• Bridge Ladies

    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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Like a Fool I Went and Stayed Too Long


Hey guys, here’s an article called, “Rock, Paper, Scissors” that I wrote for Poets & Writers Magazine. It’s about being tri-sexual: an editor, agent, and writer. I can’t tell if it’s true or wearing rosy glasses. It’s too breezy for me. Do I love what I do? Do I love my writers? Am I a happy Good ‘n Plenty dancing around in a pink box?  What do I prefer: editing, agenting or writing? What do I prefer a cheese burger deluxe, a pizza half meatballs, or a bucket of anything? Do I like espadrilles or maryjanes? Have I learned from my mistakes?

Do you have a calling?



8 Responses

  1. “Do you have a calling?”


  2. I don’t get called, I get pulled. Now, as an adult, I hide out a lot, with my quill.

  3. A passion, a need, a calling, it’s a disorder.

    A well crafted sentence is like many decades ago sex with Danny – satisfaction, with reality as a chaser.

  4. This piece, IMO, was reminiscent of The Forest for the Trees. I snickered at “pile of jelly known as your client.” So true. This pile of jelly has basically learned to buck up on her own.

    I don’t think it’s breezy. It’s perfect, just the thing writers love to read about, the inside scoop on what’s going on. The part about the editor known as The Bermuda Triangle – again a teensy snort on that one.

    “Do you have a calling?” For years (decades) I worked in high tech. For me, this was like getting up every morning and placing myself on a very high ledge. I was always afraid of falling (failing). The pressure sometimes was unbelievable. This writing thing is a calling because through conference calls, endless projects, spreadsheets, reorganizations, all of it, it’s all I thought about. Now I’m here. Writing. I feel different, knowing even if I fail, I can try again, and it’s on no one but me. I love it.

  5. Well, it’s clear you love what you do; I especially liked your colorful descriptions of Boston during the changing seasons. Those who have a true calling make the world a better place by what they do and you’ve accomplished that on numerous levels. It’s been said here many times and I’ll say it again: Thank you, Betsy.
    My calling is to be a good father. There are many good writers out there, but the world needs more good parents. Sometimes it’s a struggle (and I’m not looking forward to the upcoming teenage years — I built a balcony onto my daughters room five or six years ago, what the hell was I thinking?) My mother was a great parent and part of what hurt her so much after my father split was not understanding how her husband could abandon his children. I think he might be still searching for his calling.

  6. This one hurts. For me, it’s the ulitmate slap-in-the face Oprah-esque question: what’s my purpose? Been thinking about it a lot lately. Not true. For a long while.

    I once was a poet. (Didn’t you just love Lin-Miranda’s sonnet?)
    I write magazine feature stories, and have won numerous awards from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. Sporadic, and they don’t pay much.

    I have a 3/4 semi-finished non-fiction book about a fascinating medical malpractice case with – get this – a judge that should have recused herself and jury misconduct, begging me to rescue it from the shelf, which I occasionally do in a half-assed way. I wrote a book 20 years ago on a transgendered individual tracing her intimate transition as he-to-she transgendered, today so relevant, so mainstream, really so ahead of its time: closeted. I can barely type but it doesn’t matter cause it takes me eons of unchartered time to compose a sentence, which I love doing, just getting lost in the fray of words.

    Does a calling garner a legacy? What’s my legacy, then? Do I have one? Thank you, Mike, for your comments on parenting.They fill me up, because I have raised three wonderful kids, decent people, good citizens, complex though they are. And parenting never-ever has a finish line. And love and love and love and love and love.

    Betsy, I adored The Bridge Ladies, enjoyed your newest article (and the one about Las Vegas!), and I, too, worship similes.

  7. Words. I write them, edit them, help students learn how to wrangle them, grade them, shape them into sonnets and villanelles (OK, actually it’s sonnets and villanelle; that shit is hard), and then at the end of the day, I read them for relaxation. I’m fucked.

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