Row80 – Sunday Check-In

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It is Sunday Check-in for Round 4 of ROW80, where it is recognized that everyone has a life and we all do the best we can.

This week was not a very creative one – both in writing and art – but I was still ill and also working on my course. With NaNoWriMo, I hope the motivation increases to write much more daily.

I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it. (I have decided to post on Sundays only, until NaNoWriMo starts.)

Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. at least 500 words a day.
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde. Week 2 went very well – finished the course this week – lots of great feedback.

*Finish writing Saving Christmas NO
*Win at NaNoWriMo – NaNoWriMo starts this week!

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs
*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW . One published – Farewell, Alleppo.
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this only once this past week. But at least did 6500 each day.
*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices No 

Personal
*Read daily. YES – this is my refuge
*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. No
*Continue to declutter. Took a couple of bags to Goodwill this week

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

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Claudette Sutton’s Biography – “Farewell, Aleppo” – a Review

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I am very pleased to be part of the WOW – Women on Writing Blog tour for Claudette Sutton’s biography Farewelln Aleppo: My Father, My People and their Long Journey Home.

 

My Review:

Claudette Sutton shares her father’s story in her book Farewell, Aleppo – from his early years in Aleppo, Syria, to his move in 1940 to Shanghai and then ultimately to New York in 1947.
But Sutton gives us so much more. There is such rich detail about her father’s early life in Aleppo, about the war years in Shanghai and ultimately, about the history of Jews throughout the Middle East.
Sutton spent years interviewing her father and others in a quest to understand her father and his story, which he had asked her to tell. As she said, it
“launched myriad questions in my mind about identity, family, and culture: what remains, what evolves, and what is left behind.”

I was fortunate to receive a copy of Sutton’s book. I hoped to learn more about the conflict and issues in Aleppo that have led to the present bloodshed in Syria today.
Well, I got this and so much more. It was fascinating to see how well Sutton’s father Mike was able to adapt no matter where he landed or how challenging it was, and at so young an age.
There were so many interesting photos of people and places throughout the book that gave a glimpse of what Aleppo and Shanghai were like in the 30’s and 40’s.
I was stunned to learn that in 1948 there were over 30,000 Jews living in three Syrian cities (including Aleppo) but by 2003, there were less than one hundred in the whole of Syria.
Yet, as Syrian Jews left the Middle East, whether by choice or were expelled, they did not leave their culture behind. As Sutton states, the “tendency of Jews throughout history has been to carry their identity with them and not have it identified by place.”

This was an intriguing biography and one rich in history, one I encourage everyone to read.

Publication Info

FarewellAleppo

Paperback: 180 Pages

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (October 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1938288408

ISBN-13: 978-1938288401

Amazon Link: click here

The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed.

To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America.

But the world intervened for the young men, now renamed Mike and Sal by their Uncle Joe. Sal became ill with tuberculosis soon after arriving and was sent back to Aleppo alone. And the war that soon would engulf every inhabited land loomed closer each day. Joe, Syrian-born but a naturalized American citizen, barely escaped on the last ship to sail for the U.S. before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Japanese seized Shanghai. Mike was alone, a teen-ager in an occupied city, across the world from his family, with only his mettle to rely on as he strived to survive personally and economically in the face of increasing deprivation.

Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.

The picture Sutton paints is both a poignant narrative of individual lives and the broader canvas of a people’s survival over millennia, in their native land and far away, through the strength of their faith and their communities. Multiple threads come richly together as she observes their world from inside and outside the fold, shares an important and nearly forgotten epoch of Jewish history, and explores universal questions of identity, family, and culture.

 

About The Author:

Claudette_Sutton

It’s no coincidence that family is the central focus of both Farewell, Aleppo and the work that has been the driving force of its author’s professional life.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in the close-knit community of Syrian Jews all were part of Claudette Sutton’s childhood in suburban Maryland, along with her parents and siblings. Years later, as a young mother in Santa Fe, it seemed only natural to think of creating a similar kind of close support for families in her new hometown by means of her journalism training and experience.

Thus began what is now Tumbleweeds, an award-winning local publication that for over twenty years has been expanding its role in serving the city’s families. As the quarterly newspaper has grown, so have its scope and community contributions, mixing news, commentary, personal writing, advice, and activity guides—all reflecting Claudette’s vision of a community resource to help her neighbors face the challenges of parenting.

Claudette’s eloquent writing, the other great strength she combines with the paper’s wide-ranging utility, has been a door to the world for her since she was a teen-ager. As a reporter, she realized early, “You can learn about everything”—a much more appealing option after high school than the enforced specialization of college.

After three years writing for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland, Claudette moved to New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the New School for Social Research. Living in proximity to another side of her extensive family, she built a deeper understanding of the Jewish exodus from Syria that has formed the backdrop for the story she tells so movingly in Farewell, Aleppo.

The narrative chronicles her father’s youth, his odyssey across oceans and continents, and the new life he made in America. But as Claudette talked with him and researched more deeply, she saw also the essential elements of the larger tale. What began as one man’s story grew into a portrait of the history that made his journey necessary, and of how a vibrant people have preserved their community and culture through the thousands of years from biblical times to today.
Find Claudette Online:

https://youtu.be/5uIs82lSdds

 

Website: www.claudettesutton.com

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FarewellAleppo

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FarewellAleppo

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/claudette0589/farewell-aleppo-the-book/

 

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Claudettesutton

 

Be sure to check the other blogs which are part of the tour.

———-Blog Tour Dates

Monday, October 23rd @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

 

 Tuesday, October 24th @ Bring on Lemons with Julie Assel Thomas

Fellow author Julie Assel Thomas shares her thoughts after reading “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton. Don’t miss this engaging and enlightening book blog stop!

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

 

Wednesday, October 25th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples reads and reviews “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton and shares her insight and thoughts with readers at Choices.

http://madelinesharples.com/

 

 Thursday, October 26th @ Jerry Waxler

Readers of Jerry Waxler’s memoir blog will enjoy reading Jerry’s deep thoughts as he reviews “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton.

https://www.jerrywaxler.com/

 

 

Friday, October 27th @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley Baird reviews and shares her thoughts after reading the moving story “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton. Don’t miss this book blog stop. https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

 Monday, October 30th @ CMash Loves to Read

Today’s guest blogger at CMash Loves to Read is none other than Claudette E. Sutton. Hear from her on the topic of ”         ” and learn more about her book “Farewell, Aleppo”.

http://cmashlovestoread.blogspot.com/

 

Friday, November 3rd @ Janese Dixon

Don’t miss today’s author spotlight at Janese Dixon’s blog – the author is none other than Claudette E. Sutton. Readers can learn more about Sutton and her beautifully written tale: “Farewell, Aleppo; My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home.”

http://www.janesedixon.com/blog

 

 Wednesday, November 8th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto

Crystal J. Casavant-Otto reviews “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton. Crystal was very moved by this story and can’t wait to share her thoughts with readers.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

 

 Thursday, November 9th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey with Kathleen Pooler

Kathleen Pooler of Memoir Writer’s Journey shares her deep thoughts after reading and reviewing “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton.

https://krpooler.com/

 

 Friday, November 10th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews Claudette Suttons “Farewell, Aleppo” and shares her insight and thoughts with readers at her blog!

 http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

 

 

ROW 80: Sunday Check-In

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It is Sunday Check-in for Round 4 of ROW80, where it is recognized that everyone has a life and we all do the best we can.

I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it.   (I have decided to post on Sundays only, until NaNoWriMo starts.)

Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. Yes. 
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde. Week 1 went very well – first 5 chapters revised, with different criteria used.

*Finish writing Saving Christmas NO
*Win at NaNoWriMo (a November goal) Continue to use Janice Hardy’s Idea to Novel Workshop)

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs
*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW . One due the 27th.
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this twice in past week.
*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices YES – have missed several days as I have been ill this week

Personal
*Read daily. YES
*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. No
*Continue to declutter. Took 1 box to Goodwill this week

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

Row 80 – Sunday Check-In

ROW80Logocopy

It is Sunday check-in for Round 4 of ROW80, where it is recognized that everyone has a life and we all do the best we can.

I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it.

I have decided to post on Sundays only, until NaNoWriMo starts.

Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. Not every day – but I am writing daily!
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde (start the course tomorrow)
*Finish writing Saving Christmas NO
*Win at NaNoWriMo (a November goal, although have started to plan – using Janice Hardy’s Idea to Novel Workshop)

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs
*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW . More at the end of the month
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this twice in past week.
*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices YES – have done a blog post each day, except for Thanksgiving (the 9th)

Personal
*Read daily. YES
*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. Not at all (hangs head)
*Continue to declutter. Took 1 bag to Goodwill this week

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

 

Sunday Check-In: Row 80

 

 

It is Sunday check-in for Round 4 of ROW80.
I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it.
Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. YES!
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde (will start the course Oct. 16)

*Finish writing Saving Christmas NO

*Win at NaNoWriMo (a November goal, although have started to plan – using Janice Hardy’s Idea to Novel Workshop)

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs

*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW .  The first will appear this week 

Health
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this twice in past week.

*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices YES – have done a blog post each day

Personal 
*Read daily. YES

*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. Not every day

*Continue to declutter. Took 3 boxes to Goodwill this week

 

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

 

ROW80 – Goals for Round 4

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ROW80Round 4 begins today.
I have been away from ROW80 for some time. The past two years have been stressful and definitely not productive.
I’ve read a lot, but written very little. Ideas have still percolated but I haven’t done much more than write them down. I still have several novels /novellas to revise.
But I am tired of my lack of progress. It is well past time to buckle down. I know what it takes to succeed – I just need to get back to my routines of writing and creating.

My goals this round will be fewer but more specific.

Writing

*Write at least 1000 words a day.

*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde

*Finish writing Saving Christmas

Win at NaNoWriMo

~ complete Janice Hardy’s Idea to Novel Workshop in Oct.

~write 50,000 words in November

 

Blogging

*Blog at least 3x a week

*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW

 

Health

*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months

*Walk 10,000 steps a day

*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices

 

Personal (not as specific)

*Read daily

*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges

*Continue to declutter

 

My fall intentions vision board highlighted many of these goals. I have it displayed so I can be reminded to focus on them regularly.

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September Favs and October TBR

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October  -a new month, new challenges and new books to read.

At “Broke and Bookish”, today also means a look back at our favs from September.

 

My Favourites from September

First and foremost, it was a love fest for Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I find her writing draws you in and you feel as if you know the characters, and quickly come involved in their complicated lives.

I continued reading several more of her books this month:

What I Did For Love

This Heart of Mine

Natural Born Charmer

First Star I See Tonight

Breathing Room

Match Me if You Can

 

I also enjoyed

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs

 

This month, I hope to read a few books from my TBR Fall List (check here for the complete list)

Glass Houses by L0uise Penny

Off the Page by Jodi Piccoult and Samantha Van Leer

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

 

There will be other books of course, but these are must reads.

 

What will you be reading this month?