But first an intermission (what I like to also refer to as PROCRASTINATION).
I got my figurative nose out of my figurative book long enough to see what else was going on in the J-Blogosphere and came across JBlog Awareness Month from JBlogosphere:
I love it! Count me in.
"What I'm hoping for, is that people will recognize this new project by upping the amount of Jblog roundups they do, especially to blogs that they are just finding for the first time. Try to include one new blog, or one blog you never read before in your links."
Blogs I come across that I enjoy reading, either regularly or occassionally are in my blogroll (see right). But for new ones, I'll start with one I just found today that I'm really, really excited about:
One of my favorite musicians is Noah Budin. I heard him perform at a CAJE conference some years ago when I was still teaching and I was just mesmerized. He's the only singer/songwriter I've found so far who can do an authentic Jewish "gospel" with his song Joshua's Band from the album Hallelujah Land. (I hope that Real Audio link works for you; I couldn't get it to work for me. But it comes from this page at JewishStore.com.) He's an incredibly down-to-earth kind of guy, and an awesome musician. And, he answers fan mail! (I know from experience.)
His blog for his NEW CD (WOOHOO!!!) called Metaphor is here:
Another J-blogger and fellow novelist is marallyn ben moshe, whose blog I wouldn't have found had she not left a comment for me on the previous post. Her blog is at:
Thanks Marallyn! And good luck with Emma Shelby is No More!
BTW, I love hearing from other Jewish writers, especially fiction writers. Keep 'em coming!
Along those lines, I just recently came across Seraphic Secret (Seraphic Press) and I can't help but encourage you to help support another independent Jewish publisher. We need all the support we can get, and while Seraphic Secret is probably a much more well known blog than mine, if you haven't checked it out, please do so.
Some of you may know about this one; I've put links up before, but on the heels of talking about Jewish fiction, I have to again promote Storytellers at this blog:
This is an awesome idea - a forum for beginning, amateur, and professional storytellers (such as us writers) to share short stories for the fun of it. There's some serious talent here (and no, that's not a self promotion).
There are some other new blogs I've run across, from the informative to the poignant, and I mean nothing negative by not listing them here. Mostly I'm not because they've been listed elsewhere, on blogs much more popular than mine, and also because it's already nine o'clock at night and I have an hour before I need to start thinking about bedtime. Which means only an hour of writing. (Priorities, I know...)
One note I will make. I read a brief bit of one blog about a woman dealing with depression, and the part that struck me was that she said she was falling through the cracks with regard to her rabbi's attention (or lack thereof) and she was letting it happen because to make herself seen was too painful.
That just made me angry. Not at her, but at the situation. HELLO-O! What does it say about us as a community that we've got people clearly needing help who are willing to disappear because disappearing hurts less than getting the Jewish help they need?
If David (my protagonist rabbi) ever did something like that (not noticing someone needing help), I think I'd smack him upside the head. Fictionally, of course. No violence being promoted on this blog. But it makes me feel helpless that I keep hearing about people feeling hurt or ignored by their rabbis (this is NOT the first sort of story like this that I've heard, and I've blogged a bit about this before) and there is not a single thing I can do about it.
Except maybe work it into a subplot and hope that I can get the message out to/through my readers.
Having a disability myself (no, you don't need any more details than that), and with the incredibly difficult uphill struggle to get my community to even notice Jewish books being written and published here, to say nothing of supporting it, I can only imagine how hard it must be to have your whole self go unnoticed, and not just your work.
So... any rabbis reading this (it can't hurt to hope, right?), or anyone who can influence their rabbis, if you're paying attention to who might need help and isn't asking for it, good. Thank you.
And if, as in my experience, you're noticing the squeaky wheels and not the silences, please pay more attention to who's at risk and not reaching out. I know you're busy. Believe me, I know better than many. (I've lost count of how many rabbis I've interviewed now... a few dozen?)
But ask yourself this: who's withdrawing? Who's not looking you in the eye? Who says they're fine but you think maybe they aren't? Those are the people you need to pay attention to. Please.
Okay, rant over. Just had to get that off my chest.
And now I have to get David and friends out of a sticky situation involving, of all things, crime scene tape and a synagogue window riddled with bullet holes.
Just a shameless plug there...