Thursday, September 14, 2006

New Directions for Old Bodies

There is something about being this age that surprises. It's not just me either. It seems that when people hit their fifties, they tend to take off in new directions. The violin lessons that I have been blogging about lately are a case in point, but there are all sorts of stories out there.

Cuppa is an example. Never having tried it before, she began painting as she was closing in on the magical five-oh-oh birthday. She did really well but was stopped short by a compression fracture in her back. My BIL took a course on tree management. A friend started quilting like a fiend, and she and her husband also took up cycling very avidly: so avidly that they put Cuppa and me to shame.

However, the biggest metamorphosis of all is my sister-in-law. Let's call her Heather ... because that's her name.

Last fall she decided take an evening course in writing at University of Toronto. She also joined a local writers group and began to do just that — write. And write. And write. She's written a number of short stories and is now totally consumed by her novel. During her vacation, she would get out her laptop first thing in the morning and begin to type. She typed all day, right up until bedtime. Next day she would get up and do it again.

One day, we were all sitting around in the living room when she stopped typing for a minute to check her email; she became ecstatic. You see, she had entered a short story contest, and she had just received word that she had made the top ten: quite remarkable for a beginning writer. But wait, there's more ...

A week or so later, Heather received notification that they had narrowed the list to five entries, and her story had made the cut. But wait, there's more ...

Last Saturday, Heather attended the breakfast meeting where the winners would be announced and could hardly believe her ears when they announced that her story had tied for second place. What an honour! What a thrill!

But the best was yet to be, for Heather had submitted two stories, and the other one had won first place — without a tie. When she called us, she was over the moon as they say.

How remarkable is that? Heather submitted two stories, and they finished first and second. (Note: they have since moved the second story, Colour Outside the Lines, to Honourable Mention; it must have to do with tie-breaking formulas and rules about double winners because she defintiely was listed in second place up until yesterday. I know because I went back to the web page any number or times.)

You will find her name (twice) on The Writers' Circle of Durham Region website, and her winning story, University Education May Cause Premature Graying - Recent Study Finds, is published further on down the page.

Her daughter, my niece, recently wrote a tribute to her mother on her blog, Sassafrass Tree. Why not go and check out both sites?

13 comments:

Heather said...

That's GREAT! There must be something in the name. :-)

I went over to read the story, and I can see why it's a winner. Cheers to her.

mreddie said...

Don't you just love success stories? I'm still impressed about you and the violin. ec

The very nice man said...

Older people rock!!!

Turtle Guy said...

What's this about University and grey hair?? Sure... tell me NOW!

...great story, and Sasafrass Tree has been on my blog roll for a while now... nice!

methatiam said...

ka-ching!
I'm gonna go check it out.

Dee said...

Wow! So cool. I did write short stories when I was younger and had a few published. Now I am into blogging, which I started now that I am in my fifties. And quilting. I love quilting. The stories were good. Very good.

Granny said...

How wonderful. Congratulations to her.

pupski said...

wow - makes me look forward to hitting 50! I love success stories and it is always inspiring to hear of people discovering their creativity! I am 40 and am just about to embark on a degree in creative writing against everyone elses better judgement - but I think I need to follow my heart, I have always done the right thing up until now!

PBS said...

That's fantastic! Congratulations to her, I'll have to go and check it out.

Tim Rice said...

Age sometimes provides us with the experience we need to try that new thing.

Cathy said...

What a delightful story! Congratulations to Heather. We '50-somethings' are remarkable, indeed.

Coll said...

This is quite an accomplishment. How wonderful that your sister in law has realized a potential. And this is most likely just the beginning.

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

How nice of you to give her a boost! Nice BIL!