Posted on March 28, 2013 by betsylerner
Every question every writer has ever asked me about how long they should wait to contact an editor or agent who is considering his work may now spit in my kasha. And every writer who has asked my advice regarding how to write a cover letter may drop a shovelful of dirt of my grave. I am in Jewish limbo which I believe is like standing on line at Katz’s and not knowing if the pastrami will hold out. Every pore on my face has been scrutinized, every blister on my foot calling out for more torture. One minute I am polishing my acceptance speech and the next I can’t seem to take another step without an infusion of peanut m&m’s. I’m throwing food from my high chair, I’m trying on clothes in a dressing room that is one hundred degrees and nothing fucking fits, and manically thanking the Starbucks guy working the register as if he were a long lost friend. Please don’t say it’s the journey that counts. Please don’t talk about the “process.” And don’t give me any credit for finishing and getting it out there. What’s so special about special dinners? There is only thing I feel remotely good about is that I’ve started a new project so the screenplay is looking more like a piece of toast with the face of Jesus carved into it.
How sick does it get?
Filed under: Film, neurosis, Oscar, Rejection, Screenwriting, self-loathing | 47 Comments »
Posted on March 8, 2013 by betsylerner
This is for the French editor who came by the office this week and said she had started her day every morning reading my blog. Well, my blog and a Galoise. God, that’s a dreamy combo. She just started a new job after twenty years with one publisher. She has read everything and has a wonderful way of talking about writers and their books. More, she had a quiet confidence, clear about what she would publish and how. Honestly, it’s a such a pleasure working in publishing when you get to talk books with a sexy, French editor. Yes, my life is this train and these are the sub-titles: Books float like rafts in a calm sea. Everything eats. This is the French cream you brought me, made from green tea. Do you have a light, my love?
Anybody out there?
Filed under: Books, Editor, Uncategorized | Tagged: climate, literature, writing | 44 Comments »
Posted on February 25, 2013 by betsylerner
For me, this year’s Oscar goes to Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone, for Katniss, and for this gorgeous Cinderella moment climbing the silver and black lacquer stairs to collect her award. Friends, I tripped climbing the bima for my Bat Mitzvah, only I was wearing a blue and white gingham dress with smocking and white high heel clogs. Hence, writing. Please, if you have your speech prepared, share it here. Love, Betsy
Filed under: Oscar | Tagged: Oscar | 21 Comments »
Posted on February 18, 2013 by betsylerner
“VOW is brilliant from both a literary and a psychological perspective. It certainly takes emotional honesty to write with such candor about the drama and allure of one’s personal adulterous experiences, but this book is more than simply honest; it is also searingly well told. A tremendous achievement.”
– ELIZABETH GILBERT, Eat Pray Love
Vow is so tender and sharp, so suffused with our common humanity, and so precise. Plump is also unfailingly honest about what affairs give us and what they take away. This book is a real gift.
Elizabeth Weil. No Cheating, No Dying
“Metaphors and similes and original descriptions can’t defend the reader against the sheer pain of broken vows. Wendy Plump creates a beautifully wrought word painting from which, I, for one, came away with a new slant on ‘marital vows.’ Couples should read this book.” – Carly Simon
Congratulations to Wendy Plump. Her first book, the memoir VOW, is publishing today. It was the first memoir I took on in ages and the reason is the writing. In telling the story of her infidelity and her husband’s subsequent infidelity, Plump goes far beyond the cliches associated with cheating and cracks it wide open. What begins as a voyeuristic look at a marriage coming apart ends as a deep portrait of betrayal and loss written with elegance, measure, and poise.
What most interests you in memoirs: the prose, the story, the intimacy?
REDBOOK Reads: Vow
Wendy Plump’s heartbreaking memoir of marital infidelity is a disarmingly honest, beautifully insightful, and disturbingly real portrayal of the dissolution of a relationship — and a family.
By Hannah Hickok
Crack open Vow and prepare to be quickly carried away by Plump’s vivid prose, so-close-you-can-hear-it voice, and suspenseful storytelling skills. You’ll find yourself sneaking a page or two in the elevator, during a walk from point A to B, and trying to avoid drifting off to sleep so you can turn one more page The super-hot topic — cheating — combined with descriptive, at times poetic writing makes Vow a thought-provoking, compelling read. The events, which Plump describes with amazing clarity and detail, are by turns gut-wrenching and addictive. It feels like reading your favorite TV soap opera, except this time it’s happening to real people — and you’re hearing the saga from a close friend over coffee. Plump welcomes us to her world with impressive openness and honesty, cataloguing the start of her relationship with her husband, Bill, which begins in college and lasts over 20 years, ending with an explosive discovery that shatters their relationship and changes both their lives forever. She chronicles her affairs in the early years of their marriage, before their two sons were born, with a handful of dreamy, very different men — all of whom brought lust, passion, and excitement into her life. Plump reflects on these decisions in a matter-of-fact yet emotionally lucid way that is nothing short of fascinating.
But the real kicker comes — and we’re not spoiling anything here as it’s advertised on the back of the book — when Plump finds out about her husband’s affair. She discovers that Bill has a second family just a few short blocks away from their suburban home, and his mistress of a decade is now the mother of Bill’s third, youngest child. Needless to say, Plump’s life — as well as her kids’ and their extended family and friends’ — are thrown into unimaginable turmoil, and Plump comes face-to-face with a decision she never thought she’d have to make, despite her own infidelity: the end of her marriage. The fact that such events are “unimaginable” is one reason that I think every woman should read this memoir. Does merely thinking about this sort of thing send chills down your spine, as it does mine? Although Plump never imagined this happening either, she has the guts to tell her story in a way that’s real, relatable, and will make you think hard about your own temptations.
Read Wendy’s story without judgment, as a study in relationships and the ways we can, if we’re not very careful, hurt the people we love the most.
Read the Modern Love piece on which the book is based: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/fashion/12Modern.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Filed under: Uncategorized | 23 Comments »
Posted on February 13, 2013 by betsylerner
There is a reason they don’t let me out much. What was it? The beauty of the buildings, slate the color of pigeons, the girl with striped tights, purple water bottle swinging astride. I sat alone in a church and listened to an organist sigh between pieces.I dined with bright minds and tried a new food. I bought a notebook that always spells hope. Flimsy, gorgeous new ideas that blossom and die in a moment. I am at Kenyon College and tomorrow I will talk about the writer’s life. You know that lonely clacking train, that aggravated assault, that self mutilation, that particular hope, that elegant insistence, that awkward moment, that drone in your head, that never ending conversation.
The writer’s life. How would you describe it?
Filed under: Uncategorized | 44 Comments »
Posted on February 8, 2013 by betsylerner
Posted on February 5, 2013 by betsylerner
I was out for two weeks taking care of my mom (yes, Sabitha, I do have a heart). I returned to two enormous stacks of mail. All of the query letters were about dysfunctional families, addiction, mental illness, etc. Is it like I have a sign over my head? Couldn’t just once someone send me a book about the history of jam, or Jews in Ireland, or the true story of Karen Carpenter? I want zombies, vampires, NFL champions who dance. I’ll take Harry Potter’s ugly cousin. Two Shades of Gray. I want books that fly or compute. My Kingdom for a book about depression that isn’t upbeat in the end. I want Daniel Day Louis pre-Lincoln. I want a book about gold leaf. About golden pears. About Benjamin Franklin’s theory of trees. About pigeon holes and whack-a-moles and Spanish sauce and moss.
What do you want to read?
Filed under: Uncategorized | 62 Comments »