Stress: How Stress Affects Your Life and How to Manage It, by Dr. Christine Rose, provides useful information which could be life changing if utilized. The book provides a basic overview of stress and its effects on the human body, and several methods of dealing with stress.It covers the different aspects of stress well. It tells readers what stress is, how our bodies respond to stress and why they respond that way, and what the effects of stress on the body are, as well as how it might be controls to make us happier and healthier readers.
Dr. Rose neither talks over, nor talks down to, her readers, but uses layman’s terms that are easy to both read and understand. The suggested methods of managing stress are not new, but they are practical and effective. I give Stress: How Stress Affects Your Life and How to Manage It four quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs at no charge. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Wednesday the 21st is the 8th anniversary of the death of my son, Michael Daniel Lee Booth. Since his death, September has always been a pretty difficult month for me. His birthday was the 9th. He had just turned nineteen when he took his own life. I relate well to the song by Green Day, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, but of course, I can’t sleep the whole month away. It’s just not practical. So, instead I try and find some way to cope by honoring him in some way.
Since his death, I’ve talked a lot about how I want to write a book that will tell his story, and mine too I suppose, or at least the story of how his death affected me, and changed my life. When I first began thinking about it, I referred to it as a memoir, but it has to be more than that because there are so many others his death affected. I keep putting off writing it because I’m not sure I’m ready to dredge up all the memories that writing his story would bring. Some of them are still so painful it seems as if they only occurred yesterday.
For a long time after Mike died, it seemed that he was the only thing I could write about, and many of those writings will eventually be incorporated into the book. For now though, I’d like to make this blog post in honor of him, and share with you the eulogy I wrote. I stood up and read it at his funeral with tears streaming down my face, my heart breaking inside of me. People said it was brave of me to get up there and read it in front of all those that attended his funeral, and there were a lot. But for me, it was just something that I had to do. After all, I am a writer and he was my son.
Michael Daniel Lee Booth
When Mike Booth said, “I love you”, it was forever. And when he called you his friend, you knew you could depend on him to stand by you, no matter what. He loved to try new things, to explore and to learn. He had a love for life and for all that he held sacred. Mike strove for excellence in all that he did, and lived by a code of honor that was extremely tough to uphold. His Christian upbringing was intermixed with Hindu and Buddhist beliefs to make up the tapestry of his own personal belief system that was disciplined and unyielding. When he made mistakes, Mike was harder on himself than anyone else ever could have been.
When he got mixed up with the wrong people and things, he made some poor choices. He did not deny what he had done, but instead stood up and accepted the punishment that was given to him. He tried to make amends for his wrongs and was on his way to accomplishing that goal. He expressed great sorrow for his errors, and inflicted emotional punishment on himself over and above what the law could ever require of him.
He had a strong will and could accomplish anything that he set his mind to, including learning to speak Japanese and perform martial arts skillfully, all on his own. Mike had a love for Japanese culture and he could have lived off of green tea and sushi. His knowledge and skills were gladly shared with those who wished to learn. Mike had a love for nature and enjoyed all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing, hunting, fishing and hiking. His imagination was endless and he created stories and drawings that reveal a talent far beyond his tender youth.
Mike was so much to so many people; a loving son, a dependable big brother, a doting little brother, a respectful grandson, a loyal friend and a devoted husband. He loved his dog, Zaar, who was a companion and loyal friend to him. Mike was sensitive, and hurt so easily and so deeply, yet he was too strong willed to ever let it show outwardly. Only through his writing, can we glimpse the love that he embraced or the pain that he felt. When he loved, he loved with all of his being. Mike was fun loving and enjoyed spending time with those that were important in his life. He had beautiful curls and the most wonderful smile that could light up my heart whenever I saw it. Mike turned 19 three weeks ago. He had a whole life ahead of him. He was much too young to be called home to God.
Like this post? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted.
As an emerging writer, I hear that advice a lot. I think we all do. But what does it really mean? Before a writer can write about a subject or topic, she must experience it. Which is not to say that it isn’t possible to research a subject and then write about it as if you’re an expert, or at least know what you’re talking about, but it is saying that when you experience something, you must own the emotional aspects associated with it, and that will come through in your writing.
Now you know why I am not a travel writer. I wish I were, but I don’t travel often. Travel writers get paid big bucks. No, I’m a prime example of a starving artist. I work menial labor jobs to scratch out a living, and seek out cheap entertainment. But I do write what I know.
When I started out freelancing, I knew one thing. I loved to write, and I wanted to find a way to make a living at it. When I filled out the application for Examiner.com, I had to pick a category to write on. I chose writing, and as the Southern Colorado Literature Examiner, I covered writing events in southern Colorado and wrote author profiles and book reviews for Colorado authors. I served in this capacity for six years, not because I was getting rich off it, but because I loved what I was doing. I met many Colorado authors, most of whom I’m still in contact with, I got free ARC copies of books for review and I occasionally was able to attend some great writing events, such as the 2013 Pike’s Peak Writers’ Conference, 2012 Writing the Rockies Conference and Performance Poetry Readings, with wonderful poets such as word woman, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. The money was never an issue for me, (I maybe made a whole $20 during the whole six years I wrote for Examiner), but the perks were great. It may have actually played a role in my acceptance to Western State Colorado University as a graduate student in their low-residency Creative Writing program, since I had interviewed and written a three part profile on the then director of their poetry concentration, David J. Rothman. But I digress.
When I applied to write for Demand Media writing How-to articles, they didn’t have a lot of call for articles to do with writing, so I had to think. What else did I know? I started out with simple things like How to Put a Chain Back on a Huffy 10-speed Bicycle. I’ve always been an avid gardener, since I helped my grandfather plant petunias when I was a little girl, so I ended up writing a lot of gardening How-tos, like How to Grow Vegetables in a Bathtub. The topics I wasn’t as familiar with required a minimal amount of research, like The Best Potting Soils for a Vegetable Garden and I had references at hand to look up anything I needed. At $8 per article, the research had to be minimal. If I spent too much time researching, the time spent wouldn’t prove to be profitable.
As I mentioned, I don’t do a lot of traveling, and my entertainment is limited by my pocketbook, but I’ve learned to write about the things I do know. You won’t catch me writing about the Emmies, or the Oscars, or $100 a ticket charity fundraisers, because I’ll never be at one of those events and I know very little about them. What you will see me writing about are weird, off the wall things like, How Writing is Like Building a Storage Shed, or Getting in Shape for Writing, which combines my own experience, with building or exercise, with my knowledge of writing.
Of course, that doesn’t work with everything. My experiences on this day involved digging a ditch. Somehow, that just doesn’t seem as creative building a shed. But I could always write a fictional story in which the characters dig a ditch. You see, “write what you know” applies to fiction, too. My whole children’s series, My Backyard Friends, feature characters based on the birds and wildlife that frequently visit my mountain home. I wrote a short story one time that developed from a visit to Lake DeWeese, not far from my home. It was about a woman who walks naked into a waterfall and disappears. The funny thing about that story, titled, The Woman in the Water, was that my narrator turned out to be male, giving it a very interesting twist. But it was still based on the experience I had, hiking up to the top of the dam, and then sitting, gazing down into the waterfall.
It really is important to write what you know, for although some can “fake it” convincingly with just research, in most cases, the readers know. When the words on the page don’t feel genuine, like they’ve come from deep within the author, readers can’t quite buy in to what they’re being told, whether it is something being explained to them in an article, or a fictional story they’re being asked to believe. And if readers can’t buy in to the story, or feel the authority in the author’s voice, they are often left feeling unsatisfied, with the promise of the premise unfulfilled.
In short, what is really meant when someone says “write what you know”, is that you should draw from your own experiences, whether they be many or few, and inject a little bit of yourself with words that come from deep within into your writing. Let the readers feel the same emotions you feel when you write about your topic, or create your story. Write honestly, and the readers will feel that, too.
Like this post? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted.
The Road Has Eyes – A Relationship, An RV and A Wild Ride Through Indian Country by Art Rosch is much more than a travel journal. It’s a memoir of a journey, both physical and spiritual, across country and into a new and different way of life. It begins in a relic RV that got them where they were headed, amidst mega doses of anxiety, then moves into a more modern RV that brings them back across the country to settle in to a new, downsized way of life. Along the way, readers get to know the author and his quirky companion, who traces her Native American heritage and links psychically with feral cats and other animals.
The tale is obviously told from an honest and heartfelt perspective, with a relaxed tone that’s easy to read. Rosch’s down to earth sensibilities and ability to see the humor in things, including himself, make this commentary on humanity a fun and amusing read. I found this book to be very entertaining, evoking more than a few chuckles as the pages turned. I can’t wait to start reading another of Rosch’s books, Confessions of an Honest Man. Check back here for my review on that one. I give The Road Has Eyes – A Relationship, An RV and A Wild Ride Through Indian Country four quills.