• Beth Kephart
  • I've Been Getting Older Lately, and I've Been Realizing This
I've Been Getting Older Lately, and I've Been Realizing This
Written by
Beth Kephart
December 2011
Written by
Beth Kephart
December 2011

When Rahna Reiko Rizzuto invited me to submit a guest post for She Writes, I remembered, as I often do, a day Reiko and I once shared in Manhattan.  A long walk.  The rocks of Central Park.  A story she was telling about the Hudson River.  Turtles.  I remembered that day, and then I remembered all the years before and after, when Reiko and I have been friends.  And then I had this thought, small and essential:  None of any of that would have ever occurred if it hadn’t been for books.  Because that’s how we met, Reiko and I—through the books we’d been writing, through the books we had read.


I’ve been getting older lately, and I’ve been realizing this:  I feel most at peace among those who recognize the power of books, who work to write or protect or celebrate them, who value them, who buy them, who will write an email, 4 AM:  I’ve just found a book that I know you will love.  Some may see this as an elitist thing.  I see it as anything but.  Lovers of books are lovers of stories, and stories are foundational, heart-centric, core.


Publishing is hard, full of abrasions and deflations, unnecessarily brusque, unnaturally confusing—or, I should say, publishing can be those things.   But writing books and reading them, loving books and sharing them, is a different matter altogether—it is a peace zone, a shelter.


I will have published fourteen books by the time next summer rolls around, and what stands out most for me, in all these years, is not the reviews or the awards or the sales figures (never the sales figures!), but the community of book lovers, book bloggers, book friends that I have found and kept, the community that has kept me.  What stands out for me is the walks that I have been privileged to take, the conversations I have had, the rescue and the shelter, the promise and the passion, those turtles sunning themselves on those rocks. 


Something true and affirming has emerged from it all.  Something real, and honest. 


Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of thirteen books, most recently You Are My Only (Egmont USA).  Small Damages is due out from Philomel next summer.  She blogs about writing and life at http://beth-kephart.blogspot.com/.


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  • Beth Kephart

    Goodness, how the world circles back in.  Thank you, Stacy.

  • Stacy Clark

    Hello Beth. Reiko encouraged me to meet you on your blog, as I came to her, a new MFA student with a favorite book on my list: A Slant of Sun. She told me then you were one of her dear friends. It has been a few years now since I read your book, yet it stands out in memory for its beautiful writing and undauntable expression of motherhood. Your "small and essential" thought about the power of books to draw people together rings true. It is lovely to "meet" you again in this way. S.

  • Thank you, Beth!  Stories are how we know we are not alone in the world, whatever our experiences.  And your stories are heart-centric all, and always a reason for celebration here at my house!