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

My Coronavirus Diary, Part 2

man using laptop on table against white background

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I got several positive comments on the first part of my quarantine diary, so here are some more glimpses of life in the Klempner household while under Safer at Home orders here in L.A. Continue reading

Cheer Up a Friend (and Yourself) with Snail Mail

Want to know how to surprise a friend, whether they are in quarantine across the country or one of your “far away/so close” neighbors who you saw daily in pre-quarantine days? Want to cheer up someone totally alone in their home due to COVID-19?

SEND THEM SNAIL MAIL.

Last week, I had done some coloring of “color yourself” postcards my daughter had, and then sent off little haikus on them to some people who thought would appreciate them. I got texts and emails and phone calls from people thanking me for them, and that was yet another nice human contact (albeit remotely).

But by the end of three days of coloring, my hands were super unhappy with me.

I spent a big chunk of this week doing some deep cleaning and a lot of organizing. I found a slew of cards and old stationery! Now I can send off more little notes and haikus w/out coloring first!

Want to know how to write a haiku?

Usually, the first line is 5 syllables long, the second is 7, the third is 5. There are other configurations, and honestly, you don’t have to be strict with yourself. The tone is sometimes nostalgic or full of pathos, but often, they are funny.

Here’s an example of something appropriate for a neighbor:

I’m sorry I can’t
bump into you in the milk
aisle. We’ll schmooze soon!

(If you choose to use mine for your card, PLEASE ATTRIBUTE IT TO ME.)

If you want me (for free!) to help you workshop your first attempt at a haiku to send to a friend or relative, drop me a comment. WIN_20200430_12_41_08_Pro

Me with some of my stationery find from deep in a file cabinet!

My Quarantine Diary, Part 1

Like the rest of you (I hope), I’ve been staying at home for the last seven weeks or so.

diary girl hand journal

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m not getting much work done, but I’ve been tweeting a lot, and I realized today that many of these tweets–particularly the poems I write–read like diary entries. Looking back at the last several weeks of tweets, I can see the story of my quarantine. Maybe some of these episodes will remind you of yours?

I’d love it if you commented with a poem about your own quarantine, thus far.

The last “normal” day:

I’m trying to stay chipper in the face of the news. Continue reading

Writing Goals for 5780

It’s almost Rosh Hashanah, which means a new Jewish year is ahead. It’s a good time for me to do some “accounting” for my professional life, looking back at this past year and also planning for the next one.

person holding pen and planner

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

This past year, I’ve made over four dozen submissions (most of which were rejections). I got some personal rejections along with some of the form letters, several of which were encouraging. A few of the submissions are still pending–there’s nothing for me to do but pray and keep writing at this point.  Continue reading

Returning from a Series of Misadventures

I decided to post today and realized that I hadn’t posted in months! I’m still researching the book I reported researching in my last post, but in between then and now:

  • I attended a great conference hosted by the Association of Jewish Libraries. While there I got super exciting, top-secret news and then was told not to share it. (G-d-willing, I’ll be able to in a few months.)
  • I figured out I couldn’t do the necessary research on that YA novel because my kids were home for the summer. I decided to shove the rest of the research off till fall.
  • I got a wacky new idea for a Middle Grade novel and started writing it.
  • I broke my arm. (Yes, my dominant arm.)

    man carrying backpack

    Fun fact: When you break the radial head, you don’t actually get a cast. But it still hurts like heck. (Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com)

  • I finished writing that MG novel, largely through voice-to-text and typing help from my husband and eldest son.
  • I sent that MG book out to beta testers. (Thank G-d, they liked it, and I got a slew of useful suggestions to improve the book.)
  • I got a rejection letter from the one agent who had the full manuscript of my adult-audience novel.
  • The kids went back to school.
  • I attended a great writing conference in Fallbrook at the library there.
  • And now, because I got so many useful tips about my adult novel submission and my MG novel submission, I’m shoving off my YA novel research just a bit more. Hopefully, I’ll get to it in October, because my plan for the moment is to write that book during NaNoWriMo.

What did you get not get done this summer? What happened instead? What are your fall plans? I’d love to hear the answers to these questions!