• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Nothing Really Matters to Me

In a PW rant last week, a famous writer said,  “The Internet is not to blame for your unfinished novel: you are.”  As far as I’m concerned, the internet was created to keep more crappy novels from crowding the in-boxes of bitching ass agents like me. From crowding the shelves of bookstores. From taking down trees. From becoming e and crowding the what? ether? I think the more the internet keeps people from writing the better. Thank you internet porn. Thank you E-Bay. Thank you YouTube. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg. Every minute you surf the web is a minute you don’t write something stupid and pathetic. The internet is the next best thing to wanking, face picking, drawer reorganizing, and therapy. The internet is what separates the yolk from the whites. O, internet! O, website!  The keys on my keyboard are  ghost letters. The ring on my finger is you. The internet is in my bed. And this is my fuck you.

59 Responses

  1. I’d write a comment, but I’ve got two other panes open in my web browser, with important stuff I’ve gotta look at.

    • Betsy gets it wrong, sometimes. Here is an example:

      “Every minute you surf the web is a minute you don’t write something stupid and pathetic.”

      Yeah, right, Betsy. I mean, seriously. As if comments made to blog posts can’t be stupid and pathetic!

      • Furthermore, I’m troubled by the fact that “wanking” has been tossed into the same cell as “face picking,” “drawer reorganizing,” and “therapy.”

        Hmmm…. Two possible explanations.

        1. Betsy is masturbating incorrectly.

        2. There’s an alternate universe of new slang terms that are beyond anything I’m capable of comprehending.

  2. so does that make this site some sort of cyber love child?

  3. I’d comment, but I have to go and click on CNN, People Magazine, and Facebook for the zillionth time today to see if I’ve missed anything … a photo, a paragraph, ANYTHING.

    I love you not. I hate you not.

  4. So, as I read in Gladwell’s Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of concentration to hit the pro-level at an activity.

    If we comment enough does that count toward writing?

  5. After a long, Spring day of policing the library computers, I can believe that the Internet was created solely so anyone with a keyboard, art supplies, and a scanner might exercise Rule 34 in all its mindboggling incarnations — and anyone with poor impulse control and questionable decision making skills can view it in a public place for the mental scarring of information professionals, who, while not judging your preferences, would really, truly like you to move your personal trigger-tripping to a more private venue.

    “Pikachu, I choose you!”


    • Betsy, as you give those critiques you are loathe to give, ask yourself if you’d rather do that.

      Sarah, I hope they still have money for hand sanitizer in the library budget. If not, I’ll start a fund.

      • We get sanitizer wholesale, by the gallon. Plus Clorox wipes for keyboard and mouse cleanup.

        I also just realized that the above may be the longest sentence I’ve ever written . . .

  6. I thought it was the other way around; writing keeps me from all the important links on Twitter and I feel really guilty about that. Trying to figure out how to do it all. You do; what’s the secret?

  7. Yeah, baby. You know it.

  8. This made me laugh so hard. Oh, shit. One, it’s true and two, it’s the crazy tone I’ve wanted to use all day with everyone around me. Thank you, thank you.

  9. Yeah, well, fuck you, too. There, we’re even.

  10. Too many people throw away the yolk.

    • Fuck The Whales — Save The Yolks

      • What about THAT, Betsy?!

      • Yeah … Betsy!

        What about that?


      • Can someone kindly help me find my place in the plot?

        I used my place marker when I sneezed.

        No, not a cold, thanks for asking.

        The filth of the city always seems to find refuge in my facial orifices. Maybe it’s time for a lie-down. On the bed, this time. No more alley naps for me.

  11. Betsy Lerner’s blog = wanking. Probably. Internet = time suck. Definitely.

  12. Is there any chance at all that agents and critics, critics who are agents of agents, are destroying writing? I think so. I think this sewing circle needs a slap across the face. Oh, wait, your bank account will do that for you. Your children, your love, will do that for you, at some point. And you will still continue to do what you must. For you must, for you must for your mislead ambitions. I’m glad I’m not you. In all honesty.

  13. “I used to think that I was the only one hunched over a keyboard in soiled pajamas, rummaging through the catalogue of my failures and intermittently weeping. Now, I open Twitter and see that I am not alone. I am part of a vast and wretched assembly of freaks who are not fit for decent work and thus must write, or wither. I am fortified by their failures, and I hope they take succor from mine.”

    Colson Whitehead
    “Publishers’ Weekly,” 4/25/11

    • Colson, please. Help yourself to all the succor you want.

      Mi succah es su succah.

      Failure has blessed me with an abundance of it. The place is crawling with succah.

      It’s coming out my ears. Look! Some just dribbled down my thigh! It’s yours for the taking. I’m just glad I can help.

    • ‘Depends’ would be of help to this Colson yahoo on the soiled PJ situation. The rest of what he writes, though, solves the soiled PJ’s comment. He’s full of shit. and when he wrote those words he obviously voided himself.

      • And that could explain the intermittent weeping!

        Suddenly, it’s all coalescing into a sense-like object.

        OK, now where do we put it?

        I assume, that Depends.

  14. I feel the same way about bloggers. Your blog writing is beautiful. Keep it there, where you’re one less writer competing with me for book contracts. Because you don’t have time for both, do you?

  15. Ouch. That was a slap upside the head – the truth hurts.


    • My thoughts exactly, Downith.

      Much in the way I had to own that my “disposing into the garbage” of leftover Easter candy was actually me snarfing it as a chaser to a late-night Mint Julep (cause you can never have too much sugar minutes before bedtime) when the incriminating EMPTY wrappers were found by kiddos the next morning, I also had to accept that I do indeed let the time-suck suck time.

      But boy, that two-week old brick of a Peep was worth it.

  16. Ha ha! Check in five years from now and let us measure our wit and will. I feel so sorry for you. The writing will just sort of slip away. Not that you had anything to write, I mean, be honest, you’re really just regurgitating popular culture and what you think people will want to hear so that you will be loved and at the same time give you some money. Would a career driven psychologist try to make a living by boiling this state of being down to a catch phrase called acceptance, and then charge you some money for saying it so they can parasitically pay their mortgage? Now, that’s foolishness. For us all. (Last one, I swear.)

  17. I could make a joke her, but I was seriously just coming here to read your blog before I went over to YouTube for a long night of YouTubing. Ooops.

  18. It’s raining, but I’m still working outside. Maybe later I’ll write something good. Or bad. Sad to say, the internet won’t stop me. That’s the problem–like porn stars, we just keep coming.

  19. This post is funny, but, in actuality, agents are ruining writing. They keep taking and pushing things like Patterson because it is a business and these things sell. Art is left behind. Those who are terrible and yet trendy, like Meyers, can make it in a day. Those who are truly great, like McCarthy or Dubus, struggle for years against being unknown.

    They are dying, though. That is the good news.

    They are dying the same way that the record companies are dying in the music business. It will take longer, but it is already happening. Only then will art have the same chance as everything else.

    Agents do not know about art and they do not care about art. They know and care about money. When they are gone, the business will be much better.

    They are an unneeded function anyway. They are simply middlemen between writers and publishers. They have somehow pushed their way up in between and they are taking money for nothing.

    It is more sad and pathetic than anything else.

  20. […] “In a rant last week, a famous writer said, ‘The Inter­net is not to blame for your unfin­ished novel: you are.’ As far as I’m con­cerned, the inter­net was cre­ated to keep more crappy nov­els from crowd­ing the in-boxes of bitch­ing ass agents like me. From crowd­ing the shelves of book­stores. From tak­ing down trees. From becom­ing e and crowd­ing the what? ether? I think the more the inter­net keeps peo­ple from writ­ing the bet­ter. Thank you inter­net porn. Thank you E-Bay. Thank you YouTube. Thank you Mark Zucker­berg. Every minute you surf the web is a minute you don’t write some­thing stu­pid and pathetic. The inter­net is the next best thing to wank­ing, face pick­ing, drawer reor­ga­niz­ing, and ther­apy. The inter­net is what sep­a­rates the yolk from the whites.” — Betsy Lerner […]

  21. Mmm, I love the internet. Love love love. I can’t even count the ways. I don’t care if it’s ruining my brain — age and dementia are going to take care of that sooner or later anyway. In the meantime, there’s a lot of fun to be had here.

  22. “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”

    — Flannery O’Connor

  23. Is August back guest blogging?

  24. Everyone always remembers to thank Mark Zuckerberg, which is nice, but then they “forget” to extend that same courtesy to the Winklevoss twins.

    • Please, TOS, as a personal favor: much less. One comment per thread? Maybe two if you’re feeling extra spunky? The Winklevoss twins will thank you.

  25. I love it!

    You go, girl.

  26. Did August kill Betsy and take over the blog?

    • The longer I come to this blog, the more I think that if I ever get my damned memoir written, I’m going to self-publish. I want our love to remain pure, Betsy, not soiled by commerce.

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