Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Three quick updates from my desk.

1. Last week’s “Midweek Notes” found me smack in the middle of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) conference. As I mentioned, the conference pivoted quickly this spring from its planned in-person event in Evanston, Illinois, to a fully-online happening.

And it was simply sensational.

Among its greatest benefits, for me, was the infusion of energy and inspiration that it gave me. I’ll admit that despite my own generally healthy/secure circumstances, I’ve found the last several months to be…challenging…in a number of respects. Among other things, this conference helped revive some of my aspirational projects. Notably, since the conference ended, I’ve been able to resume with renewed attention the necessary reading/study of children’s picture books that must be a part of my own efforts to write a picture-book manuscript of my own—and I’ve tiptoed forward with some research for one book idea. So, that’s a plus.

2. My efforts to attend as much of the online #AJLConnect20 programming as possible meant that I missed some other organizations’ virtual offerings last week. Luckily, one of the lectures I’d most hoped to catch, Dr. Rachel Korazim’s presentation on Israeli poet Nathan Alterman for the Shalom Hartman Institute’s #AllTogetherNow programming, was made available online for post-session viewing. As Dr. Korazim notes, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Alterman’s passing, at the age of 60, in 1970. It’s also the 110th anniversary year of his birth in 1910. In any case, if you have an hour free, I highly recommend her overview of Alterman as “Magician, Bard, and Whistle-Blower.”

3. Work-in-Progress

I agree wholeheartedly with Lisa Levy’s observation above. I can’t say that the tactic always produces success: This week I tried to get back on track with a certain essay project by striving to stay within the word-count limit specified in a new call I’d encountered.

I tried—and I failed.

But maybe the next relevant call do the trick.

an open spiral notebook with a pen resting on a blank page, plus a text label that reads, "Midweek Notes."