My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

social whirl

A few social events to report on today, as the snow of desolate February whips by my study window once again.  On Friday night, a dinner party gathering here of writers who are also writing teachers – Alissa York and Kathryn Kuitenbrouer, fine novelists who are also fine teachers of fiction writing at U of T, and Wayson, lifelong master teacher. We three women, poor as church mice from our writing, are thankful to the university for providing a paycheque. A study came out last week stating that many Canadian artists live at or below the poverty line; the average female artist earns $19,175. Canadian. A year.

(A segue into why church mice are poorer than other mice – I suppose because no one eats in church and so there’s nothing for them there. Do you think?)

Our conversation was rich and wide-ranging, with much discussion of creative endeavours – “What’s your process?” Alissa reclusive and single-minded when writing a first draft, Kathryn raising three sons, teaching and grabbing any spare moment to work. We talked a lot about how to handle events in the classroom, such as writing students who don’t listen to critiques or want to rewrite. For artists who work in solitude inside their own minds and imaginations, the companionship was a treat, and so were the lasagna and honey balls.
Last night I went to the home of my friend Suzette who’s a screenwriter about to head to L.A., with a mutual friend Jessica who owns a gallery of modern art. We met as teenagers in university days and have much to discuss – stories of our other friends and classmates, and of course house prices and how to survive the recession.  We were going to see “Defiance”, aka “Jews in the Woods,” but the snow was tumbling thick and fast, so Suzette, who’s a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, played us her copy of “Milk” on widescreen TV while Jessica and I luxuriated in her leather reclining chairs. Now that’s the way to watch a movie, particularly one as superb as this. A terrific film – highly recommended, for its skilful presentation of historical reality but also for the fantastic performances. 
I spoke to the kids in Halifax about the time in 1959 when my family was refused entry into the Waegwoltic Club because my father was a Jew. Hard to believe now, just as it’s hard to believe a time when there was such rampant, violent, overt prejudice against gay men and women. And yet – not that long ago and bubbling beneath the surface, still. 
The whole time I was writing this, I could hear that very Canadian sound outside – a shovel, over and over, lifting snow. 

Share

Share
Tweet
Share
Pin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

Archives

Coming soon

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

Join the mailing list to stay up to date on this and other exciting news.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.