Looking to spend some gelt on a book?

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If you got some gelt this Chanukah, why not spend it on one of my books?

SLIDING DOORS and other stories

(11-16 year olds)

While home sick, a teen interrupts a burglary in progress…

A mysterious stranger offers a young man an extra hour, for one-time use…

Slipping into an alternate universe, a girl discovers a few surprises…

A teenager lacking social skills adjusts to his new yeshiva…

Sliding Doors and other Stories features 17 of my finest stories for tweens and teens and one essay in a single volume sure to please old fans and new ones.

mazal coverMAZAL’S LUCK RUNS OUT

(8-11 year olds)

Do you think of yourself as lucky? Mazal always did – that is, until her luck ran out.

Mazal Tehrani is an 11 year-old girl living in Los Angeles’s bustling Jewish community. Her first name means “luck,” and she’s always been just that: lucky. Mazal has great parents, adorable siblings, and her best friend, Bluma, really is the best! But when one thing goes wrong after another, she starts to wonder, is she lucky after all?

Both titles now available on AMAZON!

Fan mail: the way to make an author’s heart go pitter-patter

I haven’t been posting much this month because I’ve been very, very busy. Thank G-d, in a good way. After failing to write any fiction for a couple months, I wrote three short stories – bang! bang! bang! – and a few teensy other projects besides.

I had the kids home with me on Friday because of the Mid-Winter Vacation many Jewish schools stick between semesters. I was a bit under the weather and had to shop AND cook for Shabbos because I’d been too tired after painting with the kids and taking them to a museum on Thursday to do the grocery shopping then, as I usually do.

The exhaustion! The squabbles! The noise! It was ugly.

And then I opened up Inyan magazine and saw this:

Fan mail for The Perfect Shabbos

Instantly, all was better.

The first week of 2016: goal setting and keeping on track

As I mentioned in my last post, I saw quite a bit I didn’t like when I looked back on my writing accomplishments for 2015. A colleague “happened” to reach out to me right around then to ask if we could be writing buddies. Basically, we touch base once a week to confess how much writing we did or didn’t do during the week, as well as swap a bit of writing we did. We’re hoping this will keep us accountable and help us reach our goals. Today was the second Sunday my new partner and I swapped our accountability emails. So far, so good. Last week, I got a great critique out of it, as well as some insights about how I’ve been spending my time.

All of this means I had to pin down some goals. Continue reading

2015 in hindsight

I usually review my professional year just before Rosh Hashanah, but when Erika Dreifus posted last week about Annette Gendler‘s “Artist and Writer’s Workbook,” she piqued my interest. I moseyed over to Annette’s site to acquire my copy (free download with sign-up to Annette’s newsletter). Today, I finally sat down to complete it.

On the financial front, it was a bit sobering. Continue reading

The Top 5 Things I had to cut from “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” my new essay up on Tablet

My new piece up on Tablet, “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” is about how my lifelong love of Star Wars is clashing with my commitment not to go to the movies. Yes, it is true, this fangirl, the child formerly known in some circles as “Chewbecca,” will not be watching “The Force Awakens.”

O Death Star Play Set, how I miss thee!!

Writing the piece was loads of fun: I got to relive many happy minutes of my childhood. In the original draft, I described the scene when I received my beloved Death Star Play Set (from Kenner!) in loving detail, and included all sorts of wacky stuff that I had to cut for length before turning the article into Tablet. 

Editing out all that material was painful, and so I give you…

THE TOP 5 THINGS I HAD TO CUT FROM “THE FORCE ISN’T WITH ME ANYMORE:”

Continue reading

‘Tis the season for applications: 10 Essay Tips for Students Applying to College

Although I’m mostly known for my writing, I also do a bit of proofreading and editing. And the most common thing for me to proofread at this time of year is a college application essay.

Now, I’ve been looking at those essays for over twenty years – basically, since I was a high school senior myself. Back in the day, we had to type their final drafts onto our applications, of course.  typewriter

I’ve seen some wonderful college essays, and some terrible ones, in my time. I’m going to offer a few tips based on my experience. These tips apply to college application essays, but also to applications for scholarships, internships, and even many assignments.

I will not cover proofreading – which you can often get assistance with from a teacher, parent, or guidance counselor. If you proofread your own essays – and you should do so first, even if you are going to get help later – just make sure you wait at least a day or two after writing the essay to do the proofreading. Otherwise, you will likely not notice your errors.

TIPS FOR COLLEGE & SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION ESSAYS

Continue reading