My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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gardenia breath

Today is the first day in some time that things around here are slowing down a bit. At last. It has been a crazy month, with the book coming out and the huge push to try to get it noticed, which of course is on-going. Followed by the So True reading series to get off the ground – readers to find, their pieces to edit, the evening to coordinate and get through (the next one scheduled for July 27, more info to follow). Followed by getting the last draft of the writing book to the publisher, a long-awaited visit to a too-speedy endocrinologist about my osteoporosis, and a four day trip to Ottawa. Woven around teaching, running the house, bringing the garden back to life, my family and tenants and friends and life.

Every day, it feels like an avalanche of emails to wade through, trying to keep up with correspondence and reading. Sisyphus.

But the book is out, the series is launched, the draft is being edited, classes are great, and the garden is glorious. The gardenia plant has six sweet blooms and the roses are about to burst. And there’s a majority Liberal government. Take a breath, girl. Summer is here.

I haven’t spoken about the books I’m somehow reading, very slowly, in and around all that. I have just finished the massive, almost overwhelming “The Goldfinch,” by Donna Tartt. I confess that though I admired the vast scope of the book, I skipped large chunks. It is brilliant – how does this woman know so much about so much? The writing is at times mesmerizing. But as the French say, un embarras de richesses – an overload of riches. There’s too much. Too too much.

Just got two books through the mail: “This Boy,” a prize-winning memoir by British politician Alan Johnson who was asked in the “Guardian” if he had a hero and answered, be still my beating heart, Paul McCartney. So of course I ordered his lovely book, and, incidentally, sent him mine. And “Into the Woods: how stories work and why we tell them,” by John Yorke, which is fascinating.

And from the library: “Family Trouble: memoirists on the hazards and rewards of revealing family,” which is mostly stating the obvious but interesting; “Kayak Morning: reflections of love, grief and small boats,” by one of my favourite non-fiction writers, Roger Rosenblatt; and “Good Book,” by David Plotz, who read every word of the Bible and has somehow fashioned a book about it, haven’t started this one yet.

Those plus the pile in the living-room, which are now stacked on top of each other and reach nearly to the top of the piano.

But summer is coming. Reading time.



4 Responses to “gardenia breath”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have just finished reading "This Boy"; what a life, such hardship endured as a child, but not a hint of self pity. Alan Johnson always seemed a very unassuming guy, even when he rose to become Home Secretary, after reading his story it's easy to see why he became a staunch union man and a stalwart of the Labour Party.
    I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did; my husband's just read it too and we both felt it captured so well growing up in Britain in the 50 s and 60 s and of course the massive change in the culture.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That was me by the way! Carole

  3. beth says:

    Carole, I look forward to reading it – and since I've sent him my book, addressed to the Houses of Parliament, London, I hope he enjoys that too, as a Macca fan almost exactly the same age as I am (he's a few months older.)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I 'm sure he will! Carole

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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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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.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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

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