The Writer’s Daily Companion by Amy Peters: A Review

This book was a gift from a student at the end of a semester, a gift that keeps on giving. This outstanding book has literally been an inspiration. It is not only for writers, but for readers as well. Mondays are “Writers on Writing,” quotes that are then discussed usually on one page. Tuesday deals with “Motivation,” topics that make suggestions on what to write and how to come up with subjects to write about. “Wednesday Writing Class” gives the writer an “assignment as well as practical advice .  Thursdays topics are “Editing,” extremely helpful for those who need to strengthen or refine their editing skills. “Biography” on Fridays deal with classics writers as well as recent writers, always giving interesting facts. Saturday suggests “Books to Read,” and Sunday gives a “Writing Prompt,” which I have used often for my Freshman Composition or Advanced Writing classes. I have received some excellent pieces using these prompts.

Here is an example from a Saturday “Books to Read” listing:

“Grimm’s Fairy Tales

by The Brothers Grimm

But iron slippers had already been put upon the fire, and they were brought in with tongs, and set before her. Then she was forced to put on the red-hot shoes, and dance until she dropped dead. (Jacob and William Grimm, from ‘Little Snow White.””

The entry gives the history of the brothers, whose collection was published in 1812. Both brothers were students of history of folklore and did much research on their subject, often going out into the countryside and listening to and recording old folktales. Obviously, judging from the quoted excerpt, the brothers’ target readers were not children.  As writers, the stories teach us to “create a story with a truly compelling plot regardless of the simplicity of the theme.” Many times we see the theme of a conflict/battle between good and evil played out in The Brothers Grimm’s stories. The outcome is predictable; what attracts the reader is the journey to get there.

Such entries (although I have shortened this one and paraphrased it drastically) are fun to read and to think about. A full-time writer could undertake one entry per day (There are 365 of them–enough for a year.), and  an in-depth study of this book would make an excellent course for writers.

I highly recommend this book.

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Author: Rae Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 28th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

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