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