Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer


Spoiler alert: We have no dearth of reading series here in New York City. But there’s a fairly new one that I had the good fortune to discover last week.

And I’ll be returning.#YeahYouWrite

I found out about #YeahYouWrite when the amazing Sara Lippmann, whom I’m lucky enough to call a good friend, let me and a few other people know that she’d been invited to participate. I would have gone to support Sara in any case (even if she hadn’t generously offered to feed her fans). But the fact that Jacob Appel was on the roster to read the same evening was a definite plus: I’ve admired Jacob’s work for years but had never had the chance to meet him. (Unfortunately, the third featured reader, E.J. Levy, turned out to be unable to be there.)

Sara read, and Jacob read (and, to my delighted surprise, gave me one of his books in addition to the one that I bought on site), and the excellent event curator led a terrific Q&A session. Throughout, there were delicious drinks (including the specialty cocktails described to the right) and yummy food.

And then, the evening segued into an open mic session during which audience members read from their work. (We were told that the first reader was an MFA student who was appearing in order to earn class credit! An interesting idea for all of you instructors out there, yes? If you have reading series nearby?) I read two (as yet unpublished) poems.

And I was photographed!


All in all, it was a memorably delightful evening. This is a reading series to which I shall return!

Writing About Collective Mourning on Social Media

As I read through the social-media notes grieving the passing of Alan Rickman last week, I was filled some not-unfamiliar ambivalence. This time, I decided to write about it.

And Tablet decided to publish what I wrote.

Anniversary Notes

Yesterday marked what would have been my paternal grandparents’ 75th anniversary.

My grandparents cutting their wedding cake (January 19, 1941)
My grandparents cutting their wedding cake (January 19, 1941)

If you’ve read my story collection Quiet Americans, you’ve read stories that incorporate certain elements of their marital history, notably the fact that they met as young German-Jewish refugees in New York City, married, and became the parents of an infant son while my grandfather was serving in the United States Army.

Quiet Americans was published five years ago, on what would have been their 70th anniversary. I’m proud to report that this past week I was indeed able to offer a quarterly donation (Q4, 2015) to The Blue Card based on recent sales of the book.

And please stay tuned for news of a special anniversary giveaway on Goodreads, slated to begin on January 24th. (I will be sure to announce it on social media, if not again on this blog.)