Saturday, May 6, 2017

May Celebrations

Dear Fellow Midlife Explorers,

Did you miss April's Later Bloomer Feature? It's Lew Wallace: The Fantastic Tale of a 19th Century Forrest Gump.

He was the savior of a president, advisor to a sultan, and scourge of an outlaw named Billy the Kid. Not only is his life a fantastic tale, at age 53 he arguably wrote the greatest story ever told. (The image above gives it away.) READ MORE ABOUT LEW.

May Celebrations

May 3, 1849: Birth of road tripper extraordinaire Bertha Benz. The next time you see a Mercedes on the highway, think of Bertha Benz, the daring woman who, at age 39, saved her husband’s radical invention by making the world’s first road trip when no roads existed! READ MORE

May 9, 1920: Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, was born. A career civil servant, he created the story to entertain his two daughters on a long road trip. At age 52, it made him a literary sensation. He just passed away last December at age 96. READ MORE

May 21, 1844: Birth of painter Henri Rousseau. At age40, after decades as a customs inspector, Rousseau picked up a brush and taught himself to paint. He submitted his work to the official Salon, but they rejected him for lack of skill. Rousseau refused to give up.  READ MORE

(I sent out the 2017 Later Bloomer Calendar of birthdays in January. If you missed yours, you can download a copy here.)

Words from the Wise Ones

"I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work with these stories from your life—your life—not someone else's life—​water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom."
—Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
(Jungian analyst best known for writing
Women Who Run with the Wolves at age 49)

More Proof It's Never Too Late

Bodhi Hanna Kistner: "Only After Sixty My True Life Began" from Bodhi moved from Germany to India at age 60, where she discovered Kyudo, Japanese zen archery. She was so bad at it, her instructor kicked her out of the class. But at 70, she became a Kyudo teacher. Now she’s 86 and gives lessons in India, California, and Hawaii. READ MORE
On Monday, May 8, Sir David Attenborough turns 91. He's not exactly a late bloomer. But as a writer, producer, and presenter, he runs circles around media personalities a third his age. Sir David is currently narrating the BBC's acclaimed Planet Earth 2. It's stunning.

In her 50s and already a grandmother, Darlene Fosterstarted writing a fun middle-grade series featuring Amanda Ross, who's a cross between Dora the Explorer and Nancy Drew. I asked Darlene what inspired her to create a globe-trotting 'tweenage sleuth:

"I visited a friend working in the United Arab Emirates and enjoyed my time there so much, I felt I needed to write about it. The adult travel story I was working on seemed boring and didn't convey the excitement and wonder I experienced while there.

"One sleepless night as I looked through my photographs and items I brought back, including the ornate perfume flask, I started to scribble down the story from a twelve-year-old's point of view. I added a mystery, threw in some interesting characters and created an adventure; andAmanda in Arabia was born.

"Once she started traveling, she couldn't stop, so the series continued. [Darlene has now written five Amanda books.] The stories are all based on my travels. I just don't have quite the exciting adventures Amanda has!"


Hope you enjoyed!


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