When I started writing my first book of poetry for women in mid-life, I was 50 and so psyched.  I really loved the melding of writing plus the photography, and I had a wonderful support group of women of all ages.

I went thrift shopping with my wonderful friend, Elisa, who introduced me to this, by the way.  Now, I’m somewhat obsessive, so I tend to get that way when confronted with many reasonable choices, and I love clothes.  I am like a “kid in a candy shop”, except its clothes, not candy.

The upshot is, I got a whole wardrobe of cute short skirts, sleeveless tops, etc., in soft, feminine style that’s was a little sexy– I was 25 or 30 pounds lighter at 50 and still had the legs for short skirts (see above picture, and that is a thrift shop dress!).  I think I spent about $30.00 and got 20 things!   I thought that I was going to become a “famous” author, so I wanted to dress the part.

But, I never really wore those clothes.  Just because you write a book doesn’t magically attract the attention you want it to.  I tried to self-market with little success.  It’s tough for the self-published author, you have to make a lot of contacts.

A decade later, I’m working on my third book.  I am still self-publishing; however I have learned to be a little savvier, and somewhat realistic.   You still have to be a bit of a dreamer and keep a sense of humor.

 I don’t care that I am not making a living on my writing.  I believe if you love to do something, and you are able to do it without it being a hardship, then you should do it!  Creating a product that is zany, inspiring to others, and humorous is right up my alley!

I still love to thrift shop, buying too many clothes, then donating some of them back.  And that’s O.K.

I’m shifting my “look” to more of an aging hippy/Chico’s/JJill style.  I’m sure that I could pull together the correct ensemble if I needed to make an appearance.  Otherwise, I am in comfortable clothes most of the time.

Working on the internet, you can be as visible or invisible as you want to be.  And I can Photoshop any photos that I want to if I don’t like the way I look—ha!

Here’s one of my  poems about trying to love the “stranger within”, from the eBook Stranger in a Strange Skin.  This poem will appear in my up and coming book, entitled A Redhead Looks At 60.



Loving the Stranger Within

So how do I come to accept and love

This somewhat changed  and

Rearranged self?


First, I have to spend some one on one time

With me and myself

Get to know the old/new girl

Learn what inspires her


Secondly, I must exercise self-love

No matter what—

It is still my body, my flesh

This is how I look and it’s fine


Aging is not the adversary we think it is

The enemy is our culture

This we must change and

Pass the truth on to our daughters


The revelation is that women are

Beautiful at any age

We always were, we always will be

Go with hearts and eyes wide open

Live your beauty



©All creative works by Joan Ellen Gage are her exclusive property, and Joan maintains the legal rights to them.


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