My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Learning to Speak: new essay on the Brevity Blog

A new essay out in the world today, another that means a great deal to me, about an important event. I tell students to focus their writing on the most vital moments in their lives, when something changed forever. This is about one of those moments. Short as it is, I’m proud of this one.

Someone has been formatting my blog to publish in book form – so far there are four thick books, from 2007 to 2017, only for me, as they’re expensive to produce and no one would want to read them anyway. Now the latest files have come in: 2017-2020. I’ve been checking thousands of words, over 600 pages, and also reading, reliving those years not far in the past and yet on the other side of the pandemic wall — trips to the States, the west coast, Europe; the lengthy and excruciating renovation. 

Yes, this woman is lively, with many interests. What horrifies me, though, is how much I’ve forgotten – plays, films, books, no memory of them. I was especially appalled to see that in 2018 I’d read a book called The Empathy Exams, and thought, I just re-read that with no recollection of having read it before! Just checked. The book I read recently is The Empathy Diaries, a completely different book. So my brain has not disintegrated yet. Phew. 

It’s a dark day, mild but gloomy and dank. But I have words, my own and those of many others, to keep me company. Also lots of leftover Thanksgiving dinner. We’re in good shape in here.

P.S. It turned into a heavenly day with bright sun – Sam’s 38th birthday. It was an exciting day, with the piece up on FB and IG, and Episode 3 of my podcast going up on this blog. Then I went out to visit my favourite tree. Wish a camera could capture its glow. 



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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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