On the ‘elevator pitch’: My travels to the Jewish Book Council

On the ‘elevator pitch’: My travels to the Jewish Book Council

A verbal contract for travel was noted in my marriage agreement. My husband has kept that spoken clause without fail. We have been to many places in the world, but my husband always said that I only wanted to travel to places where I needed a passport. He was delighted when we received a passport traveling through the national parks. Now that I have books to promote, I am traveling more in the United States than I even did as a child. In my book travels, I have met many lovely people. Some of them I am able to now call friends. This is a benefit of travel anywhere, but when so many folks visit Santa Fe on holiday, I have more opportunity to see them again. Crossing the ocean is a bit more of a challenge. And I am reducing (slowly) my challenge as a shy and...

Facing History: What Do We Do About Injustice?

Facing History: What Do We Do About Injustice?

While in Boston last month for a book signing of Myopia, a memoir, I learned about an interesting organization called Facing History. It was started by a Boston elementary school teacher, and it has now become a global organization. Unfortunately, Albuquerque, New Mexico has no chapter. My new friend, Dr. Anna Ornstein, goes into Boston schools and speaks to junior high school and high school students about the Holocaust, racism, prejudice and what we can do about this now and in the future. As a survivor, she delivers a powerful message. She and her husband, the late Dr. Paul Ornstein, both survived the Holocaust with only one parent, she with her mother and Paul with his father. However, Paul was separated from his father for the duration of the war, and Anna’s...

Celebrating sisters: Women’s History Month

Celebrating sisters: Women’s History Month

As many of you know from my book Myopia, a memoir, my mother was disabled by an aneurysm at my birth. For the next few years, she was in and out of the hospital for surgeries and forced to take heavy-duty medication that left her sleepy and depressed. My sister was eight years old at the time. Some sisters would have blamed me. After all, she was only eight and very angry at the loss of the mother she had known before I was born. My mother had graduated first in her class in mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1930s. She was a brilliant and talented woman who was suddenly, overnight, no longer engaged in life. But instead of trying to get rid of me or ignore me, my sister embraced me. She turned the love my father was too busy to receive, and my...

DACA Dad: What If…?

DACA Dad: What If…?

My father did not become a citizen until he was an adult. He fled the Russian pogroms to create a better life. Gratitude can shape some pretty good citizens. My sister is now an activist and works for the rights of immigrants. I am so proud of her. I did most of my activism during the 1960s and 1970s, although I do sign many petitions and support special candidates and causes. We were on the phone chatting last week, when she said something that really made me sad. When I researched our father’s papers for Myopia, a memoir, it was the first time I realized that my father did not become a citizen until he was an adult. What the reason could be for this is only speculation. I am sure that they were too busy surviving to consider this issue. They had no money and...

Pleasant Encounters: A Great Book Club Session on What Survives

Pleasant Encounters: A Great Book Club Session on What Survives

Due to the persistence of a neighbor I had never really met, Ruth Ives (front left in purple), I was invited to a “meet the author” at the Placitas Library book club’s meetings. It was Ruth’s turn to select a book, and I had just met Geri Verble at the Hoot Gallery (see her fabulous jewelry there) where she purchased my novel, What Survives. Geri told Ruth that if she chose my book, I lived right in the neighborhood and probably would agree to come to answer questions. What a smart and lovely group of women! I enjoyed this event immensely. And I did get to meet and speak with Ruth at my Bookworks’ reading for my newest book, Myopia, a memoir, in October. Book Clubs, like most other clubs, can be as stimulating as they can be dull. This one is stellar....

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