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    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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Is That You Baby, Or Just a Brilliant Disguise

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Every now and then you have one of those days when BAM you have three new book ideas. Not saying they’re good ideas. Not even saying they’re actually ideas. In all likelihood, nothing more than a derivative half thought based on nothing more than a phrase or silent fart. Still, it’s better than walking around like the living dead, which is about as close an approximation of how I amble though my life. But today I had a whole flounder of ideas and we both know that I’m not going to write any of them, that come morning I won’t even remember them, but you can’t take away that popping feeling I had crossing Tower Parkway on the way to dinner.

What do you do with your brilliant ideas?

13 Responses

  1. This is so true about idea retention.

    I was watching a guy “vaping” the other day. This healthier way to get nicotine (so I’ve heard – and not that I smoke) produces copious amounts of – well, vapor. You can’t miss’em. Even driving down the road, the smoke pours out of their vehicle like ten people taking hits off a bong while crammed into an airtight VW Beetle and who suddenly exit.

    The point? My ideas last about as long as the vapor. Last night I thought I had a plot solution to my current WIP which is clocking in at 106K and I’m still not at The End. This morning what do I think? It’s corny, and dumb.

    So what I do with my “brilliant” ideas? Usually File Thirteen.

    • Oh, and these vaping products ALMOST make me want to start – those gadgets look cool and they have FLAVORS. (which I guess is why the news is reporting this as a danger to teens – the marketing seems to attract them by the hoards)

    • Vaping is pretty cool, a whole different buzz, although I never tried tobacco. And the vaping devices are pretty interesting bits of technology; some cost more than a lap top, others more than the latest gizmo phone. And some are under $100. All more expensive than rolling papers.

      • I watched something this past weekend – on Sunday Morning – where they talked about the vaping product called Juul. (I think that’s how it was spelled). Very intriguing device. They said “nicotine doesn’t kill you, it’s the smoke.” So these devices dispense the nicotine and don’t produce smoke, which to me sounds like a win/win.

    • “… the smoke pours out of their vehicle like ten people taking hits off a bong while crammed into an airtight VW Beetle”.

      Oh, Donna, how you talk, how you bring my mind to strum the mystic chords of memory. My first car was a VW Beetle, gifted me by my parents for the dubious achievement of my graduating from high school, and that first summer after graduation, I used to sit in the Beetle, parked out in the desert on the outskirts of the city, and in the fierce summer heat I would roll up the windows and roll up four (!) joints and smoke them, bathing in the smoky, and soon sweaty, hot-house of my Dopemobile. Then I would roll the windows down and drive back to where people were, stoned half out of my mind (that was the point) and smelling like a wildfire in the mota patch.

      • I definitely have my own VW Beetle experience. My first date, first boyfriend had one. He had long blonde hair, was named Shelton and I was oh so in love. (for whatever that means at 15). We went to the state fair, and before we went in, we smoked a bong with – well, not quite ten people but the backseat was full, and I was sitting on his best friend’s lap in the front. I think we had seven in there. When we spilled out – a cloud followed, and we giggled hysterically – of course.

        Later on that night my mother quizzed me about my smoky odor.

        I said, “Oh, we stood near some of the generators used for the rides.”

        Those were the days. I used to wear Patchouli to mask it.

  2. As soon as possible, ideas get scribbled somewhere, and, with luck, makes it into the notebook.

  3. Altered states are my dilemma. Some of my best ideas are sappy and pitiful when I come back down to earth.

    ( I got a chuckle out of the living dead reference, imaging staggering around in search of a cold brain salad. Or maybe some fresh liver.)

  4. “What do you do with your brilliant ideas?”

    Jot down enough notes about them to remember them so I can write them up later. Sometimes that later comes and sometimes it does not. Sometimes when that later comes, it has turned into a different later. Sometimes the idea was brilliant but in the harsher and more clarifying (clarifying? we’re talking butter now? is this a cooking show? what kind of cooking show is this?) light of later, the idea is a nothing burger (even butter couldn’t save it now) and I let it go.

    Sometimes it’s a brilliant idea that I know I will never write up into a readable form. This has happened with greatest frequency these past few years, as I have reviewed and culled and organized my store of brilliant ideas and have seen that I am simply not likely to live long enough to finish with them all. This is not so bad — I won’t run out of work, I won’t be a bored old man, flipping through the channels on the telly.

    (And Springsteen! You know, he and I have never met, but he wrote a song exactly and precisely and definitively about my first marriage. How did he do that? It’s like magic.)

  5. Hi, everyone. I do not let one decent idea go astray! I keep a folder where I put ALL my ideas, because you never know which one will grow into an actual story. I feel it’s claiming a certain amount of ownership, so the idea won’t float to another author and actually be realized. If you haven’t read Liz Gilbert’s book where she tells the story of Ann Patchett writing Liz’ story into a very successful book, then you should. It’s a fascinating story. I’m pretty possessive with my ideas, great or not. Cheers, Jude

  6. Like a love-struck adolescent, I’ve been known to expend too much needless energy on attempts to bring certain “brilliant ideas” into a tangible presence. Several, now hang in that section of my closet known as the Corner of Shame; two wooden objects are waiting rescue in my workshop. But, I may recycle a homely manuscript into a serial post on my website – since that will likely be its only chance to be seen by someone other than me .

  7. “Now Look At Me, Baby/Tryin’ To Do Everything Right. . .” Write Down All Ideas, Reveries & What Seem Like Commonplace Thoughts. Review Later. You Don’t Know What Will Look Great. Bette: Please Ask Cassie Carter To Get In Touch w/Me. I Sent Some Material For Jim Carroll Post. She Was In CA On Family Business. Thank You. Sean Andrew Heaney. XXX

  8. Are you giving out those extra ideas? Toss a few my way.

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