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Julie Gray
A story consultant and writer's coach, Julie directs the Tel Aviv Writer's Salon and consults with a wide variety of writers all over the world helping shape their blog, novel, non-fiction and script narratives through her website, The Red Slipper Writers' Room.

Julie lives and works in Tel Aviv where she 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.

Entries by Julie Gray


(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 9:05 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...

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Gaming a Scammer: How Far Can You Go?

(2) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 4:13 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.

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Syria: The View From Here

(19) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 5:01 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...

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Losing My Religion

(8) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 12:07 PM

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?...

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Anywhere But Here: The Vagaries of Grief

(1) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 6:37 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...

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Not Why But How: Marking Yom HaShoah

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

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

(37) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 9:10 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...

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Tower of Babble

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

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Mad As Hell: Is Positive Thinking Bad for Women?

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 8:10 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...

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The Hidden Fallout of Rape

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2013 | 2:54 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....

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Along Came Kelly

(111) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 7:06 AM

I'll be honest. I am 48 years old and zaftig. Is that the word? Plump? Rubenesque? Actually, I think those poetic words are putting it a bit too kindly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, no?

For eight years, I lived in Los Angeles. They weren't exactly...

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Not Home for the Holidays

(8) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 12:02 PM

Nine and a half months ago, more than an alarmingly overdue pregnancy and much to the mystification and consternation of many, I moved from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, Israel.

I have experienced my first air raid sirens, my first war, my first bus bombing. I have lived in...

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Status Update: Israel

(12) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 3:15 PM

It didn't take more than 18 hours after the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated when the usual Facebook and Twitter updates of greetings, cute pictures of kitties and cloying pictures of seascapes with treacle drenched expressions of how one should aspire to love, laugh and live ("like"!) were...

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Me on Drugs

(5) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 6:50 PM

I have been on drugs for about six years, give or take. Prozac and Buspiron. Prozac for depression and Buspiron for its evil twin sister, anxiety. There were others, too. Many others until my doctor "found the right balance." My mother is on antidepressants, as is my sister, as was...

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The View From Here: A Nation's Lonely Eyes

(3) Comments | Posted July 31, 2012 | 12:25 PM

I am sitting at a cafe in a mall. Nearby, there is a table full of uniformed soldiers, carrying Uzis. They are enjoying iced coffee and having a laugh. They must have the day off. Syria is teetering on the brink, and chemical weapons are moving rapidly from one set...

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Neither Here Nor There: Notes From Abroad

(24) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 8:00 AM

Moving abroad. It sounded so E.M. Forster, so glamorous.

Surely, if you moved abroad to say France, you would have much to write home about. Things about the amazing food, the beautiful language, the sights and sounds of your new country. Germany might provide many interesting emails to your...

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The Party at the End of the World

(50) Comments | Posted April 13, 2012 | 4:16 PM

Avi stares at the ceiling. He is thinking about the question I just asked him: Why do the Arab nations seem to hate Israel so much? What is the fundamental problem?

It's another hot, humid, lazy day in Tel Aviv. The curtains I brought from America move in the breeze...

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Leaving Hollywood for The Middle East to Empower Women

(12) Comments | Posted February 24, 2012 | 9:03 AM

It's a crazy idea. For many, it is an unthinkable one, this moving from Hollywood to the Middle East. I'm going in the opposite direction, people say.

My friends and acquaintances are alternately excited and terrified for me. Mostly, people scratch their heads -- how does this make sense?...

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Our Country 'Tis of Thee

(1) Comments | Posted December 6, 2011 | 7:01 PM

My ancestors arrived on these shores almost 400 years ago, long before the U.S. was even close to the country we see today. I am a Mayflower descendant, and also a descendant of Irish, Scottish, English and German immigrants who farmed tobacco and sheep and called dirt floor shacks their...

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Do You Own Stuff, or Does Stuff Own You?

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 7:12 PM

A laptop computer
An iPhone
A Nano
20 books
Knitting needles and yarn
A menorah
Three purses
A bed, one set of linens and pillows
Two scented candles
Some incense
Two lamps
One medium box...

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