My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Macca’s “New.”

Finally got to Sunrise Records this morning to buy the new Macca CD. I love that place – one of the few independents left. They sell records, tickets, t-shirts, and today, crazy Hallowe’en masks. I’m listening to it for the first time right now. A friend said, after so many songs, there’s a certain sameness. But no, it’s catchy, catchy, alive. Have you seen the “Queenie Eye” video with Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Ford et al? What a guy. 71 was never like this – go Paul! He’s singing about John. I don’t want to cry right now so I won’t listen carefully. Soon I’ll listen with my headphones on. Really listen.

Speaking of crying – last night’s pleasure, the series I recently discovered, “Call the Midwife.” I’ve wept at every single one I’ve seen, last night no exception – it’s a show about family, blood, faith, kindness, and the power of socialized medicine. Beautiful stuff, though something of a fantasy, everyone comes through for the babies in the end, and unfortunately, in reality, they sometimes don’t. Watching – it’s set in London in the mid-50’s, when my family also lived there – I feel cold in every part of my body.

Tuesday night, to the Author’s Festival for the 50th anniversary celebration of UBC’s Creative Writing Department, from which I proudly graduated with an MFA in 1986. A group of writers, some old graduates with books out and some current professors, read from their novels. It wasn’t stellar, I’m sorry to say – because novels require a long set-up and then a snippet that’s often out of context and hard to grasp. Joseph Boyden read from his current novel “The Orenda,” and my Ryerson colleague Ann Ireland read from “The Blue Guitar,” very enjoyable, both. I was sorry that the UBC professor of Creative Non-Fiction, the only non-fiction writer represented, also chose to read from his novel!

Paul is singing “New.” It’s a first class song. Love it.

Speaking of which, my Sixties memoir, I know you are anxious to know … Well. I’ve written some new short bits, an intro and a postscript that I think frame it better than before, and a friend is taking a query to another publisher. If they say no, I will almost certainly self-publish. Enough. The publishing industry is a huge mess right now. I want the book out, so I can write other things. And yes, maybe create a one woman show, whatever. But for now, just get this thing out of my system, please. If someone out there won’t do it, I will. Lots of writers are self-publishing. Friend Ellen Roseman wrote recently to remind me of that fact, of best-sellers that were originally self-published. Thank you, Ellen. Moving right along.

To Hallowe’en. Not my favourite night, it isn’t for anyone who was an actor. We made our living dressing up as other people – there’s no fun in it. Cabbagetown is Hallowe’en Central – we get 700 kids, easily, starting early and ending late, and my neighbours go crazy with ghosts, giant black cats, graves, skeletons, shrieking cadavers. I did it for years, scrabbling costumes for the kids and getting protein into them before they went out, getting the pumpkins carved and out, getting myself into some kind of get up and standing at the door for hours with hundreds of dollars worth of tiny chocolate bars. I loved seeing my immigrant neighbours and their children, learning North American ways. But tonight, as I have since my children left home, I will be turning out the lights and hiding, until it’s time to go out to the Bluma Appel theatre for “Desh,” a prize-winning dance program from London. Bah, humbug.

The door bell – it’s 5.45, and they’re here already. Time for hiding mode.



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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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