My 2017 A to Z themes revealed

Continuing my tradition of themes related to my writing, this year I’m featuring places and things from my WIP, The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees, and its sequels (each following a different group of characters), Sweet Miracles and Rebuilding the RemnantsBranches in turn begins with three of the characters from The Natural Splash of a Living Being escaping a death march, while Splash continues without them.

Branches is set in locales including Abony, Budapest, Florence, Paris, Béziers, Montpellier, and NantesSweet Miracles follows the characters who immigrate to Newark in November 1948 (the name taken from the mousery and rabbitry one of the couples starts), and Remnants follows the characters who immigrate to Israel after the British are finally gone.

You’ll learn about topics like:

Dohány Utca Synagogue, the Great Synagogue of Budapest and one of the largest in the world, which Eichmann used as his headquarters during the Nazi occupation.

Jewish Newark, which is now sadly just a fading memory. In the mid-twentieth century, Newark had the sixth-largest Jewish community in the U.S., with countless synagogues, schools, bakeries, cemeteries, and other communal institutions.

Machal, the all-volunteer fighting force from abroad which helped Israel to win its War of Independence.

La Samaritaine, a historic department store in Paris.

Hashomer Hatzair, a Socialist–Zionist youth group which supported a binational state. (Contrary to what many people on the modern-day Left believe, it’s very possible to be both a Socialist and Zionist without any conflicts!)

Vailsburg, a Newark neighborhood which now has a much different character than it did at mid-century. It includes a former movie palace which today serves as a church.

Košice, Slovakia, the hometown of my character Artur Sklar and Slovakia’s next-largest city. It was also the first European settlement to get a coat of arms.

Ospedale di Santa Maria Nuova, Florence’s oldest hospital, founded by the father of Dante’s love Beatrice.

Basilica di Santa Croce, an impressive complex that’s so more than just a church. It contains Dante’s empty tomb, waiting for Ravenna to return his bones already.

Neology, a uniquely Hungarian denomination that’s akin to Liberal Modern Orthodox Judaism.

Tempio Maggiore Israelitico di Firenze, the breathtaking Great Synagogue of Florence, which was saved from Nazi destruction in 1944 by brave members of the Italian Resistance. They managed to diffuse almost all of the explosives left by the retreating occupiers.

University of Montpellier, one of the oldest universities in the world, and home to the world’s oldest med school still in operation.

Pasarét, a Bauhaus neighborhood on the Buda side of Budapest.

Gellért Hill, a beautiful, storied hill on the Buda side, with lovely outlooks of the entire city.

Lower Galilee, a beautiful, peaceful region I hope to someday live in, far from the maddening rush of the big cities, and with wonderful interfaith relations. You’ll learn the story behind the most bizarre grave I’ve ever seen!

Several letters have two or three topics, but I kept everything within my usual average of 400–800 words. All non-public domain photographs are properly credited. Since I’ve been to the Lower Galilee, many of those photographs are my own work.


My names blog will feature (mostly) names from Greek mythology. Since the Greek alphabet doesn’t have certain letters, I found mythological names from other cultures for those days. In the interest of fairness, I always do both a female and male name on each day.


13 comments on “My 2017 A to Z themes revealed

  1. I am completely new to your blog, I am not too sure what you are going to be doing, but I am intrigued… here from AtoZ. Good luck!
    Ishieta @Isheeria’s


  2. I like learning about places around the world, so very cool theme!


  3. cleemckenzie says:

    I’m always interested in learning about places around the world. That helps me choose where to go next. Thanks.


  4. Tarkabarka says:

    Look, Hungarian places! I’m all for this one 🙂 Looking forward to reading more!

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF – Weird Things in Folktales


  5. Chrys Fey says:

    The titles of your books are neat. Your posts will be very informative, that’s for sure. 🙂 Have fun with A to Z!


  6. This does sound like a good theme to work on. Also, a really nice way of tying it into your books. I’ll have to keep it in mind for later.


  7. saracsnider says:

    I’m always up for learning some history. 🙂 And I’m always in awe of people who do the challenge for multiple blogs. See you in April!

    Theme Reveal: Magical and Medicinal Herbs


  8. Arlee Bird says:

    Sounds like you’ll be covering a lot of ground! I like stories with many locales.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out Theme Reveal: It’s About Time


  9. Debbie D. says:

    Travel and history – two of my favourite things. ☺ Your other blog sounds good, too. I’m in awe of those who can participate in the A to Z with more than one. Best wishes!
    Debbie @ The Doglady’s Den


  10. This looks like an awesome theme. I am really looking forward to it. I’m history major and this is right up my alley.


  11. clicksclan says:

    I’m sure this’ll be really interesting. Good luck with the challenge.

    Cait @ Click’s Clan


  12. leannelc says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with each day for the Challenge – I love learning a little bit while I’m being entertained. And thanks for stopping by my blog too. It’s always great meeting new blogger friends 🙂
    Leanne | cresting the hill


  13. Your theme sounds intriguing and most enlightening. It is always so interesting to learn new things.
    Tasha’s Thinkings – Shapeshifters and Werewolves


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