Years ago, I created a class, “Writer’s Marketplace,” dedicated to the business side of writing. It was inspired by all the I-wish-I’d-known-then-what-I-know-now moments in my own career, the realization that good writers often are clueless about how to sell their work, and that writing schools are often remiss in communicating the practical aspects of the profession to their students.
“The results of a computerized survey indicate the perfect rabbi preaches exactly 15 minutes. He condemns sins but never upsets anyone. He works from 8 a.m. until midnight and is also a janitor. He makes $50 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books, drives a good car and gives about $50 weekly to the poor. He is 28 years old and has preached 30 years. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all of his time with senior citizens. The perfect rabbi smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work. He makes 15 calls daily on congregation families, shut-ins and the hospitalized, and is always in his office when needed.
"Two fires taught me lessons about my life, two fires separated by nearly six decades," says the heroine of Kate Wenner's debut novel, "Setting Fires," about a documentary filmmaker and her dying father.