New Piece Out on the Topic of Faith and the Shema

Howdy!

We’ve been going through some ups and downs in the Klempner household, and while today I feel like singing Hallelukah, I wrote a little personal essay while suffering through a spiritual valley a few weeks back. It’s about the Shema and relating to G-d when you feel disappointed and downtrodden. The piece is up today on The Wisdom Daily, and you can find it here.

I’m started to prepare a bit for NaNoWriMo 2018, and I’ve been looking up agents to submit my most recent novel to. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to tell you about both soon.

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Busy, busy me!

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Howdy!!!

All the kids are home, but I’m, baruch Hashem, getting quite a bit of writing and editing done. My last two published pieces are getting outstanding feedback. The first is about being a morning person; the second, about a wonderful experience I had recently while swimming in the ocean.

I’m working now on the fourth draft of my adult novel, and it seems to be going well. I’ve been working on a short story, too, but have had a spate of rejections on that. Happily, a couple colleagues gave me some ideas about new places to send it. I’m praying that one of those pans out.

I hope you are doing well this summer, too!!!

My OCD confession in Tablet and more resources about OCD

Tablet’s running my essay about the weirdest thing that happened to me due to my OCD, which is so freaky that it’s taken years for me to write about. The only reason I finally did so was because I’ve seen some talk about these symptoms in Orthodox magazines, but none in mainstream media, and almost all of it was written either anonymously or by a non-sufferer. It became important to me that people know they are not alone, not losing their minds, and that they get help and understanding that they need.

I’m getting incredible, supportive feedback, thank G-d. A couple people have reached out to me because they or a relative have scrupulosity or OCD in general, so I thought it might be good to share a few more resources. Continue reading

Writers wondering what goes on in the minds of other writers

A couple weeks back, Kristen M. Ploetz posted several questions she wished she could have answered by other writers. The post has generated a bit of buzz, with replies by two bloggers I admire, Nina Badzin and Rivki Silver (which is where I first heard of it).

(And then Rivki made me cry happy tears by saying she admired my work. I love her site, so the feeling is mutual.)

I found both the original post and the follow-ups fascinating. A lot of what all three bloggers had to say was about self-identification as a writer. At what point does a person who writes become a “writer?” Another theme was how the writer — whose job is by nature often solitary — interacts with their social milieu, both in their personal lives and in their professional ones.

Here are the original questions in bold. I’ll add my responses below each of them.

1. Do you share your work with your partner or spouse? Does it matter if it’s been published yet? Continue reading

Getting booed at Tablet and my first appearance in The Jewish Press

I had a bad feeling when my editor at Tablet — who I really love — sent me an email telling me that my latest essay there (about how I unintentionally set my hand on fire but believe it was no accident) would run on Tisha B’Av.

Being an Orthodox Jew, I pretty much regard that as the worst day of the year, so I was immediately filled with a sense of foreboding. And it now seems I was right to be Continue reading

Ready for me to reveal more embarrassing truths?

I’m making appearance on Tablet again this week. Not being a shirker, I’ve revealed yet another embarrassing detail of my personal life: I am a reverse snob. (This is along with watching Afterschool Specialsbeing somewhat vain, making choices I can never really take back, and believing in ghosts...I know, I’m a bit of a head case.)

At the time a friend first accused me of being a reverse snob, I had no idea that such a label existed. It turns out that not only does it exist (there are definitions for it both on Dictionary.com and in the Urban Dictionary) but I indeed was one. At first I was proud of being  a reverse snob…until I did some soul-searching.

The good news is that I’m now in recovery.

Has anyone ever accused you of something that initially you were proud of, but later reconsidered? Please share your story in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out my essay on Tablet.