Welcome to my first Blog! Not sure about the correct form or best beginning, but let’s give it a go. I’d like to talk about “Reinvention.” I’m a very big believer in second chances, do overs, redemption, reinventing yourself.
Those of you who read my book know that I was pregnant and married at 13 years old and a mother at 14. I was hoping, even back then, that wouldn’t be the end of my story. There was so much more I wanted out of life, so much more to experience, but I wasn’t sure if it was possible. I feared that I had tripped at the starting line and there was no getting back up. But things change and sometimes we get another chance at life. Even though I got a ridiculously young start at adulthood, I actually consider myself a late bloomer. Everything happened so fast when I was young that I didn’t have time to process it. I just reacted to those huge, monumental events that dominated my young life. You might not be surprised to find out that my first marriage didn’t last. We went our separate ways soon after our daughter was born. He went back to his mother; me and my daughter, Melanie, back to mine. Then I met my second husband at 15 (What’s a girl to do? I had to move on) and we were together for seventeen years. Some good things happened, some bad things happened, and we grew up anyway. During that time I realized I didn’t really have an identity; I’d gone from being a child to a child wife, and right on to being someone’s teenage wife. I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be. I didn’t know what I liked to eat or even watch on TV.
I knew I wanted a different life. I went back to school and pursued a career in graphic arts. At 31, I left my marriage, and over the next 19 years, embarked on two successful careers, one as a network executive and then, I got to realize my dream of becoming a writer on sit coms. That part of my life had gone well, lots of good reinvention going on. But my dating life was a joke.
Actually, my bad dating experiences were used more than once in the plots of the shows I was working on! I went through a string of wrong guys. They were all very different so I couldn’t spot a pattern. And, at one point of really deep self examination, I cracked my code of why I wasn’t meeting the right person. I was so excited I wrote a book about it and I must have somehow hit on something interesting because a publisher bought it. Anyway, it was the right information for me at the right time, and right after I turned the book into the publisher, I met the true love of my life. His name is Christopher. I was 50 years old when we met. I didn’t think it was going to happen for me. But he was definitely worth the wait – and he is one of the biggest reasons I consider myself a late bloomer. We have so much in common. We love to laugh! We love to cook! Chris is a writer, his father was a writer, I’m a writer, my father was a writer. He also had a challenging childhood. Neither of us got to be kids when we were kids. And now we do. Second chances.
Which brings me to my memoir, “An Only Child and Her Sister”. I wrote this book a few years ago. I was a TV writer and didn’t know much about self promotion or how to give my book the push it needed. Plus, maybe I was a little bit embarrassed and worried that I had been so honest in the book about my life, that people would judge me harshly. Not my friends or family but maybe strangers, i.e., people who might buy the book. My friends and family bought copies and told other people about it, it was the pick of several book clubs, so there were always a few books selling, but there was no real strategy to get the book “out there” and generate serious interest. Then, a few months ago, three years after the book was published, I started to see that it was beginning to sell steadily, and then it began climbing in the ratings and has stayed there. Thrilled, shocked, and did I mention thrilled, I started following the sales and came to the conclusion that maybe my book was a late bloomer like me! Maybe it deserved a second chance. The themes in the book are as current today as they ever were.
If it’s true that a joke is only old if you’ve heard it – maybe a book is only old if you’ve read it… unless, of course, the book is “Europe on Five Dollars a Day,” then it’s an old joke.