E. M. Neftelberg’s Books & Things

Hello! I’m E. M. Neftelberg! I’m an author, enthusiast, and general encourage-r of all things kind and good! Below are some things you may enjoy! Continue reading


Media Retrospect: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

The Christmas season of 2018 has long been upon us, and like every Christmas for the last eighteen or so years, the holiday contains little magic for me upon the arrival of Christmas Day. Gone is the euphoria of unwrapping presents on that fateful morning, replaced only with a stinging sort of sadness that comes with being forced to accept the lack of magic in the world and the increasing bitterness that settles over the adults in my life as they huff and complain and whine about nothing being as it used to be.

It’s. It’s hard, to look forward to the holidays when your home holds that kind of mindset. And I don’t think I could properly survive it without what has become my absolute favorite Christmas special of all time: the Rankin Bass 1985 production of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. I first happened to see it while I was in high school, and since I had grown up on numerous Rankin Bass Christmas specials, I was surprised it was one that I had never encountered before, but quickly found myself warmed up to the story and plot, and it brought a touch of magic back to a holiday that had soured when my parents divulged the secrets of Santa Claus’s existence. For that, I couldn’t be more grateful to it. Continue reading

The Frozen Question

Hi all. Didn’t have much energy to do a rewatch of Frozen for the Media Retrospect this weekend – I know, how much energy goes into watching a movie, right? But we’ve been doing Christmas stuff and I’ve been worn out, so instead of me going through the movie and explaining to you all the little enjoyable bits (which, well, maybe I’ll do some other time), I’m going to talk about a point of contention that this movie has borne long before its theatrical debut: the classification of Frozen as an adaptation of The Snow Queen. Continue reading

Christmas Retribution: A Trip to Krampus Festival, Asbury Park

There’s very little in the world that warms my heart like an outing with friends to something most people, my parents especially, would consider off-beat and weird. As much as I relish peace and quiet, there’s also a part of me that sincerely enjoys going out into the world and being part of events and places and knowing you’re amongst likeminded individuals who want to have fun. That’s how I’ve ended up at the Krampus Asbury Park Festival for the past couple of years, and why I attended it last weekend. Continue reading

Small News Update + March of the Wooden Soldiers Thoughts

Hello! I know I promised a retrospect on March of the Wooden Soldiers over the weekend – sadly that did not pan out as planned, the holidays were very hectic. Too many people in too tiny a house is stressful, as many folks will agree. Add an additional small dog that Does Not Like your own dog, and you have a recipe for an incredibly tense atmosphere. But I digress! What’s new in my life? A couple of things.

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Thanksgiving Contemplation

Next week is the arrival of Thanksgiving in the United States of America. It’s a holiday of difficulties and grievances for many, despite the perpetuation of happy, cozy feasts with tables full of extended family. Native American populations despise the happy “Pilgrims and Indians” narrative it boasts in contrast to the actual genocide of native peoples that happened in this country’s history. The mad shopping rush of Black Friday/the Christmas season now pulls retail workers from dinner tables to be ready to assist the masses frothing at the mouth for their heavily discounted material possessions. There are people who feel isolated by the message of togetherness, either because they have no one to “come home” to or feel trapped and alienated by the family they break bread with. There are also people who have very little, and despite this push at the end of every year to give to others, it can’t be assumed everyone is found and helped and fed. And, of course, despite the rest of the world already having embraced Christmas trappings since at least Halloween, you always get that asshole who complains about decorations going up “too early”. Continue reading

Media Retrospect: The Phantom of the Opera

I actually took four pages of notes as I watched The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Performance at the Royal Albert Hall. I have so many thoughts about the musical in general, and why this version in particular is my favorite, and all the work that went into putting on this celebratory performance. I’ve been turning comparisons to the Phantom himself and similarly dangerous men of the current era all over in my head (not the sexy dangerous, mind you), speculating on the amount of agency Christine Daae actually wields, forging a ferocious defense of Raoul de Chagny…

I’d rather save it for another post, because I ended up thinking about my late uncle a lot, and I’d rather talk about him. Continue reading


As you might have noticed, my planned blog of The Book of Life did not pan out – Saturday left me with a debilitating migraine from the time I woke up until a couple hours after dinner, and Sunday was spent doing various holiday preparations. I do apologize, as the movie is excellent and I did want to talk about it. Maybe another time. Instead, I’d just like to urge any readers from the USA to vote in the midterm elections this year. Continue reading

In the Quiet

A/N: Hey guys! So I got inspired by a nice tweet today and found myself writing out this story before I realized it! If you find yourself enjoying these two characters and wanting to know how they met, please consider picking up a copy of my novel, in which a young girl with awesome magic powers brings them together, among other things!

Please note that there are suggested themes of homophobia, transphobia, and violence towards the end, all talked about as past experiences. Even fantasy characters can’t get away from bigots, I’m afraid.

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Our Turbulent Times

As you may recall, initially I planned to post about my trip to New Hope, PA, but the weather was a washout and the plans fell through. These things happen. So, instead, I find it fitting to speak about the current events going on in the United States.

I know I’m not the only person who has decided to speak on them. But the more voices that cry out, the louder the call, and the more likely we are to be heard. Continue reading