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Being born an Aquarius, I couldn’t resist participating in the WOW Tour for the anthology, TIMES THEY WERE A-CHANING, written by Linda Joy Myers with Kate Farrell and Amber Lea Starfire.
Linda Joy Myers joins us today to talk about the "Age of Aquarius." In addition, thanks to the ladies at WOW and the authors, I have a copy of the book to giveaway to a lucky visitor. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway details.
Just in time for the holidays, Linda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell and Amber Lea Starfire launch their anthology Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the '60s and '70s. The book is the perfect gift for opening discussions with friends and family members and illustrating what a powerful time the '60s and '70s truly were. Forty-eight powerful stories and poems etch in vivid detail breakthrough moments experienced by women during the life-changing era that was the ’60s and ’70s. These women rode the sexual revolution with newfound freedom, struggled for identity in divorce courts and boardrooms, and took political action in street marches. They pushed through the boundaries, trampled the taboos, and felt the pain and joy of new experiences. And finally, here, they tell it like it was. Through this collection of women’s stories, we celebrate the women of the ’60s and ’70s and the importance of their legacy.
TIMES THEY WERE A-CHANGING: WOMEN REMEMBER THE ‘60s AND ‘70s (Paperback: 354 pages, Publisher: She Writes Press, Sept. 8, 2013, ISBN-10: 1938314042, ISBN-13: 978-1938314049) is available in print and as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and She Writes Press and Indie Bound. You can also find out more about the book online at Facebook, blog and Twitter: @womensmemoir60s.
Now here’s Linda Joy to talk about the ‘Age of Aquarius.’ Welcome, Linda Joy.
I grew up in a Baptist-conservative-small-town world and, for me, the ’60s and ’70s was a time of shocking change. Though I was caught in the Midwest version of the Age of Aquarius—a watered down version compared to what was happening on both coasts—the ideas filtered through in newspapers, intimate discussions in coffee houses and during peace marches. Everywhere, young people were breaking from traditional religion and challenging the patriarchal ideas from previous eras, saying, “There has got to be a better way to live.”
As detailed in my story, “Baptist Girl,” out in the Midwest we were under a lot of pressure to maintain the status quo and stay faithful to the values of the past, to be a good "Christian," which meant you should follow the party line all the way to a (martyred) death in Viet Nam. To sacrifice yourself for your country was the highest calling. Still, we discussed the ethics of killing as the global impact of war was broadcast nightly, in full color, into our living rooms. And as I forayed out into college, the first thing that happened was the assassination of our president, cracking the world as I knew it open—though I wouldn’t realize it for a while.
Now, when I hear the phrase "The Age of Aquarius," like many in the Boomer Generation I experience a flash of auditory memory—the lyrics of the song "Age of Aquarius" from the rock musical "Hair." Phrases in the song name the qualities that the Age of Aquarius will bring us: harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust, dreams, visions, revelations, the liberation of our minds. Those of us who grew up bound by the rules and expectations of the ’50s yearned for that promised liberation, for a new consciousness.
As a generation, we grappled with questions of role and identity: how do you become a man or a woman? Do you have a soul and spirituality even if you let go of your traditional, mostly Christian, roots? How do you define yourself as a sexual person; what is right and wrong? And shouldn’t we care for Mother Earth? We believed that we were creating a "higher consciousness" that would cure the earth and the world of its ills. After all, won’t love do more good than hate? Isn’t that what Jesus taught? We wanted a consciousness that would liberate us from the uptight old ways—which included organized religion.
A great age is supposed to fracture the old to make way for the new. The ’60s and ’70s was that kind of age: an era of fracturing and rebuilding, especially for women. We found that we could fight alongside men for justice, and that we could speak without permission from authority figures. We chanted and put our bodies on the line in demonstrations for peace, believing that we were the embodiment of this new age. We helped to change the world—and in so doing, we changed ourselves. We grew, we stretched into worlds we could not have imagined. The legacy of the Age of Aquarius shows that positive change is possible, though it comes with a cost, and that we are all, body and soul, part of it, all of us connected in the human community.
Linda Joy, thanks for joining us today. I enjoyed your look at how the Age of Aquarius made way for the new. It was a time for change.
Now here’s a little background on Linda Joy. She is president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and the author of four books: Don't Call Me Mother—A Daughter's Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness, The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, and a workbook The Journey of Memoir: The Three Stages of Memoir Writing. Her book Becoming Whole—Writing Your Healing Story was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award.
A speaker and award-winning author, she co-teaches the program Write Your Memoir in Six Months, and offers editing, coaching, and mentoring for memoir, nonfiction, and fiction. www.namw.org.
This giveaway is for one copy of TIMES THEY WERE A-CHANGING. The giveaway is open for residents of the U.S. only or an e-Book international.
To enter this giveaway, just send me an e-mail (email@example.com) with the subject line, “Win Times They Were A-Changing.” Your message should include your name and mailing address if a U.S. resident wanting the print copy or your name, email address and e-Book format for other entries. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a copy of TIMES THEY WERE A-CHANGING is 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Dec. 26.
Thanks everyone for stopping by. What are your thoughts on the Age of Aquarius?
Hi, I'm Mason Canyon and I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites such as Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are an author who would like for me to review your book or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards. I'm also a freelance editor. For more on my services, drop by Freelance Editing By Mason