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    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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We All Want to Change the World


Yesterday, someone asked me how my social medial was. The same tone as, say, how’s your yeast infection. Then, what are you doing about branding. I am not Kellogs, Marlboro or Spam. I do not have a bar code on my ass. For fifteen years as an agent, I’ve been helping my authors work on their social media. My philosophy is only do what you like and therefore what you are good at. You can’t be good at it all. But now, faced with these questions and the fact that I don’t have millions of followers (preferably in purple capes and gold slippers), I fear my book will grab a shovel. Friends, I did this blog for four years to save my writing life, i.e. my life. Every night, with my boyfriend Jon Stewart cracking wise in the background, I ground out paragraphs as indulgent and florid as I could muster.

That’s all. Be my friend, like me, share, poke, prod, nod, twat, gram, thumb, or like Diane Panuzio in the fourth grade throw a hunk of asphalt at my head.

How’s your social media?

15 Responses

  1. A yeast infection. A hunk of asphalt.

    Well that grabbed my attention.

    The social media thing…I’ve been blogging five years this month. I have a grand total of 302 followers. And because I’m an analytical sort, that means I’ve garnered a blazing 5 followers a month. 1.25 a week. What to do, what to do. Shit if I know. My site’s going to change at some point this year, so maybe when it does, I’ll decide then.

    I’m on Twitter, but I’m not much into tweeting. My blog posts go out on it, and I will usually re-tweet something worthy, but to come up with a scintillating 140 character witty comment multiple times a day? My brain no worky like that.

    I’m on FB, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr (and I didn’t even remember I was on Tumblr until someone the other day did whatever it is they do there to follow, join, link, see my whatevs) and Google+.

    Honestly? I’m beginning to hate them all.

  2. 3 days ago my dad posted the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen on social media. And then refused to take it down. I haven’t slept since.

    So yeah. Social media.

  3. I think twitter is great. No kidding. If you’re a writer, you should be able to do this easily. I just posted a link to your blog — Just be yourself, Betsy, because Yourself is someone we really, really like.

  4. Clicking my gold slipper heels three times…

  5. Don’t you have kids? Enlist their help. (although I bet you’d get into twitter – you’re very pithy!) They can teach you very important hash-tag skills. They’re so much better at this stuff.
    And…I thought Jon Stewart was my boyfriend.

  6. My grandmother would have called social media a dance card.

  7. No, nothing. I’m too private for all that.
    So far, so good with my stories in literary journals. They don’t seem to mind a mysterious writer.
    If I need to adjust later, I will. Maybe.

  8. Betsy, I went to your FB page but I couldn’t figure out how to “like” you. They do that on FB, right? Or should I “Friend” you there? Is that a FB thing? Does this tell you how much I know (or care) about social media?

    I have a blog that is so under the radar that you have to actively search for it, by its exact name, it’s that exclusive.

  9. My ten year old daughter has a far better grasp on social media than I do. Somehow I’m on LinkedIn, which is business oriented and truly lacking in any degree of hipness and vitality, lone wing tips in a closet of Crocs.

  10. May 3rd. That’s like tomorrow, right? To cool my heels last night I reread chunks of Forest for the Trees. Now it’s even worse. Hungry. Hungry. Hungry.

  11. If I were more social, I might be better at social media. Or if I had more time. Or if I were quicker-witted. Or if I were looking to hook a job as a pearl caster on the swine line.

    I dutifully post on The Book of Faces at least twice a day from pre-selected quotes and photographs, plus other posts, often shares, when the mood strikes me. I comment when I want to comment — though not always, as sometimes what I might say is, upon a moment’s reflection, silly or pointless or pointlessly silly. Or what I might comment might be too pointed, and might be offensive thereby. FB isn’t a pit of vipers the way some comments sections are in news feeds (or in YouTube, of all places. My God, have you seen some of the vile blatherings and spats in the comments sections of some YT viddies?), but people in Effbooklandia can sometimes be so techy. The seem to be nice enough people — some clearly more than others — but for the most part, they will not brook disagreement. And they want to be liked. They very much want to be liked. So do I. Why is it I don’t feel at home there?

    I’ve never felt at home anywhere. Adequately housed but essentially homeless. Beats sleeping on a loading dock. (There’s a stop on the Red Line where I can see out the window a loading dock where the homeless sometimes sleep. The other morning, the temp was about freezing and a spattering of snow was spitting down and there was a guy there, curled up, sleeping — I hope sleeping, and not dead. He didn’t look dead. He looked asleep. But what do I know? I was safe on a train. Try as I might, I cannot sufficiently harden my heart against him, nor open my hand toward him. What to do, what to do . . . .)

    Oh, I also run a blog. All I do there is post quotes from stuff I’ve been reading, and if I have a story published, a few months later I will add it to the clutch of published stories I have there. Essentially no one visits it anymore. Didn’t get a whole hell of a lot of traffic at its peak, other than botnets. Nowadays, the people have gone but the botnets remain. They annoy me, but at least they don’t want to be liked. And they never sleep.

    • And LinkedIn, I forgot LinkedIn. I’m there, too, but like MikeD said, it ain’t hip and it ain’t vital. I post links there to stories I’ve read in LegalTech, and I get recruiters nibbling around. Or I should say, dropping hooks into the waters I swim, but baited only with hand-tied flies and never with a fat, juicy worm (You want me? $60K a year minimum, two-year minimum contract with a buyout for early termination, and meds and bennies — the going price for the sale of my soul).

      And donnaeve, I didn’t see your “what to do, what to do” until I’d already posted mine. As my wife says, great minds think alike, and so do ours.

  12. My social media is introverted and awkward, and I’m beginning to think the “user” has something to do with that. I have Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, but I love Pinterest the most. Pin things, then other people find them. Simple. Facebook keeps me in contact with old friends and family, and Twitter just makes me laugh. Twitter seems to be the “easiest” to use, and I find Facebook a little clunky. Overall, I try to avoid people by turning up the classic rock and hiding in the glow of my monitor. 🙂

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