Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, book review, Chudney Ross, Elizabeth Varadan, EN{COEUR}AGE, Lone Bean, Sacramento Book Review, The Amazing Harry Kellar, The Fourth Wish

Take Care of Yourself – You’re All You’ve Got

Thought for the day:

 “The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.”  ~John Steinbeck~

A gift for my writer friends:


 Here are a couple of links I think you will find valuable.

For my fabulous giveaway, the winner is Elizabeth Varadan! (Cue the rabbit to pop out of the magician’s hat!) Congratulations, Elizabeth. I will be sending you a hard-cover copy of The Amazing Harry Kellar. It is a fascinating and beautiful book. Elizabeth is also a writer. Her magical book, The Fourth Wish, is available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle book. Click the title to be linked to her book. She also blogs. You can read her blog by clicking HERE. There’s always something interesting there to read. I do have another giveaway for today, so stay tuned.

One of my critique partners, JaNay Brown-Wood, and I have been working on a collection of children’s poems for more than a couple of years. We’ve been close to ready to start submitting for quite awhile, but felt it needed just a little more work. It seemed we couldn’t find the time to finish it up and ship it out – until this nice, long holiday weekend. We had a couple of marathon sessions and put it in the mail Saturday afternoon. Wish us luck! I’ve also just finished another draft of my middle-grade and have started submitting it. Fingers crossed. That said, I’m trying to find inspiration for a new project to start. I’ve been feeling kind of wrung out. Maybe there’s nothing left for me to say, I think on some days.

One of the things I’m doing is taking an e-retreat that will at the very least help me stop beating myself up about not having an unending flow of brilliant ideas, but I also believe it will get my creative juices flowing again. You can read about it by clicking HERE.  I think it sounds like a terrific thing to do. If you hurry, you can sign up too.

I also dug out my copy of Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Lifeby Anne Lamott. Isn’t that a great title? You can open to just about any page and find something inspirational or downright funny or thought-provoking. This is what I turned to:

“You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side. You need to trust yourself, especially on a first draft, where amid the anxiety and self-doubt, there should be a real sense of your imagination and your memories walking and wool-gathering, tramping the hills, walking all over the place. Trust them. Don’t look at your feet to see if you’re doing it right. Just dance.”

Thank you, Anne Lamott. I’m going for a long walk and try out a few dance steps while I’m at it. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Anyway, with the holiday and all that work with JaNay and my crisis of inspiration, I don’t have a new review for this week, but I promised you a book giveaway, so here we go. A while back, I reviewed a middle-grade book called Lone Bean by Chudney Ross for the Sacramento Book Review. Here is what I had to say in that review:

Bean was named for a flower, but it’s a big, long name and no one calls her by that name unless she is in b-i-g BIG trouble. She’s starting third grade and can’t wait, even if her older sisters, Rose and Gardenia, who are m-e-a-n MEAN, have to walk her to school. Bean is excited about her new teacher and seeing her best friend for the first time since summer vacation. But her best friend, Carla, seems to have made a new best friend and Bean is left with no one. While Bean struggles with feeling left out and lonely, she also struggles with her mother working long hours and her father, a music instructor, insisting she take up an instrument. In her effort to have someone to hang out with, Bean spends time with Terrible Tanisha, the local bully, and Bean’s mean side shows. She starts getting in trouble, and she doesn’t seem to know how to get back to normal.

Good writing, but it’s hard to cheer for the protagonist who is bratty, mean, and selfish through much of the story. She finally gets her act together, but it’s a long time coming. Little girls may like it though.

You might win my gently-read ARC of Lone Bean. I will put your name in my proverbial hat. Link this post on your blog or Facebook or Tweet about it, let me know, and your name will be entered twice.

On the book giveaway, this is for U.S. only. Sorry, but it would be too expensive for me to send books out of the country. But please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Remember, if you have trouble leaving a comment, click on the title of the post and it will give you just this post with a comments section on the bottom. Also, if you haven’t signed up by email, please do. Just look in the upper right-hand corner of this page, pop your email address in, and you will receive an email each time I put up a new post. Your information will not be shared with anyone.           

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