Monday, May 13, 2013


The Purple Elephant
By Dr. Jeri Fink

They think I’m crazy.
I can name every resident and their address in New Amsterdam, 1660 – but only a few of my present

I can tell you what foods came from Dutch New York – but can’t eat any of them because of my geezer diet.
I can describe exactly what Peter Stuyvesant wore in 1664 – but can’t remember what I wore yesterday.

It’s hard enough being a geezer. It’s worse if you’re a geezer author.

I’m presently completing my fourth book in a series of six historical novels. You guessed it – the book is located in New Amsterdam, 1660. When my friends discuss the best shows on Broadway, I tell them it was originally a dirt path filled with wood houses, roaming pigs, drunks, and hookers. It doesn’t impress them. When they want a glass of wine, I offer tankards of ale or brandywein and inform them that the New Amsterdam children were given watered-down beer because the drinking water wasn’t safe.

Now my kids are afraid I might put something . . . unusual . . . in my grandsons’ Sippy cups.

What’s a geezer-author to do? I have to prove myself as a robust, red-blooded American grandparent. Does playing competitive soccer with a one-year old count? Or discussing the purple elephant that lives in my grandsons’ backyard? How about “stealing” noses and “eating” little feet? (toes are very tasty).

Everyone around me is too literal – not literary. I need a best-seller to be validated but that isn’t happening any sooner than the purple elephant is leaving the backyard. I have to be realistic. No more elephant. No more baby soccer. Perhaps I should buy a Makey Makey – a real device that lets you control your computer with bananas or silly putty? Maybe I should visit with an amazing stacking Gadzooks “big bad wolf” toy?

I trained my 100-pound dog to “read” by barking when I hold up a
sign that says “talk.” The four-year old was impressed. His brother, a worldly 6-year old, now demands that my dog read an entire book. Even worse, he’s insisting that the dog read my book. You know - the one with his name in the acknowledgments.
BTW how long does it take to teach a child that “nana is a bit crazy” and he shouldn’t believe everything I say? Especially when he’s still trying to figure out how I can be nana and an author.

I think I have the same problem.

I confess. Young or old, life is boring when the purple elephant doesn’t live in the backyard and dogs can’t read books. The New Amsterdam neighbors are much more interesting than the people next door who talk about taxes and termites. And if I can’t eat Dutch panicakes, I’ll try (or make) the sugar-free version. An author’s life is rich with reality and imagination. We’re very

Except for the fact that they all still think I’m crazy.

Dr. Jeri Fink is a proud geezer and the author of hundreds of articles and nineteen published books. Trees Cry For Rain, her latest book, is a gripping historical novel where the past crashes ruthlessly into the present. It can be purchased at and

Her new series, Broken, consists of six separate novels that follow dramatic, related paths through genealogical time, from the Spanish Inquisition to the present. Each novel focuses on a psychopath who lived in the era. The Broken series will be introduced in fall, 2013 in the new genre of Baby Boomer Thrillers.

Visit Jeri at her website or email her at

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