The Ups and Downs of Writing Life

I was feeling a little cranky earlier today. Okay–more than a little. I’ve hit the point in a particular revision which I’m working on when I have to start writing new material, not just tidying up what was previously written. And I found out this morning that a program which wants to reprint one of my books will be doing so *at least* another year in the future (I was informed I’d made their list a year ago). The program comes with a stipend for authors, and I would love to receive my cash sooner rather than later.

So, yeah, feeling demoralized.

Anyway, last week, I’d noticed that the sales of my first book, A Dozen Daisies for Raizy, had gone up. The book takes place on the day before the holiday of Shavuos, which I figured was boosting sales. I also tried to work a little social media muscle to make sure people knew the book was back in print and how to reach it. I decided at about noon today to check where sales are at THIS week. Continue reading

Analysis: My first writing workshop for adults

Along with writing and editing, I’ve coached writers one-on-one off-and-on for the last couple years. I’ve presented writing workshops and made author visits to groups even longer than that, but those groups always consisted of school children. Yesterday, for the first time, I combined the two and taught a writing workshop for fledgling writers aged 15 and up. Actual grown-ups attended!

The Crash Course

Since my greatest area of expertise is writing for tots, tweens, and teens, I decided to offer a three-hour crash course in writing for those groups. My husband agreed to whisk away the kids who weren’t in school (some Jewish day school kids attend on Sunday mornings), and I prepared materials and advertised.

Overtime

I thought three hours would be enough, I really did. Continue reading

Announcing a class for beginning Jewish writers in L.A.

Do you have a picture book idea?

Have you always wanted to write for the Jewish magazines, but didn’t know how?

I will, G-d willing, be teaching a workshop on writing for Jewish tots, tweens, and teens later this month.

A possible student for my workshop?

Audience: Ladies ages 15 and up are welcome to participate.

Date:May 25th

Time:10 am – 1 pm

Location:Private home in L.A.

Cost:$25, $18 if you refer a friend and they also commit

To sign up: Please fill out the form below.

I Live With My Mommy: new Jewish picture book addresses life with a single mother

Today, I’d like to share with you this interview with Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein, the author of the upcoming picture book I Live With My Mommy. This new, groundbreaking picture book for the first time focuses on growing up in a single-parent, Orthodox Jewish home. I learned about the book through its illustrator, the gifted Dena Ackerman, and upon my request, she hooked me up with Tzvia for a bit of Q & A via email.

picture book about Jewish home and divorce

I Live With Mommy, Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein’s new book about growing up with an Orthodox single mother.

RK: What led you to write about children living with a single mother?

TEK: Over 30 years ago I got divorced. At that time it was — or at least seemed to be — very rare [in the Orthodox community]. Walking my (approximately) 4-year-old daughter home from gan (nursery school) with her friend, I overheard her explaining to her friend: “No, my abba (daddy) didn’t die. They got ‘vorced.”

Continue reading

My thoughts on Tablet’s article “Do Jewish Children’s Books Have a Problem with Gender?”

Emily Sigalow, in Tablet this week, published an article entitled “Do Jewish Children’s Books Have a Problem with Gender?”

While she does make one point I agree with, that awards committee’s tend to favor Jewish picture books with male lead characters and that the females tend to be engaged in traditional roles, she seems to learn from that that Jewish children’s books as a whole have a problem.

I have to disagree with the overall picture Sigalow paints, though.

You can see my comments on the article if you visit Tablet (scroll to the bottom of the page), but I’d like to make a few more thoughts.

Jewish children’s books do have problems. Actually, many secular books have the same problems. Continue reading