Today my guest is RITA LAKIN, screenwriter with credits for 474 produced television scripts spanning 30 productions. She also writes a series of comedy mystery novels featuring Gladdy Gold and her zany geriatric partners in crime-solving. She’s the author of The Only Woman In The Room, a memoir of her life as one of the first female show runners and one of the first women in television.

Here’s Rita!


I’d rather it was Hair Today, or even Heir Tomorrow. But the truth is I’m old. 91 is old.

I cannot pretend I’m still middle-aged. That word was bearable. That only cost some wrinkles, men no longer undressing me with their eyes, or even a cutesy pinch now and then. All my life, I never even thought about getting old. Who does? Why would they when they’re still bouncing around with life choices?

I’m sure people plan ahead; smart people who put away money so that they wouldn’t end up in a cardboard box in some park when it all ran out.  I had a good business manager. So I sit in comfort. Though unable to do anything but watch TV. I have a caregiver. Oh, how I hate that word.

But here’s the reality—when at the yearly checkup at the doctors, hearing those death/knell bells ringing, Your body is fading away and you are on the way out. How can I deny my legs that do not walk, fingers shaking, with the whole left side useless? I do a self-check. I had to give up driving. Bye-bye independence. Look in the mirror. Deny that grey-haired harridan is you. I want to cover all mirrors; but I don’t.

I can’t even sign my name. I now type one letter at a time on the computer. The list goes on and on of what I can’t do anymore.

 SHUT UP! How dare I complain! I was pretty. I had the gift of intelligence, which led me to enjoy the arts. I’ve had a wonderful life filled with a loving family. A multitude of friends. And true love.

 Much delightful travel. Many unexpected adventures. An enviable career, showered with great reviews and rewards. 

So I tell myself to count those blessings (and forgive the errors) every single day.

And stop looking in the mirror.

More about Rita’s amazing contributions to television, movies, books.

Rita won first place for her IMBA bestselling Getting Old is a Disaster. The same novel won Left Coast Crime’s LEFTY AWARD for most humorous mystery published in 2009.
Her many other awards include those from Writers Guild of America, MWA’s Edgar™️, and the Avery Hopwood Award from the University of Michigan.



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  1. Maryellen says:

    wow. Rita is a treasure.

    I am only 64 and 10 months. . . . One week before the country shut down for the pandemic I fell and severely broke my left arm. I was totally immobile for a week and then needed assistance to feed, dress and toilet for weeks. That was the month I aged. I thought I was pretty young and vibrant in January 2020. Now I make different decisions based on my age and ability.

    I am keeping this writing as an inspiration. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Ann says:

    Rita! You are amazing and an inspiration! *ARE* (as in: present tense)… Love your books, love your humor, awed by your life and all that you have accomplished so far. AND you are still writing! (This post is proof of that.)
    When next we gather, let’s raise our glasses (of coffee? or maybe root-beer floats?) and cheer to today and l’chaim!!

  3. Priscilla says:

    Rita, you continue to be a wonder! I deeply appreciate your comments about being old. They give comfort as the body no longer does what it used to do. But your mind is sparking away as always. Love and a hug!