• 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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And Feather Canyons Everywhere

Sometimes a single sentence will transform into an eight headed snake, will roll up like a blood soaked carpet concealing a murdered body within, sometimes a breast plate of iron will grow emerald moss, or a pile of New England potatoes will heave as frost churns the frozen ground. I wrote for sixteen hours and never opened the door. My ass is mowed and my raincoat tattered. Once I played in a fort of cement blocks, we lit matches and started small fires of gum wrappers fashioned into tiny tents. I could see my house from there but I couldn’t tell you whether I was an old woman or a caterpillar about to smoke a cigar.

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

9 Responses

  1. I realize that I’m trying to make it go the wrong way. I back up and take another path.

  2. “What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?”

    Remain oddly unaware that a wall is what I’ve hit. Think I’m bogged down, though the road looks clear and dry. Think I’ve run low on fuel and just need to make it to the charging station, when at other times, I’ve been able to run on empty and roll downhill. Think I need to do the ten thousand other things first — clean that shower curtain, dust every surface, read that tabloidy RD book about murderers I found in the Little Free Library. Think that it doesn’t matter, that nothing matters, that all ships have sailed, all possible cargo of value embarked, the port is empty now. Watch the gulls and swifts and butterflies, stare at the trees one block over, call myself a coca-cola cowboy, play at saying I just don’t care.

  3. So timely.

    Right now I’m replying to this because I have no clue where to take this chapter. How many times can she weed the garden? Haul water in from the well? Work in the fields?

    My problem is I’m in new territory. Writing a story that takes place during the Civil War. MC is in the rural countryside.

    I just said to a friend, “I mean, what the HELL did they do all day except work their butts off to put food on the table?”

    So to answer the question, I twiddle about the internet.

  4. Well that’s the problem right there, life’s an illusion, so what’s the diffference. What does it matter. Purpose has waned. I see sparkle in my granddaughter’s eyes, and beauty in a blossom, but I wish I had a wall to hit.

  5. Walk in the woods. Sometimes I will paddle or, in the winter, ski between the trees of the forest, but walking requires the least bit of preparation. Getting out in nature always helps clear out the cobwebs and the woods are just outside my door.

    The art work on the cover of the current New Yorker is titled something like “Vacation Rental” and depicts the peace of a leased summer home porch. It is what I strive to enjoy every day.

    Sometimes answers will come, but mostly I hear the refrain, Be yourself.

  6. I’m with Mike (figuratively speaking). I take to the woods.

  7. I give the judgmental side of my brain a task to keep it busy. I take a shower, vacuum, or clean the pantry. Sometimes I chop vegetables. Anything that quiets the barrage of self-depricating thoughts and gives my creative side a chance to play is helpful. Failing that, I try to read something great, a story or passage that inspires.

  8. I take a ride along the Connecticut River (it’s beautiful) and interview myself. It’s amazing how many answers I come up with, like what do you do when your writing hits a wall?
    Um, got my keys I’m heading out.

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