Please welcome Dorit Sasson

Dorit Sasson has just  published her memoir about being a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces: Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces (She Writes Press). And, as if being in an army wasn't brave enough, Dorit has taken the next brave step - she fought off her inner critic nay sayers during the whole memoir writing process. Please welcome Dorit today and read how she chased her inner critic demons away. Working with the Inner Critic When Writing a Memoir by Dorit Sasson Somewhere along the writer's journey, the writer confronts the inner critic. It often likes to say: "Why the heck are you writing this? You know you aren’t going to write like your favorite authors, so just quit now!” Most people don’t understand a writer’s daily battles. They don’t care. They just want the book. They see the author’s life from the sidelines. The author cranks out a book, becomes published, gets on the New York Times or Amazon bestselling list, gets … [Read more...]

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The Yiddish language is making a come back

An October 2013 article in the Huffington Post discusses the revival of training in Yiddish that is helping to keep the language alive for the next generation. This is of great interest to me since I chose to use Yiddish words in my novel, Papa’s Shoes. My resources were online Yiddish to English dictionaries and a wonderful old book called  The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten. My mother gave my husband a copy back in 1970 when we got married. I think she was trying to entice him to convert. One of my novel’s beta readers, who is also not Jewish, did a study of the words I used in the book, dividing them into three categories: Words he uses in his own vocabulary, for example: Goy – a person who is not Jewish Kibitz – to offer unsolicited advice as a spectator Mazel tov – good luck Mensch – a special man or person, someone respected Nebbish – a nobody, simpleton, weakling Schmooze – talk, conversation, chat Shtup – push, vulgarism for sexual intercourse Tokhter – dau … [Read more...]

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A restaurant rant – why I won’t eat at Gjelina’s anymore

I met my friend Gail for lunch yesterday. She suggested a place about half-way between our homes on Abbott Kinney in Venice Ca., Gjelina, one of the new restaurant faves. I had been there once before about a year ago, and she goes there often with her son. The menu there is quite creative. Gail had a chickpea stew with greens, israeli couscous and spiced yogurt and harissa, and I ordered a tuna sandwich with roasted peppers, arugula, and caper aoioli. I always order mindful of my dietary constraints. By a choice I made over thirty years ago I don't eat red meat of any kind, and I am lactose intolerant so I cannot eat dairy products. We arrived a few minutes before Gjelina opened at 11:30 so we didn’t have to wait for a table. However, by the time we left at 1:00 the place was jammed with people waiting around the room's perimeter for tables. I suppose that they are so busy gives them permission for their no-substitution policy. This policy was stated to me when I asked that t … [Read more...]

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The eve of New Year’s Eve

I think this is a perfect day for looking back. Usually we go to an eve, eve party where we always share about our events of the year. Since it was cancelled this year, I'll share our major happenings of 2011 here. Major Happenings of 2011: 1. My husband, Bob, and I traveled to Amador County and Sutter Creek, CA with Manhattan Beach friends to taste some native zinfandel wines in January. On our first night there Bob fell and broke the three metatarsal bones in his right foot. Bob had foot surgery to repair and pin his broken bones together in February and had to be off his foot for eight weeks. He got around on a knee scooter (Rolleraid) or crutches. I was his driver. Bob on his knee scooter (Rolleraid) 2. On May 8 (Mother’s Day) my memoir Leaving the Hall Light On was released by Lucky Press. My successful book launch reading and signing at our local independent bookstore, Pages, was held on May 12. A couple of weeks later we celebrated my birthday in Lake O … [Read more...]

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Pirates and book sales – any connection?

October started out with a bang and a trip via the Catalina Express to Two Harbors for Lisa Smyth’s pirate birthday party. This was Buccaneer Days on the island and everyone came in costume. Lisa won the prize with seven costume changes. Bob and I bought pirate hats and he got a swashbuckler’s black velvet coat with brass buttons, while I mostly commandeered stuff hanging in my closet to bring for the festivities. Needless to say many people we met enjoyed themselves with their brains thoroughly adjusted by pirate’s rum. I stuck with my usual red wine. The Birthday Wench  As you can see the Two Harbors (formerly called Isthmus) village of Catalina is almost barren – one hotel, one restaurant and bar, lots of camp grounds, boating and other water activities, about 300 locals, and lots of buffalos left over from an old Tom Mix movie. It was absolutely beautiful this past weekend. Gorgeous Harbor   And now that that not-to-be-missed experience is over it’s back to work and … [Read more...]

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My writer’s life – lots of action these days

Here’s a little run-down of what’s been happening in my life as a writer in the last few weeks. My second piece for Naturally Savvy went live this week, http://www.naturallysavvy.com/inspiration-and-motivation/fitness-over-60-and-counting, an interview about a woman I’ve known for lots of years, Becky Neumann. I wanted to profile her because as an over sixty personal trainer and fitness instructor, she’s so fit and so inspiring to people over sixty and way beyond. Becky - Sixty-three and Counting I was asked and so I wrote another column for Huffington Post’s subvertical, Aging Gracefully, but I haven’t heard back yet from my contact there. My last piece for Huffington Post was for the That’s Fit subvertical – that turned out to be quite well received. So even though I’m a little nervous about not hearing I’ll be positive based on the response I got about the That’s Fit piece I did for them. I’d very much like to keep up my relationship with Huff Post. And as a result of my W … [Read more...]

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Catching up

On Saturday we took our great niece to the Hollywood Museum housed in the old Max Factor building on Highland and Hollywood boulevards. This was the first stop on our last day of touring with her that also included the Hardrock Cafe, seeing "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" at the Sunset Boulevard Cinerama Dome theater, and dinner at Musso and Frank's Grill - the oldest Hollywood restaurant. (The menu is very much in keeping with the age of the restaurant.) She was indeed ready to go home yesterday and rest up. My favorite exhibits at the museum were of Lucille Ball's 100th birthday and Jean Harlow. We were there on August 6 - the day Lucy was born and the day Jean died. But,those displays were a very small portion of the museum's many thousands of items. It would take days to see everything there. Beautiful Art Deco Lobby of the Hollywood Museum, located in the historic Max Factor Building, originally built as the Hollywood Fire and Safe building in 1913. Today, the … [Read more...]

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