• 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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The Silence of the Lambs

I was never the kind of person who dreaded Mondays. On the contraire, I looked forward to them. My work life as an editor was fulfilling, exciting, challenging. My weekend life was depressing, lonely, and anxiety-ridden. I’m also an early riser — on Sundays, I would have read the NYT, done laundry, cleaned my apartment, read a manuscript, and it was still too early for brunch. (Not that I wanted to go to brunch. I hate “virgin Marys.”)

Now that I basically have my shit together (i.e. married and medicated), I”m a little less psyched to start the work week especially after a vacation. 400 emails await. Many with those little paper clips attached, and I can hear them screaming: read me, read me first. Read me now!

Okay, read for two hours. Then Hung and Entourage. My lime seltzer (livin’ large). Meds and bed.

What’s you Sunday night routine? Any writing getting done?

33 Responses

  1. Tonight, I’m spending 10% of my advance on the book’s website and other assorted promotional bullshit, exactly like the writers I most despise.

    But tomorrow, I dive back into the Bakugan Battle Brawlers work-for-hire novel. Before you judge, please remember that Bolano did a lot of work for the Smurf tie-in chapter books.

    His ‘Smurfette and the Hyoid Bone’ is a classic.

    • No judgments here, August. But I hope you will shamelessly promote your book so clueless idiots like me can read it. I’m living an ocean away, way out of the loop, so you have to be blatant.

    • And if this flew right over my head…I slept in a tent last night. Or more accurately, didn’t sleep in a tent.

    • Okay, I’ll admit how uncool I am. I’ve followed this Blog for months and this question still remains, “Who the hell is the mysterious August?” He posts acerbic, albeit, insightful comments. He seems to command respect. He’s apparently sold at least one book. He’s blowing his advance trying to promote that book; although he seems to feel folks should just buy it so he doesn’t have to sully his hands with crass commercialism. Most impressive of all, Betsy Lerner wants to crawl into a hot tub with him.

      Yet I don’t know his name, the title of his book/books, or where one should buy a copy should the mood strike one. A textbook case of “pull” marketing, whether conscious or not. Possibly all will be revealed in due time.

  2. I’ve been keeping very late nights, so I’m going to bed early.

    I’ve established a thousand-word per day minimum, even if it’s all shite, because I believe it’ll keep the wheels of writing progress lubricated. That way, if something good decides to come, I’ll be there to catch it.

    I’ve also sworn off Facebook. I’ve had to much input from other, mostly non-literary, sources, and it’s really been messing with my attention span. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to just sit and let stuff come *out* of me, instead of so much junk going in. I’ve only been off one day and already I have more psychic breathing room.

  3. I always dreaded Sundays because my parents always got into a drunken fight late Sunday afternoon, escalating into a knock-down, drag-out that would keep me and my sister awake well past bedtime. (How many times did I have to miss Wonderful World of Disney because I was sent to my room?)

    We’d wake bleary-eyed Monday morning, pick out way through the broken crockery littering the kitchen floor, make our PB&J sandwiches, and go to school.

  4. Yesterday was the only day I didn’t write. Instead I slept in a tent in the backyard. I’m striving for immortality with my kids. On Saturday I was offered an in with another local publisher. I’m still not keen on the idea of publishing in a non-native English speaking country first when I haven’t even tried the US market yet. Which might make me stupid. I really should find someone who knows more about this.

    • Deb, maybe that’s a question for the ask-Betsy mailbox (see link at upper right): does publishing outside the U.S. have any bearing on getting published within it? I’d like to know the answer myself.

      • Good point, John. But I think the generic question: Would publishing outside help you to break into the American market? is contingent upon that big, fat depends.

        Maybe a more interesting question would be: Is anyone interested in guaranteed foreign rights?

  5. One paragraph. At this rate, I’ll be finished in 2035, just in time for my 80th birthday. Helluva book party planned.

  6. “Married and medicated” – LOL.

    Your post confirms it – I am officially out of touch with North American culture after 10 years in England -had to google Hung and Entourage.

    My writing has really dwindled this summer – kids staying up way too late. But at least Sunday night doesn’t mean frantic washing of school uniforms and sports kit, followed by self medication. Nope, I can go straight to Step 2.

  7. I wrote a blog post and my weekly hate mail to myself. Oh and I printed out my first draft of a novel so I can stick it in a closet or edit it. Probably both, but not in that order.

  8. No writing got done last night. I watched a netflix movie. I had to get off facebook also. There are several fairly-well-known authors who post hourly updates of wip word count. I’m afraid I’ll reply WHO CARES??? and regret it.

  9. Sunday, August 1: Happy Birthday, Mr. Garcia. My husband and I were driving back from a weekend in the country, listening to a radio call-in show on a dedicated satellite music channel. The sun was setting on the Hudson River, the car windows were rolled down, the air was sweet with whatever it is that blooms and decays in the Hudson Valley this time of year. Honeysuckle? Thistle? An old shit kicker from the sticks phoned up on the radio, told the DJ about taking his 10-year old grandson to a local diner and giving the kid a few bucks for the juke box. The kid punched a few buttons and Built to Last came on, causing a few old bikers at a nearby table to sit up and take notice: Hey kid, they said: Do you know who that is? Sure I do, the kid said: That’s Jerry and the boys.

    That’s my Welcome Back Betsy story for the day.

  10. Hello, Clarisse

  11. Writing at night used to be my routine. Now it’s writing in the morning, before my mind gets crowded by “the cares that infest the day.” As of eight days ago, Sunday nights are for Mad Men (the first three seasons of which are among the best DVDs I ever rented from Netflix), followed by book larnin’ (currently Melville).

    I hear that Sasha Grey, whose only somewhat-family-safe film role was in Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience, appeared on Entourage last night. Was my friend joshing me?

  12. Sunday is my day off from writing. It was 103 degrees in Dallas and I only left the house to restock the larder, and that left me limp. I read, I made lunch, I read, I watched a ballgame, I read, I made dinner and watched Mad Men, then I read. All in all a good day. Now it’s Monday, back to work.

    • I was once a writer in Dallas (journalist, then technical writer), among various other occupations. The heat was the least of my worries; that city and I were not a great match, it seemed.

      The way you spent your Sunday would be a fine way to spend any day, time allowing.

  13. Gas station stop on the edge of the Sierras driving back from Tahoe overheard a weary mom with her four year old boy. “Don’t sit on the floor here,” she said. “Why?” he answered. And there it came. “Because I said so.” God. Wow. Motherhood. Childhood. No escape. Then the kid responded with, “that’s not a why.”

    Hadn’t written all week. Only read. Wallowed in not writing. But, after hearing that kid I scribbled, wee wee wee, all the way home and after.

  14. I watch True Blood and Hung. Then read for 2 hours in bed, sans medication. Sleep. I love Sunday nights.

  15. I used to hate Sundays because there was never anything to do where I grew up and there seemed to only ever be cricket or Get Smart on TV. When I was in school or working Monday – Friday, I hated Tuesdays. Mondays were fine because you’re still fresh from the weekend. Tuesdays just seemed so damn far away from the next weekend.

    Now I work shift work and I love my job like rainbows, I don’t dread any days. If I have a Sunday off, I will normally be writing / researching / thinking, and then taking a break from that to watch DVDs of the Office and eat too much food.

  16. i thought about the story. does that count?

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