1. What are you working on?
I am currently developing a short-story collection that centers on life in Israel. For example, the story of a young Jerusalemite who desperately wishes to better his life and immigrate to New York City (an excerpt from "Escape" - http://tinyurl.com/kmu2mbn); the unfolding friendship of two teens, a girl from Tel Aviv and a boy living in a West Bank settlement, and sheds light on the differences between these two communities and ideologies (an excerpt from “Not That Far From Tel Aviv” - http://tinyurl.com/na4wmda); and a memoir-based account of the recent war between Israel and Gaza, sketching out my experiences, impressions, and observations (excerpt from “Summer Notes” - http://tinyurl.com/olgffla).
As an Israeli-American writer, my homeland’s multifaceted reality evokes in me a sense of deep concern; my writing is the reply.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
With background in visual arts, I cannot quite relate to the concept of genre. In fact, artists are encouraged to mix various media. Like wise, though I think of my literary work as fiction, I tend to blend in non-fiction details and stories, some poetry, and more. So mine might be a mixed genre, if you will.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Because nobody else is doing it, and I believe those stories—these particular viewpoints—need to be expressed. But more specifically, I have no choice but to put in words the narratives and characters that keep knocking on the inside of my brain, demanding I channel them into the world, and won’t leave me alone until I give them life.
4. How does your writing process work?
Often the seed for a piece is based on personal experience, or a few experiences weaved together, and sometimes it starts with an issue that bothers me. For example, the treatment of African refugees in Israel, which resulted in my short story, “Africans, White City, and a Pint of Guinness” (an excerpt from the story - http://tinyurl.com/kot9zpl)
Once the seed has been planted in my mind, it takes some germination—days, weeks, months, or even years—for it to have a voice strong enough to activate the creative juices that produce a first draft.
5. So now I tag other writers:
I met Meg Winikates in a local writing group, and although I am not a huge fan of Young Adult literature, I fell in love with her remarkably gripping dragon story, so beautifully executed I had the movie playing in my head as I was reading it.
Meg is a freelance writer and museum educator who majored in English Literature and Language at Harvard University. She writes poetry and fiction and contributes to Brain Popcorn, a blog on interdisciplinary education, as well as to the Peabody Essex Museum blog, Connected. In her current project, Palettes of Light, Meg collaborates with photographer Michele Morris, featuring photographs paired with poems, written specifically for the image. One of these photo/poem pairings is an entry in this year's Venice Arts gala gallery show. To learn more about Meg and her writing, please visit: www.mwinikates.com
Kayleigh Shoen and I share two courses at Emerson College this semester, and I quickly realized I should look for her insightful comments and ideas during class; I often learn quite a bit from her!
Kayleigh is an MFA candidate at Emerson College, where she teaches composition in the First Year Writing Program and nonfiction at EmersonWRITES. Her fiction has won Community Literary Awards in her hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has appeared in Bastards and Whores. She blogs sporadically about her life at Kayleighsstuff.blogspot.com and about her dining experiences at Gourmanding.blogspot.com