Thursday, August 2, 2018


Listening to a CBC documentary about hoarders, crazy people hanging onto stuff that drives their families nuts. An important lesson. Time to purge, girlfriend.

My birthday dinner was wonderful, including five salads made with my very own beans, kale, tomatoes, and, of course, endless cucumbers, and lots of meats barbecued with skill by Thomas. Entertainment by Eli and Ben. Ben told me at one point, about the day before, "I got dung, Glamma!" I wondered if this had something to do with compost, but no, it had to do with wasps.

The next day was lovely, very quiet. I went to Carole's class at the Y, where the whole runfit class sang Happy Birthday. Later, Jean-Marc and Richard came for dinner on the deck, leftovers and rosé, perfect on a mild evening. Many kind messages via FB, phone, and email from dear, thoughtful friends.

Nancy, a student from 2012, wrote to let me know that members of her class still meet regularly, and that she has just posted about my writing book on her brand new blog.

If you’re ready to start writing your own story, here are my suggestions for books on the craft that every writer should read:
Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott. Lamott is funny, passionate, powerful and my favourite writer on writing.
On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King. Need I say more?
True to Life: Fifty Steps to Help You Tell Your Story, Beth Kaplan. Easy to read, funny, with loads of wisdom from a great teacher.
The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White. A classic, always on my desk.
Fucking Apostrophes, Simon Griffin. A funny little book that tells you exactly where you can stick your apostrophes.

I'm honoured, Nancy, to be in such fine company - Strunk and White!

Auntie Do is moving right now from hospital to a care facility, to recover. She'll go home from there, but I hope before long to a retirement home. The very stubbornness and independence that has kept her alive for so long is impeding her move to the next step. Stay tuned.

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. -James Baldwin, writer (2 Aug 1924-1987) 

Much, much to do on these long hot quiet days. Here goes.


  1. A belated happy birthday, Beth, from my kale patch to yours...

  2. Thank you, Theresa. Your vegetable garden is many times the size of mine, but still - we're both drowning in kale.