• 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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When I Found Out Yesterday

Today, a new media person came to our office and told us about her company and what it can do for authors. It’s a very interesting model and if you have the right kind of book/platform, it looks like you can really make some bank. I’m intrigued, but it also makes me feel very Rip Van Winkly.

Later in the day, a rejection letter came in that was so kind and smart that I nearly wept. No publishing jargon about cups of tea or falling between stools. Just a straight up smart read from an editor who is old school and by that I mean she reads her own manuscripts and writes her own letters and has strong opinions which she expresses politely.

Then I wrote a very good letter to a very famous author asking for a very big favor. Getting blurbs is the equivalent of big game hunting for sedentary publishing types like myself with big beautiful asses. Please god of the blurbs, rain on me.

Then I helped my partner choose editors for a submission he is making. This is like culling a list together for a dinner party. Then I got an email from a prospective client who says another agent is interested in her. I hadn’t even received the material. Am I being played? I don’t care — it sounds great. I’ll take a peek on the train tonight. The thing about reading under these circumstances is that you naturally feel competitive and read it differently as a result. Note to self: cool jets. It was a perfect query letter, the project comes with a killer title; has this little darling been reading my blog??

And the day didn’t end there, chit chat in the elevator with a publisher, lunch with a southern author and her marvelous drawl and bright blue eyes, doing the memo on two contracts (boring), gossiping about Bill Clegg (not boring), etc. etc.

Tell me about your writing day if you like. What did you get done? Any good gossip?

21 Responses

  1. Yes to a reading at a local coffee shop of my yet to be published first novel. Sentence through the skull that restructured my new novel in progress- chapters to that effect outlined. Bought paper. Recharged phone battery. Walked the dog.

  2. Well, let me just say it was a big day for me. I continued a read-through of my contemporary YA and then played Sims 3 for a number of hours.


    Oh and then I wrote a blog about turning household appliances into clever baby names.


  3. Sounds like you had a stellar day. Me? Finished revisions and sent them in to editor and agent. Sent agent photo of another book jacket (editor asked for this, I swear!) Spoke to IRS for the third time about US residency forms since I keep screwing this up. Met with accountant for the first time. Obviously, this is not my normal day.

  4. Eggs, facebook, betsy’s blog, comment on betsy’s blog, argument with contractor repairing kitchen, lunch with professor/friend who read my manuscript, realize need for more narrative arc and less blog-like insights, emotional overwhelm, stomach ache from coffee and condensed milk, nap, printing out entire ms, comment on betsy’s blog again…no calls or emails received (giant sigh).

  5. This sentence yanked me right out of my foul mood: “Getting blurbs is the equivalent of big game hunting for sedentary publishing types like myself with big beautiful asses.”

    Now about that writing …

  6. Reviewed and critiqued other students’ manuscripts for an upcoming writing workshop. One was fantastic, others pretty blah. Then I had to go back and reread my own to be reassured that I hadn’t turned in total crap. Tonight I went to a salon that is part of Denver’s Litfest, about writing/literary mentors. Who are your mentors? I realized that Betsy is among my virtual mentors, through her writing. How freaky is this, that her’s is one of the voices in my head? FFTT did that. And, finally, finished for the second or third time a read of The Hours. Gorgeous, terrifying. Put off writing new blog post. Again.

  7. my day was spent on the last of proofreading (the last? who knows?) for a meeting with my editor today – mostly I did it on a tram while running errands or going to work. Editor says it’s okay, all authors cry at the end, their nerves rattled to the point of hysteria, they all think that after all that work the book still sucks and it will never be any better. So I guess it’s okay. Okay.

  8. Yesterday, dump kids at school, rush home to work on final assignment for writing course, attend son’s cricket match and pretend I have a clue, feed, water and put kids to bed, back to assignment.

    Finish about 10 p.m. and head to colour printer. Cross fingers have enough ink to print blog posts (my blog started as an assignment)

    Begin to collate blog posts with already printed critical analysis, bibliography, etc and realise that colour printer had North American 8 1/2 by 11 paper in it but biblio, analysis etc is printed on English A4 paper.

    Swear. Consider options. Decide that can’t risk reprinting blog posts as worried not enough ink left in colour cartridge. Reprint the rest on the wrong size paper.

    So, as I stood in line at the post office this morning waiting to mail the sucker in, I was left wondering, is it good that it all matches or bad that it’s the wrong size and nationality?

  9. Not gossip but observation. I had forgotten how driven the suburban parent is when it comes to planning school activities. It does not take 5 full page emails to ask if anyone wants to kick in on a teacher gift. Grownups do not need supervision to pour water into paper cups or hand out popsicles. I wonder if any of these characters realize how aggressive they are with their need for affirmation. But then I suppose I’m lucky they’re around because I can sit up front at any PTO meeting slowly reaching for the coordinator papers knowing someone will snatch them away. Then I can say ‘No, that’s ok you can do it. I’ll do it next time.’ Yeah, so I’m a manipulative bitch. Which brings me to my writing. I’ve managed to consistently write 2-4 pages a day. Not happy but it’s all I can fit in between everything else at the moment. I did however, give birth to my new project in an uncomfortable chair in someone’s waiting room. It took me 10 minutes to draft an outline and another 10 to decide where I’m heading for photos and research while I’m overseas this summer. Gotta love anticipation.

  10. I worried about Sandra Bullock.

  11. I am right at the end of the first draft of a novel and CAN NOT FINISH! I have been going strong for months and suddenly I am barely eeking out a page or two a day. So frustrating. Words of wisdom always appreciated. Any one else experience this?

    • SpringChicken, I am going to repeat to you the sage advice offered from Sugar@TheRumpus to Cheryl Strayed (who is lagging on the final edit of her long-overdue new book) on Twitter today:

      We all falter in the home stretch. Just get the fuck up and run.

  12. I’ve spent the last 4 days rewriting the first 20 pages of my WIP, mostly because I have a deadline to submit to a conference I’m attending next month. I am a girl who loves me a deadline. So, a fucking weird thing happened: in this incarnation it has become a completely different book. I’m not sure whether to throw a party or a wake. I’m currently holed up in New Orleans, so either way there will be copious quantities of alcohol and a second line parade.

    • Love that line, Shanna. ” … not sure whether to throw a party or a wake.”

      I write nonfiction, but I know that feeling well. Along the way this morphs and that change alters the tone, which calls for rewrites of what I thought was done. At the end, will it be the book I set out to write?

      Maybe that’s the universal question that dogs writers of every genre.

    • It’s both thrilling and terrifying when you’ve reached the point with your characters where the inmates are running the asylum; but either way I suppose you’ve got to give in to it.

      In the meantime let me know if you need a drinking buddy.

  13. Took a five mile walk (which is very much part of my writing process), worked on my YA novel, and blogged.

    Seems like everyone is gossiping about Bill Clegg these days. Heck, they’re even gossiping about him on boards that have nothing to do with publishing.

  14. Checked proofs at work of several volumes in Hebrew of the Talmud Anukh (sp), worried about the sea turtles and pelicans in the Gulf, received a copy of THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN GARDENS: Proud Owners, Private Estates as research for my novel, made dinner for my sons, went to the gym, rubbed Epsom Salts on my sore feet, and enjoyed the rain with the sun shining at the same time.

  15. sent myself a registered letter. wrote some snappy dialogue. researched submarine fiber optic cables across the Pacific Ocean. good gossip–couple of the coffee baristas are sleeping together.

  16. Can I ask a ridiculous question here? Where do you published people go to print out your manuscripts? I’ve got a first draft nearly finished, and there’s no way my dinky home printer is up to the task.

    So do I saunter into Kinko’s and wait for 300 pages to pour out, or is there a better/cheaper way?

  17. Finished the lobster piece.

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