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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

1. It’s not every day that one of this blog’s readers alerts me to the fate of one of my own contest entries.

But that’s exactly what happened over the weekend, when Nancy Brewka-Clark left this comment on last week’s Midweek Notes post. As our exchange on the post reveals, it’s through Nancy that I discovered that one of my poems had been received honorable mention (free-verse category) in the latest Rhyme On Poetry Contest. (And one of Nancy’s was named runner-up for “funniest poem.”)

All of the winning, runner-up, and honorable mention poems have been assembled in an e-book that can be downloaded here. But here’s a snapshot of “When Your Niece Attends a Jewish Day School,” too. Continue reading ›

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Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers

Monday brings the weekly batch of no-fee, paying competitions, contests, and calls for submissions—plus jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction).
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Sunday Sentence

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

Central (AKA Central Square) MBTA station.

In Boston, the subway didn’t get you anywhere, but the stations were generally clean and quiet and no one bothered you on the actual train.

Source: Weike Wang, “Omakase” (The New Yorker)

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Friday Finds for Writers

Image description: wooden box filled with treasures/trinkets.


Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to peruse over the weekend. Continue reading ›

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Image description: pages of Hebrew text.


Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week

“Chabon expresses discomfort with ‘monocultural places’ with ‘one language, one religion,’ but the application of these words to Judaism is simply astonishing. Virtually every Jewish community in history has developed its own dialect. There are five Judeo-Arabic dialects alone. There is a dizzying variety of Jewish culture and multiform expressions of Jewish religiosity. Chabon, however, has no access to this amazing, diversity because he speaks no Jewish language. One is reminded of Edelshtein’s complaint about American Jewish writers in Cynthia Ozick’s classic story ‘Envy; or Yiddish in America’

You have to KNOW SOMETHING! At least the difference between a rav and a rebbeh! . . . Their Yiddish! One word here, one word there. Shikseh on one page, putz on the other, and that’s the whole vocabulary!

Chabon writes ‘I ply my craft in English, that most magnificent of creoles,’ as if speaking English, with all its layers and loan words, makes one multilingual all by itself. Perhaps sensing this, he adds: ‘my personal house of language is haunted by the dybbuk of Yiddish.’ Alas, it is a small dybbuk (the one Edelshtein noticed) and not very frightening—or knowledgeable.”

Source: Elli Fischer, “Michael Chabon’s Sacred and Profane Cliché Machine” (Jewish Review of Books)

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