iOS app Android app

Julie Gray
GET UPDATES FROM Julie Gray
 
A top Hollywood story analyst, Julie has worked with screenwriters and novelists as a consultant and editor for over ten years.

The founder of the Tel Aviv Writer's Salon, Julie also blogs for the Times of Israel and is working on a memoir.

Her book Just Effing Entertain Me: A Screenwriter's Atlas is available now.

Contact Julie Gray.

Entries by Julie Gray

Happiness Is the Truth: Fighting Despair

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 10:20 AM

It used to be that "end times," apocalyptic thinking was solely the purview of the crazies. You know, the fundamentalists, the recluses, the paranoid, the kooky guy holding a "The End is Near!" sign on the street corner.

Look at history, I'd say -- there have been many times...

Read Post

So This Is War

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 11:03 PM

This is what it's like, huh? After all the movies I have seen? I really didn't expect it would be like this.

It's not like the grinding nature of rations, eating beans from a can, crafting items out of stockings or cardboard in the flickering light of a gas...

Read Post

Moral Whiplash and Other Injuries

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 12:37 PM

It is a truism (that most of us only reluctantly admit) that there are some experiences in life that we cannot actually feel or understand -- ever -- until they happen to us, personally. Parenthood. Aging. Grief. War.

About 45 miles from where I live, a ground invasion is...

Read Post

Embracing Ambiguity

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 4:00 PM

On Saturday, July 12 at 8 p.m., Hamas informed Israel that in one hour they would rain down hell on central Israel. They were late. It started at 9:07 p.m. But what Hamas lacked in punctuality they made up for in the number and capabilities of the missiles fired.

...
Read Post

Israel Under the Magnifying Glass

(4) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 11:09 AM

An air raid siren is a moan, it is a wail. It is low and dull and yet it pierces through walls and floods your brain with the need for immediate action. Horribly enough, a motorcycle approaching or receding sounds briefly similar.

The children playing outside cease their activity...

Read Post

'Big Bad' Israeli Film

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 5:54 PM

Eitan Reuven paced nervously toward the rear of the theater. His film Another World was about to screen for members of the Israeli Film Academy. The bulb for the projector had burned out and the crowd was getting restless. At least we were inside, enjoying dim lighting and...

Read Post

Bring Back Our Boys

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 10:10 AM

I sit at the bus stop next to a religious woman who is covered from head to toe in thick black clothing. It is hot, maybe 90 F and it's 10a.m. We glance at each other without interest and I shade my eyes looking for the number 61. Nearby, a...

Read Post

Dream Date

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 3:18 PM

I push back my chair, spilling my coffee a little. And with a HEAVE I upend the table like Jesus and the moneychangers. Glasses shatter! Dishes crash! Everybody looks up, shocked, most of all, the man with the thinning hair sitting opposite me.

"You don't think every living moment...

Read Post

The Freaking Autumn of My Life

(1) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 10:40 AM

I have been pretty worried about turning 50 for about three years now. When I turned 47, the voice in my head was saying sure, sure, 47 WHICH IS ALMOST 50 I'M GOING TO DIE!

Of course, at that time, I was living in Los Angeles, or Land O'...

Read Post

The Good Girl

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2014 | 8:31 AM

2014-04-27-desertsign.jpgYesterday at dusk, as the call of the muezzin drifted from a nearby mosque, I walked into a courtyard of a sprawling concrete compound. A dog barked somewhere in the background.

At the door, my companion Amir turned to me quickly, and stubbornly pulled...

Read Post

Quitter

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 8:05 AM

That was what the man, my boss, whispered into my ear, his hot breath fluttering the hair on my young neck. I was a "personal assistant" for a D.C. bigwig. I had lasted six weeks before, in abject fear, I tendered my resignation. I was stung and humiliated. I was...

Read Post

Gaming a Scammer: How Far Can You Go?

(2) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 3:13 PM

I had taken the day off, uncharacteristically, and was glued to CNN as I watched events play out in Syria. Living in Israel gave me more than a vested interest in the unfolding situation. My gas mask sat on the coffee table silently. Eventually, I decorated it with stickers.

...
Read Post

Syria: The View From Here

(19) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 4:01 PM

Totally Unqualified Middle East Hippy Correspondent. That's my joke moniker as I type updates about what's going on in Israel on my Facebook page. About the gas masks and all. About what it's like to be here in neighboring Israel, as Syria and the atrocities therein draw the attention of...

Read Post

Losing My Religion

(8) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 11:07 AM

Warning: This post contains serious subject matter and may not be suitable for all readers.

Three years to the day my brother killed himself, I had a breakdown.

Doesn't that conjure images of wild, matted hair and covering yourself in duct tape and tin foil and breaking stuff?...

Read Post

Anywhere But Here: The Vagaries of Grief

(1) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 5:37 PM

I get on the packed bus, toward the back. It's rush hour and crowded. Briefly, I wonder if my bus will explode in a ball of white hot heat and shrapnel. That happens here. I brush aside the thought quickly not because it's irrational but because there is a certain...

Read Post

Not Why But How: Marking Yom HaShoah

(5) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 4:54 PM

I found out about the Holocaust by watching, of all things, a TV mini-series. It was Holocaust, with Meryl Streep and James Wood, among others. It was 1978. I was 14. How could I not know about the Holocaust? How is that possible? Well, I was an American kid living...

Read Post

Say It Ain't So: Is America in Its Death Throes?

(37) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 8:10 PM

President Obama is visiting my adopted country and excitement is in the air. The moment he stepped from his plane onto the soil of this Middle Eastern country, a palpable feeling reverberated. Dad is here, I felt. America -- the country of my provenance, the blood in my veins, the...

Read Post

Tower of Babble

(11) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 10:16 AM

Recently I began to study in Israel's famed Ulpan Hebrew immersion classes. There are those who say that Hebrew isn't that difficult to learn but they are liars.

Hebrew is an ancient West Semitic Afroasiatic language, which is a fancy way of saying that it reads from right to...

Read Post

Mad As Hell: Is Positive Thinking Bad for Women?

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 7:10 AM

Rage. The white-hot rush that floods your body and shoots out the top of your head like a volcanic eruption, leaving you vibrating with energy so pure you feel you could levitate. For one sweet/hot, burning moment, you are the Goddess of FIRE.

Rage is a powerful, cleansing river...

Read Post

The Hidden Fallout of Rape

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2013 | 1:54 PM

Rape. One of the ugliest words in the English -- or any language.

Coupled with -ist and added to "distant relative of mine," the word provokes a nauseating free fall.

This is not a story about the victim. This is the story about the family of the accused....

Read Post