Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I picked up a book from my local Feldheim store, with a rather interesting title: The Cliff Line. Now, I've never heard of a cliff line- sounding like a row of cliffs, but the back cover sounded interesting, and so I bought it. It's by someone known as M. Wiseman.

It was written in present tense- making it a tough read, since I'm very much used to past tense, but it was interesting, and fairly well written. Then I turned to the back, about the author, and learnt that this author was in seminary this past year.

That makes her younger than me. Younger, and she's already a published author. It seems she wrote the book in 11th grade, making her someone who's written a full fledged novel at a very young age.

There are other authors I know of who are like that- Christopher Paolini, that Eragon sensation writer, is a young guy. But this is one of the first that I've read from a young frum girl.

In one way, I'm so pleased that someone took the step like this. To go out, show their talent, and prove that we young people, young frum people, can head out and write novels, and do things, wherever our talent takes us.

On the other hand, the green monster of jealousy pops up. I write, I enjoy writing, but I've never attempted to publish a novel. Maybe I could, maybe I couldn't. But this girl went out and did it.

Sometimes we have to follow our dreams. R' Paysach Krohn, in one of his books, mentions that he wrote the famous book on Bris Milah. A well known Mohel came up to him and said, "I could have written that book." R' Krohn remarked to himself that that Mohel could have written that book, but didn't. If we don't take advantage of the times, to follow our dreams and goals, then they will slip past us. It's not the could have, should have, would have that counts, but rather the actualization.

So go out and achieve! Who knows, I may write a book someday too!


Ezzie said...


Ezzie said...

Meant to add the famous line: You will fail at 100% of the things you don't attempt.

itsagift said...

Wow - I wouldn't be surprised if you wrote a book sometime soon! And I'll make sure to run out and buy it too...
(will you put your real name on the title LOL??)
What about Miracle Ride? That was written by someone fairly young! It started out as a diary when she was 16...and then was published last year in June...

nmf #7 said...

Ezzie- Totally. And, love the line.

Itsagift- I don't know. I've been told I should write one...but then again, everyone should write their life story.

Real name? Who knows! :D First let me write a book.

This book was fiction. Miracle Ride is a diary, of real life events. It was made more interesting by her perspective, but it wasn't a totally invented and creative fiction novel like this one was.

And, I read Tsipi's blog when she posted them all up at first, so it started as a blog as well- with comments to help change things.

jb said...

I once saw a t-shirt that said "Modern Art = 'I Could Have Done That' + 'Yeah, But You Didn't'"...

Anyways, I don't see why fiction has such a ma'alah over non-fiction. I am a creative non-fiction writer, and I can be just as inventive and interesting as any fiction writer.

Like you, I also wonder why I haven't attempted to write a book yet. I am paralyzed by the fear that there's nothing new for me to contribute, nothing that hasn't been done yet.

Anonymous said...

My daughter and her friends write and / or plot novels seriously. They're in high school. If you are at all serious, I recommend NaNoWriMo (which takes place in November, when there are no pesky Yomim Tovim to use as an excuse!). That is a way to really jumpstart your novel writing.

CJ Srullowitz said...

This is, lulei demistafina, a tough one. I began writing when I was in my teens and still haven't published anything much more substantial than my blog! (though I edited several books)

My cousin published a Jewish-themed book with a secular publisher which was reviewed in the secular newspapers. Needless to say, this did not help my self-esteem.

Chazal say "Kinas sofrim tarbeh chachma," but I'm not sure they were talking about novelists!

Seriously though, there have been people who published young and then ran out of steam quickly. Others who matured and didn't publish until later in life. Some who published throughout - but they are the exception.

I say, lulei demistafina, just take your own time. If you wind up publishing something of value you won't care if it happened at 18 or 80.

nmf #7 said...

Jb- Good saying!

There isn't such a ma'alah- just I've read Tsipi's book- and it is just that, a diary. She made it interesting, but it is a diary about an event none the less. Nothing like what she experienced has happened to me.

And, I have the same fear...sometimes I think there is nothing that hasn't been done already. After all, there are few themes to literature, and everything is just a takeoff on one of those themes.

Tesyaa- Good idea. Will have to look that up, and maybe give it a shot.

CJ Srullowitz- Yeah, it doesn't matter the age so much as that she had the gumption to actually do it.

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

There's actually a frum blogger girl, whose 17 now, and published a book when she was 13 I think!

Actually for men, I think they have a mitzvah to have published one book/sefer in their lifetime, just like everyone is supposed to take part in creating a sefer torah.

And if you did write a book, I would love to read it!

nmf #7 said...

Jewish Side- Really? I didn't know that mitzva- I'll have to look it up!
And thanks!

m. wiseman said...

just to say,the novel was different.
the plot line, when u boil out the character's and comedy, is a pretty done topic-the good old ba'al teshuva topic covered by numerous b.y plays and novels...
and there's n/t wrong w/ that.
the point in writing a novel is not to come up w/ s/t 'never done'. it's to write s/t pple. will read and enjoy and relax to that will inspire.
if u enjoy writing, lack of coming up w/ s/t 'totally different' shouldn't stop you. just write what so you njoy writing about.
i'm serious.
there are so many good writers out there and if ur one of them use the ko'ach Hashem gave u b/c, seriously, the jewish world needs good writing and it would be greatly appreciated by those of us chalushing for a good read.
what're u waiting for?