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Senior Correspondent

In the post titled "Inspiration from a 92-Year-Old Writer and Artist: Shirley Windward” I wrote about self-publishing Shirley Windward’s fantasy novel “The Ednalor Mysteries.”

In the process of that project, the plot thickened:

I realized that I should encourage my 86-year-old father, Al Zimbler, to self-publish a book of the comedic short stories he’s been writing for the last few years. 

Now Shirley’s novel didn’t need any copy editing, but my father’s short stories do. And this part of the project I didn’t have time to take on.

I arranged for him to hire Sigrid Macdonald (http://sigridmacdonald.blogspot.com/), a professional copy editor I met online several years ago. 

The result of this collaboration is that Sigrid and my father have been engaged in a lively e-mail correspondence (I am cc'ed on the emails) as she edits and they discuss the stories, including which ones should be included in the first book.

(One dilemma discussed via e-mail was the amount of children Adam and Eve had. All my father’s stories are made up, but Sigrid wants any facts to be accurate. Problem is that there are different versions of the number of children.)

My father is so excited about this collaboration that he is keeping all the e-mails. Now he plans to write a book about the process of writing a book.   

He does have credentials for writing funny. He’s been taking and teaching senior improv classes for several years. I watched one such class he taught at National Louis University in the Chicago area, and I almost fell off my chair from laughing so hard.

You can see a clip of one of his senior improv classes at www.AlZimComedy.com as well as watching a video of his interview by blogger Seth Menachem for Seth’s blog “Life Advice From Old People.” (There’s even a complementary video interview of my 86-year-old mother, Ruth Zimbler.) 

My father’s advice in this interview video boils down to “stay busy.” And he is certainly doing that. 

I’ll do the actual self-publishing part for him through CreateSpace.com, including getting the expanded distribution option. And I’ll again hire Chris O’Byrne of www.ebook-editor.com to convert the book into multiple eBook formats, including formats for the Kindle and the Nook.

The tentative title for my father’s first comedy book is “The Love Life of Howard Handsome and Other Short Stories.” When the book is available, it will be announced at www.AlZimComedy.com, and I’ve recommended he have business cards made with the links to the physical book and the eBook formats.

I hope, as with my article about Shirley Windward and her fantasy novel “The Ednalor Mysteries,” that this article has inspired you, if you’re a writer, to consider self-publishing. As I said before, it’s never too late to start a new career as an author.

P.S. My father recommended the book “Stein on Writing” by Sol Stein, which I bought along with Stein’s book “How to Grow a Novel.” Both are excellent.

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