• 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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Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself

Look, I knew when I joined the race of percenters that I would have to make some changes in my life. I was okay with coming into rooms under the door, I was okay with people making a sign of the cross and running to the nearest clove of garlic when I told them what I did. I didn’t mind handing in my beautiful white editorial wings, or my shabby chic couch with pale rosettes. I was okay with cat eyes and hair inside my mouth. With having two mouths and an instruction manual for speaking out of both sides of both of them.  Or the pull cord that comes out of my fleshy side, or the way my excretions are black and ash, or when I look in the mirror I see the face of the last man I lied to.

Revising question: What lies have you told agents? Tell the truth

33 Responses

  1. I know it’s your first book, but it’s good enough to sell.

  2. “I’m not taking on any new clients at this time.” (Except for the ones you read about me signing up in the weeks and months after I tell you this.)

  3. “I’m so sorry. I’ve been really busy. I’ll read your script this week. I promise.”

    (that was in february)

  4. No agent’s ever told me a so-called “best lie.” The lies are mundane and transparent: “I was just about to read your manuscript”; “I’ll have an answer for you in the next week or two”; “The market is really really really tough these days, truly it is, you would not fucking believe how much top-shelf shit I have to turn down, it just breaks my fucking heart, I don’t know why I got into this business, my momma wanted me to be a brain surgeon, it would be easier I know, I don’t know why I didn’t do it, I think I’m gonna go to medical school next year, in fact I fucking know I am, swear to God.”

    And I’ve never told any agent any putative “best lie,” they’ve all been pretty pathetic: “The book is ready”; “I don’t care what I have to do”; “I’ve heard you’re the best in the business and even if someone told me you weren’t I would never believe it because I can spot quality just by the kind of stamps you use and by your email address and by how you don’t trot out this big list of famous writers you represent and how you make it clear that awards and accolades and six-figure advances don’t mean shit to you and you can believe they don’t mean shit to me and I’m right on board with you, baby, it’s you and me, straight to the top, I’m yours for life.”

  5. I promise not to come in your mouth.

    • I’ve heard that one before.

      Hell, I’ve said that one before.

      (No, I haven’t, I’m such a liar. That’s why I write fiction.)

      Hey, who finished off all the wine? Hey!

  6. You changed the question!

    • She sure did. Certainly she must be aware that moving the goalposts is a technical foul resulting in the team’s being suspended from play and forfeiting all upcoming games during the period of suspension.

      On the other hand, given that she owns the arena, I suppose she can put the goalposts wherever she damn well pleases. If we don’t like it, we can take our balls and go home.

      Now, where did I leave my balls…

  7. “. . .although I found parts of your story interesting. . .” You never read it at all, motherfucker.

  8. The one time in my life I was addressed by an agent, I responded with, among other things, “Clearly, I’m a cub trying to run with the wolves, and having a very hard time of it.” Gaaaaaaagggggg.
    First of all: cub and wolves? Mixing metaphors. Second, it was a lie. What I meant to say was “is it just me, or do you feel the strings connecting us” (creepy), and “please pluck me out of this hell of writerly obscurity”.

    On the bright side, I’ve stopped waxing my eyebrows so I resemble a wolf more with each passing day.

  9. I don’t lie I just leave things out.

    • The Jesuits who taught me said that was a sin too, but I think that’s because they didn’t know it could also be a kindness. Perhaps because that manner of kindness was unknown to them, being not nearly rigorous enough.

  10. I used to work for a casting agent and left out the fact that I was an aspiring actor. Eventually I couldn’t take it any longer and came clean. I’ll never forget the look on her face. You’d have thought I had ripped her heart out or something.

  11. What have I told an agent I didn’t quite believe? As a writer I don’t always feel as confident about my work as I’m required to hype in my query. Otherwise, I don’t lie. I like to keep things simple and lying complicates.

  12. I’ve never lied to an agent or fudged anything in any way.

    There. How’s that one?

  13. “Oh, no, that’s fine. I don’t mind your editorial criticism at all. I’m just a little lightheaded from all the bleeding.”

  14. It’s the lies I tell myself that do me the most disservice. And the truth I do not utter to my agent for fear of seeming too pushy or needy that roils my gut.

  15. None. I’m just grateful I can still make a living wearing my beautiful white editorial wings.

  16. I may say too much, but none of what I say in a query letter is a lie. Or a game. Or a jaded one liner.

  17. My lies stay strictly on the page. And when they don’t, I cover my tracks really well.

  18. I’m almost finished.

  19. I’m too old to lie.

  20. I have not yet told a lie (because I don’t have an agent) but I’ve practiced this one until it comes naturally:

    “I’m very low-maintenance.”

  21. Question revising? Where’s that coming from?

    (From where does that emanate?)

  22. When a thief thieves a thief, God laughs.

    For a percenter to call upon an author to explain, is a rich irony indeed.

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