interview with my mom!

I try to write a blog post a week and I typically write my weekly post on the weekend. When I’m out of town, as I was this weekend visiting my mom so we could both do our taxes with the family accountant, it makes finding time to write a post very challenging without neglecting my maternal figure. The way I saw it, I had two choices: I could either skip the blog post this week or I could somehow combine my time with my mom with completing the task.  Since I’m rarely one to refuse a challenge, I made it work. For my blog post this week, I bring you my interview with Susan—my mom.

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Besides being the woman who gave birth to me, my mom is also one of my most productive writing muses and among the strongest and funniest women I know. (I take after her, of course.) Even though she’s been my mother for *cough* years, there are things even I don’t know about her. So, I decided to conduct this interview. As you’ll see, the questions become increasingly personal as we both warm up:

Meredith: Who are your favorite authors?

Susan: Eileen Goudge (my mom is so impressed and a little envious that Eileen is actually a dear friend of mine), Julie Buxbaum, Belva Plain, Meredith Schorr (fourth. She mentioned me fourth), Jennifer Weiner, Cynthia Freeman, and Maisie Mosco.

Meredith: What is your favorite genre?

Susan: women’s fiction and family sagas (immigration experience, rise to riches)

Meredith: Where do you get your books?

Susan: The library, Jewish Community Center, my daughter. I very rarely buy books.

Meredith: How influenced are you by covers?

Susan: Not very. I’m more drawn to the title and reading the blurb. I also get recommendations from the Hadassah Best-Seller list. (You think my mom is Jewish?)

Meredith: Do you care about reviews or if you’ve heard of an author before you read a book?

Susan: Not at all.

Meredith: How do you feel about sex in books?

Susan: I used to be more interested in it, but after I’ve experienced practically everything, it doesn’t titillate me anymore (TMI, Mom. TMI!) It doesn’t turn me off, but I skip a lot of it.

Meredith: Why don’t you buy books?

Susan: Too expensive.

Meredith: Would you ever consider getting an ereader?

Susan: Yes

Meredith: What is holding you back from getting one?

Susan: Not having someone to set it up for me and show me what to do. I  don’t think I can handle doing it myself. (Like mother, like daughter) I’m a technophobe.

Meredith: Do too many typos in books bother you?

Susan: Very rarely have I come across books with a lot of typos, at least that I’ve noticed. (Yeah, but she noticed a mistake in my book that no one else caught – apparently, there is no such thing as a Ford Escalade – the car Cheryl was driving in How Do You Know?)

Meredith: Have you ever wondered if you’d be able to write a book?

Susan: It’s crossed my mind, but I don’t think I’m talented enough. I’ve had ideas about books but to write one? No.

Meredith: Tell me one of these ideas.

Susan: A man leaves his wife to fend by herself with her children and she goes back to law school and becomes a lawyer and she faces him in court one day – she’s the prosecutor and he’s the defendant. What does she do? (Note to self: book 10 maybe?)

Meredith: Do you think your own life could make an interesting memoir and, if so, why?

Susan: Absolutely. Because I made lemonade out of lemons. When I was working, I didn’t want to have any credit card debt or interest and any time I got money, I invested it while others spent foolishly. I didn’t want to worry about the buck when I retired and I made it my business to be independent even though I was a single mom with a deadbeat ex-husband and three children. While all the other kids had Benetton shirts and designer jeans, my girls couldn’t and when they got older and had jobs, half the paycheck had to go in the bank and half they could spend how they wanted to. (I’m sorry I begged you to take me shopping all of those times!)

Meredith: Do you think your conservative outlook with money was passed along to your children?

Susan: Absolutely. (No one tell her about the Christian Louboutin shoes I bought a few months ago.)

Meredith: Of what in your life are you the most proud?

Susan: My three children. My biggest accomplishment. All three are beautiful human beings on the inside and the outside.  (*blush*)

Meredith: Is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back in time?

Susan: Yes. I’d be more attentive to my children when they were little, I would have studied harder, and I’d be nicer to my mother.

Meredith: What is your favorite part of being a grandma?

Susan: They’re not my responsibility!

Meredith: When you’ve observed your two older daughters raising their children, have you ever thought that how they dealt with something was not how you would have done it?

Susan: Yes, only one thing. My grandchildren have too many material things and I don’t think they appreciate the hard work their parent’s did to get those things for them.

Meredith: How do you think your daughters were better mothers than you?

Susan: They were more involved.

Meredith: At seventy-three years old, how do you feel about the aging process?

Susan: I don’t feel differently than I did when I was younger. I’m grateful for my continued good health. When I have my annual mammography and freak out about it, I’m so grateful for good results. I don’t take it for granted since life can change on a dime.

Meredith: At what age do you think you were the happiest so far?

Susan: Right now. (Wow. Finally something to look forward to.)

Meredith: Do you think that people who say quality of life decreases as we get older are wrong?

Susan: In my case, yes, because I’m healthy, have all of my marbles, a pot to piss in, three wonderful children, and friends. I’m active and don’t have to worry about where the next dollar is coming from. That makes me happy.

Meredith: As you get older, obviously your body changes as well as your skin. Was this a difficult transition for you and did you notice it happening?

Susan: In my 60s, I noticed my neck and eyes changing and so I had work done. I never thought I’d have money to do that. If you can do it, do it! Menopause came and went with no hot flashes. My period just stopped and that was the end of it. And I didn’t dwell on it. It’s a rite of passage. You can’t go back so don’t dwell on it. You can’t go back so you might as well enjoy the time that you’re in. (Can I hear a round of applause for my mom’s attitude, please. She’s an inspiration.)

Meredith: If you could have been any career you wanted, what would you choose?

Susan: There’s really no career I would have wanted, but I am sorry I didn’t study harder in school – that it wasn’t a priority in my life. Getting an education was not a priority, but that’s how you were raised in the 50s. You were raised to marry well. I never thought I’d have to earn a living and neither did my parents, but I don’t blame them. Divorce was less common and I thought I fell in love with the perfect guy. He was an Ivy League college graduate who went into his father’s established practice. No one could have predicted how it would play out.

Meredith: What are your talents?

Susan: Playing mahjong and canasta (LOL)

Meredith: Who are among your celebrity crushes past and present?

Susan: Pernell Roberts, Kenny Rogers, Peter Riegert,  Alan Arkin, Josh Duhamel. (She was almost somewhat age appropriate until that last one…)

And now for the lightening round:

Love or money? Money (Mom…)

Salt or sugar? Sugar

Appetizers or dessert? Dessert

Extended foreplay or a quickie? Quickie.

Bald or hairy? Bald with beard

Television or movies? Television

Red meat or chicken? Red meat

Vegetables or fruit? Neither (hehe)

Dogs or cats? Neither (Says the woman who loves to cuddle with all of my sister’s dogs and dragged us to pet stores to look at the puppies even though she wouldn’t let us have one!)

Overweight or bad skin? Overweight

Rain or snow? Rain

Pants or dresses? Pants

Blind or deaf? Deaf

And there you have it: Susan Goodman at a glance.

Thanks for playing, Mom. I love you!

Isn't my mom cute?

Isn’t my mom cute?

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A Kind of Mad Courage

I have a very special relationship with my mother – anyone who has followed my blog knows this, as not only have I dedicated a post to her recently, she was once a guest blogger. The mother/child relationship is such a special one, which is why I am so pleased to share this special anthology written by so many wonderful authors, including some great friends of mine. Even more wonderful is that all of the proceeds from sales of this anthology go to Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation:

A KIND OF MAD COURAGE
Nineteen authors from around the world were given six weeks or less to produce “a story involving a mother somehow.” The result is a gorgeously eclectic collection of tales that will make you laugh, cry, and truly appreciate the “mad courage” of motherhood. Laura Chapman, Francine LaSala, Nikki Mahood, Heather McCoubrey, and Karen E. Martin each present unique takes on impending motherhood, while Sheryn MacMunn, kc wilder, and Julie Valerie portray the end of the journey. Samantha Stroh Bailey, Louise Wise, and Maria Schulz show the pride and peril of dealing with teenage daughters, while Elke Feuer, Diana Shafter Gliedman, and Donna Valenti demonstrate that a mother’s work is never done, even under the craziest of circumstances. Regina-Cash Clark, Wendy Janes, and Monique McDonell explore the impact on lives in which mothers go “missing,” while Carey Heywood and Jen Tucker warm your heart and tear it out, respectively.

Samantha Stroh Bailey – “Hide and Seek” * Regina Cash-Clark – “Autumn’s Eyes” * Laura Chapman – “Oh Baby” * Elke Feuer – “The Sacrifice” * Diana Gliedman – “Love in the Time of Cannibals” * Carey Heywood – “A Poem for Mommy” * Wendy Janes – “Verity” * Francine LaSala – “Monkey Bread” * Sheryn MacMunn – “Last Words” * Nikki Mahood – “This Year’s Love” * Karen E. Martin – “Two Thousand Steps” * Heather McCoubrey – “Emily’s Promise” * Monique McDonell – “A Tale of Two Mothers” * Maria Schulz – “Like a Boomerang” * Jen Tucker – “Heartstrings” * Donna Valenti – “In the Nick of Time” * Julie Valerie – “LLL” * k.c. wilder – “Lady in Red” * Louise Wise – “Becky’s Mum”

CourageJacketWeb

ABOUT THE EDITORS
Francine LaSala and Samantha Stroh Bailey have more than 40 years of editorial experience between them. Francine is a novelist, ghostwriter, and book publishing veteran who’s edited New York Times bestselling fiction and nonfiction. Samantha is a former grammar and writing instructor, including at the University of Toronto, and a prolific journalist. She has a Master of Education and has edited countless manuscripts for clients all over the world. They have also “team-edited” numerous works of fiction, each lending their singular editorial strengths to create perfect and polished prose for their clients. The author of Finding Lucas, Samantha (http://perfectpencommunications.com/) is based in Toronto, while Francine (francinelasalaproductions.wordpress.com), author of Rita Hayworth’s Shoes and The Girl, the Gold Tooth and Everything, is based in New York.

THE STORIES

Hide and Seek – Samantha Stroh Bailey
Claire’s teenage daughter, Emily, goes missing on a birthday cruise, and Claire can only fear the worst from the lately rebellious teen…

Autumn’s Eyes – Regina Cash-Clark
June’s abandonment of three of four of her children, told in alternating points of view between June, and her oldest daughter, Edwina.

Oh Baby – Laura Chapman
Rocker Tuck and new wife Autumn return from Chapman’s “Ten Drummers Drumming” (Merry & Bright), now with a baby on the way.

The Sacrifice – Elke Feuer
Melissa learns there isn’t anything she won’t do to protect her children from the abuse and neglect of her alcoholic husband Roger…

Love in the Time of Cannibals – Diana Shafter Gliedman
Could a zombie apocalypse finally give rudderless Jessica the direction she needs–and the connection she craves? It will if her mother has anything to say about it.

A Poem for Mommy – Carey Heywood
In helping his young daughter craft a poem for Mother’s Day, a father beautifully recounts the story of the romance with her mother that led to them becoming a family.

Verity – Wendy Janes
After an accident means she’ll no longer be able to live on her own, septuagenarian Susan may need to divulge a secret she’s been keeping from Verity all her life.

Monkey Bread – Francine LaSala
Amy and Deck (Rita Hayworth’s Shoes) learn more about having babies than they ever wanted to know at a madcap family dinner celebrating President’s Day.

Last Words – Sheryn MacMunn
The bond shared between Ruth (Finding Out) and her mother, Eliza, is revealed, from the time of Ruth’s childhood before the War to the death of Eliza.

This Year’s Love – Nikki Mahood
Fallon and Abner are married, mortgaged, and expecting a baby any minute in this fun, heartfelt mini-sequel to Fallen.

Two Thousand Steps – Karen E. Martin
With the unsolicited help of a fairy friend from their childhood, two grown sisters – one with kids, one without – each get to walk a mile in the other’s shoes…

Emily’s Promise – Heather McCoubrey
Even though pregnant Emily’s life is shattered by Jason’s infidelity the night before her wedding, she’s determined to give her baby the best life possible.

A Tale of Two Mothers – Monique McDonell
How do you deal with the mother who abandoned you when she shows up out of the blue – and what does it mean for the woman who raised you? Chloe’s about to find out.

Like a Boomerang – Maria Schulz
Tess has been stressing out her mother, Charlotte, since the day she was born. But when disaster strikes during a campus Halloween party, it could prove the worst stress yet…

Heartstrings – Jen Tucker
Young widow Vicki’s no stranger to loss–and guilt, as another mother’s loss helped her daughter live. Will meeting up help them the two mothers heal? Or make matters worse?

In the Nick of Time – Donna Valenti
Iris may be dead but her insistence on looking after her children is far from buried. Will her husband Nick get it together? Or will Iris have to move Heaven and Earth to make him?

LLL – Julie Valerie
In this hilarious yet heartwarming story, words of wisdom from the game of Scrabble unite a daughter with her aging mother, a former Scrabble champion whose mental faculties are quickly fading.

Lady in Red – k.c. wilder
Her dying “Gran” is the only mother she’s ever known. But only when Gran is gone does a woman discover the woman her grandmother really was, and the secrets she hid.

Becky’s Mum – Louise Wise
Straight-A student Becky’s being pulled off the straight-and-narrow by her derelict boyfriend Darren. Will her mother’s wisdom sink in before it’s too late?

Buy links:

 

guest blogger – my mom!

It’s been a crazy week for me between the day job and getting ready for the launch of Blogger Girl.  When I told my mom that I didn’t have time to write a blog post this week, she offered to step in as a guest blogger.  I had no idea what to expect but figured an “unexpected blog” was better than no blog at all and so I accepted her generous offer.  See her blog post below along with comments from me in red:

I always look forward to a blog post from my daughter, Meri.  After I read it, I am amazed that she came out of me.  I also feel very special and loved when she refers to me in her blogs.  I was especially flattered to be the inspiration for the mother in her first novel, “Just Friends with Benefits”.  (Even if she did paint me as an overbearing Jewish mother dying for her daughter to get married and give her more grandchildren.)  (You are a *sometimes* overbearing Jewish mother dying to marry me off.  Although to your credit, you have backed off quite a bit lately. I hope you haven’t given up on me!)

You probably don’t know this but Meri was a delight to raise.  (What do you mean “you probably don’t know this”?  Are you suggesting my readers would be surprised that I was a delight to raise?  Ahem, I am a delight now too!  Most of the time.)  However, she did have an issue with biting that lasted way too long.  (I only had 1-5 victims and I was over it by the time I turned 21!!  Seriously, I was probably still under 6 when I stopped the biting. Right?)The only negative comment from teachers was Meri’s incessant talking in class, hence, taking away a shopping spree.  (Yeah, that was mean.  But it worked.)  Nonetheless, she was in the Gifted and Talented Program (“GATE”) in elementary school and graduated college with honors (I always suspected that I only got accepted to GATE  because I was the teacher’s pet, especially since everyone else in the program got upwards of 1300 on the SAT exam and attended Ivy League universities and I, well, didn’t…)  

Despite being a very pampered baby sister, Meri has become “Miss Manhattan(Um, I’m not sure about that but thanks…) with two great careers and she’s not afraid to try new experiences.  

Now if she would only get married…. (*rolls eyes* But at least she hasn’t given up on me.)

Isn't my mom cute?

Isn’t my mom cute?

Thanks, mom, for stepping in.  I’ll be back with a blog post this Monday with big news about the launch of my third chick lit novel, Blogger Girl!