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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Why I Love Being a Hen

I was just in a discussion over at BoomerWomenSpeak.com, talking about menopause. Seems there are some that are...shall I say, confused...about what is going on in a woman's body during this transitional time.

Some are complaining about hot flashes and being tired and some are actually thinking that they are losing it.

To clear up some misconceptions about this "change" of life, I'll give you the low-down from someone who has been there, done that, and still there.

First of all, let's talk about that weight gain, girls. All of sudden, you look down and you're twenty, thirty pounds heavier. As in, what the hell happened, you know?

Okay, not good for your health, but did you realize what a nice set of knockers you have now?

As someone who was quite thin at one time (hard for even me to believe), I actually stuffed my bra. Okay, not good to admit something like that, but when everyone else has something you don't have, why not. Anyway, now, I don't have to. In fact, I even jiggle! And oh man wait until you put that low-cut sweater on...you'll love it! I know I do!

Another thing. Those nasty once-a-month occurrences when all you want to do is curl up and die? No more! Do you realize how much money you are saving on feminine products??? Not to mention that great sex you can have knowing not only will you not have anymore bambinos as a result of it, but you're saving even MORE money by not having to buy all those clumsy birth control devises! and a bag of chips!

And, hell, all that money you're saving, you can now afford that trip to the Bahamas you've dreamed of!

(Oh, that's another thing. You can use hell and other cuss words and no one dares call you down about it.)

Now here's the best part. You remember when you used to tell people to do something, they didn't do it? Well, that doesn't happen anymore! When you talk now, sister, EVERYONE listens. They know that if they don't, you'll rip their heads off their scrawny little necks and not think twice!

Listen, sisters, this is the best freaking time of our lives. Now, get off your arses and write about it!!!

posted by Dorothy Thompson @ Saturday, August 27, 2005


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Is this henish or not?

I wasn't going to write about this. It's personal and this blog is about hen lit. Then I realized, what I have to say fits the whole concept of hen lit and its audience.

H/S have created the Next line, for women at the next stage of their life.

Well, I'm entering a new phase of my life. My kids are grown. I have the required grandkids. What else is out there? I've been asking myself that question for a few months now. About six weeks ago, I searched the internet for local jobs. I didn't find anything that was worth the gas money into town.

I widened my search area. After all this is Alaska. My goal was to find a job on the slope. Work two weeks, fly home for two weeks. But all of a sudden I was looking at jobs in my old field. My college degree and earlier profession was in the medical field. Why not? Maybe I hadn't been out too long.

So, I downloaded applications and faxed them to a couple hospitals. That was the middle of July. I talked to my last place of employment. Not about coming back, but because some of my former co-workers had inside information on the hospitals I was interested in. Plus I was encouraged to fill out an application for there. I did. Though moving back to Anchorage was not high on my list.

Then on August 5th, I found another hospital in the state needing my skills. I downloaded the application, then called human resources. I wanted to know what the housing situation was like there. It doesn't matter how great a job is, if there isn't housing, it's meaningless.

I faxed the application back to them late that afternoon. They called me on the following Wednesday. Would I be interested in them flying me over and trying it out for a mont to six weeks? Uh, yes. Very interested. I could see the upside to that. I'd be able to get my medical legs under me again while checking out the area. At the end of the time frame, I'd know if I still had it, if I liked the area, and they'd know if they liked me. A total win/win situation.

Well, it didn't exactly turn out like that. They're flying me over for three months. They provide my housing while there. At the end of three months, they fly me back home. If I like them, and if they like me, they'll make me a permanent offer. If I'm unsure, I might be able to talk them into another three month temp position. I really don't know. All I know is that I'm going for three months.

I want to love the area. I want to fall right back into the work. I want to feel confident about my work again. I want to know when I make a judgment call it was the right call.

I'm scared because of the years in between the last time I slipped on a pair of scrubs and the next time I'll put them on.

Mostly I'm excited. I get to go to a remote town. I'm going to the Alaskan Bush. I'm going to see a part of Alaska that most Alaskans never get to see. I'm going to get to spend three months in a brand new area, learning a brand new culture or in this case, cultures. I get to learn the history of the area. I'll get to see the first snow of the year there.

For the last eight years I've been tied to a shop and/or computer. I haven't had time to really live. Now I get to live and experience new things.

In the end, that's what hen lit is all about. We've made the best home we could. We raised and supported our children. We supported our mates. Or divorced them. Or remarried. I've done all those things.

Now, it's my turn. Because of a choice I made years ago, I have a career that will allow me to see as much of Alaska as I want to see. I can spend three months at that hospital, or make it long term. But as long as I am able to work, I just realized, I have options. I can get a permanent job wherever I want to live in this state, or I can do short temporary assignments all over the state.

So, for the next three months, I'll be living the life of a hen. I've entered the "next" stage. It's exciting. It's thrilling. And yes, it's scary. But I'll keep writing about it and I'm sure some nugget of truth I learn along the way will make it into a story.

Happy hen lit reading and living.

posted by Jody Pryor @ Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Monday, August 22, 2005


For some reason, I haven't been able to post to my main blog for a few weeks.

Until I can figure out why, I've set up another blog at blogspot. Click here for my latest ramblings.

Like everyone else, I've been swamped lately. I'm spending several hours a day writing, plus trying to get a few other things under control.

The strangest thing happened today. A friend sent me a link. Please understand, I do take things like this very seriously. My heart does go out to Olivia. I can't imagine what she must be going through. With that said...that's my latest WIP. Husband disappears off their fishing boat. In this case, it's pre-season, so it's a test run. No one is onboard with him. He disappears. Five years later he returns.

Imagine how you'd feel. Your husband, disappears. Everything points to a tragic death. You've spent five years believing you were a widow. You were madly in love with him. You've prayed, or whatever your method is, for one more chance to see him. All you want is the chance to tell him how much you love him. Then one day, out of the blue, he returns.

Are you happy? This is the love of your life. Of course, you are. That is until it hits you that he's alive, meaning he didn't die on you, he walked out on you.

As I read the article, all those things that my character have had to face flashed through my mind. How will Olivia's story unfold? I don't know, but I honestly hope there's a happy ending for her.

posted by Jody Pryor @ Monday, August 22, 2005


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Where has all my energy gone?

I have been remiss in my blogging! So, sorry! Hope everyone is doing great. There's been so much going on that I barely feel like there are any spare moments in the day any more.

Since the end of July, I...

1. Signed with a new literary agent and couldn't be happier. She's out there sending my manuscripts and getting me read quickly.
2. Attended the RWA National Conference in Reno, NV and saw soooo many of my writer buddies and met a lot of new ones, too.
3. Started my new job and hit the ground running. Great company. Fun people. And, at (almost) 39, I'm one of the oldest people there. Very odd thing.
4. We've put our condo on the market and have been having strange feet come through looking at the place.

So, forgive me for my lack of blogging. I swear, if I had known in my twenties how much energy I would need in my late 30's, I'd have found a way to store it up or something. LOL! It's like, every morning, it's harder and harder to haul my ass out of bed and into the shower. Then, the commute seems to get longer and longer. Full of people on the trains, bumping into you and not saying "excuse me." Being back on that 8-5 wheel has definitely taken some adjustment, but I'm trying to be good to myself and always take that one hour lunch to read or write or just people watch.

But, the commuting time gives me a lot of time to read and I'm quickly delving into the NEXT books. I like that it's "that next phase" in life. However, I hope the books aren't all going to be about divorced woman. That seems to be a theme with the ones I've read and heard about. Then, I realized that my manuscript I'm targeting NEXT with is about a divorced woman. I'm such a hypocrit! :)

I really enjoyed Jennifer Archer's SANDWICHED and thought the three POVs in the story were well done and excellently executed. If you haven't read it, definitely go pick it up.

Well, I'll be better about blogging. Time to go make dinner. Roasted pork loin with a double-potato hash. And wine, of course.

Marley = )

posted by Marley Gibson @ Saturday, August 20, 2005


Friday, August 19, 2005

The Attitude of Today's Older Woman

It is almost 5 in the morning and I've been up a half hour. If I were ten years younger even, this would be considered a big no-no. Seems as soon as I turned the big 5-0, if something wakes me up, I can't go back to sleep no matter how hard I try.

While up, I decided to grab me a sandwich (another big no-no since my self-proclamation of starting a diet as of uh yesterday and pilgrimages to the fridge in the middle of the night is definitely not on the diet list rules) and a pepsi (again, NO-NO), and catch up on email. It is when I was in email I came upon an article about Demi Moore finding her soul mate, Ashton Kutcher, at a casual dinner with friends.

It did provide me with fodder for a future soul mate article, but what caught my attention was a quote she said in this article that went:

"It's been a challenging few years, being the age I am, with so much focus
now on how I look," Moore says. "Almost to the point where I felt like, well,
they don't know what to do with me. I am flawed. And I'm not 20. Not 30. But I'm
certainly different from what most people feel someone in her 40s should

Demi is my hero.

What's this have to do with writing hen lit? That's the attitude I want to see and read. I want to hear about those Demis out in the world who are finding love at later life and portray what it really is like in today's world to be 40 and above. She is my inspiration.

Now, another great thing about getting up in the middle of the night is when your tummy is full, and you've been up for an hour or so, you can finally go back to sleep.

See you in the morning...zzzzzzzzzzzz....

posted by Dorothy Thompson @ Friday, August 19, 2005


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hen Lit - Humor or Not?

This is more of a question than a reflection, but I'm confused and hope my hen litters can help shed light on this for me before I lose my everloving mind.

Okay. Chick lit is full of humorous passages and fun to read. I figured hen lit to be about the same only with older protags.

I had started writing a book (Over the Hill) and when I found out about the hen lit genre, I made sure that I followed the rules. The book came in at 80,000 words so it's basically good to go.

One by one, the agents request the partial and one by one, they turn it down.


So, I figure something is wrong with the first chapter...not a thing is mentioned about any road trip and that's basically what this book is all about.

So, I'm rewriting the first chapter, no problem. Or, so I thought.

I was over at eHarlequin this morning, reading the excerpts from the books they have out in the NEXT line. Is it early morning or am I just not finding humor in any of these? Egads, you know?

I've written an 80,000 word book for what?

Oh, but there's more. In checking out the titles, there is a dang book about a road trip! As in, oh my god. Is someone upstairs trying to tell me something?

Not only did someone already write a book about three older protags going on this road trip, as if that wasn't enough to make me want to eat a whole box of white creamy melt-in-your-mouth donuts in one sitting and down it with a two-litre of pepsi along with two packs of cigarettes, I find no humor whatsoever in the excerpts on the site.

Maybe I should stick to writing about soul mates...groan....at least I know what I'm doing.

Okay, can anyone shed any light on this? I know, I know, just write and don't worry about everything else, but what do I do when it's already written and there's another book out there similiar in the same genre no less, plus there's no hint of anything in it being humorous (I could be wrong...I'm just going by the excerpt on the site). Did five months of my life go down the drain in writing it? What's it going to do...sit in a file for years just like the thousand other projects I've started and forgotten or canned or just chalked it up to practice????


posted by Dorothy Thompson @ Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bits and Pieces from Reno

Here are some bits and pieces I've heard about chick/lady/hen lit in Reno:

  1. RDI is focusing on the 18-34 market. Manuscripts with heroines 35+ are being sent to NEXT and NEXT is actively buying.
  2. Pocket is looking for chick lit novels about women who are dealing with today's issues for a broader 30- to 40-something market.
  3. Tor is open to manuscripts with "mature" chicks.

And as an addendum, I just read something about Avon having a line for the 40+. I may need to do a little more research but it looks to me, ladies, that hen lit is just coming into its own. I'm very excited about it.

- Kathy

posted by Kathy Holmes @ Tuesday, August 02, 2005