I was interviewed by Debbie Haupt at Reading Frenzy – read the interview here.
Sitting in Starbucks working on a puzzle or at least trying to. It’s hard to concentrate. Just a few yards away is a guy talking loudly to himself or at least it seems that way. Not that many years ago we would have assumed he was crazy, would have assumed that a lot of the folks in this room were missing a few marbles, but today of course we are wiser we realize they are simply talking on their phones through their blue tooth devices.
What a strange world it would look like to the unsuspected time traveler and what a wonderful alibi the cell phone is for those who really have strayed from the course of sanity. Do we truly know there is someone on the other end of the line?
In my travels back and forth from the States to Israel and England over the years I have witnessed the worldwide spread of the cell phone. In city streets people walk in their own insular bubble, holding continuous conversations, the phone always present like an extra limb.
I resisted the lure of the cell phone myself for a long time and today although I do own a little fiip-phone (not a smart phone – I definitely don’t want a phone that’s smarter than me!), I often forget to turn it on or else I leave it at home altogether.
I don’t feel I need to be connected all the time, you see – so hey, if you see me walking down the street talking to myself – well, that’s probably exactly what I’m doing!
In P.A.W.S. until the age of 10, Miri is brought up by her Omama. After her Omama dies she’s is forced to leave and can grab very few belongings, but one thing she manages to take with her is an old sepia picture of her Omama and Opapa on their wedding day.
When I wrote this part of P.A.W.S. this is the picture I envisioned – a picture of my own Omama and Opapa and one that I recently brought back with me to the States from my mother’s home.
I dedicated P.A.W.S. to my Omama and believe she would have enjoyed the story very much.
A friend of mine recently asked on Facebook, if you could go back to anytime in the past when would you go back to. The responses predictably were the most folks wanted to be young again.
I thought long and hard before I made my response and realized to my great surprise that for the first time for a long time I wanted to be exactly where I am now. That wouldn’t haven’t been true a year ago and certainly not two years ago.
Two years ago I desperately wanted to go back in time. My father had just passed away and I’d spent a month with my mum in Israel dealing with the overwhelming sadness of losing the person I was always closest too. I hadn’t made it out there in time to say goodbye and had to content myself with memories of a happy time the summer before when I’d taken my daughter to London and met my parents there. My Dad had loved that trip to London – his last hurrah.
The night before I was due to leave Israel I felt the lump and instinctively knew it was cancer – within days of returning to the states my suspicions were confirmed. I was terrified – my only consolation was that at least my Dad wasn’t around to see me with cancer – he would have hated it. My mum, when I told her, took the news in her stride. In our Skype conversations, she asked me how was feeling, how the treatments were going, peppering her conversation with anecdotes about others who had go through it.
And well, it’s amazing what becomes normal – the chemo (hair loss, nausea), surgery, radiation. The endless visits to the Cancer Center where the nursing staff became my friends and I got through it. I’m cancer free and have a full head of newly curly hair.
It wasn’t the end of the bad luck though – a year ago I received the terrible news that my mother had been attacked by hoodlums in her own house. Then followed another trip to Israel which ended with my mum moving to the nursing home where is she is now very happy.
When I came home from this second trip I was extremely nervous – it seemed like over the last few years I’d just been waiting for the next bad thing to happen. So last November I came to a decision; I figured if I wanted some good stuff to happen for a change, I was going to have to make it happen myself and that’s how I started writing P.A.W.S.
Understand, I’ve been writing all my life – down in my basement there are notebooks filled with novels I started and never completed. But I always felt that I had time – finishing a book was something I could do later, maybe after the kids left home. But the thing about going through cancer is that you realize that maybe you don’t have time and that if you really want to do something you need to do it now.
So, with P.A.W.S. coming out in just a few weeks; yes, I’m exactly at the time I want to be – where I am now.