• 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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Is This the Place That I’ve Been Dreaming Of

Image result for cuisinart

I hate it when someone asks at the Q&A when the writer gets his writing done. What is his process. Does it many any difference whether you write at dawn or after midnight? Does it matter if you write sitting down or standing up like Philip Roth? If you double space or single space. Helvetica or Times Roman? It doesn’t matter if you type or write in longhand. Whatever your process is, it doesn’t matter.  Sometimes I get dressed and sometimes I don’t. I have a cup of coffee and a brown pear and put all the words in a Cuisinart and study the blades. Do you really care where Hemingway petted his seven-clawed cats, what kind of rocks lined her pockets. Does it matter that Edith Wharton tossed her finished pages on the floor for her maids to pick up or that Thomas Hardy had mud on his boots when he wrote one of the saddest scenes in all of English literature.


13 Responses

  1. It’s interesting if it’s a good story, but I don’t really care other than that. I have mud on my boots (shoes) all of the fucking time and I still haven’t written the saddest scene in all of English lit.

  2. The where and when for writing is different for everyone. I think anyone trying to write something of quality struggles with when and where to write at one time or another. Sometimes they can just be looking for ideas to change up their writing habits and get unblocked.

  3. I don’t know from ‘process’ but this is the best writing about the whole issue that I’ve seen yet.

  4. Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I particularly liked the Hemingway one. So much so, I gave it a go.

    Fucking bloodbath. Never heard a cat make such noises. By the time I was done, we were both exhausted, lightheaded, wondering what life was worth, really.

    Then my partner came home. More complaints. Worse than the cat, she was. But while she was packing I managed to explain WHY, and, well, it just got embarrassing, didn’t it? You could have told me, Betsy. How was I supposed to know it was meant to be 7 claws ON EACH FOOT?

    Good news is, I have a new cat, some superglue, and several spare claws I managed to save (and refrigerate — I’m not an idiot).

    With blood on my boots (and a few of my fingers stuck together), I WILL now write the happiest scene in English or any other literature. Well, maybe less happy for cats. Just no pleasing some, is there?

  5. Have laptop, will travel. Will write anywhere. I like to leave something hanging loose to sort out the next day (how Hemingway-esque of me). Please don’t talk to me if I’m writing. Don’t bother me. Don’t phone me. Everything else is white noise. A cup of tea, preferably Earl Grey or Jasmine, adds mid-sentence interlude.There’s also the fridge.

  6. This past weekend, I was invited to supposed “salon”, hosted by a small town’s Literary Society. They politely listened to my presentation and asked several thoughtful questions related to my book. However, they seemed more curious about my Type-A/over scheduled lifestyle. One attendee brought the event to a standstill by yelling across the room “so: when do you sleep?”

  7. I use a Kitchenaid.

  8. It is an oddball question, but I think we must seem like a bunch of oddballs anyway.

    It doesn’t matter a whit.

    But. Writers. We’re supposed to have quirks, bizarre routines, out of the norm behaviors. I’ve really got to develop some.

  9. Yes, I confess to wondering about the rocks lining Virginia’s pockets. They must have been heavy. Slippery, too. I don’t want that fate, so informing myself about the writer’s who’ve gone before often helps. Process be damned. I don’t want this thing to kill me.

  10. Um, well, I just can’t write naked. It has something to do with my office chair and windows without curtains. I don’t have neighbors but oh those birds. Never trust anything with wings. And trees, I wonder who is living on a branch. I think I’ll get dressed now.

  11. Idle worship at any speed. But I find I don’t write in the shower.

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