“A funny thing happened on the way to staycation…” or “Happily Ever After as a breeding ground for faith”

So, just as I gave up on blogging about books during summer break, my husband mentioned something tonight so post-worthy, that I just had to share.

Mr. K. has been reading Searching for Dragons to my children at bedtime for the last week or so. Tonight, he noticed a pattern in our youngest, just six years old: at peak points of suspense, when the story gets really “scary” for her, she starts to panic. Usually, he reassures her that there will be a happy ending. Continue reading

On Staycation

Try not to be too disappointed, but I don’t expect to be posting very much on this blog over the summer. I’ve got some kiddos home, and we’re doing our usual “family camp” thing.

If you are interested in fun stuff to do while staycationing/vacationing/killing time in Los Angeles, you can peep over at my other blog, where I share tips on the subject.

Why Endings So Often Disappoint Readers

I’ve posted about the difficulty of nailing an ending before. More than once, I’ve had to completely abandon the conclusion of my rough draft and write an entirely new ending. When I said in the title of this post that endings “disappoint,” I really wanted to use that word that Bart Simpson made popular in the late ’80s that some of my readers insist is almost as bad as actual profanity. I’ll refrain.

I’m thinking about endings because Continue reading

It’s the week of Shavuos!

beccakinla:

I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’ve been working on several larger writing projects. I’m very excited about them, but I can’t talk about them yet! However, I thought readers would appreciate the links to art projects that can be used to teach about Shavuot to kids 3-7 who might be reading A Dozen Daisies for Raizy this week in preparation for the holiday.

Originally posted on Rebecca Klempner:

Things have been a bit crazy in the Klempner household as of late. We’re already in the week of the Jewish holiday of Shavuos, the subject of my picture book, A Dozen Daisies for Raizy.

A few weeks ago, in honor of the 5th anniversary of Raizy, I asked librarians, teachers, and parents about how they’ve reacted to Raizy. Here are some of the responses:

From fabulous librarian Davida Levin, of the Torah Day School of Atlanta:

I love using the book every Shavuos with my K-2 library groups, and was delighted that several of the 1st and 2nd grade girls said that they also own the book.

This year we talked about what the daisies meant to the recipient and decided that they meant “I like you” or “I care about you”. The second graders were able to  say that the flowers were a reminder of Raizy’s invitation or offer…

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I’m baaaaack…

I’m still not entirely back into my writing schedule, but Passover is over, and the kids are back in school.

Returning to writing after a yom tov is always a bit sketchy, but Passover is the worst. The prolonged break — due to the need to clean for the holiday, shop, plan and cook the meals, and then celebrate the entire 8 days — somehow transforms my brain. It doesn’t act like a writer’s brain does anymore. I almost feel like I am not myself. Not in a sad way, in an “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” way. Like I’m a different person at this time of year.

Thank G-d, I’ve had a little editing work to get me at my desk, and that means I have been somewhat productive the last two days. And I know from the past that, eventually, the writing will come. It better: I’ve got a book review to write tonight or tomorrow, and then I would like to return to my latest project.

I keep thinking about my “not writing” brain, which appears sporadically throughout the year. Even on Shabbos, my brain doesn’t switch to this state, at least, not entirely. Vacations sometimes do it even when not accompanied by religious holidays. Prolonged contact with my kids, and the need to take care of them with few breaks, often flips the switch.

In my “not writing” phase, I don’t really get many writing ideas, and if an idea somehow confronts me, I don’t feel an immediate impulse to get it down, which is my usual reaction to a good idea. I often feel preoccupied by housework in this state, not just by necessity (a holiday looming just ahead or guests on the way) but because I actually crave it. In a down moment, I find myself repairing the torn knee of my 9 year-old’s pants, not scribbling a poem in my notebook.

It’s different than being “blocked.” If I’m blocked, it’s distressing. If I’m blocked, I WANT to write, or at least to be able to say I’ve written something at the end of the day, but the words aren’t coming. On the other hand, when I’m just “not writing,” I don’t care if I didn’t write. It’s like I’m not a writer any more.

Does anyone else ever get this way? Just temporarily?

Need a little reading material for the intermediate days of Passover?

Check out my new short story, available to read online

The Jewish Press published my magic realism (laced with sci fi) short “An Old Fashioned Girl” a couple weeks ago in its Olam Yehudi supplement. Unfortunately, I was expecting it to run a week later and only found out after that week’s edition had left the stands.

The good news is that my friend (and fellow writer) Yehudis Litvak helped me locate the story in the online edition. You can read it here.

It was my absolute favorite story to write, by the way, pure pleasure. Unfortunately, it garnered four rejections before it got picked up for the Olam Yehudi. I had to cut the text a bit for the format (which is shorter than the word count in most other Jewish magazines), but the story stood up pretty well, I think. Got a comment? Let me know by shooting me an email or commenting though my website.

If you are celebrating Passover, enjoy the rest of your holiday!