• 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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It’s a Dream Only a Dream

I’m in a mixed state. Elated one minute. Deflated the next. Falling asleep. Can’t sleep. Strangely happy. Predictably unhappy. Great certitude. Grave doubt. Patient. Irritable. Loving. Disgusted. I’m clearly closing in on my writing project and I want to throw myself down a dry well.How can my script be brilliant one hour and a piece of shit the next. How can I have a panic attack at the dry cleaner and weep in the shower after a tepid workout? How can I tell every writer I know to keep on, keep going, grab the motherfucker by the throat when I’m at the bottom of a bathtub?  Who am I kidding?

Who am I kidding?

31 Responses

  1. You just wrote my biography! Great post. Thank you for articulating so beautifully

  2. I don’t know whether to “like” this post or not. I do completely understand though. Take a deep breath, yell at the top of you lungs (if you can) and then you’ll feel better.

  3. “Who am I kidding?”

    You’re kidding yourself and you’d damn well better because that’s the only way to get it to work. I mean, come-fucking-on, what are we up to, we writer peeps? Hard countries with practical rulers send the likes of us to the camps and mines.

  4. You sound like a great protagonist. Embrace it. In this northern wasteland of silence and disconnect, I am bruised from the hammer and the round hole.

  5. You’re not kidding anyone. You’re writing. What’re you, exempt?

  6. I hope you are kidding no one. To see the glass half full is, after-all, to admit it is half empty. We have good moments and nights of anguish; we fit into the smaller size outfit and a button is missing; the last egg in the carton bears a slight crack: the real test is how one lives through and with these situations.

    The Fool will walk off the cliff and yelp in fear because he refuses to watch his step. But the little dog may decide to leap willingly after him – as much out of devotion as because he knows there is a wide ledge 2 feet below and he doesn’t want to be left behind.

    • Karen — I looked at the Tarot card again after reading your post. My guess is that little dog would bite off the hand of anyone who tried to harm her companion.

      • With a few more markings, that little dog could be the twin of my Bijoux – the sweetest of tiny dogs, but possessing a halitosis strong enough to warp wood.

        Again, the good and not so good in everything!

  7. This is where I would say Just grab the bull by the tits and believe.

  8. In the end, everybody dies, so you might as well die trying.

  9. I wasn’t going to weigh in on this because Betsy is one of us, she gets it, but this post has hit a nerve which has been twitching in me for a long time.

    Middle school open house, ten years ago, science teacher Mrs. Malardo said to the parents, “I do not assign weekend homework because I know on a Sunday afternoon, after a trip to Grandmas, the kids will be scrambling to do their homework in the car. That is not a way to learn.” She knew that, because she had kids, great kids by the way.

    What frosts my ass about some agents…the ones who don’t understand what it is we go through, and don’t give a flying fig about the actual process, because they don’t write. Do you have to have children to be a good teacher, do you have to be a writer to be a good agent, of course not but it helps, it fucking helps people. Give me child-rearing advice if you’ve been there, judge my 300 pages based on the first five because you have written your own first five.

    Whew, okay I feel better.
    That Betsy-girl, the writer/agent, she gets it.

  10. You get it. We love that you get it. Why do you think we’re here?

    Why do you think we’re so honest while we’re here?

  11. This is the most accurate personal ad I’ve ever read. Did you ever think you’d meet so many people who knew exactly what you were talking about?

  12. You’re not a Fool for feeling this way. It comes with the territory, though 200 yrs ago, in this old New England city, I would have been banished to the stocks for these artistic vacillations. Or burned at the stake…

  13. You’re no fool. Judging from the above comments, you’re not alone on this island.
    (And if you want to try something very, very good when you feel you can’t even move, go out in search of a reliable produce stand. Ask if they have a shipment of fresh new apples from upstate, Ginger Gold’s. Thin green skin, crisp and juicy, dime store thugs have killed for less).

  14. Betsy, you’re not kidding anyone. You’re a grunt going the last fifty yards.

  15. You’re not kidding me. I’ve read “Forest for the Trees.” You know what you’re doing. You have read a thousand piece-of-shit books and seen a hundred fucked-up movies all worse than your script. Everyone in here has gone through the same doubt. You’re a little m-d but what the hell. Get it the way YOU want it and go with it. You know yourself and you know your screenplay!

  16. Well, those emotions? I’d put that rollercoaster down as the manic machinations of the creative process. At times when it’s going well you soar, when it gets tough you beat yourself up in ever more creative ways. One moment you’re a genius, the next an imposter or sadly deluded poser, or . . . you may irrationally suspect,a doppelganger from another universe. What the hey, despite all these sometimes overwhelming tsunami of emotions it is the drive to carry on despite them that distinguishes the artist from everyone else and that, in a sense, defines them. The yin and yang of creativity. It’s a bitch but you gotta love her.

  17. If you have that much angst, you must (a) be creating something from nothing, and (b) be doing it right. So holy shit, Cheers!

  18. bottom of a bathtub, brooklyn. could be the title of a book.

  19. There is nothing better than being humble and not cocky. And it’s even more poignant when it’s someone in your situation (b/c of what you do – agent, who you know – industry) It shows us you feel just like we do…and like others have said – you get it.

  20. Someone at work actually told me today that I looked deflated. You’re not alone.

  21. “Mixed state.” You know your psychopharmacologist is going to call you all freaked out.

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