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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: January 18, 2013

A Writer’s Dilemma

The difficulty in which many writers find themselves is, should they pass up a good, solid interesting story or should they “rat out” some friend or acquaintance?

Joan Didion says, “A great memoirist, even one moved primarily by love and devotion, must possess a certain amount of ruthlessness.” The question to the author is, “Should I put down the truth about the person in my story or should I sugar-coat perhaps the lying and devious aspects with falsehoods and fiction?” That is the moral question!

Phillip Roth, the prolific and great American author, once made this observation about writing: “If a writer is sitting at your dinner table, be wary of anything you say or disclose about anyone or anything. Everything is grist for the writer’s mill.” All is fair in love, war and interesting disclosures.

 A writer spends much time staring at the blank, white page in front of him/her seeking out an essential truth to type for a article or story. Should he/she submerge that juicy tidbit and keep searching for a new subject? Probably not.

Be careful and never reveal more than you intended to, if Cindy Adams, Joan Rivers or Leo Tolstoy is sitting at your dinner table. A good story is hard to find.

I have been in writers’ group classes where the author has demanded that everyone pass the written story back to the author for concern or fear that a bold secret should get out. Even changing names and slightly changing situations does not baffle the people who know the basics of the story.

It is the author’s duty to get the story out and the informant’s duty to contain the tale. It is a situation that will have many of us on the horns of the proverbial dilemma.

News

Thousands of Long Islanders streamed into Burn Park in Massapequa recently for the Town of Oyster Bay’s annual Salute to America concert featuring Dean Karahalis and the Concert Pop Orchestra with fireworks by Grucci.

The event paid tribute to veterans, past and present, and honored three deserving honorees: Guillermo Torres, Plainview’s Robert Reahl and Barbara Tortorice.

Torres is the winner of the Town’s Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award. A Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Torres was wounded while on maneuvers.

The kids may be grown. The marriage may have not worked out. Perhaps retirement affords more free time than was anticipated.

Enter The Transition Network, an national social group featuring an active chapter on Long Island that meets regularly at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library.

Judy Forman, Plainview resident and program co-chair, noted that The Transition Network is an organization of women ages 50 and over who are ‘transitioning’ into the next phase of their lives — whether it be retirement, divorce, losing a loved one or so on — and helping them to meet new people while expanding their horizons.  


Calendar

Movie: Last Vegas

Wednesday, July 23

Women Artists You Should Know

Thursday, July 31

Adult Summer Reading Club

Through Aug. 7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com