• 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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There is Trouble Within


artichoke_1339768899Really really really why do you write? Is it fun? Is it how you know who you are? Is it how you understand your world, people, their ways? Is it a habit? Is it an outlet? Is it therapy? Are you an artist, a typer, a wordsmith? Why don’t you paint or sculpt or dance or code. Who do you write for, your self? Your parents? Your peers? FUture generations? Are you on the outside, the inside? Do you have a need? Are you lost? Are you found?











































26 Responses

  1. I write because no one really listens when I speak.

  2. I first wanted to be a writer when my mom would read bedtime stories to my brother and me. She was a good reader. I saw there was something very special in those marks on the page, and I wanted to make some of that special stuff.

    I first seriously started writing to get back at a world where I was mostly powerless and at the haphazard mercy of people who were stupid and obtuse and who could and would and did hurt me, often carelessly.

    I continue writing, to make the special stuff and to get a small and temporary revenge on death.

    Fun has little or nothing to do with it. When I write something well, there is that feeling of, “He gazed upon what he had wrought, and saw that it was good” — a partaking of the godhead.

    It is one way in which I know myself, though usually not right away. Sometimes not for a long time. Sometimes what I know of myself through my writing — through any specific piece of work — changes over time.

    It does help bring order to experience, imposing the spatio-temporal logos of narrative.

    It’s a habit and an outlet, but more than that, it is a need. I would not write if I did not have the need. I would go mad or die if I could not write.

    And it has its therapeutic aspects. Look at it from one angle, and that’s all you’ll see.

    I like to think of myself as an artist, even if not everything I write is intended by me to be an artistic work. Craft is important. It feels good to master the craft (“He gazed upon what he had wrought . . .”).

    I photograph, too. Sontag pointed out that the meaning of the word “photograph” is “light-writing.” I used to think of my photographs as poems of a sort. I don’t so much think of them that way now, though they may still be that. I also think of them as a form of painting. I used to paint and do mixed-media work. I did that for about fifteen years, then whatever it was I had been looking for there must have been found, because the need to create that way went away.

    Coding? No. I studied C++ a long time ago, not to be creative, but as an outlet for a fear of not securing gainful employment. One day I was reading the program manual and realized after having read the same page three times with it just not clicking and sticking, that I was wasting my time.

    I write for me. I write for you. I write for everyone. I write for God (probably not the one you’re thinking of, but hey, it’s God — ’nuff said). I was very pleased to write and have published a book that my parents could be pleased with and proud of. I didn’t do it specifically for them, but I sure am glad they’ve lived long enough to see it happen.

    For my peers? No. I don’t write for them. I can’t. I don’t know how to pander like that. They could probably spot it if that was what I was doing. They probably wouldn’t care much for it. I’m not sure I would even know who they are, anyway.

    I’d like to know I’m writing for future generations, but there’s no way to know that. And how far in the future? Look at how many writers there are, and how many of them are forgotten over time, some quickly. Remember James Michener? He was a big thing in his day, which was not so long ago. Who reads him now?

    I am outside of the literary world, for the most part. I didn’t get an MFA. I’m not an editor, I don’t teach, I don’t give readings or go to conferences. I’m inside my world, extending my horizon as far as I am able.

    I guess I have a need to write. I did say that earlier here, and look at how I’ve gone on since then.

    I am neither lost nor found. I simply am.

  3. I write to create. I write because it gives me purpose. I write to craft sentences short and long, with rhythm and cadence, clipped or meandering. I love oxymoron and irony. Love the sounds and nuances of words. I love the search of them. I try words out for size, and when they fit, it’s a little triumph. Semi-colons turn me on. God, I love simile. I write.

  4. I write because I can and because otherwise I’d be a directionless schlub and/or normal (shudder).

  5. I write because I have a stubborn streak where I decided (one day) I’m going to do “X, Y and Z.” X was to run a marathon. I did two. One to prove to myself I could, and two, just because. Like putting a bow on the accomplishment.

    Y was “I’m going to write a book.” It wasn’t “I’m going to write a book and get published.” Then, I thought “Huh. Let me try that again. I sort of like this.”

    Z. Well, Z was learning to play violin. I bought one. I started “playing,” meaning I started learning. I took a few lessons. It’s currently gathering dust because Y happened, and now I can’t seem to stop. Now I’m writing not to prove I can, but more to prove I can keep on.

  6. I write because I have something to say and I’m lucky because someone pays me to say it.
    Some of the best pieces I’ve written have not garnered a dime but have rewarded me riches beyond imagination, the respect of other writers.
    That’s why I do what I do.
    That’s why I strive to communicate with readers a general sense that we are not alone and really do share common experiences and goals. Be it fear, heartbreak, joy or worthlessness we all need a voice and an ear. As a writer and a citizen of earth it helps when you know you are not alone in your head and your heart.

  7. It IS fun, except when it’s horrifically not. But even then, it is, because I love to hate me, and when writing goes badly, the torture I inflict and enjoy and die inside of’s exquisite.

    I write because I do, I am. That’s all. And my favourite part of your questions, “Are you on the outside, the inside?” — yesyesyes, that’s howwhatwherewhenwhowhyall it is, me and writing, we are it, I’m through it and on it and round it and in it, and I all only am it, that’s all.

    How could I not do it, not be, when angry or sad or broken or shining, I am only all something, can’t not be?

  8. My mom dropped me on my head. Trice. She said it was an accident. I believe her.

  9. Writing had been a compulsion for many years. Death took the wind out of my sails though and now the writing goes on in some part of my consciousness about which I am unaware…but I feel it happening.

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