Dr. Gene Helveston wanted to create a format for adults 55 and older.
The Marquette Manor resident created Your Good Life website, which is produced for seniors by seniors.
Helveston, a retired pediatric ophthalmologist, moved into Marquette Manor in Indianapolis in 2011 with his wife, Barbara, who died in 2018. Helveston also is an emeritus professor of ophthalmology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Since he has been in Marquette Manor, Helveston, 87, has written five books, including three thrillers he describes as G-rated, along with starting the website.
“I edited Volume 1, reflections and memories, of the first 50 stories we published on Your Good Life that were authored by residents,” said Helveston, who previously lived in areas in and around Indianapolis, including Carmel. “Through research and focus groups, I tried to determine how many people were computer literate. We started an online book club in September of 2018. We kept working and putting things together. Then in December 2019, we published our first full-time continuing website. We’ve continued that weekly.”
The website is open to any seniors anywhere to contribute.
“It’s billed as the only literary book club available for seniors,” Helveston said. “I’ve tried to find a literary website for seniors, and they are all dating sites, travel agencies, selling books, selling medical substitutes. But ours is just literary, no advertising, no paid sponsorship and all free.”
Helveston said he approves all contributions.
“We establish a format and it’s kind of rigid,” he said. “I write a 500- to 700-word column every week. It’s about anything I feel like.”
The chapbook, called by “Savvy Senior,” is a 500- to 700-word story about a memory, thought and idea that seniors have.
“There is no political ranting or provocative points,” Helveston said. “I have to accept it and I edit it very mildly, just checking typos and the grossest grammar. I leave in the writers.”
There are sections for poetry, journaling and memoirs.
“I finance it. (I’m not) really good at not making a profit,” Helveston said with a laugh. “We’re hoping to build our readership to have a significant number of people make a donation to keep it going.”
For more, visit yourgoodlife.org.