My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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a bit of a moan

Not a happy camper. It’s cold out, and I have a cold, or something – coughing, aching, nose blowing – for the third time in six months.  Some time ago I bought a ticket to a stellar production of Uncle Vanya for today at 2. I am going to put on a mask and go, at least try to last for the first half, to wallow in Chekhov’s characters’ miseries instead of my own.

I am also feeling sorry for myself because of my book. It has been out in the world for almost four months and is still unavailable at Amazon, Indigo, and most bookstores. Yes, you can buy it from Ben McNally Books and from Mosaic Press. But people have been writing to me in frustration, and I have been writing to the publisher in frustration, and still, no change. After all that work and time – and money – lavished on a work of literature, it’s difficult to know that, for some incomprehensible reason, it’s still so inaccessible. Or perhaps not so incomprehensible.

A dear friend emailed, after reading my complaints, Why do you care so much about the money? Why can’t you just be happy that you’ve written a good book your friends like a lot?

It’s not the money, God knows; anyone in this business for money needs their head examined. Yes, I’d like to think I’ve written a good book, and I’d like people to READ IT. And to do that, they have to be able to find and buy it.

I know: first world problems, nothing nothing laughably nothing in comparison with what so many are enduring right now. I apologize. Just wanted to share with you that I am not always impossibly perky and upbeat. Sometimes I am down.

But the sun is shining, the cat is on my lap, I’m less sick today than yesterday. Need to get better – we’ve booked the studio for tomorrow to try to finish taping the audiobook. So I need to get my voice back to its normal level, from the gravelly depths to which it fell last week.

My amazing cousin Ted and I What’sApped yesterday. I didn’t know that he’s the attorney for the estates of Martin Amis and the great editor Robert Gottlieb and friends with his widow Maria Tucci, who tells him stories of making Mike Nichols laugh. Ted is good friends with the superb writer Stacey Schiff. He gardens and cooks and has a huge collection of valuable antiquities. Quite the guy. His partner Henry is working on restoring the Alice and John Coltrane Home, “the spiritual home of jazz,” near their home in NY. Wish we lived closer. He is almost my last remaining extended family, at least, the ones I know.

Yesterday I dragged myself to the Bay to pick up a suitcase I’d ordered online – recommended in the NYT’s Wirecutter as by far the best carry-on, and at 65% off, I couldn’t resist, needed a new suitcase for upcoming trips. But … it’s tiny. So small, recommended for a week’s travel. I’ll be in Europe for nearly 3 weeks and am known for the vast amounts with which I journey. Can I make the shift to taking almost nothing? The thing is, I’ve realized – no one is looking at me. No one in Paris or London cares if an elderly Canadian wears the same thing day in and day out, or is out of fashion. No one cares.

Still, it is an awfully small suitcase. Not sure I can do this.

Okay, time to get dressed, you slovenly creature, and march into the day. That you can do.

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6 Responses to “a bit of a moan”

  1. Theresa says:

    Beth, I had to replace a suitcase (zipper finally gave up) and received one for Christmas 2022. I used it for a few short trips within Canada. It seemed impossibly small but it actually holds lots. I also bought packing cubes and honestly I wonder how I packed without them. I am leaving on Tuesday for 3 weeks, in 3 slightly different climates, and did a sort of trial pack. 18 pounds. The secret is scarves!

  2. Beth Kaplan says:

    Yes, scarves – and down, and much black! Okay, you’ve inspired me, TK. I will aim for 18 pounds and lots of scarves.

  3. Theresa says:

    Beth, I had to weigh because we’re taking some Iberia flights and they’re strict about limits. (I would never even know this but the guy I’m travelling with pays attention to the details.) Yup. Black, black, and coloured tights, scarves. Some big jewels for a few special events (big, as in: silver and turquoise. My collection doesn’t run to emeralds or diamonds…) I will look forward to reading about your plans.

  4. Beth Kaplan says:

    A friend just sent me a link to a video about packing cubes, how to squish an enormous amount of stuff into them – enlightening. I don’t have any special literary events so don’t need big jewels – just nice enough clothes for a good dinner or two. Black. And scarves. In my packing cubes. And tiny toiletries. And comfortable shoes.

  5. Ginette Whitten-Day says:

    Beth, I see you’re making headway with book availability (well sort of), the e-book version is now available at Indigo https://www.indigo.ca/en-ca/midlife-solo-writing-through-chaos-to-find-my-place-in-the-world/9781771617338.html

  6. Beth Kaplan says:

    Hooray, Ginette! Thank you for letting me know. Imagine, the book is actually getting out there. A miracle.

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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.

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.

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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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