What’s Going On, 11/10/2010

This isn't me, but he's a dapper young lad, nonetheless.

You’re as Young as You Feel: My birthday is this week, an event I’ve been anticipating with some trepidation because I’m turning fifty. There, I said it. Fifty. The Big Five-Oh. Half a century. Somewhere past midway on the rail line connecting that gleam in my mother’s eye to that ‘ol River Jordan, riding a train that certainly does not run on subjective time.

I can take comfort in a few things. As a writer, I’m in my prime. According to the BBC, a recent study by the folks at Lulu.com reveals that the average age of authors making the New York Times bestseller list for hardback fiction between 1955 and 2004 is 50.5 years. Many notable writers produced their best work after 50. Stephen King is still cranking them out at 57. Agatha Christie’s final bestseller was published shortly after her death at 85. Of course, there are counterexamples, but I won’t go there, at least not today.

People in my family tend to live a long time in reasonably good health, especially if they watch what they eat and avoid tobacco and alcohol. Most importantly, my kids haven’t started calling me “the old man” yet, at least not when I’m in the room.

Hey, 50 is the new 30. If I keep telling myself that, maybe I’ll believe it.

My secret weapon.

Networking: The multitalented Kristine Pratt, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Written World Communications (WWC), is coming to the greater Kansas City metro area this weekend for the Heart of America Christian Writers Conference, an event I probably should be attending, but the activity described in the next paragraph took priority. I met Kristine last year in Colorado Springs, along with a few other C-Springs writers, and we talked about Christian fiction and my novel, The Muse. WWC will be publishing one of my science-fiction short stories, a first-contact tale called “Pilgrimage,” in their forthcoming periodical, Other Sheep.  If all goes well, I’ll be able to treat Kristine to coffee and sell her some more stories share some conversation about WWC and Christian fiction.

So not the slope I'll be skiing.

Rocky Mountain High: Yes, I’ve seen it rain and fire in the sky, and also snow a lot, which is a good thing, since my oldest son is taking me to Colorado for some skiing this weekend, in celebration of the aforementioned birthday. Okay, we’re splitting the bill, but it’s the thought that counts. We’ll hit the slopes at Loveland Basin, which we enjoy for its economy, short lift lines, working-class vibe, and unparalleled vista atop the Continental Divide. It’s another comforting thought that my body is still in decent enough shape to both ski and enjoy it. I’ll post some pictures afterward.

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