My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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the terror of the empty desk

Brava to the Canadian women’s soccer team and all the others battling Japanese heat!

Summer is whipping by. Time makes no sense any more. It’s August?! I never know what day it is. But things are good. I’ve an appointment in two weeks for a CT scan; then we’ll know what needs to be done. 

Second, of vital importance: I at last, laboriously, cleaned off my desk. It was snowed under with papers and files and clippings and magazines – New Yorkers I need to keep for one reason or another. But now – pristine. Now I need to sit here and do something. As in – write something.

Look at that long empty expanse. Terrifying. Quick, some comforting clutter!

In the meantime, I sent another essay to an American online magazine. So now 3 essays are circulating, awaiting the inevitable no. At least, I hope they at least say no, and don’t just ignore the work completely the way many places do. This part of being a writer, figuring out where a piece should go and submitting and waiting waiting waiting, then probably sending out again — this is not fun. 

But my desk is clear. That’s fun.

Have been watching a doc about Obama. He’s like a mirage, an intelligent, gentle, sensitive, thoughtful, highly educated American president. Watching him at the funeral of the pastor murdered by white supremacist Dylann Roof, in a church filled with African-Americans, begin to sing “Amazing Grace” – watching everyone stand up and join in, hands in the air – so deeply right, so wise and brave. As someone said, He represents the best of America.

Followed, incomprehensibly, by the absolute worst. Still out there, in all his greedy, vulgar, racist, vile malevolence. 

City Life: Last night, in the heat, a group of young neighbours returned at 1 a.m. and stood in the street exclaiming happily at top volume to each other. Who does that in the middle of the night? At about 3, I heard what were unmistakably gunshots. At 7, below my bedroom window, my neighbour’s daughter was picked up by a very noisy woman chatting at top volume. 

On Sunday, I’m going to Ruth’s cottage for a few days. It will be good to get out of summer in the city, even this city that I love. Robin will be here, watering and guarding. 

A message that resonated with me:

And this one too, from the Toronto Star. I don’t know who those people are who share my birthday. I know Momoa is a big hairy man, but Tempest Bledsoe?! But otherwise, it’s not wrong.

August 1st


With a sharp and studious mind, you make an excellent problem-solver, writer or idea -person. You not only see the vision, but you can also see the steps needed to make that vision come to life. People trust you. They often seek you out for words of advice, as they know that you’re going to give them practical wisdom. You’re also going to give them the truth. This is not only because you’re smart, but because you pride yourself on a strong moral code. Expect your smart decision-making to pay off this year in your career as well as in love.


Jason Momoa, actor/producer; Tempest Bledsoe, actress; Chuck D, rapper/author.



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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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