The Wednesday Web Browser: Jim Shepard on Historical Fiction, Lisa Romeo on Beginnings, and My Machberet Update

Jim Shepard shares insights on writing fiction that works with “historical or real events.” Good, solid stuff there. (Thanks to Luna Park for the link.)
Take a few moments to read Lisa Romeo’s smile-and-chuckle-inducing take on the challenges of “beginnings” right here.
Over on My Machberet (“machberet” being the Hebrew word for “notebook”), I’ve recently posted about the Sydney Taylor Book Awards, a call to hear from Jewish women writers, and an opportunity to publish film reviews on Nextbook (warning–that’s not a paying gig, as far as I can tell, but there IS a non-cash grand prize for the “best” review). If you haven’t visited My Machberet in awhile (or ever), I invite and encourage you to do so. But please be forewarned that it’s my refuge from contentiousness and the dialogues des sourds I encounter too many other places. It is unabashedly pro-Israel.

I’ve had a really hard couple of weeks, so please, I beg you, do not post anti-Israel comments there (or here). I simply will not approve them. Believe me, I know what all the anti-Israel arguments are these days. It’s extremely unlikely anyone can tell me something I haven’t already read/heard, and it’s basically impossible that you’ll change my mind on this one.

Please remember that these blogs are my very own virtual living rooms: They’re my parties, and I’ll maintain the tenor that I want to. Todah rabah/thank you, and I hope those of you with particularly Jewish literary and cultural interests will nonetheless stop on by.

6 thoughts on “The Wednesday Web Browser: Jim Shepard on Historical Fiction, Lisa Romeo on Beginnings, and My Machberet Update

  1. deonne kahler says:

    Thanks for inviting us to your party, Erika! The tone you’ve set is absolutely fine with me, although I do wish someone would pass the cheese tray…

  2. Erika D. says:

    And maybe some wine, too, right? Thank you, DK!

  3. Lisa Romeo says:

    Thanks, Erika, for the kind words.

    My feeling is that bloggers not only can, but should, set a very specific tone, one which feels exactly right for themselves; then, the readers can decide.

    As my father used to say in the pre-remote days, “You can always just get up off the couch and change the channel.”

  4. Erika D. says:

    And thank you, Lisa. Sage words from your dad, indeed. (And you brought a smile to me as I thought of a quite recent discussion with my cousin and her 6-year-old daughter, in which my cousin and I chronicled all the things “we didn’t have” when we were her age! Remotes were definitely on the list! Computers, e-mail, iPods, cable, and so on. We were kind of stunned, Cousin and I, at how extensive the list really was.

  5. Celeste says:

    Erika, thanks so much for the link to Jim Shephard’s wonderful remarks. I love the idea of a Venn diagram–“that sliver of overlap – mostly of crucial emotional agendas and conflicts, and not so much life experiences – that creates the connection that allows everything else to be accessed, at least in the imagination.” I’m going to pass this on to my students–and keep it in mind as I write myself, too.


  6. Erika D. says:

    That was a pretty amazing talk, wasn’t it, Celeste? I’m so glad the folks at Luna Park pointed it out.

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