Life Offers Possibilities at Every Age

Patricia Sands, Antibes, France

Thank you to all who dropped by for brunch on Tuesday. You were the highlight of my blogging week especially -especially since no one minded the paper plates and plastic cups. You’re super-duper gracious guests.

For those of you who may be joining us for the first time -

Welcome!! Come on in and make yourself comfortable. 

You’ve arrived just in time to meet Patricia Sands – a kind, compassionate, and generous friend who wrote the award-winning book, The Bridge Club.

Here’s a peek from the book jacket:

How far would you go to help a close friend? Is there a place where you might draw the line and simply have to say no?

The Bridge Club is an entertaining and often moving tale through four decades that span the segments of a woman’s journey from youthful optimism to embracing the challenges and opportunities presented in life’s later years.

The story meets life head on, affirming that true friendship is a priceless asset.

~~~~~

Patricia, I’m delighted to have you here at my blog this week. Tell us a bit about yourself. Why do you write?

I have always told stories through photography – even before I realized that was what I was doing. It seems to be a natural part of my character. I’m not a literary writer, as much as I would love to be, I’m simply a story-teller and I write like I speak. When I first began writing, it was for fun but the love of it quickly took over my life and I know it is something I will always do. There has never been anything more important to me than family and friends and relationships are what those are all about. That’s what builds the story of our life and I like to explore those stories. Hopefully my stories encourage readers to examine and value their own.

Shutters in Nice, France

How has your photography shaped you as a writer?
I am constantly visualizing. Even when I don’t have a camera in my hand, I look at something and a shutter clicks in my eye. Somehow the same thing seems to happen in my mind when I’m writing and the shutter clicks on certain thoughts that take me where I want to go. That might sound a little weird … kind of hard to explain … but I feel it!

Italian beach huts

The Bridge Club centers around friendships over decades and you don’t shy away from difficult story lines – divorce, a spouse’s death, and even euthanasia. Why?

Well, I guess the simple answer is that The Bridge Club is all about the stories of 8 women and if you look at 8 people you know, there will be issues in everyone’s life. I wanted to tell how good friendships can see us through absolutely everything life has to throw in our path. Sometimes things don’t work out but very, very often they do and frequently it is because of the support we have from people we trust.

. . . it was never just about the cards.

Will your new book focus on relationships? 

I think (!) – you never know for sure – I am into the last third of my new novel. It’s definitely about relationships but very different from The Bridge Club. It’s about a woman thinking she knows about life and then suddenly discovering in mid-life that she really didn’t know that much as an entirely new world opens up to her. It’s about hope and the realization that “stuff” can happen at any point in your life to make it better, exciting and fulfilling. I hope to have it ready for summer reading.

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

In a recent interview, you said “life presents possibilities at every age.” Could you explain this thought a little more?

As the saying goes, it’s all about the journey. One guarantee in life is that it is unpredictable. I was widowed when I was 43 in the midst of what seemed to be the perfect life. Our sons were 12 and 13. Needless to say this was a devastating experience for all of us. I returned to university, completed an education degree and became an elementary school teacher, which I loved. It was certainly nothing I had anticipated.

A few years later, I remarried and suddenly had a family that consisted of seven kids, although three were already older and independent. I hadn’t anticipated that.

Now in my sixties I’m a published author with another novel on the way, totally involved in social media and thoroughly enjoying the incredible community of writers, editors, readers and all the literati one meets in this business. Who knew?

The older I get, the more women I meet with amazing stories of change that has come into their lives and choices they have made. I hope somehow my stories will inspire people, and women in particular, to embrace change when they are faced with it – to see challenges as opportunities.

Wrestling with grief in my 40′s taught me the most important lesson of my life and I try to share it whenever I can. Every day is a gift. No one is promised a tomorrow so be grateful for each new day and make the most of it. Give back as much as you can and live your life to the fullest.

A storefront in Verona, Italy

I love how you call your grandbabies The Adorables. What do they think about having a grandmother who is a writer?

We have six wonderful grandchildren ages 17, 15, 13, 11 and then 4 and 2 years old. When the 4-year-old was born he was the most adorable baby from day one and I called him The Adorable Jack. When his sister Kate came along two years later, the name just expanded and  The Adorables suits them perfectly. I spend one day a week with them and we often see them on the weekend and are enjoying every minute while they are this young, as we did with all of our grandchildren. Being a grandparent is a very special thing!

The older grandchildren think it’s very cool that I write and am on Facebook just like them. Our 11-year-old granddaughter is a tremendously talented writer and I am certain she will eventually publish. She has been creating lengthy stories since she was five and has a wonderful way with words.

Corsica landscape

Many people shy away from social media. You’ve done the opposite. Why? Were you ever afraid or nervous?

Well, I don’t really let words like afraid and nervous enter into my world … been there, done that, a long time ago. It was made very clear to me that if I was going to publish a book I would have to also get involved in social media. So I jumped right in. I know I still have a lot to learn and I’m sure I don’t use it nearly as effectively as I should. One of the great surprises of my journey as a writer has been discovering how helpful other writers are and how much sharing of information there constantly is.

Our WANA711 group has been a real affirmation of my beliefs that we empower each other through our friendships. The connection we have formed online is so authentic and sincere, it proves this on a regular basis. Love it!

French door

What is the one thing you hope your readers – either of your books or your blog – learn from you?

I hope they learn to value their own stories, to nurture their friendships and families, and to appreciate every single day. Everyone deserves that. Life isn’t always fair and hardships often occur but with good friendship in your life solutions can be found.  Hmmm – that’s more than one thing … but then that’s how I write!

Without question the most rewarding aspect of being a published author is hearing from readers. To have a stranger say your words touched them or tell you they related to your story in a way that was meaningful for them is the best gift!

Thank you Patricia for visiting with us. Also, thanks for sharing your photographs. They are lovely!

Do you have a question for Patricia? Ask away. 

 

by Bridgette Booth

Bridgette Booth writes for children and young adults. Her short story, THE LITERATURE CLUB PROJECT, is available on Amazon. You can email Bridgette at bridgette [at] bridgettebooth [dot] com.

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