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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Yer Out!

The email arrived a few days ago. “Dear Erika Dreifus: Thank you for your application to NYFA’s Fellowship program.  We are sorry that we will not be able to award you a Fellowship this year. We received a record number of applications this year….” You know the rest.

So now it is official: I have applied for fellowships unsuccessfully from the New York Foundation for the Arts in THREE genres: fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Now how many of you can say that?!


Hanukkah Lights

If you can believe it, I have not yet had the chance to listen to the latest NPR Hanukkah Lights broadcast (and that includes listening to my own re-upped story). But I’ve received some really lovely messages from others who have heard it and wanted to share their responses to my story. Which means a lot to me.Menorah

Hanukkah is now over, and as I do try to explain to those who might not know about it, it’s truly a “minor” holiday on the Jewish calendar. It has become more visible thanks to the December-holiday-complex, but its significance pales when compared to, say, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, or Passover (to name a few).

But I have to confess that Hanukkah’s identity as “the festival of lights” resonated with me especially strongly this year, for reasons I don’t necessarily need to delve into at this moment. I’ll just share with you this photo of my home menorah from the sixth night of the holiday, which coincided with the shortest (and therefore, darkest) day of the year.

Looking Ahead 

Like many of you, I’m sure, I’m thinking about what the next year might hold for my writing practice. Frankly, I don’t have many clear ideas on that. But look at this lovely notebook—a Hanukkah gift from my sister—where I expect some of that writing will happen.


Closing Thought

Wishing all of you who celebrate it a very Merry Christmas!

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11 Responses »

  1. What a lovely menorah and truly fabulous notebook! Gorgeous inspiration for writing and reflecting. Wishing you a very Happy New Year

  2. Erika,

    Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday. I enjoy reading your posts and look forward to hearing your thoughts in the upcoming year. Fabulous notebook!

  3. Salam, shalom, and all other greeting around the earth,
    I like to say Happy HolidayS, all holidays on earth! Isn’t it amazing , if we celebrate all
    different, cultural and unique holidays? Then we would have holidays all year round,
    and may be more understanding of each other.
    Any way your note book reminded me of all Hanukkah’s memory, and I thought I can
    write a short story about one of them and when were very young.
    Enjoy all your days

  4. Hi Erika, I’m so sorry about the fellowship. But congrats on your NPR story, I’ll have to check it out. Your notebook is lovely both in appearance and gesture. Here’s to more heartfelt writing in 2015.

  5. Thank you, Farideh and Dana!

  6. I appreciate you sharing your rejections here. That probably came out wrong! Of course I would rather see your acceptance letters, but it’s actually inspiring to know that successful people get rejected and keep on trying.

    I need to get clear on my own writing goals and if I get brave enough, I will publicly post them on my blog. I will stay tuned to see if you post on your writer-ly goals for 2015.

    • Hi, Pam: It didn’t come out wrong! I understood what you meant. I’m still mulling over my goals. We’ll see if I distill them sufficiently for posting. Good luck w/yours!

  7. Erika – Everyone needs a beautiful notebook to take out the sting of the inevitable (for all of us) rejections. 🙂 Can’t wait to see where you go in 2015. I’m planning to start looking for an agent for the Taos novel this summer, and god knows I’ll need your fellowship (you and your readers) for that sure-to-be challenging process. Cheers to the New Year!

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