• 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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I’m No School Boy But I Know What I Like

"I'll light the fire while you put the flowers in the vase you bought today..."

Put my Blackberry away for the weekend. As a result, I got to the end of Book I in Roberto Bolano’s genius 2666, picked up an old project and added some pages,  and read about 150 pages of clients’ work. I also discovered why all the glasses in the dishwasher were coming out with a film of fine sand on them and fixed it. Of this last accomplishment, I am possibly most proud.

The little red light on my Blackberry that signals a new email or call is like a tiny laser that I can see no matter where it is: in the drawer of my bed stand, flashing inside my pocketbook, or in another room. We are like new lovers at a party, dying to find each other and escape so that we can be alone again. Most of the time it’s Twitter telling me someone I’ve never heard of with three followers is now following me. Or it’s a client who feels a pressing need to know her Turkish royalties for the novel she published three years ago.

It was warm enough to sit outside, and I read the Bolano while my dog madly chewed a stick. Once or twice (okay, twenty or thirty times) I patted my jacket for my Blackberry, the way I did for cigarettes when I smoked. So, apart from reading this blog, what technology is fucking with your writing life?

18 Responses

  1. Wait! How did you solve the sand in the glasses issue in the dishwasher?

  2. I definitely have a BBM addiction. Last night, mine almost died at the baseball game I was watching and I nearly had to leave early. I don’t think I can survive without it.

  3. Social networking is the biggest distraction. I have to make a point of turning off anything with chat or constant updates (twitter, facebook, skype) while I’m writing.

  4. The ease with which I can instantaneously satisfy my curiosity about my stream-of-consciousness thoughts is what interrupts my writing. While typing away on Word, I’ll remember something I always wondered about, making it necessary to take a detour to wiki or google to check out the details.

    • I have the same problem, an overwhelming need to discover everything about a queen ant or where the annoying word “woot” came from. These things have nothing to do with my writing. I like to think of it as Advanced Procrastination – because at least I’m learning something while I’m dodging work.

  5. computer virus on our main computer, so have to get email on laptop – sadly my daughter’s tax information for colleges is on other computer – and I can’t send it to one of her colleges that needs it. sigh.

  6. I must check email, all accounts, every five minutes in case an agent sends me a time-sensitive offer of representation. How could I live with myself if I missed it?

  7. The chattering monkey of ‘must know now, must know now, must know now’ — email is my worst addiction. Has taken the place of smoking. Mmmm . . . time to lean back and take an email break. Which leads to FB. Which is the gateway to twitter.

    And of course, the biggest baddest jones to break: Amazon # check.

  8. The internet in general so I can get the word out that my new middle grade/young adult novel, The Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye, is now available. (This is such perfect timing for this topic and so shameless of me!)

  9. Twitter, actually. I joined last summer–kicking, screaming all the way–but now it’s the first thing I turn on in the morning. Have met so many excellent people, learned many new things (how DO you get sand out of dishwasher), and began writing stories again.

    As with everything (especially food), portion control is best. There’s time for Twitter, FB, emails, etc. and there’s time for writing and everything else.

    Oh, by the way I am following you on Twitter now. You don’t know me–I followed Randy Susan Meyers here– but I do have more than 3 followers. 😀

  10. There’s this awesome program for Mac called Freedom, where you tell it how long you want to be offline and then it kicks you off and won’t let you back on until time’s up. Unless you reboot (so there is an escape hatch). The only problem is mine has got some bug where the time is never up–seriously–does anyone else use this? Because if I could get it to work it would be epic.

  11. My calculator watch.

  12. I’ve never owned a microwave oven but a few months ago I took the leap from toaster-oven to Twitter.

  13. Bad reality TV, Perezfuckinghilton and Page Six, the unholy trinity of Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic shopping (SHOP FIVE STORES AT ONCE! FREE COMBINED SHIPPING!), good God, I sound like such an asshole.

  14. I also am a slave to the little blinking red light on my BlackBerry. Right now it’s in the other room. Does it need me? Is it blinking?

  15. […] Betsy Lerner, agent, writer, and great daily blogger (as long as you don’t mind a few swears thrown in—I’ve already been trashed by a religious reviewer) wrote about the ways technology messes with our writing […]

  16. […] Betsy Lerner, agent, writer, and great daily blogger (as long as you don’t mind a few swears thrown in—I’ve already been trashed by a religious reviewer) wrote about the ways technology messes with our writing […]

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