• 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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Find Out What You Mean To Me


Finished a draft of the fucker before labor day. Now, she and I are giving each other the cold shoulder. I’m a firm believer of leaving your shit alone for at least a few weeks, become detached, even cold, before looking at it again. My husband asked me what I liked best about it and I said setting up stuff and knocking it down. Thirty five years ago at an alternative summer camp I got into a fight with a guy I had a crush on. He insisted that feeling was all that mattered. I was insisting structure. I guess I haven’t changed.

What do you do when you finish a piece?

11 Responses

  1. I’m at that point of detachment. Tomorrow I will be taking the leap. I’ll let you know how I celebrate. I may have champagne or I may sit in the corner in the fetal position drinking wine straight out of the bottle. I’ll let you know.

  2. Oh G-d, so agree with you. Spent 6 months downsizing from two bi
    g ‘ole houses into an apartment in downtown D.C. Revisited the 20,000 words I’d written, and it was such a revelation! I wrote that? So, hey, pretty damn exciting. I write well.

  3. I do what you do – leave it alone. If I come back to it and it looks good, I’m really pleased with myself. If it looks like shit, well, I guess I’m in a for a ton of editing.

  4. I roll over, turn my back and rest until it excites me again. Oh wait, what were we talking about?

  5. I can’t remember my beginning and I’m not done yet. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad. I started in February, and am plodding my way to The End. Knowing me, I’ll go back to the beginning and start to edit right away. Time constraints.

  6. I have a hard time cutting the umbilical cord.
    I am reminded of Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to her Book.”


  7. “What do you do when you finish a piece?”

    “Finish”? What is “finish”?

    When I have a piece sufficiently finished for submission, it goes into the queue where it waits to be submitted. When I decide it may be suitable for a specific market, I pull it up and prep it to go. Sometimes, at this point, I see that it needs more work and I give it more work.

    I get my pieces as finished as I can get them, but I’m never truly finished with them until they’re published.

  8. My problem is actually finishing things, that’s the biggest obstacle. It’s my universe, so there’s great satisfaction when something feels done and gets published.

  9. There is always a boat waiting, and getting lost in sanding, varnishing, or otherwise messing about is perfect while the keyboard rests. Other times the water will not wait, and after the last tug on the halyard, when we fall off the wind and heel, the sail snaps a little, and the old boat creaks and gurgles….that last piece and the next are far away, but linked, in a way part of a longer story.

    It’s nice, that.

  10. Dear Bette, I Finish It Before It Finishes Me. Future Shot: Help Cassie Carter Get A Grant To Get The Jim Carroll/Catholic Boy Site Back Up & Running. Doing Extra Lit. Work Helps. It Helps On The Return To Your Own Work. I Hope Patti Smith Will Feel That Way. She Oversees The Rep Of Her Comrades-In-Arms & Her Influences. Let’s Get 1st CD release Of “DRY DREAMS!” Semper Fi, Sean X.

  11. I dutifully set it aside for as long as I can stand to. Someone said let it sit for six weeks; I think I held out for five. But during that time, I am thinking about the thing constantly. At least, that was how it went with the first one.

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