All sorts of great news to share

Yes, I’ve been AWOL again. And yes, I have all the usual excuses. And I have news–lots of it!

  1. I’ve finally got a title for my new middle-grade novel, coming out, G-d willing, this fall: Adina at Her Best. Look for it in Menucha Publisher’s fall catalogue. I’m not sure that it will be out in time for Rosh Hashanah, but it should be available by Chanukah time.
  2. I finished the second draft of my first novel for adults, and I’m getting a lot of feedback from beta readers. It’s been rather harrowing — there’s lots and lots to fix. (I’ll admit to some public ugly-crying.) But hopefully this is another step pushing the book closer to completion.
  3. It might not all pay off, but two weeks ago, I sent off a picture book submission to an agent, an article submission to a Jewish magazine, and short story submission to a secular venue in a matter of four days: bam! bam! bam! The article was, thankfully, accepted, and I’m very excited. I’m very doubtful about the others–they are definite long-shots–but I’m proud of myself for pushing myself.
  4. One of my editing/coaching clients is now nearly done with the second volume in their series of picture books! They’ve been working hard for months, and I’m super-excited to see the reaction with the next book hits shelves.

I’m not getting much creative work done. It’s summer and the kids are all home from school. But I’ve been doing a bunch of editing and picked up another client for picture book coaching. Now I’ve just got to figure out how to get the mental space and time alone to revise my novel…

What are you up to this summer? Do you have more or less time for creative endeavors during the summer? And do you have any exciting news?

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At last! (Cue to triumphant music)

sunset-summer-golden-hour-paul-filitchkin.jpgAfter five years, many blog posts, and a whole lot of griping, I finally finished a complete first draft of my first ADULT novel. I feel exhilarated!

I also feel…strangely empty. As I was telling my friend Merri earlier today, I had my characters’ voices talking in my head for the last five years. Every once and a while, they would go away (particularly if I was knee-deep in another writing project), but they always came back.

They are now silent. Like, REALLY silent.

When I told this to Merri this afternoon, she asked me if I talked to the characters. I kinda feel like I should let them be, at least for the moment. Perhaps, when the time comes to revise, I’ll ask them questions to see if they respond.

It’s very weird feeling. My head is like a vacant apartment. Last Friday was the first day I had no fiction projects in the works in half a decade. (I am, however, working on another large, non–fiction book and several articles.)

My husband suggested I just ride this sensation out. Maybe in a few days, “someone” will start talking to me in my brain, and a new story will start.

In the meantime, he’s going to read my book, and then I’ll move on to a couple of beta readers. The novel is far from perfect, and I’ll need lots of feedback to guide my revision. But this is definitely a huge accomplishment, and I’m ready to celebrate!

PS — I forgot to share another article a few weeks back. This one is a personal essay about confronting struggles from a position of faith. If you’d like to read it, you can find it here.

Where have I been?

As usual, I have lots of good excuses for going missing on this blog. I completed my manuscript for NaNoWriMo, then immediately started work on some short stories…and THEN I started working on *another* novel, which I am hoping will hit the 50,000 word mark (G-d willing!) by the end of this week.

Many of my FB friends, family, and colleagues know I’ve been slowly shifting my writing away from venues which don’t include images of women or older girls. That means I’ve had to find new publications to publish my short stories, which used to appear primarily in Binah and Hamodia. Recently, I had a second piece appear on Hevria, and now I’m privileged to be the first fiction writer featured in the new women’s magazine, The Layers Project Magazine. My story featured there is entitled, “Taking the Plunge.”

One of the perks about this switch of venue is that I get to talk about all sorts of topics not usually covered in Haredi magazines. Even though a lot of my writing is for children, the two stories I link to above are for readers 16 years old and up.

While the piece on Hevria is free, to read the second story, you have to pay a subscription. The Layers Project Magazine would like to be able to pay its writers and staff, and so just like the print mags charge a fee for you to buy them, they are asking for a subscription. For a month, it’s $5.99 for unlimited access, and you get three free articles without subscribing. However, if you consider it’s a replacement for four issues of Binah or Mishpacha‘s Family First, or the like, it’s a cheaper option.

Shavuos almost here…

With Shavuos starting tomorrow night, that means school librarians and parents have been reading A Dozen Daisies for Raizy to their younger ones. I keep having kids come up to me, “Mrs. Klempner, did you really write about Raizy?” and “When will Raizy have another adventure?”

It’s very touching, but also frustrating. I’ve tried to sell other stories about Raizy to the publisher – with no success – and the book sold out about a month ago. You can’t buy it for any kind of reasonable price on Amazon anymore. And the publisher hasn’t decided whether to issue a new edition or not. I’d LOVE it if they did. Next year will be Raizy’s 10 anniversary, I think, and wouldn’t it be amazing if they re-issued it, maybe with an update?

Right now I’m brainstorming a sequel for Glixman in a Fix as well as working on my long-suffering adult novel. I really, really want to finish a complete first draft by next Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the Jewish month of Tammuz). If I can send it off to a publisher by the end of the summer, I will be overjoyed.

Also, if you have picked up Glixman, and you or one of your kids or your students have read it – it would be amazing if you could mosey over to either website you purchased it from or Goodreads and write a review. Your reviews will help Glixman find other readers!!!

At last! Glixman is available in the States!!!

Copies of Glixman in a Fix are in the U.S. now, and they will be available for purchase starting this week at Jewish bookstores nationwide, and on the Menucha Publishers website. The continue to be available at select locations throughout Israel.

Glixman in a Fix is the novelization of my Binah Between serial (which concluded two years ago). Mendel Glixman is a teenager with a secret, a secret which prevents him from making – and keeping – friends. But when trouble comes along, he’ll need some friends to get out of his terrible fix.

At 278 pages, Glixman in a Fix, makes a perfect read for readers ages 9 to 14 years old – and anyone else who likes a book with a few thrills and a big heart.

See here for purchasing details!

(I’m still waiting for my copies to arrive, but nonetheless, this is a step in the right direction!)

The Good News, and the Bad News (No Ugly News, thank G-d)

glixman31The Good News: I’m posting at my regular Wednesday time!

The Bad News: I skipped the last two weeks, even though Passover was over.

The Good News: Glixman in a Fix is officially for sale! Continue reading