Thursday, December 19, 2013

Times They Were A-Changing and a Giveaway


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.


Here’s a brief description of TIMES THEY WERE A-CHANGING:

     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.”

TimesTheyWereChanging_BkCovrAs 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

For more on Linda Joy and her writing, visit her blog at http://memoriesandmemoirs.com.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

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 (mcbookshelf@gmail.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?

13 comments:

  1. Mason - Thanks for hosting Joy

    Joy - What an amazing time the late '60's were. It really was a time of social metamorphosis. I wish you success with your exploration of that era.

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    1. Margot, thanks so stopping by. It was an amazing time.

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  2. Joy, thanks again for visiting with us today and sharing this look at how the book came to be. That era has given us so much. Wishing you much success.

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    1. Mason, thanks so much for hosting the Times They Were A-Changing anthology today. It's a pleasure to be able to interact with so many people, to hear their stories, and see how the anthology resonates in one way or another with just about everyone.

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  3. Age of Aquarius will be looping in my head all day now! This sounds like a great book for those of us who were teenagers in the 60-70 era. We didn't have the Vietnam conflict in the U.K. but there was fighting in Northern Ireland that affected all of us deeply both with the soldiers and on the home front. I was in several places in the city where an IRA bomb went off shortly after I passed the area. Shops in Oxford Street were bombed and even the Tower of London. Sad time for everyone.
    Ann

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    1. Ann, thank you for sharing your UK experience of that era. As Kate mentioned, the stories in the anthology do span the globe, though many are set in the U.S. I remember reading about the conflicts in Northern Ireland at that time (I was also a teen in the mid 60s to mid 70s) and feeling sad about all the pointless violence in the world. I still feel that way!

      There was just something about that time and how we as a generation responded to the violence that stands out as a major change in mindset from previous generations. Do you agree?

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  4. Hi Mason, Thanks for hosting our anthology, Times They Were A-Changing, part of the WOW! Blog Tour. It's a thrill to have the book out there, being presented and discussed.

    Our book spans both decades as well as the US, Canada, and the UK. It's amazing how global the changes were, and all at the same time. Ann, one of the stories takes place in London, 1972, about feminism, how it grew out of the labor movement in the UK--actually a very powerful tale.

    There's a story for everyone in this book--it captures the raw experience of change for women in a wide range of settings.

    All the best,
    Kate

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  5. There was a lot of searching going on then.
    Merry Christmas, Mason!

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    1. So true, Alex! Do you think we are searching less today, more accepting of the "status quo"? Or do you think the search itself has become the status quo?

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  6. Age of Aquarius? It meant wondering, searching, experimenting - but mostly it meant hope. Hope that there would be a tangible change of heart, that love would grow exponentially, like a healing virus with no one immune. I interpreted it as a pre-ordained, written in the stars kind of assurance. But my view was more personal, involving heartfelt changes. Not as much political emphasis, as I felt that change begins inside and filters through all other areas. (I have views and opinions on what has and has not happened to those hopes and dreams, but that's for another discussion. haha) Thx so much for hosting this interview and pursuing the topic!

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    1. Hi Marcia, Yes, we were seekers! I know, after reading your excellent story, "Two Sisters," in our anthology, how sincerely you hoped to create change and understanding, the courage of your dreams. And in my own story, "Getting It," how drawn I was to that inner journey that would create a new world, as you say, inside out. The anthology certainly stirs up those memories, hopes, and dreams. Maybe it can create a context for it all!

      Thanks for your comment.
      Best wishes,
      Kate

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    2. Hi Marcia, and thanks for your comments about what Age of Aquarius meant (means) for you. I think we all had our own personal interpretations of what we thought it would bring. Certainly peace, joy, and increase in spirituality and higher consciousness. And yes, that era was so full of hope! Not that hope is gone; I think it's still very much alive in our hearts.

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  7. Hi Mason,
    I'd lost touch with Linda Joy - so nice to see she's still doing her thing. As a child of the 50's and 60s I definitely relate to this topic.
    Happy holidays to both of you.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.