Wednesday, June 29, 2011
At the gym, listening to Shirley, she made a good point about nature. She says she finds peace outside and it calms her; that it has a natural rhythm to it. It is what it is and humans are separate. The birds could care less what a nerd I am. The trees don't care if I've gained weight. It just continues to be...and I love that. We should learn more from it. Animals, for instance, don't think things through so much. They do what they have to do. When caught in a trap, they fight to get out. They fight for survival no matter what. They don't get depressive episodes and throw themselves in front of cars. They go on. They lose their babies, they have fear and worry...or apprehension. They starve and get cold. But, they just keep going. I think about that sometimes when I'm down. I haven't been that down in a long time, but it's always something to think about. We can't control anything outdoors. The wind...the rain...the heat. Although it can be destructive, for the most part it's a relief. Just to be outdoors and think, "whatever happens out here has nothing to do with me!" Ahhhh.
Blog title refers to this clip:
He is under the influence...he loves his rainbows!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Life is about connections. I hope you are able to say what's on your heart. I hope you don't stuff your feelings. So many times you find that people desperately want to talk. They need you to dig deeper. You have to go to them. You have to involve them...invite them...bug them. I may let time go by, but I always come back to them and talk to them as if we spoke yesterday. I do it because I love them and I know they need it. If you have this gift, use it. So many need not to feel alone.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I just finished Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. Wow. Intense. Fierce. Exhausting. Taking Joseph Conrad's work," Heart of Darkness" and trying to overlay Vietnam...that's quite an undertaking. I read Conrad's novel in HS and it was difficult. It's too dark for me. I was too young to really understand it. Maybe I should listen to Orson Welles read it. He tried to make a film of it himself and gave up. He made Citizen Kane instead--I feel that worked out for him. The documentary did a number on me. It convinced me that I'm not a film maker who just didn't make films. If anything, I'll hold on to my inner script writer, but to direct...I don't believe I have it in me. OR....maybe I'm just focusing on EXTREME cases here. Kubrick and Coppola are fantastic, but they also make movies that I wouldn't make. I admire their wives. They stick by them through hellish shoots and years of craziness. And I get upset if Jason has a bad week and doesn't come to bed much. These women don't see their husbands for weeks on end. And, if they are about, their passion is given to the film--at least it would seem to me. I daydream about directing or writing something...or just to be involved in a film project, period. That seems to be a long shot at this point of my life. Just watching this doc and seeing the craziness and pushing people to the brink of death (literally in Martin Sheen's case) is too much for me. I'd like to see a documentary about the filming of Rachel Getting Married....or Lost in Translation. That would really be great to see. I am left feeling thick and heavy and just tired after seeing what all Coppola went through to make Apocalypse Now. It's hard to imagine what that was really like. I see Martin in a brand new light. I wonder if Harvey Keitel has seen this doc. I find it so interesting to think of how a movie could have been had it had a different lead. He had Sheen's role, but Coppola fired him after a few weeks of shooting. That's another thing...the vision. Kubrick's vision really struck me as well. I marvel at visionaries. Visiting Hearst's castle also had me pondering visionaries as well. (this is for another post...)
I recommend the film if you love the movie. Or, even if you've never seen it. The creative process of film making isn't "seen" enough. The glitz and glam of it all can really overshadow how fucking hard it is to make these types of films. It's just impressive.
Friday, June 24, 2011
I'm anxiously awaiting my Netflix--Hearts of Darkness. Here's the scoop: (Wikipedia)
The title is derived from the source material for Apocalypse Now, the Joseph Conrad novella Heart of Darkness. Using behind the scenes footage, and narrated by Eleanor Coppola, it chronicles how production problems including bad weather, actors' health and other issues delayed the film, increasing costs and nearly destroying the life and career of Francis Ford Coppola. In 1990, Eleanor Coppola turned her material over to two young filmmakers George Hickenlooper and Fax Bahr who then shot new interviews with the original cast and crew and intercut them with her existing material. After a year of editing, Hickenlooper, Bahr, and Coppola debuted their film at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival to universal critical acclaim.
I'm really excited. Rob Lowe discusses his time with Martin Sheen directly after Martin shot Apocalypse Now. I've never seen it. I know, I know!! I'm watching it first and then the doc right after. Or maybe I should watch the doc first? hmmm. Anyway, I think it's a great way to learn about movie making. It reminds me of watching The Godfather trilogy and then reading The Godfather Legacy by Harlan Lebo. That was fascinating! (I'm geeking out a bit here)
Today is hot and sticky. Z is recovering from a skin infection that needs to be changed twice a day. She also had to take medicine for it. A bite got infected...probably at Little Gym or something. Anyway, she's been limping and whiny (it's on the inside of her thigh) and is being babied big time by us. When we went to the doctor, she had to drain it for what seemed like eternity, but probably a good ten minutes. Z screamed and cried and kept repeating, "Don't....don't" it was heartbreaking. It was all I could not to break down with her, but I thought if she saw me cry, she'd be scared. I sang to her and asked her questions--which she answered. She's a good girl. I just love her.
Okay, time to bake!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Well, the Stanley Kubrick documentary, A Life in Pictures, was excellent. It's a bit older, 2001. Tom Cruise narrates it. I really learned a lot about his process. What a perfectionist he was. It was almost stifling. He didn't make many films, but the ones he made were so...well, honestly, over my head. I can understand them more now that 36, but as a teen trying to figure them out was nearly impossible. I found the most interesting fact was that he struggled so long with how to portray the Holocaust that he missed his chance. Once he was ready to work on the script, he learned of Spielberg's filming of Schindler's List. He then started work on Eyes Wide Shut--after being out of the game for over ten years. If you have any interest in Kubrick or film, you should get it. The next film in my que is Hearts of Darkness about the making of Apocalypse Now. I guess it was quite the undertaking and nearly killed Martin Sheen. Here's the list of films Kubrick directed:
|1953||Fear and Desire|
|1957||Paths of Glory|
|1968||2001: A Space Odyssey|
|1971||A Clockwork Orange|
|1987||Full Metal Jacket|
|1999||Eyes Wide Shut|
I feel that I can almost create my own film class by Netflix. I love it. My film classes in college were my favorite. They could films that you just couldn't get then. Now you can. Plus, there are so many educational DVDs out there on film...why not just learn at home? I find it very cool.
Today is my bake/cook day. I cooked up some chicken for an awesome chicken salad, made potato salad (my grandma's recipe) and will bake black bottom cupcakes tonight. I will go weeks without making a thing...then will go nuts and start digging in my recipe book. I find it very therapeutic.
I'm taking Z to the doctor again for a bite. I can't tell if it's a mosquito bite or a boil. Her reaction to it is bizarre. Poor thing. It's really hard under the skin and is killing her. I hate it. She's still smiling at me right now, but if you go near her bite she loses it.
Here is the Black Bottom cupcake recipe. I grew up on these and they are DELISH!!
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
We did make it to the gym where I was able to listen to my friend Shirley (Maclaine) talk about aliens and her belief in their existence. I wrote my senior term paper about UFOs and was very interested in her views. Jason believes in them. I don't have a reason not to I suppose. I also learned after reading this book right after Jane Fonda's that the Nixon administration had both of those women's homes bugged and their phones tapped. Interesting. Shirley said that once she started talking more about aliens, they left her alone assuming that she was just crazy.
I will be listening to books by writers whom are not actresses, but growing up watching movies and having been a Film major in college--I feel like I know these women. I've watched them my entire life. It's almost like they are aunts of mine that I just haven't met in person yet. I feel close to them somehow. Movies are my go to when I feel...well, about anything. They are my favorite hobby and my best comfort. I really don't know what kind of person I'd be like if movies didn't exist. They are so much a part of my make up. Tonight I'm watching a documentary about Stanley Kubrick. I am familiar with his work, of course, but not with the man. I love documentaries about directors. I always felt I could have been one. I'll let you know how it is tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
We both came home and napped. Now, I feel it's gym time. I'm going to listen to Shirley Maclaine's latest novel and see how that is. She falls into the category of a woman who has lived some life and might have lessons to learn from. I'm all about female energy and lessons that I can learn from those who have been around a while. I feel like I have a little time bomb that I need to have my shit together for. I want Z to be able to trust advice from me and I want to know as much out there about being a woman in this world that I can. She'll face so much more than I did--am. Yes, it's like I'm reading instruction manuals for women.
I have much more to write about today....it will have to wait. We're off to the gym. I normally write during nap time and today...my pillow was calling to me.
The gym was a good thing. I'm going almost every day...mostly to listen to my book, but it gets me there! Shirley is very opinionated and a little gruff, but I really enjoy her take on life. She's 76 now and she's very aware of time she wasted on things that are just not important. I find her funny and wise...and a little of a conspiracy theorist. It's extremely enjoyable to listen to.
We came home and relaxed by watching Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa). I find her show to be the most relaxing thing...ugh. She's on the Cooking network. I love her. When Z sees her she shouts, "Ina!!"
Monday, June 20, 2011
Jason is out today and tomorrow. He's traveling for work. I wish I had more energy to enjoy my night alone...but I don't. Z went down early tonight and I just wanted to head straight to bed. I've napped a little and now I'm going to eat a burrito. Real healthy.
Father's Day went pretty well. Jason and I are having some growing pains lately, so we're talking a lot. It's just the ups and downs that come with marriage. Again, our friendship comes into play, so we are being good about it. Marriage is hard sometimes! Trying to figure out the right mixture of what you need and what I need and what Z needs...and not short anyone is difficult. He works hard and can sometime struggle with home vs. work. I go back and forth from being needy to being too distant. We both come from divorced parents. We both struggle with intimacy--the ability to be completely vulnerable. It's hard when you've learned to always keep something back for yourself. We are both survivors and we both have issues with abandonment. Sometimes the baggage is just too much to try to keep both people afloat and you have to focus on yourself. If we hadn't had our years of friendship before the romantic part started, I feel this would be harder. I feel that J and I are both at a growing state in our own journeys. The issues we may have with each other just bring to light the issues we've always had with ourselves. Going on this journey with someone--life--can be comforting when you both acknowledge that you're not done growing. I feel as if we are holding hands and jumping from rock to rock...sometimes he stumbles and I get pulled down, vice versa, but we are always holding hands. Jason isn't one to let go of someone. He loves to a fault sometimes. He is someone that would drown holding you up in the water.
Back to the landscaping. I want to rip out every bullshit plant and bush we have and start over. I want to just create my own garden that bursts with color. I think I'm having issues with our landscaping because I feel as if we are keeping up the vision of the former owners. I need to recreate it.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Okay, enough of that!!
You know what else makes me feel better? Cookies. I'll leave you with my favorite cookie recipe from Paula Deen. So delish. You won't be disappointed!!
Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
- 1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Thursday, June 16, 2011
But none of this has to do with my anxiety. Do I need a job? I love being home with Zoë, but I wonder if I'm slowly losing my mind or something. (This is something I've done before, so I'm tuned in...) I think I just need to focus on other things. We need to get out of the house and find distractions. Oh, the struggles of day to day life. I would love to know about others' issues with stress and anxiety. I want to know that other women who seem to have it all together are freaking out at times. It doesn't have to be depression sneaking in, right? It can just be being human. I need to look into yoga. It seems so calming. My left hip was replaced almost 5 years ago, so I'm not very bendy, but I could try. Okay, I'm going to go out to the front steps and try to meditate or something. I'll let you know how that goes.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Anxiety has been rearing it's head again. No idea why. I seem to be easily overwhelmed lately. With the sun shining out and seeing what all I have to be grateful for, I'm confused. I do feel as if I'm failing if the house is any kind of a mess--something I've been dealing with for quite a while. My OCD is really taking off. With Summer visits from family, I'm especially on edge. Being around family is hard for me. I am stressed out most of the time. That's too bad really. I'd love to feel more relaxed when people are here. But, it's just not so. The "alien" feeling comes over me and I'm very anxious about the variety of moods, etc. We have some temperamental personalities in the family. This causes me to be nervous and ready to pounce if I feel threatened. I hate this feeling. I have a very low tolerance for certain things. Others, including my husband, are very slow to react and have a great ability to tune things out. I want this ability! He can tune out most things if he wants. I think it's a survival mechanism from his childhood. I have a different way about me. My observations have been that the quiet and non reactive get taken advantage of and it drives me nuts. I felt very much that way as a kid. Saying nothing just leads to more of the same kind of behavior. I didn't have a voice as a kid and my parents didn't really either. I didn't feel protected a lot of the time. My dad's parents did a good job of it, however. I felt loved and protected when I was with them. I felt like they listened to me and they were very good at acknowledging me. I knew that I'd never feel badly when I was with them. I want to be able to do the same for others. The one thing I learned from my childhood is that children remember. WE REMEMBER. We remember how we felt, how we were treated, what you said, what wasn't said and who to trust with our safety. They may be small--but they are recording it all.
Today is gorgeous. The sun is beaming and it's not too hot. After I get the house to the point where I can relax about it, Z and I are going to see the flowers at the Eastman House. I could use seeing some flowers today. They bloom whether I'm having a good day or not. I need to feel that way. Z can't be a victim to my bad days. It's not fair. God, this is hard sometimes.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
It's gorgeous out. Not hot. 65 degrees I think. But the sun is shining and that alone makes me just want to be out in it. I used to worship the sun. My skin has paid for it. I have tons of freckles on my shoulders. I wish I didn't have any. We just aren't very aware of our bodies when we're young. We abuse it. We drink too much, don't sleep enough, run our joints into the ground by pounding on pavement and cook our skin until we look like leather dolls. (Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit) Living life seems to be hard on our bodies. They wear out and finally give out. It's a strange thing to think about. We just suddenly stop. Well, our bodies do. I'm a spirit person, so I feel we just go on. Jason isn't sure. I think he thinks it all stops and that's it. I don't know for sure, but I hope not.
While your heart is still beating today...go out and enjoy the evening if the weather is right. As we were walking I knelt down to Z and said, "Take a deep breath in!" (I showed her how and she mimicked) "Ahhh...fresh air! It feels good!!" She just laughed at me.
**** By the way--
I heard today that Paul McCartney is playing Wrigley Field in Chicago this summer. I've seen him 6 or 7 times now. He's my absolute favorite. If he's playing near you--GO SEE HIM. Even if you don't know a single song. Talk about a spiritual experience. It's "tripping the live fantastic" and I highly recommend it to feed your soul.
Monday, June 13, 2011
This morning, at Barnes and Noble story time, I observed two mothers talking. They were each so anxious to get a sentence out. Each trying to get immediate validation for what they'd just said. I recognized that same scene as being how I was about 8 months ago. Staying at home can be so monotonous and lonely. I could see how they just wanted to talk to someone...anyone. I didn't participate much in the conversation. I've relaxed a bit about it all. I'm trying to calm down about being perfect and trying to find the perfect play group. Z is flourishing just fine and I certainly don't want to spend anytime with chit chat. I'm not a snob...I just come off so ridiculous, I'd rather be silent. It's hard being a mom. It's an odd thing. Being one at an older age is very strange for me. I'm used to being all about my own experiences. Now, I focus on what kind of experiences I want her to have. I'm not great on toddler stuff. It gets on my nerves. I don't fill my car or my house with toddler tunes. Toddler shows on TV grate on my nerves.
I'm going to go sit in the sun. Z is napping and it is obvious to me that I need some Vitamin D.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
I listened to Jane at the gym. (Jane Fonda's book) I learned all about her side of the Vietnam FTA story. I see where she was misjudged, but after hearing her side, I totally understand what she was trying to do. Many really were turned off of her during that time--and never got turned on again to Jane. Living your life in front of the press would be aggravating. The stories written in tabloids get to be fact and you don't get the opportunity to do anything unnoticed. Everyone develops opinions on your every move. I can't imagine. So many of want to be noticed all of the time. So many are starved for fame. Most just want to be acknowledged, I'm sure. Acknowledgement is so important. I think we forget to do this for the ones we love. We went to Barnes last night and I got The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Four of my friends had asked me if I'd read it, so it seemed as if the universe was trying to tell me something. I'll write more on it later--but I am learning! We do need to remember to smile when we see our loved ones. We do it for our toddlers...then we seem to stop. I'm now focusing on it.
Money allows you to spend your time doing what you really want to do. I think that's why we want so much of it. Yes, you can get a lot of stuff--but I think we'd spend a lottery winning putting people in place to do things like the yard, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry...and we'll sit and drink our coffee and read the rest of The Times. Oh, and go to movies...my, how we miss going to movies. gosh.
Friday, June 10, 2011
As I listen to Jane talk about her childhood with such honesty, I realize that I felt so connected and tuned in to her story...and that I was so comforted by it. Whereas many feel very uncomfortable with such brutal honesty, I've always felt horribly awkward around small chit chat. I loved listening to her talking about many things most don't. I felt like I was being taught about my own life. I felt like I was learning things about the way my own insides are put together. I was so wrapped up in the book that I couldn't even work out anymore (I was trying to listen whilst biking at the gym) and found a couch to just sit and listen. It's been hard to want to do much else except listen to this book. I really feel connected--almost in a trance. It's making me realize that the kind of writing that I normally do on here is uncomfortable for me. When I'm done with 99% of these posts I feel shallow. I'm happy I at least wrote something, but feel as if I wasn't authentic in any way. I worry that I'm too deep and thinky. But I didn't feel Jane was at all. I've been thinking about writing a play. I now know it's going to be heavy. I try to be the light, and funny one so much of the time because that is what I feel people want. Yes I want to be a bright spot in peoples' lives, but I also want to write with as much honesty as I can. I learn when people dive deep into their own experiences and share what they've learned from them. Life is so difficult to navigate alone. I've always looked for guidance on how to do anything. Now, I feel I'm looking for guidance on how to process my own memories/experiences and how to use them to make me better. I'm enrolling myself into a class (created by me) where I listen to audio autobiographies read by the author. I want to sit with these people and listen to their journeys. I want to learn from their triumphs and mistakes. I just want to be able to feel as if I'm more connected into the deeper meaning of relationships and life.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I'm getting pay back now. How frustrating.
J did well on the gift front. I got VERY cool bracelet from an art house jewler on East Ave. in Rochester. He also soared with the card. Very sweet and well written. It was a great evening. I focused my gifts on our wine collection with glasses and accessories. He seemed to like them. We talked, laughed and had two martinis a piece. A really good Key Lime Martini is so hard to come by and it was so outstanding, I had two. It's my favorite. It's great to be alone and just focus on each other. We are best friends. I think this evolved from starting out as friends and having really no boundaries as to what we can share with the other. I can talk about anything with him. He's more reserved, but he doesn't have an issue listening to me. We have struggles and at times they can take us over, but when we really focus on the other, we return to our base. We were friends for years before we ever dated. We gave each other love advice and hung out occasionally in Chicago. Then, we became roommates. The friendship turned into more. It was probably the easiest relationship I'd had. When it starts out difficult...it just stays that way. I think the years of friendship discovering our interests were so similar really has helped our marriage. We probably focus more on our friendship than the romance. We're working harder on that. I think the day to day can zap the romance out of you. The friendship seems to take over in order to get through it all. But, finally....we'll have a date to bring us together again romantically.
I think another thing we focus on is making sure we have events in our lives that we can look forward to. We have many things planned in the months to come. This makes the daily grind bearable. I feel it's important to have planned happy times in the near future. It's a great way to go through life. Yes, the day to day crap can get to you--and it's necessary. Sadly, we haven't figured out how to go through life without working and making money. The babies also haven't figured out how to raise themselves. But, to make sure you have some mental relief helps. So far, we have a family trip to Lake Placid and a bonus good friend that's meeting us there. That happens July 4th. (BTW, if you ever get the chance to see Lake Placid and that charming town, you should go.) Later in July, my 16 year old niece is coming with my mom and we are have a quick trip to NYC for a walk in Central Park and a Broadway show. Neither of them have been there before. Kendra will attend a 2 wk drama camp in Rochester. The rest of her family will arrive for her final performance. We'll have guests for a month or so when it's all said and done. Whew! Labor Day is shaping up and a Girl Weekend is almost set for Sept. I'm very happy about this. Staying connected to women who knew you as a girl is important to me. I've gone through many challenges and was S L O W to mature...and these girls stuck through it with me. Love them.
Z and I are off to Little Gym...we've got to go!!
The picture is Z, J and me at the Memorial Day parade in Pittsford, NY.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
I'll be interested to see how Z and my relationship changes. Right now, we are very honest and supportive. Yes, she is 18 months, but...we're off to a good start. The frustrations of raising kids must distance parents--or rather maybe it's just that the self sacrifice is over. You think about how often you see them now. How often do they visit? How often do they say that they want to visit? You think about how many times they call to see how you are...or how your child is.
So many have children that shouldn't. That is evident. How many of us wouldn't be here if they had a "do over" or a time machine. I think about so many things I'd like to do and places I'd like to visit. I'm sure that in 30 years, I'll have those same thoughts and more. Is there a certain age you reach where you feel it's too late to do things and you just spend your time wishing you'd done it in the years before? Maybe wondering if it was all worth it?
I think about these things daily now. That can't be healthy.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
So, yesterday I was trying to find something to entertain me on TV while I folded laundry. I came across My Dinner with Andre. It's an older movie that is based around a conversation at dinner between two acquaintances. I watched it in HS and was intrigued. Movies heavy in dialogue are my favorite. I love good conversation. I really feel that I'd like to try to write a play. I haven't been writing enough to be good right now, but I feel that if I tried my hand at this, I could finish something. A novel is never going to happen. I think I've mentioned this desire before. I need a setting. I have a few ideas...but nothing groundbreaking.
To inspire me, I Googled late start authors and feel much better. Here's what Wikipedia had:
Many writers have published their first major work late in life. Mary Wesley might be a classic example. She wrote two children's books in her late fifties, but her writing career did not gain note until her first novel at 70, written after the death of her husband. Harriet Doerr published her first novel at age 74, and went on to great praise. A possibly more well known example might be Laura Ingalls Wilder. She became a columnist in her forties, but did not publish her first novel in the Little House series of children's books until her sixties.
Memoirist and novelist Flora Thompson was first published in her thirties but is most famous for the semi-autobiographical Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy, the first volume of which was published when she was 63. Children's author Mary Alice Fontenot wrote her first book at 51 and wrote almost thirty additional books, publishing multiple volumes in her eighties and nineties. Kenneth Grahame was born in 1859, joined the Bank of England in 1879 and rose through the ranks to become its Secretary. Although he had written various short stories while working at the bank, it was only after his retirement in 1908 that he published his masterpiece and final work The Wind in the Willows.
Charles Bukowski published his first novel at age 49 after a lengthy career working odd jobs and then at a post office. Richard Adams's first novel, the bestseller Watership Down, was published when he was in his fifties. Anthony Burgess, the novelist best known for A Clockwork Orange, published his first novel at age 39. William S. Burroughs was also 39 when he published his first novel, Junky. The Marquis de Sade published his first novel, Justine, after turning 51. Henry Miller published his novel Tropic of Cancer at 44. Raymond Chandler published his first short story at 45, and his first novel, The Big Sleep at 51.
In other areas of writing, poet Wallace Stevens started late in life after years as an insurance salesman and executive. Although he was first published at 38, his "canonical works" came out in his fifties. In philosophy Mary Midgley had her first book when she was 56. Edmond Hoyle wrote a booklet on whist in his late sixties. To avoid unauthorized copies he wrote the copyrighted A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist at age 70.
The Indian writer and polymath Nirad C. Chaudhuri wrote his autobiography The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian at the age of 54. He wrote a sequel to it Thy Hand, Great Anarch! at the age of 90. He published his next work (and his final work) Three Horsemen of the New Apocalypse at the age of 100.
Aron Ettore Schmitz published his first novel Senilità in his 38th year, however it was not until he published Zeno's Conscience that he made a breakthrough, aged 61. Even this was self-published.
Joseph Conrad was one of the greatest authors in the English language. He could not speak a word of English until he was about 21. He only started writing in English at about age 32, and his first published works came out when he was about 37.