My grief is now real. My mother is gone. Now I need to try to do something with it. I guess writing it is the answer.

My grief hits me every quiet moment that I manage to find for myself. Traveling for 6 weeks alone with two children there have been few. I’m ok. I’ve just been stuck in a stage of disbelief that a funeral, shiva (7 days of mourning in Judaism), and a year of Mourner’s Kaddish (prayer recited by mourners when in a group of 10 or more) are meant to move me through had I had these rites. Now I’ve arrived. I’m just late.

On top of it all, I’ve made it through endless bureaucracy, about 100 COVID tests, packed up an apartment, and took yet another pandemic flight with my two younger children to be with my second oldest in Israel in the last few weeks.

In the last few weeks, I received editorial notes from my agent (my first!) on my middle grade and it’s not nearly as bad as I imagined though still a challenge. I have publisher edits on one of my picture books that I need to work through as well. I never liked editing, but I also never had a partner in it. I’m quickly learning that a good editor and a good agent make all the difference.

My next middle grade manuscript is coming along very slowly. I think though I’m almost at the point when I can ‘hear’ my main character ‘speaking’. For me, when I finally hear that voice, then things start to come together. It’s how I move from the idea phase into the beginning of a workable narrative.

The story is likely going be driven by grief as she (Frayda) lost her mother too. I suppose this is no accident or coincidence. I’m not sure if actual grief will make this easier or more difficult, but I’m about to find out.

Since I’m already writing about my mother, I might as well post a picture too. I don’t love having my picture taken and now regret that I don’t have more pictures of adult with my mom. My character thought will only will have one single picture. I guess I should be grateful.


My mother, my oldest daughter, and me