It’s only been a few days with the kids back to school (4/1), but I’m off to a running start.

I pressed SEND on my MG manuscript. I’m a’frayda’a what my agent is going to say. Just days before sending it, I added a Prologue (Before). Before takes place in 1922, 13 years before Chapter 1 and 11 years before my main character (Frayda) was even born. It’s narrated by her and tells the story of her when her parents met. I hope this is a good chance to hear Frayda’s voice and also provide more context to the story. We’ll see if it works. 

Since I’m waiting for my MG to come back to me, I wrote a first draft of a picture book today. It was something that I had originally written as a MG short story. I have no idea what to do with short stories so adapting it seemed like a good way to save something I really liked. The story now creates a back story for an item in the British Museum. This differs greatly from the MG short story version, but once I cut many of the terrible details that made it a great story (death and destruction), I needed to anchor it in something redemptive and stumbled up the item accidentally while searching online. I’m excited to share this with my critique partner and then hopefully send it off to my agent by the end of the week.

I’m still Storystorming. It’s always a highlight of my writing year.

I also formed a new co-marketing group with a few other incredible Jewish kidlit writers that I can’t wait to announce!

I even found a new hobby, etegami. Etegami is a Japanese art that is allegedly great for people without art experience and that is definitely me. I’m super excited for the chop that I got.

Hong Kong is very big on chops and also name cards (personal and business). If you don’t know, chops are stamps or seals. There are self-inking stamps and traditional ones. I headed to Man Wa Lane or “Chop Alley” . The last chop I had made there was a standard self-inking corporate stamp for my magazine. Choosing this personal one was fun. I ended up with a very traditional style and used my Hebrew name (Esther) since Erica doesn’t translate. I was tempted to add a cat to the design but instead went with just a very simple one and I love the result.

To a creative new year!