Thanks for joining me on the 2012 MARA-thon! This includes a national blog tour, as well as a physical book tour through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. During the entire MARA-thon, please be sure to download your FREE prequel short story, When Whales Watch at www.MaraPurl.com/downloads. As of January 1, you’ll be able to find purchase links for all e-readers Here: When Whales Watch.
This is posted from the road during my All-Indie-Bookstore book tour titled MAPPING THE JOURNEY OF YOUR HEART. Revisit the entire tour at any time by visiting www.MaraPurl.com/calendar where you’ll see event details, links to the bookstores, and soon, photo archives. To thank my blog hosts, I created the Double Blog Tour which includes “blog-backs” like this one. The Blog Tour will be archived at http://marapurl.com/fall-blog-tour-schedule.
What an honor to again be the featured guest at the National Association of Baby Boomer Women! Director Anne Holmes (“Boomer in Chief”, as she’s titled) asked me a great series of questions during this second national blog tour, establishing my posting on her site as an important tradition. Her questions allowed me to share ideas about my new novel, Where the Heart Lives and about the many issues the book delves into: a young artist in the process of finding herself, a restauranteur working hard to create the second chapter of her life, an environmentalist searching for the son she gave up decades earlier, and even going back stage at a Doobie Brothers concert. Anne asked me a whole string of creative questions as well, about what inspires my storylines, how I come up with my characters, why I’m writing serial-structure in my novels. Anne’s post can be found here: “Mara Purl Maps Out a New Novel & offers a Free Prequel.” I so appreciate our vibrant conversation, and am thrilled to be sharing it with her huge group of followers.
Which brings me to the NABBW. Who are its members? Boomer woman are designated as the millions of us who’ve were born between 1946 and 1964. I asked Anne what the organization is about and she said, “The National Association of Baby Boomer Women is the only association devoted to addressing issues concerning 38 million of the healthiest, wealthiest, and best educated generation of women to ever hit midlife.” What does membership offer? “We’ve developed a complete package that offers a variety of products, services, and resources to help any boomer woman tackle midlife’s challenges. We try to provide a well-needed source of positive and nurturing resources for our Baby Boomer Women followers. Within our suite of NABBW products – the website, the Boomer Women Speak forum, the NABBW Facebook page, our LinkedIn page, the Boomer Women’s World newsletter, and our monthly teleseminars – we try to remind members of our strong suits and help them solve current-day problems and challenges.”
Anne went on to enumerate what some of these challenges are, and I found it interesting that several of my characters are dealing with a few of the very same challenges, whether it be creating a romantic relationship with a Vietnam vet, befriending the first African-American detective in the Central Coast region, poking at the glass ceiling and standing for women’s rights, or finding a way to fold environmental practices into mainstream daily life.
In eloquent language, Anne praised the progress made by the Boomers. “After all,” she said, “I believe we’ve ushered in the most tolerant and inclusive era in our history. What women can do today would have been considered science fiction in the Fifties. Gays and lesbians, who once were routinely arrested or committed to psychiatric institutions, can now marry and raise a family in many parts of the country. We now have an African-American president. And of course, we have a very accomplished female Secretary of State.”
Boomer women tend to be very busy, over-achievers, which means we get a lot done, but also means we rarely take time for ourselves. What I work at creating is what I call “mindful fiction”—stories and novels that encourage my readers to honor their own time and goals. I asked Anne, “How do you think ‘mindful fiction’ can serve your readers?”
“As all of us know, we Boomer women don’t like to be preached to. But often times there are life lessons we need to learn . . . lessons that can make our lives better, richer, stronger, and more enjoyable. In my experience, we can learn these lessons through a sort of ‘mental osmosis,’ if you will forgive me for inventing a term. What I mean is, we can read a fun, fictional story, and learn from it without actually knowing that we’ve been taught. It’s a way to learn by benefitting from others’ experiences – both good and bad . . . without having to go through everything personally.”
Ultimately what strikes me about the NABBW is that it offers a multi-faceted mirror in which we can perhaps see ourselves more clearly. Self-examination is the ticket that gives us admission to the life we really want to create. We have to use our heads to make sense of the complex issues with which we wrestle. But real healing and success comes from following the example of a generous woman like Anne Holmes who reaches out from her heart.
For more information on the evolving world of The Milford Haven Novels, visit my new website www.MaraPurl.com where you can subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on social media, enjoy photos and videos, discover more special offers and more.