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… and I’m not that eld.

19 December 2011

So, I managed to throw my back out and pull a hamstring. As I’m only 33, the preceding statement should be followed by a description of an athletic event, or perhaps some insane rescue from the clutches of alien invaders.

Nope. I did it in my sleep.

My wife and I have two dogs, one about 20 pounds, the other about 90 pounds. We’ve had the smaller one since she was about a year old, and the larger one since she was 8 weeks old. The smaller one (Sadie) has always slept in the bed with us, and when we got the larger one (Edie), she just kind of followed suit. When she was 15 pounds, this wasn’t a problem. Now that she’s 90, though, she takes up more of the bed than I do.

So, as I don’t go to bed until late, I usually have to move the large dog out of my spot in the bed, then wedge myself into something approximating a sleeping position before she jumps back up and begins taking up space (usually on me). By the time I wake up in the morning, I’m often twisted into unrecognizable shapes, and when I woke up Sunday morning, I could definitely feel something was wrong.

I’ve become aware lately that I’m aging, and not doing so all that gracefully. The gym is more a necessity now than something fun. Eating whatever I want, which used to be par for the course, now has its consequences. Checking my blood pressure, though it’s usually fine, has become an almost daily occurrence.

And I really don’t mind it a bit, because all of that stuff is just a minor annoyance. I like my 30s a whole lot more than I liked my 20s. Stability and work ethic have replaced binge drinking and living off of $20 for five days. I have the time and the space to do what I want, which is write. And most importantly, I have the focus to write and keep writing, which was sorely lacking in my 20s.

Chuck Palahniuk said once you shouldn’t even start writing until you’re 33, because no one under that age has enough life experience to tell an interesting story (I’m paraphrasing). I don’t necessarily think that’s true in all cases, but I agree with the sentiment. Of course, a specific age isn’t a requirement… but if you haven’t had much in the way of interesting experiences, then your fiction, even if it’s genre stuff, probably won’t have much of an impact.

So, how old was your favorite author when he or she wrote your favorite book? Look it up. The answer might surprise you.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 19 December 2011 1317

    John Irving was 47 when A Prayer for Owe when Meany came out. Robert Olmstead was 36 when he published A Trail of Heart’s Blood Wherever We Go. Most of my favorite books were written by people in the later 30s to early 50s. It seems a stride really hits in the 40s; at least that’s my hope since I feel like I’m finally hitting the kind of writing I’ve always dreamed of writing.

    As far as getting old, there’s this to make you feel better:

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