My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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“No nation should kill children,” said my dad.

A lovely moment the other day – As it Happens speaking about Joey Moss, a man with Down’s syndrome, the brother of Wayne Gretzky’s girlfriend of the time. Wayne got him a job as a locker room attendant with the Edmonton Oilers where he remained until his recent death. Gretzky’s voice quivered as he spoke about Joey, what he meant to the team, and so did that of another hockey insider. At the end, they played Joey singing the Canadian anthem at a game – at the top of his lungs, tunelessly but with so much enthusiasm and joy. 

I thought, as I wiped away tears, how foolish it is to be as self-conscious as we all are. My friend Judy, whose beautiful book Writing with Grace is about her friendship with a young woman with Down’s syndrome, tells me that because of extensive genetic testing, people with the condition are becoming an endangered population. They have a great deal to show us, to teach us, to share with us.

That, too, is the subject of my new book. 

Speaking of which, a few more reviews: From Karen: Your book is brave, honest, touching, funny, very well written and — above all — real.  While reading it I felt as though I were right there with you, inside the print. What I particularly like is the way you lead the reader through your train of thought, rather than from event A to B.  You are a terrific writer and a remarkable woman. 

Wow! I’ll take it.

And from Isobel: I think you capture the zeitgeist of that era perfectly, especially for young women — the naivete, the incomplete, just-forming notions of feminism, the trying-it-all-on, the forging ahead on headstrong yet flimsy aspirations…. which don’t turn out to be so flimsy after all!

What struck me in Loose Woman is your great flexibility with different situations. A little like a chameleon, you moved through different worlds, leaving one for an entirely different set of others, yet with energy, enthusiasm and a lot of curiosity and compassion that made each transition and new experience really live for the reader. Your writing is full of love. 

Oh that’s good to read: Your writing is full of love. Many thanks to you both! 

Had my flu shot yesterday, so sore arm and a bit wonky today – but how well organized it was, everything in the clinic wrapped tight in plastic, almost no chairs, alone in a room for the shot, which I hardly felt, by a doctor also so wrapped in plastic, I could hardly see her face. And then dinner with Monique and Cathy, with a great deal of Beaujolais Nouveau. Perhaps that’s why I’m wonky. And about to teach a Zoom class.

But mostly – I’ve realized how glad I am to have started this new book about my parents. The other day I opened another box left by my mother, which was overflowing with paper, including scores of newspaper clippings about my dad, who travelled the country for years speaking against nuclear proliferation and the war in Vietnam. There are reams of his writings, including essays he wrote for his BA in 1942! A lot to take in. But there’s my story – these people were extraordinary, engaged, making a difference, admirable. They were also, much of the time, terrible parents. 

Stay tuned.

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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.

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Coming soon

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

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