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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 Went Out for a While and I Never Came Back

Writing a book is like finding a new lover. It woos you, loves you, fucks you, then leaves you. Dearest darling readers of this blog: I did it. I finished my book. I finished the fucker. It was due today and I turned it in today. 91,000 words cracked out of the sky, the tree, the branch, the twig. Am I stoned? Am I dead? Am I run over by a truck? Am I a cat, a bat, an owl, a toad? Every morning at 5:00, 5:30, I glimpsed myself in the window, a shadow, a golem, a cup of coffee. Does my nightgown smell like oatmeal? Who highlighted these transcripts in yellow? How many years did I wait for this? How many before I find another?

Fess up: did you write or did you play with your food?

34 Responses

  1. Good lord, here we go. This is very exciting news indeed. Is it about us?

  2. Congratulations! I cannot wait to see what your gorgeous, unique writing voice wrote.

  3. Pick the owl. I am reading Forest for the Trees for the first time, and loving your owlish wisdom and humour.

  4. Ah, Betsy, so very good for you. I can only imagine.

    I wrote. About a trip to Cuba. In 7 hours I leave for two weeks of sailing in the northwest, off the net and out there where the water is cold.

    I’ll miss you all.

  5. Oh, man, congratulations!

    I did a fair amount of writing myself. My ass is numb. And my son just told me that he’d heard that “sitting is the new smoking.”

    What???

    But no way am I getting one of treadmill desk set-ups. Bring on the Advil.

  6. Wonderful news. You sound both wobbly and fierce, pretty close to what others call “happy”.

  7. I wrote, but not at 5:30…I can see the end now! Can’t wait to read your new book! I love the way you practice what you preach!

  8. There is nothing quite like finishing. The “End ” is sometimes a four-letter word.
    Congrats Betsy.
    After pushing my food around the plate I am almost finished. Because this one was done before I wrote it, all I had to do, and am doing, is get it down.

  9. Fan-fucking-tastic!

    I both wrote and played with my food.

  10. I wrote my ass off. 61,673 words and counting. The end is nigh.

    Congrats, Betsy.

  11. Congratulations! Well done. And like Sandra said above, I too love that you practice what you preach.

    I did write. Not as much as I wanted, b/c I have this bad habit of nit picking anything I write to death. Still, another 10K was added and that’s better than nothing. We’re about to head out for a week in the Appalachians, where the muse waits. I always do well there. Maybe another 10K? I can hope!

    What we all want to know is…what’s the title???

    Smooth sailing Frank!!! May the winds fill your sails.

  12. Actually, Betsy, I made art with my food and typed commentary in my mind. Congrats on your completion. I look forward to reading it!

  13. You are stoned, dead, AND run over by a truck. You finished the fucker! Good going, Betsy.

  14. Congratulations. I can’t wait to read your book. Now back to playing with my food…

  15. You did it! Good on you, Betsy. I wrote, though never at 5:30, and then I didn’t. So I’m still writing and will be for awhile. But YOU, you finished the fucker!

  16. hey, congrats! now go burn that nightgown in the backyard.

    i wrote a LONG story and now i’m editing that LONG story. it’s all good.

  17. Never doubted you for a minute.

    I’m still playing with my food, but I’m nearly to dessert.

  18. The difference between a novice ( myself) and a seasoned , successful , career author is the birthing process.
    My first effort now ready for a real edit and its own success in the world has left me filled with joy, love and “post partum ” depression at letting go of a connection that was purely primal

  19. You say it, you do it. Congratulations, Betsy! 5am is a quiet time of day, the night not quite gone, the light soft and air cluttered with the undisturbed residue of dreams.
    I wrote, tapping into the early morning as often as I could.

  20. Fuck yeah, you.

  21. You did it. That’s the thing.

  22. But you did come back. And with fierce news. You finished that fucker!

  23. Congratulations, Betsy!

  24. Congratulations. A finished book is no mean feat.

    I wrote and played with my food, being ambidextrous.

  25. I wrote tons, and I hope to make tons of money.

  26. I wrote! And I ate the food because, you know… food!

  27. Does everyone but me know what Betsy’s book is about, or am I supposed to be suitably discreet and NOT ASK?

  28. Ooh, just read this post. I wish my nightgown smelled like oatmeal, it do not! I played with Cocoa Puffs. I pretended they were swimmers in a pool of milk. No one ever drowned. It was a paradise!

  29. “Writing a book is like finding a new lover. It woos you, loves you, fucks you, then leaves you. Dearest darling readers of this blog: I did it. I finished my book. I finished the fucker. It was due today and I turned it in today. 91,000 words cracked out of the sky, the tree, the branch, the twig. Am I stoned? Am I dead? Am I run over by a truck? Am I a cat, a bat, an owl, a toad? Every morning at 5:00, 5:30, I glimpsed myself in the window, a shadow, a golem, a cup of coffee. Does my nightgown smell like oatmeal? Who highlighted these transcripts in yellow? How many years did I wait for this? How many before I find another?”

    Seriously, Betsy! Aside from Congrats, that’s awesome news — did you ever read Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers?
    It’s the only book I have that I won’t lend to writers, and it’s because they’re not ready for it. But I’d lend it to you. You and Lenny are my favourite poets, no matter what you’re writing, it’s all poetry to my ears.

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