This Tuesday, Treasure Seekers, I am shining a Spotlight on Book Reviews. As an Author, it is something that is a good practice to get into, reviewing books. It helps your peers, to get reviews on their work. It helps your followers to decide what book they might or might not want to read next, in their free time. It does take time away from writing, to read other books and review them, so I am not going to be writing them constantly. Once I get enough purchases registered on Amazon.ca, and I switch my profile on Goodreads to reflect my pen name as the Author I am, then I will be reviewing more books there. This is my first book review since I have become an Author. I am still writing my first book, with plans for 5 more. I hope that I will be so lucky as to have people enjoy my books enough to write some kind words about them someday.
I am going to review two books today. They are both completely different, with a common…noodle of thought. The title of the first book will explain that comment a little better.
Sarah Tyley started writing her debut novel, Spaghetti Head in 2006. I understand what she describes when she says that she started writing it, and then she stopped. I have started writing my own first novel, and it is in progress. I am working hard to find the time to work on my own book. Classified on amazon.co.uk as a Contemporary Fiction novel, Spaghetti Head is currently for sale as an ebook for Kindle. When I looked into the future publication plans that Sarah has shared on her social media, she will be launching the paperback version in June.
With a name like Spaghetti Head, I didn’t quite know what to expect. This novel has many twists and turns, much like a bowl of spaghetti. Add in a few solid meatballs, like Granma, Sally and Ty to support the main character Nell; and you have some great personalities to write a story about. The complications arise when Nell Greene, the main character, is presented with a major life choice. In the world that Sarah has created, there are population issues, and Nell is nominated for an Award. It is not your typical award for journalism, her chosen career, but rather to receive it she must become a Mother. This comes with its own form of spicy complications. The sauce of the story lies in the inner voice that Nell has been listening to for years. This voice has its own personality, and name. You will have to read the book to learn more about that.
You can’t have a good bowl of spaghetti without sprinkling on a bit of cheese. Enter Alice and Shilly, the robotic companions of Nell and Ty, respectively. They provide distraction, advice and laughter throughout the novel. Just a hint of something extra, to enhance the flavour of the book.
Being a fan of randomness myself, and fighting with my own internal gremlins, I do understand how the title suits the book since I have finished reading it. One of the things that Nell decides to do to help her make her decision to accept the award or not is to go to therapy. Here is the noodle I referred to earlier. There are techniques used in this book and the second book to be reviewed here that are to help move the characters in this book, and the readers in the second book, beyond what is holding them back. As I am writing this to encourage people to read the books, I am not going to give away the secrets, but I did find it interesting to read two completely different books, and find tools being used both in the world of Nell in Spaghetti Head, that I found also while reading …
The Path to Courage by Debbie Burns. If you are a regular here on my website, you may recognize this author’s name. If not, you might be more familiar with me writing about Facebook Groups. I happened to find Creative Central, a Facebook group that is founded by Debbie Burns. It is one of many projects that this amazing woman has on the go. Not only is this group free, but it has other writers like myself, finding their way to becoming authors, one word at a time. To be in a welcoming, positive safe group with my peers is absolutely priceless. Enough about who Debbie is, time to tell you what I thought of her book.
When Debbie announced that she was having an online launch party for this book, I had to make sure I made it to at least a part of it. I happened to be home that day, so I was there for the start. I downloaded my copy, and read the book, cover to cover, the same day it was launched.
The common noodle is in this book also. There are things people can do to help themselves, and both books reinforce this, in completely different ways. In Spaghetti Head, Nell uses the tools in the book to help her solve her own issues. In The Path to Courage outlines some of the same tools, but in a practical guide for the reader.
Reading The Path to Courage was like having a conversation with Debbie, where she imparts her own wisdom of how to find courage inside of the reader. It is full of joy and personal stories. She describes what happened in her life that brought her to need to write this book, and how she has overcome all of the things in her life that tried to stop her in her remarkable journey. She calls herself the Head Unicorn, she has fabulous pink hair to help support that claim. She writes about glitter and fireflies and how to change the way you think with simple tools, that like I have written before, you will have to read the book to discover.
Spaghetti Head was a wonderful story thought up by Sarah Tyley, and I am a fan. She is currently writing her second book and I will be waiting to read what she has to tell in her next story.
The Path to Courage is an insightful book that helps the reader find their own way. Full of spunk and anecdotes, it is a book that I will likely read more than once, as there are exercises inside that I want to test to help me find my own Path to Courage.
There you have it. A spotlight on book reviews makes its first appearance in Treasure Seeker Tuesday. It is a topic that I see growing into this category and will help me to find other Treasures to seek and share with you here, on the Blog. I hope that you check these books out, and if you do, please let me know what you thought of them. Myself, I enjoyed them both, each for their own unique style and story.
This is my first Blogger Award. I am very grateful to The Ink Owl for the nomination. It really means a lot to me. I would also like to thank Okoto Enigma for creating this Award. It was designed for Bloggers to acknowledge their peers in the blogging world, and to be passed on from one to another to help grow the Blogging Community, and for people to discover new blogs to help them to grow and flourish. What a remarkable idea to spread encouragement, positivity, and to help Bloggers to earn some recognition. It is also a wonderful way for people to find new blogs to love, read, and follow.
If you would like to read the nomination post from The Ink Owl, it is in the comments on my About page. If you would like to read more about the Award and its creator, please check out the following link: Mystery Blogger Award Background and Story.
When you are nominated for an award like this, it is meant to make you share some information about yourself, and to encourage you to acknowledge some of your own favourite Bloggers with some new nominations from you. It is a pay it forward kind of idea, and I think it is wonderful. That being said, there are some rules that go with being nominated.
Mystery Blogger Award Rules:
- Put the award logo/image on your blog
- List the rules
- Thank whoever nominated you and post a link to their blog
- Mention the creator of the blog and provide a link to their blog also
- Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
- You have to nominate 10-20 people
- Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
- Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one strange or funny question
- Share a link to your best post(s)
I have to write this note here to tell you all that it was difficult for me to create that list. At last, I have outwitted the bullet list formatting and can continue working on the rules and acceptance.
Three things about me to tell you.
1. I try really hard to be funny. Sometimes it backfires and I have to quickly change the topic of conversation. Other times it is taken totally wrong and I have an angry person instead of a laughing person to deal with. Once in a blue moon, I get it right. I do seem to be getting better at this talent with age. Possibly because I am a huge fan of both Betty White and Weird Al Yankovich.
2. I wish I could afford a maid. I know how to clean, I just really don’t like doing it. I would rather be working on my creativity than creating a clean organized space to live in. I am working on that.
3. Blogging is my mid-life crisis self-help therapy. It is cheaper than a motorcycle, and I can take more than one person with me for the ride! Helmets are optional. There are no judgements here.
The Ink Owl Listed five questions for me to answer, as a part of the nomination and acceptance.
- Where (physical locations) do you write?
- Why did you start writing?
- What is your favourite part about your life?
- What has been the most challenging part with writing?
- What gives you the inspiration to write?
Here are my answers:
1. I used to write in journals when I went to school and university. I have written on my laptop when I was in a local creative writing group. That group, which I have the honour of saying I named, Freddy Words, is currently dormant and awaiting a revival. These days, I am writing on my desktop computer. PC not MAC. I will be working towards purchasing other electronic devices to write in different locations in the future so that I am always ready to write when inspiration strikes. My desk is in my living room in the center of my mini home. I can watch TV, listen to music, and write all from my desk. It would be nice to write outside sometime.
2. I have been writing my whole life. Nothing spectacular in my school days, but I have always enjoyed writing, both creatively and emotionally. Why I started writing my blog is a more interesting answer. I watched an inspirational video one day, and it got me thinking. It made me think about how to get my lyrics for songs out of my head and to a place where other people can read them. Before I knew it, I had to research how to set up a blog, and I never expected it to just take off like it did. I write and I have a lot of fun with it. I hope it never stops being fun. I used to write as a form of not keeping things bottled up. Now I am practising to write a fantasy trilogy by writing on my blog, building the habit. Always thinking…
3. The favourite parts of my life are finding my passions. I love the beach and the ocean, especially in Cape Breton. I love my husband, and the life we have together is not always perfect, but that keeps things interesting. I love creating things, from thought to completed projects. This blog has been a wonderful rediscovery of my own passion for writing. I truly believe that writing is what I am meant to do, that it is my purpose in life. I also love it when I line up all my ducks in a row to land the unexpected joke once in a blue moon. That is something that gives me a lot of joy. This year I have grown personally. I am proud of the person I am turning out to be, flaws, bad jokes, and all!
4. The most challenging part with writing is actually three things. The first one is that I need to know when to take breaks. I do not have any problems writing, I need to remember to stop and eat, and walk around for a bit; to step away from my desk. When I decide to write I need to make sure I don’t ignore the rest of my life. The second thing is grammar and punctuation. Grammarly is helping with that. I have trouble with commas, and use a lot of exclamation points! The third thing is that you should always write down your ideas as soon as they hatch…or you will forget them like I just did for my number three.
5. Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. I get a title in my head, I start writing, and there is my story. I hear people talking and I run with an idea the conversation sparked. I am an emotional woman, and my feelings sometimes dictate the direction a story goes in. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have to get a pen and paper right away so I don’t forget what I dream up. Other times I use my highly developed pantser skills and sit down with nothing in my head for an idea or plan, and I just start typing. A short time later I have a blog post or a new song. I am certain that writing is what I am supposed to do, and with that being said, inspiration can strike at any given moment in any place I am present in. I have faith and religion in my belief system, therefore all of the inspiration I have comes from God. He made me this way. Always thinking…
As I need to post this blog to grab the link to put into my announcements for the bloggers I have chosen to nominate, please allow me a few minutes to type up my nomination memo for the nominees. I have not mastered the internet well enough to be able to do both things simultaneously. (This note is for nominees-your memo is coming if you didn’t get it yet).
I would like to nominate (in a randomly organized list) the following Bloggers for The Mystery Blogger Award:
Rebecca Craig of Spiritelle Blog
Gordon Dougherty of Unlikely Mystics Blog
Denise Marcello of Denise Marcello Fitness Step out in Faith Blog
Mohamad Al Karbi of Mohamad Al Karbi Blog
Irene of They Once Called Her Pumpkin…
Colline of Colline’s Blog
Kirsty Allen of The Ramblings of a Madwoman who hosted My first Guest Blog, and a little more of the back story.
Payal Tyagi of Writings by Payal Tyagi
Apple Alvarez of Apple Bits Blog
Bonnie McConaughy of Inspire The Best You
Dionne Abouelela of Girl VS City
The Olive Brunette of The Olive Brunette
Sam of the Caffeine Gal
Jessie Wing of Wingswordsblog
As if it wasn’t hard enough to select a few of my favourite Bloggers to nominate for The Mystery Blogger Award, now I have to think of five clever questions to ask them all. The rebel in me has disguised a few extra sub-questions sneakily with the five I am required to ask.
- How long have you been Blogging?
- If you could put a face and a name to your Muse, who would it be? (My silly question)
- What is your why, as in why do you write?
- Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what artists and or types of music do you enjoy listening to while writing? Does it change as your story develops?
- Who is your favourite published Author? Do you read their books only once, or do you read them frequently? If you can’t narrow it down to just one, two or three are also acceptable as an answer, as I have three at the moment, and that is in the top three of a long list of many.
If you check the links above, you will see there is already one link to my first ever guest post. As per the rules, I can also link to some of my favourite blog stories.
The Little Blog That Could! , I Had Sass in Zumba Class! and When the African Violet Blooms are three that stand out to me and others, based on the number of likes and comments. I am really proud of all of them. I have created two regular series within the blog as well, Trust Your Gut and Weekend Warrior. They are stories that aim to help keep me on track and inspire the readers to keep working on the things that challenge them in their lives. I have had other people submit stories for Trust Your Gut, and if you have issues with weight, and would like to submit your story, please contact me. I would love to help you tell your story by sharing it in the series.
I follow more blogs than the ones listed here as my nominees. Shout out to Fears of Little Fears, Blair of The Shameful Sheep and Brian of Bonnywood Manor Blog to name a few more blogs that I enjoy visiting frequently. If I missed you, feel free to answer my questions below in the comments! The more the merrier!
Thanks for the nod, Ink Owl, and I look forward to reading the answers to my questions.