Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Book To Savor

                 Poetry Friday! Today at Violet's  poetry blog, Violet Nesdoly/Poems. Thanks to Violet today for hosting us.
             I just checked out a book from the library titled Tick-Tock: A Book About Time by James Dunbar. and that's what I'm feeling right now, mostly wondering where time goes! It's nearly the end of the school year and I've just had two long after school/evening events. I relish the idea of spending a day reading some wonderful book, perhaps re-reading some favorite passages in the book I'm about to review. 
             Sometimes I read books fast; the action propels me forward to the end in lightning speed. And other books’ pages slow me down. I re-read lines, and often underline them. I star passages, and add notes to some.  For anyone who wishes a book to savor, a passionate affair about writing, life, and created with loving authority too, please find Views from A Window Seat, Thoughts on Writing and Life, by Jeannine Atkins.




            Jeannine takes the reader through a year of writing amid parts of her life. The thread that loosely holds the book together is a book she’s writing. We get to know some of its beginnings, how more than one day of writing might look, those who support her. Metaphors of both life and life’s writing flourish. As I read, I realized that I might make notes not only with words, but with sketches. 



              It was a pleasure to connect with the metaphorical lessons from Jeannine’s point of view and to try to translate them to other personal expectations. The words are clear, bring me to new understandings of how parts of novels work. In the chapter titled "Nest, Gardens, and Forest Paths", setting is explained. Jeannine writes: I try to embed descriptions in small slices. Each should function as a place where characters feel different aspects of themselves or who they can be. Later in another chapter, she writes about the moments that are not the great ones for which a person is known. The quieter moments of history may be as important as what happens in a family between posed snapshots.     
            Among many, a favorite line is Meaning in life is usually at least half-hidden, and that's what we want when we write and read. The anticipation mystery holds is at least half the excitement, and even in this book of essays by Jeannine, I found this mystery of what her thoughts might offer next so enticing. 
          I hope you'll take the time to order and read Views from A Window Seat, Thoughts on Writing and Life. I've discovered new ideas for myself, and new connections to my own life and writing from Jeannine's words. 

30 comments:

  1. I was a lucky recipient of a give away of Jeannine's book. I am still savoring it. It's like a cup of coffee with a friend. I keep coming back to it.
    I've never considered drawing to make notes in a book. I may have to try it. Drawing taps in to a different part of the brain.

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    1. Love your idea Margaret, "like a cup of coffee with a friend." When I know I'll keep a book for re-reading, I write and draw often. Hope you try it! This is the book to inspire more than one sketch!

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  2. A lovely, wise book, indeed! Thank you for your comments here. Love your embellishments! Way to make it your own...sailboat and flower and three bears... you make me want to doodle! xo

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    1. Thanks Irene, I enjoyed the book as you see quite a lot!

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  3. Yes, I continue to savor this book. It's so rich, beautiful and multi-dimensional. Love the excerpts you shared as well as your three bears drawing :). Cornelius definitely approves.

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    1. Thanks, Jama. I loved the sketching, & with the threes, of course bears were the natural sketch.

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  4. I love how everyone is savoring this book! Makes me want to request it, but I still have The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap on my nightstand waiting for the me when school is out. I'll have to put this one on my future requests list. I love seeing inside books & notebooks of people who doodle and write. I'm hoping to explore my inner artist some this next year. I even kept a notebook of drawing paper that a student didn't want this week.

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    1. So happy you found the Bookstore book, Ramona. Just keep this one on your list for soon! I hope you begin doodling/sketching soon!

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  5. Hi, Linda. How beautiful to see Jeannine's book with your notes, and especially the sketches. Thank you for showing us a reader's mind at work.

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    1. You're welcome, Laura. With Jeannine's book it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your love of this book, Linda! It actually lives on my Kindle, I started reading it, but then life got in the way and "Out of sight, out of mind" (true of an ebook even more than a book on a shelf)! But your review has given me an elbow jab to take it up again, though I can't doodle pretties in the margins like you can in a paper book - pity!

    Violet N.

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    1. Hope you'll be able to get back to it, soon, Violet. As you can see, I really loved it. Thanks!

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  7. I love Jeannine's book. She writes absolutely beautifully. Thank you for sharing these excerpts!

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    1. You're welcome B.J. So glad to hear you love it, too!

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  8. Thanks for sharing Jeannine's accolade-worthy book (and your sketches!) today, Linda. I'm savoring these essays too.

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    1. Glad to hear you're enjoying the book too, Robin. It's one of those books that feels very much like a conversation.

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  9. What a great idea to take notes with pictures, especially about a creative process. I love how drawing draws (so to speak) on ideas that might not come up in my writing.

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    1. I actually draw fairly often, especially in nonfiction books, but Jeannine's book is filled with such images, I did it more than usual. And it helps one remember the main point!

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  10. Thank you, Linda. Your drawings bring in so much more grace than highlighters. I'm honored.

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    1. You are very welcome Jeannine. The sketching began with need, to respond to your metaphors, and to capture your ideas at least a bit. I sketched on nearly every essay. Thank you for writing the book!

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  11. Your review of this book is spot on, Linda. It *is* one to be savored, isn't it? I also love your sketch note-taking-- it suits this book well.

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    1. Thanks Michelle, as I wrote above, the sketching came from a need to capture images, so vivid from Jeannine's words.

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  12. I really want this book! And I want to try drawing in a book, like you do! So cool!

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    1. Thanks Carol, I hope you'll be able to find it soon! Or, start drawing in another book!

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  13. Jeannine's book is a treasure - I keep my copy at hand, but your artistic notations give me much to think about for my students and note taking. Well, they give me ideas for note taking of my own, too!

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    1. We've found that working with sketching in note-taking is something that helps some students, Tara. I hope you do give it a try. I do it often, but Jeannine's book lent itself to the images very well.

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  14. This book is on my TBR list!

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    1. Thanks Mary Lee. It is a gem to read!

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  15. So many bloggers I respect have mentioned this book! I just have to get a copy! Thanks for this post.

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    1. Terrific, Ruth, you will love it! Lots of time to read after school is out!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!