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Sunday, 17 September 2017

כתיבה וחתימה טובה

Very best wishes for a sweet and successful 5778 to all who are celebrating the Jewish New Year.


Natalie Wood and Brian Fink (Karmiel, Galilee, Israel).

(© Natalie Wood (17 September 2017)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Super Recipes from a Super Doc!

Dr Taz Bhatia I first learned about social anxiety only very recently but have since seen it mentioned increasingly often, mainly in reference to women’s mental health.

Indeed general anxiety is among disorders cited in Superwoman RX **, a healthcare book for women based on integrative medicine. It is by US-based Dr Tasneem Bhatia who aims to ‘solve and heal’ the root cause of patients’ complaints rather than simply to manage and control them by traditional medication.

Super Woman RX She maintains: “The reason that the majority of health solutions fail is that they are given as a blanket prescription”. So her patients are treated as unique individuals by being split into five whimsically-titled ‘power types’ and then given health-driven lifestyle solutions as appropriate.

I appreciate what Dr Bhatia achieves but doubt that her methods suit everyone.

After all, the women who suffer most from the many medical conditions she treats would never see her. As they are among the poorest in society, I suggest they could ill-afford an initial consultation, let alone Dr Taz’s suggested food and exercise regimens that surely require a comfortable income and the luxury of time to enjoy them.

* I received an advanced copy of Super Woman RX in exchange for an honest review.

** Super Woman RX is available on Amazon @ $9.99 (Kindle) and $16.60 (hardcover).

© Natalie Wood (14 September 2017)

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Loud but Not Proud

The late Lionel Blue, Britain’s first openly gay rabbi, would feel great empathy with the author of My Real Hue *.

He would understand his struggles with his sexuality; the desperate appeal of psychoanalysis and the monstrous love-hate relationship with a domineering, controlling mother.

My Real HueMoreover, while of course retaining a profound Jewish identity, Blue was drawn to Christianity. So he may well also have understood, even admired how the pseudonymousDan Yves Eisner’ has not only became an active member of the Protestant United Church of Christ in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA but has become the only Jewish moderator (highest lay leader of a UCC Church) in the United States and possibly the world!

Now Eisner maintains that his Church activities “gave me a sense of belonging and affiliation I never inherited from my blood family”.

Eisner’s hastily sketched memoir begins and ends with what may or may not have happened to his French-born mother’s family when the Nazis invaded France. He does not consider the Christian Church’s role in fomenting the Holocaust or indeed the anti-homosexual hate its traditional teachings have inspired.

As Eisner’s brother is heterosexual and has led a conventional Jewish life despite experiencing the same dysfunctional upbringing, this reader has been left wondering if Eisner’s story is another example of the ongoing ‘nature versus nurture’ debate and whether, indeed, a broken personality like his is somehow drawn irresistibly towards a form of worship that runs in complete contradistinction to his heritage. It would undoubtedly need a psychoanalyst to help determine that.

Despite my many personal caveats, My Real Hue will most likely prove popular with those who enjoy fashionable topics like Holocaust memoirs, struggles with self and coming out as gay in a hostile world. I am, however, disappointed that the author employs a pen-name as heis protecting no-one but himself.

* My Real Hue is available from Amazon on Kindle ($9.99) and Paperback ($14.93).

© Natalie Wood (20 August 2017)

Thursday, 20 July 2017

PerfectlyWritePoetry: Yes: Far Too Soon to Say Goodbye!

PerfectlyWritePoetry: Yes: Far Too Soon to Say Goodbye!: As we mark the bi-centenary of the death of novelist, Jane Austen scholars still debate its cause. Was it tuberculosis, cancer, Addison’s d...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Israel Sports Its Rainbow

MACC.20If anything expresses the essence of Israel as a rainbow nation it is surely the Maccabiah Games which this year attracted 10,000 participants from 80 countries.


Thanks to Nefesh B’Nefesh I was among the hundreds present at the Acco Municipal Stadium on Sunday to see two back-to-back soccer matches played in sweltering temperatures of about 35˚C (95˚F),  first Israel v USA girls, then Israel v Mexico boys.


The 17th Maccabiah Games are due to end with tonight’s closing ceremony in Latrun, midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Now I’ll let some more  pictures do the talking:



MACC.21  MACC.22



© Natalie Wood (17 July 2017)

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Coco Lite!

I am convinced that the major self-publishing companies are wholly honourable and while their services are not cheap they wish to do their best for their client- writers.

So believe them when they warn that the reading public does judge a book by its cover.

Moreover, unless debut self-published authors are from professional writing backgrounds, they should invest in reliable proofing and editing services.

COCOI thought about this for the umpteenth time on trying to review **Coco's Story - The Early Years  by Tomás Berlín who has produced six very striking covers for his mystery crime series but who has given himself and potential readers vast editorial problems to solve. I appeal to him to go no further with current production plans but to employ the type of professional help I suggest.

** Coco’s Story – The Early Years is available at Amazon on Kindle ($3.99); Paperback ($14.25).

© Natalie Wood (16 July 2017)

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

PerfectlyWritePoetry: Restoring Miss Toyah

PerfectlyWritePoetry: Restoring Miss Toyah: ‘Erasure poetry’ is defined as a form of ‘found poetry’ or ‘found art’ created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and ...