“Some of the joys in being a septuagenarian are unexpected. Google is one—how else did you think I knew how to spell septuagenarian? Dressing however you want is another. It’s especially fun to wear what a blonde twenty-something on Facebook assures you is completely wrong for you.” – Liz Flaherty, Window Over the Desk
Getting romance novels published is hard for me these days—not so much because I’m the age I am, I guess, or because I look the age I am, but because I sound the age I am. The editors I’ve worked with in past years are kind in their assessments, but they either say no or they edit my work to the point that it really doesn’t look so much like my work anymore.
That’s hard. I won’t deny that. But publishing a book of essays that have previously appeared in newspapers and blog posts and magazines—that’s “dressing how you want.” And the age you are. No one who reads the Window books ever mentions that I sound old.
Let me know. Do I?
In 2020, I released the first collection of Window Over the Sink columns. It was for my family, really, and to give my own ego a boost. (Any writer who says she doesn’t need that now and then is lying, by the way.)
It was so much fun.
Which is why I decided to open the Window Over the Desk. My view out this particular window is a favorite—even today, when I’m drying…things…on the clothesline. Also today, the hay bales in the field that have given me pleasure for several weeks have been gathered and stored for the long winter.
I hope the essays in this book give you some pleasant reading time over that winter. I hope they make you remember things, laugh sometimes, and refill your cup and sit down and read “just one more.”
As I mention way more often than is necessary, I’m kind of old. The years have dimmed some reflections through the window, brightened others, and changed a whole bunch of them. What a trip it’s been.
Thanks—again—for joining me on the journey.
The Woman in the Mirror
Do you ever feel as if you lost yourself somewhere along the way? If you’ve had a bad time or an extraordinarily good one, do you ever look in the mirror and wonder exactly who’s looking back at you? Because you’ve changed, and you’re not sure what to do with the person who’s there.
I’m feeling thoughty here—can you tell? I’m always, always whining about how much I hate change, yet when I look back—over bad times and extraordinarily good ones, it’s an ongoing cycle, isn’t it? It’s what keeps life new and interesting. And, yeah, sometimes awful.
But if it weren’t for change, and my kicking-and-screaming caving to it, I would:
Never have changed jobs and I’d have been stuck with working one I hated.
Never have married the man I did because he wasn’t the first person I loved.
I’d never have had a third child.
I’d have given up the first time a publisher said Nope.
Or maybe the second.
For sure by the twenty-third.
I’d have kept my hair short.
And let it go gray.
I’d still be writing longhand on lined paper and thinking I wasn’t good enough.
So, no, I don’t always know the woman in the mirror, or, for that matter, the man I’m married to. I don’t always like either of us. There are days when I do feel like I’ve lost the person I was. Because I have. Because every re-invention in every time of life is change, it’s often hard, and it’s always necessary. I think maybe I like it.
Retired from the post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and wanting to travel. The author of 20-some books and her husband Duane share an old farmhouse in North Central Indiana that they talk about leaving. However, that would require clearing baseball trophies from the attic and dusting the pictures of the Magnificent Seven, their grandchildren, so they’ll probably stay where they are. Liz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found at http://lizflaherty.net