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Book Reviews
January, 2008

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Book Reviews - March
Three legends of writers' reading still rockin'
By  Sandra Tibbetts

Stack up on only the best in writing resource books and reference tomes.
Tune into IN reviews for the best of How-To books from writing all walks of life and genres -- from high adventure to haiku, from fact to fiction, cookbooks to commentary and much, much more. Always check IN to see what's in. We only publish the best and our rating scale below is based upon the values of the three Es: Ease-of-Read, Educational, and Entertaining.

If you have a how-to write book that you would like us to read and possibly write a review about (we only publish reviews of books that we deem are best of the best) please send it to us. Our snail mail address is located in our 'About' area.

The Elements Of Style
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
Longman Publishers, 2000
ISBN: 020530902X
IN Rating:

The Elements Of Style first published in 1957 is now in its fourth edition. After 48 years it remains a must-read for every writer, or anyone who writes in their business or daily lives. Packed with eleven elementary rules of usage, and principals of composition, chapters on a few matters of form, words and expressions commonly misused, an approach to style, all wrapped up in a little book of 105 pages.

Easy to read, understand, and emulate. A powerhouse of straightforward pearls of wisdom every school should teach. Often humorous, definitely not a dry read, as textbooks tend to be. How many young adults today have the basic knowledge of the English language they will need to succeed in the work force? Any writer serious about their craft should read, and have this helpful reference book close at hand at all times. I recommend The Elements of Style to the aspiring writer, and for the more seasoned professional to reread when they start to slip back into bad habits, as a quick refresher course.

In keeping with the advice of William Stunk, I have tried to keep this review short, to the point, and my favorite, not to put on airs by drawing attention to my words by using quotation marks. I continue to benefit from this book every time I read it.
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If you like this review, take a look at 'Our Members Library Of Recommended Reading' for books that have made a significant difference in our members' writing careers.

On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft
Stephen King
Pocket Books, 2002
ISBN: 0743455967
IN Rating:

Have you ever sat and listened to someone who can keep you enthralled for hours? It isn't that the individual is telling mesmerizing tales, just shooting the breeze, but also happens to be a natural storyteller. On Writing by Stephen King reminds me of this rarity in today's age. As I sat reading the book, which he tells in a very laid back, humorous, conversational, and at times, self-deprecating tone, it was as if we were having a friendly chatter in my living room. I was captivated from the beginning, where he reminisces about his youth, his struggles and addictions, and onto how he came to be one of the most prolific writers I have ever read. In his early years as a teacher, he claims not to have been very good.

However, if he taught in the same manner in which he educated with this book, I beg to differ. The entire time I was devouring a first-rate story, I was being taught the things he had learned about the craft of writing, not completely realizing how well he'd educated me until I had laid the book down at the end, and started mulling it over. He is truly an amazing craftsman and teacher.

You get everything in this book from a remarkable story to answers to questions you weren't even aware you needed to know, instructions, tips, exercises, and even to see how he edits his first draft. I've always admired his writing, but after reading this book, I am now in awe of his knowledge, his creativeness, and his ability to tell it like it is, warts and all. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys an excellent book.
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If you like this review, take a look at 'Our Members Library Of Recommended Reading' for books that have made a significant difference in our members' writing careers.
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Sandra Tibbetts is a freelance editor and writer. Currently an editor with Whiskey Creek Press, and reviewer/editor/publisher for Romance Junkies Reviews, When she has a free minute, she spends it writing, reading and gardening at her home in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada. Favorite quote: "It's never crowded along the extra mile." - Wayne Dyer

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

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Bald Ego
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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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