Busy, busy, busy

This week’s Aim! magazine (found inside Ami) contains an article by yours truly on the topic of the CIA. It’s actually the cover story! I had wonderful fun researching and writing it, and hope you will enjoy reading it.
I outlined a new “Part Three” for my novel, but I’m taking a breather now. Instead, I just wrote a short story yesterday. A weird short story. Revising today.
I’d also like to announce my new blog. I had to learn the Word Press platform, so I took information I’ve learned this summer about free and cheap local activities and started “Fabulous, Fun and Free L.A.” You’ll find great info for date nights, family fun, and vacations here in Los Angeles, all affordable.

My deep dark secret: Withdrawl from deadlines!

Cover 4

Beth Firestone and I just wrapped up our serial, “To the Edge of the Galaxy” in Aim! Magazine. It was a great experience…I learned a lot about writing by working with Beth, as she is a novelist (previously, I’d only published standalone pieces of 1400 words or less) and has spent much more time formally studying writing. She filled me in about creating a story arc, building character development and generally kept my writing coherent and funny. It was also great helping kick off a new magazine and developing a readership with them. We got fan mail! It was amazing knowing that kids out there were reading our work and LIKED it.
What is also great about writing a serial is that you have deadlines. If you don’t meet them, there are real life consequences: angry editors, paychecks that don’t come, readers who no longer trust you. I busily wrote several nights a week for about 6 months to keep “To the Edge of the Galaxy” on schedule with the printer. Now I have no one breathing down my neck about writing…and I’m not getting much done.

I have no shortage of ideas and writing projects to work on. In fact I have today’s ideas and also the ideas I put off writing for the last 6 months because I was occupied with the serial. I think there are a few reasons for my lack of productivity:
1) No deadlines;
2) There are SO MANY ideas, and no editor telling me which one which one is a priority;
and
3) The lure of blogging.
Yes, blogging is taking over my writing life! I write this blog as well as another semi-private one, and I find that it is addictive. I’ve had to cut down to two nights a week (mostly). I LOVE checking the “Stats” and finding people are actually reading what I write! I love that I can’t get a rejection letter. I can write what I want the way I want to without being judged by a senior editor or the marketing department!
But until you get THOUSANDS of page views weekly, blogging isn’t a remunerative profession. And in the end, there’s still no story (with illustrations!) in a glossy (inter)nationally-circulated magazine or an actual book on an actual shelf in an actual bookstore that people can actually buy (which is actually a delightful experience).
I think I’ll be shutting down Google Chrome now and switching to Microsoft Word…

great news!

I haven’t been active on my page for a while, but I wanted to share good news with anyone who drops by.

I’ve been publishing articles on the website www.metroimma.com about parenting small children and connection between real-life and classic children’s books.
The new Jewish magazine, Ami, is now available by subscription at http://www.amimagazine.org/ and on the newsstands in NYC and Chicago…hopefully, it’ll be available in all major Jewish markets soon. I’m co-authoring one of the weekly serials contained in the Aim tween supplement (my co-author is Beth Firestone, known for her novel Candles in my Window). It’s entitled “To the Edge of the Galaxy”. The story follows the adventures of an Orthodox family chosen to colonize a distant planet. I’m hoping all you readers up there will pick up a copy of Ami and try it out!

Additionally, Mishpacha Junior magazine published a story of mine a couple of months ago and expects to publish another soon. I’m really enjoying writing for periodicals and will continue to list my ongoing projects.