• 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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Baby You’re Everything I’ve Ever Dreamed Of


Who is your first reader? The person you trust with your baby bird? The person whose opinion you value above all. The person who knows you, knows your work, knows what you’re capable of? The friend you met in grad school, or at a writer’s conference or in the fiction aisle of the local bookstore. That person who can look you in the eye, whose comments are right and make sense and you can use,  who sees the metaphor for the trees. I always tell people that your first reader should never be your wife, husband, lover, or mother.

Who is your first reader?f

13 Responses

  1. Lola, best friend for a long time.

  2. Tie between Downith and Vivian.

  3. The Wizard of Oz and God. The Wizard so he will let me in and God so he will let me live. As far as peer readers, don’t have one. Not sure I need one. Not sure. All in all my first reader is me.

  4. Downith and my former poetry buddy

  5. August Finkelstein, thanks to you. xoxo

  6. Interesting question. I have a sister who’s very sharp. I’ve given my book (in various stages) to some who I believed to be knowledgable in my subject or at least fairly intelligent, and yet they disappointed – had nothing to contribute or missed the big picture entirely. I entrusted my book to one friend in particular, an avid reader, who is most encouraging without being in my face. One or two never bothered to read or respond, thank you very much. Basically I trust my own instincts, and there is a bit of defiance in me, cause, after all, it’s my book, so screw the “requirements” of the publishing world as well – i.e. this genre, that length, this proposal — cause I have a vision, too. And if what I am doing is fascinating me, shouldn’t it fascinate others?

  7. My wife. She’s brutal and let’s me know what’s crap and what’s not. She doesn’t pull any punches and high praise from her is, “This isn’t too bad.”

  8. My wife, who also gives me useful feedback. I’ve benefited from several writer friends reading my stuff too, but I’m reluctant to ask them since it feels like a bother (and I’m not worthy), so I only do this when they offer first.

  9. “Who is your first reader?”

    I am.

    Long time ago, I had a great first reader. He was my former teacher, and he was also an editor. This went on for five years. It was great.

    But all things must pass.

  10. My agent.

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