• 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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You Get What You Need



Today: client got nominated for a grammy, talked to a promising young writer, helped set up social media for book event, saw first pass at a marketing idea for Christmas, finished writing an editorial letter to a client, made three lunch dates for the new year and one drinks date to celebrate a book bestselling to close out the year, reviewed a contract, begged a writer to cut 30,000 words from his first novel, took my mother to tour an assisted living facility, bought a few gifts for the holidays, made a chicken.

How about you?


29 Responses

  1. Home from Thanksgiving in California, where we celebrated with a Hot Pot, the traditional Chinese American way to honor Thanksgiving. Very fun & definitely in the spirit of the holiday. Also, umm, I didn’t have to do a damn thing except the dishes. I need to get my writing ass in gear.

  2. You made a chicken?

  3. assisted living with your Mom? how’re things going, Betsy? that’s a BIG thing. i never got there with my Mom; the cancer was too fucking fast.

    today i located a couple good articles (research) and conquered the photocopier at the med sci library, wrote a couple pages (about a cross-dressing doctor), went to a workshop on outlining a novel, and avoided making dinner entirely.


    • re: cutting 30,000 words.

      on an entirely separate note, do you think the novel is getting shorter? i’d appreciate your thoughts on this. i’ve noticed a trend and wonder if it’s just because i love a shorter novel!


  4. Wow!

  5. Made breakfast, packed lunch, taxi’d kids to school and provided support to 4 clients. Taxi’d kids home from school, read a few blog posts, edited my pinned post, msg’d with 2 wonderful author/readers, edited a part of a chapter on WIP, read Writing Insights Part One: Becoming a Writer BY HUGH HOWEY on Amazon Author Insights, made roast and potatoes, watched 20 minutes of a completely predictable dark women’s fiction movie, did the dishes, tucked kids into bed, browsed more blog posts of bloggers I follow… land here for a minute…
    Sorry to hear about the assisted living need. It’s hard when our parents lose their ability to live independently.

  6. Home sick, bronchitis. Took me ten weeks to earn sick that time.
    So…I sent one piece off to a magazine and queried my memoir (again). Got some editing done, watched a movie, took a nap. Productive day.

  7. Holy smokes. That was a GREAT day minus the part about your mom. On the “good” side of that, she was with you to tour the joint, which means she must know it’s getting to that point. If you’d been alone, that’s a whole other thing.

    Compared to your list? I’m not even going to bother. It went downhill after around 2:00 p.m. when a weird little stomach thing cropped up. I made soup.

  8. I got 529 words down that I’ve been carrying for a very long time, and many more are on the way. It really is a breakthrough for me.

    Lola and I went to see Denzel’s new movie at 10:35 am, and had the theater to ourselves. Excellent movie, great time. Shrimp tacos on the beach after.

    Leaving for work in Palm Beach in a few hours, with an overnight stop on the way around Mount Dora. The drive along US 98 through Mexico Beach, St. Joe, and Apalachicola will be wonderful. Toward Panacea and Carrabelle there is much empty shore and beauty.

    Work will be bittersweet fun, as this is our first trip without Beauregardless, and he was popular in that circle, a four legged celebrity. It is also our first experience with new management and some new coworkers, but many will be familiar.

    Now, though, I’m back to the page. I am rarely this motivated, and it is a strange joy.

  9. YESTERDAY: Woke up (good start); took a fitness class (cracked a sweat ); half hour dedicated to coffee and banana ( potassium!) on patio outside gym with friends (socialization good for longevity); had carpet cleaned (good for allergies, etc,); called several venues for daughter’s wedding (couldn’t resist..he’s about to propose); got 2nd anniversary present for son and daughter-in-law at BB & B (sheets and towels — it’s cotton for 2nd)); grocery shopped for dinner (snapper and asparagus but the fish had bones); watched This Is Us; didn’t write (but thought about it!!); bedtime.

  10. Blew a deadline, begged for another day promising a better edited manuscript (not my own), got a reprieve. Managed not to blame my visiting sisters who all NEEDED THINGS. But my ungrateful ass is glumly content. I like my new digs.

  11. “How about you?”

    Well, I didn’t have a day like yours, Betsy. Thanks for breaking my heart (again).

    We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up. Nothing exploded and nobody tried to kill me. Those are always signs that I’m having a good-enough day. As for the rest, I’m a spoiled brat of the greying age.

    Let’s see, what else . . . I did legal and document research for my boss, who has an oral argument in front of the federal appeals court Friday. Thursday evening he and his wife are coming up to my part of town to have dinner with me and my wife at a spiffy Italian joint down the road. I offered to let him off the hook and reschedule due to the impending court appearance, but he said no prob, we’re still on.

    I read some fiction by Carson McCullers and Jean Stafford. Wrote a little bit of a short story I’m working on.

    Spent way too much time paying way too much attention to the dog and pony show we call the news. A filthy habit I need to break. What, do I think I’m going to live forever, that I should think I have time to fritter away, watching the shadows flickering on the cave walls?

  12. nope. not a single thing on your Did list matches mine.
    instead, since you asked, i:
    took my daughter to school.
    made grade reports for my students—they asked for their grades the entitled millennials.
    took a shower—shaved pits and legs, which was overdue.
    made myself lunch to go.
    drove to campus.
    went the speed limit.
    prepared for class.
    had office hours.
    one student came.
    learned her dad was violently murdered when she was 5.
    right up the street from where she still lives.
    fought with the copy machine.
    got myself to class.
    drank tea.
    a lot.
    my students are funny.
    talked about effective introductions and hooks—quotes, anecdotes, rhetorical questions…
    took a break
    fought with the copier.
    went back to class.
    thought on my feet.
    sounded competent.
    felt confident.
    dismissed class.
    found out another student’s mother just died.
    held crying student.
    wrote memo.
    stayed way too late.
    didn’t tell my family i’d be late.
    dropped off memo and samples of papers i graded to faculty member who observed me.
    got “where are you” call from son.
    oh fuck.
    explained i’d be there at 5:30
    (not 4:30 like usual)
    (not 4:30 like i’d said i would be)
    super-husband texted.
    offered to pick up kids.
    thank you.
    got home before them.
    they got home after me.
    at me.
    all of them.
    each with a unique reason.
    accepted responsibility.
    suffered some silent treatment.
    got dinner.
    ate dinner.
    cut up pineapple.
    it was sweet.
    all enjoyed it.
    i am forgiven.

    • I’ve learned to accept the silent treatment, but it’s still pretty awful. There’s a lot packed into this day, martha!

      • Thanks, Mike. I forgot to include getting locked out of my office!

        • Tell your students to calculate their own damn grades. The breakdown is probably on the syllabus and make them do the math. (I came up with that excuse to mask my inability to bend the online grade systems to my will mid-course.)

  13. Wow. Impressive. Finished a story draft. Told myself another story that became a shell outline because it actually worked. Most don’t, in the end.
    Struggled with an incomplete novel that has more “concept” than solid writing thus far.
    Re-read some Nick Adams stories.

  14. Spent the entire day online, checking out real estate I can’t afford.

  15. Today? I think I’ll make a chicken.
    P.S. Is the writer going to cut the 30,000 words?
    P.P.S. Will your mother still play bridge there and put on lipstick?

  16. Assisted living, the term says it all. Hopefully she’ll receive an unexpected benefit from it and you’ll sleep easier at night knowing she’s safe. The daughter becomes the steady dock.

    Last night I played guitar in the band, mostly rhythm, but I stepped out on a song I wrote and we all rocked it. We just played the music ’cause I’m still too fuckin’ insecure to sing my words, a very sad song. But soon I’m going to have to because the lead singer, CDub, said, “We gotta come up with some lyrics for that!” and Mike the drummer said, “It’s such a happy, upbeat song!”. But the words are about losing a friend and I’m afraid when I sing them they’ll no longer be mine. But that’s what it’s all about, right?

    Also made some Amazon purchases. I missed cyberMonday by a day and that’s not bad for me.

  17. I envy you in so many ways. Grammy. Nice. I bet that smells like a yummy pile of money. My neighbor keeps parking on my side of our shared driveway. I can get in but I need to maneuver around them every day. Sometimes I need to knock on their door and ask them to move their car or a visitor’s car. They look at me like I’m an asshole. I tossed and turned till 2am and then got up and moved our trash cans over so they couldn’t park there. My wife says I’m obsessing and it’s upsetting her. I think I need to start a different novel and put this one safely away or somehow get a life of some sort. A life that involves talking to real people. If your novelist agrees to cut 30,000 words, ask if I can borrow them. I won’t change them any but to rearrange them into different sentences. I promise.

  18. I adopted a 9 week-old puppy last week. The past 8 days have been a blur that may have included some of the following: social interactions, paying a few bills, writing about 1000 words, fielding complex questions from contractors and clients, and possibly several minutes of sleep. I’m certain there is no chicken in my freezer because I haven’t been grocery shopping for 3 weeks. The puppy, though,now owns $35 worth of toys and a hefty bag of large breed puppy food. All is good.

  19. WTF? I took a nap. Read this post and had another nap.

  20. I need to knock on their door and ask them to move their car or a visitor’s car. They look at me like I’m an asshole. I tossed and turned till 2 am and then got up and moved our trash cans over so they couldn’t park there. My wife says I’m obsessing and it’s upsetting her. Finished a story draft. Told me another story that became a shell outline because it actually worked. Most don’t, in the end.ornaments

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