A Happy Tisha B’Av?

Monday night and Tuesday, the Jewish community commemorated the 9th of Av, the date associated with the destruction of both Temples, as well as other traumatic events suffered by the our people. Late Monday night, I made an appearance on Jew In The City, Allison Josephs’s outstanding blog about Judaism in the modern world. My post, “A Tisha B’Av of Joy?” described the way my family “celebrated” the 9th of Av last year. You can find my guest post here, if you haven’t read it already. Comments and sharing are appreciated, as always!

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Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

I haven’t gotten much writing done on my “major” projects this summer, but I’ve gotten lots of reading done (like, up to 7 books a week) and have been spending a lot of time with the family. Some of my favorite moments so far this summer: seeing my nonagenarian grandmother; showing the beauty of Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, to my husband; Continue reading

Glixman Sales, Writing While Parenting, and Other Summertime Thoughts

I heard from the CEO of Menucha Publishers last week, and he says that while there are no official numbers yet, the sales of Glixman in a Fix are strong. I’m a bit frustrated because due to the timing (the U.S. release was just before Shavuos, and now my kids are all home from school), I can’t really spend the time and energy on promoting the book that I’d like.

Writing has been hard, too. I’ve tried to write in the early hours while my kids are still either asleep or curled up with a book, but everything is slow, slow, slow. Still, I managed to write a short essay last week, have added a bit to my novel-in-progress, and started a new short story yesterday.

I’m trying to remind myself that summertime brings all sorts of new and different experiences, especially with everyone home from school and no camp in sight. Hopefully, all those novelties will feed my writing once I have more time on my hands again. But I can’t help feeling frustrated.

Drat! Writers’ Problems

Usually, I pat myself on the back for writing my first drafts in longhand. I fill notebook after notebook. I’m a big fan of cursive and just love the way pen feels as it loops and drags across paper. And my mind operates differently with pen in hand than it does with fingers on my keyboard.

But today, I am cranky because of my longhand habit.

An editor reached out to me about an article. I told her I have the perfect personal essay to suit her needs. All I need to do is find it.

Just in case I’d typed it up already – I suspected I hadn’t but wasn’t entirely sure – I searched my hard drive. Zilch.

I thought, “Maybe I wrote about it in an email to my sister or something,” so I searched my “Sent” box. Nada.

“No problem,” I thought. “I’ll just find the notebook I wrote in last summer.”

I have found lots and lots of notebooks – but not the one I journaled in last summer.

If you hear something while reading this post, it’s probably the sound of my head hitting my desk. Tomorrow I get to dig around some more, and then – if totally desperate – I’ll have to reconstruct the entire incident I want to write about.

Lesson learned: if you want to keep journals and notebooks full of lovely cursive first drafts, organize those journals and notebooks.

Are you a writer? If so, what kind of writers’ problems and failures have you experienced? Feel free to share in comments. I promise to empathize.

I’d love to get some feedback!

Glixman in a Fix has been available in the U.S. for a while now, and I’d love to get some feedback from readers!

I have had a lot of people tell me they have purchased the book, their schools’ library has ordered it, or that their children are reading it. A few students from my kids’ schools have run up to me after school to tell me they went to bed late the night before because they were up late reading Glixman.

First feedback from kid about Glixman

An actual thank you note! ❤

And I even got a real, snail mail thank you note from Josh P. of Los Angeles! Continue reading

Shavuos almost here…

With Shavuos starting tomorrow night, that means school librarians and parents have been reading A Dozen Daisies for Raizy to their younger ones. I keep having kids come up to me, “Mrs. Klempner, did you really write about Raizy?” and “When will Raizy have another adventure?”

It’s very touching, but also frustrating. I’ve tried to sell other stories about Raizy to the publisher – with no success – and the book sold out about a month ago. You can’t buy it for any kind of reasonable price on Amazon anymore. And the publisher hasn’t decided whether to issue a new edition or not. I’d LOVE it if they did. Next year will be Raizy’s 10 anniversary, I think, and wouldn’t it be amazing if they re-issued it, maybe with an update?

Right now I’m brainstorming a sequel for Glixman in a Fix as well as working on my long-suffering adult novel. I really, really want to finish a complete first draft by next Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the Jewish month of Tammuz). If I can send it off to a publisher by the end of the summer, I will be overjoyed.

Also, if you have picked up Glixman, and you or one of your kids or your students have read it – it would be amazing if you could mosey over to either website you purchased it from or Goodreads and write a review. Your reviews will help Glixman find other readers!!!

At last! Glixman is available in the States!!!

Copies of Glixman in a Fix are in the U.S. now, and they will be available for purchase starting this week at Jewish bookstores nationwide, and on the Menucha Publishers website. The continue to be available at select locations throughout Israel.

Glixman in a Fix is the novelization of my Binah Between serial (which concluded two years ago). Mendel Glixman is a teenager with a secret, a secret which prevents him from making – and keeping – friends. But when trouble comes along, he’ll need some friends to get out of his terrible fix.

At 278 pages, Glixman in a Fix, makes a perfect read for readers ages 9 to 14 years old – and anyone else who likes a book with a few thrills and a big heart.

See here for purchasing details!

(I’m still waiting for my copies to arrive, but nonetheless, this is a step in the right direction!)