Marla Madison, author

Marla Madison, author

Want to enjoy a game that’ll keep your mind alert? One that challenges you to move on to the next level whenever you’re coasting? A game that brings you together with other people, increasing your social life?

            The answer is you won’t find it as an app on your I-phone. (Or maybe you will. Today, anything is possible, digitally.) Bridge is a game that brings you together with others and can be played at any level: Party bridge, strictly social, Duplicate bridge, for those who want to perfect their game, and Tournament bridge, for those who love competing.

            I enjoy all three forms, and play regularly. When I first learned to play bridge, I was in my forties and joined a class with a friend of mine. Because of my job, I had to miss so many of the classes that I ended up driving to Kenosha from Chicago every Sunday so my Mom and my Aunt could fill in as teachers. They invited a fourth person and spent the afternoon educating me to the game. Having always loved playing cards, I became immediately addicted to bridge.

            A group I knew in Chicago had a game every month. I joined it, and met a lot of new friends in the area because of our common interest. They pushed me into playing duplicate way too soon when I was still a novice, but explained that when I moved (I was in the process of transferring to an office in Iowa) I could then go to the duplicate games there and meet new people easily that way.

            They were right. I met wonderful new friends in Iowa because I played bridge. Many of them helped me to become a better player. I even met my significant other playing bridge in Cedar Rapids, we became bridge partners and we still play together. I won’t bring up bridge fights between partners, although they can be quite nasty, but competition tends to bring out the worst in some of us! Bidding a bridge hand with your partner is like communicating in your own special language. Getting it right every time can be a challenge.

We’re living in Northwestern Wisconsin now, and, once again, have met some special people who also play bridge. We drive to Eau Claire for a duplicate game whenever we can and still get to tournaments a few times a year. There are even bridge cruises one can take advantage of, offering games and lessons while on the high seas.

Relative Malice by Marla Madison

Relative Malice by Marla Madison

Sadly, bridge has become an older person’s sport. Some of the clubs have reached out to high schools to add it as an extra-curricular event and I know some of them have done it successfully, but today younger people prefer digital games. There are sites online where players can meet, and play bridge with others in cyberspace. I know some bridge players who enjoy those games, but for me, they move too slowly.

Playing bridge is also an ideal way for an author to both escape from his writing den while keeping his brain functions sharp!

            My two suspense novels, She’s Not There and Relative Malice, can be purchased in either eBook or print form on You can reach me through my blog, Reading and Writing Is Not Fattening, at