Jim Shepard shares insights on writing fiction that works with "historical or real events." Good, solid stuff there. (Thanks to Luna Park for the link.)
Take a few moments to read Lisa Romeo's smile-and-chuckle-inducing take on the challenges of "beginnings" right here.
Over on My Machberet ("machberet" being the Hebrew word for "notebook"), I've recently posted about the Sydney Taylor Book Awards, a call to hear from Jewish women writers, and an opportunity to publish film reviews on Nextbook (warning--that's not a paying gig, as far as I can tell, but there IS a non-cash grand prize for the "best" review). If you haven't visited My Machberet in awhile (or ever), I invite and encourage you to do so. But please be forewarned that it's my refuge from contentiousness and the dialogues des sourds I encounter too many other places. It is unabashedly pro-Israel.
I've had a really hard couple of weeks, so please, I beg you, do not post anti-Israel comments there (or here). I simply will not approve them. Believe me, I know what all the anti-Israel arguments are these days. It's extremely unlikely anyone can tell me something I haven't already read/heard, and it's basically impossible that you'll change my mind on this one.
Please remember that these blogs are my very own virtual living rooms: They're my parties, and I'll maintain the tenor that I want to. Todah rabah/thank you, and I hope those of you with particularly Jewish literary and cultural interests will nonetheless stop on by.