My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Wow, that election was so like really worth it!

That was fun, wasn’t it kids? 

Or not.  I could hardly bear to watch the first election returns, afraid of a Harper majority – but soon calmed down.  How crazy is it that after that colossal expenditure of time, money and effort, we have almost exactly the same government we had before?  And then Harper tells us he always knew he wouldn’t get a majority government.  So this whole exercise was really just his idea of a jolly way to spend the end of summer.

Well, the results could have been so much worse.  Sensible, cautious Canadians come through again.  They too took note of those cold blue eyes; no one was taken in by the photo op of Stephen in a cuddly blue sweater, hugging an Oriental child.  Next time, the Liberals will have a stronger leader and platform, and let’s hope the landscape looks much different when it’s over. The good news is the gains made by the NDP, the sad news the complete shut-out of the Greens.  So frustrating to have three parties battling each other on the left, while the Big Blue Machine marches along alone on the right. Marches along without Newfoundland, Quebec or a single city.  How I love the mottled maps of Canada’s electoral patterns – all fascinatingly unpredictable, except Alberta. How grateful I am to the Quebecois, who objected so strongly to Harper’s arts cuts and proposal to sentence minors to adult prison, and shut him out.  How I love this crazy country.
As opposed to the one to the south, which is truly, terrifyingly crazy.  It’s surreal to watch a highly intelligent man like Ari Fleischer, once George Bush’s press secretary, telling Jon Stewart how much he likes and admires Sarah Palin.  Or last night, watching the last debate between Obama and McCain – why are these men even on the same stage? – and then hearing the pundits declaim that this was McCain’s finest hour, he came on strong, he was aggressive and on target … He was at times barely coherent, is what he was, with Obama making point after point with extraordinary intelligence and clarity.  Is there any choice here? 
At the workshop on Tuesday night on memoir writing, I was introduced by “On the far left is Beth Kaplan, our first speaker.”  That’s where I was sitting, but it made me laugh.  I spoke about the importance of craft, technique, honesty and courage in memoir writing; Sarah Moore from “More” magazine about the “Memoir” section which accepts personal essays; Lindsay Michael, a young woman from the CBC, introduced us to “Out Front,” a fifteen minute documentary segment produced for radio by ordinary Canadians.  And Dr. Ross Pennie spoke about his memoir of being a doctor in Kuala Lumpur.  A full spectrum of memoir activities.  
Speaking of the “far left,” a few days ago a response was posted to my previous piece here, calling me “one scary lady” for my highly negative views of Mike Harris and Harper.  It was the first time I had a real sense of what it means to be present in the blogosphere.  It has always seemed that friendly people, if not only actual friends, were reading, but that is not always the case, and I have to be prepared for that.  I do think the guy was right to challenge me for using the word “loathe.”  I tend to overstate, and the world does not need more hatred.   
But if you don’t like my beliefs, please don’t read them.  As Albert Einstein said: “I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist.  I am willing to fight for peace.” 

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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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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