When writing shifts from a hobby to a job: my new essay in Tablet



Last year, I wrote on this blog that I struggled with creating the annual Purim newsletter I co-write with my husband. Well, this year, I wrote an essay about it for Tablet. You can read it here.

And if you don’t live in L.A., but do want to see this year’s edition of the newsletter (and other freebies throughout the year), you can fill out this form.  I’ll put you on the mailing list!


With Chanukah just over…

Two Men Reading Paper

If Chanukah is over, it means just one thing in the Klempner household: time to prepare our annual Purim Spiel. Traditionally, a Purim spiel is a play, but in our household, we’ve transformed it into a pseudo-newspaper. Our friends and neighbors always enjoy receiving our Purim Spiel, and we put a lot of work into it to make it as wacky as possible.

Picture credit: 

My husband, eldest child, and I actually collect material for our fake news stories and ads all year round, but it’s only after Chanukah that we start fleshing the ideas out and laying them out to look like a newspaper. I start collecting all the little bits my husband has emailed himself and scour my journal for bizarre thoughts I’ve scribbled (off-the-wall shaggy dog stories to make people groan, truly terrible puns that would make great names for sham products, off-beat reflections about life in L.A., and so on). As Purim gets closer, we usually mix in more time-sensitive material that’s based on current events.

As much pleasure as our readers get, we also get the pleasure of  knowing that we’re using our talents for goofiness to brighten people’s Purim. (Plus, I love the voicemails people leave for a week after Purim telling us which parts were their favorite.)

What’s really strange is that the more I write for professional purposes, the harder the Purim Spiel gets for me. I noticed it last year, and this year the feeling’s even stronger. It’s still fun to make (especially as it’s a family endeavor), and I still enjoy our readers’ reactions, but my energy is differently directed these days. Luckily, I have family members to keep me in line. We’ll get it done even if I’m distracted, IY”H.