• 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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Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This

I feel like I’m playing three card monty with myself. I cannot hold the whole book in my head. Last night at three in the morning it occurred to me where a section introducing a new character could go. I’d been struggling all day. I would have to redo my cards, my map, take one card out and does the whole thing fall. I love it I hate it I love it I hate it.

Remind me why surgeons don’t operate on their family members…

9 Responses

  1. You slice, you snip, you cut and you tie off. Too much emotion gets in the way of rationality. In surgery emotion might be a bad thing, but in writing, what use is it without feeling? It’s a balancing act and you have to stay on the tightrope even when a monkey carrying a margarita is coming at you from the other end.

  2. “Remind me why surgeons don’t operate on their family members…”

    The darlings they might slaughter would be flesh and blood. The darlings we writers are set to slaughter are but ephemeral effusions of our feverish minds. Our malpractice premiums are also of a different nature.

    I cut a new character out of the book I’m currently extruding. She was a sweet one, she was, with all the characteristics you might want in such a one — cute, sufficiently intelligent, well-favored, passionate, vulnerable, close at hand but not suffocatingly so — but upon cold and measured reassessment, I could see she did not fit smoothly into the larger narrative arc. She had to go. We wept bitter tears as she walked down the plank, to drop off into the engulfing waters of textual oblivion. I will miss her. I think of her as I suture the wounds whereat she was excised from the body of the work. I will never forget her, but for the sake of the book, it must be as though she never appeared therein.

  3. Hi, Betsy. Would you talk to us about your index card system? Or where can I find instructions on how that works? Thanks! Keep on keeping on! Jude

  4. Hey, Betsy,

    I too awoke at 3! what’s going on here.

    Do you want to have coffee sometime soon? I’d like to hear about this book of yrs! B

  5. I think I must be weird. I know tons of writers who use index cards. My writer friend showed me Scrivener – and I said, “it looks like a project.” She said, “Yeah, it’s a lot like that. You can . . . ” and she began to explain. I told her my head would EXPLODE.

    The way I describe my writing – linear. It means I want my MC (or MCs) to do a, and if I don’t know that a is right, I stop. I don’t branch out and write a scene that should come ten chapters later, I don’t write anymore until I figure it out. I don’t move on to plot b, c, and then back to a.

    Maybe I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

    NO WAY should a surgeon EVER operate on a family member! I think it would give them a case of the nerves, and if they screwed up (maybe they want to screw up depending on who/and the relationship) they’d never get over it. End. Of. Career. 😂

  6. Because it’s hard to remain objective? Too easy to get emotional? But they’re fixing someone, not creating them…

  7. They will never get over the guilt if they die. Thank God no one has to die from either writing or reading a book. I couldn’t take the pressure.

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