The Nature Of Authors

010: Writing, Dating, and Relationships After 50 with Carolyn Lee Arnold

March 10, 2022 Season 2 Episode 10
The Nature Of Authors
010: Writing, Dating, and Relationships After 50 with Carolyn Lee Arnold
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the second episode of Season 2! This season is all about memoirs.

In this episode in Season 2 of The Nature Of Authors, Chrissy interviews Carolyn Lee Arnold, author of Fifty First Dates After Fifty. Chrissy starts with an icebreaker related to nature and another one related to writing.

Carolyn's memoir, Fifty First Dates After Fifty, is about finding Mr. Right and how it becomes a sexy dating project. Set in the SF Bay Area world of personal growth workshops and spiritual ceremonies, Carolyn's award-winning memoir traces the adventurous path of her universal quest for love.

The goal of fifty pulls her forward through the highs and lows of dating—magical and ecstatic, pining and painful—while her heart soars, falls, and keeps on going. Buoyed by her dating project, she avoids settling for the wrong guy, discovers the type of man she wants, reconciles a love of independence and sex with her desire for commitment and emotional connection, and finds the unique partner for her.

Throughout the episode, Carolyn and Chrissy discuss Carolyn's writing journey, writing classes and feedback, relationships and dating, the reason behind her title, and what inspires her to write. They ponder why sex is taboo and talk about book awards, the writing craft, the key to a successful relationship, and more.

Carolyn then reads two of her favorite lines. Be sure to check out Fifty First Dates After Fifty and connect with  Carolyn Lee Arnold.

Want to learn more about the world of writers? Subscribe to "The Nature Of Authors" on your favorite podcast platform. Have a burning question you'd like to ask upcoming guests? Reach out at

Until next time, keep reading, writing, spending time in nature, and dreaming up new worlds, my friend.

Chrissy Holm (00:02):

Do you love to talk about books? Do you wonder how authors build their stories each month? I'll take you on the journey of discovering how authors work, listen to how writers explain their craft and the mission behind their writing. What's the nature of authors. I'm your host, Chrissy home let's talk books. It's time to welcome our second guest of season two, Carolyn Lee Arnold, author of 51st dates. After 50 today, we're gonna be talking about writing, dating, and relationships after 50. Hello, Carolyn.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (00:40):

Hello Chrissy. Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to talking with you.

Chrissy Holm (00:44):

Great. I'm super excited that you're here with us and I'm excited to dive into your book, learn more of what it's about and just have a little bit of fun today.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (00:54):

Okay. Okay.

Chrissy Holm (00:55):

So I'll just start with a little bit of an icebreaker and then we'll kind of talk a little bit more about your book. Does that sound great? Okay.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (01:01):

Sure, sure.

Chrissy Holm (01:02):

Cool. Okay. So have you ever played, like, would you rather, or you know what

Carolyn Lee Arnold (01:06):

That is? Yeah, yeah. Yes. It's a, yeah, it's a kind of an in the moment game.

Chrissy Holm (01:10):

It is. Yes. Yeah. I'll go through a few. Would you rathers okay. The first would you rather, so would you rather always be camping or always be in the city?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (01:21):

Oh, always be camping. Ooh, definitely. Yeah.

Chrissy Holm (01:25):

Yes. That's great. So would you rather sit by a campfire or sit on a beach?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (01:31):

Sit on a beach. That's my other love. Yep. Sit on a beach.

Chrissy Holm (01:36):

Oh, I'd love it. <Laugh> okay. So would you rather always be too hot or too cold?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (01:42):

Oh, definitely too hot. I can stand a lot of hot. Yes. That's great. Yes. I've been cold all winter, even in the bay area.

Chrissy Holm (01:51):

Oh yeah. <Laugh> I actually was just there not too long ago. Oh,

Carolyn Lee Arnold (01:55):

Oh yeah. Probably wasn't cold to you, but it's cold as natives

Chrissy Holm (01:59):

<Laugh> yeah, right. Oh, it's brisk. And then the last one, would you rather live in a cave or live in a tree house?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (02:06):

Oh, tree house. Definitely. I need views. I need space. I need to look out and have light.

Chrissy Holm (02:13):

Yeah. Yes. That's beautiful. I love that. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> all right. Great

Carolyn Lee Arnold (02:18):

Questions. I love those images.

Chrissy Holm (02:20):

Yeah. So I'm a big nature person. That's usually why I start with some like nature outdoorsy type of questions, but then I like to do like a icebreaker a little bit more about the writing. So when did you first call yourself a writer?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (02:36):

Oh, wow. That's a great question. Cuz I started writing memoir in 2011 when I realized I had some stories to tell, but I don't, it took me a while to say I am a writer. Luckily I was going to a lot of classes and one of our teachers, someone said, or maybe it was a student, they said you're a writer if you're writing. <Laugh> so sounds true. So I finally, I, I took that on actually once I heard that, I said, okay, as long as I write, I'm a writer.

Chrissy Holm (03:03):

<Laugh> absolutely. I think that's one of the hardest things to like admit, which is so strange because it's as simple as that student had said, like writing your writer <laugh>

Carolyn Lee Arnold (03:13):

Right. It feels like a big identity you're taking on that. Especially if you haven't had that identity and do I deserve it? Am I doing enough to be a writer? Cuz I was starting from scratch. I was a social science report writer <laugh> and so a writer <laugh> but I love to write, so I love to write all my life and I'm writing some things. I wrote travel logs. I wrote great letters to people. I wrote some stories. So

Chrissy Holm (03:36):

Yeah, I took

Carolyn Lee Arnold (03:37):


Chrissy Holm (03:38):

That's great. Yeah. Tell us a little bit more about, what's kind of been your writing journey and it can be work writing. It can be whatever, but what has it been like?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (03:47):

Well, before, I mean, I was really trained as a social science researcher. I'm quantitative research. And so I'm usually most of my life, I was writing research reports that were pretty dry. I tried to put some interesting things in them, so people would read them and find interesting facts. And I did a few things like when I was the support person for my friend's birth, I wrote about that experience of her two births of her children. I wrote, I ate little gifts of wrote about experiences of my friends and I wrote great travel logs when I went traveling. But then the writing happened because I was doing this dating project and I was having a lot of fun dating and it was just, I was, and I was having some great stories and I was telling my friends these stories and like good friends, do they say, oh, you must write them down.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (04:31):

<Laugh> the innocent. Oh you must write them down trick. And it sounded fun. And, and so I, I said, well and I had a break for my job. I had it own sabbatical. So I started taking memoir classes to see, well, how do you write? Because I, I know it doesn't come out like a social science research report. So I started taking classes and I basically took class after class, after class, a lot of beginning memoir classes. And the value of those classes was not only feedback from the teacher, but feedback from the other people in the class mm-hmm <affirmative>. And just to hear people react to my writing and I had a long thing to write. I had 50 days as you can see the name of my book is what you said the 51st days after 50, I had 50 days to write about.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (05:13):

And so they started out as like little chapters. So there were a lot of places I could get feedback. And some people like some, some people like others and it was just a process of really persevering and also being willing to hear hard feedback. Sometimes I didn't like a teacher if she was too hard or too critical, if there was, if she was critical for the wrong reason, I thought like, if she just didn't like how I was dating that wasn't about my writing. It was about, she didn't like what I was doing and that's inappropriate. I thought, but no, absolutely. But if it was about here's how you could express that better. I tended to trust those teachers. So I took a variety of teachers in the bay area. There were a variety of informal writing organizations that you, you could take from writers.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (05:58):

So I took courses in creative non-fiction and memoir and some things like erotic writing, cuz I, it was my, some of my dates were very sexual and I needed to know how to do that. So I just took class after class. And the other, the thing that the classes did, it gave me deadlines of, we need you to see this chapter by then. And it gave me feedback, just the crucial things I think for a writer I it's, you have to, you know, that I age old truth is we sit down and write by ourselves, but it, for me, it comes alive. The whole point was in sharing it that's the really, the point for me is to share it. The other thing that I had going that really helped was, and it's in my book because I had, it was part of an organization that was putting on workshops on relationships, which really helped my dating.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (06:46):

It's a big part of my dating story, cuz I was getting a lot of skills of relationships that could be applied to dating. But meanwhile, at those workshops that were weekend workshops, we always had an entertainment night where you could share something from your heart and something that was important to you. So I would often read from my stories first, I told them, and then when I started writing them, I would write them. And just to hear people's reactions was so gratifying to me that that really fed me as a writer. It, it, my, I love having this effect on people that they enjoyed it or they were touched or they saw themselves in it.

Chrissy Holm (07:20):

Absolutely. Yeah. It's validating to know that, like not only is it part of your life and your story, but like people are resonating with it and yeah. And enjoying it. So I think that's great. You started talking a little bit about 51st dates after 50, but what is the story about

Carolyn Lee Arnold (07:38):

The story is about, it's a memoir. So it's about me in my late fifties, I wanted to find a committed male partner. I'd never had one. I'd had a series of monogamy, a lot of short relationships with men and then women. I tried women for a long time. Hadn't found the right woman went back to men, still was having short relationships with men. And I knew I was doing something wrong. I, I ended up taking those relationship workshops and learning a lot of skills, but I still hadn't found the right partner. So I found a great partner, but he didn't wanna commit. And so I, we were breaking up after seven years because I wanted to have a committed partner and I wanted someone who lived nearby. He lived in Hawaii and then Bali. So I thought, how can I look for someone and do it differently than I did before?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (08:21):

Because obviously my picking technique is not that great. <Laugh> so as a researcher, so I thought I'm gonna just structure this. So I have to get out and see a lot of different people so I can expand my type of man. So I don't go for the type that I've just had. So I gave myself the goal of 50 dates and I thought of it as a dating project rather than just dating. And that the project was to find out what type of man and what time of relationship I wanted because I've been an independent feminist woman all my life and who would fit into my life. You know, what balance of independence and closeness would really work for me. I knew I wanted to be close to someone. I wanted to commit to someone and have a partner, but I didn't know how that partner would fit into my life.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (09:03):

So it was an exploration and I went on 50 dates. I put out, I cast my net very wide. I didn't have a list at the beginning. I said, I'm gonna develop my list as I go and see who appeals to me, what types of men I'm gonna try to date a lot of different types of men to see what are they alike and what I'm like. It was really about me. It was kind of about the men, but it was about who am I with these men and who enhances my life the most and who would fit in to my life and who I could give the most, who I can be my myself with and who can, they can be with themselves with, I was just looking for that. But it was a mystery. It was kind of a mystery. And so I, I went through these 50 days, took me two and a half years.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (09:44):

I allowed myself to linger with some men. I was open minded. I gave people some chances like, well this might work <laugh> this could work. Right? Yeah. I didn't. I wasn't like, okay. You're you're not in some of them. I did some, I could tell I had to like in order to go out with someone, I had to like them, but they could, they didn't have to fit my image of a partner. I was really exploring what that part was. So that meant I went out with people that I actually didn't end up enjoying being with, or they didn't enjoy me. They didn't appreciate me. <Laugh> yeah. Dating. You have to have a lot of resilience and protect your heart too, but keep going because it's a numbers game. And that's what I was saying. I, I knew that if I saw enough people and I thought 50, but I was prepared to go on another 50 if I hadn't found them. And I did find my guy, I found the perfect partner for me later in the project. I'm not gonna say what date cuz that's the surprise in the story. Right.

Chrissy Holm (10:40):


Carolyn Lee Arnold (10:40):

But we have now been together for 11 years and actually he's just moving in tomorrow. <Laugh> oh, it's kinda a big week. Oh that's we've been living separately all this time and he's moving in tomorrow. So it's pretty exciting.

Chrissy Holm (10:54):

That's so exciting and so special. I love that. And I love that you go into it with kind of just that such an open mind of like I'm ready just to explore who I am and who I wanna find in that partner. And I think a lot of society and people might feel like they have to just stick with one person or like, oh, okay. I'm gonna just settle because this is all I'm gonna ever find. So I love that you had that curiosity beyond that.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (11:26):

Exactly. Thank you. Thanks for seeing that. That is a danger, especially when we're older of and actually could happen when we're younger too, but of settling because we're afraid there is no one else out there we've absorbed all the numbers that say there aren't enough men out there. There aren't enough women. There aren't enough whoever. But really, you know, what I found is first of all, you only need one. And so numbers be damned really I'm a statistician can say that it doesn't, the numbers don't apply to the individual <laugh> yes. They, you still just need to find that one person and it means, but you just need to look. You need to look through a lot of people because there's a lot of people we could be with that. You have to find that match. But settling, it's scary. It's scary to take that leap and say, is there someone else out there? And that's what I was trying to prevent. I was protecting myself from that feeling by saying, no, I have to go on 50 dates. I was making myself go on 50 dates so that I wouldn't settle and I could circle back if I wanted to. I get, I told myself <laugh> right, exactly. But I, I wanted to make sure I, I got to the 50

Chrissy Holm (12:26):

That's so great. Yeah. So why 50? Like what stuck out for 50?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (12:31):

Well, there were a few reasons. Let's see. I think the first thing I thought, I, I was talking to a friend about what I should do. And I said, I'm gonna have to go out with a lot of men to get over Peter who was my ex-boyfriend. I needed to get over him and get a, not choose someone just like him. I said, it's gonna have to be a lot of people, a lot of men. And I said, and then what came into my mind is that movie, of course, 51st dates, Adam Sandler mm-hmm <affirmative> and, and drew Barrymore. And of course she went on 51st dates with him. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> the same guy. <Laugh> with the same guy, cuz she had amnesia <laugh> right. It was a different story. It was a very different story, but it put 50 in my mind. And then I remembered, then I realized, well, wait a minute, I'm a statistician. When you're trying to get a big enough sample to have significant results, it's 50 it's 50. So I should be able to get significant results out of 50. So that's why my 50 F sounded good to me. And I was, and I had, well, I was way past 50, but I was in my fifties, but it was all about 50 <laugh>.

Chrissy Holm (13:30):

Yeah, no that's so great. And that's one of my favorite movies of all times. Oh wow. I know when we had connected, I was like, oh 51st dates. I wonder. And then I read a little more. I'm like, oh this is so great. But yeah, no, I love the connection between that number and just like your background. It's just so it's so unique. That's great.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (13:54):

Thanks. Yeah.

Chrissy Holm (13:56):

But when it comes to like the writing process, what or not necessarily process, but what inspires you to write?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (14:04):

Well, a few things. What inspired me to write this book and then to keep at it to the P through the publishing, which was quite a slog, as you probably know, I kept feeling like I had something to share with other women that was a positive view of dating. I really had something. I felt like I had something to contribute that a lot of women might not know because I saw a lot of women my age, not enjoying dating and, and dropping out of dating or settling. And so I thought, well, I didn't do that. And I think here's why, I mean, I think my method really worked well to kind of counteract those tendencies to either drop out or settle. So I wanted to share it. It, I was thinking it would be inspiring. It also evolved into something else, which is because I included because as, as an older woman who was used to being sexual, I included a lot of sexuality in the book.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (14:55):

And so the other thing that kept me writing was I wanted to reflect on that reality of older women being sexual and have that out in the world written because I just read Erica John's spear flying again. And 50 years ago, she was a revolutionary for saying that, that she was sexual and that was even in a marriage <laugh> and she got a lot of flack for that. And we are still facing a feeling of like we're transgressing, if we are, if we talk too much about sex and really frankly, about how we really feel and what it's really like and what we're doing. So I felt like I wanted to be honest and say, this is what over fifties women are doing. Some of us <laugh> and the, those of us who are, I wanted to validate that. And so the other reason to write is to write something that other people might see themselves reflected in that they might see themselves on the page and feel supported, validated, or inspired.

Chrissy Holm (15:51):

Absolutely. I think that's the beauty of telling like personal stories and memoir is to be able to like, Hey, this person is real. They are going through this, they've gone through this and it is super validating. And that's the beauty of telling stories in general.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (16:07):

You're right. And thank you for pointing out the value of memoir, because don't think that some of those times I thought, why didn't I fictionalize this? I wouldn't have had to be so vulnerable <laugh> I could have, cuz it's really me out there in the book and what I had to return. I thought about it for a while, cuz I maybe I've had at least one opportunity to say, well, maybe I should turn this into fiction. But I returned to my early feminist sex educator self. I used to, I worked in the free clinics in the seventies at the women's health collective in Berkeley. And we were all about empowering women about our bodies and teaching ourselves about our bodies and sexuality. And so I felt like I'm still doing that. We need to be honest and open and you're right. It's the honesty. And I thought it would have more power and strength if it was a real story, a real woman. Absolutely. So that's why I did that.

Chrissy Holm (16:55):

That's so great. It's interesting. I know earlier you were saying like, I can't remember exactly, but I, something, a question that I thought of was like, why do you think sex is such a taboo topic to talk about?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (17:09):

Hmm, good question. Well, it's a historical issue. I've been a little setting Erica Jean right now. Cause I'm in a book club that we were reading her and things opened up right before she started writing about sex. Things had just opened up. We started, we had the pill, we had some of the laws change. So people could be sexual even in marriage. I mean there were incredible repressive laws and things just changed. So all of a sudden you could write about sex and not be illegal lady Chatterly's lever wasn't you couldn't even get it in anywhere until I think the sixties. And so first the men started writing Henry Miller and Philip Roth and they wrote these books that were really sexual. And someone said, well, why aren't women writing that? And it was even scarier for women to do that. And so people, Erica was one of the first and then other women started writing about sexuality.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (17:59):

But it's basically that society has a very, very heavy taboo against it. And even when it's an opening up period like the seventies, you know, a lot of us created a bubble. Like I was in Berkeley and the, the feminists and the LA students. We had a huge bubble of safety in what we were doing and saying, and speaking, and reading and writing, but out in the rig elsewhere that there are still the laws that we're still feeling now. And that we're still what maybe going backwards with those laws. I'm sorry, I don't have a deeper, <laugh> deeper analysis, but it's, that's the truth. It's I mean, people call that patriarchy. It's the patriarchal thing of keeping women under control and keeping our sexuality under control. You could blame it on whatever, but the fact is it's very repressive that those tendencies

Chrissy Holm (18:44):

Absolutely. I think you hit the nail right on the head mm-hmm <affirmative> 

Carolyn Lee Arnold (18:49):

And we have to be very brave to counteract it. I feel myself. I had to become brave to publish this book, not to write it. I was writing it away. And the beauty of memoir is, well, just write what you did, you know, write, just write it and decide how you're gonna publish it later. That's the mantra. So I was Mely going on and publish it about to publish it. I thought, oh my God, what have I done? So I'm really putting this out there. Then I had to get really clear about that. I want to be brave. I want to put this out. I'm doing this for other women and that we have to be brave to counteract those forces. Those anti-sexual anti-woman anti independent women. And ironically here I am writing a book about dating men and trying to find Mr. Wright <laugh> I felt I was, it was a little mixed messages here, but, but I did feel like I, in some part of that, because I was doing it as an older woman, I was being brave to do that, to tell that story.

Chrissy Holm (19:42):

I mean, absolutely. I think you bring a unique perspective to it that, I mean, I've never heard of a story like this before, so I think it's super unique. Yeah. And it's, it's inspiring even for, I mean, I'm younger, but like it's inspiring to me just to see, as you get older, like love and relationships, doesn't just stop and become stagnant. Like you it's vibrant. Right. Even beyond

Carolyn Lee Arnold (20:09):

Yeah. Thanks for seeing that. Especially if you want it to be. Yeah. I mean, we, we work on it and we, we have good communication and we go to these workshops and we get a lot of support for being loving and appreciative and it helps, but yeah. Yeah. It's good to know that all people of all ages can have good relationships and sexuality.

Chrissy Holm (20:26):

Absolutely. All right. So for 51st states, after 50, you've received a ton of awards.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (20:34):

Oh yes. How'd you noticed

Chrissy Holm (20:37):

<Laugh> I did. I went on your website. <Laugh> great.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (20:39):

Thank you.

Chrissy Holm (20:40):

That is super fantastic. So, well, first of all, congratulations.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (20:44):

Thank you.

Chrissy Holm (20:45):

And if you, you were to give an aspiring author tips or suggestions or advice, what would you give to them to become an award-winning author?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (20:57):

Well, first of all, don't try to second. Guess what the market wants. You have a story to tell what is your story? And so don't try to change your story because you think this or that might be more popular. First of all, you can't ever, you can't ever predict and it changes every day. So forget about that. And then to tell your story, get the best possible counsel from teachers, different teachers, about what makes a good story. Because basically we all have great stories cuz we're all living these wonderful lives and interesting lives, but a story is not just this happened and then this, it can't be a great, it can't be, oh, this incredible thing happened to me. It can't just be that. It has to be to some process. You have to go through some sort of change. You have to have some reflection about how it's affecting you.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (21:43):

You have to be introspective about it as well as good describe. So you have to find the good elements of the story to make it something that people would wanna read and learn from. And then I guess the other thing I'd say is be clear on your motivation and what is your reason for writing because that will carry you through. It was a long slog for me, it took me 10 years to write it, to get from starting to write it to publishing 11, to publish, I guess. No, no was 10, 10 and a half, but who's counting <laugh> yeah, right. I, I needed, I needed that time to learn how to write for Wednesday. So, so just keep learning. So the other thing is practice, practice, practice, right? Write all the time, write as much as you can, practice dialogue, practice characters, practice everything, and read a lot read because if Reed in the genre that you're writing, either whether it's fiction or nonfiction and read the other genres so that, you know, what's out there and know how you fit in, not how you fit in, you know, not trying to shoehorn yourself in.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (22:39):

Right. But just so you're not thinking, you're saying something really unique when it's already out there or people are going in a different direction, you need to see where you are in the general

Chrissy Holm (22:48):

Like landscape of it all.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (22:49):

Yeah. The landscape. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. So those are just a few things.

Chrissy Holm (22:55):

That's great advice

Carolyn Lee Arnold (22:56):

Because you know, the awards that I feel most proud of in those awards are the ones that spoke to the thing that most important to me in the book, I got an award for the sexuality in the book I got. One of them was a number first place in, in sexuality and memoir in a memoir and one in relationships. And one in new age culture, I haven't mentioned, but my, the personal growth workshops were part of the, kind of a new age culture. So the things that I was actually the most afraid to put out mm-hmm <affirmative> but were the most real for me in my life are the things that got the rewards. Wow. So it's young said that too. She said, someone said, were you afraid of what you were writing? And she said, yes, I was afraid. And so I knew I was on the right track if I was really terrified about what I was writing. I knew I was being honest and yeah,

Chrissy Holm (23:43):

That's so powerful. And I know I'm not saying much, but I resonate with that. Oh, oh really? A ton. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> exactly how I feel. So, and that's another cool thing about memoir is you are being vulnerable. It's scary. It's terrifying. But then you get to connect with so many different types of people that you might have never thought you would.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (24:07):

Oh yeah. Definitely. Definitely. The people who read your book, they appreciate you. The other writers that you're writing with, that's a whole other community that I didn't even know about. I'm so pleased to be part of right now. And you do reach a lot of people. I mean, I, I hear my readers raise the, write a review on Amazon or good reads or they a comment on my Facebook page.

Chrissy Holm (24:28):

That's so great. So what part of the craft do you enjoy most like writing, editing, revising. Ooh. And why?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (24:38):

Wow. <laugh> well, oh my gosh. I don't know if I have a favorite. I don't have a favorite cuz each one has their strengths. I loved like the best I could say. I love the first part. Like for me, I was writing dates or I'm writing for my next memoir. I'm writing just scenes, a lot of scenes. I have a list of scenes to write and when I just sit down and I just have it, the writing period and I write a scene, it's so satisfying. It comes out and there it is. And I can see it and I could read it to somebody and I just get that a gratification for expressing something and actually writing, describing something. I think that is actually the funnest part because I'm actually at the revision stage in my next memoir right now. And I'm kind of dragging my feet cause like, oh no.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (25:20):

I mean, it's just this part about what to do next. Like really what to change. And there's, there's a little hesitance and if, if you don't have any guidance and you know, just, just wondering what to do, how to make it better, then there's a part after you kind of fixed everything when you know, you have the form. Right. And you, and you think then there's a, a really fun edit at revising this more list, fiddling with the things like what could be a better word here. Yes. And how could the last sentence of this chapter really help it feel like they wanna go onto the next chapter? Mm-Hmm <affirmative> so that's actually a fun part of revising when you're just really fiddling around the edges, but making, but really making some thing great changes. So that's what I like.

Chrissy Holm (26:01):

Yes. Oh, I love all those reasons. And I think that's the good thing that you're a writer because it's all the things to yeah. You know? Yeah. To keep you pushing forward.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (26:12):

Yeah. And then don't forget now publishing and promoting, because I discovered that I love promoting my book. There were a lot of details to publish it, but it was mainly, it was mainly about refining the book and making sure it was good and everything. But to, to get to go out and talk about my book and write about it and write articles and write and talk about the themes in my book with people. I love that. And, and writing all the social media posts and things. I mean, it turns out my partner was a comp not complaining, but I was, I was, I was saying, I'm starting to, to be an introvert in these 10 years. I'm writing. I think I'm becoming more introverted. Cuz I, this writing, I really don't feel like socializing too much. I just wanna write then all of a sudden, when I started promoting my book, I became my introvert. My extrovert came out and I, I wanna just be all over the place and I, and we're all happy about that. We're all happy that we're not, I'm not just an introvert.

Chrissy Holm (27:01):

Right. So that's, that's so great. Cuz I think, I mean, things I've heard from a lot of authors promoting is the hardest part. Like the marketing and is a constant. You constantly have to do it. So I love your enthusiasm behind it. And mm-hmm <affirmative> I think that, I mean, that's good inspiration for anybody who's listening that is in that stage. Just

Carolyn Lee Arnold (27:24):

Yeah. It, it does take a little bit, you have to get over the feeling of I'm selling something or I'm selling myself and it helps to talk to other writers, other authors, like this is how we do it and this is what you have to do. And yes, it's fine to do it. So you have to get over that hump of it's okay. To post every day. And so, and something about your book that's okay. Cuz that's people need to hear about your book, but the best advice I got was do the things that are fun for you don't you don't have to do everything. There's a million things to do to promote your book. For instance, I'm not doing Twitter. I don't understand it. <Laugh> I don't, I'm not ready to learn it, but I love Instagram. I just love Instagram and I love Facebook somewhat too. So I've focused on those, those things. Absolutely. And then that's how I have fun and podcasts. I love, I love podcasts. So I'm so glad to be on yours.

Chrissy Holm (28:06):

<Laugh> yay. No, I appreciate you being online and I love podcasts too. So yeah, no that's this is great. And it's, I'm glad to have you here too. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> what do you hope the reader will get out of your story?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (28:20):

A few things. I started out hoping that women would get inspiration for dating, that they would get ideas that maybe they didn't have like, oh, here's a way to do dating. That would actually be fun. I guess I would like to promote more women, having fun dating and in a self loving way that by fun to me, it means I'm loving myself. I'm enjoying myself and because I'm loving myself and I'm being good to myself while I'm dating. So I want more women to be able to do that. And so I'm, I'm hoping they take some ideas, not all the ideas that they probably not. Everyone wants to follow my whole path, but there's lots of little things they could take. That's one thing the other thing is, as I said before, the women who are actively sexual in their older years, I want them to feel validated and celebrated and that they have someone that reflects them their life. And then for people who are not familiar with the world of personal growth workshops and spiritual ceremonies and affirmations and living a more, a little bit more of a spiritual or open life, I hope that people just get a glimpse of it, just to know that there are other ways to live in this country, at least another in the world too. So those are the things I hope they get.

Chrissy Holm (29:30):

And I think there's so much that a lot of people can learn in all the things and almost provide. I think the biggest thing for me, like when I read is empathy, like we can then see from somebody else's perspective a little bit more mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah. Just like opening the that.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (29:49):

Yeah. I would hope that there's one more actual thing I didn't mention about the sexuality in the book is that I also very model safe sex a lot. That that's a natural part of, of my sexuality. So it's a model of an healthy, older woman being sexual and that's important to me. So if in case people don't have that image, like what would that be? What would it look like if you were free to be sexual and date and be with men, however you want, what would that look like? This is one way it might look like just a suggestion <laugh>

Chrissy Holm (30:18):

Yes. Right. <laugh> oh, that's so great. It's you're really sharing that message or a message to be safe, but you can still have fun

Carolyn Lee Arnold (30:30):

<Laugh> yes, exactly. Exactly. Thanks for seeing that. Yeah.

Chrissy Holm (30:33):

Dating sex relationships, you've experienced all those things. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> especially, you know, with the 50 dates and beyond, and now you've had a partner for the last, you said 11 years, correct? Yes. Yeah. 11 years. So what do you think is the key to a successful partnership?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (30:51):

Appreciation of looking for the good in people and really, really it's a muscle. It's a practice to see that, to see the good in people. I mean, it's also the key to success in dating because if you can go out with people and see the best, the what's good in them, each person has something that's good. And so that you'll get more of the date then whether or not they're right. They don't have to be right for you. Just be a good person, but a relationship is particularly important. Cuz we get a little bogged down with the day to day and just to keep telling your partner how much you appreciate them and what you appreciate about them. We stop a lot during the day and say, can I appreciate you for something? And it just makes our relationship sparkle.

Chrissy Holm (31:31):

That's so beautiful. I, Ugh. I love that. Cuz it's really that deep connection I think. And an emotional connection as well.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (31:39):

Yeah. It, it, it builds an emotional connection too. It builds trust. It builds. I appreciate him appreciating me. <Laugh> goes back and forth. It builds on it, builds on it, builds on

Chrissy Holm (31:50):

It. Yeah. And how, how do you kind of find that time to balance like that emotional and that relationship with your writing and promoting and everything else that you do

Carolyn Lee Arnold (32:01):

Well up until now, it's been by living separately. <Laugh>

Chrissy Holm (32:04):


Carolyn Lee Arnold (32:06):

But real, but actually we're pretty good at being together too. I picked someone who also is passionate about his work too. He's a researcher and mathematician and he loves doing his own work. So we're often in the same house on our own computers doing our own thing. And then we break for a hike or going out to dinner or something and, or, or being with our friends. So it's, it's just balancing the time. And for me it was finding a person who, who liked the same things I liked in the same proportions. It was kind of a miracle, but hiking on an afternoon on a Sunday is a priority for him as well as me, even though we have a lot of work. So that's what we're doing. And we lived apart for 11 years and he would just come on the weekends. He, he actually still is gonna be in midweek being where he used to be. Cuz he like, he has a lot of connections there. So it's that feeling of trusting what we each need, which is a little alone time. We need some alone time during the week. So

Chrissy Holm (33:00):

Yeah, I think that, yeah, no, I think that's great. I think in some relationships that I've experienced and have seen, they expect you to be together all the time for it to work out and it, it, it doesn't work that way. <Laugh>

Carolyn Lee Arnold (33:16):

No, and everybody's different. Some people, it does work that way. Apparently they could work together and do that

Chrissy Holm (33:22):

And, and yeah, but the key is finding what works for you. Right?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (33:25):

Exactly. And finding the person who matches that.

Chrissy Holm (33:28):


Carolyn Lee Arnold (33:29):

Yeah, exactly.

Chrissy Holm (33:30):

Okay. This is kind of a little fun one, but what is the funniest pick line, you know?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (33:36):

Oh, the funniest pickup line

Chrissy Holm (33:39):

Or you have any favorite ones. Yeah. Do you have any favorite ones or have you used a pick line before <laugh>

Carolyn Lee Arnold (33:46):

Oh, <laugh>, you know, the problem is I don't think of it in terms of pickup lines. So it's more and there's so the ones that I use are the ones that are used are kind of mundane. Like the times that I actually ran into strangers in some sort of crowded place and we'd eyed each other and looked at each other and wondered, and then I thought I gotta meet him and I couldn't figure out how to meet him. And then suddenly he came up and said, don't I know you from somewhere. I mean, <laugh> that perfect. The obvious play thing. It's the, it's just, I mean, that's, that works. I mean, and it, and actually it was real because he, he did look familiar to me. He, I look familiar to him. So we went through our whole life history trying to figure out what we, where we knew each other. And then we remembered that we'd seen each other on okay. Cubit at online. <Laugh>

Chrissy Holm (34:32):

That's so great.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (34:34):

But its a great opening conversation.

Chrissy Holm (34:37):

It's so simple too. And it's I

Carolyn Lee Arnold (34:39):

Know, I know.

Chrissy Holm (34:40):

No that's so great. I, I think some people might think, oh I gotta have this unique way to talk to this person. But

Carolyn Lee Arnold (34:48):

Yeah. The other thing, I mean I'm just a big proponent of honesty and saying like I was hiking with someone, I was hiking with a Sierra club group and I, there was a man I liked and I wanted to have a date with him. So I, I just said, would you be interested in having dinner sometime? I mean just the facts. I mean just what that really was. And he loved that. I asked that

Chrissy Holm (35:08):

That's so great. So I just it's so like direct and just to the point mm-hmm <affirmative> I think that's missing a lot in this today's society. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> so

Carolyn Lee Arnold (35:20):

Yeah. Especially if people have to trained to try to come up with a pickup line.

Chrissy Holm (35:24):


Carolyn Lee Arnold (35:25):

I think honesty really works

Chrissy Holm (35:26):

<Laugh> it really does.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (35:27):

Surprisingly works really well. I see. I I've been noticing you. I think you're attractive. I, I would love to get to know you might or if you're open

Chrissy Holm (35:35):


Carolyn Lee Arnold (35:36):

That that's what I would do if I,

Chrissy Holm (35:39):

And then the communication is just right off the bat, just straightforward and, and honest. And you don't have to like beat around the Bush. You just get, get to the facts. <Laugh>

Carolyn Lee Arnold (35:49):

Mm-Hmm <affirmative> yeah, yeah. And it leaves it open for the other person to say, thank you. I'm really flattered, but I'm not available. Or you know that I'm not doing that right now or they can be honest too.

Chrissy Holm (36:00):

Yep. Exactly. So do you have a favorite line or paragraph from your book that you'd like to read for

Carolyn Lee Arnold (36:07):

Us? I do. I actually, I have two favorite lines. May I? Because I have two really good lines.

Chrissy Holm (36:14):

Yes let's

Carolyn Lee Arnold (36:15):

Do it. The first one is the very first line of the book, which I don't have to read cuz I know it it's but I it's a great first line. The first line is you are still sleeping with other guys

Chrissy Holm (36:26):


Carolyn Lee Arnold (36:27):

This is in the middle of a date. My date saying this to me.

Chrissy Holm (36:30):

Oh, that's all good.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (36:31):

Okay. That's the first line. And then this one I'll read. It's just two lines, but I love this one. I just spent the day with somebody and he called me that night. He said I was, we had just been talking all day. He said, I was wondering, he said, if you'd like to come over tonight and use the sauna. Well, what new age sensual Northern California girl does not accept an invitation to a sauna at 10 o'clock on a Sunday night.

Chrissy Holm (36:57):

<Laugh> oh, I love that. Oh, everything sounds just so lighthearted and I, I love that.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (37:06):

Oh good. Yeah. Yes. I think it does stand out among dating books. It's kind of upbeat and in light it is light. It's like, I mean there's some heavy. I, I cry. I cry in the book too. <Laugh> it's sad. There's some sadness, but, but I'm, I basically, I returned to upbeat mainly. Yeah. The goal pulls me through, it made me an optimistic like, oh, there's always the next day.

Chrissy Holm (37:27):

Right? It helped. I love those lines. Thank you so much for sharing them. You're

Carolyn Lee Arnold (37:31):


Chrissy Holm (37:33):

So as we wrap up the show, Carolyn, where can we buy your book and connect with you?

Carolyn Lee Arnold (37:41):

Well, you can buy my book. Wherever books are sold, you can order it from your own independent bookstore, which is the best option really. Or you can order on Amazon or I have ideas on my website and the place to find me the best place is my website, Carolyn and Lee, And I have a page that says where to buy. And I've pointed out that how, and there's some places so that you can find the independent bookstores near you. We're trying to make sure independent bookstores survive cuz they're supporting independent authors like myself and my publishing house, which are independent press. And I will send personally autograph copies to each person. If you order from my independent bookstore or you can order from your own bookstore and ask me to send you a book plate with my signature on it. So that's what I'm doing for those for that.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (38:28):

And then on also on my website or my Instagram and my Facebook author links, links to that. There's also also a blog in which I give a lot of dating advice. I did not wanna write a self-help book, but I seem to have a lot of advice to give out. Now <laugh> so I'm putting it in a blog. Just what tips, what worked for me in the dating process. And there's also a page of dating resources. If you are embarking on dating, I'm not a dating coach, but I know some, and I know some great organizations that give you support along the way. So that's on my website.

Chrissy Holm (38:59):

That's fantastic. Such great resources.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (39:02):

<Laugh> thank you.

Chrissy Holm (39:03):

Well, thank you so much, Carolyn. I really appreciate your time and this has been fun and I love the conversation and appreciate just you writing this story and living this part of your life and being able to share it with others.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (39:18):

Well, thank you. Thanks for providing this forum for authors. It's really great to be able to talk about our books and see who we resonate with and be able to reach other people. So thanks for, for doing that and being curious about other authors,

Chrissy Holm (39:30):

Absolutely want to learn more about the world of writers, subscribe to the nature of authors on your favorite podcast platform. Have a burning question you'd like to ask upcoming guests, reach out at www. I'm Chrissy Holm. And until next time, keep reading, writing, spending time in nature and dreaming up new worlds. My friend.