creating community for English writers in Israel
- Your publications and news
- The Writing Life
1. Your publications and news
- Yael Unterman’s solo performance play “After Eden: The first family conflict,” which has been performed in the US, UK and Australia, will be performed in Jerusalem on Nov. 13th, Modi’in on Nov. 22nd and Tel Aviv on Nov. 27th. The play is preceded by a Bibliodramatic study of Genesis, Ch. 4. For details, contact Yael at firstname.lastname@example.org Yael is a graduate of the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University.
- Susan Kennedy, an experienced editor, is available to look at manuscripts, theses and other general or literary work. Tel. 0524-462302.
- Jennifer Lang “finally got brave enough to send out some stories to various literary reviews/journals and received many rejections. But amongst the rejections, there was one acceptance letter.” You can read Jennifer’s story in Vol 10 of the South Loop Review at http://english.colum.edu/southloop/archive/vol10/vol10.html
- Rachel Gurevich’s poem “Five Seeds” appears in Literary Mama at www.literarymama.com/poetry/archives/002179.html
- Linda Goldberg had two poems published in Voices Israel 2008. Her first book of short stories Here I Am has been published and can be purchased through her website. http://www.lindajgoldberg.com
- Shelley Leveson, currently a student in The Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program at Bar-Ilan and a publishing mavin, published a work of creative nonfiction in the SNReview. Check out http://www.snreview.org/0108Leveson.html Shelley would also like to share with you this website about publishing: http://newpages.com/litmags/index.htm Once a story has been published, even on a small online ezine, no other journal will touch it, says Shelley. For more information, contact Shelley at email@example.com
- Leah Kotkes’ website www.lifework.co.il promotes Jewish women writers from around the world. Her online journal for Jewish women readers and writers can be found at http://www.lifework.co.il/newsletters/newsletter1/newsletter.html It includes a “Memoir Writing Lesson” by Vera Schwarcz and lots of other valuable advice.
- Karen Kay Craigo, editor-in-chief of Mid-American Review writes in a newsletter that now is a good time to submit material to MAR, before the next big rush in early January. To read about the journal, visit www.http://www.bgsu.edu/studentlife/organizations/midamericanreview/index2.html
2. The Writing Life
Often I feel like starting this short column by asking “What writing life?” Ever since I finished Bethlehem Road, my collection of eleven stories, I haven’t had the vaguest interest in writing anything longer than Yes We Can. On the other hand, I’ve experienced greater joy in the kitchen, delighting in the simple pleasure of throwing things together in a pot without measuring anything, using the same abandon I use in a first draft. These dishes are not always edible, but so what? I have a compost pile that, like the waste basket, accepts everything.
Ever since finishing Bethlehem Road, I’ve spent more time on the yoga mat. By Pesach, I will be able to stand on my head without the support of a wall. This practice may be more valuable for my psyche than writing. The ultimate way to live, probably, would be writing while standing on one’s head. If I master this, I promise to lead a one-day retreat to help others learn the art. Yes we can.
I’m also spending more time reading. Two books that I’ve enjoyed lately are After Dark by Haruki Murakami and On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.
I wish reading and writing didn’t involve so much sitting. Bored by the chair, I asked my brother, who works for the Sports Authority in the US, about an enormous inflated ball that he uses when sitting at his desk. He highly recommends it. I will pick one up in Cleveland over Thanksgiving. Then I’ll be able to bounce when I’m sitting in front of the computer. My writing, I assume, will become more lively.
I received an encouraging email from one of the agents in the New York literary agency where I sent Bethlehem Road. “I am very enthusiastic” were her words, the words I carved into the door of my office, the words that made me cry, not a teary cry, but one in which the abdominal muscles contracted in a deep way, almost like when I heard I was a grandmother. “Very enthusiastic about your collection,” she wrote. I expected a BUT in the next sentence. But it wasn’t there.
Then the markets crashed, crash, are crashing. If Bethlehem Road never gets published, I will blame Lehman Brothers and greedy hedge fund salespeople. It’s so much easier to blame others than take responsibility for my own stories that may lack proper pacing or good sex.
I’m not writing, but I am confident that one day, after I bounce around the room and stand on my head and cook floor soap soup, I will want to hanker down to some character who has a problem, some voice that is dying to get out of the dark closet. On that day time will stand still as it does when you are falling in love or when you’re immersed in writing a scene. On that day I’ll remind myself that even when I don’t write, I’m still a writer.
Yes I will.