As an author, one of the questions I’m frequently asked is, “Where do you get your ideas from?”

The answer is easy, “Everywhere.”

The idea for The Missing Letters, A Dreidel Story, goes back to the 1990s. I was browsing in a Judaica shop when I overheard the owners discussing where they could possibly find room for all the dreidels they’d ordered.

My imagination went wild as I pictured dreidels of all sizes and colors; dreidels made of plastic, wood, and chocolate; dreidels piled from floor to ceiling. All of this culminated in a story called, “Too Many Dreidels Are Just Enough.” I loved this story and so did my critique group. The publishers, not as much, although I did receive a few nice comments.

But each year, when Hanukkah came around, I thought about my dreidel story. My family enjoys playing the dreidel game and, of course, everyone wants to land on the gimel so they can win the pot.

That got me thinking about jealousy, sibling rivalry, and making poor choices – issues that can be traced back throughout the bible. Soon I had the nuns, heys, and shins complaining that it was unfair that the gimels always got to win, because that made them everyone’s favorites. That led to the shins asking, “What if...?” And that’s what led to The Missing Letters, A Dreidel Story.