• 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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Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

metal Whistle

Dear Ms. Lerner,

May I hire you as an online writing coach?

Even a few feedback sessions for an exorbitant amount of cash would help.



I don’t even know what a writing coach is. Is it an editor with a whistle and clip board?  I also don’t believe that writers need coaching. WRITE TEN SENTENCES OR DROP AND GIVE ME FIFTY. I would be more impressed with the push ups. In any case, when you can’t write, you’re supposed to wallow. You’re supposed to turn on yourself. Pull the hair from your chest, grow bitter and alcoholic. Hiring a coach could potentially ruin all that. On the other hand, what kind of cash are we talking about? Would it fund a month at Canyon Ranch? A nip and tuck? First class air fare for the year. Pavers? Let me know.  Love, Betsy

How much would you pay me?


21 Responses

  1. Probably $250 and a medium-sized bag chocolate sampler from my favorite place around here. A few years back, when I was going through something, I paid around that amount – minus the chocolate – for a personalized consultation with an astrologer. A few years later, the same for a non-invasive physical (and by extension, spiritual) sorting-out that took only a few seconds. I think it’s a decent budget for something which will bring invaluable wisdom and comfort, but never replace the act of putting in the hours…or wallowing. Mind you, if I had more cash, I’d probably up the figure a bit. P.S. Of course, the value of you being here for us is immeasurable.

  2. Did that already. Never again. The coach needed a coach.

    • Oh wait. I misread. There are piano teachers and piano teachers. Coaches and coaches. So yes, Betsy, I would be honored to have YOU as a coach. But wait. I’ve got to get some shit together worthy of your time…

  3. You are priceless, Betsy. That being said, $250 for a session or toe online isn’t bad. (But hold out for the large sized bag chocolate sampler.

    PS Are you taking questions again ?

  4. As a writing tutor, editor, and teacher, not to mention all around writing nudge (in the Yiddish sense), I am a total believer in coaching. You! whining about writing? Drop and give me fifty fucking lines. You don’t like that? Give me fifty more. I am mad with power. PS Look under developmental editing in the EFA editorial resources. It’s $55 a fucking hour.

  5. This is very funny.
    I loved reading it as I take a break from cutting more crap from my 54 pages that should be 50.

    Peace and more revision,

    rom: Betsy Lerner [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 1:36 PM
    To: Christina Ann Mesa
    Subject: [New post] Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

    betsylerner posted: ” Dear Ms. Lerner, May I hire you as an online writing coach? Even a few feedback sessions for an exorbitant amount of cash would help. Sincerely, NAME WITHHELD Dear NAME WITHHELD: I don’t even know what a writing coach is. Is it an editor with a whi”

  6. I have some old clothes I was about to take to the Salvation Army, a cat who still sprays years after being fixed, and a gift certificate to Neiman’s for $10. from 1982. How much time would that buy me? 🙂

  7. How about 300.00 for one assignment with feedback?

  8. “How much would you pay me?”

    Is this a trick question?

    My answer to the trick question. Nothing. Because isn’t this where you say, “you can’t pay me enough to be a…” (?)

    Besides, I’m pretty good at tearing myself apart (and my writing) all hours of the day as it is. I mean, do I really want a professional opinion as to how bad it is?

    (In all seriousness, if you offered a critique of the first fifty pages or some such thing, I’d be beating your door down.)

  9. I bought your book. I read it, too. I’ll probably buy your next one, and I’ll probably read it, too.

    Hope that’s enough, ’cause that’s it.

  10. I’ll send you a signed blank check.

    It’s from my sport’s account, great for bouncing down the floor and tossing in the basket.

  11. All the tea in china, or a fun evening, or all the money I have, which isn’t much. Would you take a well used boat in trade?

  12. Red bud and chocolates and skunky resin vapors, hash from Morocco and pastries from France, Kentucky bourbon and peaches all juicy…
    All this and a mental image of the setting winter moon above the tall pines on the esker between two quiet morning mountain lakes
    AND how to play the chords and bass run between verse and chorus of “Like a Hurricane”.
    And I’d be getting off cheap, too.

  13. I’d pay a lot of money to get writing again. Or have discernible triceps. Sadly, I’m broke as shit so I’ll have to DIY this fucker with the usual doses of tequila, self-loathing, and Fitness Blender workouts on YouTube.

    Sorry, Betsy.

    • But Averil, you ARE the writer extraordinaire. (And isn’t your new book out, like, this week?) So, if you’re not writing then, selfishly, I’m scared for me. I don’t have half your discipline and drive. You’ve been a real inspiration over these years in the ether. Try reading M Train. Maybe Patti will inspire you.

      And Betsy, if I were rich I’d pay you so much money for an opinion, but I must confess that I’d be terrible with a writing coach. Thanks for the faux offer, though. You’re the best.

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