Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: Books are Tools Too

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog and to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture. 

Please join us to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here for the list of participants and take a break and visit them. 
Books are Tools Too

I don't usually think of books as tools. However, every tool comes with a page or pamphlet or book of instructions. So I believe books on writing are definitely tools to instruct us on the art of constructing our stories as well to help us learn how to publish and market them.

Today I'm sharing books I've used to learn about writing and writing life stories and memoirs. 

At this time, I'm working on creating a journal for those who wish to learn how to tell their life stories and a memoir which covers the first year we were in the floral business. (I wish I'd had a book of instructions for that giant leap.)

"Our lives are filled with extraordinarily ordinary moments. 
Our souls are illuminated by them.  
Sharing them around the hearths of our hearts, 
we become tellers of sacred tales, artists of our lives."
                                                         ----Dr. Susan Wittig Alberta, Writing from Life

Below is my review of one of the books on the list. I recommend it for writers even if you are not writing a memoir!

BOOK REVIEW: Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach

Writing Life Stories: How To Make Memories Into Memoirs, Ideas Into Essays And Life Into Literature
Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach
Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature by Bill Roorbach is eye-opening, thought-provoking, and full of wisdom for burgeoning writers, as well as experienced authors. His literary grade language and insight into what writing really is made me appreciate my choice to become a writer. This book is an inspiring read.

Bill, if I may call him that, brings clarity to the memoir genre. Incorporating rules of fiction writing with non-fiction events is an art. I soaked up every bit of the information he shared. He's a teacher as well as a writer and allows us to explore this marvelous genre through writing our own articles as exercises at the end of the chapter. I wish I were actually sitting in his classroom so I could be in a lively discussion with him and students on all the topics he covers.

My vocabulary grew because of his expertise in the English language. I discovered words like "adumbration" and "enjambment." 

These are quotes by Bill I want to keep in mind such as:

In regards to the writer's voice--"Emotion is the sound of a writer's voice."
In regards to writing--"This is art we're talking about, not a job."

I don't usually do book reviews, but this is more of a love letter to this book. If you are looking for a book on memoir-writing, pick this one up. I actually borrowed the kindle edition through amazon Prime's program. You know it had to be worth reading because I broke down and actually bought the paperback book!

If you have any comments about a book or wish to add to the list, please leave a comment below.

Albert, Susan Wittig.  Writing from Life:  Telling Your Soul’s Story
Baldwin, Christina.  Life’s Companion:  Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest
Corey, Judy. Storysharing:  A Bridge Between Generations
Daniel, Lois.  How to Write Your Own Life Story
Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
Hauser, Susan Carol. You Can Write a Memoir
Heilbrun, Carolyn.  Writing a Woman’s Life
King, Stephen. On Writing
Roorbach, Bill. Writing Life Stories
Strunk, William and E.B.White.  The Elements of Style
Zinsser, William.  Inventing the Truth:  the Art and Craft of Memoir


Raimey Gallant said...

Great review! My favorite book about writing memoirs (so far) is The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr. I hope you add it to your tbr, because it really is fabulous. :)

Louise said...

My next university module is on autobiographical fiction, which I'm dreading and know very little about. Bill's book looks like a good place to start :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Raimey. Yes, I will definitely add that book. I read it recently and should have remembered to put it in the list.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Louise, Interesting term--autobiographical fiction--since life story writers are driven to tell their true story. What book would you recommend to read as a good example of autobiographical fiction. Thank you for stopping in!

emaginette said...

I need to check it out. It sounds enlightening. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Computer Tutor said...

Loved your review of Bill's book, and especially the great words. I live for those. The only other book I've read on your list is Elements of Style. Excellent one!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That's a great list. I've have a handful I rely on even though I've been writing for many years I go back and re-educate myself.

Susan Says

Louise said...

I'm pretty new to the term, and haven't found any examples of autobiographical fiction yet. Everything I find about it is so vague, but I think it's realistic stories based on real events? (A bummer for me because I only write fantasy!)

Marsha said...

Hey,JQ. When can we expect to read your memoir? I've shared. :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Okay, Louise,--now I get it. How about a fantasy that takes place during the Civil War?? Mmmm...that may be pushing it! LOL

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks for stopping in, Anna.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Jacqui, Elements of Style is my go to book. I even gave the book to graduates this year as they enter their freshman year of college.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Susan, and there are always more good books coming out every year!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Marsha, Thanks for asking! I was shooting for this fall until GT had hip surgery this summer. It's been a tough summer. No definite date for release, but probably not until next spring. I am hoping to release a journal for telling life stories before Christmas--fingers crossed.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks for sharing, Marsha!

Helena Fairfax said...

Hi JQ, I love your list of books and your review. I'm often asked to edit/critique memoirs and to be honest this is something I struggle to give advice on. Bill's book sounds like the perfect starting point to learn. That's great it's on Amazon Prime. Hopefully in the UK, too. I'll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation. Best of luck with finishing your own memoir!

J.Q. Rose said...

Helena, another excellent book that I should have included in the list is the Art of Memoir. That may have more nuggets of information in it for you. I'm looking forward to completing my memoir. Thanks.

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