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Dude, I never thought Id eat as much broccoli as I do now, and Ive never felt better.

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Letters Man

Randy Jackson on his dietary changes following a type 2 diabetes diagnosis

Herman Wouk Novel approach


At 97, Pulitzer Prizewinning author Herman Wouk, known for The Caine Mutiny and The Winds of War, is not only still writing but experimenting with literary forms. His latest novel, The Lawgiver, tells the story of Moses through letters, emails, journals, tweets and text messages. Wouk spoke to AARP The Magazine about storytelling, loss and, yes, procrastination. When I grew up, I perceived that a narrative of transcendent power was embedded in the books of Moses. I made a few notes, dropped them in a file and for decades thought of it as the impossible novel. In very old age it crossed my mind that I could tell the story through several voices, none with authority, and create a colorful suggestion of the real thing.
Q: As you approach your 100th year, where do you find the energy and discipline to write? What energy? Q: Did using texts and tweets seem like a modern way to approach Moses?

unDer THe seA earle dove off coral reefs near the Aquarius research station in July.

Defender of the Deep

Sylvia Earle Awesome aquanaut


She calls them hope spots: oceanic areas that, if protected like national parks, would allow sea life to thrive and ecosystems to heal. So oceanographer Sylvia Earle, 77, is traveling the world, demanding preservation of our waterways before its too late. A National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Earle warns that acidification, which occurs as the seas absorb more carbon dioxide, is at dangerous levels, threatening the marine food chain: Well be seeing the effects for decades to come. Understanding our oceans is essential to protecting them, says Earle, who in July dove 60 feet down to the Aquarius Reef Base off the Florida Keysthe worlds only undersea research stationto raise awareness of funding needs. Clips landed on YouTube and The Daily Show as Jon Stewarts Moment of Zen. The ocean governs climate, generates much of the oxygen in the atmosphere and forms 90 percent of the biosphere where life exists, says Earle. If you like to breathe, youll care about the ocean. Laurie Wiegler

CLOCKWISE, frOm tOp: fOX/GEtty ImaGES; KIp EvanS; patrICK ECCLESInE

What discipline? To myself I seem a lifelong indolent procrastinator. Ive written only 13 novels in 67 years.

Q: I was sorry to read that you recently lost your wife, your editor and companion of 65 years. How have you coped?

Theres no coping with the loss of BSW [Betty Sarah Wouk]. I live a diminished life, but I try to go on as I know she would expect of me.
Q: To what do you look forward?

The time and health to get my planned work done, by Gods grace.
Alanna Nash

12 aarp the magazine / aarp.org