Adina at Her Best finally up for sale!

adina cover-3While I have not gotten my copies yet (they are in transit, and they arrived in NYC on Thursday), Adina at Her Best is indeed on sale on the Menucha Publisher’s site.

In other fun news, I just posted a second video about writing picture books. This one is broadly applicable to all writing, especially narrative forms. It’s about getting into the heads of your readers and into the heads of your characters. You can view it here.

And I just got great feedback on some changes I made to the adult novel I’ve been trying to snag an agent for. (Thanks, Cy and Daniel!) I’m hoping that as soon as all the craziness surrounding the release of Adina is done, I’ll be able to get that query all polished up and out to some more agents.

 

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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.

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

Fan mail: the way to make an author’s heart go pitter-patter

I haven’t been posting much this month because I’ve been very, very busy. Thank G-d, in a good way. After failing to write any fiction for a couple months, I wrote three short stories – bang! bang! bang! – and a few teensy other projects besides.

I had the kids home with me on Friday because of the Mid-Winter Vacation many Jewish schools stick between semesters. I was a bit under the weather and had to shop AND cook for Shabbos because I’d been too tired after painting with the kids and taking them to a museum on Thursday to do the grocery shopping then, as I usually do.

The exhaustion! The squabbles! The noise! It was ugly.

And then I opened up Inyan magazine and saw this:

Fan mail for The Perfect Shabbos

Instantly, all was better.

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.

A Tribute to My Favorite Uncles

Looking for some Shabbos/weekend reading?

I’ve got a new story in this week’s Inyan Magazine, inside Hamodia (dated August 26, 2015). The story is called “The Favorite Uncle,” and it’s a sorta reversal of real-life situations between my kids and their beloved uncles, as well as a paean to my own awesome uncles, Ira and Larry.

Synopsis: 11 year-old Alex Silverstein’s favorite uncle frums out (becomes Orthodox), and Alex is not amused.

I’d love feedback from anyone who reads the story!

I also thought this would be a great opportunity to answer a question I’ve been getting a lot lately, included from professional (non-fiction) writers:

How do you write a short story?

Usually, the first step for me is Continue reading