• 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 Wanna Be A Billionaire So Fricking Bad

What do you really want out of this rodeo? Publication, money, literary acclaim, celebrity? Do you want to write every day, find words every day, that sweet spot two hours in when the blessed motherfucker starts to write itself and you are roping it? Do you want that perfect solitude when you and the keyboard are one, when your brain exists only to bring forth words? Or do you want to help others? Yourself? Make someone proud? Dad? Mom? Someone jealous? Do you seek revenge, adoration, admiration? Or something spiritual, transcendent? Do you want power, dominance, do you want to tip? Blink? Do you want pussy? Looking to get out or get in? Do you want mastery over a subject? Do you want the last word? Do you want to make people laugh? Stay up past their bedtime? Afraid to turn off the lights? Are you a healer, a preacher, a teacher, a showman, a scholar? Are you storyteller?

What motivates you?

40 Responses

  1. I want to be paid to write and tell my stories. It doesn’t have to be crazy money, just enough to get by. My needs are reasonable.

    And if a little fame or name recognition happened? That would be cool, too. There is this one person I would like to make just a tiny bit miserable with my success. Yes, I am that small.

  2. Such great questions, I want to say yes to them all. Stella Adler used to say that the theatre is a platform for ideas. I’m not sure if fiction is a place where we’re allowed to do that anymore, but I’d love to get my ideas out there. I want to be able to express what I choose and how I choose to express it. I’d be happy with a paperback small press or an expensive hardcover. I don’t care about riches anymore, I want to be known for my ideas.

  3. I’m a storyteller. I come from a family of storytellers, so I didn’t realize that not everyone was a storyteller until well into my adulthood.

    I want to make at least 25,000 a year writing books, so I can quit my day job and write.

    I write for that feeling that I call “fire in the head” where an idea grabs me, gives me goosebumps and makes me feel like my brain is on fire. (Ok, not a pleasant image, but a great feeling.)

    I write to fight depression. My patented cure for depression is to create something every day.

    I write to hear my son say, “I love it when I read your story and it makes me forget that I’m human”. I’d like other people to say that, too 🙂

  4. Revenge.

  5. I want to wake up in the morning; that it….just wake up

  6. I write for the altered state of consciousness, the state of intense concentration that is like self-hypnosis. I write because writing is the only activity that makes time disappear. And it doesn’t matter what I’m writing: only that I don’t care about anything but getting it right, making it perfect.

  7. Sorry to interrupt the program. This article on Salon.com. “Going off antidepressants turned me into a nympho” and how she became a better writer and attested to by other writers. So, take your antidepressant for two years, get off them, write a book and actually sell it, go back on the damn things, and then do it all over again. If you live long enough and your agent sticks with you, you’ll be as famous as Gogol- Dead Souls- and you would have mystified your entire family about what and who you are. No family member will read your books, which is fine because they’re all afraid they are in them. The good thing is, you’ll will be left alone to write….except your nightly exursions to buy your drung of choise, because your doctor won’t go along with the plan even if you offer to sleep with him; and SSIs are rarely sold on the streets. But then you say, e voila, I’ll write a memoir about this and you do and boy it is a big hit and you start a trend and all the world becomes nothing but a stage upon which poor wretches spend their lives. Then you write a screenplay- at last a real comedy – and the world laughs at last. You have done well. Talk about a platform!!!
    PS the old guy down the street drops his antidepressants on the sidewalk all the time so I’m good.

  8. Every writer worth his/her printer cartridge considers why the hell he/she is doing it, if it makes a difference, if anyone will read, if anyone will care. Yadda yadda yadda.

    I write because if I don’t I’m dead in the water. Better to write than pick fights with my adorable husband. Yesterday he was irritable with me over something chickenshit and unreasonable (I thought). I thought he was being mean and nasty (which he never is) and I nearly broke into tears (which I seldom do).

    Today I realize that my oversensitivity was because I had not fed my creative side for days and it was mightily pissed and HUNGRY. I write to remain sane. It’s a habit my husband encourages.

  9. I write for money. I despise hobbyists, dilettantes, moonlighters, and angstlophiles. I hate everyone with a day job, and everyone with a spouse with a day job. I hate everyone who shovels words like backfill into their psychological holes. I hate the talented, the driven, the passionate and most of all I hate those who know with a spiritual certitude exactly what they want to write. I hate everyone who’s ever found the sweet spot of blessed solitude. I want a paycheck. I want to support my family. I want to be a man. I write for money, and I despise anyone who writes for any other reason, and for two years now I’ve been writing for other reasons.

  10. If I could get other people to write my ideas, I would; but alas, it’s down to me. I enjoy writing only about as much as I enjoy washing the dishes: I enjoy it because I’m the only one who does it RIGHT. (My husband is not allowed to wash any of our dishes because his washing technique is not up to my standards. Neither is my mother’s. In fact, nobody ‘s dish-washing skills are as good as mine, plus I stack them in the drying rack really, really artistically. No brag, just fact.)

    It’s annoying that I can’t assign my ideas to other people to write about because I rarely want to go to all the trouble of writing it myself, but what can I do? As much as I dislike writing it myself, I hate watching other people do it half-assed even more. No wonder I’m always in a bad mood.

  11. Of all the jobs I’ve had since leaving college, nothing has given me the depth of satisfaction that I feel when I’ve put a good story to paper. That is what motivates me to write.

    Plus, I wanna be a billionaire sooo frickin bad.

  12. I don’t write for money. I should care more about money because I’m broke, but…

    I write because I want to tell a good story, validate my own quirky view of the world, and maybe I want a little revenge, too (Mary Jo wrote that? Wow!)….

  13. The main character in Greg Sarris’ great novel Watermelon Nights says: “I’m talking just to try and make sense of it.”

    That’s why I write. I despise anyone who writes for any other reason.

  14. Billionaire, totally. Money dies a fantastic job of insulating from the outside owrld. Also, commercial air travel is totally overrated.

  15. undercaffeinated dyslexic.

  16. wow. I suck.

  17. Folly.

    I’m reminded of a famous quote, given here in the Guardian: “Robertson Davies, the great Canadian novelist, once observed: ‘There is absolutely no point in sitting down to write a book unless you feel that you must write that book, or else go mad, or die.’ ”

    Alternately, maybe we’re trying to untangle things that are doomed to continue to be tangled: “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair if they were not cherished by our virtues” (All’s Well 4.3 51 – 3). Unfortunately, I think few of our “virtues” are “proud.”

  18. Yes.

  19. I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.
    –Flannery O’Connor

  20. I write because no one else is writing what I really want to read.

    Standing in the library last night, I was hunting for a book so I could go eat dinner. (They say not to associate any other activity with eating, otherwise the two become inextricably linked. They were right. Now I can’t eat without a book in my hand.)

    So I wanted something a little gaslight fantasy, a little sexy, a little whimsical. With monsters and conversations and humor. I knew there was something just like what I was after, I was reading it this afternoon . . . oh. I was EDITING it this afternoon.

    Crap.

  21. Little dickens as in Charles and you’re paid a swell amoung, August.

    • Well, she doesn’t -really- call me that, any more than I’m really featured on straightboyswithbigdictionaries.com.

      I’ll admit I’m paid more for my comments here than I’m worth, though.

  22. to figure things out. to respect the characters that live in my head. my only goal is to have someone, somewhere read a story of mine, think about it and go “hmm.”

    i know fuck all.

  23. If I don’t write, the story swirls in my head like a merry-go-round on speed and I never get to sleep. The story insists on coming out and thankfully my fingers are learning to comply.

    Oh, and money would be good too. I’m fine without fame–that’s too much pressure. Just money, thank you very much.

  24. Big bucks no whammies

  25. I want to say yes to all, who wouldn’t? But my biggest motivator, in life and in writing, is peace of mind.
    My family went through some really hard times while I was growing up, bad enough that we had spells where we didn’t know where the next meal was coming from, and I promised myself I would do everything in my power to never go back to that. So when I went to college I purposely picked another field instead of writing, something that if my writing didn’t work out I could still have a career. I would love to write full time and be wildly successful at it, but peace of mind comes first.

  26. inexplicable compulsion? nervous habit? overactive imagination? deluded quest for immortality and/or meaning?

    if i knew what was good for me i’d take up jogging instead.

  27. Vivan: I challenge you to a dishwashing and dishwasher stacking duel. It was while doing dishes that my instilled the concept that a thing worth doing was worth doing right. The creative stacking is my own touch. Say where. Dawn, I presume.

  28. Betsy, I want all of it. All of it, except–with all due respect–pussy. I want cock.

  29. I write because I really like to make people laugh.

  30. I want everyone to be entertained and happy when they read my books.
    I want to make everyone’s Experience more like a sparkling cocktail party with elegant and witty conversation.
    Because — ideally, that’s how I want Life to Be.
    That is not what I realistically think will happen;
    but that is what I Want.
    (I don’t do this on purpose; can’t help it, so — go with flow.)

  31. Jesus—well, no one else would write the book I wanted to read.

    I still enjoy reading it.

    What other reason is there. I mean, that works out.

  32. Nothing. I’m so unmotivated I think I’m totally over it.

  33. hi ,

    I am new in this field. nd I love reading a lot .I want to explore my creativity ,my ideas …I want to make my name ,fame nd money for sure . This made me think to start wid my own writing .But m having poor vocabulary …So plzz guide me onto this ..

    I lyk to write on Girl child ,A lady and a Woman !! I like to write on actual incidents happening with a girl !!

    Plz if sum1 cud guide me abt the start and all wud be of great help !!

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