I entered the inner sanctum of the other gender. The perspective of those members of the female sex who are concerned with appearance is foreign to me. I’ve heard it said that women dress for women and so do men. I have seen some truth in that but also have some reservations. Still, D.G. Kaye’s evolution of her own concerns with hair, makeup, clothes and more was interesting and informative to me. As a man, it’s difficult to fully appreciate the stresses and strains of all the effort that goes into what appears to me as a theatrical exercise that culture and insecurities demand. Kaye goes into the details of her own reasons for making the effort and how she has evolved beyond the superficial and insecure to the confidence of self-assurance in presenting herself. She offers much advice for fellow females from her years in the trenches of romantic encounters. So for women, my guess is that this book will be helpful, reassuring and instructive. For men, it will be at times bewildering and at times revealing.
Two anecdotal incidents have some relationship to this entertaining book. One was the appearance of a fellow law student in the late 1970s. While most first year students (including women) dressed much as they did as undergraduates. This woman, on the other hand, wore clothes and makeup that appeared to my eyes as somewhere north of high-end office/professional and evening cocktail party. Some fellow male students mocked her (not to her face) as “showgirl.” Given the times, misogyny was rampant so I took it as such, even as I wondered why she looked as she did. But for all the guys, including myself, for all any of us might have known, she might have a job as on-air TV personality or a high-level hill staffer that she might go to directly from classes. Such is the shortfall of sense in many men that continues on into later age from youth.
The other incidents that confirm that men dress for women is my own history, when trying to advance in the dating game with a woman I’d grown interested in. By the time things got secure, some sloughing off commonly occurred. While I have always appreciated beauty, that hasn’t been the attraction for me–rather it’s the personality beneath that has been most attractive. I think Kaye’s book confirms the sensibility of that perspective.
Along with her reason for writing this book, she offers an excerpt on mortality and a couple blurbs that will make you want to put it on your reading list. Take it away, D.G.!
Writing this book was a true labor of love. The book stemmed from little things that popped into my head last year when my husband took ill. I was riding a roller coaster of emotions for much of the year with my husband’s health, and it got me thinking about how much had really changed through the years as his aging was happening well ahead of mine.
I’m not suggesting that time isn’t catching up with me too, but what I mean is that my husband happens to be two decades older than me, and when we first got married I let that factor slide because there were so many good reasons to get married. But it’s a learning curve when you have a ringside seat watching your spouse go through situations that become a bit more difficult as the body ages and sickness sometimes takes its toll.
It was an actual statement that my husband made one day that lit up my brain with the book idea. He made a comment out of the blue – “We’ve been together twenty years.” When you read the book, you will understand why that statement spurred the title of the book. And from there, well, it got me thinking about some of the day-to-day activities we do that tend to get altered as one ages, as well as some of the things about the future we don’t normally tend to think about when we’re younger, but become things we’re forced to think about and reckon with.
The basic formula that I can share to keep the engines of a marriage running smoothly is to always remember compassion and kindness, listen with your heart, talk about your feelings, be a supportive partner, and don’t forget to include laughter in your life every day!
Chapter – Questioning Mortality (an excerpt)
Dying is a part of life, the end result of having had the privilege to live. The life we live is the middle between the two bookends, birth and death, and all the living between the pages becomes the stories people will remember us for. I always felt it morbid to talk about dying, and I’m also superstitious when it comes to speaking out loud about death. I fear I’m opening a door to invite it in as though death were an entity that could hear me speak in the same way that I hope God hears my prayers when I pray. But the fact is that the end of life is inevitable for everyone, whether we think about it or not. No amount of praying, pleading, or wishing to live forever will change that fact.
Blurb: May/December memoirs.
“In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.
Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.”
“Twenty Years: After “I Do” shows not only newly married couples but also those in the middle of their lives how to navigate companionship challenges and show love and kindness to their partners, handling life together gracefully and in harmony.
Multibook self-help author D.G. Kaye demonstrates, using examples from her own marriage, how to really commit to a relationship—till death do us part.” – Doris-Maria Heilmann, 111 Publishing
Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.
D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
Why I Write
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”
“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”
When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.
I just posted a review of P.S. I Forgive You on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s worth your while to read! Get it on Amazon.
I’ve read two very different books by D.G. Kaye already—Have Bags, Will Travel, a trippy (pun intended) book about her travel adventures complicated by the shopping gene and Conflicted Hearts, the introduction to the mother that created a dysfunctional family. P.S. I Forgive You takes up where Conflicted Hearts leaves off—dealing with the emotional turmoil of dealing with a dying mother. Reconcile? Not a realistic option given all the pain Kaye suffered. She finally broke off several years before and couldn’t engage sympathetically as a dutiful daughter might under the circumstances. While the title is “I Forgive You,” it applies more to herself as her mother in my reading. If you’ve been a part of a dysfunctional family or had a narcissistic parent, this is a book you should read. You’ll see how Kaye survived the emotional roller coaster and wound up becoming a happy and healthy person.
This an extended excerpt from an article by John Maberry that appeared in the October Eagle Peak Quarterly.
Most people, I suspect, celebrate anniversaries as special occasions. They exchange cards or gifts and perhaps go out to dinner. These anniversaries aren’t like that. They are reference points in the tapestry of life. They’re signposts of events that have significantly affected the trajectory of my existence or describe it.
My arrival in South Vietnam came fifty years ago, in September 1967. Ten years ago in September, I published the memoir, Waiting for Westmoreland. (WFW)
This special feature in the Quarterly is more of an observance of those two anniversaries than a celebration of them. It’s also an announcement of a special tenth anniversary edition of WFW coming later this fall. It will feature a new cover, a foreword by an accomplished friend who’s known me for forty years, a brief preface and an expanded epilogue. Those ending words will include a few paragraphs from an update to WFW. My human revolution (a profound change in one’s character—a fundamental benefit of practicing Buddhism) continues so I must share it. The current plan calls for that book to be out two years from now but perhaps it will come sooner. I have a sci-fi novel to get out next year and another novel in 2020. This is my Third Age and I cannot relax too much.
The memories of Vietnam are as vivid as though it were last year—or even last month. Memories of sweating in the shade of tropical heat. Taking turns awake on the berm surrounding the base camp at Bear Cat, sleeping atop rock hard sandbags. Listening to the brothers talking about the two Mister Charlies they were fighting—the Viet Cong and Whitey. Watching how the drinkers and the dopers responded to nighttime alerts—the former in a daze, slowly, and the latter with no impediment. So a few months in, I joined the smokers—buying the shredded salad sized bags of marijuana that went for five dollars. Eventually I gave into the illicit sex too, in shacks with walls made of ammo crates from American munitions.
In WFW, I recounted my loss of innocence and the shattering of illusions about America’s virtue. We weren’t really there to fight for and protect those people. We were there fighting the Cold War by proxy. Fearing that the “domino effect” could mean the loss of all of Southeast Asia to Communism. Many soldiers and their superiors called the Vietnamese by racist epithets such as Gooks or slope-heads. Five American Presidents, I later learned, could have avoided the deaths of more than 58,000 Americans. But at every decision point, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon took the wrong turn. Then they lied incessantly about what was happening and why were there.
It’s here–in living color! The October Eagle Peak Quarterly. Read it all at once or a little at a time.
We’ll try something new in this promo. Today, the list of articles with short excerpts. Then, for the next two weeks, we’ll post more of each article every other day. If we don’t get to your comment, it’s because we’ll be offline for a few days.
Most people, I suspect, celebrate anniversaries as special occasions. These are different. They’re reference points in the tapestry of life. Signposts of events that have significantly affected the trajectory of my existence or describe it. Arriving in Vietnam 50 years ago. Writing a book about what transpired and how it changed me for the better.
Franco-American writer and professor Michele de Gastyne offers her views and agreement on SGI leader Ikeda’s proposal to put youth in the forefront of dealing with the problems of nuclear proliferation, refugees, xenophobia and more. It’s a long and densely worded article, reflecting both the thoughts of Daisaku Ikeda and de Gastyne’s consideration of them.
Tony Goodlette spent eight years in Vietnam from 1967-1975. He still suffers health effects from that time. But the Buddhism he began practicing a few years later has enabled him to make even more valuable contributions to America and the world, with humanism and compassion. Read the interview for details of this man’s interesting life.
It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. Be advised: this is not a “wing it” vacation. Planning is essential if you’re to make the most of your family’s time and money. Juanita explains it all–well much of it anyway. But she tells you where you can find out more.
Did you watch the PBS series on the Vietnam War? This 10-part, 18-hour film is among the best and most comprehensive feature on that war–with interviews from both sides and more. Stream it from the web and much more on the PBS site. Or take a peek at some beautiful travel photos from Nat Geo.
More on financial planning (boring or droll–it’s important). Weight-loss techniques that actually WORK–the publisher can prove it! You won’t believe how much he’s lost. Building that dream home–realizing a boomer fantasy; another true-life experience. We’ll explain some alternatives and offer tips on buying a house. Plus the usual: Like an interview and items worth noting.
Sally Cronin’s fabulous site is indeed a smorgasbord, with a potpourri of posts across a broad topical spectrum. There’s health, nutrition medical news. She freely promotes fellow authors. Most importantly, Sally tells readers about her own books–providing reviews and telling us where to get them. She’s been a storyteller most of her life, she says.
Three, three, three reviews in one! Not just for writing a memoir but creative non-fiction and/or a book “that makes a difference.”
No instruction manual can really tell you how your book should be written. In fact, many can dull your senses and arouse doubts in your mind about structure, organization and other aspects of how you want to tell your story. Nonetheless, desiring to do exactly what the title of this book describes, “writing a book that makes a difference,” I found it very useful in stimulating my thinking. It helped rather than hindered my choices, although, as I suggested, it really couldn’t tell me what I needed to do. Only after reading many such books did the winnowing process of my own brain absorb a little from this and a little from that. So if you too want to write such a book, go ahead and buy or at least read this early on in the process.
This book may not be 100% comprehensive (a tad redundant, perhaps), but if there is any other one out there that has more to offer on addressing the varieties of style, structure, form and the creative nonfiction process, I haven’t seen it. Being new to the business in 2003 when I began working on Waiting for Westmoreland in earnest, I found the instuctions and insights illuminating, inspiring and confusing all at once. How to choose?! I felt like Alice on her journey after the rabbit. Still, it gave me plenty of techniques to consider–that would not have been as readily discernible had I simply tried to read every book of actual creative nonfiction I could get my hands on.
Last but not least, a book directly about writing a memoir.
An excellent book answering FAQs that you didn’t know you had or if you did, you didn’t know how to ask them. As I was crafting my own memoir, this book helped guide me on the path.
Seeing things as they really are, without the illusions or delusions
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