My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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This is one bad, bad bug, still infesting my lungs. And yet I’m having the time of my life, working far harder than I ever do at home – because I can. So far, no distractions or interruptions, no one to see, nothing to do except walk on the beach, read, and work. And slowly get better.

Worked all day Friday and Saturday, from lunch to late, wrestling with the manuscript, trying to figure out where it works and where it does not. After ten hours of wrangling Friday, I went to bed and read a bit of the “New Yorker,” and what I read transformed what I wrote the next day. It was an interview with a 45-year old indie rock-star called Carrie Brownstein, talking about her love life. She’s single, not good at long-term relationships, she says.
Leaving and moving on – returning to a familiar sense of self-reliance and autonomy – is what I know. That feeling is as comfortable and comforting as it might be for a different kind of person to stay.”

It rang bells; I feel the same way. She’s not judging herself; she’s just stating what she knows – that she’s more comfortable alone. I had just read a NYT article about singleness – more prevalent and deliberately chosen in our society now than ever in history. All this provoked a subtle shift in the tone of the first bit of my story. I can’t tell more now, because all of this may go nowhere. But those little lines galvanized me.
And today, over breakfast, I just read an article in last Sunday’s NYT, about how solitude not only fosters creativity, it’s essential for it. If I could, I’d set up this little condo as a writer’s retreat. An artist’s retreat. All my creative friends should have the opportunity to come here and sit under Mum’s giant sunny Mark Rothko, palm trees outside the window, pelicans and other sea birds sailing past, the endless beach on one side and the bay on the other, and just listen and think and work.
But today – social life. My cousin David, actually my father’s little cousin, now 68, is coming to pick me up and take me to his new house, which I’ve never seen. We’ll tool around in his new convertible, then have dinner, and then – be still my beating heart – watch the finale of “Downton Abbey” on his wide-screen TV. To hell with all this solitary work when two hours of delicious “Downton” awaits.



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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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