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Mishegas’ Column Reaches Out to Jewish Community

If creativity is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration, then I’m sweating bullets.

I never know where my next idea for a column will come from—maybe after I read a good book, or decorate a sukkah in my backyard, or register Jack for high school, or watch the innauguration of the first African American president, I’ll be inspired once again in some literary way. It sounds weird, but even broiled chicken, especially when left overnight in the oven, stirs the creative juices for me.

For the most part I write about stuff that effects me as a mom, from my obsession with the Food Network to lessons that I’ve learned from my dog. Without fail, a reader out there relates to my experiences, whether I’m making strudel for Jack’s bar mitzvah or throwing crumbs in the water for a tashlikh ceremony.

In the nearly three years that I’ve been writing “Mishegas of Motherhood,” writer’s block is never an issue for very long. With year-round holidays and traditions on the Jewish calendar, I always have something to speculate about, from blowing a shofar on Rosh Hashana to planting a tree at Tu Bishvat. Plus, I always can explore Judaism’s ancient advice on parenting, such as my personal favorite, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

Writing is an isolating job, but I kind of like it that way. I’ve grown content to stay at home most days, especially in the winter. I wear my fleece pajamas, sip jasmine tea, and stare at the computer while I juggle words until they make some sense. With Luci curled in a ball and softly breathing beside me, I’m a happy hermit.

But as the soggy tea bags pile up on my desk, I admit that I can use a change of scenery once in awhile. The perfect solution is to expand my horizons and kick it up a notch when it comes to the content of “Mishegas of Motherhood.” In other words, I need to get out of the house a bit more, break away from my comfort zone, and tap into the energy of the local Jewish scene. The diverse and vibrant St. Louis Jewish community has a personality all its own, just ask the growing number of women who bond in mahj groups, book clubs, and Torah yoga classes to name a few social outlets.

With a community so diverse in culture, food, fashion, entertainment, and opinions on everything, there’s always a place to go and people to know. So tell me your story, and I’ll scribble some notes on the empty pages of my son’s spiral math notebook. Did you try an incredible new restaurant or rediscover a quirky hole-in-the-wall? Seen any good movies, concerts, speakers, or performances? Let’s talk! “Mishegas of Motherhood” is a platform for self-expression, so let your voice be heard as well.

I’m ready to go anywhere the action is, as long as I’m back in time for carpool line.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Feel free to send any comments to: ellie@mishegasofmotherhood.com or visit her website at www.mishegasofmotherhood