• 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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The Windows are Illuminated

I’m in LA and can’t sleep. Sort of a Barton Fink moment. Can’t read, can’t write, a mosquito dancing around my ankles. I used to go nuts when writers blamed geography for their writer’s block. You’re not a princess. I wrote the bulk of my first two books on Metronorth, a loud and smelly commuter train where six people would cram into the six seater, their broadway playbills in hand, and yak about how dirty the city is, the portions at Carmines, their kids bringing home college laundry, a rude receptionist at the podiatrist. I worked with an author who needed complete silence. Another who couldn’t work if anyone was home. Another who could only work in cafes with a symphony behind him of cups and saucers, the sound of milk being steamed, the tapping of a small spoon inside a tea cup. Saying you can’t write somewhere is a mattress and a pea. Any restriction is avoidance in my opinion. Unless you’re in LA, in which case it’s totally justified so get yourself an Arnold Palmer and shut the fuck up.

What circumstances do you need to write?.

8 Responses

  1. I like it moderately quiet, but more than noise it’s disturbances — I hate to have the flow interrupted. I think anyone who disturbs someone lost in thought has never been lost in thought. And it’s not just from other people; I can be my own worst enemy. Last night the drummer said something after a run through of a song. His nose was itching when playing and once he started thinking about scratching his nose, his rhythm was lost. Focus …

  2. Presently, the lack of 100+ MPH winds howling against my house, the silencing of my generator, and the return of electricity have created enough of a creative environment for me to want to continue editing a WIP. Too stressed at the moment to nurture a new project when all the fallen trees are metaphors for the lost dreams and current obstacles facing a post-hurricane land.

  3. New Age music is nice, quiet is better.
    As things stand now it’s Masha and the Bear, Micky Mouse Clubhouse, and Ruff Ruff, Tweet and Dave. For those in know, it’s Dave, it’s ALWAYS Dave.

  4. I like the house to be quiet (so I rise freakishly early) but then it’s so quiet I can hear my heartbeat in my right ear. Now I play brown noise on my laptop (used to play white noise, but apparently prolonged listening to that is not good for the synapses, and later pink noise) so I can’t hear my heartbeat. Then I delve in. I have a little cabin in the Ozark Mountains where I thought I would write, but it turned out to have too much going on, pully my attention away all of the time. Once I get going, I think I can write most anywhere, but I’m best at my desk in my room in the wee small hours.

  5. “What circumstances do you need to write?’

    A writing implement and a surface upon which to make the written marks.

    It helps to be out of the rain and snow, and the terrible cold.

  6. A flat surface. Preferably silence. I’m by a northern Michigan lake now and was writing this morning and thought, this should be peaceful and inspiring, but all I’m doing is ignoring the damn lake. But I guess that means it’s going well.

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