Book Reviews

The Dream Lover

In The Dream Lover, Elizabeth Berg imagines the life of Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (better known as the writer, George Sand) from childhood to her last days. In her captivating style of writing, Elizabeth explores the difficulties of being a woman in a man’s world in the 1800’s. Elizabeth departs from her previous writing style of using fiction as a vehicle to tackle important subjects to using a real person as the starting point to begin this novel, based on true stories. Elizabeth explains how she came to write The Dream Lover, “One day, while reading The Writer’s Almanac, I came across some very intriguing facts about the life of Aurore Dudevant, who took the pen name George Sand when she began publishing novels. Given that her life seemed to be so interesting, so dramatic, I wanted to read a novel about her—I prefer reading novels to biographies, because fiction…


Something you will never forget . . . Prompt #266

Today’s prompt is inspired by Hal Zina Bennett, Write From The Heart For some people, summer means sipping cool drinks. For others, summer might mean sitting around a campfire after a day of hiking, swimming, exploring. Summer might mean telling stories —tall tales or short ones— while lounging on a porch, a patio or a boat deck. There is a rhythm to summer, unlike any other time of year. Summer ’round the campfire brings out story tellers. The shaman storyteller of ancient times, embraces his own life experience, tells stories to the community that gathers in a circle around him, a fire blazing at its center. In the telling of what most deeply touched his life, the shaman helps others to see that they are not alone. And in the process both storyteller and listeners are healed. Imagine now, that you are sitting ’round a campfire, very comfortable with the…


Essential Wound Prompt #194

Write From The Heart by Hal Zina Bennett is one of my all-time favorite books on writing. The following is an excerpt from Write From The Heart. “I am convinced that every essential wound, by its very nature, has the potential for opening each of us up to the full potential of our very soul. I do not mean to be Pollyannaish about it, either. It’s not a matter of the universe providing us with the challenges we supposedly need for our spiritual growth. I tend to believe in the universe’s ‘benign indifference,’ as Camus once put it, and that God is something like a courageous and loving parent who gives us all we can take in, then lets us go on to live our lives the best we know how. I think that must have been what Joseph Campbell was talking about, too . . . ‘the world is…

Just Write

When you set the mask aside . . . Prompt #171

From Write From the Heart by Hal Zina Bennett, one of my all-time favorite books. During a trip to Disneyland, a priest became fascinated with the costumed figure of Mickey Mouse. Every time Father Sean turned around, there was Mickey Mouse shaking hands with people, talking with kids, keeping everyone’s spirits up. And Father Sean began asking himself, “I wonder who that person is under that costume? What are they like at the end of the day, when they take off their Mickey Mouse suit?” Instead of being who we really can be, we take on masks like the Good Little Girl, or we become the Black Sheep of the Family or the Rebel. Early on, we learn that if we are to be loved and cared for we’d better buckle under and be what is safe for us to be.  Prompt: Who or what is the character deep inside…

Book Reviews

Write From The Heart by Hal Zina Bennett

Write From The Heart, Unleashing the Power of Your Creativity by Hal Zina Bennett is one of my all-time favorite books on writing.  It’s a perfect title for Hal’s easy guidance that inspires deep writing. Hal welcomes and invites us on a relaxed journey to travel inward and discover ourselves through our writing in an unruffled manner. The opening paragraphs are much like the in-person Hal: gentle, quiet and encouraging. The “Writing Explorations” sections invite contemplative writing. The “Core Concepts” support calm and tender writing. This week, I’m going to settle into my reading corner and rediscover Hal’s gentle encouragement with my well-worn copy of Write From The Heart.       Photo of my post-it noted copy of Write From The Heart.