• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Just Remember What I TOld You the Day I Set YOu FRee


There is so much going on. I can feel it. Some vegetables in my garden are getting their boots on. In a half-remembered dream a steering wheel came off in my hands, turned to dirt. I am jacked up on popcorn and diet Sunkist. I play on-line Bridge with strangers in the night. I can feel the pockets of desperation in the air. I can see the cinderblocks and hospital gowns. THe knotty pines and nighttime eye patch. I got invited to a party via Facebook! I read a rant by a man who won a prize. The trees are the color of peaches. The new Adele song dropped. Nothing at the Mini Cine. Did my nails with “Just in Case.”

Are you writing?

20 Responses

  1. I’m in the middle of a story about sailing with three women, two who have never sailed, and one an experienced skipper. An early flight will have us in Las Vegas for a week at our day jobs, ending with a Halloween party; I’ll be an Almond Joy and she’ll be a Mounds. Then we’ll wander through Death Valley, at least geographically, and down to San Diego. I’ll be listening, lurking, and taking notes for new stories.

  2. Yes, there is a “new” WIP underway. I put “new” in quotes b/c I started it in May and I’ve yet to make much of it. On the good news side – “it” has an outline! OMG. I’m writing by an outline.

    You’d think that would be the kick in the pants to get a move on.


  3. Feverously trying to catch up time lost (hand injury) regarding my WIP. I keep telling myself the down-time was a good thing. I’m not convinced…yet.

  4. I was all set not to write today, but then I read this and I’ll be goddamned if I say no. So yes. As soon as I finish [boring chore redacted].

  5. Yes, sort of. I’m scared and excited, a major change in the style of my memoir in the works, abandoning the shifting back and forth between the past and the present in chronological chapters and instead focusing on a brief, past time period in Part A then coming up to the present in the second part. Doesn’t sound like much when I explain it, but it’s daunting as all freakin’ hell and hopefully it’ll all hold together.

    Other than that, I’m kinda bummed that the Cubs lost, even though the Mets have a damn good team this year. And the winter is fast approaching here in the north woods and there’s still much to be done; long evenings, though, provide more time for guitar pickin’, family, home and hearth. Home is where the hearth is?

    • That is as scary as fuck. I’m trying to change time in my memoir and it is about as daunting as changing time in the real world. How do I do it?

      • Suspended time or existing on parallel levels? It sounds kind of exciting. The good thing is, it’s your memoir so you can do what you want.

      • It used to be reasonably chronological. Now I’m trying to add a frame (that used to appear chronologically). So I’m trying to balance recent past and more distance past. I guess that’s parallel. Too much of one? Too much of the other? Too much freedom :).

        How much rewriting does your restructuring entail? (Misery loves company.)

      • A fair amount of rewriting; most of the stuff is already there, but I’m condensing a 15 year time period down to a 4 year span. A major revision is necessary so the second part of the book picks up smoothly where the first part ends — leaving home, searching for a new place to hang my hat and finding out it’s impossible to leave it all behind. Cutting and pasting is helpful, but it’s often stiff as ice when I’m trying to make it flow like water.

  6. Yes, new stuff. Honest stuff. I let a person read a tiny piece because I’m not sure if it’s for anyone else but me. Or, my kids when I’m dead. She turned around, and, I kid you not, she was crying. “Oh, my God,” she said. “I envy you.” Which is kind of funny considering the subject.

  7. I have just finished the book that I have been working on since I was five. I am doing the happy dance. At the same time I feel exhausted— physically, mentally, and spiritually. Flannery O’Connor said that writing a novel is like giving birth to a sideways piano. Over the past several years I have come to see this book as “my life’s work.” Now I no longer have to live with the fear that I won’t finish. What a feeling.

  8. I’ve just finished the “second” revision of my first novel (in fact, I could no longer count how many times I have revised it). Now I start the key outline for the next, just rough idea. I may use notes I’ve written during my long journeys across Europe in recent years. That sort of novel with pictures inserted (like the ones by W.G. Sebald)! Thanks, Betty. I always love the pieces you post here. And your question, kind of caring.

  9. Sorry, Betsy, my typo error. What’s wrong with me these days!

  10. Yes, writing more than ever, in fact. I’m just a couple of chapters away from finishing a project I began in May and just got to page 50 of a project I started in August. All of this while managing a full-time job and, you know, regular life.
    I read this book a while back called ‘The Woman Upstairs’ and in it, the mc said her big mistake was never prioritizing her art. She saved it for when all the work was done. So, I have been making writing a priority and not feeling guilty about putting it above other responsibilities and it’s working! Not sure if my writing is any better, but I’ve been damned prolific. And having a lot of fun.

  11. Writing. Blogging. Bitching. Crying. Thinking. Sleeping. Drinking Smoothies. More wine tho. Worrying. Stressing. 3 steps forward. 2 back. Frustrating. A little more wine. Brand work. The puppy got in the guac from last night’s tacos. Her little face looks so bad. Going back to sleep. Hi Betsy, love you.

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