My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Toronto Little Free Pantries Project

More nice words about the memoir, this from Peter Mose, my piano teacher: Your book is both so vivid and gently insightful that I am deliberately reading it slowly, to make it last longer! Candid and sweet. Brava!

So kind. Last class he gave me a jazzy piece which is helping me learn to navigate the bass clef. 

I’m sitting by my fire. Is there anywhere else I’d rather be? Well – maybe Barbados.

Today was an exciting day – I got my new modem from Rogers, had to install it myself with the long-distance help of Brad, friend, writing student, and tech guru. I hope now my Zoom classes will be more seamless, with no freezing or lags. Have to install a new cable box for the TV but will do that tomorrow – only so many tech challenges a girl can stand in one day.

I’m trying to write an essay about last year. The Star publishes writers’ thoughts on Covid times every Saturday, so I thought I’d submit something. But it’s hard to write about this without sounding entitled and out-of-touch – because in the midst of such misery and turmoil, I had a startlingly good year. And yet I think there are a lot of people who feel like me. No problem having to stay in my beloved house with so much pouring in from the internet. Cross Country Checkup was about Zoom on Sunday, and I gather many in isolated communities complained about their terrible internet access. Here, no complaints. I did not have to go out to work or worry about loved ones in longterm care or look after young children stuck at home; my work continued almost without pause on Zoom, and I was thrilled with how much easier Zoom made many facets of life. I know, incredibly lucky. How to say that without offending the countless people who suffered terribly last year? 

It may be impossible. Though that hasn’t stopped me from trying. For some reason, I spent a whole day last week writing about the mysteries of orgasm, not something I will ever publish. Okay, sometimes we just write. (My first orgasm happened spontaneously when I was seven, at the movies with my dad. I was mystified. Is there a story there?)

An internet friend emailed to say she’d left a bunch of trend-setting new books in my Little Free Library, and I rushed out to get them before they vanished. New work by Deborah Eisenberg, Jenny Offill, Lydia Millet – big names in current American lit. Happy to say, I scanned them all in an afternoon and am going to put them back in the library. Not one of them compelled me to read the whole thing. Skilful writers, but I’m just not interested in the inner lives of L.A. real estate agents or a novel in tiny bite-sized segments. Which is great because as always I already have more than enough to read.

Speaking of the Little Free Library, which is a most marvellous thing, I was walking with Ruth on Friday when I came upon this: Cabbagetown at its best. 



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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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