• 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.
  • Archives

Why Do Fools Fall in Love

So great to hear from you all from the cattle farms of Oregon to Washington Square Park. What a time. I am pushing myself to write three hours every day from 5:30 to 8:30. I keep telling myself that this will be over and I will regret having lost so much time to low-grade anxiety and depression. I can’t vouch for my writing. For all I know it’s All Work And No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy. But that beats three hours of CNN. Is it me or Anderson Cooper. Please keep writing.

What are you working on?

18 Responses

  1. I’m on the final draft of the memoir fucker. I’ve been on the final draft for a year, but who’s counting. If I limit my social media/news consumption to a few times a day (which I do to varying success), I can hear myself think.

  2. Keep Writing, our writers group in Auburn, California text each other every day with those three words. Others say “Keep your head straight.” Crazy and sad times for many, but the light is coming. Thank you Betsy

  3. I am living on a mountain in the Catskills and we just had our last spring snow and the hiking was gorgeous and the maple sap is running. I turned in my second novel to my agent on Feb 12, so I can’t work on it right now. I miss it, because finishing it I couldn’t think about anything else and now I am free to think about that snarky little virus and the world.

    I am an epidemiologist (retired) as well as a novelist, and I used to work internationally so I have been emailing with my doctor friends in Shanghai and Verona–fearful for them, but grateful to be able to be in touch.

    I spent 2 days writing an essay about refusing a ventilator, (conducting my own triage so no one else would have to) but after calculating my very low risk of getting to that juncture (even if I were infected)(because I am still in my 60’s w no underlying conditions) decided it was a little disengenuous to share. Useful to write just for me, though.

    If I couldn’t write I couldnt sort out any question that was the least bit complicated.

  4. Finishing touches on a story about the postal service. The first paragraph is giving me a hard time and I can’t get the wording just right, but I’m trying; it’s stiff and not as loose as the story. Maybe I’m just trying too hard.

    Other than writing, projects around the house are getting some attention. I went to the lumber yard with my wife riding shotgun yesterday. Whole new world: call your order in, pay with credit or gift card only, they drop it off in the parking lot and you load it up. I would have rejected some of the 1 bys (for shelving and interior siding) as too wobbly, but overall, not a bad load. And they gave me common nails instead of finishing nails so I’ll have to go back. Overall, it was a lesson in change and adaptation; there’s a story a day from all that’s happening in daily life.

  5. Boats, rum, and bong hits.

  6. Writing exercise: Forgot to mention that everyone should keep a calendar (date & time) of ANY contact even the 6 foot distant ones, and store visits.

    Also forgot to mention that fear is more contagious than corona, so protect yourself from that as well as washing your hands. When I write down what I am afraid of and then read it later, I sometimes can get a grip on how irrational I am when I am afraid.

  7. Thanks for your posts these past few days. It’s good to know you and this crew are out there. I meant to chime in and file the Switzerland report but got consumed by day-job writing. As long as there still is some, I’m all in. As for the other stuff, well, I’m theoretically more in the editing mode. If I open myself up to input, I open myself up to the stream of news and dread. But maybe that’s just an excuse. I agree that there’s only so much news we can manage. Tip: Don’t read more expansive pieces about the human toll of all this right before bedtime. Otherwise, that’s all I got. Stay well.

  8. Working from home.
    Working on polishing the novel and stories, which feels stupid at the moment.
    Also, working on trying to maintain some sense of humor during this crazy time.

  9. I finished my memoir and have been querying agents. I’m not sure what the etiquette currently is on the one month nudge. Feedback?
    For now, I’m making notes on the next book. It feels like I need to get my first baby on solid food before bringing another into the world.

  10. I can’t watch the news, but I’m constantly checking the maps on the NY Times website to see where we are. They could have found some way of tracking this without making the map itself look like it’s got smallpox. Really, not helping.

    I’m working on the first book in a sci-fi romance series, where most of the characters are kind and decent to one another and have healthy relationships and normal sex. It’ll probably sell three copies but I don’t care. The story wants to live.

  11. Like many here, I am avoiding the talking heads on the TV to listen to the nagging (nice) voice in my head. I have an old manuscript that needs a serious redo. At one point, last year, I attempted to post a few chapters on my website, but soon acknowledged I am no Dickens. Now, I have no excuse to ignore this WIP – well, except when the garden calls. Happy weekend to everyone!

  12. Doing sentences Betsy which have turned into paragraphs which will turn into….beats the s*** out of me.

  13. “What are you working on?”

    I thought you’d never ask.

    I’m working on volume 3 of an 8-volume fictional thing. That doesn’t mean I’m only three volumes in. All but the third and eighth volumes are finished.

    What is this fictional thing? I could go on and on about that, so I won’t. I used to call it “The Fictional History of Now,” until Joy Harjo said to me, “But isn’t it always now?”

    Yes. It is. Always.

    And here we are. Now.

  14. Working from home a little though work is lighter than normal which is just ok (financially it is worrisome)…attempting this homeschooling for my first grader, hiking (Catskills) and getting through the edits of my memoir draft that was handed back to me last summer and was sitting in my laptop/inbox awaiting my focus. Also a song. There is also an essay in my head about what is going on but I’m avoiding it. Perhaps too afraid to put it into words. And too too much scrolling news and even… Twitter which I hardly read but this past two weeks, have fallen down the rabbit hole some moments. Writing this is a good reminder to open the tab with said edits.

  15. I’m late to this party! There is now a “stay home” order from the Governor, but I could’ve sworn that’s pretty much what we’d all been doing here in the great state of NC for the past two weeks.


    In the meantime, I’m working on a story about two people who have life altering events, and end up in a labor camp during the Depression era. I feel like it’s almost writing itself – in that I’m not getting stuck as much as usual. It’s very different from the other stuff – not coming of age, not first person, and told from two perspectives. Yikes.

  16. Working on a novel set in 1995 about a woman in a lesbian relationship struggling to come out who is visited by her homophobic, gruff, and bitter dead great-grandfather. He has returned from the lake he drowned in to tell her she is pregnant and that he has to stay with her for the next 9 months or so. I really have no idea how to sum up this novel or figure out the story arc or even give it a name. It has chapters about the great-grandfather’s past as well as the 1995 chapters. In my mind it’s about finding, defining, escaping and forgiving family. I think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: