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Thursday’s Work-in-Progress

It has been a busy week! And a very good one. Herewith, a few highlights. (There was actually one anti-highlight–it has to do with a negative review of my book. But especially in light of all the things that are going so well in my writing life these days, I’m trying not to focus on it. Which is not to say that you won’t hear more about it later!)

  • You know that commissioned story I keep mentioning here? Well, I finished some (small) requested revisions for it last weekend. So if everything goes smoothly, it shouldn’t be too long before I can share it with you. I really can’t wait!
  • A few days ago, I sold a rant-like essay that I’ve been working on for awhile, too. I’ll let you know when the piece is online.
  • I’ve been working hard on polishing and practicing the speech I’ll be giving at my home congregation tomorrow evening. The title is “Why Is This Jewish-American Writer Different from (Some) Other Jewish American Writers?” (For those who may not be familiar with the tradition, the title plays on an essential line in the Passover Haggadah.) I hope to be able to turn the text into an essay, too. We’ll see.
  • Last, but not least, last Sunday I had the privilege of meeting with the Jewish Historical Society of New York City. Since it was a local event, some members of my fan club were able to attend (including my parents and my niece, pictured below). Much of my presentation focused on the work of other “third-generation” writers who are grandchildren of refugees from and survivors of Nazi persecution. If that subject sounds familiar, that may be because you’re thinking of a piece I wrote earlier this year for Fiction Writers Review. In Sunday’s talk, I updated that material to include mentions of Natasha Solomons’s new novel and Julie Orringer’s work-in-progress, as well as incorporating some remarks about and poems by Jehanne Dubrow and Erika Meitner. I wrapped up the presentation with a brief reading from my own book of short stories, Quiet Americans.
  • All of this and a “day job,” too? I know. Especially since things have been extra-intense at that job lately, I am really looking forward to the Thanksgiving mini-break!

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    4 Responses »

    1. You put us slackers to shame, Erika. Congratulations on all your successes, and who cares about the negative review? Your book is beautiful, no doubt.

    2. Good luck tonight at your synagogue, Erika! I hope you find it gratifying – and I hope it surprises you (in good way), too.

    3. Thank you very much! All of that good news notwithstanding, today brought two rejections (one for a story and one for an essay). And the night is still young! Plus ça change….

    4. Can’t wait to see the commissioned story and the rant-like essay!

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