Thursday, December 27, 2007

Been Busy

Yes, I know dear blog I have been busy. have been neglecting you lately, but I have something for you. You may call it a third day of Christmas present, if you so wish. I have, at last, a second story out of the Keter Malchut book.
This story is called 'Maybe Not', and it's the second story in this five story collection. I hope more are coming, and with shorter intervals, but I cannot promise you anything, I am still busy busy busy...

Friday, November 16, 2007

It has been a while

I have done some serious thinking in the past few weeks, about publishing and marketing, and expanses. Mostly boring stuff, but I'll try to find the interesting bits and tell you about them later.
For now, it looks as though we shall publish six books by March or April, and then focus on marketing and sales etc. and not publish anything new in Hebrew till the fall.
As I have promised I will tell you in detail about all of the six coming book, and I promise to write more often from now on. So stay tuned for more details...
Also, we have now found a wondeful editor for our English translations. I intend to translate all the short stories from 'Keter Malchut' in the near future, and publish them here in the edited version. This means you can expect a new and much better version of the 'Smoke of Time' very soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Publisher's Dilemma

I have started taking private lessons in the operation of this press. These are from a hardened business man, who helps me get the business side together.
You see book publishers are forever between two opposite sides, each pulling in a different direction. On the one hand there is literature - the will to publish good books, books that explore new ways of story telling, and do it well. On the other hand there is business, the will to publish books that sell.
The thing is: if the books you publish do not sell, you cannot make other books, and cannot do good literature. On the other hand if you only care about the money, what's the point of this whole exercise, there are enough trashy books out there even before drop of light published anything. So it really is a dilemma.
In the next few posts I will tell you about all the books that we have published, or intend to publish in the near future, and how with each one, we are faced with this constant dilemma, and how we might solve it with some careful business planning. Feel free to comment on any of this, It might help me pull my thoughts together.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Addition

A new addition was recruited a few days ago – I. Yes, the press is growing, ever so slowly, yet in a determined manner.
I hope to contribute as much as possible to the wondrous world of Israeli fiction press. More to come in the very near future, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Penguins in progress

After a long break due to prior engagement, I've recently returned to working on the book about the penguins. I would like to share bits of the process.
This is the story of an illo which tells about tourists that visit the penguin's beach. The tourists take pictures and sometimes throw coins at the penguins. This was the first version:

(click the image to enlarge)

I wasn't happy about it, but I didn't know why exactly, so I asked for my mentor's help - Mr. Danny Kerman, who is a well known illustrator and writer in Israel, a very nice person, and an excellent teacher. His remarks were that the people are all facing forward in an unnatural way, and look detached from the penguin. He also said I should improve the way different materials meet - for example, the way the ship's body meets the see, the way the water meets the shore, and so on. I found his remarks inspiring, and created a new version for this illo, which started with the following sketch:

I've done a few changes in the sketch, which were reducing the tilt of the ship, so that the people won't look as if they're falling, and moving the penguin down and out of the frame. This is the final outcome:

(click the image to enlarge)

This is better, although I'm afraid that the people and the penguin still look a bit detached. However, I'm not sure if I'll have the emotional strength to do it all over again... for the third time! I'll wait till the rest of the book is done, and decide than.

Here are two more sketches which are waiting to become colored illos:

I'll tell this sketch's story on my next post:

Let me just add, after two days of hard work, my back is killing me. Just one of the risks in this trade. I have to go back to Yoga.

Monday, October 1, 2007

So Far So Good

We actually sold our first two books on Icon yesterday, and we are going to keep doing it today. Our sales figures are nice, and considering the short time period, and our anonymity, they're really amazing.
More about our Icon adventures when I comer back. Right now I have to go sell some more books!
See yall.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Days are Coming

Ido Gendel is a very talented author.
He won first second and third prizes in several science fiction writing competitions here in Israel.
He was not too surprised when I offered him to publish some of his stories, he was surprized however when he heard that I will not be charging him money, and that he might only gain from this process. You see here in Israel it's fairly common to charge first tie authors for their first books.
I don't think it's such a fair idea though. I think that publishers should pulblish, and authors should write. The nature of the business is to invest money in books. I did not gain much money by these views yet, but I think I will in the future.
Anyway, a few months down the road, Ido has published his book, and being a fairly artistic guy, also designed our logo and the cover for his book. He also designed some other stuff, but more about all that later. Our very talented Miri Peled also contributed a story to this book, and so we have the manuscript of Days are Coming.
BTW, Ido also contributed a story to the new edition of 'Keter Malchut". Now 'Days are Coming' is at the printers, and very soon, we will sell both books in the Israeli Icon 2007 festival. We have not translated yet the stories there to English, but we will in due course. Here is the cover, though:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The minor fourth the major fifth

So I went back home, and looked at the books I made. Immediately I noticed that the fornts on the back cover were too blurry. Also, the book was really small, which made the writing even blurrier. So I told this to Ido (A writer and a graphic designer among his many talents, for those of you who are just joining the action right now), and he made the cotrast better.
Then I waited for about three weeks before I talked to the Lucy From Sifrut, biting my fingernails throughout the entire period.
She said fine they would distribute us, but the books were too small, and too thin, and what is this silly idea to put a dark background for the back cover. I felt really stupid for a few minutes but then I remembered that I'm new in this business, so I'm supposed to learn new things every day, right?
Then we went to the printers, and they had a few things to say about the contrast of the side cover, because apparently it's difficult to wrap the cover around the book very accurately, so you don't want it to show if they missed a bit.
So after all of this I had the sixth cover, which is what I gave the printers about ten days ago. I should have six hundred book tomorrow!
BTW, the next time we print, we should leave 3mm from each side of the cover, just to be on the safe side. I told you I'm learning something new every day!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


I thought the second cover was wonderful.
I mean it was in color, and everything, what could possibly go wrong?
So I put it on the books, that had 52 pages each, and started selling. Actually, the sales went fairly well, no complaints, and almost no books left from that edition. (You better hurry up, one day they'll be worth millions :-) )
But selling the books I realized several things:
  • People really do read the back covers, you should have one.
  • People care about the number of pages in the book, better a small book with more pages.
  • People thought the book was about Kabbalah, which is partly true, but they thought it's the 'Born Again Jewish' kind of Kabbalah.
  • I needed a logo.
Also, I couldn't get the book into any firsthand bookstores, for that I had to talk to 'Sifrut Achshav', so I printed two books (a very smart thing to do, as I found out later), and sent one to Sifrut Achshav, these two books had the third cover:

Monday, August 20, 2007

the second cover

About four months ago, I ran into Nadav Nachmany. He posted in my favorite forum, the one for science fiction and fantasy writers. A very talented graphic artist, and probably an author too. So we started to work together, and you will see much of his art in the near future.

I REALLY liked his other drawings, and so I thought I might as well have the cover in color. Crowns should be golden, right?

That was a problem, because I liked the first cover, and still I liked the colors too. Didn't know what to do, but the gold got the best of me.

So I used this cover for the first printing of the book, almost sold out by now.

You may want to ask yourselves why the other three coversb then. so let's keep something for the future.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Woo Hoo

Hello everyone,
This one is for the history books. I just talked to Sifrut Achshav, (that means literature now, for all you avid Hebrew students) who is the second largest book distributor in Israel.
They said they will distribute our books!
This is amazingly good, that means we shall be on all book stores in Israel, at least theoretically, which is so much better than the ten stores we are at now...
It also means that the story about the four covers just got a little longer, there is going to be a fifth cover...
Tell you all about everything soon...

Friday, August 3, 2007

The First Cover

So I decided to become a publisher, that happened about four months ago, and I guess I should tell you more about it, but I'll save some for later.
Anyway, My ex girlfriend is a very talented artist. She's also very talented at tons of other stuff, so whenever I did stuff next to her, I always felt inadequate, but that is really getting besides the point.
So I asked her to draw me the cover for my first book. She said Ok, but I had to meet her next to the Hebrew University. She teaches there, which again proves my point about her being talented. So she only had about fifteen minutes, and she only read the last story, which is fine, because I only wanted motifs from the last story on the cover.
I asked her if she would receive payment for this, but she would not agree: "it's a favor for an old friend", if you think I should have argued let me add that she is also a redhead.
I think it came out beautiful, but then I thought maybe I want more color, but let's leave that for next time.
So here is the first cover:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A book and it's cover

Hi All,
It's now almost two months since I became a publisher, and about eight months since I had this idea in the first place.
That's not the longest of period of time in the world, but I did get some experience in the process.
I think the best way to show what it's like to become a publisher, is to tell you all about covers.
The first book by our publishing house is Keter Malchut, soon to be printed again, and a bit better. This book had, at least theoretically four covers so far. I hope the last one is the final version, and that it will not change.
So in the next few day I plan to tell you the story of the four covers, and the lessons I learned from each one, about publishing.
I hope you will find all that as interesting as I did.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Smoke of Time

In Twilight

The smoke of time, it rises to the fore
A muted day is dying and still fair,
It lies behind the tightly locked door;
The book of poems sleeps upon the chair.

It dreams in silence of the hands,
Those have once washed the whiteness of its pages,
And in its wrinkled lines still stays,
Their oddly smell, a memory of the sages.

A small vibration goes from page to page
And hush… above the sleeping book they pend,
The shadow of the lamp – a man of age,
It dreams that these must be his hands.

Leah Goldberg

Terry Pratchett once wrote that magical bookshops selling magical books, turn up from time to time in the middle of town, on a side street, without any reasonable explanations. The citizens accept their appearance with indifference, as well as their disappearance, which is bound to happen some time afterwards.

Even before I got in, I hoped that it would not disappear too soon; it looked like a nice one – a pleasant surprise for the last day of the first month of the new calendar year. I examined the sign, trying to guess what I may find inside, and then I got in.

My eyes have rested upon some poetry books themselves resting on shelves as if expecting someone to reach out and touch them. The classic Nathan Alterman and the controversial Yona Wallach lived happily one next to each other, not disturbing one another. I could not fathom why fine sand disturbed my eyesight; there was no smoke in the store.

One poetry book wanted me to read it more than the others. I reached my hand out, and started browsing, but there was no click. Shame, I do like poetry, but it is a matter of clicking. I closed the book down, wondering if I will ever open it again. Then I paid attention to the store keeper, short and smiley, she kept watching me the whole time. I had asked her why the store is called ‘the smoke of time’, and without saying a word she pointed to the column, where a Leah Goldberg poem was hanging. I read it. This time the click was just there. Maybe she is talking about herself. Perhaps she is the book dreaming that every shadow on the wall is a man longing to hold her and read her. Maybe she is talking to me, about the book that is yet to be written… this is how I am in book shops, slightly philosophical.

When I got out of the shop, it had already been dark outside, and so I went straight home. I didn’t notice anything special until the next day. On the clock there was a date, but I rechecked, to be on the safe side - January 31st 2007, also on the cell phone display. No, this cannot be true! Not twice the same day! I must be on a Groundhog Day rerun, or better yet, someone was trying to save my day. Mighty Mouse, How come I thought of him now? This did not happen since I had been ten years old.

I got up, got dressed, and got out. I had a few things to do at the uni, but I found myself going to the store over lunch. I managed to compress the rest of the day, postponing some very vital tasks, in order to create some quality leisure time. A day saved is a day earned. I decided that I’d leave the shop, and go straight to Haifa, to that other shop, down there, below Herzl Street. Everything else will just have to wait – do not do tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow. Jasmine translations will manage to live even if I’ll send everything in a week, a few boring translations, of a few boring reports, of a few boring companies. No one would really miss me if I disappeared, certainly no one special.

I was wandering among the shelves – they keep adding new shelves – and reread the poem about the smoke of time. The book ‘Momo’ peeked at me from one of the lower shelves, reminding me that you should use time efficiently, but still give yourself time to have fun. It was Thursday noon, and so I got out of the shop, ready to travel.

This sounds much simpler than what actually happened, because I thought I would walk to the train station, and started walking there, but Beer Sheva, where I am a new citizen, and do not know my way around so well, looked suddenly different, more deserted, and I could not find the train station. So I got up on a red and white bus, stood in front of the driver and stared into blank space, finally I gave him a few pounds and sat in my seat. Blue seat, some sort of cloth, covered with rubber, a little torn, the yellow foam, also torn, peeking from underneath. The sign asked me not to smoke, not to spit, and not to throw away the litter, or otherwise deal with sunflower seeds. The traffic was very calm, and I proudly told myself that I know all the car models on the road – most of them were Subaru.

The bus must have been going slowly, because after a pretty long while – no rush on my part though – it reach the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. That was surprising, but I let my feet walk me to the 901 bus and from there to the old central bus station in Haifa. For some reason, it was brand new. Anyway, I took the number 10 bus To Hadar Hacarmel, a familiar and pleasant experience. I could hear: ‘and after all you are poem’ by Shlomo Artzi on the radio, probably the driver was listening to Galei Tzahal, the military radio station, and I was wondering again, who is the girl who is a poem to me.

Ann so, a little dreamily, I walked into the book store. It’s funny how Hadar almost didn’t change as a neighborhood, ever since I was a kid, and went to the ‘Reali’ elementary school. A few Russian delis here and there, but otherwise everything stayed just the same. Oh, yeah, and the Science Museum, up at the old Technion building. I decided to go up and see it. Hey funny, there was no museum, only the deserted shell of a building, standing there, thinking of the students in the new campus. I now remembered that there were no Russian delis on the way either.

Deep down inside I already knew what was going on, and so I remembered what is the first thing to do in this occasion – read today’s paper. I went over to Steimaztky’s - The old sign, shiny and new. I checked the paper, confirming my suspicions. You should only believe the paper’s name, the price tag, and the date: January 31st 1980.

I think I always knew that this would happen at some point, or at least figured it would happen, getting ready. I stopped and took a few deep breaths; the philosophy of the situation is not that important right now, the economics is crucial. I have a little money, I have my wits, but that is all. For heavens sake, it’s already four o’clock in the afternoon, and no place to lay my head down for the night. I well remember where I used to live, but my old home had no place for 37 year old me. Ten year old me barely managed, and he didn’t need all this now, my life had been complicated enough.

Complicated indeed, but who knows, maybe this will give me back some long lost simplicity. Yes. Simplicity. That’s what I was looking for all along, right? I didn’t want to meet myself, so I went to the bookstore instead, maybe that will give me some idea, they have an excellent science fiction section.

It’s cute, the store I mean, all sixty Robert Heinlein books are lined up almost by the order of publication. ‘The Menace from Earth’, ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’, ‘Stranger in a strange land’. But only when I saw ‘Time Enough for love’ did I remember how complicated it is to meet your own mother, when you are already grown up, and she is not. I immediately knew what I had to do: Go to Eli and Aviva, they have a large house. Mom and Dad will only show up tomorrow night, like every Friday night, but I’d hide. I’d explain to Eli this whole matter, it will be fine, and our financial situation, his and mine, would improve, so nothing to worry about.

I stood in front of the door and smiled. Gaby must have changed the door to steel after they had died, but this was the old good one, hand made oak, with squares. I was thinking that’s it’s funny how there is no Hebrew word for knocker, maybe because there aren’t that many. Anyway, someone should make up a word for it. The knocker looked coppery, but was made of some harder metal, the center of it was fashioned into some beast of prey. I knocked gently on the door, using the knocker of course. Eli stood in the doorway. How come it’s Eli? Maybe Aviva went shopping. He didn’t recognize me, which is not too surprising, since he never saw me as an adult.

“Hello” He said, and I remembered how tall and handsome he had been before he bent down. His smoky voice easily made me smile.

“Hello yourself, do you remember telling me to read Robert Heinlein?”

“No, who are you?”

“I’m Uri Meir, Rachel and Peter’s son. Actually, you can’t remember having said that to me, because you haven’t said that to me yet.”

“ I don’t get it, do you want a donation?”

“No, I want to tell you something about the future.”

“That sounds dumb, but maybe you can tell me a good story at least. Get in.”

I got in, and went straight to the blue and white porcelain cow on the marble mirror frame in the fore room. It was brand new.

“So? How was the conference?” I was so glad I remembered. Two years of preparation, three day of sheer madness, and then, a month ago his time, it was all over.

“How do you know about the conference?”

I heard Aviva coming in from the porch into the kitchen starting to arrange the shopping into place in the oh so familiar sounds. Eli heard that too: “Bubale, please make coffee for the two of us, there is someone here saying that he is Uri Meir, but older. You do look a little bit like your dad.”

We got into the living room. “One moment” Aviva’s voice hovered among the books and the heavy leather couches. In less than two minutes she came in, all smiles. I closed my eyes for a brief moment and saw her. Not Aviva, Shell, why did I remember her now? I opened my eyes, and kept up with the conversation as if nothing had happened.

“Nu, so how is the future?” asked Eli, Aviva was smiling peacefully.

“I’m not sure, It’s safer here.”

“You mean they are up to something?”

I explained my idea to him, but he was not impressed.

“Look kid, Menachem Begin, I’d believe anything you say about him, Yigal Horvitz, even more so. It may just be that they are going to change our currency in a month’s time, and it’s just like the prime minister an the minister of finance to keep it a secret, and then drop it on the public like a god damn bomb shell. The time out you gave me is useful. If I start collecting the coins issued this year now. But that’s not the real thing, you have to remember what happened at the stock exchange.”

“In the next two or three years you should be fine. Afterwards it gets messy.”

“That’s a little bit much more interesting. What kind of messy?”

“There will be a war in Lebanon, the stock exchange will crash, some people will even think that the Messiah got killed.”

“Now you come up with the Messiah, you want some cold water?”

I refused politely.

“But do go on, What about South Africa, do you know De Beers?”

“”Oh yeah.” I smiled inwardly and told him all about Nelson Mandela.

I was mad at myself for not taking more courses on Israeli economics at uni, but we managed to weave a decent plan from his thoughts and my memories. I knew his thread was cut loose in 1996, afterwards I’d have to talk to Gabi. Suddenly I discovered I can’t remember the funeral, but the Shiva with the Tel Aviv Terrorist Attack was unforgettable. Afterwards we’ll make some serious money, Gaby and I, sadly without Eli, but I couldn’t really explain to him all that.

Back to the present. We only had three and a half week, not a lot of time. The Agora coin, with the grain pressed the wrong way. I was so happy I remembered that. He immediately found an auction. This was not about money, this was personal - he wouldn’t le Horvitz get the better of him. I asked myself what he was going to tell daddy tomorrow night, but I could trust him to come up with something.

I went to sleep in Gaby’s room, he was doing his military service far away. I got up in the morning lazily, and went to grab something from the kitchen. Aviva did not ask questions, and I knew where to find everything. I was nice to her, and that had always been enough, even when I lived here in 1987, in seven years time – funny but now, like then, I was without a family.

I went for a walk up Derech Hayam street. I had some time to kill, and then suddenly it hit me like a wave. Shelly, I cannot explain why the salty smell of the sea reminded me of her. Maybe it was the smell of the mastic shrubs around. Shivers ran up and down my spine. They say that no love is like the first love, true enough in my case. There had been some that were fairer than her, but not one was as fair as she was. Not one as fair as she is. I guess this cool breeze, the Haifa Friday morning scent defrosted what I never realized had become so frozen.

In short, An ancient sight as well has got its moment of creation, and I was so close, time-wise, and space-wise. Once I remembered, I could not forget. Shelly the girl scouts counselor, suddenly, after so many years I had flashbacks of her wide laughing mouth, for crying out loud, they could be flashforwards. She’s here, if that’s what I really want, I can go and see her. Well, isn’t it just like me to forget her address.

Never mind, Haifa is not such a big city, I will find her at some point, and then… I had no idea what would happen then. Like a poem. How I wanted her as a kid’ I was ten’ she was seventeen. Two years later I grew up a little, she grew up a lot. Till I was fourteen I had some hope, she kept coming to the scout meetings even as a soldier. She was totally into it, Oh I forgot that would be very devoted with the scouts. Then she just vanished, never saw her again. I have looked for her a little when I grew up, they said she went somewhere abroad, she wanted to become a singer. What could I do as a kid?

At the end it was just another case of paradise lost, and no other woman ever captured my heart. Strange, did I wait for her all these years? Am I that much of a romantic? Tomorrow, if the activity will be as usual, I’ll get to see her.

I hummed a tune from the new Shlomo Artzy record, I guess ‘ways’ in English, and went back, down the road leading to the sea shore, to Eli and Aviva’s home. The state of our union has never been sounder, strategically speaking. I will have to make a few concessions, but nothing too extraordinary.

I passed the time at their place pleasantly, just like when I was a kid, I read some books, and every once in a while grabbed something from the kitchen. It was funny hearing Mom and Dad coming at night, talking like two youngsters, who married two days ago. I wanted to go down and say hi, but I remembered that time is a complicated thing. So why mess with it? I don’t want to meet dad when he is younger than me. Don’t want to have to beat him up. Certainly I don’t want to meet Mom at that age’ I remember very well what had happened to Lazarus Long. I kept reading without disturbing the public order. When Aviva went up to sleep she said I was right.

I read a little, and then went to sleep. I have a long walk to take in the morning, and then I’ll see Shelly. Ten o’clock in the morning, oh my god, I’m so scared, I’m so excited. I didn’t realize she still scared me this much.

From afar I could already hear children’s voices, see in my mind’s eye the different shades of khaki, yellow and green ties the not so orderly triplets getting ready for the morning parade. I was not concerned about anyone asking what I was doing there, I easily looked my father’s age. I did not worry about meeting myself. Ten year old me had such regular habits that I was very easy to avoid, not even challenging.

And then, as I was walking down the path, with the yet to bloom daisies decorating its edges, I saw her. I froze, it was as if time stood still. A lot of people will tell you that time erases all the flaws from memory, but in her case, time only dimmed her beauty. Now, when the spring has not even begun, she took my breath away.

I felt weak and dizzy. I consciously took a deep breath. I tried but I could not get at her scent, only the mastic shrubs, and sage. The tiny raindrops like pearls in her shiny red hair glistening to me, more precious than diamonds. The sea was washing itself at the end of the dry riverbed, and I so wanted to go there with her. But now, like then, I was dumb, and she just looked right through me.

I saw my young self from far off, walking like a turtle, surrounded by friends despite my being overweight, discussing with Tzachi (where are you now friend?), the Nimzo Indian opening in Chess, looking at Shelly from the corner of my eye. My young self would never dare face her like that, smack in the middle of the path. At least I had improved on that account.

She didn’t notice me, talking to Haim instead. I remembered that they would start going out in a month’s time. Already now, when I listened to her then, I could hear her voice becoming hoarse when she talked to him, of him. I realized that she is lost for me, maybe now even more than then. Then was now, she was with me here, yet she was gone.

I went down the river bed, following the girl’s group, and found a smallish oak tree nearby where I could listen without being seen. I worked. Among all the stupid voices of the girls from my class, I could hear her calm Alto, my heart dancing Rumba against it. I don’t know anything about dancing, but I swear it was the rumba.

Only at the end of the activity did I realize how lost I was. My footstep led me back to Eli and Aviva’s home. I knew that in a month’s time I would be rich, and later even richer. I had to wait her time with Haim, and make plans in the mean time. Planning was always my strong suit.

I stayed with them for another two weeks, and then Albert and Nira helped me find a small apartment in Ein Hod. Everyone agreed to keep ‘my little visit’ as we all called it, a secret from my parents, my sister Tali, and Yair and Michael, my best friends at the time. There had been no choice.

Who were my best friends now?

Every Tuesday and Saturday I watched shelly from afar. I strolled down the riverbed, and wrote poems. At last, after all these boring translation I was in the right mood for poetry, and with a muse like that, it was not surprising.

After tow months I was happy to see I had been right. They got separated, and I was standing on the path again. The daisies started opening up, the Anemones were long gone, and Shelly was in front of me.


“Hello, Do I know you?”

“That depends.”


“Do you read science fiction?”

“I have a ‘Fantasia 2000’ subscription, why?”

“Because you know me as a ten year old kid.”

“Wait a minute, you are Uri, right?”

“What, how did you know?”

“I’m good with these things,” She smiled, “Time travel paradoxes. You are a really cute kid, do you know that?”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“Well, sorry, I have an activity to run.”

“Ok, maybe I’ll come again next week.”

“Do come.” She smiled again, and I thought I was going to faint. Luckily she walks fast, and she didn’t see that. She will not be mine, at least until the end of the decade, I I’ll get to see her, if I play my cards right, maybe even once a week. I should find something to keep the conversation going. I went to get ‘Fantasia 2000’.

My idea was quite involved. There was a price to pay, and more than a few technical details. I wanted to consult someone, and found Eli on a rare free moment.

“What do you think about the smoke of time?” I asked hesitantly.

“Uri, what’s wrong with you, did you decide to become a poet?”

“Maybe I did, should I stay in this year?”

“Is there a choice?”

“Not in the next twenty seven years, but what about later?”

“Later, you decide later! It’s not easier to determine, what might happen in two minutes time!”, he said with conviction, and did not know how right he was, about himself. Me, I’m a different guy, and I had other ideas, that would suit me better.

After a few weeks things started to clear up. Shelly kept smiling at me from time to time, and we both waited anxiously for the new ‘Fantasia 2000’ issue. She started believing that I come from her future, and I could not decide if she was playing a game or really believed it. Any I still couldn’t tell her about the Iranian nuclear weaponry. Patience.

Eventually I would have money, and knowledge, and maybe a few published poems, if anyone would agree to publish. I couldn’t tell if it would work out, but poetry is the most important thing, isn’t it?

I’ll build us both a safe haven, far from the Iranian bomb, far form the Ayatollah Khomeini, he would die eventually, but long after the running bets. I should not worry any more about the future starting in 2007, and all the future up to that point is familiar. We could always come back here together, to this safe and quiet place, the paradise of our childhood, if we only enter every time, at the right moment, to the smoke of time.

Alice the Translator

To tell you the truth, I didn't think my Hebrew was good enough to translate short stories. Then Uri Meir, the guy who published his first book with me, said he thinks I should translate the first story of the collection to English.
I said my Hebrew was not good enough to understand what he wants, but he just kept insisting. He can be stubborn at times, let me tell you.
Then he said if I could do it for Jowan, I had to do it for him too, and there was nothing else I could say, so I translated 'The Smoke of Time'. You will find it in the post above this one. I hope you like it. Feel free to comment.

Friday, July 20, 2007



Lyrics: Jowan Safady
English Translation: Alice Liddell

She’s leaving,
And keeps me out,
She’s never off, off my case.
She lies to me,
And cheats me,
Then she comes back to yell at me.

I swear I don’t get it,
What did I do,
To make you treat me so?

She curses me,
And Beats me up,
Then she comes back to yell at me.
She threatens me,
And kicks me out,
Everything to punish me.

I swear I don’t get it,
What did I do,
To make you treat me so?

I tried, every possible way,
To make you satisfied,
To make me stay,
I tried.

I swear I don’t get it,
What did I do,
To make you treat me so?


Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once said about the Palestenian right of return: “The Old ones are going to die, and the young ones will forget.”


Lyrics: Jowan Safady
English translation: Alice Liddell

The old ones are gonna die,
And the young ones will forget,
But the enemies will remind us,
whenever we forget.

How to forget the day before?
When today there is only more?
And tomorrow, very likely,
Will have another war?

Falling helpless forever in the fall,
Wandering from pitfall into trap,
Some became a vowelless grave,
or a rose upon the grave.
Some still don't even know,
Do not even know what they became.
But the justice is in heaven,
only in heaven it remains.

The old ones are gonna die,
And the young ones will forget,
But the enemies will remind us
Every time we dare to forget.
Whenever we forget...


Let me tell you about my friend Jowan Safady.
The guy is talented. He teaches Arabic, he composes music, and he sings.
I was so happy I could use the Arabic he has taught me, and translate some of his lyrics to English. In the two posts above this one, you will find two of his poems translated by yours truly.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

And here's the Logo

I promised here. Is it anything like you imagined?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Oh, You remembered!

I guess they remember at the English Wikipedia.
They said this about me:
1862 – In a rowing boat travelling on the River Thames from Oxford to Godstow, Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddell and her sisters a story that would eventually form the basis for his children's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (illustration of Alice pictured), first published exactly three years later.
Aren't they sweet?
Only one thing. With you blogger guys it's still the 3rd, but here in the east it's already the 4th!
Well, I had a marvelous time, what, 145 years ago today.
Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Hebrew logo design, finished at last

It's a very simple, clean-lined logo, almost abstract. It depicts a leaf carrying a drop of water that sparks with light. The leaf breaks through a rectangular frame that carries the title "Drop of Light" in Hebrew. Care to imagine it in your head before I show you the actual image? I, for one, find that the possible is always more exciting than the actual :-)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Book in progress

I'm Rachel, an illustrator who recently has started to work on a children book that's gonna be published by Alice. It's a very cute story about penguins, and it's really fun to draw.
Here are some explanations about the illustration process:

Every illo starts with a thumbnail sketch -

Lately I've started to do those digitally. I use the thumbs to examine several layouts and compositions. After I choose the best option, I enlarge it to the real size of the illo and draw another sketch, using transparent paper -

In this sketch I work on the lines and detais of the illo. After I'm satisfied with the 2nd sketch, I copy it to thick paper using a light-table. I've decided to use watercolors for this project, because most of the story happens outdoors and I prefer to use watercolors to draw landscapes. I also use colored pencils to draw the outlines and add depth. Here is the almost final version of this illo:

I still have to add a few details. You'll see the final version in the book...
Click on the image to view it larger.
Visit my blog to see more illustration works:
Pink flamingos.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Picture

I really wanted to show another picture of me, so I guess, here it is...
I think this picture shows the boldness and innovation of my character, and therefore the boldness and innovation of this new publishing house I've decided to run after taking such a long vacation from things...
Please tell me if you think it's the picture I should have also in my 'About Me' section.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Some Modest Progress

The books came out on time. The festival in Beer Sheva was great. I sold 4 books there, and another 7 in a festival in Jerusalem. Altogether, of the first print run, of 200 copies, I sold 56 so far, and at least another 30 are out there. In My Humble Opinion that is good progress.
The next print run, a lot better, will come out the beginning of July. We, that is me and the rest of our bright publishing team, are currently also working on two others books, but more about all that later...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I have given the first book to the printers, it should be ready by Monday for a cultural summer festival in Beer Sheva Israel.
The book is called 'Keter Malchut' in Hebrew, which would probably be translated to 'Royal Crown' when it comes out in English. It contains five short stories by the writer Uri Meir. He is a 36 year old Israeli, who writes Jewish science fiction and fantasy.
The book should come out in English, and be sold on Amazon and Ebay this fall.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Hello World

This is the website of our modest publishing house.
I publish young Israeli fiction, in Hebrew and English.
Currently we are working on several projects. When they are done, I shall tell you more about them.