Short story in Hamodia’s story supplement!

While I’m still waiting for Glixman‘s arrival, I’ve got a nice surprise for my readers. The story supplement for Hamodia‘s English edition for Pesach – due out today, I think – contains a short story by me. Continue reading

Fun Storytelling Project I Just Started

I kicked off my Pesach cleaning with a little not-strictly-necessary-for-Pesach file purging on Sunday. Once again, I was astonished by how many stories I have lying around unread after their initial publication. I decided to do something about it.

Opening a Soundcloud account, I chose four of my children’s stories, and read them aloud. Now there is downloadable audio of those stories on my Soundcloud account! You can listen to them in the car, at home, even in a waiting room. No story is longer than 10 minutes.

It’s been nearly 9 years since A Dozen Daisies for Raizy came out, and I’ve written several sequels which were never published or were published in a different form. My favorite of these is set at Passover time. It no longer stars Raizy, but I think young readers will enjoy it just the same. I decided to include this story – now titled “Bella’s Busy Day” – on my Soundcloud. You can listen to that story – for ages 4 to 6 – here.

When it came to choosing the other stories to read aloud, I selected three that have been requested by teachers and therapists in the past. They follow Chaim Mendel, a 14 year old Jewish boy with Asperger’s, and his friends. If you want to listen to Chaim Mendel’s adventures, I recommend you listen to them in the opposite order in which they appear on the Soundcloud page: 1) “The Gift of Giving,” 2) “Not So Far From the Tree,” and 3) “Team Thinking.” Those stories are perfect for kids 9 – 14.

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me if I’d be willing to do audio for them, and I refused. I’m very self-conscious about my voice. Half the time, I sound like I’m mumbling (thanks to being from Baltimore, home of a very strange accent), and I tend to sound high-pitched when recorded. These recordings didn’t turn out too bad, and I figured it was a low-stress environment in which to share my voice with the public.

I plan to add other stories later – particularly as Sefirah follows Passover, and for some of us, that means we don’t listen to music. If you like the stories, please share the links and so on.

 

I have been swallowed whole.

Okay, really, I’ve been swallowed in pieces. Work is swallowing part of me, and my kids (all home for the summer) are swallowing the rest. There apparently isn’t much left for blogging.

One little bit of nifty news is that I started occasionally guest posting for Jew in the City. My first two posts went up last week and the week before. You can find the first one, “When The ‘Less Religious’ Woman Was Frummer Than Me,” here; and the second one, “A Kiddush Hashem In A Most Unexpected Place,” there.

Between swim lessons and jaunts to local museums, I have editing and writing to do. Thank G-d, have four writing assignments to squeeze in the next few weeks. Between this, that, and the other, I’ll probably be blogging infrequently throughout the summer, but hopefully I’ll be back in good form in the fall.

In a hurry, but must share the following exciting news!!

So, I’ve got a half-hour to carpool and a ton on my plate, but it occurs to me that I haven’t shared several recent developments in my professional life that are kinda exciting. In no particular order:

  • It’s official. I am copyediting The Jewish Home – L.A. I began the gig a couple months back, but it was a test drive. Apparently, we all found the ride comfortable and think the vehicle can handle both surface streets and freeways. 😉
  • Here’s a link to one of my stories from Passover. It’s the one in The Jewish Press/Olam Yehudi, called “Mom’s Request.” It starts on the bottom of the right-hand page.
  • About two or three months ago , I was interviewed for an article by Simi Horwitz. It’s about women who write and/or edit at Hareidi publications. Simi interviewed several notables, too, like Libi Astaire, Rechy Frankfurter, and Baila Olisdort. The article appeared in The Forward yesterday. Here’s the link to that.

I’d love feedback on any of those happenings!

“Purim Spiel” newsletter out!

A couple years ago, I wrote about my Purim newsletter in Tablet. It’s been a family tradition for years, but last year, I didn’t publish our usual f”Purim Spiel” paper. I couldn’t really see the humor in anything (I learned of my father’s death a week before the holiday).

This year we’re back. I can’t even tell if it’s funny anymore, because I’ve been working on it too much. Click here to read it: Purim Spiel 5776.

Note that the second page is first in the PDF. Feel free to print it out and read it that way. And, please, if you share, give the Klempner family credit!

Happy Purim!

 

Rabbi Yoel Gold: innovative storytelling

Last week, my profile of Rabbi Yoel Gold appeared in The Jewish Home – L.A. edition. Rabbi Gold leads Congregation Bais Naftoli here in Los Angeles, and teaches in a local yeshiva high school, but he is also becoming quite well known due to a series of videos he began making last year.

I got a chance to interview Rabbi Gold, and he said several interesting things about storytelling, particularly it’s role in education and how he makes sure his “true stories” are true. He also explains how to identify a “good story” to retell. Check out the interview yourself to see what he said.