• 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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People Stop and Stare They Don’t Bother Me

First, I want to thank everyone who has been leaving their thoughts here. Thank you so much. I was writing like a maniac for the first eight weeks of this pandemic, nearly drunk on my own output, my fingers cramped and achey at night like a boxer (as if I have any idea what it feels like to pull a fist from a glove). I was dancing on the ceiling. I was marinating in my slippers. I could smell myself. I could find the railroad tracks on the same exact spot on my scalp every time I searched for freedom. I threw out clothes. I changed light bulbs! I wore my night guard. I wore pigtails! I stopped dreaming.

What about you?

12 Responses

  1. I got nothin’.

  2. That’s really exciting, Betsy. I finished my thriller — now querying & trying to develop my next idea for a novel. Unfortunately, it’s not a process that lends itself to rushing, which is what I want. I’m utterly alone, and the best thing would be to write, write, write. Only there’s the story I have to hammer out first. How to find the story? Zat iss zee question.

  3. I finished my book, too. I’m going to send it to my agent but he warned me that publishing’s looking pretty grim right now, so I’m trying to formulate a plan for self-publishing the series in case it doesn’t sell.

  4. I seemed to have ran in the opposite direction. No writing (besides emails to contractors and invoices to clients) for 6 weeks. Lots of attention, though, to household repairs, gardening tasks – even setting a shower pan in a mortar bed of my own troweling so it’s measurably level – but any attempt at literary composition was mostly confined to what I submitted here. However, I’m now revisiting some work from late 2019. Was that clever detail typed by my own fingers? What was I thinking when I gave THAT name to the character needing a more imposing moniker? Hurrah: I’ve returned from my creative exile and consider it my Newest Abnormal. Thank you, Betsy, for keep this on-line lifeboat floating!

  5. Ha – you always post poetic posts. (say it fast)

    I’m at 82K, and many plates still spinning in the air. I hope I haven’t written myself into a corner. I know my ending – somewhat – but it’s like I’ve been following a bread crumb path and suddenly someone dropped the basket and the little crumbs are scattered everywhere.

    What now? is the question of my day.

  6. I envy your productivity & your pigtails. My hair’s so long now, I should try it.

    The writing’s the writing. I have projects and I keep at it but I don’t feel inspired. Covid fatigue. I sit with pen in hand by the fire escape and stare out at the empty city streets. All those masks, too. There’s work and extra caregiving and stealth grocery shopping and there goes the day. Everyone is struggling and when I write fiction in this mood I want to get it right.

  7. “What about you?”

    Well first, thank you for keeping the lights on up in here, Betsy. I’ve been hanging out around here for almost ten years now. It’s one of my few go-to places.

    As for the writerly stuff, I had started the scrivening, which is not quite the right word but I like it, of a new book-length object in mid-February. The crisis has interfered with it a bit, primarily in terms of maintaining tone in the tome, secondarily in maintaining belief that somehow it matters. Other writing during this time has been the same as it always is, that being the polishing of the myriad smaller works I’m constantly sending out on spec to the litmags. It always feels good either to see that piece is working or to see how it can be made better.

    Sometimes I’m just so effing tired of it all, y’know?

  8. Aside from fewer trips to town, it’s business as usual. As an essential worker (the mail must go through!), my routines are pretty much the same. The postal service has actually taken many steps to safeguard its workers — plexiglass barriers at the retail window, supplies of gloves, masks, disinfectant, social distancing guidelines, etc. and New York State troopers showed up here one day with a gallon of hand sanitizer courtesy of NY State. This office is cleaner than it’s ever been with me at the helm! Still, I’m apprehensive about coming to work each morning and relieved at the end of the day.

    Some writing and lots of busy work around the house. While things are stabilizing somewhat here in the mountains with the virus — biggest outbreaks have been in the prison system — the summer people are starting to arrive and that could bring a whole new wave.

    Although she doesn’t say it, I think my daughter is afraid; she spends a lot of time on her phone and she hears/sees more about what’s going on than I do. It’s good to hear her laugh and chat with her friends – many of whom are sleeping until noon or later, taking advantage of distance learning — and dinner time conversations are still, mostly, going well without the leading question, So, how was school today?

    I feel the current administration’s response to all that’s happened grows more appalling by the day and I’m thankful for the health professionals who are willing to tell it like it is. It seems likely Dr. Fauci will be fired soon and if that happens, it will be another sad commentary on the state of affairs.

    Besides the dedicated nurses and doctors, most impressive to me have been the mask makers, people who have dedicated their time, energy, skill and materials to craft fabric masks given free to anyone who wants one or two or three.

    And then there’s this: Two people were recently in the post office, one wearing a mask, one not (masks are recommended at this point not required) the one taking precautions said something to the other and soon there was a skirmish outside, the non-mask wearer pounded the shit out of the mask wearer, who admittedly said some nasty shit about the “Trump supporting asshole” not wearing a mask. So this is where we’re at these days.

  9. I’m trying to balance panic, finishing the fucker, and a new job. Can I do a readthrough of the entire manuscript in a weekend? Stay tuned.

  10. Reliving my own “Groundhog Day”

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