That Minefield Called Writing

When you write a book, it’s like you enter a vast, dark universe. There are no markers to guide you. You just fumble along, stringing sentences and paragraphs together, hoping they make sense. From the beginning, you try and create order but you know you are only fooling yourself. You really are just hanging on by your fingernails.

Finally, after months of blindness, a light appears. You realize that a phrase rings true, a description evokes a particular time or place. Emboldened with these small successes, you march forward, slightly more confident. With time, and numerous revisions, the tentative confidence grows until the structure and tone of your book becomes clear. Then you really start to write.

At least this is what happened to me. I started out writing Towers of Gold completely unsure of what I was doing, or even what I wanted to do. It took dozens of false starts, revisions, and critiques by friends, to help me shape the book. In my case, the process took eight years.

All of this is a long way of saying I got a very nice review of my book from a Los Angeles woman, Lorraine Millings Weston. She writes the blog, Jew Wishes.  Almost every day Weston reviews a book with a Jewish theme or one that is written by a Jewish author. Her output is amazing and her insights perceptive.

Lorraine contacted me a month or so ago to ask for a review copy of Towers of Gold. As a blogger myself, I was inclined to send her a book, even though galleys were in short supply and most of them were headed to critics at papers and magazines. But I sent one to Lorraine and today she posted a review. It is so nice it makes me blush. Here are a few highlights”

“Towers of Gold” is a stunning book, and a biography filled and flowing with so much history.  It is impressive and brilliant on so many levels.  Frances Dinkelspiel is to be commended for her efforts in bringing Hellman’s life, the story of a Jewish immigrant, to the forefront.  Her contribution in bringing the history of California, and Hellman’s biography to all of us is her personal tribute to her great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman.  “Towers of Gold” belongs on every bookshelf in schools, colleges, universities and personal libraries.  It is an incredible, historical resource and reference for California studies and Jewish studies.  It is a book of inspiration, depicting the power and strength of one man’s determination and dreams to change the face of not only California, but America.”

An author cannot ask for more than to connect with a reader in such a deep and fulfilling way.

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