Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Readings on the Upper West SideFullSizeRender-3

Last week I spent a lot of quality time at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble. On Wednesday, I attended Thane Rosenbaum‘s reading from How Sweet It Is, his latest novel. The next evening, I was back for Alan Cheuse’s reading from Prayers for the Living.

I hadn’t seen Thane in several years, and I’d never met Alan (with whom I’d been working remotely while Fig Tree Books prepared Prayers for publication). Two lovely evenings celebrating the work of two very gifted and generous writers! (Bonus: At Thane’s reading, I finally met one of my “Twitter friends,” podcaster Gil Roth, “in real life.” You might know Gil from his wonderful podcast The Virtual Memories Show.)

Rejection, Rinse, Repeat?

Five rejections this past week for a brand-new, potentially time-sensitive poem. But one of those rejections was significantly warmer than usual and truly made my morning the day I received it. (You know how we practicing writers are about finding the silver linings in these notifications!)

Also received this week: a rejection for an essay that had been out for quite some time. BUT, that piece appears to have found a terrific (albeit nonpaying) home. Stay tuned for more news on that. (more…)

Midweek Post from a Practicing Writer

UnknownRecommended Reading

Over on my other blog, I’m singing the praises of Michal Lemberger’s new collection After Abel and Other Stories. If you’re looking for a new book with which to celebrate Short Story Month (May!), you might consider this one. (For anyone consciously trying to “Read Women,” it’s an especially appropriate choice.)


New iPhone!

Okay, so maybe this isn’t directly writing-related, but this week also brought me an iPhone upgrade! I leapfrogged over from my old iPhone4 to a snazzy 6! A lovely little quality-of-life upgrade, I must say. Including a noticeably improved camera. To wit: a photo snapped after a recent run in Central Park. How do you like it?


Dispatch from the Day Job

Last, but by no means least: Things are hopping over at my day job with Fig Tree Books. Just today, in fact, we’ve unveiled our fall 2015 list. You’ll see why I’m so excited about it when you read the announcement.

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Oh, what a busy time it has been!

A Book is Born

BookBirthdayShelfieIt’s a BIG week for all of us at Fig Tree Books. Yesterday was the official publication date for our first title, a novel by Alan Cheuse titled Prayers for the Living. (Let’s just say that I spent a lot more of my weekend time working for the “day job” this past Saturday/Sunday than I normally do! But I certainly wasn’t alone in putting forth some extra pre-publication efforts.)

If you’re in Brooklyn or Washington, you can attend readings that Alan will be giving this week at BookCourt and Politics and Prose, respectively. Details on the Fig Tree Books website. Oh, and there’s a new issue of the Fig Tree Books newsletter available, too. (more…)

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

11021279_390770854436778_3588398827398842663_nReading The Writer’s Chronicle

The latest issue of The Writer’s Chronicle arrived a few days ago. (It’s the March/April issue, and I don’t see it online yet; even when it goes online, I think you need to be a subscriber to access it in full.) Although I haven’t read through it in its entirety, I was intrigued to see the interview with Rebecca McClanahan and read that feature right away.

McClanahan teaches in the MFA program I attended, and while I never worked with her, the reading of hers that I attended was memorable and set me on a path to reading more of her poems and essays (I also purchased her writing-instruction book, Word Painting). I’ve always been drawn to the influence of extended family in McClanahan’s work, and The Writer’s Chronicle interview, which focuses on her recent family memoir, gave me much to think about in terms of my own family-infused writing.

I confess that even before reading the interview, however, I thumbed ahead to page 127, where the Fig Tree Books call for submissions appears. (Yes, I encouraged my employer and our marketing manager to place this ad!) (more…)

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Flag_of_FranceVive la France!

I have France on the brain again. During this past week, the Chief Rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, was visiting New York City, and I had the opportunity to see/hear him speak three times (once, at a session billed “for the French Jewish community in New York” that was held mostly in French; I gamely attended, although I did feel compelled to reassure my table-mates that “je comprends mieux que je parle”). (more…)