Jewish Journal

Mama’s No Danielle Steel

by Mihal Levy

February 25, 2010 | 12:00 pm

Sometimes when I write - I wonder if anyone is actually reading.  “Reading what?,” you ask.  My point exactly. 

It is like therapy -  a one-sided relationship. (Although many therapists will argue that it is not one-sided.  But when is the last time you heard about your therapist’s dilemmas or maybe they are just downright perfect?  Possible, but not probable.)  In therapy the client/patient (depending on your level of mental stress) talks while the therapist listens (usually) and interjects with an “aha” or “tell me more.” When a writer writes and puts their stuff “out there” (in this case - cyberspace) there is no confirmation that someone is actually “listening” with a nod, “aha” or even a pie in the face as confirmation.  See, here I write and pause for a moment (pausing) - and walla…nothing!  Not that I know of anyway.  (Please feel free to leave comments if and when you read - only if you want to, of course.  Hint - you want to, right?  Ok, I tried.)

My own mother does not read my writing and for no good reason apparently (according to her), but the mere fact that she “does not know the web address.”  I tell her every week that it does not change and is still the same.  She will “try to make the time” to read my stories if I actually email them to her.  So, I do and she doesn’t.  If my own mother does not read my writing, how can I expect anyone else to.  I try not to take it personally.  (She’s only my mother, right?  And in her defense, she has read a few that were emailed to her - because they were about her.  Maybe that’s why she avoids them…hmmm?)

I started thinking that my mom isn’t much into surface-level articles/stories, she is into the much deeper stuff like the books she reads by Danielle Steel.  Ms. Steel - how do you do it?  You keep my mom interested in your writing and me…well, not so much.  Bless Danielle Steel, by the way, for finding a way to intrigue readers once or twice a year with “bestsellers” of stories she recycles.  Boy meets girl.  He dies.  She’s lost without him and ends up marrying his best friend.  Of course how the boy and girl meet changes from novel to novel as well as the way in which he dies - terminal illness, war, murder, or self-inflicted ‘accident.’  Much more entertaining than my writing, I’m sure - that’s why Mom reads Steel’s writing and not mine. 

Danielle Steel - if you are reading this (of course, why wouldn’t you be?), just know you have won my mom’s heart, I’m just sayin’.  And I am not the least bit jealous (or inquisitive as to why).  Also,  would you be interested in co-writing your next novel?  Maybe then my mom would start reading what I wrote.  Only, do you think that we could add some humor to your novels and some altered plots like - he dies, she kills herself?  A little more Shakespearean in nature perhaps?  No happy endings?

I must admit that I am not the expert on D.S. novels, since I stopped reading them after I was old enough to stop sneaking my mom’s books and go out and get my own.  I do think that not that much has changed in her style since I have stopped reading, however.  I have the innate gift of reading only the first and last page of any book she writes and knowing exactly what happens between page 2-199, the way she had intended…to a tee.  It is either my innate ability or the fact that her stories are just that predictable.  Not that that is a bad thing.  (Jew Mama sticks her foot in her mouth, incase Danielle is reading this because there is a greater chance that she is reading this than my own mother.)  Note to Danielle - We are on the same page.  (Hoping I didn’t blow a chance at adapting a D.S. novel for the Hallmark Channel, now.)  Maybe it is a good thing D.S. is not reading this.  My mom, however, that’s another story.

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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