My deep dark secret: Withdrawl from deadlines!

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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;
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…

A few recommended Jewish books by Southern California authors and illustrators

While L.A. is best known for the movie business, SoCal is teeming with writers and artists. Here’s a sample of some wonderful books for the Jewish audience by locals.

Ann Stampler is the author of several folktales and parables, including the fabulous, award-winning Rooster Prince of Breslov.
The Rooster Prince of Breslov
See all her titles if you follow this link:
Around here, Marc Lumer is most famous for designing the dancing rabbis that appear on lamp post banners before the Chabad telethon. He’s also an illustrator of children’s books, with new ones forthcoming. Here’s are links to his work.
Beth Firestone was my writing partner in the serial we just wrapped up with Aim! (Ami) Magazine. However, she’s more famous for writing Candles in my Window.

Just down the street from me lives the screenwriter Robert Avrech. He’s also the author of the wonderful RAMBAM graphic history and the novel The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden.
There are many other wonderful local Jewish authors…don’t feel bad if you’ve been left off the list.