How not to bore readers…

May 1, 2010 by  
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I am rewrit­ing the mid­dle of my novel where each of eight Sephardic char­ac­ters takes turns telling the sto­ries of his/her ances­tors. I am look­ing into how fic­tion writ­ers use time so maybe I can tell the sto­ries in another way than chrono­log­i­cal, where one char­ac­ter fol­lows the next. Some writ­ers have used par­al­lel universes […]


Upcoming Events on Crypto Jews

April 15, 2010 by  
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We call your atten­tion to three con­fer­ences or gath­er­ings on the sub­ject of Crypto Judaism: 1. Dis­cov­er­ing the Legacy of a Hid­den Past, at Con­gre­ga­tion Shaar Hashalom, Hous­ton, May 23. Con­tact 281–557‑5588 or 281–488‑5861. 2. Crypto Judaism in the Amer­i­can South­west, South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­sity, Dal­las, April 25, 3. Soci­ety for Crypto-Judaic Stud­ies, Annual Conference, […]

Writing about crypto Jews: questions to ponder

March 11, 2010 by  
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I am becom­ing more aware of fic­tional works, already pub­lished or in progress, that are based on sto­ries, past or present, his­tor­i­cal or imag­i­na­tive, that have to do with crypto Jews. These fall into three cat­e­gories: (1) those based on his­tor­i­cal fig­ures who once moved among us; (2) works with totally fic­tional char­ac­ters, cre­ated by […]

Is Foursquare “Past Twitter”–and Facebook and email and…?

February 20, 2010 by  
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Two weeks ago or so, I clipped an arti­cle from the NY Times that I saved for reflec­tion because it records a phe­nom­e­non of tech­no­log­i­cal and pop cul­ture his­tory in the mak­ing. A good sum­mary of Brad Stone’s arti­cle “Old Fogies by Their 20’s” is the story’s sub­head: “Gen­er­a­tion gaps span just a few years, […]

When a talk became a roundtable…

February 10, 2010 by  
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Last Sat­ur­day, I shared an event with my good her­manika (sis­ter, in Ladino), Kath­leen Alcalá, at Book Woman Book­store in Austin. Before we began, there was time to browse the shelves and exhibits. The com­fort­able atmos­phere and good vibes led me, as first speaker, to turn the chairs, set up in rows, into a circle […]

A Wonderful Audience in Laguna Woods

January 31, 2010 by  
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I have always found the expe­ri­ence of speak­ing about the sub­ject of the book, Sephardic Jews and related top­ics (i.e. Crypto Jews, Jews and the Age of Dis­cov­ery, Notable Sephardic Women, etc.), always reaf­firm­ing. This past Fri­day, 1/29, was par­tic­u­larly ener­giz­ing as I shared the evening with over 100 per­sons, all but a few chronologically […]

Another play, this time in Albuquerque

January 11, 2010 by  
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Back in 1007, I arranged for Robert Benjamin’s PARTED WATERS to have a staged read­ing by the Ari­zona Jew­ish The­ater Com­pany at the annual con­fer­ence of The Soci­ety for Crypto-Judaic Stud­ies in Phoenix. To my knowl­edge, that was the first pre­sen­ta­tion of the play in any form. Last March, the Ari­zona Jew­ish The­ater Com­pany offered the […]

Palestine, New Mexico”: Crypto Judaism and More

January 8, 2010 by  
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Crypto Judaism, one’s own or oth­ers’, has inspired works in lit­er­a­ture, film, music and lit­er­a­ture. I saw and was delighted by a work of the­ater this week that grew out of Play­wright Richard Montoya’s explo­ration of his family’s poten­tial Sephardic Jew­ish roots, “Pales­tine, New Mex­ico,” at Los Ange­les’ Mark Taper Forum. My delight came from the […]

Looking back and leaping forward

December 29, 2009 by  
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This is the tra­di­tional time of the year when folks look back before they leap for­ward. An “old” year is draw­ing to a close as I write this, the time left mea­sured in a few days. The media is recount­ing mem­o­ries of the past—The Year in Pic­tures: 2009, Ten Unsolved Mys­ter­ies in the War on […]

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