Novelization of Glixman in a Fix: contract signed, book IY”H due out next year

For a while now, I’ve been sitting on a little morsel of news, because I’m exceedingly paranoid about the evil eye (embarrassing, but true): I’ve signed a contract with Menucha Publishers for the novelization of Glixman in a Fix, my serial from Binah BeTween.

This morning, I received the list of changes the editor would like to see in the novelization. The list is totally reasonable, and mostly consists of changes I suggested in the first place, mostly fixing loose ends I dropped and introducing an idea earlier in the text so that it’s less surprising when it pops up near the end.

For some reason, I feel short of breath and ill to the stomach, like I’m about 5 minutes away from a panic attack. I’m not sure if it’s excitement¬†or fear of failure triggering my parasympathetic nervous system. I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing both.

Assuming I complete the changes and everything else (editing, book design, proofreading, etc.) runs on schedule, the book will – G-d willing! – be published next summer-ish. You’ll get updates on all breaking news as the situation develops. ūüėČ

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Exciting news! One book ready for orders, the other nearly ready!

When my husband checked the mail after Rosh Hashanah had ended, he found a couple packages for me in our mailbox from Createspace. In one, we found the proof of the anthology that I’ve been working on,¬†Sliding Doors and other stories, and the other package contained the proof of¬†Mazal’s Luck Runs Out.¬†

I’ve been spending the last couple days proofreading those books. In Sliding Doors, the font size suggested by the template was so small, I was afraid no one would be able to read it. I went back and increase it. I also had do a lot of clean-up on the italics. The stories in the collection were from different magazines, with different policies about how to handle foreign words. With so many Hebrew and Yiddish terms throughout the text, punctuating these terms consistently was a big job, and I didn’t catch them all before uploading files to Createspace.

Mazal had some similar issues, but I also discovered that I didn’t like the cover I’d designed. I spent a lot of time tinkering with it to get it right.

Sliding Doors is still not quite ready for release, but duh-duh-dah:

Here’s the link to Mazal’s Luck Runs Out!

It’s available already in paperback via Createspace and Amazon. If you order it now, you¬†should receive it by¬†Sukkos! And if you buy it…please post a review on Amazon! And tell other prospective readers if you like it!

The target audience is Jewish kids 8-11, the kids who like the stories in Mishpacha Junior, Binah Bunch, and so on. The main character of this novella is Mazal, a Persian girl living in Los Angeles. The average Orthodox girl will identify with her misadventures, but it was especially important to me to represent a strong Persian Jewish character, something rarely seen in kids’ fiction.

I hope to have news about the other book soon.

becca with proof 2

Here’s me, with the proof of Sliding Doors and other stories.¬†It’s not quite ready yet for ordering.

Oh, all right, I’ll spill the beans.

So, yesterday’s post mentioned that I’ve been working on a few¬†big projects. I can’t tell you about all of them, but I can tell you about two:

  1. I’ve compiled several of the stories I have published previously in international¬†Jewish kids’ magazines into an anthology, selecting the ones that got the most fan mail, and which teachers have mentioned they’d like to use in their classrooms. I’m self-publishing it, IY”H. Target audience: readers age 10-16. We’re just waiting on the proofs – which I’ll have to proofread – before they will be up for sale.
  2. Also on the self-publishing front, many years ago, I had a number of stories starring two characters, Esti and Bluma, which ran in a local-to-L.A. Jewish magazine. Those stories got lots of fan mail here in L.A., so I started to shop around for a publisher. I had a couple near-misses, where a publisher said they were very interested, but then backed out pretty late in the game. After that, I added some more material, changed some things around to make it more like a middle-grade novel, as opposed to a short story collection, and tried yet another publisher. As they say in Yiddish: gornisht. My husband, though, really believed in the book, and my beta testers Рkids from around the neighborhood Рenjoyed it thoroughly. Doing Maker Camp over the summer really inspired me, as well as this post on Positive Writer, so after working on the anthology, I pulled out this older manuscript and started editing that one.

G-d willing, I’ll have news for you soon about these upcoming releases. I’m hoping to have them available online and at bookshops in L.A. Keep your eyes peeled for updates! (And prayers for the success of this project are welcome.)

My completely unsolicited review of “Megillas Lester”

After all my recent ranting and raving about Esther in pop culture, I watched a video this afternoon with the husband and kids that made me feel better. I’d first heard about it on Tablet, then on the OU’s website.

animated video kol rom

Megillas Lester–a hilarious film in the Purim Spiel tradition.

Kolrom media, who has produced a lot of music videos and shorts for the Orthodox audience (like the video for the song “Ana Avda” and a hilarious bit on Aish.com called “Sicko” about how NOT to do the mitzvah of visiting the sick), has just released a video about Purim that refers to all the midrashim and commentaries I talked about in my rant. And it’s funny. Although Esther doesn’t make an appearance. Even Mordechai barely shows up.

That’s because “Megillas Lester” is about a boy, Lester, who dreams he has messed up the Purim story so much that Esther doesn’t have a chance to become queen. And Mordechai doesn’t get a chance to save the king. So who will save the Jewish people from Haman’s evil plot? Continue reading

Ready for me to reveal more embarrassing truths?

I’m making appearance on Tablet again this week. Not being a shirker, I’ve revealed yet another embarrassing detail of my personal life: I am a reverse snob. (This is along with watching Afterschool Specials,¬†being somewhat vain, making choices I can never really take back, and believing in ghosts...I know, I’m a bit of a head case.)

At the time a friend first accused me of being a reverse snob, I had no idea that such a label existed. It turns out that not only does it exist (there are definitions for it both on Dictionary.com and in the Urban Dictionary) but I indeed was one. At first I was proud of being ¬†a reverse snob…until I did some soul-searching.

The good news is that I’m now in recovery.

Has anyone ever accused you of something that initially you were proud of, but later reconsidered? Please share your story in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out my essay on Tablet.