• 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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What Goes Up Must Come Down

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When my mother first read my memoir, Food and Loathing, she said it was a pack of lies. I told her to write her own pack of lies. She hated the book because I wrote about my mental illness, hospitalization, and so forth. Over the years, many writers tell me that they can’t write their memoir until their parents die. Some wonder if they can use a pseudonym. Eventually my mother came to respect my book. She received letters from parents whose kids had been hospitalized, or suffered from depression, and in once case committed suicide. They said I was brave, honest, and my book helped them. I don’t think I’m cavalier, but I also believe that if you’re a writer you have to find a way to write what matters most.

What matters most to you?

13 Responses

  1. My problem with memoir is not my mother, my father, my kids, my grandkids. My problem is with ME.

    What matters most to me might be ME. And who the hell is ME? Because, shit, there is no ME. There’s only US. And US is a big fat story with no beginning and no end. The middle is ongoing.

  2. I think about this a lot. My novel wip has some “historical fiction” elements. Have considered a pseudonym but the longer I sit with it, the more comfortable I feel sharing it. If there’s fall out, I can handle it.

  3. “What matters most to you?”

    Sex and death.

  4. What matters most . . .

    For whatever I’m working on, writing it well, and then improving as I move on. God forbid it gets any worse.

  5. The dark side of love.

  6. Life. Real life. Being alive so I can give and receive love, build relationships, embrace nature, do the hard things that need doing, and write about it.

  7. What matters most to me is truth.
    So here’s the truth.
    That I live long enough to FTF, (done), edit the piss out of it, (in the process), and hear someone like you, Betsy, say your novel is God-damn good.
    There I said it.

    I’ve been sitting here for fifteen minutes, finger poised over Post Comment

  8. Right now it’s the novel for young readers which is a friendship story against the backdrop of mass incarceration & abolition.

  9. What you write here speaks to me on so many levels. Though my mother is pretty supportive of the memoir I want to write. (Proposal completed) I feel let down by the literary world. There’s a group of kids, the middle-grade aged kids who are experiencing depression/anxiety for the first time in their lives. There aren’t too many books out there that address that. I was 12 when I first tried to take my life, I felt lost and alone. I never want any child to feel that way. I also think that classes on mental health should be included in schools. To help people understand the signs of depression/anxiety. I truly hope to be able to contribute, no matter how small, to a more open and accepting future.

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