon? Are there certain sites or tools that work really well for you? And/or, are there things that have not worked? Interactions are personal, not business. Twitter, for one key example, if well understood, is personal, not business. It is about generosity and goodness. If you understand it otherwise, you misunderstand. I met you on Twitter. And if I have a secret weapon, you define it. The rest I am learning. But this I do know, the writer must commit herself to the marketing of her book through web page, blog, and most important, personal interaction, one person at a time. And this takes time, time away from the writing I so crave.

 Today, I highlight three women who found me on Twitter and who define generosity.

Daisy Hickman 

Her blog is the place to get to know her. She has written a book Timeless Wisdom of the Prairie that we get glimpses of on this blog. She has a background in marketing,. She lives in South Dakota.

Daisy has:

• Listed me among books to read on her blog.

• Sent tweets to Oprah about my journey and suggested that I pitch Oprah: I did: From her mouth to G-d’s ears, as my mother used to say.

• Suggested to the author of the blog 100 Memoirs that she review my book: No sale there!

• Connected me to Deborah Riley Magnus who did decide to interview me and that exchange will appear here under Literary August 29.

• Tweets often to express her admiration for the memoir. One example: On pg 27, lovely memoir, Mary. Beautiful children, beautiful writing, and definitely, poetic, i.e. ,"the shrubbery of age."

• And invited me to guest blog this fall on her site.

Follow her on Twitter. Your life will be enriched.

Kate Mayfield

Go to her elegant website. Be sure to watch the book trailer for The Undertaker’s Women and then begin reading that book on her blog.  The entries we glimpse are sharply written with wry humor that belies her subject of the funeral home. That’s no easy feat. One example: She writes of shrouds with a resonance that breaks the heart with wit. She and her husband Malcolm Levene have written a book on fashion and where beauty truly lies: 10 Steps to Fashion Freedom  that she gave me, good soul that she is, while she bought my memoir when it came out. They live in London but Kate grew up in Kentucky.

And what a beauty she is!

She tweets about the memoir with great finesse and posted this review on

Mary Tabor's (Re)Making Love is one of the best memoirs I've read in quite a long while - and I've read more than a few. I found myself fiercely cheerleading her on as she fought her way through an unwanted separation from her husband of 21 years. Her writing is smart, funny, lyrical and at times, heartbreaking. How many times have you read a blurb that used the words "unflinchingly honest" when describing a memoir? I always say to myself, well of course, shouldn't it be? But often they are not. (RE) Making Love is that - and more. Mary puts beauty into ugly honesty, laughter into sad honesty and hope into painful honesty. There is even a surprise ending! I highly recommend this book.

And if you don’t follow her on Twitter, you should because she reads everything and links to one fascinating piece about literature or art or the what-to-see-and-do in London and what’s happening on the Metro—or is that the Tube in London?

Cathryn Wellner

Her blog Catching Courage defines courage: She writes from her heart about the Medicine Woman, the Yanke Truck Driver and examines prudery (yeah, she talks about talking about sex). She was born in California but now lives in British Columbia’s Cariboo region.

She has bought and read my book. Here are some of her tweets about it. And she regularly quotes from my memoir (one example, but she’s done this all the time she’s been reading the book:

• "We must lead with our hearts & not our minds."

• I watched the interview with you & immediately bought the book. I'm loving it. I'm writing about my own crazy path so relate.

• Want some encouragement? @maryltabor cites authors who first published late in life.

As she catches courage, she embodies encouragement. Follow her on Twitter.

For these marvelous women I offer from Richard Wilbur’s poem “The Beautiful Changes,” this thank you:

Your hand holds roses always in a way that says
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
In such kind ways,
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things' selves for a second finding, to lose
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

August 12, 2010

What's your secret weapon?

When you think no one is there, someone answers and how! That someone turns out to be the incredible Jane Friedman.

Don’t know her? Let me introduce her to you and tell you what she did for me! If you are a blogger, writer and care about the creative process, you’ll want to follow her on Twitter.

Jane is currently the strategic director of Writer’s Digest, where in 2001 she took over as their managing editor. She is a force with her award winning blog There Are No Rules. She knows all there is to know about the publishing industry, about marketing, and she cares about each writer she meets or discovers. I found her through one of her bloggers, the wonderful Darrelyn Saloom. Here’s her latest blog entry on meeting the fab memoir writer Mary Karr along with this terrific photo she posted of a Window Dressing on Royal Street. Hope it’s okay to borrow that photo here, Darrelyn, from your home in The Big Easy.

Somehow I manage to get Jane to follow me on Twitter and somehow, the gifts that come in life continue to surprise, she decides to interview me about my memoir (Re)Making Love: a sex after sixty story. She wants to know about starting late, about the blog to book, about the new-to-the-game publisher, 3ones.

Read the interview with Jane.

What follows are more retweets on Twitter of the interview link than I can count and two bloggers who blog about me on their sites. Let me introduce you now to Belette who writes about me in the entry entitled “I am mad for older women with white hair.” No that’s not me in the photo: That gorgeous model, still working and beyond fabulous! Belette is a psychotherapist who blogs: thus, I guess, her choice of anonymity. She’s been named one of the top ten blogs for Francophiles and is rated as one of the top 15 memoir and psychology blogs.

But, as the French Fry cutter salesman keeps saying in my book, “Wait, there’s more!” I discover through a friend that another blogger has posted an entry about me. Debbie Ridpath Ohi writes a fascinating blog of “Daily Diversions for Writers” and chooses, bless you, Debbie, to post about me.

And then in my e-mail I discover that wants to link with me.

I believe in the goodness of the world. I believe as Martin Buber so wisely tells us, “All real living is meeting.”

August 02, 2010

I must have done something good

Do you recall that line from the song in The Sound of Music? That’s how I feel because The Foodinista found me! Her website gives me fantastic recipes, the chicest of the chic ideas for home and fashion—even if I can’t afford that gorgeous vintage watch or fit into those skinny jeans. She cooks, she nests, she loves and she READS! Who knew?

Who knew also that she turns out to be a well-known contributing editor for Bon Appetít ? Read her candor and her story along with a great recipe for Buffalo Wings here. She writes a wine column for Bon Appetít among other things and she’s recently become the blogger for Herman Miller Lifework.

Herman Miller Lifework keeps the gorgeous design of this incredible artist alive. I sit in his office chair to write and, truly, it is the best chair I have ever written in—an Aeron Chair—after the foam in my old chair not only deteriorated but gave me a rash where no one wants one. But I digress.

And that’s what TheFoodinista does as well in the best sense of that word: She doesn’t follow the original plan. She invents, she creates, she discovers.

How else could I have ended up as one of her entries? She’s not exactly doing book reviews. But she read my memoir and said, “I loved loved loved the book. Your memoir is like a breath of fresh air, air that has been liberally peppered with Nietzsche.”

What a gift: She interviewed me with the coolest questions ever! If you’d like to know whether La Perla is the best revenge or what I think is the great seduction dish of all time, click interview and find out. Everything on TheFoodnista’s site is gorgeously illustrated. I think the book must be coming soon! Or should be!!

All I can say is, I must have done something good.