Books

Books

Books take you places
You hope someday to go.
They transport you to times
In the future or long, long ago.

The words paint the pictures
The author’s canvas is your mind.
Surreal images greet you
Where people aren’t always kind.

You don’t have to dress up to read one.
They’ve got a special texture, smell, and feel.
Some tales make you laugh
While others make you squeal.

© 2009 Jimmie A. Kepler

Originally published in
WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE!

Photo Source: Image by Iván Tamás from Pixabay

Books

A_tower_of_used_books_-_8446Books

Books take you places
You hope someday to go
They transport you to times
In the future or long, long ago

The words paint the pictures
The author’s canvas is your mind
Surreal images greet you
Where people are not always kind

You do not have to dress up to read one
They have a special texture, smell, and feel
Some tales make you laugh
While others make you squeal

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
May 7, 2009

Photo Source: 
© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.arCC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Driving Blind by Ray Bradbury

Driving Blind by Ray Bradbury
Driving Blind by Ray Bradbury

This 1997 short story collection is uneven and at times weak. There is less fantasy or science fiction than in many of Bradbury’s earlier works. All but four of the stories are new. A snapshot of the collection is seen in some of the themes.

  • In the short story “Remember Me?” we find the theme of meeting a familiar face in a distant place.
  • The theme of children’s storytelling and kissing games is found in “House Divided”.
  • The theme of looking up an old flame is in “I Wonder What’s Become of Sally?”.
  • One of my favorite themes, the revenge of the nerd everybody picked on is the theme of “The Highest Branch on the Tree”.

But the book has some terrific moments. Examples are when Bradbury recalls a tiny, dusty, moth-eaten Mexican circus, tells the hilarious story of Irish drinking buddies looking for a safe place in the bogs to take a woman, and yet another tale of perfect love squandered (“Madame et Monsieur Shill”).

If you’re new to Bradbury, this will do nicely, but for veteran readers it’s a bit of same old same old.

“How to Write & Publish Your Inspirational Short Story” by Kristen Clark and Lawrence J. Clark

short story

Kristen Clark and Lawrence J. Clark book “How to Write & Publish Your Inspirational Short Story” is a must read for not only writers of inspirational short stories, but for short story writers of any genre. It delivers on the promise of the book’s title. It shows you how to do it.

I liked the way the book begins telling their story of how they got started. The authors share their experiences and lessons learned when writing and getting their work published. They are writing from the practitioner point of view. The content of the chapters matches the chapter titles. Chapters titles like The Art of Getting Started, A Powerful Opening, The Compelling Ending as well as Writing Tips and Editing will guide the want to be writer through the process and serve as sharpen the skills of the established short story author.

Bravo on a job well done. This is a much-needed work addressing the short story from the inspirational point of view with principles and ideas that work in any genre. Five stars with a strong recommendation. It would make a great resource for writing groups or college English writing classes.

Poem: Becoming a Writer

Writing Poems
Poet and Writer Anthony Anaxagorou. He is of Cypriot origin and he is from North London.

Becoming a Writer
 
To become a
Writer
 
You must read
Books
 
And
 
Often write your
Story
 
In mind-numbing solitude,
Alone.
 
Jimmie Aaron Kepler
2012
 
Photo Credit:  
English: Taken at the Royal Shakespeare Company
Date: 15 October 2010
Source: Hard Drive
Author: Anthony Anaxagorou
Licensing: Public domain

I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law. — Anthony Anaxagorou

 

Downtime

Downtime – I’ve never been one to take downtime very seriously. I rarely do anything for rest and relaxation. It seems like a poor use of time. Lately, I’ve been forced to reevaluate my view of downtime.

Recently, pneumonia has been the catalyst causing me to reevaluate and to take it easier. I was embracing life at my usual 90 miles an hour. Getting up early and writing the first few hours of the day seven days a week were routine. Well. the illness had me where I couldn’t do it. My brain either through exhaustion or the medications just had little in the way of creativity. It was like I had checked out and went to the ends of the earth.

I learned that if I don’t give the brain some down time, if I try to force thinking and productivity, it won’t happen. What will happen is I’ll either just sit and surf the Internet or write poor quality at best text.

While I have had paid sales in the last year, nineteen pieces I placed were nonpaying. I finished a novel. I’m shopping it with agents at present.

As I write and publish more I realize everyone looks at what I write gets looked at under a microscope. People still believe writing is no more than my hobby and a waste of my time.

When I get rejections, I allow myself a to feel sorry, but don’t let it get me down. When I allow myself to process the bad, I can usually bounce back a lot quicker than if I just try to carry on.

It matters not if accepted or rejected today. What matters is that I write. If I’m going to be a writer, I have to write.

The Crimson River

Crimson-fr-cov-sm“The Crimson River” by Donna Westover Gallup is Book Four in the Mysterious Ways series. The publisher is Cladach Publishing.

Donna Westover Gallup does her usual great job of telling a spellbinding tale. It is what I have come to expect from this great storyteller. I was surprised the story went back and forth between the present and the 19th-Century Colorado Territory. While that caught me off guard, the use of flashbacks was a marvelous way to tell the story.

The author wasted no time getting right to the mysteries that kept me turning the pages. I feel she had a good balance of Christian faith without a forced insertion of “the plan of salvation” just to do it. God’s activity in the lives of the characters was apparent chapter after chapter. Well done!

The story progresses well. The inclusion of historically accurate events adds to the drama. The trip to Texas with the mesquite thorn poisoning and then to Missouri with the inclusion of the small pox story line was well told and frighteningly realistic.

The author did a nice job of wrapping up a lot of loose ends as the book concluded. Without spoiling the ending I will say it was more real life than some readers may have preferred. However, I felt it was right on the mark.

I hope Donna Westover Gallup has her next book in the works. I love the way she tells her story, how it includes the Almighty’s activity in everyday life and hope she has more stories to tell.

Read in October 2012 and reviewed in March 2013.

Note: I have read all four books in the series. I read The Crimson River the last week of October 2012, the same week the book was released. I did not have a review copy. I purchased my copy. I had a job change October 29th, a major car accident November 5th that put in in the emergency room via ambulance, and serious injuries after a very bad fall on ice just when I was recovering from the car wreck. All delayed the writing of this review as well as several other projects.

Be Encouraged

Today is Sunday March 17, 2013. 

One way a writer can become successful is by having a more established writer as a mentor. Writing groups can serve the function of mentor. Let me share an example of the influence a mentor. In 1919 a young veteran returned from World War I. He moved to Chicago moving into a particular neighborhood for the purpose of being close to the author Sherwood Anderson.

The young beginning writer was impressed by the critical praise for Anderson and his book Winesburg, Ohio. He had heard that Sherwood Anderson was willing to help aspiring writers. He worked to met Anderson. The two men became close friends. They met almost every day to read newspapers, magazines, and novels. They dissected the writings they read.

The aspiring writer brought his own works for critique having Anderson help him improve his craft. Anderson went as far as introducing the want-to-be writer to his network of publishing contacts. The aspiring writer did okay with his first book The Sun Also Rises. The aspiring writer was Ernest Hemingway.

Sherwood Anderson didn’t stop there. He moved to New Orleans where he met another aspiring writer. He took the young man through the same steps and paces of the craft. He actually shared an apartment with this young man. He even invested $300 in getting this writer’s first book Soldier’s Pay published. This young author was William Faulkner.

Anderson would later move to California and repeat the process with John Steinbeck. Thomas Wolfe and Erskine Caldwell were also mentored by Sherwood Anderson. Ray Bradbury says Winesburg, Ohio was on his mind when he wrote The Martin Chronicles. He basically wrote Winesburg, Ohio placing it on the planet Mars.

Only Mark Twain has had a greater influence in shaping modern American writing than Sherwood Anderson. Anderson didn’t do too badly, did he? William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck each won the Nobel Prize for Literature and there are multiple Pulitzer Prizes between them.

If you are serious about writing I encourage you to find a mentor or join a writing group. The encouragement of my writer’s group and critique group keep me motivated.

Encourage your friends, keep reading and write.
Jimmie A. Kepler

“The True Story of Catch – 22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II” by Patricia Chapman Meder. The publisher is Casemate Publishing.

Did Joseph Heller commit a disservice to the members of the 340th Bomb Group when he wrote Catch-22? Did author  Patricia Chapman Meder write an apologetic defending the real four officers some feel Joesph Heller blindsided when he made them into Catch-22’s four heavy hitters?

“The True Story of Catch – 22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II” is a combination of both plus I feel some admiration for Joseph Heller making those men infamous.

There is a reason the original Catch-22 is found in the fiction not nonfiction section of bookstores. Joseph Heller didn’t write a memoir of his service during World War II. He wrote a satirical and somewhat historical novel.

Patricia Chapman Meder uses rare and unpublished photos to bring our actual heroes to life through use of first person narrative.

There is a third part in her book that is actually the book’s heart. She takes twelve men of the 340th and relates twelve true tales.

Fans of Catch-22 will enjoy the book. It makes good use of diaries, logs, and photos to bring the people to life. For those unfamiliar with Catch-22 the book will make you curious enough to pickup Heller’s book.

“The True Story of Catch – 22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II” would make a nice companion volume or commentary for the serious student of the original work. It would make a nice inclusion in university or community libraries as a resource for Joseph Heller’s book.

I recommend “The True Story of Catch – 22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II” by Patricia Chapman Meder. The publisher is Casemate Publishing.

Read and reviewed by Jimmie A. Kepler.

Poem: Books

Books

Books take you places
You hope someday to go
They transport you to times
In the future or long, long ago
The words paint the pictures
The author’s canvas is your mind
Surreal images greet you
Where people aren’t always kind
You don’t have to dress up to read one
They’ve a special texture, smell, and feel
Some tales make you laugh
While others make you squeal

© 2009 Jimmie A. Kepler
Originally published in
WORDS..RHYMES..POETRY & PROSE!