Here’s a nice old-fashioned schmoozy post like we used to do. How have you all been? Me, good. Gonna fill you in on where I’ve been and what’s been happening. This is the behind-the-scenes me, not the professionally polished writer you’ve gotten accustomed to (cough, cough).

What I’ve been reading:

First, I’ve gotten into audio books. I listen to them mainly when I’m running which is like twice a week (humblebrag) and I don’t let myself listen outside of running time. My current book is Inheritance by Dani Shapiro – wow. Take a listen, or a read, especially if you’re Jewish, or into DNA stuff, or both.

I’m also re-reading an old favorite, Lieutenant Birnbaumwhich is the memoir of a young Orthodox Jewish soldier during World War II. It’s just as good as I remembered it. And, in my spare time, reading a book on public speaking called Talk Like Ted. It’s good to have a mix for me – memoir, self-help – I like a variety, but I increasingly need to be reading stuff that is totally unrelated to my craft or immediately practical. I need escapist literature.

As far as writing, I am in contract with Lifecodex, a publishing company owned by Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin, Orthodox Jews who write and publish spiritual materials for a predominantly Christian readership. My second book is coming out soon, and by “soon” I have absolutely no idea what I mean, so I’ll keep you updated on that. Let’s just say it’s done but still needs the next round of revisions. Which might lead to more revision. You get the picture. The book took a year to write and another year to land a publisher, so at this point I’m not in any specific rush. In fact, it’s a little scary when that book finally gets published and everybody reads what you wrote.

I’ve been podcasting too, by recording and publishing my weekly Torah class, and although I rarely check my stats, I just hopped on my podcaster dashboard today and saw that I have over 8,600 downloads! I pleasantly surprise myself! (If you think that’s not impressive, I’d rather not know.) I’m on iTunes and Spotify and wherever you get podcasts.

What else is going on? Headed to Israel again this summer, for a Momentum trip (formerly JWRP), so that’s fun, and also headed to NJ for our annual visit with my parents and siblings. Glad summer seems to finally be making its appearance.

What have I been seeing? I’m in middle of a documentary with my daughter called Three Identical Strangers. It’s chilling, but I’m only halfway through, so no spoilers. She also made me watch a Harry and Meghan movie. Sorry for not addressing them respectfully but I would have to google their official titles. Let’s just say she is a little more obsessed than me.

That’s kind of the roundup. Would love to hear what y’all are reading, writing, or seeing.