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

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What I’m Reading Right Now: On Moral Fiction

A while back, EriOn Moral Fictionka Dreifus had recommended John Gardner’s On Moral Fiction, a slim volume dedicated to writing and literary criticism from the POV that an artist has a moral responsibility to their audience, and that art criticism should in part address how well the creator of a work of art has met that responsibility. The book dates from 1978, and it’s amazing how well it (thus far in my reading) stands up over time.

I’m only about three chapters in, and what strikes me most Continue reading

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 – kids from around the neighborhood – enjoyed 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.)

“A funny thing happened on the way to staycation…” or “Happily Ever After as a breeding ground for faith”

So, just as I gave up on blogging about books during summer break, my husband mentioned something tonight so post-worthy, that I just had to share.

Mr. K. has been reading Searching for Dragons to my children at bedtime for the last week or so. Tonight, he noticed a pattern in our youngest, just six years old: at peak points of suspense, when the story gets really “scary” for her, she starts to panic. Usually, he reassures her that there will be a happy ending. Continue reading

Orthodox Women Talk: Roundtable about media consumption

OWTHi, everyone! I know I pretty much never post twice in a day, but I’m hosting this month’s Orthodox Women Talk. Our panelists include:

  • Tali Simon
  • Melissa Amster
  • Ruchi Koval
  • Rivki Silver
  • Keshet Starr
  • Estee Lavitt
  • and yours truly.

This month’s question is this:

How much do you engage in popular music, movies and other forms of entertainment? What factors have contributed to that choice?

Wow! We’ve got a lot of variety in responses. Let’s see what our roundtable panelists have to say... Continue reading