My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Chris wrote to say, Why do you write about your renovation with such dread? It’s exciting, a renewal.

He’s right, it IS a renewal. We moved in here in September 1986, but then there was the fire in August 2005 that cleared out the whole house, so the stuff around me has been piling up since then -13 years of Goodwill and Doubletake, plus my mother’s death which brought not only her things but the stuff from my grandparents on both sides that she’d stockpiled. It’s all here, and it’s mostly paper – books, letters, souvenirs, research material for my books. But yesterday and today, I made progress.

These Billy bookshelves in my bedroom used to be full –

– and these too, with kids’ books old and new.

The missing books are here, for storage,

or here, going out bit by bit into the Little Free Library. Including a pile of Beatles and Macca books. I was ruthless! Not to say there isn’t a great deal more up there. Because there is.

In the middle of all this, Laura Cameron, to whom I’d sent the manuscript for her sharp editorial eye, sent it back with commentary. There’s still a bit to do, but to start, she wrote this:

My first
and most important comment is that this new draft of your memoir works very
well indeed. It’s engaging, it reads smoothly, and most of the themes and
questions are clearly presented and effectively integrated. The new opening and
swifter ending are great, and the whole presentation of your parents is much
stronger and clearer. Brava! I’m confident that it’s nearly ready to go.

Can I believe it? Yes I can. If somehow I can wade through the chaos to deal with the final draft, I will get it out asap. It’ll be perfect to have it circulating to find a publisher while my house is being ripped apart, so I have lots to think about that isn’t the book.

In other news, Wayson had such a serious asthma attack that he was taken to Emerg and is in St. Mike’s. When I visited yesterday, he was his usual impish, gleeful self, even as his lungs crackled. Going back today with a pot of shepherd’s pie made by my son. Wayson loves his meat.

I’m looking for movers or strong young people I can pay to cart stuff from Ottawa to Toronto. Do you know any?



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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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