Friday, January 20, 2012

Am I old yet?

My guest this week is author Morgan Mandel, who explores the dark side of eternal youth. Take it away, Morgan...

Am I old yet?  I’m not sure.  If so, when did it happen? Was it when I turned twenty-one and plucked out my first gray hair? Or when I got married three years later? People tied the knot much younger in those days.

I remember watching Bonanza on TV, and discovering Adam Cartwright (Pernell Roberts) was thirty-one. That seemed horribly ancient, until it happened to me.

All of a sudden I turned middle-aged, then before I knew it, I found an AARP application in the mail. I was kind of proud of my card, yet sad at the same time, realizing I’d already existed for half a century.  

When my parents passed away, it hit me that I was officially a member of the older generation, as they and others had been before me.

Now, when I stare at myself in the mirror, it’s strange to realize this is the same person who once climbed monkey bars and played hopscotch, went to sock hops, wore mini-skirts and bikinis, learned to disco dance and checked my mood ring to see if it had changed color.

Am I old yet? Inside, I still feel like the same person, but I don’t look the same. Would I like to be young again? Most of the time, I’m content with being who I am right now. Other times, I wonder what life would be like if I could delve into the Fountain of Youth and re-emerge young.

Writing is a blessing. Not only can I enter into the make-believe world of my characters, but I can also share that experience. Forever Young:  Blessing or Curse, is a result of my musings about being young again. It was written not only for Baby Boomers like me, who’d like to imagine reliving their youth, but also for those who don’t need to ask if they’re old yet.

About Forever Young
Fresh beginnings turn tragic when Dorrie Donato’s husband, Larry, is killed in a hit-and-run accident a few months after starting a new job at the Life is for Living Institute. Discouraged and desperate after suffering countless setbacks, Dorrie accepts an offer by Larry’s boss, the famous Angel Man, to  be the first to test an experimental pill designed to spin its user back to a desired age and hold there, yet still retain all previous memories.  The pill seems too good to be true. Maybe it is.

About Morgan Mandel
Before writing books, Morgan Mandel freelanced for the Daily Herald newspaper. She’s a past president of Chicago-North RWA, the former Library Liaison for Midwest MWA, and is a member of Sisters in Crime and EPIC. She enjoys writing thrillers, mysteries and romances, and has fun combining the genres.
Her latest paranormal romantic thriller Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, Book One of the Always Young Series, is available on Kindle, Nook, Itunes, Kobo, and Smashwords, plus other electronic venues.  Morgan’s previous novels, also available electronically, include the romantic suspense, Killer Career, the mystery, Two Wrongs, and the romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams. Morgan is now working on Book Two of the Always Young Series, called Blessing or Curse: A Forever Young Anthology, where readers will learn what happens to others who take the Forever Young pill.  Another book will follow, bringing back the original heroine, to close out the series.

You can find Morgan Mandel at her blog: http://morganmandel.blogspot.com, website: http://www.morganmandel.com, on Facebook: http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel, on Twitter: http://twitter.com/morganmandel, as well as other social media networks and egroups.





47 comments:

Bob Sanchez said...

Welcome to my blog, Morgan. I read and enjoyed your novel, which raises some interesting issues. Do we really want a fountain of youth?

Stephen Tremp said...

That wpuld be too weird retaining all the memories. Man simply is not made to live forever and nature will make sure that doesn;t happen, one way or another. Great spin on the topic Morgan.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know how you feel. The age that I consider 'old' keeps moving. I'm thinking ninety is old now.

Morgan Mandel said...

Thanks for hosting me today at your blog, Bob. I'm glad you enjoyed Forever Young: Blessing or Curse.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Stephen, of course you're right, but it doesn't hurt to dream!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Alex, I like your idea that 90 should be the new old!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

patbean said...

I love being an old broad. I can get away with things I couldn't when younger, I've learned that most things aren't life and death issues and I could care less what other people think of me. Best of all, I've finally come to know who I am. And I have grandchildren.

Milton Trachtenburg said...

Old is a state of mind, not a state of body. Bodies are perverse. They begin to break down as soon as you take them out of the package but minds can continue growing and even continue to have invisible friends forever.

This year, I will celebrate my
29th birthday...for the 44th time. Am I old? I think not. I can still use words to take you on a rocket ride to another galaxy and as far as my physical prowess goes, I can still catch any ball I could catch when I was 17; the only difference is that now I have to wait until it stops rolling to catch it!

Lollipops and unicorns.

Morgan Mandel said...

Pat, You're right about getting away with things. Now, if I swear, I tell myself I've earned the right!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

You're right, Milton. Age can be a state of mind. No sitting on a rocker for me, although I do spend a lot of time sitting in front of my computer!
Yes, we writers have a wonderful gift to be able to take people out of their physical bodies and experience other people's lives.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Lisa Hudson said...

Am I old? I am 50+ a little bit. I cannot deal with this age. I cannot admit it even to myself. I have a boyfriend, 72, who laughs at me for feeling this way. I have a mother, age 81, who laughs at me for feeling this way. They both think that 50 is young. Would I love a fountain of youth? YES!!! There is so much I didn't do, should have done, and it's too late now. I should have structured my life differently and been way ahead career-wise and business-wise than where I am. And just having gotten laid off from my job doesn't help. Will I ever get another? Who knows. And Social Security is too far off. It just sucks.

Murees Dupé said...

Are you old? I do not think so. I believe in that saying of, you are how old you feel. But think of it this way...You are not old, you are just mature and I am sure you are a better and more complete person for it.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

You're a sweet young thing compared to me, and yet inside I still feel young. Great post, Morgan.

Marilyn

Helen Ginger said...

The age of "old" depends on your viewpoint. I remember a time when I thought back to being a kid, playing with sisters and cousins while my mother and aunts talked in the kitchen. I distinctly remembered thinking how old they were. Then the older me realized that I was now as old as they had been then! Totally changed my perspective.

Morgan Mandel said...

Lisa, I wouldn't mind being 50+ now, instead of 60+. You sound young to me! Strange how the perspective changes the older you get.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Murees,
Those are wise words. I'll have to remember them. I'm a more complete person than before.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Marilyn,
I'm constantly amazed by your energy. Yes, you seem very young!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Helen,
Yes, it's amazing how our pespectives change. We were pretty short when we were young, so people taller than us had to be older.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Once I crossed 40, my body began to tell me I wasn't young anymore. I still look young, but I won't be doing back flips anytime soon.

Cheryl said...

Great post, Morgan. They say you're as young as you feel, so keep up the great work. I loved this book. Looking forward to the sequel.

Morgan Mandel said...

I never could do backflips, so not being able to doesn't bother me, Diane.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Maggie Jagger said...

What a fascinating premise for a book! Would it be kinder not to know anything or to remember everything? Hoss from Bonanza was my choice. My sister claimed Little Joe. Was it that long ago...

Dawn Chandler said...

Age is a matter of how you feel. Of course I haven't always thought so. When I was young I thought of being old, mostly I think because my father was in his 50's when I was born and my grandmother, his mom, lived with us. Back then I thought of age, now I never think of age until I see someone older. How they look always decides on how I feel about getting old. Not how they look in the concept of attractiveness, but how they look in the matter of health. If they look and move like they are in pain and miserable, I cringe at the idea of getting old. Now the ones who get around good and look happy makes me pray that when I get old I am as good as they are. You are only as old as you feel. Some days I am in my 20's but some days I'm 80. I am fairly happy being my age, and I hope it stays that way as I progress towards the golden years.

Bob Sanchez said...

I remember as a little boy thinking about living to be 84. That to me was the equivalent of living forever. Now I'm 68, and it doesn't seem so distant anymore.

But my gosh, to become younger again while others keep aging! Imagine Dorrie, the story's main character, staying 24 while her son grows old.

Morgan Mandel said...

Maggie,
My favorite was Little Joe.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Dawn, You're right. Sometimes I feel younger than I am. Other days, when I turn the wrong way or overdo it, I wish I could be as flexible as I used to be. Fitness Class twice a week can only help so much!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Bob,
That is one of the problems Dorrie could face. She's not sure if she can fall in love again. If she does, she faces the risk of his not taking the Forever Young pill and his growing old and dying on her.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Dani said...

Whoever said "old is a state of mind" didn't have an old body! LOL. Morgan, I'm enjoying this tour - your writing and sharing in these posts is a testament to your writing ability - which will make me want to buy the book even though staying young has long dropped to the bottom of my list of things to do. Nice job, you two.

Holly Jahangiri said...

I've thought this an intriguing notion ever since reading my first vampire novel - and watching Peggy Sue Got Married. I think there may be worse things than death. I think it might be nice to keep our health and looks and stamina and then keel over when our time comes, but I sure wouldn't want to outlive all my friends and loved ones and go on being young forever if they couldn't do the same. I've read that sea turtles don't really age past adulthood and may not die of anything but injury or attack. I don't think a pill to make us live forever is that farfetched. But would that be a good thing for the world? Without death, there'd be no need for babies.

Morgan Mandel said...

Dani,
I know your your to-do list is pretty crammed, so I guess thre wouldn't be any room for it.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Holly,
You're right. I guess the world would get crowded if everyone stuck around. And babies are cute!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Bob Sanchez said...

Imagine the entire world on this pill, and one government has the power to withhold it. Favored people stay young and strong, while others are left to grow old. You could write quite the dystopian novel, Morgan, and call it 2084.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting novel, Morgan!

How old is old does certainly change with one's own age. I remember being 5 and thinking that if I had to wait until I was the ancient age of NINE (like a friend's OLD sister was) to get my own much coveted faux mink stole I might just be too old to enjoy it.

--Brenda

Morgan Mandel said...

Brenda,
That's wonderful you can remember back that far!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Cheryl,
I'm so glad you liked Forever Young: Blessing or Curse.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

jenny milchman said...

Well, you look a lot younger than 50, Morgan, if that helps. The most poignant thing I ever heard to speak to your surprise and query comes from the Canadian film version of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES when Matthew falls to the field, victim of a heart attack. Anne rushes to him, and Matthew says, "I got old, Anne. When did that happen?"

Morgan Mandel said...

Jenny, That is poignant and true. It sneaks up on all of us.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Maryann Miller said...

Morgan, I remember when you told me you were close to my age, and I almost fainted. I have always imagined you as 40 something. Did the photographer who took your headshot give you a Photoshop facelift? My daughter did for my book jacket picture for One Small Victory, but since then I've just gone with the wrinkles.

Age is such a state of mind and most of the time my mind says I'm 50 while my body says, "Oh no you're not."

Patricia Stoltey said...

Forever Young sounds like a fascinating story idea, Morgan. I think "being old" is a state of mind and body (aches and pains or illness). I've known a couple of folks in their 90s who were youthful, and plenty of others who were old at 50. But living forever...I don't think I'd want that.

Jean Henry Mead said...

It's tempting to return to my youth if I could retain all the knoweldge I've acquired so far and not have all the aches and pains.

I look forward to reading Forever Young, Morgan. Good post!

Heidiwriter said...

I can certainly identify. I refused to think of myself as "middle-aged" until I turned 50, then I said I would think about it. Now over 60, I still don't feel "old." And one of the beautiful things about writing is that you keep on learning--and that keeps you young!

Morgan Mandel said...

Thanks for the compliments, Maryann. My mind sometimes says I'm younger, but I get those wonderful aches and pains that say I'm not!

Morgan Mandel
http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Patricia,
Yes, keeping a healthy state of mind does make a person feel young.

Morgan Mandel
http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Jean,
That's the trick - remembering everything. Already I don't remember everything, but that's what lists are for.

Morgan Mandel
http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

Morgan Mandel said...

Heidi,
Yes, I agree that writing can keep you young, not only from learning new things, but identifying with your characters.

Morgan Mandel
http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

Elizabeth said...

GREAT BLOG...awesome posts.

NEW follower.

I am stopping by from the Top Writing Blog competition.

Just wanted to say hello. This is a great way to find new blogs and visit ones you haven't visited in a while. :)

Elizabeth - Silver's Reviews

http://silversolara.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading everything here but the proofreading tool intrigues me. I may try, if I get enough courage to download without fearing I'll blow up what's left of my old computer.

Thanks Bob, for the tip.

Judith