• 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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Is This My Beginning or Is This the End

Dear Beloved Readers of this blog: As some of you may know, I’ve been reading War and Peace since the summer and I’m only 600 pages in. I want to finish this book and a few others before I die. To that end, I’m going to go off social media and take a blogging hiatus. I will miss you dearly. I will really miss Harry Styles. Please keep writing every day if only to be reminded of how intensely pleasurable it is to commune with your demons, stare down your detractors, sacrifice your health and well-being, and make your own magic. Tolstoy or bust! Be good. Love, Betsy

18 Responses

  1. Dearest Betsy, you will be sorely missed. Already, I am awaiting your return. You deserve a well earned break, especially to enjoy some reading. Take care of yourself. I, for one, will be here, making my own kind of magic. ❤

  2. I’ll miss you, Betsy. 



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  3. Fare thee well, Betsy. I share your readerly goals and anguish. I’m still plowing through the KJV for what I believe will be the final time. The collected works of Shakespeare are also on my short stack, for what I likewise believe will be the final time. As for War and Peace, I, too, share the dream of reading it some day.

    As for writerly goals and anguish, I’m still wrestling with the novel I began writing over three years ago, just days before the pandemic hit. I like to think I know how to tie its final strands together into a knot. To get there, I’ve taken it back to the slaughterhouse floor, to slay some darlings so that others may live.

    Meanwhile, the surviving cat is howling down the hall. She is an old cat and no longer meows, simply caterwauls at high volume. It is early in the morning, just about breakfast time.

    Catch you on the flip side.

  4. To tackle War and Peace and Moby Dick, I had full print copies and audio recordings during the height of the plague.

    I read and then picked up on the audio from where I left off as I walked for about an hour a day. It worked wonderfully.

    Intend to do the same with Ulysses, but i suspect the listening will be more enjoyable.

  5. I so totally get it! I, too, take a mental health day or two now and then. I’ve come to rely on your missives for my own writer sanity. I’m quoting you from your book “Forest for the Trees,” in a Brevity Blog coming up April 4. If you don’t catch it, know your writing and social media presence make a big difference for this reader! Enjoy your quiet time away from the crazy. Xoxo, Phyllis

  6. I will miss you! Please come back soon, you Inspiring Renegade you!! Bob

  7. Enjoy your lovely holiday immersed in that book. I read it during covid as did my friend Kate Cohen: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-finished-war-and-peace–and-now-im-over-pandemic-self-improvement/2020/05/19/28ca2384-99e9-11ea-a282-386f56d579e6_story.html

  8. I read W and P over a few years. Don’t remember anything. Enjoy! See you when we meet again.

  9. Confession.

    I don’t read the classics. Wait. I did read the Children’s Classics – remember that volume that was part of that book collection where some salesman would wander up and coerce your mother into buying the whole set? One talked my mother into it.

    As to W&P and the others . . . it’s about TIME – see? You’re having to take a blog hiatus just to FTF! Me, I’d prefer to read what might be called trash nowadays. The sort of books that entertain. My heavies are McCarthy, Pollock, and Barry.🤷🏻‍♀️

    See you when you older, book-wiser, and maybe with a headache!

  10. Happy trails! Enjoy. And thanks for the writing encouragement; you never know what’s going to be around the next bend….

  11. Here’s a naive question that I don’t expect answered by anyone who happens to drop by BUT what does one gain from the time spent reading W and P? Is it simply to say “I read a classic,” the historic aspect, or the story as enjoyment, or as an example of how to write a classic. AND suppose it’s not your thing, do you hang in and read it anyway because…well, just because?
    I know I am going to regret asking.

    • The beauty and the power of the words, the story and the intellect/creativity of Tolstoy. And English was not the language it was written or dreamed in.
      It’s whatever you get out of it and it makes more sense to me to have it as a goal than say, visiting every NASCAR racetrack while being photographed wearing a FREE TRUMP hat, photos that will haunt you once all the evidence is in and Trump not only goes to prison but is tried and convicted of treason as well.

  12. Awww, I’ll miss these short but almost always helpful or enlightening or at least funny missives. Good luck with your reading — a worthy goal, for sure.

  13. I miss your posts so much that I’m rereading The Forest for the Trees and have just ordered The Bridge Ladies. I hope this is truly a hiatus and that you’ll be back.

    • So nice of you! I am working my way through War and Peace and will definitely be back. Hope everyone is WRITING!!!

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