• 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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Close Your Eyes and Think of Me

If you are reading this, you’ve made it to DAY 5 of our 30 day 30 minute writing challenge. Amazing! If you’re just joining now,

jump in and jump start your writing. I don’t want to brag, but my 30 minutes flew by this morning from start to finish.

I’m not going to say I was on fire, but it was hot. Usually, when I sit down to write, I imagine I need a few hours if not more.

And that has been a big impediment. I do long for more time, but getting something done, producing a few new pages, connecting with a project that was heading for the crypt is really rejuvenating. Also, I apologize for being so positive and upbeat.

What is the first thing you remember writing? Mine was a diary, age 6, that chronicled the ways in which life was unfair.

14 Responses

  1. Some shit about a unicorn, I think.

  2. A love letter to my neighbor, Patty. She was 8, I was 7. I bought her a cheap ring and we went out for 3 days. I’m pretty sure the writing counted for more than the ring.

  3. It’s going well for me, too. This morning, I didn’t even start the timing until after I’d reread yesterday’s work, made some changes, and then found myself WRITING NEW STUFF before I’d officially begun. So I brewed another cup of coffee, and only then asked darling Alexa to set a timer for 30 minutes.

    This is making me happy. And that’s an understatement.

    My mother, the children’s librarian who served on the Newbery Awards Committee, sat me down with a drawing from a book (I think it was THE YEARLING) and said to make up at story to go with the art work. I was about 6 or 7. I still have the story. It was superb, of course.

  4. I’ve felt not quite part of this great 30 min / 30 days thing, because having no “real job” to go to, I write for several hours almost every day anyway. But reading everyone’s experiences of how helpful it’s been, I’m reminded that I mostly work in 33 minute blocks of time, with short breaks between, so in a way I guess I AM doing it too.

    I love the approximate half-hour block, there really IS something about it, as Betsy says. I always try to do one on any “day off.” But on serious work days I keep at it, with mostly 6 minute rests in between. I do 33/6/33/6/33/6/33/then a 30 minute rest before the next set of 4 pomodoros. So 2½ hours per set, plus a 30 minute long break after. Works great for focus, for me anyway. I recommend trying your own version when you have time.

    I am racing a deadline, so yesterday I did 16 of those 33 minute blocks, progressing 15K words through a final draft, including the addition of 650 new words to the story. Back on schedule now, so 12K progress a day will see me all done in time, three days from now.

    Keep at it everyone. I don’t know how you do it, you writers who have jobs to go to as well. But I’d just like to remind you, that if you keep at it, 30 minutes a day for a year, you probably WILL have a novel, if that’s what you’re working on. (Maybe two novels, if you don’t get bogged down so long as I do, in rewriting everything.) When the 30/30 is over, I just hope a lot of you decide to keep going, make it 30/365, and see what you accomplish.

  5. I was 14 and wrote a eulogy for Vanguard TV3 the day after it exploded on the pad. I didn’t know why I felt so sad. “It was just a rocket,” Mom said.

  6. I was in 3rd grade. The class was a little chaotic one day and Miss Tisdale made us all write her an apology for not doing what we were supposed to be doing (being quiet). I wrote a very heartfelt apology on a piece of borrowed yellow legal paper and at the end of the day, she read my letter to the class as a good example of an apology. Everyone thought the girl who I borrowed the paper from wrote it and they razzed her mercilessly. I never volunteered the truth. If I were to write that apology today, it would look something like this: I’m eight, ok? Sorry.

  7. “What is the first thing you remember writing? Mine was a diary, age 6, that chronicled the ways in which life was unfair.”

    Mine was a diary, age 11, that chronicled the ways in which life was unfair, and chronicled the attractions of the pretty girls in class (there was only one, I thought, and she wasn’t so pretty, I thought), and chronicled my aversion to all the ugly girls in class (there were so many, I thought, and they were so very, very ugly, I thought). The one pretty girl died of cancer before she reached forty, and two of the ugly girls became friends of mine and we are still friends all these years later, though they were never so ugly, not at all (one thought she was and hurt herself because of it, and she was the one I had fallen in love with for a spell; the other was drop-dead gorgeous, pure and simple). As for the ways in which life was unfair, so what? It is that, among other things. I was awakened at four o’clock this morning by the sound of gunfire on the street outside my home. How fair is that? There is a gnat dancing in the air between my face and my computer screen, and if I can catch it and kill it, I will. How fair is that? Today is the Day of the Dead.

  8. Nine. A love poem to my mom, who had just given birth to my baby sister.

  9. A poem about rain. I was nine.

    30 min kicked my ass today, but I did it!

  10. Like you, the very first time I wrote something that didn’t have to do with schoolwork, was in a diary. I think I was about eight or nine. No telling what was in there – probably something about my brother.

  11. It had a red cover and a brass clasp that clicked when I closed it. The tiny key I kept in my jewelry box with the ballerina that danced when I opened the lid. We moved a lot so that little red book was my best friend.
    Those letters to my best friend were my first writings. That’s when I learned to write from the heart. Life was sweet, simple and sometimes sad.

  12. I don’t remember the first thing, just the feeling of gripping a pencil in my little hand, of putting letters on the page, being praised by my mother, and, by the time I was about 8 years old, knowing that I was a writer. Not “wanted to be,” but was. Where that early confidence came from I don’t know because I knew I had a lot to learn. But the knowing propelled me through school and into a career as a writer. What a gift!

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