• 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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Little Red Wagon, Little Red Bike


I met with a young writer today. And by young I mean twenty. She’d published an essay in a national paper that I thought was exceptional and I reached out to her. She sent me more work and I was really impressed again. We talked for an hour or so about her background, her writing experiences, the different kinds of writing she does, the project she’s working on now. She knew she wanted to write since she was about seven. That’s when I started keeping diaries of my hot dog consumption. We also talked about what path she might take after college. God help me but I encouraged her to keep writing. I hope her parents don’t come after me. I know I shouldn’t encourage young people to write but I could’t help it. She had that thing.

What is that thing?

14 Responses

  1. Now I want to read her essay!

  2. That thing is that which, without which, there is neither hope nor point. Those who have that thing deserve every encouragement. You done good, Betsy.

  3. Twenty. Jesus.

  4. Something that can’t be bought; you either is or you ain’t. Mostly, I think, it’s vision and the ability, talent and dedication to transform that vision into words (or music or painting…). I’m sure your encouragement meant a lot to her.

  5. Cheering her on. There used to be a 17 yr old in my writing group and she showed up every week, prepared with new material to blow our minds. All while her parents waited outside in the car because she didn’t drive.

  6. That thing is a stunning sickness. Its beauty rust, its heart pain, its reward the livingest death. Also, all those same words in every possible random order.

  7. The thing is the ding an sich, beautiful will o’ the wisp, the smoke in the hall of mirrors, the one-armed man. It’s real, and we give chase.

  8. Those shoes. Oh, wait, I’m distracted.

  9. “What is that thing?”

    It’s like having the “it” factor – except she’s not in Hollywood. (?) And she got YOUR attention. Something to be said for that and then some.

    From your FOREST FOR THE TREES, would you call her “The Natural?” That’s what I say is her thing. She’s a natural.

  10. Ha Donna, jeez girl you and are on the same wavelength. My first thought, before you beat me to it was,

  11. You are such a true believer, Bets

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