My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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There is sadness for me here – this is the last place, except in my heart, where my mother is tangible. I cherish the cookie tin marked “Sewing” in her writing, filled with thread and needles; her collections – string, scotch tape, recipes, in the storage closet, bags of Xmas decorations; her pretty pots of dried flowers. I cherish them but I won’t bring them home. When this place is sold, there’s nowhere left that my mother actually lived, except in my heart.

But that’s okay, the way things should be.

It was cloudy today, so I didn’t walk on the beach or swim, I worked. I’m reading a fascinating book, “Into the woods: how stories work and why we tell them,” by British screen and television writer John Yorke. It’s about the five act structure of stories and the mirroring technique – that stories are about a journey IN and then a journey back OUT, replaying, backwards, the way the tale started. It’s fascinating – very technical, and though more about screenwriting than memoir, in some ways applicable. A story is a story.

Then I wrote a few pages of my own memoir and it’s just clumsy narration with no technique or mirroring or structure at all – and then this happened, and then this. But now I know – get a first draft down and see what’s there. Then make it better. Over and over. (And spend years perfecting it and getting it into print and then sell 74 copies – been there, done that. But that’s okay. It may not be the way things should be, but it’s the way things are. Onward.)

Went this afternoon to see “Rosewater” with Cousin David, who told me he has not been inside a movie theatre since 2003. He enjoyed the experience and so did I – it’s a fine film. Only Jon Stewart could make us laugh, in a scene between a civil service torturer and his victim, at a mention of the salacious pleasures of New Jersey.

The film is a humane plea for sanity, freedom and humour. In a world where 132 Pakistani schoolchildren are slaughtered by extremists, however, it now seems a bit muted.



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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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