Have you met Charli? I have written three books about my fictional heroine, so I suppose it makes sense that she and I are comfortable pals by now.
My third book in The Golden Age of Charli series has just launched, so I asked Charli to share something from one of the earlier books so that you could get to know her, too. She chose the preface from the second book, The Golden Age of Charli- BMI (yes that’s the book where Charli faces a weighty challenge!) Here’s what Charli had to say in the preface:
Stewart McAntic and I have been married for more than thirty years. He responds to his nickname, Pud, when he hears me. We have two young adult sons, my A to Z, August and Zimmer.
If you want to know what I am like, listen to “Eye Level,” a 1972 song by the Simon Park Orchestra. The bouncy, upbeat, and quirky tune serves as the theme song for my life.
A few tears ago—oops, I meant to write “a few years ago,” but either word will do—Pud retired, and we began the penultimate stage of our lives. I looked forward to paradise, but reality brought a jolt of challenges. Instead of dreamy days in matching soaker tubs, Pud and I seemed distant and cold. Pud lived on the links, and I cleaned out the basement. But we pressed on, and Pud and I grew closer as we bonded with our young relatives through our love of fine dining.
But has our love of wine and gourmet food proven to be too much of a good thing? Do we still need to work on our family relationships? And why is Pud making so many mysterious phone calls?
Even with all my questions and uncertainty, there is one thing I know for sure: something exciting will be around the next corner.
Each of my books ends with a short treat. I call the last chapter in each book Amuse Bouche. An amuse bouche is a small complimentary gourmet taste offered at some restaurants.
I patiently pan the river of the Internet in search of fascinating nuggets. In one treasure I read, a young woman exhorted mothers to “just say yes”. Moms should stop saying “no” reflexively and should seek to be positive and agreeable. I could relate to “just say yes” on several levels.
As a child, I remembered whispering plaintively to my mother, “I wish I could have one day without doing something wrong, without getting in trouble.”
She responded as she looked up from her soap opera, “Then be good all day, Charlotte.”
And I really did try after that. I set a goal to get through a whole day without a punishment, I doubt if I ever succeeded.
As a mom, I handed out negative reprimands on a daily basis, too. After I read the online post, I remembered an incident. One afternoon on the Fourth of July, when we were with my folks at Chautauqua on Lake Erie, I clearly told both boys not to play with their bag of loud poppers. I worried that the startling bangs would bother the neighbors. The boys promptly set them all off, which set me off, and resulted in a major punishment. I didn’t let the boys go to the holiday parade. But when I think about it all now, I have to ask myself, why didn’t I just say, “Yes, have fun with your noisemakers, but let’s find a better place to use them?”
Let’s live life at “aye level.”
What do you think? Are you always positive? Do you “just say yes”? Do you wish you could take back some of the things you said? Let’s “Press On” together!
I am a writer, blogger, book reviewer, and bon vivant and encourager. I have lived my entire life in Tropical Ohio. My goal is to make friends with everyone in the world. I am writing a fiction series, The Golden Age of Charli, that presents the problems and praises, and the love and laughter of family life and retirement.
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