Call for Manuscripts (from Absolute Write) And My Manuscript In Response Editor looking for manuscripts from people in their upper-fifties through their sixties who have something to say about their life experience. Consider any of the following jumping off points (or none of them) to write a cohesive, emotionally engaging essay or short story. (Maximum 1,500 words). If writing in story form, the events and people must be real. True stories about your youth, heart-warming reminisces, pathos, flower power, Haight-Ashbury, Viet Nam, Woodstock, The Beatles, etc. Dynamic individuals who changed your life, were your role models, who showed you something you had never considered, who changed the course of your life. What wisdom, what insights, what knowledge have you gained? What changes in perspective about business, religion, marriage, family, people in other countries, and the planet earth have you experienced? What have you accomplished that you, in your youth, never knew you would? What process/es brought that into being? What paranormal experiences have you had? If you had the opportunity to say something to someone who is no longer here, what would that be? What do you hold to be unshakably true that you didn?t know 40-45 years ago? How are you different from, or how are you the same as, you were 40-45 years ago? What things that you used to disagree with your parents about do you now agree, or what things that you used to agree with them do you now disagree? What is the most beautiful thing you?ve ever seen? What is the most beautiful piece of music you?ve ever heard? What was your favorite television show when you were ten to fifteen years old? What?s your favorite television show now? What is the greatest movie ever produced? What?s the best novel ever written? What?s the best nonfiction book you?ve ever read? Tell about the picture you had of your life as a child and how it has actually unfolded. What is lovely about that? Please do answer or address the following question: If you could say or express one thing that you believe, truly believe, in your deepest heart of hearts, would change the world for the better, what would that be? Be honest and tell your truth! Payment, at present, is shared revenue of profits, specifics to be determined by number of participants, and other minor details. Send via email, either in body or as attachment (Mac or RTF/TEXT) to: susie@alighthere.com. Put SUBMISSION: ?What I?ve Learned? in subject line. Failing to do so may cause your manuscript to be lost as spam. I thank you beforehand for your heart-felt work, Susie Wolfington, Assistant Editor ALightHere.com Books - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here's my manuscript: My honest, deeply held, belief about what will change the world for the better is not a pipe dream. It is happening now among people of my generation as well as other age groups. Consciousness is being raised (without drugs this time). People are realizing that we are all One. People are becoming multi-sensory-- limited to the five senses. We are far less left-brained and much more intuitive. We know on a profound level that mother earth is emitting her death throes and that it is up to us to do something and soon before global warming and violence put an end to us all. This miracle will be brought about by a generation of people that have transformed themselves from fear-driven, ego-run automatons to human beings in touch with their souls who believe love is the solution to every problem. As one neighbor forgives another at home and across the world, just as a butterfly's motions in one pole are felt in another, healing will come to the world. Harmony will reign when love rules all. There are signs of it happening now everywhere if you look. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I am 59 years-old and consider myself an old hippie. I am self-employed as a freelance writer and an online bookseller. I don't really make enough money to support myself without my disability check. My work is the result of following Joseph Campbell's advice to "follow your bliss". I love books and I love to write. I haven't sold out and I'm proud of it. I don't have to get up every morning, hate my life and put on nylons. I try to only write articles that I can be proud of. I sell books I don't have to be ashamed of. I attempt to practice the same integrity in my businesses that I practice in my relationships with friends and family. I have worked to remain true to many of the idealistic beliefs I had when I was young and in the movement. I have turned my back on materialism. I own next to nothing. I think I may be one of the last Americans standing without a cell phone. I do not have a car. I buy things when I must at thrift stores. I can't remember when I last bought something new. I have no money in the bank--no savings or stocks for a rainy day or for my retirement. I trust God to take care of me and the lilies of the field as He has all these years. I eat simply, healthily and avoid meat. I don't drink or take drugs except for prescription drugs I must take. I went to my first rock and roll concert when I was 15. I had to go by myself because no one at my high school that I knew wanted to see the "dirty and disgusting" Rolling Stones. It was their first American tour. I sat so close to the stage I could see Mick Jagger sweat. I didn't miss a Stones concert after that until after my kids were born and I was in my 40's. I even caught them in Europe once. I married my childhood sweetheart when we were both 18 and we left Illinois after the wedding and headed to Haight-Ashbury to live. I remember driving across the country with nothing to eat but a jar of homemade pickles his aunt had given us. We had all our wedding gifts packed into a little Ford Falcon and no real money or job prospects. We weren't worried. We figured everyone took care of everyone else and the universe took care of those that got looked over. When we got to San Francisco, we immediately met a young man from Illinois. He told us he wasn't doing anything that day except planning to jump from the bridge and kill himself so he would show us around. After the tour we went back to his place and, sure enough, he had written a suicide note on the mirror. The next time we moved it was to Northern Minnesota in the Superior National Forest where we built a lean-to and planned to "get back to the land", a popular movement at the time. We were city kids with no camping experience and we floundered a lot. We spent three months in those woods in 1969, and missed Woodstock because we didn't know anything about it. Boy, were we mad. I never knew I would graduate from college. I didn't start until I was 23, after I divorced my husband. There was a time I had to work three part-time jobs while in school, and I always worked at least one, but I was able to put myself through college. College was the most fun I never imagined growing up. My counselor kept bugging me to choose a major, but I wanted to learn it all. Unlike the kids who went straight to college from high school, I was thrilled every single day to be there. Finally I realized that as an English major I would be getting college credit for reading books that I would have been home reading anyhow. What a scam I thought. Those sun-drenched days reading Shakespeare beneath shade trees with the smell of pot smoke all around me from other students--those were golden days. I specialized in creative writing. I didn't want to teach. I learned that I loved to write short stories and poetry. I wrote some of both about my hippie days with my by now-ex husband and our adventures. The professor said they were some of the best of that kind of stuff he'd read. I only knew then what I know now: when I write there is no time. One minute it's ten o'clock in the morning and when I look up it's six a.m. I have learned quite a few things in my life, thank God, that I didn't know or appreciate 40 years ago. "To thine own self be true" is a maxim seriously worth living by. Forty years ago I wanted to be a non-comformist, a flower child, then a hippie, so I wore my hair long and straight, wore paisley and fringe, and said "Holy Shit" a lot. I lived in fear some fellow hippie might not think I was cool enough. I was pretentious as hell. I had to be up on the latest music and pop cultural icons or I was nobody. I thought I was so damn free and I didn't know how to be spontaneous. I couldn't be silly because I was too hip. I thought like others, talked like others--probably even walked like other people. All the posturing robbed me of my youth. Today I know who I am and I really don't give too much of a good hot damn what other people think about my somewhat strange ways, whereas when I thought I was being so outrageous as a kid I sometimes was bothered by "straight" people's reactions to me. I re-married when I was 36. I managed to find another aging hippie. He was, of course, like I was at the time a bit crispy. We met in A.A. He died about eight years ago from a cancer that started in his eye. I have wondered if it was the result of the time he dropped acid and stared at the sun all day. Now that would be something I finally agree with my mother about today, and my father if he were living. I wouldn't want my two kids, ages 19 and 22, doing all the drugs I did. I am thrilled that they only smoke pot. They both deny ever getting close enough to cocaine to have ever seen it. I have told them the truth about my drug experiences in the hopes that they might listen, learn and save themselves some suffering. I think I took LSD over 250 times. I would not want my kids taking it once and that sort of surprises me but it's the truth. Other things i have learned in the past 40 years are that I don't want a life that is ego-driven. I need to meditate to hear the still small voice within. I can follow inner guidance and act lovingly or I can fall asleep to my soul and end up being self-will run riot and make a mess of my life if I choose. I have learned that romantic love is a trivial pursuit compared to practicing compassion. I am open to the idea of a spiritual partner but not a love interest of the romantic variety. I am too old for such nonsense and wasted far too much time on it in my salad days. I have learned more about respecting my body, and I regret a lot of the abuse I put it through back then. Neil Young is still one of my rock and roll idols, but I spent one Christmas utterly moved by "The Messiah" and wanted to hear it over and over. I would like to read the finished compilation of these manuscripts.

3 comments:

EPB said...

wow...you are a cool lady...i like your life style...love rolling stones too

seeleelive (for the love of peanut butter) said...

I just found your blog through gather.com and I think you are genius. I hope I continue to write and read for the rest of my life, too. I am an English Major at a Catholic University in Philadelphia and am currently consumed with recovery from an eating disorder. I can't wait to be free and unleash all of my passions like you seem to have done-good for you!

Maryellen Grady said...

Thanks a lot EPB, you rock!

Thanks, seeleelive, for the very kind words. I'm sure you will be reading and writing for the rest of your life. Why wouldn't you? Recovery is a real day at a time thing, isn't it? But the great thing is that we really do get better each day and that it does get slightly easier whether we can appreciate it that day or not--it really does. You are freeing yourself from slavery to food addiction and you will be free. That's so great! Maryellen