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    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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In a Hollywood Bungalow

Thanks to everyone who called the domain name problem to my attention. It should be resolved within fortyEight hours.

I’m on the road and posting from a sanitary pad. As a result, I have no idea how to find most punctuation let alone the beautiful pictures that usually adorn this blog. For the record, I usually hate vacation because I love routine. I also feel that any time off should be used for writing. I also do not care for the pressure of having fun. That said, I am in good spirits, deep into book iv of the 2666 which is extraordinarily disturbing, and visiting lots of indie bookstores and filling in my poqetry collection.

Tell me true, do you like vacation? As a writer, is there any such thing. Can you turn it off? Would you want to?
Tell me, can you ever take a vacation as a writer? The

32 Responses

  1. Vacations are really hard. I take a book for each day, which overloads my suitcase, and makes me feel needy and freakish. Books are reminders that, except for a few hours a day, I don’t want to visit churches or go hiking: I want to read. In a pinch, I take the kindle. If I like a place, I decide I’m moving there when the kids are grown, so that I both be on vacation and have routine: particular places for groceries, coffee, yoga, running, walking, sitting, writing. I envision how my habits and patterns would take shape in the vacation place that I’ve now decided will be home. I take my journal. I can’t really work on stories because my mind is unquiet–okay, anxious–and I’m out of the place where stories grow and develop. As a child, I thought a vacation meant that you went places and read books in new hotel rooms. I still love that part, plus the food, but writing is my touchstone and it’s hard not to have it.

  2. I went on my Month of Morrow vacation earlier this month and it was awesome. Oh, and I wrote a lot.

  3. the…what? the what??? (ha ha, damn steve jobs)

    love vacation. something about staring at large bodies of water helps my words flow. i write in the morning before anybody else is awake and in the afternoons when everyone is taking a nap. and then sometimes, i sneak out of bed after midnight and keep writing.

    i guess my psyche likes looking at itself and rewards me appropriately. (isn’t that what oceans are supposed to represent? all the clutter between our ears? i’m sure freud or jung or one of them said something about this)

    here’s to hoping you will enjoy your vacation for a change.

  4. I love vacations, as long as I don’t have to go any place 🙂 Of course, then I feel like a Bad Mother for not taking my son to all the places I went to when I was his age (or younger).

  5. I goddamn hate vacations. The notion is foreign to me. And it’s not so much because I’m a writer, but because I’m the daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter, etc., etc., of dairy farmers. And let me tell you, those goddamn cows have to be milked twice a day, everyday, seven fucking days a week. They call it a way of life. So what the fuck is a vacation?

    And what did I learn from my parents and their parents? What you do IS your life. There is so separation.

    So I work in an office where I “write,” then I go home and write. And in between 9 and 5, I suffer my piss-ant office mates who ask (I swear to God, in a sing-song voice): So, where are you going on vacation?

    Dear God, it’s like asking me, “How was your weekend?” Fuck off.

  6. can’t believe, but was just talking about this tonight. I’m skipping vacations this summer, just day trips. No pressure to have fun. No cars to rent. No gas. No hotels. Just day trips to Fire Island and this secret lake in New Jersey, just as good as Massachussets. I might even start reading again. I’m suffering from reader’s block.

  7. I love vacations, as long as there’s no agenda: only a new place in which to wander unstructured, but with nothing to see or photograph or record. I read a little, and think.
    Then, when I get back, the juices flow, renewed.

  8. Funniest, typo-ey post ever. hahahahaha! You just can’t lose with me.

  9. Love vacations: that time to get away from the city and veg in country air, preferably mountain air. I’m looking forward to my train trip west to spend a week in the Rockies where I can rest my muse and jot down whatever new plot point pops up. It’s the best way to rejuvenate a slogging story.

  10. Rarely take vacation because it distresses me too much — also a creature of habit — but: tomorrow I go to the airport to pick up my aunt from Hawaii, and in thinking about it (her, her visit, the family, etc.), spontaneously started a short story. I guess everything is fodder. Even/especially disturbances in routine.

  11. High altitude, bear sightings, creek sounds and renters in the cabin across the road who dress like sister wives. Don’t want to do anything but read and sleep and eat cherries. Writers hibernation guilt.

  12. I love vacations for reading. The kids are still young enough to be happy with a pool or the lake at my mother’s summer place and/or their cousins so I basically read uninterrupted for minutes at a time! And last year walking the same beach every day for 10 days gave me the idea for a short story.

    Looking forward to two weeks in Canada in August – which books to pack??

    Hiope the rest of yours goes well, typos notwithstanding.

  13. i feel EXACTLY the way you do about vacations. good luck with the writing.

  14. Whenever I think of vacation, I flash back to the best vacation ever, when we ended up logging a LOT of time in the car the year I was 14, and most of the time we spent in the car, I spent writing my novel in a yellow spiral-bound notebook with a blue ball-point pen. Then at night, after we finished visiting attractions and swimming, I’d sit in the cabin and write in my novel.

    Later my mom said about that vacation, “We had a good time, but you weren’t really there.”

    I was there. I had the best time. 🙂

  15. Most of my recent vacations have been encroached upon by the inlaws. Better known as soul suckers. Between dodging barbs and their evil kids I usually don’t calm down enough to write for days. But my husband surprised me with a long weekend in the mountains last week. No unwanted visitors. No piss soaked cushions. No crap. I hiked until I was ready to drop, had fun with my kids and mate, detoxed in the sauna, splurged on ice cream, read a book on the terrace. Absolute rejuvenation. Have been pounding pages this week.

  16. Vacation for a writer? Isn’t that the same as sick days? On sick days I have a vacation day.

    On everyone-wants-my-attention-I-have-no-time-to-write days I have a vacation day.

    On days-the-internet-takes-over days I have a vacation day.

    I’m sure there are more of these types of days.

    When you add them up, it seems I do have a lot of vacation days.

    I love the read-in-bed-all-day vacation days the most.

  17. Well, at least you know where to find it. But I truly hope there’s never a phone version.

    I actually do a good amount of writing when I’m on vacation. The different setting seems to help me sort out the jumble in my brain.

  18. Vacations, bah. I can’t write when I’m not home in my white furry jacket.

  19. My first book was a travel memoir. My second book is a travel memoir. If I ever took a vacation I wouldn’t have anything to write about.

  20. My dad who thinks it’s time for me to go to McDonalds or Wal-Mart to find a job thinks my whole life is a vacation.

    I write everyday no matter what. It’s only some days that it feels like work.

  21. Are you really in a Hollywood bungalow?

  22. I’ve been a vacation addict most of my life. Every three months, I get the shakes and would gladly trade a vital organ for a brain-cleansing road trip or week at the beach.

    A couple years ago, I was lamenting about finances and the possibility that I couldn’t get to Florida that winter. My teenage son studied me for a long moment before he said, “Maybe you should just try to be happier at home.”

    Ouch.

  23. I don’t have the means to literally take a vacation at this time in my life, but taking more than a day off from my projects makes me incredibly anxious and uptight, lol! God bless!

  24. i can read, write and create on the low key vacations into the canadian bush. the hauling your ass around Europe–exhausting and exhilarating for images and experiences but, alas, no writing.

  25. Now that I’m a parent I think I’m a total idiot for not taking more vacations, pre-baby. To think I could have spent more time reading novels under umbrellas while enjoying rum drinks. Seriously. What was I thinking?? I miss taking time off and getting to read lots of books. Whatever I wanted.

  26. I would love to be able to enjoy vacations…just never have. I also find myself under the pressure of having fun, which means I never have any fun. Sorta defeats the point of a vacation, I guess.

  27. I’m going through a wedding wave so most of my ‘vacations’ for the foreseeable future are going to involve drunken bridesmaides, country club ballrooms and oh so much grilled salmon.

    Least I have a date a I can drag along.

    I bring my laptop and/ or pages, I like working on planes.

  28. depends on whether it’s a “family” as in extended-family vacation (my mom and dad and two brothers, their wives and offspring) or a nuclear family vacation (me, my husband and our three kids)…i have to medicate heavily on extended family vacations (not a problem given the number of scripts we hold between us) which are usually set in some remote locale my mom chooses out of spite to avoid committing one of the cides (e.g. matricide); nuclear family vacations are challenging because there’s insufficient conflict to warrant self-medication and I need routine…monday is my favorite day of the week,

  29. I hate vacations because I hate disruption, but I often wonder why do people need to travel so much? To keep busy? Spend money? Fill the conversation with places they’ve seen? I think the privileged are obsessed by travel because they don’t know what to do with their lives.

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