Book Spotlight on Middle Ageish
Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website http://midagedating.com offers a humorous look at living single and dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. Middle Ageish is her first book in the series Starting Over. Her character believes you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.
Visit my website for another excerpt from the book. Sign up and grab a copy of Happy Hour, a short story about an online meet and a tiny misunderstanding.
Middle Ageish Blurb:
Sunny Chanel's marriage is circling the drain when her husband marks his colonoscopy on the calendar and ignores their anniversary. With divorce papers instead of roses on the horizon, she says "au revoir" Paris and croissants, and "hello" cheap New Haven apartment and ramen noodles.
Encouraged by her friends, Sunny jumps into online dating, twenty-three years, and twenty pounds after her last date. To her surprise she discovers dating might require a helmet, and occasionally armor to protect her heart, but after years of being ignored, her adventurous side craves fun and conversation. She's middle-aged, not dead. Then suddenly, on the way to reinventing herself, life takes a left turn when the one man she can't forget calls with an unexpected request.
Hello Shirley! Welcome to Jeny's TattleTales!
I can't wait to get started! I love your whole brand, very original and wonderful! Start off by telling us a little about yourself Shirley.
I’ve been writing since I was in high school, taking my experiences and weaving them into stories. Middle Ageish is no different because it mostly came from my online dating experiences later in life.
When I was nineteen, my best friend and I quit school and hitchhiked around Europe. Since then, I’ve lived in Paris, Casablanca, and Crete. “When are you going to settle down?” my father would ask every couple of years.
When I finally did settle down, I worked as a French and ESL teacher in Connecticut. Kids make great copy, and I’ve got tons of stories from my teaching days, tidbits of which I snuck in the book. Funny, but I don’t read that many books where teachers are featured as the heroine.
I still keep in touch with friends on three continents, and my Cretan friends and I get together somewhere in the world every two years.
That is FANTASTIC! What an adventure. I was going to ask one fact about you is it travel or something else?
Yes, I used to live in Crete, the largest of all the Greek islands. Beaches everywhere. Whenever my friends and I plunged into the clear blue Mediterranean we’d shriek, “The best things in life are free.”
And what is something readers would find unique about your book?
My heroine, Sunny Chanel, scribbles notes in the ladies’ room after her dates and so did I, back in my dating days. I still have my pocket journal packed with memories.
What a wonderful way to come to yourself. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My characters, Sunny, and her friends are in their fifties. In their minds and hearts, they aren’t old. Starting over, while never easy, is ripe with the promise of adventure. And they bring their history, their experiences, and their baggage along for the ride.
Because anything is possible, no matter what your age.
My forthcoming book, for example, has an eighty-plus character who speed dates, egged on by her granddaughter.
Being a woman in her fifty-first year I can understand that? What's your favorite super-short passage from the book?
Sunny is on a first meet that’s five hours long. They’re parked in front of the restaurant where they’ve just had dinner, and the heat hasn’t kicked in yet.
Noah had his back to the car door.
“I’m ninety percent sure I want to see you again.”
“Madame, please allow me to warm the cockles of your heart.” He adjusted the heat.
“This ninety percent. Is it on a scale of 100?” I asked him.
“No, it’s a scale of 90, so that means 100 percent.” He paused and I could see him smiling in the dark. “I’m all sure I want to see you again.” Pause. “What are cockles?”
“Dunno,” I said. “Maybe you should ask if I’ll be wanting to see you.”
“Well,” he said leaning back. “May I give you a peck goodnight?”
What do you love that most people wouldn't understand?
I lived in Greece for eleven years. When I left, I used to joke about having an excellent divorce. Every summer, I’d spend a month in Greece, and yes, I would stay with my ex-husband, hang out with my dear friends. We worked so well as a divorced couple, his colleagues forgot we were divorced. We are still friends.
What would you most like to say to readers?
I write so you’ll laugh and take a break from the tough stuff in life. Let it rip!
About the Book
Release Date: August 26, 2020
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover Artist: RJ Morris
Genre/Sub-Genre: Romantic Comedy, Women's Fiction
I hadn’t seen Noah since our kissy-face first meet. He’d taken on extra shifts, and I’d been busy packing and meeting guys whose names I didn’t remember.
I checked my email. A text blew in from Noah.
Subject: Kiss my face
I’m a programmer and an analyst and I figure our date was really three hundred dates in one (1) and so the next will be #301. Here are the stats:
Canalathon: 6.0 hrs.
Spot decisions: 0.3
Navigation ie you: 2.5
Good night peck: 0.1, 0.1, 0.1, 0.1…
Final peck 9.0
I had a very pleasant time on our date to see if we should date.
May I accompany you to the theater Friday night?
Our seats are side by side
Mr. Noah: The theater? Such a delight. Thank you, yes.
I logged off and sat looking at my half-eaten sandwich. Noah made me laugh. I was having fun for the first time in a very long time. There was an upside to getting closer to Noah, concentrating on Noah, letting it go wherever it would take me, whether it finished in a dead-end or a long-term relationship.
The sandwich was tuna with mayo on rye bread. I took a bite. A tad dry because I didn’t have lettuce or sprouts in the house.
No sprouts in the house.
The phrase tinkled in my head. Noah would like that.
Even though I’d known him a short time, I knew he’d like that.
Time for some of Jeny's TattleTales!
Your favorite movie: The Apartment
Best place you’ve visited: Crete
Place you’d like to visit: Crete
Favorite food: Cornflake chicken, my mom’s
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you? The young Shirley MacLaine
What’s your favorite music? 50s rock and roll. I’m a dancer.
Grammar discussions, you like them? Yes. I’m partial to em-dash arguments.
Computer monitors, large or small? Huge
Favorite singer? Diana Krall
What’s a pet peeve? High heels. I’d rather dance in sneakers.
What does your desk look like? Messy
What is your writing must-have? My writing group
Plotter or pantser? Both
Mac or PC? Mac
Favorite dessert? Ice cream
What is your favorite thing to learn about in your free time? Graphic design