Blowing own horn alert: It’s Wednesday, so I was in Carole’s class at the Y doing sit ups when my friend Debra came over. She said, “I’ve almost finished Midlife Solo and feel like I know you so much better. It’s so fucking good, Beth! I don’t want it to end. Write another one soon.”
How much that means! The other day I received this note on a similar vein from my sometime piano teacher, Peter: I have done my best to read it slowly, because your essays are so fine, I don’t want them to end. I wish there were more of them. My bookmark for now remains stuck on p. 197, because this means I will always have two more essays left.
I’m 73 years old. Could it be that I’m finally coming into my own, as they say? That it took only five books to have a modicum of success? And what does success mean in this business, anyway? Sales are nice, but I’ve learned they’re not a judge of much. How much better to have someone say, “I don’t want the book to end.” Music music music to my ears.
Debra went on, “I wondered if I’d like the book so much if I didn’t know you, but it’s so well written, there’s no question I would. I want to send it to my friends.”
Please, Debra, other readers out there, send it to your friends. Please tell people how much you like it and post it on your social media. That is the only way this little book is going to find readers.
Oh, and a Facebook friend, Adelle Purdham, posted a picture of her TBR books, with two of mine in the middle of her pile. Along with Kyo Maclear, Ann Marie MacDonald, Waubeshig Rice, Betsy Warland, and Anne Enright. Disbelief.
Thank you, Adelle! Happy reading in 2024.
A former student just sent this: I am halfway through MidLife Solo and I am loving it. Every essay has resonated – whether it’s been about raising a teenaged daughter, losing your dad or the simple joys of thrifting. I am savouring each one and marking them up as I go – see attached photo!
Taking your course taught me so much about the power of a good piece, but reading your work has taught me about the powerful connection a good piece can create between people. While I don’t really know you, I feel like I do, and strangely, I feel like I know myself a bit better too after reading your essays. Thank you for having the courage to put them out in the world – I hope to find my own courage soon!
How wonderful to read “I feel like I know myself a bit better too after reading your essays.” Thank you, CC.
Otherwise, other than these great pleasures, not much to tell you. During my solitary New Year’s Eve, I watched two episodes of my guilty pleasure, Law and Order SVU – always dramatic, this time a rape victim who gets pregnant and fights to keep the baby of her rapist, and the second about a ten-year-old psychopath and his blindly loving parents — terrific. Much better than cheesy music in Times Square. My tenant Robin and I shared a bottle of Prosecco by the fire next day, and Monique and I toasted, but otherwise, completely uneventful, in bed by 11.15, as always. Sun is promised for tomorrow — by then we’ll have forgotten what it is, it’s been so gloomy for weeks. But still confusingly mild, I’m on the bike and my heavy winter coat is in the basement closet.
There is still not peace on earth, good will toward men. But the birds are crowding the feeder — that flash of scarlet is the cardinal — the cat is sleeping beside me, and a few readers don’t want my new book to end. I am one lucky woman.
Ben, like David Hockney, drew this on his iPad — Ben with the long hair has a B, Eli has an E, and someone big with grey hair has an H. Unlike our real world right now, there is sunshine in Ben’s. Happiness is!
PS. Just realized – of course, it’s Auntie Holly.