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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

the-blue-card-logoBlue Card on My Mind

An article in Saturday’s New York Times titled “Holocaust Survivors’ Needs Become Acute With Age” (that’s the title in my print newspaper; online, the headline reads, “As Holocaust Becomes More Distant, Survivors’ Needs Intensify”) seemed acutely well-timed to me, for a couple of reasons.

First, we’re approaching Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, which (according to the Hebrew calendar), will be observed next week. And second, I’ve recently sent in my Q1 donation, based on sales of Quiet Americans, to The Blue Card. I’ve spoken before about why I remain committed to sharing portions of sale proceeds with The Blue Card, but this is an appropriate time of year to give the organization another shoutout for the essential work that it does.

Also in My Thoughts Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Tally_marks-Five-bar_Gate.svgTally-ho!

Over on Poetry Has Value, Jessica Piazza has been posting March stats/tallies from her participating bloggers. I encourage you to read them all. There’s a lot of good stuff in what everyone is sharing.

But if you’re in a hurry to find this practicing poet’s particulars, you can proceed directly to this post. Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

All Things Considered

Unbalanced_scales.svg

On balance, a good week, notification-wise. Yes, there have been some rejections. But the week also brought a poetry acceptance (that poem will be out mid-month, and I’ll be sure to share it). And, I was also asked to contribute a poem to a site (I’ll share that in due course, too). So all of that is very cheering.

Meantime, I did send in my March Poetry Has Value update/stats, so I expect that you’ll be able to see that soon. Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Beyond-Your-Blog-Hall-Of-Fame-Showcasing-our-favorite-writing-from-our-readers-who-have-been-published-beyond-their-blogsI’m Famous!

Well, sort of.

This week brought the happy news that a piece of mine had been “chosen” for the Beyond Your Blog “Hall of Fame.”

You’ve probably seen me mention Beyond Your Blog before–I find it an inspiring and helpful site. I’ve also joined the BYB Facebook group, where, each month, members are encouraged “to post their best work that has been featured outside of their personal blog. A guest editor selects five favorites (in the areas of humor, non-humor, how-to/informational, reported stories & essays and editor’s choice) to be featured on this page and we also promote them in our newsletter and on social media.”

When the February call came around, I decided to share the link to my poem “Self-Portrait with Root Rescue™,” which appeared last month on Silver Birch Press. And, lo and behold, it “won” the humor category.

I’m especially grateful for the kind comments of this month’s judge, Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, who said, “I thought this piece was so clever, riffing on the frustrations of getting older without the negativity. Really made me laugh. Well done.” Continue reading ›

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From My Bookshelf: Leah Kaminsky’s THE WAITING ROOM

WaitingRoomCoverI was all set to wait patiently for the U.S. release of Leah Kaminsky‘s debut novel The Waiting Room (which will happen next fall). But then, the author—an Australian whom I’ve yet to meet in person but with whom I’ve developed another of those wonderful “online friendships” I’m so grateful for—sent me a gift copy of the original Australian edition, which was published this past September. And how pleased I am that she did.

There’s so much that’s noteworthy about this book, beginning with the subject matter. What I realized only a few pages in is that The Waiting Room brings together two topics that are often categorized separately among Diaspora readers. First, there’s its Holocaust thread. Protagonist Dina Ronen, Australian-born, is the daughter of two Holocaust survivors. Her father died during Dina’s childhood; her mother has passed away by the time the novel opens, with Dina a married mother of one young son and another baby about a month away from delivery. But her mother’s ghost speaks throughout the book, and we return often to her parents’ histories in flashbacks. Continue reading ›

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From My Bookshelf: SLIDING DOORS AND OTHER STORIES

Readukkah-1Rebecca Klempner is one of the wonderful people I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of getting to know via the Internet, where I frequently read her essays and reviews and “converse” with her via email and social media. Several months ago, she announced that she’d be publishing a book of short stories for younger readers. As soon as Sliding Doors and Other Stories was available, I purchased a copy for my Kindle. It took me a little while to focus on reading them, but I’m happy to say that I have finally done so. And as part of the wonderful #Readukkah initiative from the Association of Jewish Libraries, I’m proud to share this Q&A with the author just as we prepare the kindle this year’s first Hanukkah candles. (I suspect that I am bending the #Readukkah rules somewhat by presenting a Q&A instead of a review, but I hope that I’ll be forgiven for so doing.)

Sliding Doors and Other Stories comprises 17 short stories (and one essay). In a note to readers, the author explains that she wrote the stories in this collection “for several of the magazines that serve the Orthodox community.” Elsewhere, she has indicated that the target readership for this book is likely between 11 and 16 years of age.

Rebecca Klempner is an wife, mother, and writer living in Los Angeles. Born in Baltimore, she grew up in Columbia, Maryland; Israel; and Las Vegas, Nevada. She attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland and American University, where she obtained a master’s degree in applied anthropology. In 1998, she headed to Los Angeles for a stint in Teach for America. She remained there and taught for five years before becoming a stay-at-home mother. In 2005, she sold her first picture book: A Dozen Daisies for Raizy was published in 2008 by Hachai. Subsequently, she’s written for many magazines – print and online – including Mishpacha, Ami, Hamodia, Binah, Tablet, and The Jewish Home.

Please welcome Rebecca Klempner! Continue reading ›

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