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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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I Miss The Earth So Much I Miss My Wife

This is your writing. This is your writing on drugs.

Come clean: how many of you blaze before you write? How many lubricate? Who thinks they’re better on drugs? More flow? Less inhibition?  Less self-consciousness? More open, alive, aware? Wasn’t it Woody Allen who said that getting a laugh off of a stoned person didn’t count? Wasn’t it Robert Lowell who said that a little salt in his brain could have spared people a lot of suffering? Wasn’t it Jerry Garcia who said Casey Jones You Better watch Your Speed. I just want to say that I am AGAINST drugs (in case my teenager or her friends are reading this, which they aren’t because it’s not Facebook).

What’s the worse addiciton: weed or Facebook? Do you blaze when you write? Sharers get more: true or false?

AND BIG Congrats to our very own Tetman Callis on the publication of his first novel, HIGH STREET. You’ve read the comments! Now read the book! Watch the YouTube!

41 Responses

  1. I don’t blaze anymore. It makes me paranoid. And when I’m paranoid when I write, I’m paranoid that everything I write sucks, and that ship has sailed. HOWEVER, when I’m really churning on something I have to drink at the end of the day to get the characters in my head to shut the fuck up.

  2. No, never. Are you kidding? I would never write stoned.
    (I smoke and take notes and have all kinds of fabulous slippery pulsing great ideas, but I’d never write stoned. And I’d never, ever, ever smoke and go on FB, because that would just be sad.)

  3. What’s the worse addiciton: weed or Facebook? It must be Facebook ’cause I gave up weed long ago, (well, except for that one time last summer…) but somehow every day I get sucked into the fucking Facebook madness. Not for long, but long enough–and who among us has “extra” time to…uh…burn? Sharers get less. Definitely less. It reminds me of what a pal said about Cocaine back in the 80’s…it (the Facebook) takes away so much under the guise of giving. Maybe you just gave me the courage to quit it…Nah!

  4. The social media addiction is more like crank than weed. At least in its relationship with the synapses. Tweek : tweet, see the connection?

    And, Tetman, dude!

  5. Just say no. I’ve seen the research. Substances damage brain areas connected with creativity and executive functioning despite what artists believe. But who cares? Give me a T, give me an E, give me a … you know the rest. Tetman, you da man!

  6. Addictions? Writing blogs and Rocky Road.

    Tetman, excellent.
    Movie score suggestions, yup it will happen…Smoke gets in your Eyes, On Top of Old Smokey,…Smoke on the Water.

    • oh, my, Rocky Road…but only if it has real marshmallows, rather than the streak of weird cream.

      This “calorie abatement” thing I’m on (not a diet!) is killing me.

  7. No drugs ever; no booze when I’m writing. I need all the clarity I can get.

    Congrats to Tetman!!! Wahoo!

  8. That trailer is great!

    I’ve never smoked or blazed but I may start when I’m in my 70s, when sex and chocolate no longer get the job done.

  9. No, I’ve never mounted the keyboard while celebrating. Alcohol in moderation is my only drug. But I must be really out of it, what does it meant to “blaze”?
    Congratulations, Tetman.

  10. Wow, Tetman. Lookin’ good, and I hope you sell a zillion, brother.

    No dope for me, and little alcohol; none when I’m working at anything, especially writing. A drink is for when the work is finished.

    I made rum awhile back, and it was wonderful in process and product. But you can’t do that in the USA, so no more. It was tasty fun, and as close as I’ve been to that drug thing.

  11. I’ve never understood the romance of the drunken writer. I can only write when my faculties are in tact. Under the influence, I stare into the gaping maw of a blank screen, confident that my best words are behind me.

    Even sober, I can only hope please please please please let it not be true…

  12. Congratulations, Tetman — I wish you all the best.
    I’ve written many times while drunk, stoned or so totally twisted on various mind altering substances that I couldn’t spell “intolerant” if you spotted me four vowels and an equal number of consonants. In order. I’d think the work was amazing, only to read it the next day and think, well, it needs some tweaking. Other times I’ve been walking the straight edge thinking I’m producing great stuff only to have a little smoke and run into a chum with a bottle of rum (stolen from Jimmy Buffett — the lyric not the rum). At home, reviewing recent pages, I’ll think, whoa, better get that stick out from my ass and rewrite this garbage. Balance, that’s what I need.

  13. Honestly, I think video games are a much worse addiction than weed. Weed isn’t an addiction as much as a habit. Weed isn’t even half as addicting as cigarettes. I don’t mind tipping a couple while writing, but there is a thin line between inspiration and intoxication. And smoking -anything- is one bad habit I never acquired. TG.

  14. Thank you everyone and Betsy too for the congrats for High Street. While I like to think of it as a novel piece of work, it’s not a novel. It started as memoir, quickly became creative nonfiction (a confusing category for our confusing times), and is being marketed by the publisher as a memoir.

    While small portions of High Street were written while I was under the influence, I rarely write while high or buzzed or stoned or tipsy or drunk or any of them things. I never chemically alter my state with the intention of doing so specifically to influence my writing. Far and away the greatest effect recreational chemistry has on my writing is to squelch it. Squelches the marketing side of the endeavor, too. The little piggies don’t get driven to market when Old MacDonald is stretched out in the hay, watching the clouds float by.

    There is one way in which marijuana can be of some help to me as a writer. Getting a little high can help me rotate my mind in such a way as to improve my editing. It distances me enough from the work that I find it easier to be objective about making changes in material that I otherwise might be too thoughtlessly fond of. One day-long run-through of High Street for editing was done in such a state.

    Betsy, in case your daughter or her friends or any other young and/or inexperienced persons might be reading these words and considering lubricating or stoking the creative process with chemical toys, the one most important thing they should know is that nothing is free. Let me shout that: NOTHING IS FREE. And sometimes people find themselves in situations where they are paying way more than they thought they might. Sometimes they find themselves in situations where when the bill comes due, it takes everything they have. Everything. And the payment can’t be avoided or even postponed. So be careful.

    As for Facebook, if having a presence there wasn’t part of the marketplace of our day, I wouldn’t be there. Its chaos is resonant of a complete cognitive collapse. It is entropy unfolding before our eyes. It is the trip everyone in town takes when the water supply is laced with lysergic acid.

    • Oh, come on Tetman. Fess up. You are always stoned when you write comments over at my blog.

      Buying your book today for my bedtime reading. Congratulations, and I’m so happy you F’edTF.

      • Thank you, Jess, for your kind words and your purchase; however, it is not true that I am “always stoned” when I write comments on your blog. In fact, I am rarely “stoned,” if I may parse degrees of intoxication.

        In additional fact, it is Lent and I haven’t had a twig to smoke since Mardi Gras. It is true that I am very much looking forward to the ending of Lent. The day Lent ends, I intend to get high–not stoned–and go out to dinner at a steak house and have a slab of slightly cooked cow and a baked potato drowning in fattish substance. Praise the lord for sufficient prosperity and life.

        To life, my friends! To life!

    • “I never chemically alter my state with the intention of doing so specifically to influence my writing.”

      “Getting a little high can help me rotate my mind in such a way as to improve my editing.”

      I acknowledge that these two statements reflect an inconsistency and possible confusion of thought. No hypocrisy is intended.

      • I don’t think those two are internally inconsistent. I am constantly trying to find ways to come to my work from an angle that’s not quite so grounded inside my own assumptions. If you can get a little out of your head, maybe that’s good.

      • Ha! Well hurrah for you, Tetman! While you’re eating that slab of cow I hope you celebrate yourself– well done, well done!

  15. Way to go Tetman! I love the trailer and can’t wait to see what’s under the covers.

    I’ll barely take a tylenol when I’m ripped with fever because I hate the party girl who almost fucked up our life with her bad decisions and apathy. She didn’t mean harm; she just wanted to belong. But sometimes I’m still ashamed for her.

  16. Sloppy drunk can make sloppy writing. But I’m all for just priming the pump.

  17. Betsy, here’s a story for your daughter and her friends.
    Weed…we inhaled, got stupid, got thirsty, went to a bar, laughed so hard my friend peed her pants right their in the bar. Friend got up to leave and another stupid friend sat in puddle on peerer’s chair.
    Sitting in your own piss or someone elses sucks.
    I never smoked again.

  18. It is the greatest sadness of my life that I cannot write and drink at the same time. It’s taken me years to come up with the correct sequence:finish the writing first, then pour a big stonking gin and tonic.

  19. My drug of choice is caffeine. Unfortunately my princess-and-the-pea system is way too sensitive to drink a lot of it. Very sad. I’ve never written in any kind of haze or stupor, unless you count the four a.m. wakeups (due to the aforementioned princess-and-pea syndrome) where I kick off the covers and figure, hey, I’m up anyway. And I do write more freely at that time, strange though it may be.

  20. No lubricating here. No tweeting either — how do you say the words “I tweeted…” with a straight face? Besides, what have I got to tweet? Nada. And FB became a lot less appealing when my birth father’s photo showed up on that side column under “People You May Know.” Nope. I’ve got head down and blinders on these days. Write edit write edit write … with a little blogging in between.

    Congratulations to our very own Tetman! I tip my coffee cup to you and say Cheers!

    • That would have freaked me out too, Teri. But FB is a good place to learn about all the parties you weren’t invited to!

    • Gosh Teri- your FB episode is practically the opening line for another WIP! I got stalked on my FB page by several “suitors” after one of my Day Job projects was published in a regional paper. The guy with the gang tat was the creepiest… so glad I have a large Lab who answers to “Bad Dog”.

      • The definition of irony: I come here in the morning and write that my father’s photo showed up on FB recently as someone I might know. Which I ignored. This afternoon I open my FB page and see he’s sent me a friend request.

        See what happens when you write shit down?

  21. Most excellent, Tetman. Well deserved and well done. I look forward to reading it.

    I’ve never done recreational pharmaceuticals so I can’t speak to that. My “drug” of choice is alcohol and I do love that special time of day when it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Not while writing, though. The order is: Coffee. Writing. Wine. Any other order and the results are sloppy and sad.

  22. Living with and knowing alcoholics and assorted substance abusers taught me at an early age that an unclouded mind was my best lens with which to view the world. There may be the rare person who must suppress their inner demon chemically to release their real talent, and there is the ogre of depression, but I’m thinking those are the exceptions. The “altered ones” I’ve encountered were simply afraid to be themselves, but willing to wear the mask of drunkenness or the tripping cape as a shield against rejection. And some of that rejection was self-hate. Saddens me to reflect on such a waste.

    Meanwhile, a local literary critic recently complimented me on my method of journaling (is that a word?) observations as a writing tool. Her encouraging words are all the “drug” I’ll need as I plod on.

    On a happier note, congrats to Tetman! Hope this is truly the start to the adventure you’ve wanted.

  23. Congratulations, Tetman!! It’s on my ipad waiting for me to fire up that joint I’ve been saving from two Christmases ago.

    The high I get from writing is much better than any other high (with the possible except of shrooms but I think I’ve forgotten). In fact, smoking pot pretty much kept me from being seriously focused on my writing for way too many years. Writing’s my addiction now and I just have to trust it won’t eff me up like the previous ones.

    Facebook isn’t an issue–MZuck and his billions aren’t getting my privacy.

  24. I used to drink red wine while I wrote because I used to write in a bar. (It was a nerdy bar.) This had two problems, one of which was that all my stories started to degenerate into, “Why doesn’t he loooooove me baaaack?” and the other was that I would then go home and think about how much I wanted to kill myself. So I stopped doing that. I wasn’t a very happy or productive drunk.

    But I still miss that particular type of alcohol-wrapped alone time.

  25. I was smoking far too much for a while. Self-medicating, I suppose, and starting to think of weed as my Dumbo’s feather for writing. But I gave it up a few months ago and now I’m squeaky clean. Vegan, even.

    I think sobriety has made me combative–which is not all that bad for writing, as it happens, but less attractive in real life. Maybe I need a new vice.

    • This is where I should ask if prescription drugs count. Now that I’m all hopped up on this and that, I’m in forced sobriety on the one hand and constantly medicated on the other. Neither seems to be particularly good for writing.

      I just commented at your place, but I should repeat myself because the news about Tetman’s memoir/creative-nonfiction is too big a deal not to shout about. Congratulations, Tetman!

  26. A couple of years ago I went to the Musee du Montmartre and saw an entire corner set up with an absinthe scene, complete with a writer working at the bar. Hopelessly romantic, but insanely deadly. I think I’ll skip all parties hosted by the green fairy and her relatives.

    And congratulations Tetman! Cheers to you today!!!

  27. 4 units of alcohol/week is my deal and drinking has nothing to do with writing. it’s a social thing.

    the stereotype of a drink/drugged writer is a little tedious.

    weed slays me and i haven’t smoked in years.

  28. I usually just write in the morning on high test dark roast.

    Don’t smoke, and only drink on special occasions. Like everyday after work. And I will hoist a brew to Tetman today – congratulations !

  29. Nice work, Tetman. Happy for you. Will read.

  30. Here’s to Tetman!

    I don’t imbibe while working. Think I’ll have a martooni tonight, though.

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