• 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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You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are



This is my 30th anniversary of working in publishing. I’m not looking for a party or a Timex watch. I just need to say it: thirty years. Fifteen as an editor and fifteen as an agent. People always say that life happens in a flash, where did the time go, etc. Not so much in publishing. It’s a slow grind. Writing books is slow, publishing them is slow, recovering from publishing them can take an eternity. Still, and I know I sound like some kind of half-full gal, but it’s been extraordinary. Front row to writers doing their work, amazing colleagues, some who have become life-long friends. The parties, the drugs, a writer winning a prize, a book climbing the bestseller list. Every day going to the office, large Starbucks in hand, saying good morning to Pat at the door, and walking into a book lined office, my name on the door, simpatico people inside, talking their clients off the ledge, opening a new carton of galleys, going over a submission list, making a lunch date, chasing a check, another day.

What’s your day job?

17 Responses

  1. I’m a technical writer and editor at a national lab. It is a good job for someone like me since I’m good at translating writing by engineers and physicists into English. It’s a not so good job for me since by the time I get home from rearranging the commas in other people’s bad sentences, the last thing I want to do is write…

  2. I wish it was your day job. I do a lot of writing in my head while taking care of my mother with Alzheimer’s, and watching her look at the stacks of pages of her manuscript.

  3. My day job is working in marketing for a media buyer. It’s a numbers and details kind of gig and I sneak in blogging and writing during the day when I can. I’ve been sort of stressed lately due to some other things so it’s hard to find a balance. Congrats on your 30 years!!

  4. Copyediting, year 10 or so depending on how we count the other short-lived publishing job; before that, anonymous, it was retail. Books or nothing.

  5. Me, MikeD. I don’t like Mondays ….

  6. Is this you 2N’s? If not, you have a twin in retail.

  7. Congratulations on 30! I’m nearing 27 years working for associations. Someone once thought that was code for working for the mafia. Not exactly. A loner myself who would rather chew glass than join groups and add obligations to my day, I work with the very people who join organizations as volunteers and make them run. They fascinate and terrify me.

  8. As you may have heard before out here at some point, I put in 35 years in IT, working for a big telecom company that went bankrupt in 2009. When the job ended in 2012 (after we divvied up all the assets/got systems working on buyer’s platforms) I began writing full time.

    Of course I love it, although I’m not fully immersed – yet. And by that I mean, I’ve not done the sandwich board part of this gig yet.

  9. I do research in a very old library.

    Before that: IV surgical anesthesia. Some call it Truth Serum, a dangerous concoction for a closeted, budding writer. I was/am pretty decent at finding viable veins.

  10. I have about five, but one of them used to be something like an obsessive hobby, done in secret and sometimes shamefully, because who the hell spends that much time doing that? Now I get paid. Tonight I have a book launch party. What the hell. I mean, what the hell.

  11. Betsy, I wish you as many more years as you want, any way you want them. You, darlin’, are are rockin’ treasure.

    My day job is ten weeks a year on the road, working at international level……..kart races. Type A people from all over the world get together to stretch, bend, break, or obscure the rules to get any edge in a contest where a little weight and a little speed adds up. It’s all here, from brilliant to stupid, petty to gracious. Drivers from seven on up, some names you might recognize.

    Today it’s Utah, next month Sonoma, then Vegas. Every race is a bit of a reunion, and we have wonderful friends from all over the planet. We are well paid and well treated by our employers, and I always look forward to the next race.

    We packed up last night, and are headed to southern Utah and points south. Good gig. When I get home I sail and work on boats, another good gig.

  12. I consider 30 years an enormous accomplishment, probably because we share the same anniversary. But even more so because you did it in the field of dreams, I did it in a gig I stumbled into: marketing communications. For 30 years I have put words and art together to sell other people’s shit. I never even thought about submitting my own words to a contest or a friend, let alone an agent. So I quit. After 30 years! Now I feel like a first grader in a new school. I’m terrified of the big kids.

  13. What’s your day job?

    Grant writing.

  14. 30 years? Congratulations!

  15. Congratulations on your 30 years.

    My day job?

    My generation of females was the beginning of the process of young women planning and striving for a career. I started and ended with a job, a means to an end, a way to get there from here.
    I got my Timex and the exact one pictured has graced my wrist for probably as long as your success. It cost me 8.88 at Walmart.

  16. My Day Job actually started when I was six years old: helping my beloved grandfather select wood planks for his construction projects (I had the better eyesight, then). Now, I have 37 years (paid) experience in the interior design/construction management world. Never a need for cable TV around here – there is enough drama, comedy and pathos to fill 100 channels. I wear the cheaper version of that Timex watch to job sites. The expandable metal wrist band is sturdier.

  17. Receptionist/office manager for a physical therapy clinic. Fifteen bucks an hour, two weeks paid vacation, oceans of crazy and my very own pencil drawer. Boom!

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