Saturday, July 17, 2010

Inspirational Quotes

The next time you write, yet feel uninspired, nervous, or discouraged, remember these great words of advice:

E.L. Doctorow:
"Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."

Leonard S. Bernstein:

"Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time…The wait is simply too long."

Sidney Sheldon:
"Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write my books so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she must turn one more page. When people tell me I've kept them up all night, I feel like I've succeeded!"

Tom Stoppard:
"Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little..."

Meg Cabot:
“Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.”

Thomas Wolfe:
“What I had to face, the very bitter lesson that everyone who wants to write has got to learn, was that a thing may in itself be the finest piece of writing one has ever done, and yet have absolutely no place in the manuscript one hopes to publish.”

Ray Bradbury:
"You fail only if you stop writing."

Jack London:
"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

Beth Mende Conny:
"Whether or not you get a single word on paper, the sun will rise, the earth will spin, the universe will expand. Writing is forever and always a choice—your choice."

Josh Billings:
"The great art of writing is knowing when to stop."

Thanks to Karlene Browning at LibrisPro for rounding up these amazing quotes!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review: The Silence of God by Gale Sears

When I was fifteen, I had the incredible experience of being able to go to Russia with a group of other teens on a tour designed to teach Russian teens about free enterprise. While there, we toured some of the huge cathedrals and learned the history of religion in the country, how many of the churches were destroyed or turned from their original purpose. Our tour guide explained how some of the churches were still operational as such, but not all. I was saddened to look upon these beautiful buildings, designed to glorify God, but instead, reduced to mere pieces of incredible architecture.

"The Silence of God" by Gale Sears very much speaks to this theme. Going back to 988 A.D. and the introduction of Christianity to Russia by Prince Vladimir and moving forward in time to the Revolution in the early 1900s, we see how important religion is to the lives and emotional well-being of these people who have been placed in some of life's most difficult circumstances. We meet the Lindlof family, the first LDS family in Russia, and follow them as they try to adhere to the tenets of their faith in the midst of harsh adversity, including time spent in Siberia. We learn of the Bolshevik theology and are shown the leaders of this movement in a more human light than we ordinarily view them. We are shown friendship and the power it has to preserve life.

Of necessity, Sears fictionalized many aspects of the Lindlof's story, while the basic structure is factual. It's impossible to know everything a person thought, said, or did when looking back at them through the lens of time. Sears did a remarkable job of keeping the tone of the country consistent through word choice and the structure of her dialogue.

I did wish that some sections had been fleshed out. This book could have been easily twice its length and I would have stayed with it until the last word on the page - the events depicted are fascinating and some were only given a mention where a full page or even a chapter would have done it more justice. That said, I give "The Silence of God" two big thumbs up and highly recommend it.

A free copy of the book was received for my review. This gift did not influence my thoughts in any way.