My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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the silence of the holiday weekend

The Saturday of the Victoria Day long weekend, and the city is deserted; the market this morning was quiet. It’s a lovely time in the city for those of us without cottages, especially because there was rain yesterday and today everything is pouring forth scent. My lilac especially.

A quick note, as I should be doing my chores, planting, cooking, weeding, tidying, and would rather sit here chatting with you.

On Thursday a huge treat: a book club meeting with six avid members who’d read my book. When the first walked in, she exclaimed, “Are you the writer? I LOVED your book!” and threw her arms around me. The others did the same. It was heartening. I can’t imagine readers throwing their arms around Alice Munro, but then, I’m not reserved and dignified, as she was, and my life is splashed onto the pages in a way hers was not. “I feel as if I know you!” said one.

Nicest was when they went around the circle telling me which story was their favourite. But then one nearly dissolved into tears, saying she’s in a similar position to me at the start of the book, her father recently gone and a divorce looming. She was glad to see how well I’d come through. I talked about what helped me, like my shrink, but also that writing, processing, chronicling helped. Helps.

There’s something wrong with this laptop; it overheats and I can hear the motor churning. I’ll have to take it in and live without it for a bit. YIKES! I hope I don’t need a new one, with a new furnace on the horizon and much else. Time to write a new bestseller.

LOL.

Last night, something completely different, to the show at the Tranzac Club put on by my friend Stella Walker, queen of the absurd. It was the launch of her marvellous book of poetry, The Rose on the Windowsill of My Pain and Confusion, by her alter-ego Vera the Poetess, (in the tradition of “Sarah Binks, the sweet songstress of Saskatchewan”). Much hilarity ensued. She’d sent me the poems months ago and asked for a blurb, which was a challenge, as the work is of course very good in its badness. I’m quoted on the back cover as saying, “Vera, the Bard of Toronto, shares her poesy with such blithe confidence that her pain and confusion become ours.” Martha Chaves wrote, “Vera is to poetry what Wayne Gretzky is to poetry.”

It’s very brave to stand up and make people laugh. Much needed. Thank you, Stella.

Wednesday was the yahrzeit – the day of death – of my beloved Patsy Ludwick, who received MAID when her ALS was no longer tolerable. Also on Wednesday there was an article about how they might have found a cure for ALS, at least for some kinds. It’s a hideous disease that also took my friend Elke Town. May the cure come quickly.

A meme on the internet. Yes! Tell it like it is! No, not really. No money, perhaps not much pride from family, but happiness, yes, especially when someone throws their arms around you and says, “I LOVED your book!” All worth it, after that.

Now, out to plant arugula.

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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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