My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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moving right along

Amazing what a night’s sleep will do. I arranged my pillows so I was nearly sitting up to make sure I could breathe, took a sleeping pill, and whammo. Now in the hot sun in my office in my pjs and dressing-gown, head floating somewhere high above my shoulders, nose feeling as if it was recently punched, throat sore – but I’m sitting in my office, in the sun. And Sam is on his way over with soup and to do chores – take out the recycling, feed the birds, water the plants that need a ladder for me, not for him.

Things are looking up.

And so I’d like to share some of the lovely words readers have sent this week about Midlife Solo. If anything will knock this bug out of my system, these fine accolades will.

From my blog friend Theresa – I’ve quoted this before, but here it is again: It’s really a wonderful collection. Your voice is engaging and bright, your sense of how to shape an anecdote sharp and clear, and I love how your life builds as the pages accumulate, how stories are revisited and rewoven — your childhood relationships, your marriage, divorce, etc — so that the result is something rich and fine. The structure is intriguing too. I love the postscripts in particular.

From old friend, musician Louise: What a good writer you are, especially of essays. They have depth. They have humour. They have poignancy. Several made me cry, especially the one about your kids’ school. Those teachers are lucky to have someone like you to point out to the rest of us how important they are. The one about your childhood friend Penny made me angry. Angry at her dad that he allowed her mother to torture her throughout her childhood. You wrote so hauntingly about her.

I love what Curtis Barlow says about you in the blurbs. “She writes about a huge diversity of experiences with such intelligence, compassion and humour that the specific becomes universal.”

From Linda, a former student: I love the structure of the book — the preface  parachutes us  into the gut-wrenching scene of telling your children about your divorce, then we follow your whirlwind struggle with and adaptation to solo parenthood. Throughout these essays your hilarious descriptions and  sense of humour are ever-present. Through vivid scenes laced with self-deprecating humour, we observe as from your initial self-doubt emerges gradual self-confidence; we are aware of your growth and development over the years. The short clean post-scripts remind us that you are now reflecting on the impact of key people in  your life.

From current student Joan: I spent a good part of my weekend absorbed in your book. I am enjoying it very much. It’s very carefully and creatively pieced together, which gives the reader a beautiful overview of your entire life, not just mid-life although that is the primary emphasis. It was moving to read how you moved through forgiving your parents for their various inadequacies. There are so many walking wounded among us. People need to hear that parents are people, with their good and bad qualities, and at the end of the day, we are responsible for our own happiness. Lots of wisdom in this book.

And finally, from writer Thelma, a word about the audiobook of Loose Woman: I did listen to your audiobook and thought it was exceptionally well done. Your skills as an actress really added a lot. Having read hundreds of audiobooks I tend to be fussy, so it is great when the reader is good. Michelle Obama was a surprisingly remarkable reader. I think it is unusual for the average writer of a book to be so skillful at the reading.

Thank you, all! The book at the moment is still only available from Ben McNally Books and Mosaic Press, although I hope soon it will be listed in other places. Christmas is coming. And please — if you like the book, would you consider reviewing it on Goodreads, or posting about it on your social media, or recommending it to friends? It’s the only way a book finds its way in the world. I’m deeply grateful for all the help Midlife Solo and I can get.

Everything has ground to a halt – marketing the book, fitness, even basic cleaning. Just lying around wheezing. But the sun, both the actual shining on my face and the metaphorical pouring from these kind words, is a great help.

I’ve been wondering – where does the expression “sick as a dog” come from? “Right as rain”? In any case, I’ve been one and will soon be the other. Cheers. And here’s a picture that is pure cheer. God knows who that is inserted into the background, but the front three? Scruffy kids about to change the world. Nothing solo there.



2 Responses to “moving right along”

  1. The origin of the phrase ‘sick as a dog’ can be found in the early 1700’s, when it was common to compare undesirable things to dogs. The explanation for this isn’t that people didn’t like dogs, it is that diseases such as the plague were often spread via animals like rats, birds, and unfortunately, dogs.

    There’s no hard origin, but the idiom right as rain is believed to have started in Britain during the late 19th century. It plays on the expected nature of rain in Britain’s notoriously damp climate. You can always rely on it to rain there because it’s normal. So, by saying right as rain, it means everything is normal.

  2. Beth Kaplan says:

    Well thank you, Mr. Erudition! Love this. Much appreciated.

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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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