• 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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I Think I’m Gonna be Sad

I saw a dead possum in the road today, curled around a telephone pole. Did it get hit first and then flung into the pole? Or did it get hit first and then crawl to the pole to die? That’s about where I am with my writing. Wishing whoever is still out there reading the last posts of a dying nation much love and happiness in the new year. I escaped without doing a bucket challenge.

How did you do?

Love, Betsy 

41 Responses

  1. It was a great year, but not as good as it could have been. Something must die for something else to live. I aim to see more of you here in the new year, Betsy. May you be blessed.

  2. JOURNAL/ DEC 29 2014

    SEE. I do have a crush and I don’t know what to do about it.
    Sounds like a 20 year old thing.
    But guess what.

    It is a
    I am 45 years old.
    That’s right
    And yu say. You do’t like hip hop
    You say
    I hate hip hop
    I say
    You ca’t say tht
    You can’t xay you hate hip hopt
    Because tahtIS NOTPOOSSOBLE

    IT IS NOT PSSIBLE TO HATE HIP HOP

    HJIP HOPN IS YPU

    YOU

    DEEP DOWN TO THE CORE/ CHORE

    ANDNLETS GO ALL CAPS

    Ans dand

    Let’s go sall no caps/ small and I nsinfivacajt

    What is all unsignnificant………………

    Anyway

    Getting all serupious here / sorry about that ans d aman and aand allll

    Love you all
    And am I cou ting and am I wrotioting

    Yea I am/

  3. I spent Boxing Day listening to Fort Worth Blues over and over. What a beautiful song. Who says being sad can’t make you happy?

    I have mixed feelings about 2014. Not so sure about 2015 either but I am going to let myself listen to sad songs more often. I did read some great stuff – Lila, lots of Wolitzer, Rainbow Rowell, the end of the Magician’s trilogy (have you read it? I suspect they’re your kind of magicians).

    I left Facebook a year ago and this Christmas I’m experimenting
    with using my ‘smart’ phone only as a phone – not an atlas, an encyclopedia, a crutch. Just a phone. So far so good.

    All the best of the season Betsy. We miss you.

  4. Had a granddaughter, life doesn’t get much better than that. It is even better than everyone said it would be.
    May 15 be the beginning of the best for us all.

  5. I am not going to be sad. Possums die every day.

    Sent from my HTC EVO 4G LTE exclusively from Sprint

  6. I don’t remember why we were doing the ice bucket thing. Were we raising money for polar bear research? Was it some kid’s wasted make-a-wish?

    • It was to raise awareness for ALS, which it certainly did. Too bad we don’t have ice bucket challenges for attention span dwarfism and terminal trendiness.

  7. From a family/friend health perspective it could have been better. Out of all people I know who SHOULD have done an ice bucket challenge despite how stupid crazy it got, losing some of it’s meaning in the process (IMHO), that person should have been me.

    I have my own dead possum story, and just now realized it too would serve to describe my current writing project. Flat on it’s back, grimacing with rabid fierceness, and stiff as a board.

    Happy Almost New Year everyone!

  8. My heartfelt wishes to you all and yours for a happy New Year.

  9. A bit over a year ago, I was the possum. In April, wind and water tried to kill me, but it was nothing personal. May through July there were three eye surgeries and a root canal. Between and after all that it was great fun, and I can still see and chew.

    Friends, neighbors, shipmates and other loved ones fill my sails. The rest was just bashing to weather, and it’s part of the trip sometimes.

    It’s has been a fine tear.

  10. Yes Betsy you are missed. Whenever I get a post in my inbox I wonder if the crazy madness will start again .. Betsy in spite of herself.

    Xo

  11. Betsy and all,
    2014 was just playing possum. I got a rave rejection.

  12. Just before checking my email and seeing the alert of a new Betsy post, I had accomplished my goal of finishing this draft of the novel before the new year. This is something like draft eight, and it’s still full of notes and work to do, but in terms of this draft, I finished the fucker.

    Now I just have to finish the fucker a few more times, and it might be ready. I’m coming for you, 2015.

  13. Thinking about the food critic who reviewed the creation of a chef who recently had both legs amputated, cruelly referring to the meal he was served as half-baked.
    Wondering if the bottom of the pan is all that much hotter than what’s simmering on top.
    Smiling at the taste that warms my soul and pleases the palate.
    Worrying I’ll never again have anything as good and
    Dancing because what else is there?

  14. I was just telling our Lyra that the best part of the year was meeting her and some other Bety-ites (Learnerites?). Otherwise . . . meh.

    The quality of my rejections is going up, though, so I suppose that’s a victory of sorts.

  15. Rejection, rejection, memoir longlisted!, rejection, rejection, writing, revision, revision, revision, husband published a book!, writing, rejection, have a glass of champagne, go to sleep, wake up and do it all over again.

    Can’t complain, but probably will anyway. I miss you all, you bastards.

  16. Try this for the ending comment:

    There go Alex and her injured cat. Each of you players has to decide. His problem is bad dreams. Bad dreams are making him ill.
    You, not Marilyn, are to resign. Marilyn, not you, is to resign.
    Either you girls or Hal is to run. Either Hal or you girls are to run.
    Neither the midshipmen nor their commandant was prepared.
    Give the cat to whoever comes to answer the door.
    Give the cat to whomever you see in the doorway.

    OK?

    And now this:

    IC, FANBOYS(S) IC. conjunctions and independent clauses
    [FOR, AND, NOR, BUT, OR, YET, SO (STILL)]
    I went to the store, and I bought a small loaf of Italian bread.
    I saw her, and then she left. Alex laughed, for she was working.

    And this will be on the test on January 12, 2015:

    IC; IC. independent clauses without conjunctions
    I went to the store; I bought a loaf of bread. I saw her; then she left.
    Alex laughed; she was working. She smiled; however, he smirked.
    OR Alex laughed: she was finally working. [colon used to explain]

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2015: valedictory: Hello and Good-bye. Janus.

  17. Are you sure it was dead and not just … playing possum?

    2014 was meh. Less said the better.

    Here’s to a better 2015 for all of us. Good luck with everything, Betsy.

  18. I survived maybe four bouts of nasty depression and one manic episode. That’s a great year — I survived.
    I completed two drafts of a novel that matters to me, and that’s a great year.
    I decided to write some genre fiction as a commercial exercise. Wrote five novellas in the series,they took about a week each and have made about 24K dollars in four months, and continue to sell. That’s a great year.
    A woman I love somehow found ways to put up with me, and even kept me in her life. That’s a great year.
    I saw my children several times, and they still like me enough to visit. That’s a great year.
    I still have most of the friends and family I started the year with, and they are mostly healthy and happy. That’s a great year.
    Despite my many rants about the physical pain I was in, and the state of the world, and the evils of capitalism, it was a great year.
    Not even I could manage to ruin it completely.

    I hope you have a wonderful 2015 Betsy.

    Your Forest for the Trees book made a real difference to my life, and continues to do so. Thank you.

    • Sounds like an interesting year, Harry.
      If you get the chance, do some research on Captain Paul McKay of the Australian Army who disappeared in these mountains a year ago. His body was found near the summit of Scarface Mountain, death attributed to suicide by hypothermia. After serving in Afganistan, he traveled around the world to lay down and die in one of the coldest places in the country. It’s a sad story made incredible by how many people searched, cared and desperately wanted to help someone they had never met.

    • Harry, you rock on, mate. Here’s to you in 2015.

  19. One step at a time, one moment at a time. What else is there? Thank you for checking in now and then, and a good ‘slide’ into the New Year as they say around here…

  20. I posted something but it showed up on the last post. Sorry. Happy New Year everyone!

  21. I had a manuscript die like a possum.

    I had another show promise.

    I have a third burning a hole in my brain in revision as a “I’m gonna get this one right.”

    All in all, not too bad a year.

  22. The high point of my year was being featured on a 20/20 segment titled “The Moochers.” This may also have been the low point of my year.

    Happy to finish out 2014 here with Betsy and her circle. Happy New Year, all.

  23. the bucket challenge comes at the end
    i’m aiming to kick it just as the closing curtain comes down
    the timing will be exquisite
    a thing not to be missed

    get your tickets now
    before you get scalped

    line forms on the left

    happy new year, you sinners!

  24. Betsy and fellow Lernerites- may you be well, and may the words flow.

  25. No complaints about the year, on balance. Other than, I made less money than I have since the first Bush was in office even though I had two YA books published. Starving artist? I think not. My ass is fatter than ever. Plus, I just broke my toe.

    I started this comment on such a high note! What the fuck? Happy 2015, tribe.

  26. Wait until you sign up for medicare and discover you spent the last 40 years drifting along, misinterpreting what everyone else wanted and now you have a bloody heart condition that gives you no time to do what you want. By the 10,000 hour rule, it takes 5 years to learn to write a readable novel, less if you work weekends and skip lunch.But the doctor with a gun pointed at your head, just shakes his head and says, don’t worry. I have a fix for everything. Have you ever considered eating baked beans in a bathtub filled with warm jello as a life work?

  27. Betsy,
    You have not written in awhile. I hope you are okay. If you’re reading this now, I’m 23 years old and I’ve read a lot about you and I relate. I sincerely hope you are okay.

    • No one is 23. Thank you for writing. I am good. I am working on a new book and posting infrequently. I hope you’re doing okay.

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