September 29, 2017

10Q days 6-8

Here is my question and answer for 10Q Day 6, and only questions for Days 7 and 8:

Q6. Describe one thing you'd like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?
A. It may be a total fantasy on my part, but by next October, I would like to have my new historical novel in contract with Penguin Random House for release in 2019. In other words, pretty much everything I need to have done will be done: final draft written and edited for content.

This is important to me because I suspect it will be my final historical novel, and the one I've wanted to write even before "Rashi's Daughters." I know the subject matter will make publishing a challenge, but I am determined to get it out even if I have to self-publish again.

You may have noticed that there is no title for this novel. I definitely have one but for various reasons, the least of which is that Penguin lawyers say not to publicize it until we actually have a signed contract, I will not disclose it. That is partly why I am not posting online my 10Q answers for Day 7 [How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?] and Day 8 [Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in the coming year?]. They will remain private.

Posted by maggie at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2017

10Q question 5

Here is my question and answer for 10Q Day 5:
Q. Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? "Spiritual" can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

A. This is always a difficult question for me since I rarely have any experiences I would consider spiritual, even allowing for 10Q's broad definition.

But this year, I did something that qualifies under all their categories: my trip to England in late December to join almost 3000 Jews for a week at Limmud UK, where I was invited to give five presentations about the research behind my books. I also had time to attend sessions by some of the finest Jewish teachers and speakers in the world. However, some of my best experiences came in the cavernous dining hall, where I participated in discussions [or just overheard them] as I shared meals with some amazing scholars and students from Israel, Europe, and even Australia.

It was a week of complete Jewish immersion, including celebrating Shabbat and Hanukah, with Jews of every observance level from Orthodox to secular. I guess it doesn't get more "spiritual" than that. Check out this link to Limmud to learn more.

Posted by maggie at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2017

!0 Q DAy 4

Here is my question and answer for 10Q Day 4.
Q. Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

A. The recent hurricane in the Caribbean apparently destroyed much of the US Virgin Islands, where Dave and I spent a week last December when I was scholar-in-residence at the Historical Synagogue in St. Thomas. Everything was so lush, gorgeous flowers of every color growing wherever we went.

Now I worry about the Jewish community, especially from what little I see online. I fear for the St. Thomas historic synagogue and hope there wasn't too much damage. I have seen horrific photos of what's left of where we wen hiking and snorkeling on St. John and it fills me with sadness that we were among the last to see the Virgin Islands in its glory.

How quickly something that seemed so permanent is gone. I realize there's much I take for granted that is actually more temporary than I assume. I need to stop and smell the roses, as the saying goes, and appreciate all the good things that can be so fleeting.

For latest info on whatís happening in the US Virgin Islands go to their newspaper link

Posted by maggie at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2017

Day 3 10Q

Here is my 10Q question and answer for Day 3.
Q. Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

A. In the spring my daughter-in-law Tamara's parents moved from Seattle to Huntington Beach, only about a half hour drive away. This means our son Ari's children have both grandparents and a set of great-grandparents in So Calif. So we will see much more of them, especially in the summer. It also means they won't have to stay the entire time at our house each visit but can bounce around between the three houses. I'm so happy that I'll be seeing our AZ grandkids a lot more, especially now that they're old enough to remember us.

Posted by maggie at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2017

10Q question 2

I didn't post over Rosh Hashana and Shabbat, so here is my 10Q entry for Day 2.
Q. Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you're especially proud of from this past year?

A. I am especially proud of how I have greatly increased how much I exercise. For the last twelve months, since my daughter bought me a gym membership, I have been working out with weights twice a week [when not on book tour]. I can see how much stronger I am, and that my clothes fit better though I haven't lost any weight.

In addition, I started playing Pokemon Go a year ago with my grandchildren, with the result that while they have dropped out, I have walked over 1000 miles [1732 kilometers actually] in 8 states and 2 countries pursuing, and eventually capturing, these imaginary creatures.

Posted by maggie at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2017

I'm back & doing 10Q

L' Shana Tova. This time I have a better excuse for not blogging until today: I am the new Ritual Chair for my synagogue and as you can imagine, the last 6 weeks have been crunch time. Between making sure all High Holy Day ducks are lined up in a row, Iím particularly responsible for our lay-led second day Rosh Hashana services. At the same time Iím finalizing arrangements for a fall book tour to the Midwest that starts Oct 14 [see this link for details].

To make up for this long absence Iím going to try to share my 10Q questions and answers this year in ten posts, or at least those that arenít too sensitive. The questions are the same every year [the Jewish year 5777] and it can be amazing to see what I wrote in previous years. So here goes with the first question and my answer. Q: Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

A: Unfortunately, my answer will probably be similar to many others doing 10Q this year, in that last year's significant experience was Donald Trump being elected president. My immediate reaction was shock, outrage, and deep dismay. I'd worked hard for Hilary Clinton and was led to believe she'd win.

Today I am angry and discouraged in addition to the feelings above. I have given up reading anything political on FaceBook or Twitter because I know I can't trust it, and am skeptical even of mainstream media. I am horrified at the increasing prominence of neo-Nazis and the alt-right. Still, I refuse to give up. I have marched for women and Planned Parenthood, and against denying climate change. I try to keep up with whatís really happening in Washington, especially with healthcare and the environment.

Posted by maggie at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)