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Jeopardy and the blog as a book

Monsieur Cardinal taking his bath, again:

The cold wing of Covid has brushed close. Had dinner on my deck Wednesday with Cathy and Monique. Cathy had been with her daughter who later tested positive. Cathy had tested negative and felt fine but was careful; we distanced. At midnight, she felt sick and tested positive. Monique and I are hoping the outside air will spare us, but are waiting to see. In the meantime, I cancelled a date today with a friend going through cancer treatment. This thing is so contagious, and still very much with us.

Did go for the usual Friday walkabout with Ruth, who told me about her trip to Stratford with our friend Merrijoy; they got the bus there, saw a matinee of Chicago that she says is fabulous, and got the bus back = a very long day. Ruth is 83 and Merrijoy is 94 1/2. Inspiring, as always! Ruth and I rejoiced in spring – a profusion of daffs and tulips and this magnificent magnolia by the Necropolis. 

I’m watching Jeopardy every night for the first time in my life. How does that young Canadian Mattea Roach know so many arcane facts? One question: In 1864, what Shakespeare play did John Wilkes Booth and his brother perform? She replied Julius Caesar. Correct. Phenomenal! Tonight, I’ll have to juggle between Mattea and Upstart Crow, the wonderful satire starring Shakespeare, both at 7.30. 

Exciting news. My friend Jean-Marc said he felt there should be a printed copy of my blog. “In a hundred years,” he said, “someone studying middle-class women in Cabbagetown in the twenty-first century will be able to consult your blog.” Okay, why not? JM came on as project manager. It has cost more than anticipated but it’s worth it; there are four bound books containing one million two hundred and fifty thousand words. That’s just for ten years, 2007, the start of the blog, through 2017! Five more years to go. The fourth volume wasn’t ready but I picked up three today. Extry extry read all about it – middle-class woman in Cabbagetown won’t shut up! 

I’ve been working obsessively, getting an essay ready to submit by a May 15 deadline. I started with a piece that was 16,000 words, but the limit for this magazine is 10,000, so had to cut over 6000 of my precious, beautiful words. A valuable exercise. CUT.

Too bad I didn’t do that for the million-plus-word blog. LOL. 

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6 Responses to “Jeopardy and the blog as a book”

  1. theresa says:

    What an extraordinary thing — making a book of your blog. I'm impressed! It seems so wasteful somehow to think of all the years of thinking and recording going into thin air (if somehow our technologies fail) and now you (and posterity) will have an excellent record of your time and place.

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, it would not have occurred to me, but it did to my friend JM. He has his own online business and website and has an assistant in New Delhi who did the work of rearranging 14 years of blog posts, no small task. As I said, a million and a quarter words just for ten years, now another seven to go, and I've been writing more latterly than at the blog's start. But yes, was able to show the grandkids yesterday that they're in the book, their pictures, stories about them. I don't know what will happen to these fat books over time but I'm glad they're in the world. An idea for you and your gorgeous blog.

  3. theresa says:

    Sometimes I do wonder about repurposing (if that's the word) some of my posts over the years. But yikes, where to begin. Somehow it seems more true to collect everything, as you have, and keep it in a print form.

  4. beth says:

    I did create a book called "Yours Truly: a book of the blog," a collection and arrangement of posts from 2007-2009. There was an arc – beginning the blog, launching my first book, getting ready for my five months in France, the trip itself, coming home. I rearranged posts so there was a journey. But I didn't release the book into the world, really; there are boxes in the basement. My mother loved it.

  5. theresa says:

    I remember going through my blog for the year I turned 60, thinking that it was a pivotal time for me in so many ways. I extracted entries and sort of made them into a manuscript because I'd been asked for a non-fiction book. I offered the publisher that one and a collection of essays, Euclid's Orchard, which she took, though she also liked the other one. But around the same time, Ian Brown's book, 60, came out and I thought, oh, who wants another…

  6. beth says:

    Theresa! You're not interchangeable with Ian Brown! He's a good writer, but you are a marvellous writer with a unique POV. Maybe there's still something there. In the meantime, I must order "Blue Portugal".

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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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