Friday, February 15, 2013

Some Very Exciting Writing-Induced News
Yes, it's true. I've totally neglected this blog. All sorts of things got in the way, kids, a messy house (it's still there--so are the kids, come to think of it,) other writing, time-wasting, that sort of thing. And then I ended up starting an additional blog--sort of an ongoing project of mine, in which I write about, dissect, and expose Jewish outreach efforts. Okay, that sounds harsher than it is. I'm trying to educate people on the deceptive tactics that are used by outreach professionals in order to draw people in. If you're interested, you can read it on Jewish Outreach: What Your Rabbi Isn't Telling You. But I'm really here because so many great things happened recently and I really just want to share.
On February 8, 2013, By The Overpass published "Unconventional Love Story,"  a story I wrote a while back that, in some ways, celebrates the conformity in the refusal to conform.
This past week, I received a copy of By the Millpond, the Monroe Free Library's quarterly journal-styled newsletter, in which my essay "Journeying Outward with John Steinbeck" was printed. It's local and I love that I finally have something academic in print that didn't come from my own printer. Not only do I hope that people read it, but I hope that people will then be inspired to read some Steinbeck. (Yeah, I love him.)
Okay, now, here's the reallyreallyreallyreallyreally exciting news.
I wrote "Total Immersion" several years ago. The idea for it came probably in 1999 but I put it on hold while I neglected my MA thesis to take care of my kids, then moved upstate, then moved to Israel, then moved back, then resumed work on and finished my MA thesis (about John Steinbeck!) and started writing a lot more fiction. I wrote, rewrote, and revised "Total Immersion." In fit of complete egocentric arrogance, I submitted it to The New Yorker. Maybe I just enjoy rejection. Anyway, it was rejected six times from six publications (which means that lots of editors got to read it and reject it, but they got to read it! and reject it!) over a period of 822 days in total. This number doesn't figure in the edits and rewrites that this piece suffered (or maybe I suffered) over the years, but like, here's the thing. IT WAS FINALLY ACCEPTED!!!!!!!!!!!
And here's the even more incredible thing: Not only was it accepted, it was accepted by Jewish, a site with some big names sitting on the editorial and advisory boards. Based on the writers who have been published on their site (Elie Wiesel!!!!!) they seem to be highly selective. So, well, I'm sort of really very excited. (Okay, I was shrieking for about an hour and dancing around like a lunatic when I received the acceptance letter and contract.) I celebrated by not clearing the kitchen counters (like I had planned for yesterday evening) in order to post multiple exclamation-marked responses on Facebook to my friends who congratulated me. So, I'm soooooooooooooooo excited.
I just had to share.