My picture book, A Dozen Daisies for Raizy, has now been out for six years. With Shavuos just around the corner, I know that parents and teachers will be teaching about the holiday –some using my book, some not — and I thought I’d provide a few links to help them. Continue reading
My best friend and fellow writer, Cy, sent me a link to an article in the current Atlantic about why writers are infamous procrastinators. Read it here and tell me what you think. And don’t forget to include the reasons you procrastinate in your comment. Personally, it took a relative taking me aside and disabusing me of the notion that talent is the source of success (or even deserves any praise). But my current biggest barrier to writing is poor time management. I tend to pick distractions or less important writing tasks over the more serious ones.
As I mentioned last week in passing, I spent a good chunk of time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur preparing a play for the kids at my synagogue. The topic: the story of Jonah, which is read during the afternoon of Yom Kippur.
Now, I’ve always thought this story was packed with humor. I mean, G-d singles Jonah out for a little tete-a-tete and he hops on a boat headed in the opposite direction as the mission G-d sent him on? Then he sleeps through the ginormous storm that has everyone else aboard freaking out and get swallowed by a giant fish. Come on!
And when Jonah finally makes it to Nineveh, it gets even wackier. Continue reading
The kids are back in school, and I am back to work. For four days, at least.
Because of the unfortunate discrepancy between the Jewish calendar and that of the traditional American school, my children will not experience a full week of school this fall until October. That means that even though their summer vacation is over, my days of child-wrangling are not.
It’s really important to me to take advantage of time alone during the day. I cherish the time I get to spend with my kids over summers and holidays, but when they are home, I can only write at night. Unfortunately, I am decidedly a morning person. The quality and quantity of what I write is strongly affected by my kids’ days off.
So today I tried to be as productive as possible. I got to pray at length, spent a couple hours on a story, took care of some housework, and made sure to listen to some music. As a treat, G-d sent a playdate for my preschooler to extend the quiet a little longer.
One of the areas I’ve decided to work on this new year is time-wasting, so I tried very hard not to lose too much time to unnecessary internet surfing or checking my email repeatedly. I fought off the time wasting habit better than I expected today.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring? And Friday, for sure, will be spent minding my kids and preparing for the Yom Kippur fast. Sukkot will start just a few days later. But at least this evening, I’m wrapping up a workday feeling I did my best, B”H.
Things have been a bit crazy in the Klempner household as of late. We’re already in the week of the Jewish holiday of Shavuos, the subject of my picture book, A Dozen Daisies for Raizy.
A few weeks ago, in honor of the 5th anniversary of Raizy, I asked librarians, teachers, and parents about how they’ve reacted to Raizy. Here are some of the responses:
From fabulous librarian Davida Levin, of the Torah Day School of Atlanta:
I love using the book every Shavuos with my K-2 library groups, and was delighted that several of the 1st and 2nd grade girls said that they also own the book.
This year we talked about what the daisies meant to the recipient and decided that they meant “I like you” or “I care about you”. The second graders were able to say that the flowers were a reminder of Raizy’s invitation or offer of help. This year I gave the girls the attached pages to fill in during check out time–one even suggested that you could send them to Hashem, but another was sure that Hashem can make His own flowers.
Last year, I gave out a couple craft ideas to create daisies for Shavuos following a school visit I did here in L.A. Here are a few more last-minute ideas, with an emphasis on projects that are particularly kid-friendly and can be done mostly with stuff you can find around the house:
Have a great holiday everyone!