Writing Life Stories – A Book Review

Bill Roorbachs Book

I’ve read a lot of books on writing, but none that has helped me as much as Bill Roorbach’s “Writing Life Stories”, and I’ve only just begun reading it.

Early on, like No. 3, is a section on map-making that spoke to my visual side. He suggested you “make a map of the earliest neighborhood you can remember”, and then describe it. Use details, sights, smells, sounds, etc and see what pops up. It was an incredible experience. And allowed me to write about the house my dad built when I was 4-5 years old. The memories were wonderful and laid the groundwork for many others I had long since forgotten about.

Then I went digging for images that matched those memories and they made for a wonderful family story that is not just verbal. Do try it and do read his book. I’m grateful he took the time to write it and I’m glad Writer’s Digest recommended it.

Until next time.

The Bone Feud – Book Review 4/27/2015

Spirit of 13 - Book Review

Historic Fiction comes in all types of styles, genres and themes.  The Bone Feud is a story of two “Professors” that are in a race to find the most dinosaur bones and get them identified so they can name them.  The true story is fictionalized by adding wonderful characters to the tale and making one of the participants the bartender  and storyteller.

I was captured from the beginning of my #fridayread.  From P.T. Barnum to Wild Bill Hickok, the authors ability to bring other characters of interest into the story was great fun.  His writing style is clear and the story flowed nicely.  However, I missed hearing from the storyteller himself in the middle of the tale.  He got lost, and so did I, in the middle.  Thankfully, he was found and once again took charge at the end.

For a fun #fridayread, it’s great and is well deserving of 4*’s.

 

Emergence – A Book Review

Derek Rydall has written a most compelling book on the “Law of Emergence” and the baggage we carry due to cultural beliefs about what constitutes worth, value and success. It’s a system we all get hung up in and can be one of our biggest challenges. Rydall’s premise is “Our work is to strip away our false exterior and reveal our innate wholeness.” That “Everything you need to fulfill your destiny is within you, waiting to emerge”.

Spiritof13 - Book ReviewHis discussion on worth and value is food for great soul searching and provides ideas and support for helping us all find our inner self. Starting with the word Sin – it’s actually an archery term that means “to miss the mark” but has been cultural zed to shame us into not accepting our inner self.

The handicapped and mentally ill suffer the most from these cultural judgments . They must create a different belief of worth, value and success. Rydall states “The problem is you’re stuck on this idea of what you think your life should look like and how you think things should work out, but you have no idea how things should work out.”

HIs discussion on self-worth and our “selfie” makes you stop and think about what you’ve been doing and what you should be doing to become centered without fear because “No matter what you try, as long as you’re coming from a place of fear nothing you do will ever get you what you want.” So true.

There are so many wonderful and quotable thoughts in this book, one has to hit home with everyone. For instance, on having a self-worth measure of money he remarks, “You made your savings account your source, your god, and whenever you make something outside of you the source of your security or supply, the universe is set up to betray you – so that you’ll turn within and find your real source again.” So much for keeping up with the Jones’.

Does self-worth = value and success? Not to Mr. Rydall’s Law of Emergence. “While we’ve made great strides as a society, we’re still hungry, broke, scared, and killing each other at alarming rates”. I couldn’t have said it better.

A wonderful read for everyone. 4 Stars.

Order In Court – Book Review

Order In Court by David Osborne is an odd, but fun little book. Each Chapter is a new adventure by Barrister Toby Potts. From his love life to his court life, everything is just a little odd – but so are all his clients.

I purchased the book because the tease said it was humor, and I was pleasantly surprised his unique style of writing made me laugh out loud. Mr. Osborne has a gift for turning your tongue. And his subtle humor and innuendo is refreshing.

“Gettig squiffy on rough cider” makes it clear what was going on. Mr. Dan D Lyon is yet another of his characters you’ll want to know more about. He pokes fun at just about everyone, but in a kind way. And you’ll need to be paying attention as you read, the hidden barbs and twists are cleverly woven into the text and all are worth a chuckle.

4 Stars for Mr. Osborne’s latest.

The Flower Sellers – A Tale of Two Sisters

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

That phrase never appeared in my latest read – “A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers” by Hazel Gaynor. The children of historic London were the flower sellers – watercress, roses, lavendar, shamrocks, each season there was one special nosegay Spirit of 13 - Book Reviewthey sold on the street to the affluent Britains. It was there they learned to take each day as it comes, don’t wrorry about the future, leave the past where it is. It was there that “little mothers” were born. They were the children who raised their younger siblings in the absence of any parents. It was there the street Urchins might meet Mr. Shaw and be chosen to live and work at his Watercress and Flower Girls Facility in Clerkenwell.

The street urchins of London in the 1800’s, results of polio, accients and abandonment, were like most of the street children – they wore tattered,m dirty frocks, which hun off their undernourished bodies and went about barefoot. Mr. Shaw “sensed that it would be only y housing the girls, removing them permanently from theirlife on the streets and providing them a purpose, that we could ever make a real and lasting difference to their lives.”

The houses were called a “Crippleage”, but they were places where children learned that “to love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth”. They learned to make silk flowers by the hundreds, and they learned to care and share.

This is my best read of 2015, at least thus far. Ms. Gaynor has done a wonderful job telling their true story, all the while asking “Is this an ending or a beginning?” Good question – one I should have asked myself over the years. The love of two sisters, the sorrow of childhood poverty, the history of women in society, the compassion of a London man who owned an engraving business who had #enough and hired a room for hot cocoa and bread and butter.

A must read.