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Where Did She Go?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

This stretch has been the first time in over six years where I haven’t posted to The Silver Mine weekly.  I had to let it go to test whether it belongs in my updated life.  I miss posting.  But it’s time to let go of the emphasis on retirement related topics.

That was an important set if issues to address when I started focusing on them in 2006.  Now, there are many resources and lots of capable voices advocating for making this stage of life more than a matter of waiting around for the trip to the funeral home.

When I got fired up about how badly we were “doing retirement,” my path had been toward life as a fiction writer.  I’d been concentrating on screenplays at that time, but now I want to go back to my first love–writing novels.

As a first step on this new version of that journey, I’ve released my first novel, Widow Boy–a historical thriller about a woman who finds justice for her murdered husband in the gold rush town of Cripple Creek by masquerading as a boy.  It’s a fast read with a gentle touch to the history and technology of Colorado gold mining in the 1890’s.  I started the story 20 years ago.  (Luckily, research for a historical novel doesn’t need to be updated if you don’t get on with publishing it right away….)  I have worked through it with two different critique groups over long periods and am proud of the quality that’s resulted.  I sincerely believe it’s a great read.

It’s available on Amazon in both paperback and for the Kindle.  If you want to read it but can’t afford either of those, e-mail me (mary@mining-silver.com) and I’ll let you know when there’s a “free day” for the Kindle version–which you can read on your computer if you don’t have an e-reader.

If you do read the book, I have a favor to ask.  Reader reviews are a critical piece of getting the visibility a book needs to succeed.  So please do a quick review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Or tell your friends.  Or recommend it to your book club.  Or give it as a gift.  We find the best reads by word of mouth and I’d like to be part of your communication chain if you like this one.  Thanks.

I am also working on a new website that will give me greater freedom to write on whatever topic inspires me.  That’s where I will be posting in the future.  This is the 299th post on The Silver Mine.  The 300th–and last–one will provide the link to that site once it’s live.

Thanks for reading The Silver Mine, especially to those who did so regularly.   Being read is the greatest reward for a writer, and I appreciate your support.

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Mary Lloyd is a writer and former retirement expert (and natural gas industry executive, statistics instructor, stay-at-home-mom, crutch maker, etc.)  Her first novel, Widow Boy, was released on Amazon on Sept. 12, 2014.  She also wrote Supercharged Retirement:  Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love

 

Yes, It IS Your Fault

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Okay. At some point, we voted for these bozos.  They are in office.  The fact that they are not doing the job they agreed to do  is something we’ll have to deal with– and hopefully we will–in upcoming elections.  What’s going on right now in our government is mind-numbingly egotistical.  To say that the behavior of these “statesmen” is dismaying is like saying Mount Everest is tall.  So let’s start to make this clearer to them:

TO THOSE WHO HAVE HAD A HAND IN SHUTTING DOWN THE US GOVERNMENT:

You have embarrassed us all with your ineptitude and hard-headedness.  You have put millions of hard working citizens out of work to prove a point even you can’t agree on.  If you were adult enough to go to real core values in negotiating, this would have been resolved long before the deadline.  You choose instead to play Ego games and call them “values.”

TO THE REPUBLICANS:  Yes, you are to blame.  Shame on you for insisting there is only one way to achieve what you are trying to achieve–which is less government spending in the long haul.  It doesn’t have to be wearing the Obamacare logo to achieve that end.

TO THE DEMOCRATS:  Yes, you are to blame.  Insisting that additional delay not happen on a program that has already been delayed in part–and for lesser reasons than not shutting down the government– is not valiant.  It is Ego-driven just like the quest to make it go away.  You are no different than your counterparts across the isle in your pettiness.

NO ONE IN CONGRESS HAS STEPPED UP AND WITH A SANE VOICE MANAGED TO GET ANY TRACTION WHATSOEVER ON WHAT THE REST OF US MUST DO EVERY DAY.  Getting the right things to happen while working with people we don’t agree with is simply part of living life in this complex world.  Why the hell does Congress think it should get a hall pass?

TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

Mr. Obama, you have been President of the United States for five years.  You have had the role as leader of the leading country in the world for half a decade, yet you do not seem to grasp that A LEADER NEEDS TO LEAD.  YOU are the leader of this country.  Not Mr. Boehner.  Not Mr. Reid.  Not any of the news celebrities.  YOU.  That means part of your job is figuring out how to get people to follow.  Many of us long ago learned what you still don’t know.  You do not get people to follow by drawing lines in the sand.

All of you, please stop this embarrassing display of ineptitude.  Any sane adult knows that reaching a compromise involves giving up lesser things to achieve the most important thing.  THE MOST IMPORTANT THING RIGHT NOW IS TO GET THE US OFF THE WORLD STAGE IN THIS CLOWN SUIT.  We need to get our affairs in order as a government.  You have disgraced us in front of the entire world and put a lot of people in financial peril for the sake of being “right.” There is no “right” in this behavior, just the din of self-centered grandstanding.

Solutions reached through compromise stand the test of changing political winds.  Programs put in place via the political clout of just one party are doomed to be rescinded when that party falls out of favor.  The American system works BECAUSE of compromise.  Please learn that civics lesson and get back to doing your job.

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By Mary Lloyd, writer, consultant, speaker, and citizen–really disgruntled citizen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A “Tough Love” Message for Betty White

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Someone has stepped up to tackle the wrongness of Off Their Rockers,  and I applaud that someone–Barbara Morris, who’s been advocating for smarter aging even longer than I have.   Below is her press release about the situation.  I’ve added my own comment after hers.

By Barbara Morris:

I admire Betty White. Her energy and creative ability are inspiring. Long ago she could have joined those retirees who imagine they are living the good life, drinking, playing shuffleboard or endless rounds of golf, and reminiscing about what used to be. Instead, she continues to use her time and talent to give meaning to her life. Her vitality and competence assure every healthy midlife woman that chronological age is meaningless; that a joyful productive life, not just a passive dependent existence is possible regardless of age.

Unfortunately, she is not doing old people a favor with her TV show “Off Their Rockers” with its premise “A troupe of senior citizens pulls pranks on unsuspecting folks.” The “unsuspecting folks” are usually embarrassed young people. The whole idea is embarrassing to a lot of us older folks, too.

One must wonder why Betty can’t see how damaging it is to the image and psyche of her peers. It’s tragic that dementia strikes so many older people, rendering them incapable of rational behavior. It’s even more tragic when old people of sound mind deliberately engage in behavior that gives the impression advanced age is synonymous with ditzy lunacy. It’s disturbing to watch the cast of her show behave like irresponsible teenagers. Watching their often-obnoxious antics is akin to hearing a dirty joke that makes you giggle but at the same time you know it’s inappropriate and you feel demeaned by the experience.

Why did Betty decide to do this show? Is it because she is so confident and so vibrant that she can’t understand that most of her audience doesn’t grasp that she is trying to spoof the pathetic stereotype of “old” and see it as confirming it instead? Or maybe she saw it as a way for older people to get more exposure on TV, or a way to get a few dollars in their pockets. Maybe she is so focused on getting a laugh that she doesn’t see the damage she’s doing.

Regardless of her reason to create this misguided show and no matter how good her reason, it’s still damaging to all of us who ever get old enough to fall prey to the “old people eventually lose it” stereotype. She is undoing the very thing that we love her for–being vibrant and funny and “with it” in her 90’s.   We appreciate and applaud Betty White. But she needs to give us respect in return. Participating in a show that’s demeaning to older people is simply not the right thing to do. In so many ways Betty could use her talent, energy, and experience to choose projects that more accurately reflect the caliber, talent and continued competence of old people.

A positive change in Betty’s choice of entertainment projects may already be happening with her new show, “Hot in Cleveland” that has more to its premise than the horrid, longstanding stereotype of “old.” In the meantime, it’s time to retire “Off Their Rockers”. It never belonged on the air in the first place.

Barbara Morris, R.Ph., Editor, Publisher Put Old on Hold Journal Barbara@PutOldonHold.com

Comment by Mary Lloyd:

Thank you for bringing this up, Barbara.  That show has been bothering me since the first (and only) episode I watched.  It is a huge disappointment to have Betty White—someone the whole country loves for doing what she’s doing for as long as she’s been doing it—playing to ageist, stupid pranks to get a laugh. 

No one would dream of making a series based on racist jokes or even “dumb blonde” or other sexist jokes.  Why is this ageist garbage deemed acceptable?

But it goes a step farther.  She—and the show’s writers—have missed an important piece of advice I got from Jonathan Winters in a writers workshop years ago.  “Good comedy laughs with people not at them.”  Off Their Rockers is makes fun of young people and presents old people as self-centered, outrageous dingbats.  It’s wrong on many levels.  How tragic that it’s still on the air. 

Mary Lloyd, author of Supercharged Retirement:  Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love.  www.mining-silver.com.

A Pope Versus a Budget

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

What’s the matter with the US Congress? And the US President? In less than two full days, the globally diverse Catholic church has risen to the task before them and chosen a new pope.  That pope will be around for a fairly long time. He will set policy and be the boss for every Catholic on earth. He’s not to everyone’s liking–no one is.  Still, the Cardinals chose and got the job done.

I’m not a practicing Catholic and am not even inclined to tout them as particularly blessed in terms of skill at building a consensus.  But it does give you pause, doesn’t it?  The US Congress–and the current Administration– have yet to come up with a budget for this country.  Not just for this year.  Not ever.  For some reason, all of the people who are responsible for getting it done think the childhood strategy of pointing the finger at someone else is enough to explain their own failure to get this crucial task accomplished.

Who said they could quit because it was hard work?  Who gave them the okay to go home and relax when what they need to do most is still in the starting blocks?

Why is it acceptable to fail at this? To ignore this? To act like it’s not them that have to get it done?  It’s heartbreaking to witness the cowardice of what’s going on.  Instead of rising to the task–like congressmen and women have done since this country began–they’re paralyzed with fear about the reactions that might come from the constituencies they represent.  Instead of assuming the leadership role they were elected to, theytake rigid stands like stubborn three-year olds and refuse to get on with finding the solution.

Yes, it’s a lot harder to get the job done in the Senate and the House than in the Sistine Chapel–you have the media blowing everything out of proportion and sensationalizing every little nuance day after day.  But there is no constitutional waiver for not doing the job because it’s hard work.

Yes, the work involves hard choices and will dissatisfy some who voted for you.  Do you think everyone was one board with any of the hard things that this country has had to decide over the decades and centuries?  This is not about who voted for you.  This is about coming up with a workable plan for how this huge and successful country is going to make and spend it’s government dollars–so we can stay successful.

It took the Catholic Cardinals–who are part of an organization that’s struggling with scandles and major differences of opinion just as we are–two days to get their job done.  That is not because it was easy.  It was because they accepted it was theirs to do and did it.

Take a lesson, Congress.  Take a lesson, Mr. President.  Get this job done!

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Mary Lloyd is a speaker and consultant and author of Supercharged Retirement:  Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love.  For more, see her website. 

What We Really Fumbled with Monday Night Football

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

At the moment, our nation is in a fit of outrage over the officiating on Monday Night Football two days ago.  I didn’t watch it on TV.   I was at the game.  It was a decent game with a lot of unusual stuff.

I could talk about how ineffective the Packers were in the first half–with their Superbowl Champion quarterback getting clobbered in the backfield eight times.  (“Sacks” usually only happen a few times a whole game at most.)  I could talk about the Seahawks getting totally bamboozled by the changes the Packers made in their game plan at half time.  I could talk about the absurd number of penalties the refs called on both teams.

And, of course, I could talk about that last play of the game…which everyone is claiming to have omniscience on.  Many have taken it upon themselves to heap profanity on the guy the refs said caught the ball–who, to be honest, was just doing his job.  Many are insisting it’s time that the NFL solve the labor dispute with the “real refs” so this kind of thing stops happening.  Many insist the refs were wrong and the NFL should reverse the call–action well beyond the options spelled out by the league as opotions for redress.

There is an amazing amount of attention being giving to this “flagrant abuse.” Ellen DeGeneres even lampooned it on her show this afternoon.

Lest you think I am biased one way or the other on the actual outcome, know this:  I was born and raised 40 miles from Green Bay, Wisconsin.  I will always be a “Packer backer.”  However, I now live in the Seattle area and I root for the local team, too.  I wanted them both to win.  But I worked hard not to cheer for either one since I was there with my sister who is a Packers season ticket holder and my brother who is a Seahawks season ticket holder.   (They were both philosophical and extremely polite about the whole thing in case you are wondering.)

Were the refs spot on?  Of course not.  But stop vilifying them.  If you had the chance to do your dream job, would you turn it down because you didn’t know what you really needed to?  Yes, they aren’t as good as the officiating teams who’ve been doing it for years.  No, that does not give you, a spectator, the right to rip them to shreds.  Yes, the NFL needs to solve the related labor dispute.  No, we don’t get to be jerks because they haven’t.

The thing that bothers me most about the furor is the furor itself though.  This was one football game between two teams who don’t have a whole lot on the line at this point in the season.  A football game. 

It was just a game, a game that most of us weren’t even actually playing, and yet the whole country is yelling about it.

The amount of attention and demands for action that have come from it are worthy of a national emergency.  Which we just so happen to have on the horizon.  No one is yelling about that.

Congress has just adjourned until after the elections without getting anything done.  Again.  We all have a big stake in that.  Every time they chicken out and fail to deal with the hard decisions that need to be made, we all lose.  We are all in that game because it’s our economy that they are too timid deal with.  Where is the fury about that?

No one’s life is going to be better or worse  because a substitute ref made a “bad call” on Monday Night Football.  (And whether is was or wasn’t is simply a case of personal opinion–except for that ref, whose job it was to make the call.)  We are all at risk if our elected officials don’t get the job done.

The real fumble came on Tuesday morning when the nation got worked up about the outcome of a football game.  We are the ones who have our priorities screwed up if we can make noise about that and stay silent about what’s not happening in Congress.

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Mary Lloyd is a speaker and consultant and author of Supercharged Retirement:  Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love.  For more, see her website.

Publishing 2012

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Sometimes, what you know surprises you. And sometimes what’s going on in a field in which you’re involved is worth talking about.  I just realized that’s true with me and publishing.  Gayle Gross has championed the cause of new writers by offering an innovative approach to “getting your writing out there” using a process called  10 Day Book Club.    Both writers and readers can get a lot out of being involved with what she’s doing.

I agreed to blog for her about what I’ve learned about getting published these days.  There are two consecutive posts.  The first is about getting published.  The second is about how to get the book to sell once you do publish it.  If you have any thoughts of writing anything that you want other people to read, it’s a good primer.  

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Mary Lloyd is a speaker, consultant, and author of Supercharged Retirement:  Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love.  She owns Mining Silver LLC and its publishing arm, Hankfritz Press.

“Reinventing Retirement”

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Dayton Fandray has done a great job of getting beyond the “motor homes and golf ” stereotype in the article he did for the Alaska Airlines inflight magazine for January. His profiles of a wide variety of  “untraditional retirees” might make you think twice about moving to Padre Island and heading for the beach.  Check it out.    (The article starts on page 74.)

E-book news!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Newsflash #1. We’ve reformatted the e-version of Supercharged Retirement: Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love. With help from our e-readers we’ve improved the e-book format so you can access the exercises as pdf’s via dedicated links.

When you buy the electronic version, you can now download the exercises directly to your computer. That means you can print them and fill them out on paper if you want, too.  Doing the exercises makes reading the book a far more personlized source of information.

Newsflash #2   The reformatting effort has also made it possible to offer the book in the Apple iBookstore.   So if you have an iPad, you too can now read Supercharged Retirement while waiting for the carpool.

Newsflash #3  Release of an e-book  collection of articles done by Mary Lloyd for the online newsletter Put Old on Hold is on the horizon.  Watch for 39 Bites of Wisdom: Little Lessons on Getting Life Right at your favorite e-book retail site

Links to Mary Lloyd elsewhere…

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Huffington Post blogging and a radio podcast. What a nice way to end (or start) the week!

The Huffington Post has started a section called Huffington Post 50 and I’ve been invited to blog for them. My first post went live with the debute of the section on Friday, Sept 30.  Check it out.  And if you want to help shape what appears there, figure out how to post a comment and do that whenever you agree–or disagree–with whatever you’ve just read.

Also, last Sunday (Oct. 2) I was interviewed by Kevin de Phillips for The Beacon program on radio station WCPT 820 AM in Chicago.  They focus on issues related to seniors, veterans, and the disabled and are spending the entire month of October on employment issues.   Check out that broadcast. (My interview with Kevin starts about 40% of the way into the program.)

While we’re at it, you might also want to see what I’ve been saying for over a year in the Building a Better Workforce column that I write for workforce50.com.  Their website is a treasure trove so look around once you get there.

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Mary Lloyd is a speaker and consultant and author of Supercharged Retirement:  Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love.  For more, see her website.

 

A New Resource…FindtheBest.com

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

I don’t often get excited about another place to spend my time on the Internet. But this site seems to be set up to actually help you spend less time. It’s new and it does something we all need done–compare options.

Their purpose, according to their website:
At FindTheBest, we believe that if consumers are presented with objective and focused information, they will be able to quickly choose the product or service that is best for them. Too often, however, marketers and affiliate sites team up to present carefully crafted advertisements as objective information. As a result, it has become difficult and time consuming to distinguish objective information from affiliate schemes aimed at promoting products or services that on a level playing field, would not be able to stand up to the competition. Our goal is to become the trusted place where consumers can find reliable information, free from hidden marketing schemes or other clutter, to make faster and more informed decisions. We will relentlessly innovate with unfaltering integrity to pursue this goal.

The site is set up so you can do comparisons of just the options that appeal to you. They even do charts for you! It all seems pretty easy to use–even for those of us who claim we hate trying to do anything on the computer.

The fact that they want to provide this as a unique source, untinged by advertising dollars from the companies whose products and services they assess, made me decide to do a shout out.

Check it out the site.  And watch the video! It’s really clever and very clear about what they do.
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Mary Lloyd is primary contributor to The Silver Mine Blog. She is a consultant and speaker and author of Supercharged Retirement: Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love.