My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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slightly used manuscript for sale

An emotional day yesterday. October 8th is my mother’s birthday; it would have been her 90th. Yesterday was the first October 8th since my early childhood that I did not wish her a happy birthday, if not in person, then by phone. A heavy sense of loss.

And then, another loss – my manuscript was turned down by the publisher I’d decided would be perfect for it. He didn’t even give a critique, beyond the fact that “there are many memoirs of this era, and this one would be drowned in the sea of competition.” I wondered if he’d even read it, to tell you the truth.

So – back to the drawing board, once again. My sweet daughter reminded me that Harry Potter was turned down 27 times or something like that. Truly, you have to be insane to do this – to pour out your heart and soul in solitude for long periods of time, and then go through a demeaning and tedious rigamarole to get the product out into the world. But then, I felt that as an actress too – that what I loved was the instant communication, the back and forth with the audience. What I hated was the journey there, the auditions, the back stage politics. But unfortunately you cannot have the contact without the rigamarole. As a friend who’s taking the publishing program at Ryerson said – publishers judge a book 25% on narrative, 25% on style, and 50% on marketability. It’s probably, said Wayson, more like 60% or even more. Business.

However. It’s just words on a page. I have my health and my teeth, and Booboo is coming to visit tomorrow. And friend Brucie is here, visiting till Saturday; we’re going out for dinner tonight. Teaching is a joy, three wonderful classes. Right now, the dog next door is as usual howling. The cat and I are sitting side by side, as usual, listening to the chatty birds at the feeder on this beautiful day, sunny with a chilly undertone. I went to Carol’s class at the Y and had a soak in the hot tub afterwards so my legs wouldn’t hurt so much. I’ve just finished reading a wonderful book, “Swimming in the Monsoon Sea,” by Shyam Selvadurai.

I will figure out what to do next with this book, and start work on something new. A writer is nothing if not filled with hope. Speaking of hope – Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani child shot by the Taliban for advocating for women’s education, was on Jon Stewart yesterday, an extraordinary young woman, thoughtful, composed – so wise for 16. Her courage was inspiring.

That’s what matters.



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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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