• 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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When You Believe In Things That You Don’t Understand

I’m watching the world series and I’m thinking that we should all put war paint on our faces before we sit down at the keyboard. I’m thinking that we should cross ourselves and say a little prayer before writing. I’m thinking that chickens should be swung over our heads, sage burned, hair shaved, nails painted. The room should be pristine. The light slanted. Gregorian chants incanted in the distance. On the shelf and in this order: a monkey paw, three pink trolls, two blue pieces of sea glass, a framed four leaf clover, a lace doily stolen from Emily Dickinson’s house, a milky marble, a sand dollar, Robert Mapplethorpe’s rose pencil, a seashell from Colonsay, and a brass shoe.

Any writing superstitions?

11 Responses

  1. A mug of instant coffee. For the first draft, longhand on a yellow legal pad (which I have to import because I’m overseas) and always in pencil, the right kind (because believe me, not all 2Bs pass muster). Once I’m in the interminable editing phase, I start with any un-red fine magic marker and, as the drafts go on, switch to these chunky colored pencils or even an old grease marker as if the paper were a contact sheet and the darkroom just downstairs. In the final versions, when I’m reading aloud, I reach for a graphite pencil, 3B or higher.

    More often than not, I skip everything but the graphite pencil. But I’m working on it.

    Thank you for your list, and for making me realize how this all makes me sound. Happy Sunday.

  2. Well that is u expected! Haha!

    • *unexpected* I think I need a new phone. This cracked old thing I’m typing on likes to drop letters. 😕

  3. “Any writing superstitions?”

    Just a couple: 1) that any more of my books will find publishers; and 2) that it will matter.

  4. This is a great post, especially for a baseball nut like me ! I have a framed quote above my desk. It belonged to a late friend of mine. When I write – I tap on it, take note, and then begin….

    “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

    ― Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades

  5. Silence, Solitude & Well Lit Studio Like The Painter, Francis Bacon. Auden, Too, I’ve Heard That His Abode Could Be featured In BETTER HOMES & HOVELS. Bearded Lady To Curly:”Oh, I Love You, My Little Bald-Headed Eagle!” CURLY: “Don’t Be Superstitious!” Romantic Love As Superstition: Another Chapter To My Ph.d Paper: “The Three Stooges & The Sense Of Self~~~Your Favorite Stooge Determines Your Personality.” Sean XXX.

  6. I started collecting stones from writerly/creative places as a teenager: #9 Willow St. in Boston, Patchin Place in Greenwich Village, a hidden courtyard at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, Bolinas beach, the beach by Captain Jack’s wharf in Provincetown, etc. etc.
    I keep them in an antique glass jar and take them out and handle them when I need help. No joke, it helps.

  7. Hmmm – only one real superstition: never discuss a piece with non-writers which has yet to be accepted for publication.

    Maybe that isn’t superstition. Maybe it is etiquette.

    I’m always fuzzy on those two. Had to stop swinging dead animals at dinners because i couldn’t keep it all straight.

  8. No, I can’t think of any superstitions, but wondering if it might be beneficial to pull a strand of red hair from that 3rd base Dodger guy Turner’s beard. But then again, he’d probably punch me — or have me arrested — so I guess that could bring bad luck..

  9. The more the variations of a belief, the less I’m inclined to believe it. Ditto superstitions.

  10. The gods Heebie and Jeebie come into play somewhere around here. Them and chicken bones. I stop writing at the point where my last drink prevents me from casting the bones and keeping them on the tabletop.

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