New Edition of Mazal’s Luck Runs Out and more

As usual, my absence on this blog means I’ve been busy someplace else. While I’ve been getting feedback on the novel I finished a couple months back, and digesting it, I’ve been completing revisions for Menucha Publishing on the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo. (I’ve also been brainstorming new titles — the working title was unpopular, to say the least.) G-d-willing, that book will be out later this year. And I also revised and created a new cover for my book, Mazal’s Luck Runs Out. I decided the old one wasn’t engaging enough, so I put a girl on the cover who could pass for Mazal looking right at the viewer. I think it makes a big difference. What do you think? Mazal's new cover

And, of course, there was Purim…and Pesach.

Basically, it’s been busy.

Anyway, I’ve got some goals for the next few months. Continue reading

Okay, I know it’s been months, but…

I’ve been very much neglecting this blog, it’s true. I’ve been using my time (mostly) wisely. I got a second critique group up and running here in L.A., I’ve made progress on my next novel, have continued to increase my editing hours, and…okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve done some slacking, too.

Not much exciting is going on around here. The most significant professional news in the short-term is that I got the cover of Glixman in a Fix (the release of which was pushed back until either Purim or Passover) in my email today. It’s so much fun. I’m hoping kids get real pleasure from reading it now as a novel.

I’m also working on a couple short stories. I’ve cut out most of my non-fiction writing. While I appreciated the money it pulled in, the deadlines kept preventing me from completing the work that is more time-consuming and closer to my heart.

Another small item of interest (I hope): I’m going to try a new thing. I’m picking one day of the week, and write just a tiny, 200-300 word post each time it rolls around. Hopefully, that will keep my blog more up-to-date, and help me keep in touch better with readers. G-d willing, I’ll see you ’round here next Wednesday!

Pesach Magazine CRAZINESS!

It looks like I’m not just in one Jewish magazine this Pesach, not in two…IY”H, I’ll be in FOUR. That’s right:

  • You’ll find a sci-fi tale in the Hamodia Story Supplement.
  • You’ll find another short story in Binah‘s main magazine.
  • I have a short story also in The Jewish Press, out today.
  • And, lastly, an article in The Jewish Home – L.A. about cheap activities in Southern California for the intermediate days of Passover.

I’m a little verklempt. And busy. I’ll tell y’all more about the stories another time, when I’m not cooking and have no kids home on vacation. (A couple of the stories have interesting backstories.) If you read any of my stories, and want to give me feedback, just comment below.

And have a chag kasher v’sameach!

And in other publishing news…

I sent a post to Kveller for their Raising Kvell blog, and they published it this week. It’s totally the opposite end of the spectrum from this week’s Tablet piece:

  • non-controversial topic,
  • short,
  • I wrote it and it was published in a week, without the several months of editing required by the other piece.

It’s light and fun, but also meaningful. Check it out. You know, if you wanna…

The new Tablet story my editor is afraid I’m going to get hate mail for

My newest piece is up on Tablet. When I submitted the pitch several months ago to the Life and Religion editor, Wayne Hoffman, he cautioned me: do you really want to do this?

The topic of the essay is a controversial one in the Jewish community — women wearing Tefillin — and he was afraid I’d get a lot of trolls. And probably some genuine hate mail, to boot.

My original proposal was a much wider topic — the denigration of traditional feminine roles by many “feminists” in the Jewish community. I shot off the query letter in a fit of pique after yet another feminist looked down her nose at my lifestyle and basically told me I was so persecuted I didn’t know that I was persecuted.

The first draft was a mess: too big, too venting, too…too…everything.

I have to really give credit to the very special Mr. Hoffman, who asked the right questions and nudged me in the right direction until I could be proud of the resulting essay. We cut most of the first draft, and narrowed the topic considerably, then tried to focus on the positive aspects of the story.

Anyway, I hope you check the essay out and share and comment and all that.