• 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

Don’t Give Up Until You Drink From the Silver Cup

Today the world disappeared with its terrifying pandemic, the sirens, cardboard coffins, and empty shelves of brown eggs. I was intoxicated by my own fumes, working on my own projects. The thing is you have to be a little selfish to be a writer. Scratch that: you are a little selfish to be a writer. Make that a lot selfish. You can put it all away. If you had your druthers, you would never need to appease or please anyone but yourself. The world exists because you wrote about it, motherfucker. 

Who are you trying to please?

20 Responses

  1. I thought I was trying to please the people who read the books I write. And myself too, of course, being selfisher than a shellfish or a seller of shellfish or a sheller of sellfish or a—


    Well that hurt.

    However, after reading your post, Betsy, it turns out I musta been trying to please you all along. Because in the book I’m currently writing, the main character says, “If I had my druthers…”

    Pretty sure — besides you and him — no one’s actually used that expression in forty-six years.

  2. it’s too grievous to answer that question, betsy.


  3. Trying to be pleasant, and if it pleases, great. If not, suck it up and march on- that goes for me, too.

  4. Everyone and no one

  5. “Who are you trying to please?”

    What independentclause said above — Everyone and no one. The writer’s dilemma (or one of them).

  6. Who are you trying to please?

    Sometimes it seems like it depends on what mood I’m in!

  7. My college girlfriend, my first true love. She was married when we first met, soon to be divorced. Yeah, I know, we both listened to “Tangled Up in Blue” and the irony wasn’t lost on us. I was the editor of the college newspaper and her soon to be ex was an underground cartoonist. He must have caught the attraction between his beloved and I because when he met me he drew a picture of Nixon with the caption, “Fuck you!” I didn’t like him much either. Anyway, she was a nursing student, a few years older than me and she liked my writing in the newspaper. I had not been encouraged by anyone to pursue a writing path like she encouraged me. She told me what was good and what was self indulgent. Together we put out our own literary newspaper — 1 issue. We had both been strongly affected by our parents’ divorces and our relationship was on and off for a couple of years. When I left school and hit the road, we got together again when I was passing through and tried living together. Too many nights of vodka and valium soon put an end to things and the next time I passed through, she was married to a friend of mine and he was uncomfortable about us seeing each other, so she snuck out and we rendezvoused at a friend’s apartment after she had a dream about me getting on a bus, but when it pulled away I was still standing there. One of the first things she said to me was, “What are you writing?”

    That was 40 + years ago and we’re no longer in touch with each other. I’ve heard how she’s doing from mutual friends, but I don’t know if she still thinks of me, but I still think of her often and wonder what she would feel about each story I write.

    • I have someone like that in my life. He though everything I did was amazing. Not sustainable. I still miss him.

  8. My children, now grown. (Also before they were born, I suspect.)

  9. We all have to please someone sometime– family, friends, bosses, editors — often to our own displeasure. But pleasing oneself is the ultimate gift.

  10. I’m not trying to please them, I’m trying to prove them wrong.

  11. I’m trying to please who I was or who I thought I was. Who the fuck am I now?

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: