Billie Best is the author of two books that came out in 2020: A collection of essays and short stories titled “I Could Be Wrong: 50+ Blog Posts, Short Reads, Big Laughs, Wit & Wisdom“ and her memoir titled “How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man)“ — both published by Widowspeak Publishing and available in paperback and ebook.
“I Could Be Wrong: 50+ Blog Posts, Short Reads, Big Laughs, Wit & Wisdom”
“I Could Be Wrong” is available only on Amazon in paperback ($7.99) and ebook ($4.69). Entertaining, beautifully written and right on the money, these blog posts were originally authored between January 2019 and October 2020 and published at billiebest.com. An entertaining voice, authentic and relatable, Billie Best reflects on our life and times, the experience of aging, the power of women in midlife, and the challenge of adapting to constant change.
Occasionally quite sober, but mostly just for fun, this is adult humor, wit and wisdom in bite-sized chunks, perfect for the fractured attention span. To add to the amusement, each post includes an imaginary tarot card illustrated by Brenda Rose, both thought provoking and laugh out loud funny. “I Could Be Wrong” is a mini vacation for your mind.
Some of Billie Best’s most popular blog posts are about menopause, including an encounter with the Wrinkle Fairy, a fantasy of consumer electronics for menopause, a study of hot flash fiction, her menopause conspiracy theory, and a critique of our cultural failure to appreciate menopause as a personal renaissance.
Several posts reflect on the experience described in her memoir, “How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man)” including advice on how to deal with a midlife crisis, how to handle a marriage breakdown after 30 years, how to plan death like a wedding, how to process grief, how to move forward after becoming a widow, and how to downsize and start over.
Age, aging and ageism are topics woven through many posts as the author finds herself senior and single, living alone in the city and experimenting with dating, all of which lead her to reflect on her youth, the trials of being an older woman, the issues of gender that pervade her experience, and the challenge of confronting her own mortality.
Many posts illuminate the social isolation, fear and peculiarities of the Covid-19 pandemic from the start of home quarantine and social distancing in Spring 2020 to the irony, sadness and social malaise of summer, and the frustration that sharpened to anger with the mounting death toll in autumn. These posts commiserate with humor as they document events that will leave their mark for generations.
Illustrations by Brenda Rose
Brenda Rose is an artist, designer, and occasional art director living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She designed the “I Could Be Wrong” book cover and produced 54 illustrations for the 54 blog posts in the book. She loves a good font, vintage ephemera, and has a penchant for clean and simple design with pops of color. Find her work at brendarose.com.
In Brenda’s words “Billie’s quirky, comical and heartfelt pieces are the perfect inspiration for an icon-loving graphic artist. So when she approached me with the idea of illustrating her book, even suggesting the chapters be represented by something between a deck of playing cards (complete with suits) and a deck of tarot cards (complete with archetypes), I was hooked. After designing the playing/tarot card template, I set to work creating the images to represent each chapter based the subject, her imagery, or wherever the piece took my thoughts.”
“How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man)”
Billie Best’s memoir is available in paperback ($12.99) and ebook ($7.99) on Amazon and in bookstores. The books is a provocative, at times hilarious, account of her midlife mistakes and misadventures, and how they build her strength as she copes with her soul mate turned cheating husband who wants his death to be performance art, his doppelganger mistress who wants to steal her identity, and the financial collapse of the farm she loves. An inspiring tale of a woman’s rites of passage from her 40s to her 60s when everything in her life changes.
Most of the story takes place in the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts where Best and her husband purchased a farm in 1998 as a second home after her success in the technology business. The book charts their course from high tech city people to low tech farm folk as it exposes the fissures in their marriage brought on by diverging visions for the future, her immersion into farming and his escape into an affair.
Three months before his death he invites his until then secret mistress to spend the weekend with him and his wife. It’s his goodbye present to himself and it doesn’t go well. Best’s emotional scars are permanent, triggering a cascade of rage, neurosis and obsessive-compulsive cleaning. It takes years for her to unravel the lies buried in their marriage. Then she discovers some forgotten secrets of her own.
An illumination of a woman’s power in midlife, “How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man)” is a gutsy saga of how a marriage breaks down after 30 years, what to do (and not to do) when your husband cheats on you, how to deal with a midlife crisis, how to plan your own funeral and die at home, how to move forward after becoming a widow, and the personal renaissance of downsizing and starting over — in short, this book is about how to age well.
Media Kit & more details at Widowspeak Publishing.