• 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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You’re Wearing Out Things That Nobody Wears


No shit. Sebastian Junger shows up on The Affair. You know, the program I’m watching because I’m still in love with McNulty. Junger has a cameo. He plays himself and he says he claims to use reiki to help him write. Really? Let’s talk about this. I’ve never tried any alt methods to help with writing. On the contrary, I’ve always felt that writer’s block is god’s gift to man. I’m old school: the only thing that produces writing is writing. Plus, I love my demons way too much to release them. Plus, I’m ticklish.

What about you? Massage, meditation, yoga, long walks with a stick? What helps?

20 Responses

  1. Music. I just put on an album and don’t think, I just relax and listen.

  2. I’ve been a Reiki practitioner, a professional massage therapist, done a lot of meditation and yoga.
    I’ve been a mass-debater for many years. Oh yes, I’ve walked many miles with my hand on a stick.

    But for writing, the only thing that helps is RAGE.
    Turn it inside and out.

  3. i don’t know about reiki and writing, but Junger on The Affair fits, right? Like on some ‘yeah-that-sounds-about-right’ level.

    I once got acupuncture because I felt blocked on all fronts – especially the creative ones – and found out I had a broken heart. which you would think would be obvious. but you know, the shit we hide from ourselves and all that. i was in portland, oregon. with four other writers. b/c if you’re going to see an energy healer for acupuncture to get unblocked – you should do it in portland.

  4. Cleaning the house.

  5. Used to be sex. Postmenopausal it’s wine and chocolate.

  6. the only thing that helps me write is believing that it matters
    without believing that it matters
    you know
    like that

    first you have a matter
    then you have no matter
    then it is
    and it’s not
    and you can write about things that nobody cares

    c’mon ko’an
    show the is that isn’t
    short the circuit
    circle the square
    trip the light fantastic
    send it sprawling
    [ ]
    [ ]
    [ ]
    don’t fail me now

  7. Misplaced anger. Therapy. Wine. My dog’s fuzzy butt, pushed against my thigh. The Hydra.

  8. See.
    Half gallon of Rocky Road.

  9. Sailing clears my head with its immediacy, and reminds me in the finest way of my insignificance. For inspiration, I watch and listen to others. Anger rarely drives me these days, as that tank is nearly empty, though easily refilled..

  10. I’m into lists today, so I’ll list what helps me:

    1. Someone saying “this is good stuff.”
    2. Reading
    3. Drinking
    4. Running
    5. Letting it simmer

    Mostly someone saying “this is good,” because a little encouragement can go a long way.

  11. Sometimes a walk, but mostly it’s writing or not writing. Blabbing on my blog sometimes gets me over the threshold to writing.

  12. I listen to these guys…
    Sherman Alexie and Jess Walters hanging out and reading works in progress, laughing at themselves, about how much unpublishable crap they have in files and then, then!, they interview other poets, novelists, musicians et al. who share their unfinished pieces. I listen to people who believe creating matters, and sometimes it ends up in a file, but sometimes you end up with Beautiful Ruins. They remind me how much it matters.

  13. I did six sessions of hypnotherapy in the summer of 2014. And it has helped my writing, I think. It’s helped me better tap my unconscious mind, which sounds woo-woo, I know. If nothing else, it’s helped with stress and anxiety associated with the business of writing. Stopping to take deep breaths for 10 minutes at 9:30 am is a lot cheaper than booze–and more socially acceptable. So there’s that.

  14. So in the very deep dark recesses of the middle of the night, if I’m working on something, from some Kabbalah-like subconscious place, words and phrases, seemingly pertinent, maybe even damn good, emanate from somewhere, and if I don’t write them down, or scribble them, or even if I do, they may or may not be there in the morning, or if they are, they may or may not seem so all-wonderful. Good stuff also sometimes happens when I’m walking, outside in the flurry of nature gazing at branches of trees webbed against a mottled sky, or pine cones tumbled at my feet. But the point is, it’s when I’m least trying, and my spirit is freer, and I’m not consciously searching, that words tumble out.

  15. Solitary walking with a thin, burning stick, legal in the more enlightened states.

  16. Did you hear the one about the English gal who wrote her memoir in Italian because no one expected her to do it? Or the poet who took singing lessons to learn not to care what she sounded like? Me, though, I have no tricks. Still looking for my trick.

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