• 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.
  • Archives

Got Me Lookin So Crazy Right Now

This is for the French editor who came by the office this week and said she had started her day every morning reading my blog. Well, my blog and a Galoise. God, that’s a dreamy combo. She just started a new job after twenty years with one publisher. She has read everything and has a wonderful way of talking about writers and their books. More, she had a quiet confidence, clear about what she would publish and how. Honestly, it’s a such a pleasure working in publishing when you get to talk books with a sexy, French editor. Yes, my life is this train and these are the sub-titles:  Books float like rafts in a calm sea. Everything eats. This is the French cream you brought me, made from green tea. Do you have a light, my love?

Anybody out there?

44 Responses

  1. You are back from editor purdah I see. Any vignettes about sexy French editors are always welcome !

  2. I am still here; hanging on every word. Well, most of them.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. I just made a dessert that I’m going to bring to the house of an American editor/publisher tonight. The editor is someone I love and admire, someone who has done fantastic things for local authors here. Has given their books homes and helped them launch their careers.

    It’s a dinner party, and my favorite authors will be there. Well, some of them, anyway.

    At times like this I wish I were French. The pastry I made is mediocre, and worse, it’s ugly. Sort of beige on beige ugly. It seriously looks like two deformed penises laid out on a beige platter. I’m in search of remedies. Something colorful as garnish?

    Oh fuck. I wish I smoked. Now is the time for a Gauloise. With lipstick on its tip.

  4. “Anybody out there?”

    This is your blog Betsy. We’re ALL “out there”

  5. I am here and miss your wit and words. Here, let me light that for you.

  6. I’m having pre-publication meltdown. Just a couple of weeks left to find out if people will think my baby is pretty or if they’ll say some version of that sure is …a baby.

  7. Betsy, I’ve only met you once. But years ago, Forest planted the thought; you are out of your time. This post confirms it. French editors, Galoise, love of writers. You remind me of Pascal Covici. You are a writers’ agent. I will always have a light for you

  8. I remember when my day started by reading your blog. Those were good times.

  9. I have no light, but I do have green tea candy from a friend in Taiwan.

    And you’re in three of my blog feeds, just in case you care to drop a post among the book floats.

  10. Anybody out there?
    It’s like opening day at Dairy Queen out here, no line, just a crowd waiting for you to open the window and say “next”.

  11. Loved this post.

    Here’s my light: I dreamt about you this week.

    Really!

    We were in a class for screenwriting, and you sat next to me. Somehow, all our pages were mixed up.

    That’s all.

    I tend to interpret my dreams by analyzing the actual words/names of people. BETSY LERNER, of course, jumps out for being about LEARNING. Then… BETSY. (I shall not divulge how I interpreted that.)

    I woke and thought about how much I missed your blog posts.

  12. Oh, yes, still here, inhaling. xo

  13. We’re all still here, Betsy. Waiting for our day to start because we miss you.

    Anybody got a light?

  14. My day used to start with reading your blog. It used to get me fired or swearing or sitting there with wonder.

  15. My day used to start with reading your blog. You were my secret morning cigarette.

  16. Books float like rafts in a calm sea. Everything eats.

    Love this.

    Here, and on reset. Reset = long discussion with agent about writing what I don’t know (the new way of writing I suppose.) Excited, yet…, floundering a bit in that calm sea. All things that eat seem to have eaten their fill. I am not the current delicacy…, yet.

  17. Having once started my week days with a mug of espresso-strength coffee and Betsy’s blog, I feel you, people. I’ve tried to approximate the experience by subscribing to Poem-a-Day and briefly scanning People Magazine online. On a bad day I turn to the Weekly World News (headline: “Locusts Invade Detroit”). But it’s not the same. I miss this blog. (Wish I could say it in French.)

  18. “Anybody out there?”

    apparently so.

    yes… yes, there they are. in the middle distance. shiny happy people cavorting.

  19. My closest friend is a French woman. She swears with panache, eats chocolate and cheese like a demon and doesn’t gain an ounce, buys designer underwear as often as I buy groceries And the way she says my name makes me sound really cool. Maybe one day I’ll live up to it.
    Missed you, Betsy.

  20. A moon lit stroll down a quiet wooded path, a picnic under a shade tree by the river; a little dog lost finding its way back to you. And, of course, sweet hashish turds intertwined with the tobacco. Some espresso. Pastries. Later, bread, cheese and wine. Opium for dreams, alas, only dreams.

  21. Oui! Oui! Je m’appelle Marie. Où est la salle de bains? Je t’aime.
    All the French I need to know. Except miss you Betsy, which would help right now. And I wish I knew the French words for “Give me a big ol’ slice of that penis cake.”

  22. Tu nous manques, Betsy.

  23. Saved my pennies, bought a new notebook and am heading to Paris next month to soak up inspiration.
    This post got me in the mood, for sure.

  24. Hello! Have been very much out There, unable to find a substitute for this blogsite. However, listening to the conversations in the jury pool room last week has been entertaining. And the week before that, I met an editor from Penguin Group – maybe it was from my nervousness, but I swear there was a shimmering glow about her. Quite intimidating. This place is much more comfortable.

  25. Recovering from AWP. Sneaking away from my editorial career today to write, that is, if I can get the fuck off the Internet.

  26. Aw…jeez Betsy, come on out and play more often. It’s not healthy staying inside so much, no fresh air, no interactions with the rest of the inmates, come on out and pace the yard along the wall…you know the one, it has towers. But stay away from the fence, it bites.
    We miss you terribly,
    Yes we are selfish.
    yes we are pains in the ass.
    yes we piss you off.
    yes you piss us off.
    yes tetman in smarter than me.
    yes Frank’s boat hasn’t sunk yet.
    yes Donna is floating.
    yes averil is a good girl with a dirty mind
    yes harripants, mike,shanna, mac, raving and all the others are just waiting to share a piece of suzy’s penis cake with you.
    Won’t you please play more often?
    Okay, if begging doesn’t work I don’t know what will.
    yeah, like Harri said, we are all ‘out there’

    • Everythijng changes, including, apparently, the spelling of “everything.” I like to check in and see how everyone’s doing and I also wander off to various blogs and sites to catch up with old friends. I liked one piece you did on a big barn and another about The Truman Show had me smiling. I read a good interview Averill did with Tetman. Of course I check Tetman’s work. I ventured over to a blog by someone who I didn’t recognise from this site before, sometimes it’s good to stroll away from the neighborhood, but skeedaddled out of there in toot sweet time when I read what she was laying down.
      I’m writing still and it’s still fun. Wrecked my back putting cedar planks in a closet, the required contortions no longer acceptable to the muscles of a man my age. And the job’s only 3/4’s done. Self medication and rest, maybe a chance to write some more.

      • take care of that back, mike. i blew mine out at age twenty-one moving a couple kegs of beer. sought to take vengeance on the brew by drinking every drop i could find. turned out that wasn’t the best solution (gin and tonic is better).

      • Hey Mike, thanks for the kind words about the barn and Truman…the Truman one was a freaky though. It’s nice seeing everyone show up once in awhile.

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