• 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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But What a Shame That All We’ve Shared Can’t Last

I’m an early bird. I have to write before the sun comes up and the birds start their chorus. I can’t touch email, facebook, insta or my latest obsession tik tok. Tik tok is a brilliant name for the platform because you literally hear the clock ticking down as you throw the best years of your life away watching videos of dogs sleeping and middle aged couples trying to lure each other to dance, and firemen who dance to Billie Jean. You hear the sound of your life being drained from you, your mind retreating into a fine bowl of apple sauce. So before that and work and children and husband and my own darn dog needing a walk and water and food and belly rubs, I get up to write. My house quiet, my brain as quiet as it will get. I used to write at night when I was young. I also used to smoke. Writing and smoking was heaven. Of course, I used to write poetry then. One boy I kissed said my mouth tasted like an ashtray.

When do you write?

14 Responses

  1. I get up early for it too. This morning, just before 5, but what I’m working on is the typical first draft garbage, so that makes it easy to go off course. My computer pinged, and this post popped into my inbox . . . and, here I am. Supposed to be writing.

    Tik Tok. I’ve been tempted. So far, I’ve stayed away.

  2. I’m an early morning writer, too, but I futz around on social media until the caffeine kicks in.

  3. Early, early, early and then in spits and spurts during the day. When the house is quiet just before bed I eek out a little time to dress my mind for the next day. Some of the best comes when my lids are heavy.

  4. “When do you write?”

    A little in the morning right after i get up and before the day’s ten thousand distractions.

    A little in the evening after all else is done but the sleeping for the night.

    Any other time I can and must. Such times are fleeting gifts, stolen rather than given.

    A girl I kissed said my mouth tasted like spaghetti. She encouraged me to brush my teeth before I dropped by.

  5. I’m old but I still write at night.

  6. Morning. In an ideal world, I’d go for a predawn walk, process my wandering thoughts onto some memory microchip I could remove and transcribe onto the computer screen, embellish the random notes and integrate it into the story. In the evening I like to revise. The trick is finding the time.

    Re: the ash tray dude: you’ve met at least one honest man.

    Social media junkies are addicted to immediacy and like to be kept informed, as well as entertained. It’s not a negative thing. I’m a dinosaur with a chrome dome and silver beard, though, and prefer strumming a guitar or walking through the woods rather than peering at a thousand dollar tiny screen.

  7. I write in binges, after the words have spent some time building up in my head. There needs to be some pressure and urgency about it, and if I write every day the words feel weak and unnecessary, and I start to resent them.

    I kissed a boy who tasted like maple syrup. A Sunday morning, perhaps?

  8. I write in the morning with a cup of hot coffee by my side, preferably hazelnut flavored. In front of me I have reminders taped up, including this fortune from a cookie: “Dispel negativity through creative activities.” Many years ago, Ruth Hapgood at Houghton Mifflin taught me that the best orientation for one’s writing desk is with light coming from the left side. This prevents shadows covering the writing if you’re writing long hand with your right hand. I don’t write longhand, but I still like a window on my left. My cat often sits on my lap while I write. She never criticizes my writing except when I do it too long. Then she meows at me in an annoyed tone and herds me toward a big armchair in another room, her favorite place to receive brushing and relaxing conversation.

  9. I’m in the night owl camp for writing. My dogs believe whatever time I wake in the morning is solely for them, and they start every day as if we are operating a hair-on-fire amusement park. Then, my phone may start ringing at 7AM with Day Job drama, so why even attempt to compose a phrase? By 9PM however, dogs, workers and clients have sufficiently mellowed so that I can open the laptop and jump into a WIP. At this time of year, the night air is as inspiring as a sun-warmed breeze.

  10. Never at night. I need daylight, then, anytime/ anywhere. But I need time for thoughts to gestate, take hold, before I can push them out.

  11. Ah, I remember writing in my room in college…late at night, long- hand back then… smoking and sipping a Budweiser.

  12. That boy who said your mouth tasted like an ashtray should stop licking ashtrays. It’s the tongue, stupid. Apart from that, he wrenched the ashtray line from Joyce. Somewhere in the Dubliners, JJ says his grandmother’s breath or tongue or kiss reminded him of ash.

    As to the question, when do I write? I write all day; at least I did until Trump fucked up my schedule. I’m struggling. (“I think I can. I think I can.” Nice bit of onomatopoeia.) Sad thing is, I barely eke out 250 words a day.

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