Thursday, May 1, 2008

Publishing and the Pursuit of Happiness

A friend pointed me in the direction yesterday (or was it the day before?) of a blog posting about publishing as a blogger. We're talking book publishing, of course. What it takes and how to get it done and what will fly and what won't. Now, since I started "professionally" blogging here two years ago (that is, when I left the world of LiveJournal behind for a more focused and mature blogging experience), I've thought about this. I've thought about writing and publishing and as I make my way into academia it's only expected that at some point I'll publish academic works on Judaism and whatever subject area I actually focus in.

But what about publishing my blog-inspired work? All this bloggersizing can't be for nought, can it?

Lately I seem to be doing a lot of searching, or as one commenter recently put it, writing about how I "interact between the 'worlds'." I don't know if there's a market for it, but I know for a lot of JBCs, this interaction between where one enters and where one settles in Judaism can be a perplexing and sometimes irritating experience. Reform is often the gateway drug and as we grow and expand in our mitzvot we find ourselves wandering through Conservative and Reconstructionist and Conservadox and all sorts of odd concoctions in between. I just don't know if there's much on it in the published world, or even if there's a market for it. Short stories of experiences and things of that nature. I mean, when I went to the Conservative shul back in January, I was elated, in love, completely sold. Then I did some research and reading and I haven't been back in a few months. Then I went to the Modern Orthodox shul and was elated again, but I find that there isn't much literature on the movement (being a highly non-proselytizing kind of group of Jews and all). There are a few books on Orthodoxy and it's move into the modern community, but there isn't really an "Orthodoxy for Dummies" or anything remotely accessible to the potential convert. And oy! How intimidating. I've always wondered how some converts manage to go straight into the Orthodox conversion process -- it seems that many Orthodox JBCs I've met have been those who converted Reform or Conservative and later decided to go the route of Orthodox. It has to be easier that way, nu?

Anyhow. I've been thinking about publishing and things. Of course, going into grad school, I can't even seek out an agent and consider anything because I just wouldn't have the time. Plus, being only 24, I think I have a bit of time available, not to mention that I have these immaculate records of my thoughts and gleanings on everything from movies to shuls and beyond. So we'll see.

On another, unrelated note, I still haven't heard back from Aish about my Israel birthright trip. It's been nearly a month since I met with the Ortho rabbi in Skokie. I'm at the point where I am completely turned off by Aish, and I'm pretty sure that my being a Reform convert has completely made them hope I go away. Since I'm going into a Judaic studies program in the fall, it makes me ineligible for birthright trips after this summer (hence why this is such a pressing issue). I'm giving them until the month mark after I met with the rabbi, and then I'm sending them a very stern letter. If it takes me dragging Aish and their suspicious processes through the mud, then so be it. It's interesting that all of their registration deposit deadlines have passed, and yet, I haven't made a deposit. I think they're just hoping I'll go away, and that just stinks. I understand that it's Israel's 60th and this is big doings, but really people. Come on.

Oooh! And on that same (but happier) note, I just bought a beautiful, beautiful shirt that I found from a seller (EllaKlara) on, but discovered she also has a website. So go buy one of these shirts (the hamsa shirt is also beautiful). I highly recommend it :)