My wonderful Hollywood-writer niece, Gina Wendkos, sent me Mel Walsh's great little book, "Hot Granny: Fabulous at 50, 60, and Beyond!" It's full of telling-it-like-it-is and how-to-make-it-better for those of us who have reached a certain age, and it's very funny, as in : "You can look like a horse, walk like a chicken, have wrinkles like the side fissures of the Grand Canyon, and still be a Hot Granny." And speaking of grannies, she says "any older woman who helps the youngest generation turn out right is a very Hot Granny indeed" even if you don't have any grandchildren yourself.
I like her advice when you have a "bone to pick": deliver an "insult sandwich," which is a compliment followed by a layer of criticism and finished off with a top layer of compliment. I once suggested that editors could make their authors fall in love with them forever if they offered their criticism like that. Works with most others also.
And I like her rules for visiting and hosting grandchildren. The list for the first starts out "This is not your house, and these are not your rules." And when they visit you: "Deal with any stale smells. Kids remember how the houses of grandparents smell."
Gina's present to me turned out to be a present for her too, since I pointed out that Hot Granny's movie recommendations to watch with grandkids include both Gina's "Princess Diary" flicks.
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