• 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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Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear

 

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Watching a documentary about Miles Davis. When he was a boy, he’d take his horn into the woods and imitate birdsong. When I was a girl I’d pull a blanket, a flashlight, notebook, pen, and snacks into a crawlspace beneath the stairs and pretend I was Anne Frank.

Do you have a seminal childhood memory that connects to your life as a writer?

9 Responses

  1. I don’t! The dots didn’t connect for me like that. My choice/decision to write more likely resembles a parachutist’s approach. Suddenly jumping and hoping for a safe landing. (another way of saying leap of faith.)

  2. When I was quite little, before I could read, my mom used to read bedtime stories to me and my brother. One of our favorites was “The Five Chinese Brothers.” It was all but magical; she was a good reader and could bring the story to life. One night when she was reading, I asked her where the story was coming from. She pointed to the page and said, “It’s right here. It’s in these words on this page.” I knew then that I wanted someday to be able to make the magic of a story in words on a page.

  3. When I was 10, I wrote a poem for my dad’s birthday. It was the best (only?) thing I had to give him.

  4. In high school, I wrote a poem for my creative writing class. Without revealing the writer, the teacher would talk about the student’s poem and get feedback from the rest of the class. I remember that I had written the word “kneaded” deliberately, because that’s what I meant, and the teacher and class discussed how I must have meant “needed.” I sat there fuming, hating the whole exercise and the way they’d robbed the poem of its intended meaning, while believing I’d been careless or ignorant instead of reaching to understand what the poem meant.

    I still hate misunderstandings like this in any context. When people miss each other in the way we communicate, it’s so painful.

    I don’t know whether this is why I didn’t write again until age 40. That’s probably not the case. But it may have something to do with my general wariness where writing is concerned. The risk is always there.

  5. When I was ten, I nailed an old metal cigar box way up in a chestnut tree where I’d go to write. I think I got the idea from an old Betsy Tacy book from the library. Betsy Ray was my little girl writer superhero.

  6. Walking. When I was 7 or 8 or 9 I used to get up early on Saturday mornings (6am or so) and wander around my quiet working class suburban neighborhood. While everyone else slept in, I absorbed all the ideas and dreams floating in the breeze.

  7. A lovely little poem to my mom on the occasion of the birth of my little sister. I was nine.The seeds were there.

  8. You blogged 3/31-4/1 last blog 4/2
    Hope you are well, especially your mom.
    Best wishes until then.

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