My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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cast and crew

Wow, it’s hot. Had a group of my friends from the Y over for lunch and we sat on the deck glistening with sweat and devouring large plates of food. Funny how even great heat does not diminish appetite. And eating really a lot doesn’t either; after an enormous lunch at 3, I just had a full dinner at 7.30. The amazing stomach. Lunch was because a group of us have met for years in class but had not actually talked outside of the Y, with our clothes on. So we did today. And how.

Eli is off at a cottage with his dad for a few days, so it was only Ben and his mama here last night; they stay here Tuesday nights because of Ben’s early morning appointments at Sick Kid’s down the road, to change the cast on his leg. Last night, in the absence of a bouncy 3 year old, Anna and I watched a Bill Murray movie, St. Vincent, while Ben expressed his displeasure at the world loudly from his car seat. Loudly; he is a more demanding baby than Eli, who was, of course, two pounds bigger at birth and grew exponentially. I thought again, as we tried to stop the squalling, this is a young woman’s job. But Glamma will do her best.

Anna had invited me to come with her to Sick Kids. We left the house at 7.20 a.m., soaked and took off his cast ourselves, then met Barb, the phenomenal woman who does all the casting for club feet there, as the many pictures of turned and then healthy feet on her wall attest. She showed us how very far his foot has turned in only two weeks – quite amazing, it’s almost straight. Another few weeks of the cast, then a “procedure,” a small operation, and then he wears boots with a bar between them 22 hours a day for a few months, then only at night for a few years. And then – though one leg will always be a bit smaller – he will walk perfectly normally and can do any sport. Barb said the incidence of club feet is one in 800 births. I marvelled – but I’ve never encountered one before! Oh sure you have, you just didn’t know, she said. It used to be a stigma and people didn’t talk about it. Now you can get a t-shirt at the hospital that says “Feet under construction.”

The wonders of the modern world.

I’ll leave you with a rant about something that drives me crazy – the thoughtless denigration of writing classes. There’s a book review in the Saturday Star by someone called Andre Van Loon that begins, “The Given World is a debut novel by an American author who has spent several years in formal creative writing education, yet who achieves her best effects through innate honesty.” 

YET? YET?!! As if there’s something about a writing education that dispels honesty, when in my classes, that is our most important goal. Well, that and craft – skilful writing in the service of telling the truth. Phooey on you, Mr. Loon. I’m so miffed, I need another substantial snack.



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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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