My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo


There was a moment  last night, before the start of the storytelling event “Raconteurs,” when I nearly bolted. What the hell am I doing here? was the kind of thing running through my head. First I was asked to sign a waiver to the filming and taping of my spiel, allowing them full copyright to do whatever they wanted with it “in perpetuity.” I refused to sign, which created some tension; I was ready to leave, but they simply agreed to stop the taping for my segment. The women running the event were cheery but vague; at 7.30, when it was supposed to begin, our hostess, in a transparent blouse and short shorts, was replenishing her beer, and it started 20 minutes late.

The crowd was merry – average age 33, making me nearly 30 years older. I couldn’t see this group, with their tattoos and little hats and ironic t-shirts, wanting to listen to an innocent old-fashioned story about a 13 year old discovering the Beatles. The first two stories confirmed that – the first one fun but a lengthy exposition about major drug use (nitrous oxide in balloons??) at rock concerts. So when I was introduced, I really didn’t know what to expect.

It was fabulous. I’m so glad I did it. The audience was right there, listening, laughing at things I hadn’t realized were funny, even applauding a few triumphant moments in the middle. I’d prepared about 14 minutes but cut it short at 10, and afterwards, many came up to me with lovely things to say. One of the organizers told me that her friends all liked the Backstreet Boys but she had loved the Beatles. “I hope you come back,” she said.

I really enjoyed standing at the mike with a crowd out there laughing. Liked it a lot. A born ham, she is. So the storytelling project is a go. Of course, sustaining ten minutes is different from an hour or more, so we’ll see.

After the intermission, there were three more storytellers, and each was moving, honest, thoughtful; I liked all three a lot – wanted more; wanted each of them in my writing class. My friend Ken who was there with me had the best time. We left before the next batch; I would have liked to hear them but not to stand around for another long intermission. For the target demographic, the evening is about schmoozing as well as storytelling. Not for us old-timers, though.

So despite organization that’s a  bit flaky, it’s a great event. It starts again in the fall. If you live in Toronto, check it out.



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.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.