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  • Book Reviews

    Why Reading Books As An Adult Is Important

    I read about a book a week. This year has been more difficult with the family at home most of the year, but I’m still on track to get sixty books done this year. Some are stinkers, some are great, but with each completed work, I take away something. The characters fade away, but the reason for reading gets me to open another book. We understand, intuitively, that children need to read and/or be read to establish their vocabulary, develop their imagination, improve their literacy skills, and entertain them, but what about us? Why do I recommend to my family that they pick up a book? It is not just…

  • Writing

    What Inspires Me #4

      As I’ve mentioned, I am working on a memoir. I’ve been working on it for three years, to be fair. Recently, however, I have felt like it is getting somewhere. I have a structure I like, a premise I feel strongly about, and 75K words plus that feel like me. I refuse to give this one up. Refuse is a big word because I had given up on this one, knowing I would go back to it at some point. Will it be a best seller? Odds are against it. Will I finish it? Yes. Will I put it aside at some point because there is laundry to do?…

  • Book Reviews

    A Review: The Darkhouse

    The Darkhouse, Barbara Radecki “Fifteen-year-old Gemma’s life on a small New Brunswick island with her father, Jonah, is not an exciting one. Her mother ran off when she was an infant, and Jonah, an amateur scientist, spends most of his time conducting experiments he thinks will one day bring him fame. But when a woman arrives on the island, Gemma tries to play matchmaker—only to discover Jonah’s secret journals, which hold terrifying secrets about both their lives.” Truth #1: I just noticed now that this is listed as a young adult novel. Other than the protagonist being a young adult, I would not have pegged it. There are some adult…

  • Writing

    What Inspires Me #2

    I recently did the Neil Gaiman Masterclass. Although a lot of what he spoke about didn’t help with personal essays or even memoirs, I did take several lessons away for writing, and life, in general. Tell readers something you hope will stay with them. Dragons can be defeated. Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared. It means you do it anyway even though it is scary. Be honest. Care about characters and make them real for everyone. Give yourself the license to ask questions. “The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on…