My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

PHEW! Could have been worse.

I didn’t watch the US returns, couldn’t bear it. Instead, I watched a recent film of The Secret Garden, one of my favourite children’s books, largely because Colin Firth is in it, and because I love Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s hard for modern audiences to process the Victorian sentimentality in her work, though, and the screenwriter here updated in ridiculous ways, including changing the era and aspects of the plot – I mean, a giant fire right out of Jane Eyre! Silly. 

But it got me through the evening. I checked the results quickly before bed and it didn’t look as bad as expected, and this morning – what a relief. I hope Bill Maher apologizes on Friday for writing off American democracy last week. Mind you, it’s still horrifying; hundreds of thousands of Georgia’s Evangelicals voted for a barely literate Republican who has several unacknowledged children and has paid for abortions, over a pastor who’s devoted his life to Jesus H. Christ. If anything points out the madness of this current political moment, it’s that. But then we knew all about the hypocrisy of those folks, who love the vileness that is Trump.

If only they could spend a bit of time in a “socialist” country like Canada, or England, or France, with public health care and public schools – all, mind you, under threat from right-wing politicos. It’s incomprehensible the way they go on with their terror of socialism when much of the world lives under it. But they’re so blinkered, and so ignorant and so arrogant. 

Sad for Stacey Abrams and Beto, and others. The horrible J. D. Vance is in. The horrible Sarah Palin is not. All in all, it’s good news, though Repugs will try to do everything they can to impede any kind of progress, the country be damned. But the world can breathe once again, for awhile, and focus instead of the climate, and Ukraine, and the growth of fascism, and a few other tiny issues. 

I just rode through Allen Gardens, which used to be a park and is now a campground, with maybe thirty tents. We are failing as a society. But at least we’re not swamped, yet, with Republican poison.

Monday night, I watched the Giller Prize broadcast, of course, as always miffed this huge CanLit night is only for fiction and there’s no equivalent for non. And as always, mortified at the lame jokes. The event is a celebration of excellent writing, yet the writing of the show itself is excruciating. And don’t get me started on Rupi Kaur. 

However, kudos to the wonderful writers and their work, and to the winner whose acceptance speech was powerful and moving. Words will save the day. We hope.



3 Responses to “PHEW! Could have been worse.”

  1. Oh, please comment on Rupi Kaur. I'd never heard of her until a British friend of mine raved about her. So I googled her and couldn't make out what she does, specifically. What's so great about her?

  2. beth says:

    No, sorry, not raving, the reverse. I don't like to be bitchy, but to me she writes simplistic, sophomoric near-doggerel. For some reason she's not just hosting Canada's most prestigious literary award show but was allotted a lot of time to histrionically perform one of her poems, in front of an audience of our best writers, editors, and publishers, including Atwood. She's phenomenally successful with hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok or IG or somewhere, but that doesn't make her a good writer.

  3. OK, thanks. I'm going to dig deeper into this. And as a Canadian (and a book author) I might do a blog post on her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.