Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

How to Review a Book in Eight Easy Steps — September 2, 2013

How to Review a Book in Eight Easy Steps

Today I’m over at Kathy Pooler’s blog, Memoir Writer’s Journey. Kathy asked me to share with her readers, and mine, what process I follow when reviewing a book. Writing this post didn’t come as easily as reviewing a book does, but I now have down just what I do when I review a book, no matter the genre. So, here goes!


“A good, sympathetic review is always a wonderful surprise.”
Joyce Carol Oates

Image: SpiritFire via Flickr

Loving books and reading them has been a part of who I am since childhood. The only thing that has changed is that now I review books.

When Kathy invited me to talk about how to review a book, I mentally stopped in my tracks.

How does one explain the process of reviewing a book?

There are many online sites where you can review books — on a blog, at Amazon, Goodreads and other book outlets.

Recently, author Jody Hedlund shared some “creative” reviews of her book, Noble Groom. Take time to look at these — they are interesting and unique. Although I tend to stick to standard reviews, you may find something that is a perfect fit with your blog or a book you’re reading. And one day I may step outside the box. For today, however, I’ll just stick with explaining my standard method.

Read the rest at Kathy’s blog . . . 

Written Acts of Kindness Award — Linda Thomas — November 7, 2012

Written Acts of Kindness Award — Linda Thomas

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile,
a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring, all of which have
the potential to turn a life around.
~ Leo Buscaglia

Who doesn’t like surprises and gifts?

It was Friday morning, November 2nd.  Friday means a busy morning.  It’s my morning to mentor with a group of young moms of preschoolers.  I stole just a minute to check my inbox.

And there it was — just what I needed to make my morning go ever so well.  WordPress had left me a notice of a new post on Kathy Pooler’s blog, Memoir Writer’s Journey.  Kathy has honored me with a “Written Acts of Kindess Award”.

First, Kathy, thank you so much!  I am delighted to be the recipient you chose to pass on this award to.

Second, what is this award all about?

Cate Russell-Cole is a trainer, editor, social worker and author with an understanding of both the psychological and technical aspects of writing. She currently writes and coaches online. Her website communiCATE is filled with resources for writers.

Cate recently decided to develop an award to recognize people who inspire her. Her explanation follows here:

Success never comes solely from your own efforts. There are always others along the way who give you a hand up; encourage you; or give you that resource, or piece of advice you never could have done without.

From today onwards, when someone inspires me, or if I see someone who is using their writing gift to help others, I am going to take the time to thank them publicly. To do that, I have created this award. I also want to make it open to anyone to use, so they can say thank you for making a difference in the writing community and/or in your life.

“This is not meant to be just another blogger award, with time-consuming requirements for passing it on. This is an award which is meant to be passed on with sincerity. You don’t have to receive it in order to be able to give it. You can take the details and images off this post now and use it to encourage another writer.

“I feel so honored. Life is good. And now I get to pass this award on to someone who has inspired me. Since I have so many wonderful virtual blogger friends who have inspired me, I may be passing this on to others along the way.

Today it’s my chance to surprise someone else with this award, and I’m sharing this post on both of my blogs because of the recipients gifts in both writing memoir and sharing her faith.

Read more here . . .

Struggling with Time Management – Part 2 of 4 — October 9, 2012

Struggling with Time Management – Part 2 of 4

Ever feel as if every social media icon is part of a tumultuous cyclonic wind swirling around your mind?  My guess is you’re not alone.

From personal experience, I can say that if this overwhelming icon effect is attacking you, I am right there with you.

These colorful, socially engaging images are great distractions in the middle of a day when you want to write.  Despite their almost one-dimensional existence, they have the ability to speak your name, tempt you to come along, and then poof! — the day is over.

Why are these colorful distractions a problem for us?

It’s all about time.  Managing your time.  Time is important and should be guarded carefully. And each of these media takes time away from other endeavors.

As writers we are encouraged to build platforms, find “tribes,” and participate on social media.

That’s all well and good but how can one manage all these media outlets and find time for writing?

In the recent past, I’ve read several blog posts on this topic of social media and distraction.  What I sat down to write has already been written and in a better way than I ever could.

Today I want to share with you two posts written by Kathy Pooler of Memoir Writer’s Journey.  In the first post, Kathy writes about the catalyst behind her words.  And she lets us into her private writer world when she says: “Social media has become a major distraction in my life and in my writing.”

In spite of what Kathy had learned in a workshop about building her writer platform and why she needs that platform, Kathy shares that her goal is for a plan that looks toward minimizingdaily social media distractions while maximizing the benefits.”  In a follow-on post, “Lights, Camera, Action: ‘Operation Focus’,” Kathy shares just what that plan is and how she hopes it will work for her.

In her posts, Kathy includes links to several writers who share their own ideas on time management and social media.

Kathy’s posts speak to my immediate needs.  Ayear ago, when I first read them, we had just learned of a medical crisis in our family, and to attempt something new was not in my plans.  Now, it is time.

Stay tuned for Thursday’s post which will bring you a look at another writer’s thoughts on time management.  This time from someone who is still working outside the home.

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