<![CDATA[Perfect Worde - A Writer's Blog]]>Sun, 20 Dec 2015 04:41:09 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Elizabeth Gaskell- North and South]]>Tue, 08 Dec 2015 15:32:47 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/elizabeth-gaskell-north-and-southIn a style very similar to Austen, I really enjoyed reading this author whose works are categorized in the mid-19th century, modern-realism.

Gaskell's novel set years after Pride and Prejudice, offers readers another story based on first impressions.  However, instead of just focusing on human interactions, Gaskell's story takes us a step further in introducing the type of world in which these characters live in, and how the sociopolitical uprising of that industrious period can affect how people interact with one another.  

Don't get me wrong, you still have a wonderful love story to capture reader's hearts, but the manner in which it develops is a little more realistic, and involves less busy bodies scheming to put people together for the sake of gaining a fortune or a male heir for one's estate. 

Once you've finished reading the book, head over to Netflix to watch the TV series adaptation, which is a must-see. 
<![CDATA[Guest Blog Series:  Is your writing being published correctly?]]>Sat, 28 Sep 2013 03:57:43 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/guest-blog-series-is-your-writing-being-published-correctly A. J. Wyatt is an aspiring author who is currently working on his first novel and is actively pursuing a Masters in English studies with a specialization in late Victorian and early Modernist British Literature at Southern New Hampshire University. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening; reading classic literature; drinking Earl Grey and taking long nature walks.

A Perspective About Publishing

  I’ve been pondering over the last few months the idea of traditional publishing versus self publishing when it comes to the ye ol’ manuscript dilemma and I have come to a definitive conclusion about the matter, thanks to an insightful perspective from a fellow writer colleague. I truly feel that traditional publishing is the way to go in this quick and instant gratification oriented culture. Before you get up in arms about my verdict, I request you keep reading to learn why I arrived at this conclusion.

I need it NOW

Let’s face the facts, we are living in an instant world where anyone can write a novel and self publish it over the internet overnight but immediacy often does not equate to efficacy. I still think there is something to be said about taking one’s time to properly plan, outline and execute a story to one’s best ability in order to entrance, entertain and leave a lingering trace upon the reader. Writing should never be about impressing your friends or getting Facebook likes by having dozens of mediocre novels that are slung together in a sloppy and mindless manner and thrown up on Amazon through a self publishing medium in order to get attention and to prove to oneself and others that one is a writer. If this is your method, you are doing it wrong.

Rejection is a Natural part of the Initiation process

With that in mind, there is something to be said about seeking out the still remaining yet soon to expire dinosaur of traditional publishing because it is about integrity and paying one’s dues by putting oneself out there in a big way under the professional scrutiny of those in the publishing industry. Certainly, not everyone is going to get what you are doing or be your best reader, it may not even be that your work is unworthy, but these people are still professionals and I feel that their opinion, in many ways, still matters when it comes to looking over a wanna-be writer’s manuscript. I think the often inevitable pile of rejection notices steels a writer’s nerves and forces them to push harder by taking a deeper and more critical look at their writing. There is always room for improvement and rejection teaches one this valuable lesson. The trick is to never give up and keep at it, keep striving for the impossibility of perfection and never half-ass something that can be executed much better by taking more time and learning from the rejection slips.

Delay the desire for instant gratification and do it right the first time by doing it the old-fashioned way. Be at the level with your writing that it is of the highest and most professional quality, then if all else fails self publishing might be the ticket to launch your career because if you can get the sales and open the market for your work, then it could work in your favor to get a publisher’s attention.

A.J. Wyatt 9/26/13

Question: Indie Authors, did you make the mistake with self-publishing?  If so, how did you correct it?  Comment with your story below.

<![CDATA[Writing through the Madness]]>Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:41:04 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/writing-through-the-madnessPicture
Krysha is in the final stretch of obtaining her BA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. She writes short fiction, poetry, and is currently working on a memoir. She is also a full-time freelance writer, writing articles, blog posts, and other web content for clients all around the world. She currently lives in northwestern Vermont with her husband and two dogs where they enjoy the beautiful colors of New England.

I sat in the back corner of the room. The bright fluorescent lights looked down on the twenty or so newly minted college kids that bustled about in their bags for fresh notebooks and pens. I didn’t have these things. I didn’t even want to be there. Well, I did. I wanted to go to college, but not with these people watching me. Not with this professor, with his long nose and scraggly, gray hair. I wanted something else. But what I wanted I didn’t know.

I probably wouldn’t have been comfortable in any room that day. You see, the anxiety of being a new college student, unsure of my surroundings and other people, made me fear for my safety and my future. I would only make it through one of four classes that first semester – a history class.

In 2007, after many failed classes and a few successful ones, I would finally be diagnosed with Bipolar I, the most severe form of Bipolar Disorder. This disorder creates deep depressions that are hard to climb out of – so deep that it’s hard to get out of bed some days – as well as the highest highs that put you on Cloud 9, making you feel invincible even when you’re not. It can make you very angry for no reason, putting you at odds with the world and everyone in it. I’d been suffering with this since I was 16 when my mother first took me to see someone about my anger and depression but no one saw the real problem. They just saw an angsty teen.

Fast forward to today and you’ll see a young woman with a bright future ahead of her. I’ll be walking up to grab that degree and shake the hand of someone at Southern New Hampshire University that I’ve only ever heard about in emails in May and I’ll have worked for 10 long years to make that happen despite being a tough Bipolar case to treat.

 I’m writing a memoir about those 10 years, 5 schools, and 3,000 miles, to help inspire others who may be facing hardship when trying to make their dreams come true. Check out my Kickstarter campaign to support the future publication of this memoir, please click here.

Thank you all for reading about my story, and I hope you are looking forward to the memoir as much as I am!

Follow Krysha:

Swings and Seesaws Blog
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<![CDATA[Introducing . . . Demon Jack by Patrick Donovan]]>Sat, 24 Aug 2013 02:55:36 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/introducing-demon-jack-by-patrick-donovanUnless you have a hooker hiding in that bag, I’m not really seeing how things can get too much better,” [Jack] said. ~ Chapter 1
As a special treat, read a sample of Demon Jack before it's available to the public on October 1s1, 2013.

“Do, or do not. There is no try.” ~ Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
A fan of pop culture, Patrick Donovan writes urban fantasy for no other reason than to entertain. His first novel, Demon Jack, makes its home at Fable Press. 

He started writing at a young age, drawing his stories on paper bags connected together by his mother. This makeshift canvas was the closest thing he had to a notebook. He thinks characters are what breathe life into a story as the reader watches them fight for survival, make choices (for better or worse) or just fall in love.

Like many authors, he lives off of coffee and would consume it via IV if that was a viable option. When he’s not writing, he can be found reading, gaming and playing dad to the "coolest person on Earth".   Armed with his Bachelor’s Degree in writing from High Point University, he is working for a Masters in English with a focus on Creative Writing.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
About me, honestly, I'm not really that cool. I'm kind of a nerd. Ok, I'm a total nerd. I still play freaking DND [Dungeons and Dragons RPG] and stuff like that, which probably explains why I've been single for a hot minute (see years). I guess as far as specifics go, I'm a father, I'm a student, I'm a guy who writes, that's really all there is to it. I want to tell a story that takes someone outta their crap day and makes them forget the world for a bit. It's why I do what I do.

How did your interest in writing come about?
I don't think it really came about. It was kind of always there. When I was a kid, I used to think my family was a little on the poor side, because I didn't have all the stuff my friends did. Either way my mom would give me brown paper grocery bags cut down the side so that they folded out into one big sheet. I thought it was because we didn't have any money, though looking back that probably I'd draw stories on them before I really knew how to write.

Do you have a specific writing style? How would you categorize it?
Style, not really. Honestly, I just try to tell a story that people will dig. I mean, Jim Butcher, who's a huge influence on me, when he writes it's almost like Harry Dresden is sitting down with you and having a beer. You start feeling like he's telling you his story, not that you're reading it. I really like that vibe, but I don't try to copy it.

What inspired you to write this first book-Demon Jack?
The idea for Jack as a character came from a lot of different places. I remember a bit part of it, I was watching some Police Procedural show on TV and they had this homeless guy talking to God or something, and I had this thought go through my head. “What if he's really talking to someone, and it's not who he thinks”. After that, I threw in some old punk rock and Jack just sort of...came about. So I guess I was inspired by The Clash and Law and Order. Which is just weird now that I think about it?

What is Demon Jack about?
Jack is kind of a twofold story. The blurb I wrote for it goes something along the lines of this:

Fifteen years ago, Jack died and was presented with a simple choice. Stay dead and go to Hell or sell his soul to a demon and keep living. Now, a few years out of prison and living on the streets of Boston, Jack is perfectly content to keep a low profile, to avoid all the bad things he did in the past, and be a nobody.

It's all working out until the only person he considers a friend turns on him, possessed by something far worse than the demon holding the contract to Jack's soul. Now, he's been recruited (see blackmailed) by an ancient order with roots in the Inquisition to hunt down whatever it is that's turning Boston's homeless into ravenous killers. At the same time, someone from his past with a massive vendetta and nothing in the way of conscience is looking for Jack, hoping to issue a little payback of his own.

Paired with a centuries old witch and the only person to survive the rampage thus far, Jack is in a race to track down whatever it is that's killing his people, all while staying one step ahead of his own brutal past.

Under that thought, I wanted to take a very, very flawed man. Someone who's just morally weak, selfish, and just an all around not good person and walk them back towards something positive. That I think is sort of the underlying aspect to it. It's not just about the monsters and Jack; it's about finding your way back to the light after you've been to some really dark places. It's something that I'm going to be stretching out and running with the more I go through and write it out into what I hope ends up being a series.

Demon Jack releases on October 1st, 2013 from Fable Press LLC.

What genre does Demon Jack fall into?
Jack falls into the Urban Fantasy genre. It takes a lot of the things made popular by folklore, Tolkien, and the like and sort of...mish mashing them on the real world.

Is this your favorite theme/ genre to write about?
I'll answer both fronts of this question. My favorite theme, honestly, is redemption. I love the idea of taking someone flawed someone way on the outside and having them come into the fold, find their way back. As far as genre, I love love love fantasy, especially contemporary. The world can be such a downer sometimes, its fun to think about what it would be like if there was a little magic left in it, if the good guy did win once in a while.

What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?
The most difficult thing, honestly was after it was finished. I'd just created this whole 70 some odd thousand word opus and I wanted to put it out for the world to see. I felt like I had something, so I started querying agents. Then the rejections came, and then more rejections. That was the hardest part, being told “Hey, you're not good enough for here”. It's all subjective, yes, but you start thinking “If these people don't like it, will anyone?” Then someone tells you, “hey, I do want this” and you get this indescribable feeling of elation, like you made it to the dance.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you change about the book?
Honestly, I don't know if I'd change anything. There's this thing I think with anyone creative where they second guess their own work until it drives them mostly insane. So looking at it from that point of view, it's probably best that I just stay away from it from here on out. That said it's due back from the editor for my final pass any day now, so I'm going to try to mostly stick to those suggestions lest I end up rewriting the whole thing.

Since this is your first time with traditional publishing, could you describe what that’s like and give some pointers to new writers?
Honestly, it's been pretty surreal. It's moving a lot faster than I expected.  The folks at Fable Press have been really cool about the whole thing, because yeah, I managed to write a novel, but I have no clue after that. Promoting it, cover art, all of that was just way beyond me in a lot of regards. So they've been handling a good portion of the hand holding involved there.  That said promoting the novel that falls a lot on the author. So, in regards to advice definitely, definitely, start getting an idea together of where you're going to go with it. Getting it published, that's your ticket to the dance. Promoting it though, that's walking up to the cute girl and asking her to dance you knows? You gotta make her want to hit the floor with you and take a spin. Develop a thick skin. I have a stack of something like fifty rejections telling me that such and such didn't want me, didn't wanna take the chance, but eventually, you push, one of them will. Read everything, technical manuals, and newspapers, whatever. Read as many words a day as you write, if not more. Finally, don't forget who supported you. That's a big one for me; there were so many people who told me I could do this when the people I wanted to impress were saying I couldn't. I can't thank them enough, because if they hadn't backed me up I probably wouldn't have been able to do this.

Where and When to get Demon Jack

Demon Jack is being released by Fable Press LLC on October 1st, 2013. 

Find Fable Press LLC on Facebook.

Follow the Author: Patrick Donovan

<![CDATA[Introducing C. S. Johnson - The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering (Book 1)]]>Sat, 24 Aug 2013 02:16:39 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/introducing-c-s-johnson-the-starlight-chronicles-slumbering-book-1Picture

With a “gift” for sarcasm and a love of wit, C. S. Johnson is the author of THE STARLIGHT CHRONICLES. The first book in the epic young adult series, The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering won 2nd place in the 2012 Munch Writing Contest. She writes in a variety of genres, including young adult, fantasy/sci-fi, and spiritual/apologetic fiction. With a heart for people, but a personality for the Internet, she is engaged in a variety of charity projects. She currently lives in Atlanta with her family, cats and caffeine addiction.

What inspired you to write your book?

In a word, it has to be pain. I’ve found that conflict is an accurate term for the tearing at the heart that renders tears and words. But also things in everyday life inspire me, for which I can only thank God. I’d hate to write about pain all the time. Writing The Starlight Chronicles series began out of pain that I faced in high school, largely a confused, outcast-rejection type of pain. I really just wanted people to love me, respect me, and accept me, regardless of my foibles or my faith. I didn’t really feel like I managed to get that across to them very well.

How much of the book is realistic?

I have to laugh here, because I purposely tried as hard as I could to make it sound realistic, even if the situations are not. I wanted to show people how, when things happen to us and we cannot process them, we are left wafting between mental instability and self-doubt. The idea of having faith in God, for example, is hard for some people to come to terms with; but the truth is, faith with concrete evidence is not faith. That is pretty hard for some people – particularly people like myself, who strive for logic and linear in life – to grasp.

Are characters and experiences in your novel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

In The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering, the characters are not based specifically on people I know, more like ideas and parodies of people I know. The experiences are about the same: they parody, metaphorize, and personify challenges in my life, as well as the lives of others, but they are ideas, not the actual experiences. I did draw heavily from my own life, though, so I could add more realistic commentary to it.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Editing. I have worked on this story for a long long long long time. It’s been floating around in my head for about 5 years, and I’ve only managed to get the first book published! The rest of the story is on its way, but it is still the editing process which kills me every time. While the novel is currently written out in first person mostly limited, my initial draft was in third person omniscient, and that change alone took months to switch over. It was also originally a lot longer, with more detail, but I’ve learned that more people enjoy the book when they have room to imagine things themselves, so I dropped a lot of it and let the reader assume more. So far I’ve gotten several great reviews on it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I don’t think I really learned anything but I had to be reminded of a lot of things. A lot of my books carry a message – for those of us who enjoy that kind of thing – and sometimes I am surprised at the ones that carried through the most ardently at the end. I think that the nice thing about my novel is that a lot of it can be seen as cliché – but there is a twist. So people get to both enjoy the stuff they usually get to enjoy (true love, adventure, the quest, humor) but also get something completely different.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?  As a writer I often feel misunderstood and kept away from the rest of the world; partially by choice, but largely by a strong viewpoint. People often go through life working stories through their heads, but they don’t write it down, and they don’t stick with them. Kind of like dreams. Some of us remember them, believe in them, and hope for them to come true – while others forget their dreams when they awake to an already made reality every morning. Because of this outsided-ness, one of the challenges was rationalizing the time I needed to write it. That meant giving up date nights, study nights, and other things. On the upside it usually meant getting my fru-fru coffee.

What genre do you consider your book?

I love this question because it easily fits into so many genres! My background is in English education, so when I was writing it, I wanted to incorporate a lot of things that teachers could use to teach students about literature. With regards to genre, it follows the hero’s journey, so it is an epic, and it is also a sci-fi/fantasy book, and I would also consider it coming of age. That is the complex answer. I tell people the simple answer is spiritual fantasy or apologetic fiction. The weird answer is neo-modernism.

What are your current projects?

I am currently working on a few projects, but the one I am simultaneously most proud of and least proud of is my debut into adult fiction. In my own opinion, I think there is a law handed down from the Ivy Tower Literature Lounge that requires adult fiction to deal with unpleasant, controversial topics, and really I don’t like to think of all the evil the world is capable of, never mind writing about it. But the story is good and I think it’ll be a hit with my intended audience.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My love of writing can be seen just like a novel can be analyzed; over and over in my life, the pattern emerges where I love writing, and I am good at writing, and people (generally) like my writing. It is my preferred method of catharsis. I actually had this idea to create a drink which would unlock the secrete motivation drive in people to get work done, not just give them energy to get the work done. I was torn between the name “Catharisis” or “Moto-go” (Like Motivation to Go) so that project has hit a snag. Plus I am not so good at chemistry.

Why should people buy your book?

The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering is a book full of questions both for the enjoyment and pursuit of the reader. Why do we believe what we believe? It is a book meant to drive people out of apathy and mindless, passive thinking. It’s got it all for entertainment – true love, good vs. evil, games, high school drama, friendship, hardship, superheroes, and coming of age as well as coming to know the self. If nothing else, I tell people to read it for the humor. It’s hilarious!


People can find the book here:

The Starlight Chronicles: Slumbering (Book 1 of the Starlight series) can be found at Amazon.com, BN.com, Booksamillion.com, and Westbowpress.com.

You can find me at www.facebook.com/thestarlightchroniclesslumbering (for book), www.csjohnsonetc.blogspot.com (for blog), and Twitter @C_S_Johnson13 (for fun). If you like the novel, please leave a review!

<![CDATA[Newly Published Authors: E. N. De Choudens]]>Tue, 23 Jul 2013 14:41:13 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/newly-published-authors-e-n-de-choudens-d-l-scott
An intriguing point of view of an insane individual, presented from the perspectives of known personality disorders, makes this book of poetry and prose--as well as this work of horror--a rare find. De Choudens takes you to unimaginable places, makes you shiver your bones, and uses the empathy card from time to time, all cleverly tricking you to read more, sequentially. The book is split into four sections: "INSIDE A SINISTER SOUL," "BEYOND THE GRAVE," "CREATURES ARE EVERYWHERE," and "SOMEWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE." The main plot begins in a prison cell, at the hand of a very sly and diabolical man. The author cleverly balances the disturbing topic with a little dark humor and twisted love. It's a story within a story you can't miss. It all wickedly boils down here, in this imaginative book.

Buy on Amazon.
Like this Author on Facebook.
<![CDATA[Guest Blogger Series: Little Women - Louisa May Alcott]]>Fri, 19 Jul 2013 12:57:36 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/guest-blogger-series-little-women-louisa-may-alcott
An old maid, that's what I'm to be. A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps...
~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 43
Shannon McLoud is an aspiring writer and English teacher from little ol' Rhode Island.  Her plays have been performed in Providence, Rhode Island and San Antonio, Texas.  When she is not chasing after her very active five year old son, or enjoying a quiet moment with her husband, Shannon can be found at her local Panera doing homework as she works towards her M.A. in English and Creative Writing with Southern New Hampshire University.

Little Women: A Tale that has stood the Test of Time  “I like good strong words that mean something…”

And really who doesn’t?  These words spoken by Louisa May Alcott’s heroine Jo March are as pertinent today as they were 145 years ago when Alcott penned them.  These words of course have contributed to one of the many reasons I wanted to become a writer.  I remember reading this book for the first time as a child, home sick with strep throat, which for a kid who liked to talk is a travesty!  And then I met Jo March, and realized there was an entire new world out there, waiting for me to write it!

Little Women is the tale of four sisters; Jo, Beth, Amy and Meg.  Their tale is timeless, and has even been transposed for the Broadway stage!  It is set in Alcott’s home in Concord, Massachusetts, a pilgrimage; I remember dragging my family to when I was very young!  Alcott blends a tapestry of love in this family as their father is away fighting in the Civil War and their mother (Marmee) tries to keep the spirits of her daughters up while maintaining as normal of a household as possible.  The girls are as diverse as four sisters can be.  Meg is the oldest of the four girls and at sixteen is able to run the household when she needs to for her mother.  Beth is thirteen and always thinks of others, and Amy, the youngest, is the artist and when the book begins is twelve years old.  However, it is the second eldest, Josephine, or Jo, that is the character that stays with you the most.  Jo is a writer, so one can only surmise that Alcott saw bits of herself in Jo, and has trouble curbing her temper.  Jo is the character I most identified with as a child not only for the simple fact that she was a writer, but in the world of Barbie she was a strong female character to look up to.

Chapter 8 of this novel has stayed with me throughout my childhood, and even now as an adult.  Without giving away too much of the plot, a grave injustice is done upon Jo at the hands of her younger sister Amy.  As events fold in this chapter, Jo sees the danger in her stubbornness and quick temper, and goes to her mother for guidance.  As a child I was so moved by this piece that I had a drawing hanging in my room that reminded me of the scene.  I thought it was great that Jo could confide in her mother without reservation, and as a naive ten year old I of course romanticized the notion for my own life.   As a mother reading this chapter again, I am reminded in the type of mother I strive to be, as Marmee says in this scene; “He [Jo’s father] helped and comforted me and showed me that I must try to practice all the virtues I would have my little girls possess, for I was their example” (Alcott).  As a mom this of course is something I strive for, although admittedly not always succeeding.  I am glad Alcott’s words are there for a reminder!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a tale that has stood up to the test of time.  The story’s poignant themes of love, a woman’s struggle in the world and the poverty of the working poor, are themes we can still relate to today.  If you’re compiling a literary bucket list for the summer, be sure to add this to your list!

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. 1868. Project Gutenberg. August 2010.  Accessed 7 July 2013. <http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/514>

**Project Gutenberg offers Little Women  and thousands of other novels completely FREE to download into a plethora of reader's like Nook, Kindle, PDF, and more.

<![CDATA[Guest Blogger Series: The Light Between Oceans - M.L. Stedman]]>Fri, 12 Jul 2013 18:41:52 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/guest-blogger-series-the-light-between-oceans-ml-stedmanPicture
Krystal Williams is a self-professed nerd and lover of all things pertaining to the study of language and story. She is a stay-at-home homeschooling mother of three. She enjoys reading, writing, playing basketball, and training with kettlebells. Krystal has a B.A. in English, and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in English & Creative Writing online at Southern New Hampshire University.
Profanity/Language: None
Sexuality: None
Violence: Minimal
Genre: Literary Fiction - Contemporary
Rating: 5/5 stars

What age range is recommended for reading this book? Ages 13+
Where to find this book and price?  
Amazon (kindle) / Barnes and Noble

Synopsis: Tom Sherbourne has just finished his tour in World War I when he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Isabel Graysmark. They get married and move to the uninhabited island of Janus where Tom has been working as the keeper of the lighthouse. They are eager to become parents, but fate is not on their side. Isabel has two miscarriages and gives birth to a stillborn baby.

Then, one day, a dead man and a newborn baby wash ashore in a small boat. As the lighthouse keeper, Tom is obligated to report it. But, at Isabel’s insistence, he doesn’t report it so that they keep the baby and raise her themselves. And the consequences of their actions take them down a path that they could have never imagined.

Review: Wow! The Light Between Oceans is a superbly-written, poignant story about the blurry line between right and wrong, and the far-reaching effects of our personal choices. The book is beautifully told from the third person omniscient point of view. It boasts a story that is thought-provoking and original, and characters that are sympathetic and well-developed.

Being over there changes a man. Right and wrong don’t look so different any more to some.

There were so many things that I liked about this book. One of the first things that delighted me was the writing. I can come up with only one word for M.L. Stedman’s prose: beautiful. The prose is carefully-crafted, yet, pleasing in its simplicity. It is elegant and lyrical without being pretentious or contrived — a hard feat to pull off, in my opinion. 

The wind had kept up its sullen howl. The late-afternoon sun continued to shine through the window, laying a blanket of     bright gold over the woman and her almost-baby. The old clock on the kitchen wall still clicked its minutes with fussy         punctuality. A life had come and gone and nature had not paused a second for it. The machine of time and space grinds       on, and people are fed through it like grist through the mill.

Character development is another strong point of this book. The characters are all beautifully flawed, and they were endearing to me because of both their strengths and their weaknesses. The characters are well-rounded, complex, and realistic. They are compassionate but selfish, mature but childish, daring yet fearful. They are wonderful in their complexity and shameless vulnerability.

Tom, the male protagonist, carries the weight of his actions in World War I around with him like an invisible albatross. His time spent in the war weighs on his humanity and makes him a more complex character and sympathetic soul. And, Isabel, the female protagonist, is an impetuous force of nature who sees the good in Tom despite the things he’s done. They are the quintessential yin and yang. Or, as Tom puts it, Izzy is his “other half of the sky.”

Suddenly Tom realizes he is crying. He weeps for the men snatched away to his left and right, when death had no             appetite for him. He weeps for the men he killed.

My favorite thing about the book is how provocative it is. The choices that these characters make throughout the story and their motivations behind those choices are so compelling that they will stay with you long after you’ve put the book down. Their actions will haunt you, and your feelings toward their actions will spur you to introspection and reflection. 

The dialogue of the book is another strong point. The voice of each character is unique and further adds to the characterization. Despite the heavy themes explored in this book, some of the characters are quite jovial and witty. And others, like Tom, are more morose and solemn. This uniqueness of character voice is a refreshing mix.

Right and wrong can be like bloody snakes: so tangled up that you can’t tell which is which until you’ve shot ‘em both, and     then it’s too late.

I also enjoyed the use of symbols in the book. I noticed almost immediately the symbolic use of elements like light and darkness, wind and water. And, I began to look for more uses of symbolism, finding many occasions where it was interwoven seamlessly into the story like beautiful touches of embroidery on fine tapestry.

A Light Between Oceans envelops you. It permeates your heart, your intellect, your humanity. It puts you in the judgment seat, where you find yourself coming to terms with the fact that the line between black and white is not always as easy to find as you once believed.

Highly recommended.

<![CDATA[Guest Bloggers WANTED]]>Fri, 05 Jul 2013 19:02:45 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/guest-bloggers-wantedAs a future author, and writing artist; a sense of community is a big deal in order to put yourself "out there".

Literature Review- A Writer's Blog is currently looking for guest bloggers.  Please click the email button at the top, or go on the Facebook page and send a message.

We will send you a list of topics desperately needing bloggers.  But you're not limited to our list, we welcome any suggestions for blog topics and book reviews.

Please comment below, send an email, or a message on facebook if you are interested.

Thank you!

~ Jane Wright
<![CDATA[Building Poetry through your Book Collection: Book Spine Poetry]]>Tue, 23 Apr 2013 18:53:03 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/a-writers-blog/building-poetry-through-your-book-collection-book-spine-poetryPicture
It's been no secret that about a year ago, I went back to school-- Again!
I enrolled in an online Master's in English and Creative Writing Program through Southern New Hampshire University

So far, It's been an adjustment and fairly bumpy road.  The courses are easy to navigate, but intensive as far the reading and writing goes.  I was used to getting work done over 16-17 week semesters, but now I am completing work in 11 weeks, with very little breaks.  Most classes end on a Sunday with the new course starting the next day on Monday.

Not really realizing when I pre-registered last term that I would be taking my Poetry Fundamentals course during National Poetry month.  In an online writer's forum for school, one of this month's prompts was to post a poem created by book spines. 

I had never heard of book spine poetry until now.  It's extremely simple to do.  Go through your library, and randomly or purposely stack the books with the spines facing the same way.  Then take a picture and upload to show off your talent and creativity.  Visit my Contact form to submit your Book Spine Poem to be featured in a re-cap next month.