• 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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If Dreams Were Thunder

L.A. Times

Started with a new assistant today and so far so great. Working with someone who is eager to learn about publishing and is curious and excited to be around a lot of bookcases is so lovely. When I was in graduate school, I answered an ad for an assistant position at a literary agency off of Gramercy Park. The agency was housed in the basement of the couple’s brownstone. It was book-lined, manuscripts were piled everywhere. A bulletin board was fixed with book jackets. I couldn’t believe such a magical place existed and for the first time in my life I believe I found a place where I might actually fit it.

Where do you fit?

9 Responses

  1. Hi Betsy – really enjoyed catching up on your latest posts. It’s been too long and you are so good. Very happy to hear about your novel. Looking forward to reading. Where do I fit? It took a long time, but I actually fit in as the Wizard in Washington Square Park! But it’s too cold for that now so I have to stay home and read. How boring, haha.

  2. I don’t fit and I guess that’s fitting too.

  3. “Where do you fit?”

    I think I fit where I am. I’m screwed in pretty tight.

    I turned down a job in NYC being assistant to a well-known editor at a major publishing house. The pay sucked and I felt I was too old to be a starving artist in Manhattan. I returned to New Mexico, and as fate would have it, soon found myself being a starving artist there.

    I took, then, a career in legal support. I have lived all my life with an eye to what stories I could glean from it. Legal support has certainly been interesting, and from it I have harvested a full crop of tales (turns out there are stories anywhere there are people). I’ve worked on cases that have reached to the very tops of national and international affairs; cases involving national defense information; cases involving people you read about in the news. Joke’s on me — due to ethical and legal considerations, I can’t write about any of that stuff. At least it’s been a long time since I went hungry.

    Say, I just remembered: I’m supposed to be having one of the legal support stories that I can tell coming out real soon in a publication right there in NYC. It’s J Journal: New Writing on Justice, house litmag of CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The story’s called “Breaking Leather on the Dog.” Keep an eye out for it.

  4. I can smell the books and papers. It describes my office/ studio. Writers and all artists are my tribe. I didn’t know it until an artist friend told me some time in my 40s. I’ve never looked back. It’s great to stop being the “ugly” duckling and join the swans.

  5. I think the lyric is “if Dreams were lightning, (and thunder were desire), but I guess either works. I don’t even fit into my pajamas.

  6. Putting down roots in the forest, getting along better with trees than people, although some falling cherry tree limbs tried to take me out a few years back.

    (The title Angel From Montgomery refers to Alabama prisoners on death row hoping for a governor’s pardon to come winging down from the capital.).

  7. I fit in best with my family and amongst the very young and the very old. Also, outdoors; I’m very much at home in nature.

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