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good times

Just in from my third social event of the week – I’ve been out every night, I who rarely go out. Monday night, to a snazzy party with my old friend Ron. I had to search in my closet for pantyhose, it has been so long since I’ve worn them. But with my extensive second-hand wardrobe, I was able to cobble together a fancy look, all of it originally owned by someone else, including the sparkling garnet bracelet and jet necklace which belonged to my American grandmother. The party was at Planta, a trendy new vegetarian restaurant at Bay and Bloor, and though the party was not particularly brilliant, the wine was very good and the food was terrific, including a memorable hot dog made from carrots. Delicious. Seriously.

Yesterday, a meeting of the Canadian Creative Non-Fiction Collective about our conference, and then we retired to Hemingway’s bar on Cumberland to meet with other members of our tribe. We are hoping to establish an on-going CNF group, even after the conference is over. We drank and ate and talked work – getting published, how we do what we do. Heartening. 
Though there was something that seriously depressed me for a while. I’d sent my memoir manuscript to an acquaintance at a publisher’s, and in two and a half months had heard nothing. One of the other women who’s on the conference committee confessed shyly that she’d sent a query to the same woman and had heard back that she wants to see the full manuscript. “How long did that take?” I asked, thinking, perhaps it takes this woman months to respond to everyone. “Two weeks,” she beamed, and I knew that my chances were over. And today, finally, my acquaintance wrote to say about the ms., “It’s good,” but that for various reasons she can’t take it on. 
I struggled with – what’s the point? – for awhile today, particularly as it’s November. Though I have to say, the weather has been wondrous for the past few days, warm for the season and sunny, biking weather. But rejection is always hard, no matter how many times it has happened before. And it has happened a lot. But then they REJECTED J.K. ROWLING TOO! I will keep reminding myself of that. 
Tonight, a fundraiser at CRC, the gorgeous new building in Regent Park where we hold our conversation group. The latest was this morning; a staff person guided us through aromatherapy – making our own moisturizing cream out of lavender and bergamot. We smelled eucalyptus too, and Negisti, who’s from Eritrea, told us they boil the leaves there often. And then she told us that the prophet of her Pentecostal church has flown in and tomorrow, 7000 people, including she herself, are going to hear him speak in Tigrinya, their language. How would we ever know these things otherwise?
The fundraiser, to which I was invited as a volunteer rather than paying $65 for a ticket, was spectacular – they transformed the main room with food stations every ten paces, many kinds of ethnic food and oysters, wine and beer, and rock music. I got to drink, eat, and dance, which means I was a very happy camper. 
But now – reality. Tomorrow I’m flying to Ottawa to visit my dear Aunt Do, who at 97 still lives alone. I’m spending till Sunday with her, to take her shopping and to dinner and to keep her company. I never want to go to Ottawa – it’s freezing cold and boring and I stay in a small Airbnb room and miss my life – but I’m always happy to see my oldest remaining relative, who has stories to tell. 
Today, Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor – what the hell? Some of this is going too far, small stupid missteps long ago. Some of these events should not cause these men to lose their jobs while an insane abusive cretin still works in the White House. What a crazy time we live in. Ah well – for the next few days, I will be out of touch in a very hot living room, moving slowly.
Just to depress you … from a British newspaper in 1930.

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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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