Tag: inspiration

Book Review: The Girl with the Louding Voice, by Abi Daré

the girl with the louding voice
Image belongs to Penguin/Dutton.

Title:  The Girl with the Louding Voice
Author:  Abi Daré
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  4.2 out of 5

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who dreams of finishing her education and becoming a teacher. Before her mother died, she made her father promise Adunni wouldn’t be forced to marry, but her father now disregards that promise and gives her to be the third wife to a local man who demands that she gives him sons—and his first wife terrorizes her.

So Adunni runs away—and finds herself as the house slave to a wealthy couple in the city. The wife forces Adunni to scrub the house with a toothbrush and beats her whenever the whim strikes. The husband is a threat of a different kind, and Adunni realizes if she is ever to have “a louding voice”—the ability to speak and stand up for herself—she will have to act despite her fear. For herself. For the ones who came before her. And for those who will come after.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how blessed I am, but this book paints it in stark relief in comparison to Adunni’s life. The strength and determination it would take to stand up to centuries of tradition and cultural habits is amazing. Adunni has suffered unspeakable things at the hands of those around her—yet she’s still upbeat and determined to seize her dreams in both hands. An excellent read—but not light and fluffy.

Abi Daré grew up in Nigeria and now lives in the UK. The Girl with the Louding Voice is her debut novel.

(Galley courtesy of Penguin Group/Dutton in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: I’ve Seen the End of You, by W. Lee Warren, MD

i've seen the end of you
Image belongs to WaterBrook.

Title: I’ve Seen the End of You
AuthorW. Lee Warren, MD
Genre:  Nonfiction
Rating:  5 out of 5

A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

Dr. Lee Warren, a practicing neurosurgeon, had seen enough cases of glioblastoma to know when he diagnosed the patient, that he’d seen the end of them. With a 100% fatality rate, he knew how it was going to end. But that never stopped him from praying for his patients, even as he knew there was no hope. Even as he experienced doubts about just what God was doing. Even as he asked Why, God? It wasn’t until Lee faced a personal tragedy that he finally came to the end of himself—and rekindled the hope that had been hiding in the darkness for so long.

I’ve Seen the End of You was an incredible read! I don’t normally get enthralled in nonfiction, but I could not put this book down! Dr. Warren’s raw honesty about his fears, his questions, his grief resonated with me, and the strength it must take to face such seemingly hopeless cases every day with a prayer and an offered bit of hope is inspirational and uplifting. For anyone going through any kind of tragedy, this is a wonderful read!

Lee Warren is a brain surgeon, inventor, Iraq War veteran, and writer. I’ve Seen the End of You is his newest book.

(Galley courtesy of WaterBrook in exchange for an honest review.)

Sundays are for Writing #40

I started my new work schedule—sort of—this week, so I was able to get in five writing sessions (last Monday was still the old 6-to-6 schedule, so writing was out). Fifteen pages of fiction this week!

I also did some outlining in the current WIP, the King Arthur story; as well as in my tentative idea for NaNo (creating six characters and outlining five scenes). I’m super happy with the week!

Sundays are for Writing #33

This was my first full week without school or work obligations on Tuesday and Thursday, and it was an excellent writing week!

I got in writing sessions on three days, for a total of six pages, plus some planning on the King Arthur project, and a bit of work on the Holly Lisle HTWAN class. And…I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo this year for the first time in…years! I’m actually super excited about this, and the Muse is already hinting at ideas. I want to finish the first draft of the King Arthur story before November, though. So it would probably be a good idea to plot that out…

Also wrote three book reviews and I’m trying to write a narrative nonfiction essay just because.

 

Book Review: Redwoods and Whales: Becoming Who You Actually Are, by Phil Joel

 

redwoods and whales
Image belongs to Emanate Books/Thomas Nelson.

Title:  Redwoods and Whales: Becoming Who You Actually Are
Author: Phil Joel
Genre:  Spiritual, Christian
Rating:   5 out of 5

Redwoods and Whales offers a warning and a promise:

The warning: Don’t become that beached whale, trying to live in a foreign environment.

The promise: You will find freedom when your identity is centered under the safety of the Divine.

Life is tough. Depression, addiction, suicide, violence…they’re all commonplace in our society, and they make it hard to know where to turn. Despite the “connectedness” of our social media word, many people feel alone and adrift. But we have a choice:  we can choose to seek God and His true nature, and we can choose to live healthy, purpose-filled lives.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book, but Redwoods and Whales brought inspiration and hope while acknowledging the sometimes-bleak world around us. The casual tone combined with the chatting-with-a-friend feel of the book makes it easier to soak in the deep message in this book.

Phil Joel is a musician and an artist. Redwoods and Whales:  Becoming Who You Actually Are is his debut book.

(Galley courtesy of Emanate Books/Thomas Nelson via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Sundays are for Writing #14

Not only did I get in three writing days this week—a bit over my goal of 2,250 words—but I also finished up two lessons in HTWAN! So I hit both goals for the week!

Writing-wise, I’m still wandering, as I have only a bare idea of plot, but my goal for this week—in addition to word count—is to outline five scenes (sentence per scene), so I have some idea where I’m going. I know from experience that I wander when I don’t outline, so it’s time to correct that.

Words. No wandering.

 

Sundays are for Writing #13

This week was crazy busy. Seriously. But, I still got in two writing days!

About 1,500 words of fiction this week. (Ah…10,000-word days are such a fond/unbelievable memory now. Thank you, NaNo!). I also wrote five book reviews this week (three of those were written and scheduled on Thursday, before I left for my conference.)

For accountability purposes:  in addition to three writing days this week (or 2,200 words), my goal is also to get two lessons done in HTWAN, because I am woefully behind.

How was everyone else’s writing this week?

Sundays are for Writing #12

Confession time:  I think I only wrote about 600 words this week. Yep. Two 10-minute sessions and that’s it.

But…at least it’s writing. And I did do academic writing. Like…two decently long discussion board posts, and a 5-page paper that kind of made me want to bang my head on my desk. And three book reviews. So, at least there was writing.

Here’s to a better week.

Anyone else getting any writing done?

Sundays are for Writing #10

Ten weeks. I’ve done some writing every week for ten weeks!

That’s a huge victory for me. I used to write all the time, but the last six years have been sporadic at best. Writing fiction has become a habit again, along with writing articles for class and honing those skills.

At least 750 words three days this week, which is my goal. Yay!

Sundays are for Writing #6

Rough week at work, so I planned to do no writing until the weekend. I started yesterday morning with a 10-minute session—I find that if I try to write for longer than that, my brain wanders, but I can focus for 10 minutes—re-doing the first scene of my story (since my hard drive died the week before last, taking everything with it.

I’ve had an online backup program, Mozy, for years, but I didn’t realize it stopped working 6 or 8 months ago. My file download took two days to finish, but when it did finish yesterday morning, there was the first 3k of my story draft!

Do I wish it had been more? Absolutely. Will I be better about keeping an eye on the program to make sure it keeps working? You better believe it! But, it’s better than nothing.

I only recently wrote the other 5k words, so it’s pretty fresh in my mind. My goal is to get back to where I was over the next two weeks, and to work through Lessons 7 and 8 of HTWAN. I did get another 500 or so words added on to my recovered file, so there’s that.

Happy writing!