My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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in the early morning rain

8 a.m. Dark and rainy – a welcome respite. The garden is happy. Wayson the asthmatic has been going every day to the nearby mall to sit and read his research books. Perhaps with this cooler spell, he’ll be able to work at home.

I thought a lot about my workshop, the stories that came out. The most unlikely bear-like man, writing about the Christmas he was 7, opening a big box that he hoped concealed a big red fire-truck, and finding a snowsuit. But, he said, it was the happiest Christmas, because his parents were both there, the last Christmas he had them together. A woman wrote about the fact that she’ll soon become a grandmother for the first time, and needs to relearn all the skipping and nursery songs of her childhood. “I’m a little teapot …” she sang. The Native man wrote of sitting by a lake near Sudbury, in a landscape polluted by the smelters, throwing stones into the bush for his mother’s dog.
People tell powerful stories in every class, but knowing the difficult life circumstances of these people, the fact that it’s a miracle they were there at all, made their stories especially moving.
Wayson and I were discussing tattoos last night, as we watched a parade of them going by on Gerrard Street – every other young person seemed to be heavily decorated, including a young mother, her chest and upper arms completely filled in, holding a new-born baby. “Tattoos help when you have nothing to read,” Wayson said. “‘Could you turn around, please?’ you say. ‘I’ve read the front bit.'” And then he said, “I don’t get them myself, but at least tattoos make the world a more colourful place.”
He’s right. I will say nothing more about my son’s. He is making the world a more colourful place. That’s for sure.
I gather our mayor is full of praise for the actions of the police during the G20. And so – that’s it for my respect for David Miller.
Blowing own horn, #9,543. Have received some very nice notes about classes. Please forgive me if I put them on display. On a dark, rainy day, these are the sun for me.
Thanks for all your encouragement, humour and warmth, Beth, and for inspiring me to write! I enjoyed the experience immensely of hearing everyone’s stories –yours included — they are fantastic. I have learned so much.
The course at Humber was a lot of fun, but I must say, I doubt that there is an instructor anywhere that is as kind, sensitive and encouraging as you are, and I have taken a lot of courses. That certainly is a very special characteristic you have there:)
Thank you again – YOUR class(es) were a great and 100% good experience for me.

Thanks so much for the class Beth – it has meant so much to me in so many ways. It’s been challenging, exciting and life giving. I especially have come to really appreciate the editing process. I used to just throw things together, but I’m excited about how much better a piece can get with the proper attention given to it. I’ve learned what my common defaults and weaknesses as a writer are (some of them, at least), and I’m getting a better sense of my personal rhythm and voice. You’ve given me the tools I need to take my writing to the next level.

How are you?? I truly miss your wonderful, inspiring writing classes. You are an outstanding teacher, second to none.

I honestly think that you’re a brilliant writer Beth. I’ve been reading your blog with interest every day. I love the way you describe your day-to-day life. Whether you’re writing about our politicians, the environment, your lovely garden sprouting in technicolor with life, or the artistic craft of Wayson Choy, the emotion you share with your readers shines through. I also enjoyed reading about the happiness you receive when sharing precious moments with your daughter and son. Your words captivate the reader.



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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.


Coming soon

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

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