Sunday’s Shining Star

animated Happy Memorial Day
I would like to explain how this came to fruition. Hubby and I were having a discussion about the old days, (for the young’ens reading this..a little history lesson) but before the dark age. When Sundays were special and had traditions and rituals. Sunday mornings Church, come home to a big gravy (sauce) cooking on the stove, a big Sunday dinner, then either off to visit relatives/friends or wait for relatives/friends to drop by. We would spend the afternoon sitting around the table, talking, catching up, having coffee, pizza, calzones, etc etc, dessert. And now, how sad, all those traditions are gone. And then I got to thinking, why not have something similar here on my blog. This past year, I have met so many amazing and wonderful people (some I now call friends) through blogging, and how I am in awe of what they do and accomplish. How much respect I have for them, for their honesty, integrity, credibility and so enjoy when a bit of their personality shines through. So every Sunday, here at my place, the coffee will be on, the dessert is on the table and friends will be stopping by. And I will be rolling out the red carpet for my Sunday Shining Star Blogger guest.

I was told when I first found this community of book blogging that “book bloggers were the nicest bloggers there are” and I have never forgotten those words. And over the past year, I have truly met the nicest people. I also believe, even though we live behind a screen, a bit of our personality shines through. That is one of the reasons I am having so much fun with this weekly event, and hoping you are too, because we are getting to know those “nicest bloggers” around and about bloggyland a little bit better.

I can’t think of a better way of spending Memorial Day Weekend than with all of you, and having a virtual outdoor BBQ by our pool.   Jeff  (Lori’s hubby…Dollycas’s Thoughts) has on his “Kiss The Cook” apron and chef’s hat on (I tried to tell him the hat was a bit much….but would he listen???   Men!!!) and is in charge of the grill.  Steve, my hubby, is in charge of the drinks, so just yell out Garçon when you need a refill!! lol  Today’s guest is quite special to me.  I haven’t known her long but I have known about her for a couple of months.  Speaking of hats, she wears a few.  Today, we will meet the blogging person.  I will tell you more about her, after we get to know her better, but I guarantee, once you hear her story, you WILL agree, she is a Shining Star.  Today my guest is MARY from SEX AFTER SIXTY

*When and why did you start blogging?*

My answer strikes even me now as hard to believe: My husband announced: Oh so Greta Garbo: “I need to live alone.” We’d been married twenty-one years and I had just turned 60.   I cratered.   I’m a writer and my first book had just been published.   Yeah, I know, a little late.   But I say, “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.”   But at that point, I thought my life was over.
My daughter and son-in-law, both philosophers, saw me weeping and falling in and out of love like a Victorian ingénue or a romantic comedy heroine in a film of my own making, and said: You’re a writer: Blog.   And I did.
*How and what made you decide on the name of your blog?
My daughter and son-in-law came up with the title: Sex After Sixty.   Pretty apt for the foolishness and the fairy tales I was both reading and seeking.   The title was apt for the memoir I was writing—but I didn’t really realize that while I was living and writing the story.   The blog became a book (Re)Making Love: a sex after sixty story.
*What would you say is the main content of your blog?
For the period of about two years—my husband and were separated for four—the title worked because the content was the blog that became the book.
But now I am writing about writing and some times I review a book I truly love.   One of the worries I’ve had about the title is that it would be associated with erotica.   Though I pull no punches in my memoir, I am not writing a sexually explicit story.
So, I’m not sure what to do about the current title.   I’m kinda branded with the blog now and have readers on every continent except Antarctica.   Boy, I’d love some advice on this question for those who do visit the blog and see what I’m doing.
*If books, what genres do you mostly read?
I read literary fiction, literary memoir and poetry.   When I am doing research, I read anything that might help me get answers.  I sketch. So I am a fan of art books.
*How often do you post?
I know that I should post more often to keep a larger following.   But since what I really do is write books, I post about once a week, some times less often.  I am writing a novel now that deals with the question of memory.  In a blog post I did some time ago, I give a glimpse about where this novel wants to go.  What I wrote here is memoir, but I can’t tell this story and be tied to fact.  Still you’ll get an idea in this post:
*What are some of the things that you love about blogging?
My readers.   They helped me through the most difficult journey of my life.   I am in their debt.
*Name 1-3 favorite items/postings that you have/do on your blog?
If you’d like to get a taste of my memoir, read a chapter on the blog (I still have them posted). Here’s one of my favorites:
Read about the terrific blogger and storyteller Cathryn Wellner.  I do take guest bloggers. Cathryn is just terrific here and everywhere:
*Any advice you would give to new bloggers?
I think I need advice.   And would welcome it.   So comment away.
*What draws you to follow someone’s blog?
When bloggers write from the heart, I’m there whether it’s about books they love or whatever drives them.
*Would you please share 5-7 things about the person behind the screen so that we get to know the “real” you!!
I’m a writer who came to writing late in life.  In 1996, I left my corporate job when I was fifty and went off to grad school to find time for what had lain in wait.
My first book The Woman Who Never Cooked won Mid-List Press’s First Series award and was published in 2006.   In a slant way—’cause how else do we seek answers to the unanswerable?—I use food as metaphor to tell this real-life story: My mother died in 1990, my sister in ’93, my father in ’99—all from long, tortuous and serious illnesses while I remained well and strong.  Their lives, their difficult journeys made me question not only existence, but what I deserved.
So perhaps it was inevitable that when the bottom dropped out of my life in a way I could never have anticipated that I would end up writing a memoir.
I didn’t really know that I was writing a book until about a quarter into the blogging when the writer Marly Swick said to me, “This stuff is gorgeous, evocative, and you’re giving it away.   Do you know what you’re doing?”  (You may not agree with Marly, but let me tell you this: To have a reader who encourages and believes in you helps the creative process immeasurably.)
Did I know what I was doing?   By then the blog had a following and I was hooked by ordinary folk who kept reading and commenting.   The blog had taken on a life of its own and I couldn’t stop.   By the time my story reaches its ending—an ending I could never have anticipated, Marly has read it all and tells me I have a book: She tells me it’s luminously insightful, that I’ve written a literary love story when—as Vivian Gornick says in The End of the Novel of Love, that’s impossible—we’re all too cynical and wised up.   And Marly wants me to find an agent.
But then I did something else—very risky: A publisher comes along: 3ones, Inc., that describes itself as “a product development company for hire.”   But Kelly Abbott, is the owner and CEO.   He’s under forty, loves the manuscript, and says, “It reminds him why we bother to read in the first place: that empathy is better than callousness, trust more rewarding than cynicism.”   Pretty seductive stuff.   And he gets me.
More important to me is that, despite the fact that he is not an established publisher, he is the son of the writer and literary lion Lee K. Abbott and whose praise along with Fred Busch’s also graces my first book.
But on the blog to book road that is part and parcel of my story let me close with this: I forged ahead on the sea of my readers’ belief.   So you decide for this literary author: Here’re the q’s: Crazy or risky? Worth it or not?   Maybe you’ll have to read me to find out.
*Any other info you would like to share.
I am deeply grateful for Cheryl whose generosity shows in every word she writes on this blog.
  Thank you Mary for being my guest today and sharing a bit of you with all of us.
  And now, for what I promised to tell you about the history of how I was introduced to Mary, and have gotten to know the shy, humble, genuine, personable and caring person that I have come to know in a very short period of time.
  A few months ago, I was contacted by a publicist asking if I would like to read and review Mary’s book.  I had informed her that I was very behind but was interested and also offered to showcase Mary for a Guest Author posting.  I was told that they would check with the author and get back to me.  That was the last I heard.  Until a couple of weeks ago.
  Mary contacted me and asked if I remembered any correspondence with the publicists regarding her book.  She went on to say that the company informed her that they filed for bankruptcy, kept her money and gave her a list of bloggers that had been contacted and closed the door.  I was one of those bloggers.  Once again, she was knocked down.  It took her some time, as she told me in a later email, to get up the courage to contact me.
  Today you are meeting Mary, the blogger.  Next month, you will meet Mary, the author, as I have booked her for a Guest Author showcase as she tries to get the word out about her book since she is now starting from scratch.  She paid a large amount of money to this publicist to book virtual tours and contact bloggers to read and review her book, and now is on her own.  I felt so bad when I heard everything she has gone through and the obstacles she has had to overcome.  Even though I am just a little old blogger from New England, I felt that on a personal level, I wanted to lend a helping hand by booking her as a Guest Author, to introduce her and her book.
  This is one lady who keeps getting up and dusting herself off and in my eyes, she is a Shining Star!!!

10 thoughts on “Sunday’s Shining Star

  1. Mary and her book sound fascinating! I know what she means about her blog name. I don't think mine suits what I do too well, but feel like I'm stuck with it now.

  2. Mary you are truly a Shining Star and I would love to read your book and get word out too. I hate it when publicists pay money, lots of money and are left high and dry. Just recently I know of 2 authors that were dumped before their contract was completed and no money was returned. I love to feature new authors and publicize their books. Cheryl knows how to reach me.

    Garçon my glass is empty, yoo hoo!!!

  3. I am so impressed! Mary you are brave. You should be quite proud of yourself and what have accomplished.
    I am partial to women writers (literary fiction, literary memoirs & poetry), and would love to read your book. You are an inspiration.
    I thank Cheryl for introducing you!
    McGuffy's Reader

  4. Dear Bermudaonion,

    Thank you the kind comment about how you sense my book from what you've seen here on Cheryl's blog. Encouragement is so vital to the creative process. I do thank you and think also I am stuck with my blog name: maybe all for the good? dunno? but, know this, I will be visiting your blog!!!

  5. Dear Dollycas aka Lori,

    I wold love to do an interview or whatever you like on your blog. Cheryl, could you put us in touch, please. Lori, you give me hope here. So grateful that you stopped by and that you are interested.

    From my heart to yours,


  6. Dear McGuffy Ann,

    I would love for you to read my book. I am off to your blog. We can be in contact first through my web address:

    Write me, please.

    Truly from my heart to yours,


  7. I agree Mary is truly a Shining Star. I'm glad to meet and learn more about a new blogger. I too, would love to read her book. When it reaches the bookstores I will be glad to pick one up and read it. Thanks for introducing us to another book blogger, and now I am off to view her blog.

  8. Hi, Gigi Ann,

    My book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can link from my blog or just google "Mary L. Tabor".

    Thank you so much for visiting here and for commenting on my blog. I am off to yours! Great virtual meeting! my thanks to you and Cheryl.


  9. Hi, Sheila,

    As my day here in the spotlight winds down–and I am so grateful to Cheryl–I see that you have written. I am so glad here, having looked at your terrific blog to see your brief kind words. A girl can hope perhaps for an author chat with you–or maybe even a review. I like your blog and am off to find you on Twitter. I'm maryltabor there. So expect a new follower.

    I see gentleness and love here with Cheryl and on your blog. As I say in my memoir _(Re)Making Love_, "We do live in a forgiving cosmos even when all seems lost."

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