• 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.
  • Archives

Thank You Disillusionment



I received an email tonight from a woman who is hosting her book club and they are reading…The Bridge Ladies. To get in the spirit, she is taking out the china and silver. You guys know that very little makes me happy, and the happier something makes me the sadder I feel, but all that aside, I’m truly tickled to have heard from this woman in Atlanta. Atlanta! I’ve heard from other folks hosting books clubs. I’ve even been invited to a few (one was all Canadians)! And I’ve been invited to Bridge Clubs where I do a little reading and then we break out the cards. I try to act like whatever, but I admit it: I’m happy to hear from people who like the fucker.

What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever heard in relation to your writing?

14 Responses

  1. My Slovenian language teacher said he was at his kitchen table with a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of wine, reading my book ( which is in Slovenian, a language I’ve yet to master; I had a great translator) and it was so damn funny he couldn’t stop reading. I glowed for a week!

  2. You are funny xxx

  3. A broad answer…
    I don’t receive the newspaper my column appears in so I depend on four barometers.

    Co-workers bring me copies; their comments and reactions are what I wait for.

    I check the on-line component of the newspaper for how many times my column is shared on FB. That lets me know if the broader audience (readers who don’t actually know me) get it enough to want to share it.

    I post the published pieces on my FB page.
    Because I write my personal perspective, and how it fits into a general theme, likes, comments and shares let me know if life through my rearview mirror works.

    And then there’s the column’s tagline with email address. Those emails are the precious ones. My tears of laughter or sadness fall on top of theirs.

    Oh yeh, there’s a fifth. My kids let me know if it sucked.

  4. From my wife: This one isn’t bad.
    From my recently turned 11 year old daughter: Wait, you wrote this?
    From the Instructor of an online unconventional memoir course: You write beautifully.
    It keeps me going.

  5. A young college student came up to me after a reading and said he finally had the courage to come out, because of what I read. He had just done so to his supportive friends.

  6. I’m like that too – when a “regular” reader (meaning not a reviewer) simply reaches out and takes the time to email, is very meaningful.

    “Best book I’ve read all year,” was one. “I read a lot, and this book stands out among all the ones I’ve ever read,” was another.

  7. Nods and a smile from Lola. Comments from readers that they begin each issue by reading my column first.

  8. My writing coach called me after reading (part of) one of my novel drafts, and said, “Congratulations, man. You finally learned how to write. Wonder who taught you.”

  9. “I get a writer like you once every five years…”

    “I wish my doctoral students in English could do this…”

    “Thanks so much for sending along the full manuscript. I finished it Monday. I like it a lot—you have valuable experience and knowledge to share, and it’s so wonderfully obvious that you taught writing.” (At least THAT book got sold…)

    It’s floatation devices like these that keep me safe. I can swim for months between buoys.

  10. I’m a sucker for “…changed my life!” but it’s the “I became a poet because of you” that splits the heavens. So much happened in the back-in-the-day Nuyorican, most of which we’ll never know, but the past keeps recycling, viz. Paul Beatty. And you!

  11. A former writing teacher said about my first novel, “this book will change your life, it’s amazing,” second novel, ” this book will make you famous,”
    My life has not changed, no one knows my name…yet..

    • It’s a funny thing… there’s the quality of the work, there’s the recognition of the work, and there’s money. And I don’t think those three things have anything to do with one another. Justin Bieber’s a multimillionaire, after all, and shabby secondhand vampire fiction dressed up with a silver tie has been the biggest publishing phenomenon in decades.

      The market’s random, but the writing isn’t. Bask in the value that your guide has placed in your work and your capacity. Great job.

  12. Can I keep this?

Leave a Reply to jwelling Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: