I am thankful for…

being done with my novel!


I closed in yesterday with 50,035 words and am taking a major break. Towards the end, it was really bad.  But your support helped me out so much, and I want to thank you for answering my questions and commenting on my blog posts, which is part of what kept me going and kept me semi-sane.

All’s well that ends well in the novel.  But now comes the hard part-editing.  Anyone know any literary agents that would be interested in a semi-chaotic attempt to satirize Russian Jewish life? :)

Also, Happy Thanksgiving.


NaNoWriMo: Day 15


30,249 words! Whew.  I am over the half-way hump and on my way to the last 20,000 words (can you really call 20,000 words your last words?)  Michael is on his way from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea for Shabbat with two random Israeli girls who are driving to BeerSheva and also want to escape from the city in case they get Jerusalem syndrome.  Michael, obviously, has not had any luck on the marriage front yet.  Although, he has gotten an email which seems very promising.

I want to take this time to really thank everyone who’s been supporting my annoying journey. Thanks for answering my questions, and an especially big thanks to Otir for singing a song for me!

A quick note:  I guest-posted yesterday at Milena Thomas’s Art and Avarice cultural economics blog about artists in society (if you haven’t been yet, you should go check it out.  Milena also writes a very interesting personal blog called Quiet the Thunder. )


1. Is it still seen as embarassing to have met friends or significant others online, or is the stigma gone?

2. How often are you out in the sun before you start getting sunburned, and how can you feel that you are sunburned?


Finally Friday!

Today marks the confluence of a couple of things:

1. I’ve reached the 25,000 word mark on my novel!  That’s half-way.  Now the rest should be downhill, right? At this point, I’m going on 6 hours of sleep. If you’re interested in seeing my writing graphed mathematically, my awesome friend @carolejesse had done just that.

2.  It’s Mr. B’s birthday!  He’s turning a quarter of a century.  That means he should now be wise, right?

3.  I’m guest-posting on my friend Hadassah’s blog, about “My Judaism.”  It’s a long and sordid tale, so you can head over to check it out if you’re interested.

Here are some Friday links for you (because I definitely skipped last week):

  1. Why giving money to beggars doesn’t help the poor in India (or elsehwere) by my online and offline friend GoriGirl
  2. The very bad poetry contest: The Fruit Standkeeper, Wroclaw
  3. Russia’s conquering zeros (Mr. B says this article isn’t entirely true)
  4. Feminism and the road trip
  5. Beautiful Lake Baikal.

NaNoWriMo: Day 11


Well, I’m almost at the half-way mark (23,235 words).  Michael is on his way to Jerusalem, continuing the next part of his trip, not having had any success with the ladies yet, and has left his host family and struck out on his own. I’ve been supplementing my research with a little bit of audio-visual material. The first has been watching Moscow on the Hudson on the recommendation of friends, and so far (we’ve only watched half)  it’s been wonderful.  More to come on this movie later.

The second bit of research has devastated me.  Did you know that there are other Russian Jews, talking about being Russian Jews out there?  And that they’re a million times funnier than I am?  Yeah, I didn’t think it was possible, either.   But here is Boris Zilberman, talking about how much he hates his Russian name.  Goal?  To try to interview him for le blog.

Questions for today:

1. Do you think I’ll ever finish writing this novel?
2. Would you have the courage to set out on your own in a strange country to sightsee?


NaNoWriMo: Day 8


Total word count to date:17121 and it’s starting to get harder and harder to write.

Michael has arrived in Israel, been terrorized by a dog more than actual terrorism, has met his host family’s kids, and had his first day out in Tel Aviv.  Now, as the sun sets, he prepares for a dinner party that his family is having so he can “meet” this girl that Genya wanted to set him up with.  In light of this,

1.  What is the worst thing that could go wrong at a party where two people are artificially arranged to meet each other?

2.  What kind of food to serve at such a gathering, and are the girl’s parents eager to have a potential suitor from America?

This weekend, I stumbled across two articles, neither of which are particularly encouraging to my writing process.  The first is advice to aspiring writers from John Irving in which he says that he would shoot himself if he were 27 and currently writing a novel, and the second is from Wall Street Journal, of writing habits of famous authors.  All of them are pretty painful and I can completely relate.  Maybe someday someone will write about me, “She used to sit at her computer, screaming at herself that pretty much everything she wrote was horrendous, then wrote a hundred more words, thought horrendous again.  But now she is a bajillionaire novelist who has frequent lunches with Orhan Pamuk and Junot Diaz, teaching them how to write,  and laughs all the way to the bank in her black BMW.”