• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Hurt People Hurt People

Am working on the copy edit of the revision to Forest for the Trees. I thought I was making it better, but today it seems worse. You know how that is. In fact, I can’t believe I ever got it written in the first place. I seriously don’t know where I got the balls. The cojones. The brass ones. The nuts, nads, teabags. The taint, the testes, the kajmaster. The ballpark.

Sometimes I think that’s all writing is: taking a seat on the subway when twenty people are standing, or shoving your way into a line. Or taking off all your clothes and walking through a desert. Or fetching gutter balls in a run-down bowling alley, the machinery wheezing and jamming. Or eating a loaf of bread. Or having the urge to kiss strangers. Writing is quaint, stupid, self-congratulatory. It’s faux-sexual, falsely idealistic, a poor reflection of a poor reflection.

Anyone else do any writing over the weekend?

32 Responses

  1. No. Not last fucking weekend either. Or the weekend before that. WHY DO YOU KEEP PESTERING ME? Also, it’s cojones, not cajones (two entirely different things) and if you have more than one taint, you’re an alien. Also, I am two days off cigarettes, AGAIN, and I’m feeling a little testy. Just saying.

  2. Second day is always the worst. Thanks for the fixes. So mortifried.

  3. Or eating a loaf of bread. Or having the urge to kiss strangers. Writing is quaint, stupid, self-congratulatory. It’s faux-sexual, falsely idealistic, a poor reflection of a poor reflection.

    Perfect, beautiful, exactly right.

    And no, I didn’t. But I earned $40, used it to buy pants for my sons, cleaned my toilet, and went for a walk. Rockin.

  4. I changed “talk in front of” to “tell my junk to” and ate a bunch of times when I wasn’t hungry. Weekends are bad. No chance of hearing good news and rejection Monday is just a few hours away.

  5. I did write. Well, first I said something slightly incoherent because I’m feverish with the damn flu. Then I pulled out my notebook and wrote a bunch of stuff long hand. I haven’t reread all of it for coherency, but I have the sense that it actually will improve my story once I drop it into place. So much for coherency.

  6. Holy crap I would never have admitted to the urge to kiss strangers if you hadn’t first. Which isn’t to say I have that urge! Or the one to run and jump off the mezzanine when I go to the theatre. Physical tourette’s is a thing, yeah?

  7. Writing as road kill. Hit it, hurt it and just keep on rolling. Uh huh.

    I agree there is nothing lofty about the work of writing. A conceptual construction job. A bunch of emotional odds and ends jerry rigged into useful, often strangely beautiful, shape.

    I did write this weekend. And, I finished “Just Kids” which is just terrific.

  8. You know the writing’s not going well when you count commenting on blogs as your writing for the day. But I did make a ton of kugel.

  9. I just bought and read that book – now you’re gonna update it? I thought it was timeless. 😉
    Anyway – I wrote at the weekend, but I’m also at a point where I can’t remember how to make this book go to the next bit. Not that that will stop me. I write every day, I have the cojones.
    One mistake I think we make is to compare our courage to those books we already know, i.e. the people who did finish, rather than to remember that most writers don’t finish, the fact that we are still writing is a victory.
    I wrote a list of what wordage I should be every day. Every day I write where I actually am. At the moment I am 10,500 behind target, but that’s not the point. The point is that every day progress is made, that’s all that really matters!

  10. I did. It went badly and I’m not sure where to fit that scene into the existing framework of the story. The stuff already written.

    The only good thing about the writing was that I made time for it and actually did it. It was a day way more about the effort than the product.

  11. This belongs in your book.

    I wrote a song.

  12. quite familiar with the roadkill, yesterday the book seemed fairly decent, today I ‘ can’t believe I have written such a lot of bullshit – it’s up and down a lot like that. Knowing it will continue forever once the book is published it’s no consolation 🙂 PS about magic things, just kids is going to published in italy by a beautiful big publisher which also happens to publish poor me 🙂 you’re everywhere, Betsy :))

  13. After I trimmed all my bond paper to 7″ x 71/2″ and found my favorite pen (it was in the pocket of my second-favorite sweater) and I turned on the electric blanket (warmer than my first-favorite sweater) and plumped up the pillows on the recliner and made a cup of India tea with honey and put on a Johnny Halliday CD in the background I was able to write two pages. Not a cojone in sight. More a Victorian invalid vibe.

    I can’t wait to do the side-by-side comparison reading of first and second edition FFTT. Can’t. Wait.

  14. Yes, I wrote.
    It felt like I was feeding starving children Twinkies.

    • I don’t know what that means but for some reason it makes me want to read your work. And I hate Twinkies!

  15. I wrote this weekend. I have no balls, but I’ve always said it takes a lot of ovaries to put yourself out there.

  16. My red pen and I kicked some editing ass this weekend. Yes, writing is a self-congratulatory and falsely idealistic experience. But if there’s anything even remotely sexual about it, I must be doing it wrong.

  17. No matter what you think of Forest, I’m so glad you wrote it! As for me, I wrote 23 pages of an ebook this weekend, and blew my nose a lot. Both were exhausting. I’ve previously only written short-form content.

  18. Yeah, I wrote.
    But, if by ‘faux sexual’, you mean me and my dirty hair twisted up in a (*shudder*) scrunchie and my Tigger sweat pants with more holes than fabric while hunched over my macbook like I should be perched atop Notre Dame, then yes. Definitely.

  19. Quite a bit actually, before coming to a screeching halt. Apparently I had a lot of angst and terror in my system. So much that anyone reading would have sat back and said, “Holy shit, I gotta get out of here.” and taken a breather.

    Huge, colossal cue I need to give the reader a break somewhere in the story. Thing is…I haven’t figured out how or where yet. Da, da, dum. (Hugs)Indigo

  20. I thought about writing all weekend and then finally got up and did some this morning. I think my problem was that I was supposed to go curling on Saturday morning but got a sinus cold and had to miss it so I got busy feeling sorry for myself instead. Which I excel at.

  21. Other than my grocery list, I didn’t write a fucking thing.

  22. No. Because I’ve been trying to beat the computer on chess.com all weekend and I’ve nearly lost my mind trying to do so.

    • Ok. It was all worth it. I finally beat the chess.com computer today at 2:18 pm. Now I can get on with my life and maybe finish my book.

  23. Betsy, this rocked me on my heels. What a gorgeous painful description of writing. May I quote you? It is so powerfully true I’m just back to breathing. Thank you.

    Yes, Taking off my clothes and running naked in the street. Not a pretty sight. In any way, shape or form.

    Your title caught my attention because I just wrote a blog post about that very topic. Feel free to check that out and see me running down gutter balls in a bowling alley or chasing fly balls that go over the neighbors’ fence.

    I love your blog, your exposure and the implicit invitation to the rest of us to join you in the craziness.
    Thanks!
    Jan

  24. Would you hurry up! My two month order for the book at Amazon is still waiting for product. How am I supposed to learn anything from the master without her book?

  25. One page of a novel. But I got a bunch of other life-altering crap done. Did outline an entire non-fiction book when I was capable of concentrating on an 8 hour flight with 400 of my closest friends.

  26. Just so you know taint is the area behind the balzac. Technically on the female anatomy, it’s the area between the vagina and anus – taint pussy, taint ass or so I was learnt

  27. Betsy, you left out “stones.” My mother always said I have more balls than brains. I’ve done all of the above ballsy things over the course of my life, so maybe there’s hope for me. I once kissed a stranger I was dancing with, just out of curiosity, just to see if I could. As soon as the kiss was over, I gave a little twirl, knowing that he’d follow suit. As soon as he did, I ditched him and left the club. Bad girl.

    I wrote this weekend.

    • Wait, I didn’t walk naked through a desert. Does walking naked (albeit covered in bentonite clay) past a group of South Beach cops count?

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