• 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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Yesterday Don’t Matter If It’s Gone


I know it looks like The Bridge Ladies have hijacked my blog about writing, depression, and how publishing will break your heart in a hundred different ways. The Bridge Ladies is my new book and it’s coming out in May and if you love me even a little please buy a copy or 200 for your local synagogue’s sisterhood. Or pre-order. 😉

So I’m working on changing the blog and trying to keep it the same. I’m trying to lose weight and am gaining it instead. I’m trying to sleep through the night but I’m up every hour. It’ been seven years since I published a book and I feel as nervous as a virgin. I want to spread the word about Bridge Ladies and hear from people about their  Bridge memories. But I also want to throw my mashed potatoes on the floor and spit peas through a straw at the ceiling.

I’m thinking about blogging about the publication of the book. Is this interesting or even more indulgent than the thousand plus posts I’ve dumped on a beautiful and unsuspecting world.

What would you do if you were me?

32 Responses

  1. That is really good news – congratulations! Change if you feel it but always be you.

  2. I’d take a deep breath.

  3. I love the cover of The Bridge Ladies. I don’t know what I’d do if I were you, but knowing me it would involve junk food binges and second guessing myself. Congratulations on the upcoming release of you book!

  4. Pre-ordered. Congratulations and looking forward.

    I would take some time to bask.

  5. Oh, how exciting! Can’t wait to read it. Flog, flog, flog and blog this baby! Want an event at BN Westport? Would love that. Let me know!

  6. If I were you I would Tell us everything, EVERYTHING about the book and you. About it getting published. About how it puts you thru the wringer. And makes you happy, or thrilled or freakin’ freaked out. We have inquiring minds, your dear readers here. We want to know. It is not being indulgent. It is indulging us, thank you. Will buy a bunch and tell all about it too. Can’t wait.

  7. If I were you, I’d put your blog buddies out of their collective miseries by blogging daily about every single part of the process. If I don’t have despair and angst to read about with my coffee I’m reduced to looking at the impossibly well-organized perfect people on Apartment Therapy and reflecting on the junk heap that is my life. Jesus H. Christ, woman. Have some mercy.

  8. Love hearing everything, Betsy – don’t worry! Super congrats on the book, can’t wait to read – and get a copy to my Mom too – I know she’ll love it, though it used to be Mah Jongg with her ladies years ago. Yes, agony is part of the game, huh?

  9. Wow, seven years since you’ve been on “the horse?” It didn’t throw you last time – you just got off, so you’ll be fine.

    (no idea why the horse analogy – I don’t even own a horse)

    I don’t know how to play Bridge. The thing is, without yet having read the book, it sounds like you’ve captured the era of my own mother. The S&H stamp lickers, the coffee drinking Tupperware hostesses, the five o’clock supper on the table when Dad comes in wives, the apron wearing, know how to hem a skirt, PTA meeting generation.

    Anywho – personally? I’d love it if you talked about the whole kit and caboodle, from your writing it, to the angst of waiting for news on the sale, every single snippet you can think of to share. You could write about unwrapping a supply of paper towels and make it interesting (IMO) so I know any blog posts about the creation/publication of THE BRIDGE LADIES would have me enthralled.

  10. Oh, and I pre-ordered it.

  11. What would I do? Depends on the budget. Remember who buys your books. Who you want to buy your books. Think outside the tired and overused business models. And yes, blog. But don’t stop there.

  12. Never waste mashed potato. Just don’t.

    I’m pretty sure we would all be hanging off your every word about the publication of the book. Go for it.

    I just checked at Waterstones (UK) online. I can’t pre-order but it says it’s coming soon. Squeee!

  13. From my own perspective I want to hear all about it, lots of bluster and chest beating before I dive in with you again. I was so impressed by Food and Loathing—the voice, the evocation of an entire mental illness experience that is among the truest I’ve read (along with Wally Lamb, Kay Redfield Jamison). So, your blogging about it is eagerly awaited.

  14. Is this a trick question? Spill, woman.

  15. I would read your grocery lists. In fact, I would really like to read your grocery lists. Also, if you’re using my name as a SEO term (which, why? mistake? but also, yay! flattered!), spell it right, for fuck’s sake. xoxo

  16. Hi, Betsy, I’ve read several of your books, loved them, love your blog, and wonder if you’ll read one of mine. You must know you are my dream agent. However, I’ve self-published my debut novel under a pen name and now have the somewhat demeaning (yet exciting) task of collecting blurbs. I know you’re busy as hell. I must ask anyway as a message from the universe came to me today in the form of a “She Writes” blog. First, shoot for the stars, it urged.  You are my star. I don’t really believe in luck, but I do know if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Either way, thank you for many years of hard work!  Yolanda FlemingAuthor/Blogger/Editor732.259.4400

    From: Betsy Lerner To: yofleming2000@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2016 11:24 PM Subject: [New post] Yesterday Don’t Matter If It’s Gone #yiv1977362720 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1977362720 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1977362720 a.yiv1977362720primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1977362720 a.yiv1977362720primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1977362720 a.yiv1977362720primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1977362720 a.yiv1977362720primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1977362720 WordPress.com | betsylerner posted: “I know it looks like The Bridge Ladies have hijacked my blog about writing, depression, and how publishing will break your heart in a hundred different ways. The Bridge Ladies is my new book and it’s coming out in May and if you love me even a little pl” | |

  17. You’re honest and you don’t hold back. I like that. I’ll be buying The Bridge Ladies.
    Turn over the whole dinner table.
    Try sleeping with your eyes open.
    Have yogurt and this year’s Florida strawberries (or oranges/tangerines) instead of Ben and Jerry’s.
    Virginity is only visible in the rear view mirror. Drive on, don’t look back.

  18. Keep on blogging. I’d love to hear more about the publication. Go for it. How else are the rest of us going to learn what it’s like up there.

  19. Keep up the good work. Blog looks great. Nice colors. You look great. Great picture. Best one I’ve seen from way out here in stranger land. Pre-ordered only one. Sorry. Broke. You’re as bad as my wife. When she appologizes for being angry, I say what? I’d keep doin what you’re doing. It seems to be working.

    • P.S. I bought the LP version on Amazon. That price has a nice weight to it. I like it. It feels right. It feels good.

  20. These ladies you mention, I know them well, since my SO and I are now spending many months of the year in West Palm Beach, with his 90 year old mother and her best buds. I based my main character in Adele, The Rabbi’s Mother (published under Anna King) on her. Got a great review from Kirkus — still, of course, it has sunk like the proverbial whatever. Anyway, I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS. Bravo a million times over.

  21. I don’t know you well enough to know what I would do if I were you, but if I were me, I would do whatever I felt I needed to do.

    As it is written, so let it be done.

  22. Congratulations! I will buy it.

  23. Annye and I await Bridge Ladies with excited anticipation!

  24. I am buying your book when I leave this post.

    It isn’t really what I’d like to do.

    I’d rather buy the book after this and crow to all my literary friends that I ‘ve read Betsy since _The Bridge Ladies_.

    I’ll try to say it while blowing dust off a martini at the Explorers.

    Help me out with that, will you? My image can use the burnishing.

  25. Ask your friend Maggie Cassella to help spread the word. I hear she’s good at that kind of stuff #AddATwitterWidgetToo 😉 Miss your face.

  26. I would keep going and lay it all out and tell the truth if i were you. If i were me i would be more cagey and neurotic and agonized and worry constantly if people thought i were being too narcissistic and if that would make them prevent me from seeing my grandchildren. What a nightmare. I want to know what happens to you and your work because it’s interesting as hell! You are not just anybody you know! This is part of the saga

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