My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Just back from Muriel Duckworth’s hundredth birthday party, and I am feeling seriously deprived of family.  What a fantastic bunch was there to celebrate with her – scores of cousins, nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren … And while we were toasting Muriel, word came through that one of her son’s daughters by one of his marriages had just had twins.  

Through it all, Muriel refused to rest – greeted everyone, up to date and interested, though she occasionally had to be reminded who she was talking to.  There were neighbours of 48 years from her cottage in Lake Memphramagog, where she grew up and has been returning to since moving to Halifax in the forties; fellow Quakers and peaceniks; old friends. And the joyous tumble of family.

As well as this great event, it was a proud day for me as a teacher.  First, my former student Laurel Croza’s story “The Whirlpool” was printed in the Star, where it won second place in the Short Story Competition.  And a moving story it is, written in the voice of an adolescent girl with Laurel’s usual empathy and skill.  
And in the just-out September issue of “Real Health” magazine is an article on the writer’s group that formed after a term in my class at Ryerson; they continued to meet for years, and when one of them, Liz Maxwell, died suddenly, the others formed a press and published a book of her stories, to raise money for liver research. 
So – much to celebrate today.  And tomorrow I’m going on vacation – driving off with my friend Oksana to a cabin near Killarney Park, for a week of hiking, canoeing and reading the “New Yorker” magazine.  Happy Summer to you all.  

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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