My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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smoke gets in your eyes, and Matisse gets you in the gut

The funny thing is that though scores of wildfires are burning in northern Ontario and Quebec, the air quality, while not good here, is far worse in the States. My cousin in New York wrote, “It’s disgusting down here!” The smoke is floating south. Our city smells like a campfire, but it could be worse. 

Still, horrifying. 

I, unbelievably, have spent two days once more rearranging the essays in my new collection. Yes, like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, perhaps. But my editor Ellie had some good ideas, so I’ve been ripping the thing apart for the hundredth time, moving stuff around, cutting one piece, jamming two together. Here’s another funny thing, as I’ve said before: the essays in this compilation were already written, so I thought the book would be relatively easy, done in no time. NYET! Harder than the others, in some ways, because smooshing already existing material into some kind of shape turns out to be extremely difficult. As my friend Toronto Lynn said, It’s always harder to renovate than to build new. 


The garden and everything else has been neglected as I sit here for hours. As soon as it’s done and sent off to the publisher, I’ll get my life back. I did notice, today, that the wisteria is having a bumper year. My friend Dorothy, who’s in the book, helped me plant the wisteria at least twenty years ago, and this is the first year it has really produced a lot of fat purple blooms. 

I promise, garden, I’ll get to you. Luckily I scooted over to the little farmer’s market outside the Farm yesterday, and bought pakoras and samosas and all kinds of delicious prepared food so I didn’t have to cook for a day or two. 85 messages in my email inbox, when usually I try to keep them to under 30.

But soon it’ll be done. Enough is enough; MIDLIFE SOLO has taken a lot of my time. Hope it’s worth it. Hope you get to read it and that you like it, that it brings you something. 

Hope it’s worth it. 

Here, showing me how much she cares, is my Tig, asleep a foot away, as she always is. No matter where I am in the house, she’s nearby, sleeping. 

My friend Margaret posted this gorgeousness on FB and I had to reprint. Matisse, as always, for the win! Why does his work stop my heart? I can’t explain it, but he does. Just sheer beauty. 



2 Responses to “smoke gets in your eyes, and Matisse gets you in the gut”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the Matisse. His textures are so palpable. This morning there's a little bit of haze in the far western sky, result of fires on Vancouver Island. But far not bad. Not like Ottawa (or Gatineau, where one son is, with his family). Or New York…

  2. beth says:

    It's dark, wet and hazy here today, not like June at all. I turned on the heat this morning!

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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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