latest by jen

He gets like that

One of my dear friends turned 40 today. She was the first of my group of childhood friends to get her driver’s license, the downside of which, I said to her today, is that she also is the first of our group of friends to hit middle age. Of course, none of that statement is true. Our friends — the ones who celebrated her 17th birthday years ago — are now scattered around the world, …

10.12.13 dream haiku – R Rated Saturday

Check out Jon’s Dream Haikus. They’re fantastic!

My little Garden of Eden in Israel

There is a place I idealize here in Israel: Kibbutz Harduf in the Lower Galilee, an anthroposophic community with a unique approach to intentional living, and Israel’s largest producer of organic food. Before we made Aliyah I first learned of Harduf  from my (now) friend Haviva’s article in Zeek about local, organic living in the Galilee.  At the time, I was running my own consulting business in New Jersey, the main focus of which was …

What I learned from Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize win in literature

Oh Alice Munro: “For years and years, I thought that stories were just practice, till I got time to write a novel,” she told The New Yorker in 2012. “Then I found that they were all I could do, and so I faced that. I suppose that my trying to get so much into stories has been a compensation.” Thank you for your well-timed win and wisdom, Ms. Munro, if I may call you that. …

Time spent dreaming

Longing for the day When my dreams count as real life And I remember. Only good ones though– Sidewalk reunions, relief. Scattered song and dance. I could do without underground caves teeming with naked mannequins.

Book deal? I write just for fun.

Three people, in as many months, have told me their creative efforts are “just for fun.” This was in the context of showing me their wares — a brilliantly crocheted flower vase or a cat carrying-case re-purposed from a plastic water jug — and me remarking astoundedly, “This is fantastic. Are you selling them?” Each smiled and said matter-of-fact, “No. It’s just a hobby. It’s just for fun.” Once, I had a creative hobby that …

I’m a little obsessed with time travel, are you?

I love playing with the idea of time travel. I’m not a quantum physicist. In fact, attempting to wrap my brain around the quantum physics aspects of time travel gives me such a headache I have to read a Danielle Steel novel to make it go away. So instead of trying to understand the science behind time travel, I watch movies, read books, and write about time travel from an artist’s perspective. How writing letters to your …

Just on a whim … all we are is just on a whim

Let’s move to San Fran just on a whim, you and I. We’ll bring the kids, too.

Nibs give you magical powers, and other lies I told under the influence of candy

If I had written this article on the 25 best candy bars of all time, I probably would have replaced Caramello with Rolos, and left out anything with coconut. But to be fair Rolos isn’t a bar, which is probably why the author chose Caramello in the first place. My first reaction to seeing the post in my Twitter feed was impulsive: “Hey, it’s Halloween season! Who can I get to ship me some candy …

Imagining the Series Finale of My Life

“I’m going to die on this road one of these days,” I thought without actually thinking this morning, as I slowly took the sharp curve on the road between Kfar Manda and D’meida. The cars opposite me, one by one, took the curve twice as fast as I did, every third car with their front tire on my side of the yellow line. “Ironic,” I muttered, out loud. “You’re more likely to die from a …

A poem about Israel

For my 15-minute Friday exercise, I jotted down some thoughts I had while celebrating/not-celebrating the Jewish High Holidays in Israel this year. The poem I produced out of this exercise may be found here on The Times of Israel  and is a culmination of both my confusion and my devotion; of my acceptance and my denial. It is an admission of judgment — of myself, as well as others. And it is a declaration of hope. …

Where dreams come from sometimes

If time were to stand still, I would kiss your lips leaving no trace of me behind. You’d awaken when time moved again and know your life had changed forever but the only evidence of the crime would be a hazy cornered memory hidden in the land of dreams. = = = (This vignette was prompted by The Daily Prompt: Standstill)

Do you trust me?

My one son has the memory of an elephant. He can remember the details of events that happened when he was three, trips we took when he was four. My other son — not so much. He hardly remembers his best friends from America, and what he does remember is from stories we’ve told him and pictures we’ve shown. We’ve fabricated most of his memories by sharing our own. What I mean by that is, …

Classified: In need of better ice cream in Israel

I made my own ice cream last night. I did this out of despair. I do not like store bought Israeli ice cream. It’s awful. Even the halavi (dairy) ice cream (as opposed to the soy-based parve) is gross. A complete waste of calories, if you care about that kind of thing. I don’t. I just want some decent ice cream every now and again. For a while, I would splurge on the Ben & …

What I am is what I am until I am not

Most of my greatest ideas come to me either in the shower or while I’m drying my hair. As do some of the most confounding philosophical dilemmas. Today in the shower, I found my mind starting to spin towards that place called: What is my purpose? I started wondering, “Is this who I am supposed to be? Is this what I am supposed to be doing?” I started to feel concern that I wasn’t acting …

Smells of Shabbat

One day in the future My son will need some air. He’ll leave home Seeking solace If only for a minute or two. On his journey toward temporary peace He will come upon The smell of roasted potatoes with rosemary Two minutes to go til burning The scent will float beneath his nostrils And he will remember tonight… Walking with me Up and down emptying streets Through quieting paths Around quickly passing cars Parking on …

Is blogging the new MFA program?

Before I was in high tech, I was in publishing. At Scholastic, I worked in the creative marketing department, not directly with authors, but with their work; trying to make their work appeal to the largest audience as possible. My claim to fame is that I wrote responses to fan letters for R.L. Stine and K.A. Applegate. So if you came of age in the late 90s, we were probably pen pals. I also was …

Daily Prompt: Legs Wide Open (Straddling the Myers Briggs)

Today’s Daily Prompt from the folks at WordPress: Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why? I read this prompt a few times before responding. Frankly, I don’t think it’s an either/or, and just goes to show how careful one must be when making comparisons. I am very comfortable in front of people. AND the idea of public speaking makes …

  • Writing |

Why does my story matter?

This is my question today. And usually every Wednesday. Or Tuesday. Depends. Why does my story matter? Okay, so I can weave words in a way sometimes that makes you almost cry that makes you remember the time you had blintzes in that cafe on 2nd Avenue that makes you…
  • Nonfiction |

My kid plays in abandoned buses and I photograph him

Does this photo of my 7 year old “driving” an abandoned bus deserted in the industrial park on the kibbutz we live on instill feelings of longing in you? Envy? Or pure, unadulterated fear? It’s rusty, that bus. And filled with trash. And likely painted with lead paint. Maybe you…
  • Food |
  • Memory |
  • Parenting |

I remember you on white bread

Meatball Surprise Mom is away. Not like that one time fancy schmancy mozzarella with tomatoes from BJs unusual but usually some concoction something on the stove from scratch from what was in the fridge No I remember Meatball Surprise little Jason little Jen Pancakes log cabin syrup big glasses tinted lens…
  • Education |
  • Family |
  • Letting Go |
  • Love |
  • Memory |

First love

Among my cardboard boxes, there is another. It’s plastic. A clear Tupperware container with a blue cover marked “Jen’s papers.” I laugh a little at this because the markings on the masking tape are in my mother’s handwriting and I would have expected it to read “Jennifer’s papers.” But Jen is shorter…
  • Writing |

I don’t know why I’ve been dreaming ’bout the Echelon Mall

Tacos for 79 cents, mild sauce ask for extra and squeeze Children’s Place, a tunnel with carpet inside crawl through the storefront window My first Walkman wasn’t Sony downstairs at a stereo store in the corner next to Strawbridge’s across from Heroes World before Heroes World moved upstairs One time downstairs…
  • Nonfiction |

My heart hurts with how much I love libraries right now

I’ve been suffering the symptoms of drought since I moved to Israel three years ago, but I didn’t know it until I swam again in a sea of books; otherwise known as the English Department Library at Bar Ilan University where I am currently studying Creative Writing. Where my heart…
  • Letting Go |
  • Love |
  • Relationships |

Music is a Gift with Legs

I’m a big believer in the magic of books, music, and people falling into your lap when you least expect them to and when you are most ready to appreciate their messages. (For this reason, I’m about to download The Happiness Project since three people in as many days have…