Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Burn Palace - Review

It always feels wonderful to have finished a good book. The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns is no exception. This is the first review I have attempted in a long time and, truth be told, I have contemplated this review for over a week.

First, for those of you who are new to my style of reviewing I will share this with you. I do not believe in revealing spoilers. Feel free to keep reading. I won't give anything away. I promise.

Secondly, my word is not divine. Even though I often believe I am right and the rest of the world is full of nonsense, I know that that isn't really true. So, take this or leave it. If a book sounds interesting to you, try it out and prove me wrong.

Okay . . . onto the review.

Overall, I give this book 3 stars. The plot was decent and the characters intrigued me, however sometimes I felt there were just too many characters in this book. I couldn't always keep up with them. Of course, it took me a while to read the book, which could have contributed to the disjointed nature I felt the novel presented.

The dialogue was lacking for me, however there was one phrase in the prose that stayed with me for the remainder of the novel. I enjoy books that offer a perspective I have never contemplated before and this one phrase provided that unique perspective.

". . . here was the victim and here was the horror, and the one stood beside the other like a man next to an elephant."

Does this phrase resonate with you and the different tragedies that may affect your daily lives? It forced me to consider that sometimes the tragedy, like a school shooting, takes on a persona all of its own, separate and apart from the actual incidence. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Amateur Wisdom

Every day I am reminded that I am failing to live up to my potential to be the writer that I know I am destined to be. There are a million reasons why I make both conscious and subconscious reasons to continue to sabotage my progress. I won't bore you. However, all it takes it watching other people living out their dream; taking ordinary words and stringing them together in such a way that they create an intricate tale that entices the reader to say, "Just one more page," to make me quiver with fear that I will never realize that success.

Then I look in the mirror and say, "Screw that!" I am a success. Yeah, you didn't see that one coming, did you? Sure, my novel has been a perpetual rough draft for way too long. But I have penned words. I have created an imaginary place with characters the breathe deep inside the recesses of my soul and to me that is success on a personal level. Some may say psychotic, too. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Therefore, this post is for all of my creative friends who have ever felt they do not measure up to their definition of success or another person's definition of achievement. Too much creative time is wasted on comparing yourself to others. Stay devoted to your passion and success will find you!

And, while you are mulling over that little bit of amateur wisdom check out this wonderful quote by Madeline L'Engle that I found over at the Write on Edge community.