Monday, October 27, 2014

Dancing on the Head of a Pen

The Practice of a Writing Life

By Robert Benson
Publisher: Waterbrook Press                   174 pages
Rating:  3 stars

There are many other books available for writers that are similar to this book, yet much more enjoyable. Even though it is a small book, Dancing on the Head of a Pen was a slow read for me and I didn't learn anything new.

On the positive side, though, the book is a good inspirational read for a writer. Benson says that we study the habits of those who inspire us. On his list of examples is the late Graham Greene. Perhaps Robert Benson will make it onto the lists of those who read this book.

One piece of advice that I found dear to my heart is found in chapter 9. The author recommends that writers be pack rats. Collect stuff that moves you. Also, keep your old journals and try reading through a couple each year. Benson says his are "reminders of forgotten bits of my life."

A piece of advice writers hear all the time is "a writer should always be writing." My favorite quote from the book is when Mr. Benson says, "I want to write. I may even need to write. But I want to be read as well. I want to be heard."

Me too!

I received this book from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for this review.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Review of "The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn" by Lori Benton

   This book was a true joy to read. I fell in love with main characters Tamsen and her rescuer, Jesse, right at the start. As they took off running, I took off reading and could barely stop. Tamsen and Jesse are constantly seeking refuge, will find it, then have to flee again as Tamsen's murderous step-father and an unwanted suitor keep closing in on them.
   Jesse is a godly man and he vows to keep Tamsen safe. Sometime into their journey he realizes he loves her. Tamsen falls in love with Jesse too, but her love is a growth process. Secondary characters are either likeable or will be hated. One of the best and most likeable is Wolf-Alone, also known as Cade, the man who raised Jesse.
   The Christian message in the story is clear but not preachy. The book is fast-paced, romantic, and suspenseful. A real treasure. Readers will root for Tamsen and Jesse and hold their breaths until the very end--which is both surprising and very satisfying. A reader discussion guide is included as well as some interesting early American and Native American historical insights from around the time period of 1787.
   Lori Benton is a gifted writer who knows how to paint a picture with her words. Because the story is so visual I was able to "see" it unfold as I read. I have added Lori Benton to my favorite authors list.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for this review.