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Old 07-03-2009, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,393,688 times
Reputation: 16283

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With all these rules I feel like I'm back in school writing a term paper.

 
Old 07-03-2009, 05:22 PM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,309,221 times
Reputation: 452
I think I have to agree with MN2CO. I think we might be jumping the gun on what's 'acceptable'. I have faith in us women simply because of the way we write here in this thread.
I suggest we just start collecting, and see what we get. We can cross the 'unacceptable' bridge when we come to it, eh?
Too many rules bring up my fear of rejection... (or is it 'brings' up? see?)
 
Old 07-03-2009, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
1,071 posts, read 1,058,328 times
Reputation: 1980
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomoly View Post
I don't think we should consider weeding anything out for quite awhile down the path. I think we all write interesting things, especially for 'short answer' type responses.
NEG came up with some great lines to trigger 'short answer' responses. Why don't you post the first one here as a sample for everyone.
What kinds of short answer questions were you thinking of NEG?

When I think of the kind of things that would be interesting in our rough draft writings, I think of:
  1. First name? Age? Current location (state)? Marital history? Children?
  2. What was your early life like (to age 21)?
  3. What was your adult life like?
  4. What is your life like now?
  5. What made you decide you wanted to move to a new destination for retirement?
  6. What requirements are you hoping for in a retirement destination?
  7. What areas are you looking at as possibilities or where have you decided to settle?
  8. What is most appealing about that place/those places?
  9. What are your greatest conflicts, obstacles or concerns about moving?
  10. What does "a sense of community" mean to you?
  11. What brings you back to the "Women Retiring Alone" thread on City-Data?What have you gained from being a part of this "community"?
  12. How do you hope your life will be different 5 years from now?
  13. What are the most important things that you have learned in your life?
  14. What advice would you pass along to younger adults? What do you know for sure?

We've covered some of this here and there along the way but this would give a format for some organizational consistency? Different headings could be created later on.

What do guys think? Too structured? Do you writers prefer something more freeform?

Last edited by mollyblythe; 07-03-2009 at 05:52 PM..
 
Old 07-03-2009, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
1,071 posts, read 1,058,328 times
Reputation: 1980
Sorry! I should have added that those kinds of things could be food for thought one (or two) questions at a time. Don't want to overwhelm! More to give a little incentive or structure for those that need something to take off from; maybe for those who write less often.

Ladies who write more often may prefer winging it.
 
Old 07-03-2009, 06:08 PM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,309,221 times
Reputation: 452
good questions and topics, mollyblythe. Like you say, they are food for thought, while others may decide to wing it. I don't think it will be hard to 'categorize' most of the writings. I kind of like the idea of having chapters, starting with
"Our Pasts", moving into "Current Life", to "Retirement Desires". Not word for word, but within those are room for subtopics, then specific questions that help group our responses. I guess I like this cuz it allows us to hear from women in a variety of stages.
Heres' an example:
1. OUR PASTS: where we came from, interesting points of our childhood, or adult history, such as where/how we grew up (city, rural, # siblings or kids, single parent family, particular challenges)
1a. specific questions/random writings
2. CURRENT LIFE SITUATIONS: everything we talk about here on the thread
2a. specific questions/random writings
3. RETIREMENT PLANS: what we're looking for, and our progress or changes.
3a. specific questions/random writings.

This allows everyone the opportunity to respond to common themes, whether its a page or 2, or simply choose to answer questions with a sentence or 2. It allows us to hear from more people, and get a sense of who we all are as a group, as well as individuals.
I think we could address specific 'pre-selected' questions, or submit our own questions and answers that might inspire others to respond to.
just my suggestions
 
Old 07-04-2009, 05:59 AM
 
Location: zippidy doo dah
895 posts, read 1,331,660 times
Reputation: 1928
Default writing "assignment" -giggle

good morning, fellow campers of life 601 (we've all been through enough that we're past "life 101" and i think we qualify for the graduate level designation) -

I'm just skimming the posts (haven't taken my ADD meds yet) so I may make a statement already made. I did catch that some were concerned with too many rules or guidelines so I titled this "writing assignment" as a post as the words conjure fear in many - the "giggle" was to remind everyone that at this point in life, we are finally figuring out we can do pretty much what we want to do. (there is no "permanent record" except for the one in our minds that we beat ourselves to death with)

Yesterday, I suggested in a post that there once was something called Writely.com. (i wasn't signed in apparently so i think my words of inspiration didn't post ) At Writely, one could set up a writing forum and those designated could go on, read, edit etc - there were ways to set it up so that the original remained but suggestions, additions, etc could be made. And I believe there could be many posters - you just had to have permission to get on the particular site. I used it "back in the day" and it was a good source, as I recall. And it was free. In researching, it appears that perhaps google has bought it/just looked quickly and that was what it looked like.

Long and short of it is perhaps that is a way to collect the "stories". Not sure if that would work better than what has been suggested but just wished to throw it into the mix.

The guidelines that were posted weren't a problem for me but again, maybe I didn't read thoroughly. I could agree with those concerned that it could get people worrying about whether they would goof something up or whatever and I think everyone has lived with that long enough. What is politically-incorrect to one may be humor to another so it's difficult to ascertain what is a problem. Perhaps it is better to encourage "write from your heart" and then let's see what occurs. On spelling , grammar, usage etc, this is essentially a capturing of oral history on paper (somewhat contradictory). Hearing our words in our own voices could be what makes this effective. As the song says "just breathe" - well, just write. Part of the input people would have might come from the idea starters, the guidelines etc. It could be an exercise for all of us in negotiating, encouraging, critiquing without hurting, accepting advise without being devastated. hmmm, can anyone figure out my weaknesses yet?

Again, someone may have suggested all of this before - (i am so excited at finding kindred spirits on this site that it is hard for me to contain myself. I have been on the idea of women in community, women working together to provide for their well-being, etc for so long that it is almost over-whelming to find a group discussing so much of it and it has been here all along.) I would love to see within this context perhaps a thread whatever where we all just brainstorm our picture of what our "perfect" as we can describe it living situation looks like/our perfect community. The benefit of that would be in reality, we might be able to put together little pockets of "US" all over the place, which would also form a network of "US" of opportunity. I've seen grassroot efforts be so productive and i'm convinced that "women in community" will be very grassroots - very small little fires lit in one place after another.

Presently, i have just moved to a place where i would yell from the rooftops, DON'T MOVE HERE!" and yet as I sit here writing, out on my beautiful backyard, with the temps around 68 degrees, no humidity and I'm 45 minutes drive from the coast and the city, I'm thinking, "why not move here?" This is a sleepy little town that is like a lot of somewhat dying towns and i'm thinking to myself that there are good things here - I can walk to the library, to the grocery store, the bank, the hospital, doctors, etc. The people seem very friendly. I can be at wonderful beaches in less than an hour - be in the city in less than an hour - be in some wonderful little towns in less than an hour. It's hot at times (most places are), humid at times (most of the south is) and there is winter (though mild no doubt since there are also palm trees surviving living here). I may have found a paradise and not even know it and maybe it is just waiting for a bunch of creative ladies to move here and launch whatever dream they are dreaming. Maybe it is exactly where I should be launching my dreams instead of figuring out where I can go to do what i want to do.
So, with that said, I'm going to ask for input from each of you your thoughts on WHAT makes a good place to live? I know it's been said here before but let's try to get it in depth and then start forming some groups of those who have a desire for a certain part of the country/a certain group of "necessities"/ etc.

Ok, i've gone on long enough - but just wanted to say all of this and hey, maybe INDEPENDENCE DAY, has a lot of meanings for us all. I'm celebrating my own freedom as each day, more and more, I recognize the only thing holding me back is myself.......

sisterly love and affection to you all, tricia
 
Old 07-04-2009, 07:23 AM
 
52 posts, read 144,018 times
Reputation: 36
Default July 4

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Glorida
 
Old 07-04-2009, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Winter Park FL
205 posts, read 359,973 times
Reputation: 378
Triciajeanne; very much like your thoughts. In 1999, after my father's very unexpected death and the survival of my 80 year old mother from a car accident, I gave my mother a book on writing her life story. She was getting depressed and I wanted to give her a "project" that would keep her occupied. The book asked pretty much the same kind of questions proposed. It's only a guideline. My mother ended up writing her life story in her own way - a book. She put all the family "secrets" (ie, mine) in the book, but it served its purpose. She was very proud of it, shared it with friends. Well, it made the circuit of the OBX community so everyone there knew my "secret." Oh, well.

Perhaps the focus might be on "what is it like (or hardest about) being a woman retiring alone?" Or something like that - focus on one particular subject instead of a broad spectrum. Those who want to participate could submit a 300 word (or some number) essay. What is politically-incorrect to one may be humor to another so it's difficult to ascertain what is a problem. Perhaps it is better to encourage "write from your heart" and then let's see what occurs. I agree with this - I think we are all sensitive enough to know that the last thing we need to do is to offend or write anything inappropriate. I don't think the project is really a b***h session but rather a sharing of experiences.

Finding your place is a journey and progression of sorting out what is important to you personally. I've been on that journey for a few years. I finally made it to the point where it was only me and no one else to take care of or consider. After much searching across the country, what I knew I really wanted was a home of my own. There are many places I wanted to move to but that wasn't practical. So I stayed in the area, finding my perfect, affordable place (for me). Just became a new homeowner. This is not the last chapter in my life but a beginning of the next. I don't expect this to be my last move. But for now, I feel content that I finally made a decision, obtained a goal, and can now "just breath." Life is always evolving, we are always evolving. I'm still learning, growing and finding my way. The path is now just a little bit brighter. Not perfect, but brighter.
 
Old 07-04-2009, 09:21 AM
Status: "Could be worse" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
510 posts, read 1,309,221 times
Reputation: 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomoly View Post
good questions and topics, mollyblythe. Like you say, they are food for thought, while others may decide to wing it. I don't think it will be hard to 'categorize' most of the writings. I kind of like the idea of having chapters, starting with
"Our Pasts", moving into "Current Life", to "Retirement Desires". Not word for word, but within those are room for subtopics, then specific questions that help group our responses. I guess I like this cuz it allows us to hear from women in a variety of stages.
Heres' an example:

1. OUR PASTS: where we came from, interesting points of our childhood, or adult history, such as where/how we grew up (city, rural, # siblings or kids, single parent family, particular challenges)
1a. specific questions/random writings
2. CURRENT LIFE SITUATIONS: everything we talk about here on the thread
2a. specific questions/random writings
3. RETIREMENT PLANS: what we're looking for, and our progress or changes.
3a. specific questions/random writings.
4. THE DREAM: what we envision in a perfect world of retirement.
4a. specific questions/random writings

This allows everyone the opportunity to respond to common themes, whether its a page or 2, or simply choose to answer questions with a sentence or 2. It allows us to hear from more people, and get a sense of who we all are as a group, as well as individuals.
I think we could address specific 'pre-selected' questions, or submit our own questions and answers that might inspire others to respond to.
just my suggestions
I'm quoting myself here just to add in TriciaJeanne's idea of incorporating 'the dream', to keep the fire alive of what we would like to do --in a perfect world. What we envision if we could do it.
 
Old 07-04-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
Reputation: 2141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomoly View Post
1. OUR PASTS: where we came from, interesting points of our childhood, or adult history, such as where/how we grew up (city, rural, # siblings or kids, single parent family, particular challenges)
1a. specific questions/random writings
2. CURRENT LIFE SITUATIONS: everything we talk about here on the thread
2a. specific questions/random writings
3. RETIREMENT PLANS: what we're looking for, and our progress or changes.
3a. specific questions/random writings.
4. THE DREAM: what we envision in a perfect world of retirement.
4a. specific questions/random writings

This allows everyone the opportunity to respond to common themes, whether its a page or 2, or simply choose to answer questions with a sentence or 2. It allows us to hear from more people, and get a sense of who we all are as a group, as well as individuals.
I think we could address specific 'pre-selected' questions, or submit our own questions and answers that might inspire others to respond to.
just my suggestions

I'm quoting myself here just to add in TriciaJeanne's idea of incorporating 'the dream', to keep the fire alive of what we would like to do --in a perfect world. What we envision if we could do it.
I think most of this has already been written on this thread with the exception of our pasts which has usually been only obliquely referred to. A good deal of this could be gleaned right here, but it would be a significant amount of work to edit it.

I've been wondering how we would pull together an actual book that would have a coherent thread and focus and be interesting and not just ramble on (like that sentence!). I think Anomaly's list of 4 areas is really good and could form major chapters or parts with sub-chapters.

What I'm afraid of is that we are pretty much in the middle of the story and the end has yet to be lived and discovered. I know I am, but I still am not in the retired mode yet. Karcon has embarked on the relocation question but she has yet to discover whether the reality of her decisions will bear out her expectations (I hope so ). Books need beginnings, journeys, and ends with conclusions and lessons that form a coherent narrative.

Also, is the focus to be the journey of communal or community formation for single middle-aged women or is it just different single middle-aged women who seek their individual aging-living situations? I think these are 2 different books and we have at least 2 different sets of women participating in this thread.

There is also the focus of modest but stable and secure income in retirement and those who are much more worried about how to make the finances work. I don't think there is much point in focusing on really wealthy people as there is already much press and focus on them since big business is more interested in them and getting them to spend their money than on people with more modest means.

I suppose the first step would be to settle on the theme or thesis of the work to put a rope around the purpose of the book.
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