My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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my “break-through” book

Today the sun was shining. Let’s just stop right there. What a difference!

The other night I called one of my oldest friends, who lives in B.C. She was diagnosed last year with a degenerative disease, but talking to her, all I heard was her energy and humour, her vital attention to the world. We laughed and laughed. At one point, I asked if she could get outside for a walk, and she said, “Beth, I can’t walk.” That was the only mention of what is happening to her body. Otherwise, just laughter and intense talk and discussion of her favourite cat memes on the internet; she is a crazy cat lady. We have been friends since 1970. I could not admire her more.

And yesterday, I interviewed a writer who suffered the worst blow imaginable, the death, by an extremely rare disease, of her only child, her 16-year old daughter.

What human beings endure, with courage and grace and understandable rage, stuns me. My writer friend said that she is now on one side of the river, and those without a terrible loss are on the other.

I write to you from my side of the river.

Last night, I watched a doc on polio, which pointed out that this hideous disease struck mostly children. The only blessing of Covid is that it leaves children alone. My father nearly died of polio in 1951; my mother thought my one-year old self had it but got over it. Think of what might have been, before Jonas Salk saved the world.

Today, I pruned the roses and hydrangeas in the sunshine. From the outside, it might have looked like I was someone who knew what she was doing. I didn’t, but did it anyway. Before that, Gina taught line-dancing on Zoom. Not quite the same, but it was fun to be dancing with the 14 other women onscreen, still stumbling around.

The best thing about today is that my longterm students and friends who’ve been reading the memoir manuscript have been telling me what they think. For example, from one who’s a university professor:
What a pleasure this was – so clever, funny, engaging, moving. I was astonished by your descriptions of landscapes—you have a particular gift there. They are transcendent. Such lovely, lovely descriptions that immerse us in the scene. I just can’t get over how you deftly describe complex people and complicated relationships with such a light touch. And, BTW, I am JUST shaking my head over why no publisher is picking this up. It reads to me like your “break-through” book. 

Thank you so much. Unfortunately, publishers do not agree.

The best thing about yesterday was that Anna arrived with four bags of groceries, a pot of her homemade seafood soup, and a face mask someone had made. We even hugged, though we were not supposed to. But I couldn’t stop myself, thinking of my writer friend. My daughter and I, on the same side of the river, blessed and grateful.



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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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Coming soon

A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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