My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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I have an essay ready to go, a refashioned excerpt from the new memoir about the Summer of Love – 1967, fifty years ago, when the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper and I went to Le Hibou coffee house to hear an unknown young folksinger called Joni Mitchell. That summer my family and I travelled to Expo 67, then on to western USA and Vancouver, where I was thrilled to meet my first actual hippies. And then I hitchhiked back across Canada to Toronto’s Yorkville, where Canadian potheads congregated.

I am trying to find a place for this 1300-word essay. Sent it to a friend with connections at the Walrus, who was not encouraging, and to Zoomer magazine, aimed at baby boomers like me, who did not respond. Wrote to a friend at the Star who also was not encouraging – it’s too long. Sent it to the CBC; they already have a 1967 piece on the go. So in desperation – it’s time sensitive – I sent a query to Hazlitt, an on-line magazine.
From: Beth K 
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 10:00 AM
To: Hazlitt Editors
Subject: the Summer of Love

Hello, Hazlitt editors:

Fifty years ago this June, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper. The evening I heard it for the first time, at the age of 16, was also the first time I smoked pot. And then the summer of 1967 unrolled – a trip with my family to Expo 67, to Aspen, Colorado where I met my first hippies, to San Francisco where I saw the burgeoning of hippy culture, to Vancouver, and then hitchhiking home via Yorkville in Toronto. The quintessential Summer of Love experience, except without the love, which would come.

I’ve written a humourous 1300 word essay about my journey through that summer and wonder if you would like to see it.

with best wishes,
Beth Kaplan

Hi Beth, 

Thanks for sending this our way but unfortunately it’s not a good fit for us. 


Haley doesn’t even want to read it in order to reject it?! I confess, I do get discouraged sometimes. My style is not right for literary magazines, that’s clear after a bunch of rejections. My friend and student Rita just gave me a valuable critique of the new memoir – she loved it except for the first 50 pages, which need a complete rewrite. And I know she’s right, it’s just that I don’t even want to look at the thing right now.

Sometimes it’s easy to say – what’s the @#$# point?

However, I do know how to cheer myself up.



2 Responses to “rejected”

  1. theresa says:

    Take heart, Beth. I never know exactly what it is the editors are looking for. 1800 words. Too long? Too short? Not edge-y enough? Too much love (this has been a comment I've tried to wrap my brain around….). Not enough? In our house, we have an expression –"It's a mug's game." And of course we tell ourselves we must be mugs. So be it.

  2. beth says:

    Oh yes, Theresa, thanks for your kind words. In fact, I used to do a lot of essays for Fresh Air on the CBC, until a new editor came on board and told me I was "not edgy enough." As if people listening to CBC at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning want edge. She could have said "too much love", certainly, I think that's what she meant. But vinyl and turntables have come back into fashion – maybe we old-fashioned un-edgy sorts with too much love will come back into fashion too.

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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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