90 year old

Speaking for Sisters in Crime

Last Saturday I was one of 12 mystery authors on the program at the Sisters in Crime chapter program in the Columbia, MD, public library. Sisters in Crime is an association of mystery writers and fans. Each of us presented a 4 ½ minute report on our latest books. Afterwards, we sat at tables to sign our books.

My latest book, The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock, will be on sale by December 1, but I didn’t receive advance copies in time for the program. Still, I had a copy of the cover and could talk about it. The other two books in the series were on sale there.Clock cover final small

My mysteries involve Nancy Dickenson and the 90s Club at Whisperwood Retirement Village, which like most upscale retirement places, resembles a cruise ship or luxury resort. Continue reading “Speaking for Sisters in Crime”


Act Your Age: Ammunition for Active Aging

Act Your Age: Ammunition for Active Aging

My 90s Club cozy mystery series features able. alert, and active people in their 90s who live at Whisperwood Retirement Village. The inspiration for the series came from meeting a woman years ago at a pool party. She was slim, attractive, the only one in the pool, and she was swimming laps. She was 91 years old. 91! I hadn’t realized until recently that, from that moment, she became my role model for someone in their 90s. That’s what I visualize and expect. That is the possibility.

When the writers in my critique group read the draft chapters for the series, they objected to the idea that a 91-year-old could do anything but sit in a wheelchair dribbling Pablum. My characters were Continue reading “Act Your Age: Ammunition for Active Aging”

The Roads Less Traveled

I read obituaries, not to satisfy a gruesome interest in death, but to expand my imagination about the many roads less traveled and the consequences of taking them. I’m interested in the people who refused to let popular wisdom carve their path through life. Because my cozy mystery series is about people in their 90s, I focus on articles about them.

And so in the July 25th Washington Post, I came across the obituary for Betty Brown Park who died at age 95 from a brief illness.  At age 92, she retired from her position as Senior Attorney at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  She began her 68 years of government service as a lawyer in 1941. This was at the beginning of World War II, when women were recruited for all types of jobs.  Despite this need, before, during, and after the war, most professional women were routinely asked, “can you type?” Most people also bought into the idea that women could either have a marriage or a career. Once you married, you either quit or were let go. She married in 1942 and continued working while raising three children. During her years of  service, she received many awards including HUD’s Distinguished Service Award.  She also traveled extensively, volunteered in various associations, and was a musician.

She’s the kind of person I write about in The 90s Club & the Hidden Staircase.  They’re the people who don’t look outside themselves for social approval of what to do in life but inside at what they want to do. They don’t, for example, assume they are feeble simply because they are old. People who make such assumptions and perpetuate them live life by prescription. They’re the ones who say, “I’m 85 (or 65, 55, 75), therefore I’m too old to [fill in the blank].” This may be true for them, but it’s the “therefore” that I quarrel with. That’s why I focus on people in their eighties, nineties, and one hundreds who are or were active, alert, busy, and out adventuring in the world—even climbing mountains. They don’t let the standard “wisdom” stop them.

So I salute Betty Brown Park and all the men and women who refuse to let prescriptions for living block their way on the road less traveled.

This just in: Singer and actor Tony Martin died July 27. He was 98. At age 95 he performed in a nightclub act where he introduced one selection by saying, “I first sang this song at Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration.”

Eileen Haavik McIntire 7/31/2012

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