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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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And Four White Mice Will Never Be Four White Horses

94140BLNI got a nibble on my screenplay. It’s just a nibble. One of the producers has written back. Has to show it to producing partner. He said he liked it. Said it had promise. Promise!  And that was all. I’m not going to go crazy, not going to start dieting for the Oscars or put a down payment on my Porsche. A big producer took me through a summer of rewrites on my first script and then showed it to the one actor he had in mind for the lead, Kevin Kleine, who declined. Game over. Cinderella story gone in an email. I promised not to get bitter. Better to have loved and been swiftly dropped than never to have been swiftly dropped at all. I’m sober. I’m not casting the movie. There isn’t a director’s chair with my name on it, a baseball cap with the name of the movie on it, a baseball jacket with the name of the movie on the back and my name in gold thread stiched into the front. None of it. Fuck me dead.

What is your fantasy?

53 Responses

  1. All of it…plus living long enough for all of it.

    • Fantasy addendum:
      Pulitzer. Reality = enough $ to make my car payment.
      The “…those stories and Andy Rooney” spot on 60 minutes. Reality = my blog
      The little book they said would not sell, did. Reality = hope.
      That you post more often. Reality = probably not.

  2. My dreams are so simple. I just want to be able to walk into B&N and buy a book that I wrote.
    I’m not a believer in magic or anything supernatural (a la The Secret) but sometimes I envision walking into my local bookstore and seeing my book on the Fiction Bestsellers shelf. I have a perfect image of the cover, complete with my name at the bottom.
    I would never turn down the Oscars or a seat on Graham Norton’s couch, but above all, I just want to see my book for sale. And maybe some random reader buying it.

  3. Savor the nibble for as long as you can. My fantasy? A reading or two sans panic attack in a venue-with-character to an intelligent, receptive audience. A few publishing credits in journals (online accepted) which still have standards. Recognition but not by people from my past, high school boyfriend included, who may still have bones to pick. A good meal with respectable actor/s and director/s and musicians, talking about the movie adaptation, and they really like me for me. Maybe a few inches off each thigh would be great, too, even if a hot tub with aforementioned glitterati is staggeringly out of the question.

    Thanks, that was fun and depressing in equal measure.

  4. Nibble news, how exciting! My fantasy is seeing your name appear in the credits, then watching you accept all your awards in unexpected outfits.

  5. I’d like to sell a book for enough to make a down payment on a new car, after taxes. Nothing flashy, just something with good struts, better mileage, and a USB port.

  6. Are words of encouragement still considered to be gross at this point? Might I shout out a little, tiny really, “Way to go!”? Just three baby words.

    My simple fantasy is being in the midst of the process. The back and forth with the editor, approving the book cover, etc. That all just seems so exciting.

  7. I have no fantasies when it comes to writing. Reality check: The script for Monster’s Ball was shopped for seven years. It sold for $50K, which was split into two (two writers), then chipped away by lawyers, agents, and managers. It was nominated for an Oscar.

  8. Oh just a Booker Prize. Or the Frank O’Connor Award would do.
    Best of luck with this Betsy

  9. I think the only thing worse than licking at the feet of the thing you want, is having NO IDEA what you want in the first place. Chasing dreams can be agonizing, at every step, but it is a far cry better than the paralysis of fear that leads to only ever sitting and watching others from the audience.

    My dream? “New York Times Bestselling Author, Rebecca Taylor”

  10. My fantasy is the Rome Prize at the American Academy — for which writers cannot apply. There is a mysterious nomination process. But I could be happy with a semester at the American Academy in Berlin.

    Betsy’s nibble sounds like genuine interest. Really, is it too early to start shopping for an Oscar dress? Better than smoking cigaretttes and throwing back cocktails while waiting to hear. I’d call it the power of positive thinking.

  11. I’d like to write a bestseller that could hit the list without me having to ever appear in public on its behalf—or at all, ever. I’d sell the film rights and Betsy would write the screenplay, and the movie would be an international hit starring Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara with a cameo appearance by Judi Dench as the creepy grandmother, and we’d all live happily ever after.

    Whew. That fantasy really got away from me.

  12. Sounds like you’ve achieved more than thousands of wannabe writers have! Whether this producer contact leads to anything or not, this interest definitely means you’re a good writer. You’ve got it in you. Don’t get discouraged!
    My big fantasy is to become a well respected writer/screenwriter, and have the liberty to write fulltime, on my own projects, without having to worry about the mortgage.

  13. I just read your “about”-page. I guess you already knew you have it in you huh. 🙂

  14. So what color is the director’s chair? I mean, if you were actually thinking about it….

  15. Terry Gross’s guest

  16. Here’s to the nibble turning into a solid CHOMP! so you can reel it in, a prize catch.

    My fantasy – like some of the others above with a slight twist:

    “Donna Everhart, Bestselling Author has just been nominated for…(whatever)…, ”

    And to bogart a little of Averil’s fantasy…amen to not having to appear on it’s behalf. Can’t people just buy and read the damn thing?

    • I also meant to say…doesn’t getting news like this change the entire outlook of the day, week, month, your life, in general?? I realize you’ll be right back to worrying/stressing/biting nails (if you even do that) or contemplating burning your laptop, in weeks if nothing HAPPENS, but…for now, you can’t tell me your perspective on EVERYTHING hasn’t changed, all b/c of that one response. It’s that rush of adrenalin, and it’s addictive.

  17. To live in a house with a porch that looks out over the ocean.

  18. To make good and truly know it in my bones.

  19. I’ve grown old on fantasising. I’ve received the call from my dream agent, had the launch party, signed thousands of books for adoring fans, sold the film rights, chosen my dress for the red carpet (black with a very low back) and spent weeks on the cabbage soup diet. (Don’t ask). I’ve guested on the Jonathan Ross Show. I’ve been told I look young for my age and asked ‘are you really a grandmother?’ All my years of fantasising has led to one thing. Acceptance. I’ve finally accepted that fantasising is futile – the real thief of time. Having an aspiration or dream is an enviable thing to have because it keeps us going and gives us something to hope for, but for me this fantasy life is done and I couldn’t be more pleased. Now I live the reality. Yes, it’s high definition and sometimes it hurts like hell, but it is truth in its sharpest form, warts an’ all. I’m still querying agents, but when I press send, the thing is gone and that’s OK. Maybe now I’ve stopped all the fantasising something good might actually happen. And that would be just great.

  20. at our age, it’s never too early to start dieting.

    as for fantasies, i no longer have them. they don’t fit into my diet.

  21. Philip Roth and some handcuffs

  22. My fantasies often involve George Clooney, but this probably isn’t the venue for discussing those. Instead, I’ll share the one where all of Betsy’s posse gather together for the premiere of her movie.

    Betsy–wearing a little black dress, a pair of Doc Martens, and her rubber FTF bracelet–steps into the room. She offers a Princess Grace wave, met by a thunder of applause. We all make a toast to her success, and even August and MSB decide to shed their masks to take part in the evening’s festivities.

    Oh, and I’ll be escorted for the event by George Clooney. Duh.

  23. Here’s to nibbles! They’re always tastier than the meal…

  24. Well, Betsy and friends, you’ve made me think, again.

    I don’t have many fantasies or wishes, though I’ve had some experiences that were as amazing to me as some fantasies. I smile, though, at the thought of you all getting what you hope and work for, and enjoying every second and mote of it. I’d chuckle and say “Ain’t it cool? They did it! All the sturm und drang und angst and work and asspains and they did it. I’m shit dipped and happy, and I’ve got to go buy some books and see some movies! Ha! I’ll be damned!”

  25. I’m living my fantasy for a few weeks: writing in Paris, in notebooks, away from the confusing literary scene in the states.
    And this is some damn good news for you, Betsy!
    I will light a candle in an obscure church here in Paris for you, and everyone here. I’ll whisper a prayer that all the literary dreams voiced at this party come true.

  26. May that nibble become a lunch, Betsy.

  27. Betsy, ride the high. Really. The whole “don’t get your hopes up” notion is crap. If I didn’t have those brief “so when Terry Gross asks me xyz, I’ll say…” fantasies I’d just be a sad sack of shit 100% of the time. (I, too, am waiting on the outcome of a positive halfway through and love it so far scenario).

  28. Yay for you, Betsy. I hope more good news follows. Just be careful of those nibbles. They have a way of making you desperate for more.

    My fantasy for today involves the morning, a time when the house is quiet from all the competing voices and I can finally stretch my arms high above my head, take a deep breath and acknowledge my life is fucking awesome. I wish this feeling would last the day.

  29. This showed up on my Facebook news feed!

    “I was chasing my dreams, but I tripped over reality and busted my head on the truth

  30. They may be a statement, but, they tough more than that, as they truly make the women’s appearance much at ease. But the simple fact is, the the purse you carry says to your class and taste, so try and get a great tote for your car.

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