My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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fabulous women!

My former writing student now friend Laurel Croza, whose first book for children, I Know Here, came out of a writing assignment for class and went on to spectacular success, including a review in the New York Times and several huge writing prizes, has done it again. Her second book, a sequel, From Here to There, has been nominated for the prestigious Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Laurel is a focussed, meticulous and powerful writer who, hard as it is to believe now, had never done any creative writing before coming to my class. She still sends work to me to read and edit, and I am happy to send some of my work over to her, asking for her honest and perceptive eye.

Brava Laurel. What’s next? I know you’re hard at work on it, whatever it is.

And speaking of what’s next … one of my oldest and dearest friends, Lynn from the south of France, as she is known among my blog readers, has just retired. She did things differently than most of us baby boomer women – she had her children (five!) very early and then went back to school, eventually earning the French equivalent of a Ph.D. in linguistics – she was smart enough to choose as her thesis topic an aspect of the works of Alice Munro, who went on, as we know, to some acclaim in the world – and in her late fifties, beginning a university teaching career. Not surprisingly, she rose to become head of various departments, sitting on important committees and publishing articles in scholarly journals.

Lynn and I first met at Carleton University in 1967, I just 17 and she, as I always like to remind her, A YEAR OLDER. We became instant best friends and have remained best friends for nearly 50 years, despite her spending her entire adult life in France and I much of mine in Vancouver. Long before email, we kept in touch with letters and occasional visits; whenever we saw each other, we were immediately teenagers again. She is one of the youngest people I know, one hot, beautiful and joyous Ph.D. Here she is at her retirement party.

She’s coming to visit in October – there will be more Champagne and much laughter and Motown music and dancing. Beloved friend, brava to you on your illustrious career, not to mention your EIGHT GRANDCHILDREN.

Other great women – my friend Grace has finished her first year at U of T and came over tonight to help me get organized; we spent two hours in my office digging through the mountain of paper and now my desk is a hundred times lighter, and my recycling bin much heavier. Tomorrow Anna’s best friends Holly and Nicole are coming to help with the garage sale I have every year at the Cabbagetown Festival, for which, unfortunately, rain is predicted. Perhaps the junk will just have to come back inside till next year – let’s hope not!

The best news is that today baby Ben had his “procedure” at Sick Kids, where they cut the twisted tendon of his foot and straightened it; he got through it in record time and now has a cast which will set the foot in its right position. In only a few months, his feet will look normal and he’ll just have to wear special shoes at night for a few years. Another brava – to his brave, strong mother, and to Barb at Sick Kids whose life’s work is to make parents and children dealing with sideways feet healthy and happy. And lucky me – I got to spend the day with Eli. We argued at one point, and I said, “You will find, young man, that I am always right.” And he replied, “But I am the most rightest.”

Yes, yes you are. And so like your mother, you stubborn, fierce little soul.

I was at a U of T event at University College last night, leading off the teaching year – what a pleasure it is to be in those elegant old buildings.

There are many interesting people to talk to, and, even better, the food is delicious and the wine is flowing. Happiness is.

Happy weekend to you all, you fabulous women – and men.



4 Responses to “fabulous women!”

  1. theresa says:

    Such a lovely and generous post. We'll be in Toronto for two nights in October (John's reading at Art Bar on the 20th) so perhaps we can get together? We'll be staying quite near you…

  2. beth says:

    Yes Theresa – how great, we'll finally meet after all this time reading about and writing to each other here. Please let me know when you have your details and we'll arrange whatever suits your schedule.

    And more importantly, congratulations on that beautiful box of books. Will you have some with you when you come, and if so, may I buy one from you? If not, I'll order my copy. What a family – both of you with newly-published books arriving the same week – now that's success.

  3. Thanks for this Beth. Yes, as Theresa has commented- what a generous post! Can't wait to see you in Toronto. Ah, LAUGHTER! It makes the world go round. As does friendship. And Champagne. And books.
    It's so good to be able to read books other than Linguistics books.

  4. beth says:

    Me belle, can't wait for our time together. We should have a special celebration in September 2017, to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Because if there's one thing we know how to do – it's celebrate.

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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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