A Self-Help Junkie’s Recommendation

Now, you may not know this about me, but I’m kind of a self-help junkie. I love books on garnering Eternal Enthusiasm for Life(tm) and any book on Writing More and Better(tm). Particularly writing books in general, to the point where I think I’m going to get some kind of educational cavity.

But then along comes a book that I absolutely couldn’t resist and couldn’t put down. I ended up reading the entire thing in about three hours, and then flipping back through to re-read certain parts again. Not since reading Bird By Bird have I felt so wonderful about my chosen profession, and so galvanized to nail down my own dreams.

The book that granted me this bliss was no other than Blue Collar to No Collar by Wayne Stinnett. The guy went from a trucker to a six figure author in two and a half years. Less than three years! Becalm my fluttering heart. His book is one of the most enthusiastic and uplifting things I’ve laid eyes on all year, and he does all that with unstinting humility and a clear and engaging writing style. He talks through being a complete indie writer, how to get an editor and beta readers when you have pretty much no money, and how to keep building a business as an author. The things he has to say aren’t exactly new to me, but it’s good to hear not only the same “the best advertisement for your books is writing more books” but to listen to his personal journey and see how he achieved it himself.

Have I sold you on this yet? Please, if you’re feeling down in the dumps or just about to throw in the towel when it comes to writing (or any creative endeavor, honestly) give this book a gander. It’s cheap on Kindle, and the average price in paperback. Honestly, you won’t regret it and besides – who doesn’t need another enthusiastic self-help book! (Ahem, sorry, that was the junkie speaking.)

You can get the book here.
Cheers!

The Drinkable Book – How Scientists Have Developed A Book That Purifies Water

In an amazing turn for potable water initiatives world-wide, scientists have now figured out a method of filtering water using the very paper of the book that teaches you how to do it.

Developed by a collaboration between the Water Is Life foundation and the universities of Carnegie Melon and Virginia, amazing chemist Dr. Theresa Dankovich pioneered the paper to contain silver and copper nano-particles that kill off bacteria after water has passed through it.

The paper is cheap to produce, has instructions printed (and pictured for those who cannot read) in food-safe ink and comes with a plastic book-case that doubles as a filter sleeve to hold the paper in place for water filtration.

The book is now being printed in dozens of languages so its use can be applied world wide. Which is excellent, seeing as nearly 700 million people did not have access to minimum water sanitation facilities in just 2011. If you feel like you can help, click here to donate a dollar to helping the world drink clean water!

Book Review: The Golem and The Jinni

This book was quite the curious gem. I found it through recommendations made at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and even though I’m not much of a romance reader (the bodice rippers I read at 14 don’t count!), I still enjoy their hilarious reviews enough to occasionally pick one up.

This book, set in New York City at the end of the 19th century, is really more of a deeply detailed historical drama than a true “romance”, in my romantically-uneducated opinion. The two eponymous characters Chava (a Jewish golem) and Ahmed (an Syrian jinni) find themselves whisked away from the land of their birth and dumped unceremoniously (and literally in Ahmed’s case) in the bustling, ever-changing Land of Opportunity.

Norfolk_and_Hester_Street_around_1898

Source

The historical descriptions of gilded age New York are detailed and incredibly well-researched (Helen Wecker apparently spent seven years researching and writing the book) but just when the descriptions are getting tedious, she kindly escorts the reader back to the action. Well, what little action there is – the two main characters don’t even meet until over a third of the way through the book. The majority of the story is filled with the minutia of two non-human beings being bored out of their minds while grinding away at menial jobs and trying their best to look just as sweaty, tired and over-worked as the rest of the American immigrant populace.

The Jinni, being a carefree Syrian hottie, goes about looking for trouble and at times his story is the most interesting, particularly when he’s scaling the balconies of eligible young ladies. You can’t help but to feel for the Golem though, picking apart dresses every night and re-sewing them as slowly as she can, since an immortal being such as herself cannot sleep and women rarely went anywhere outside unescorted (unless they were, *ahem* looking for attention).

The pair are lucky enough to not only be found by nice people (the Golem by a rabbi, the Jinni by a tinsmith) who not only embrace their stories, but do their best to help them get along in human society.

Once the pair finally meet they very slowly start to develop a friendship, even though the Golem can tell the Jinni is just a hot basket full of trouble. Still, when you find the only other nigh-immortal creature in the world, why would you tell them to bugger off?

The novel really picks up in the last third, as an antagonist is introduced that has ties to both the Jinni and the Golem and the pair put their heads together to understand the evil that pursues them.

The ending was pretty good, but only one thing bothered me – **SPOILERS** (highlight to read) the pair are “saved” but through no real effort on their own. They are literally saved by an ice cream maker who decided to die for them by sacrificing himself to trap the evil sorcerer in the Jinni’s own magic oil pot. He has no real emotional connection to either character – and the sorcerer was the one who actually “cured” him of his mental blight! Hah! I felt like Wecker was cranking down the porcelain statues for that part. But the rest of the book was very detailed and even though I felt rather bored at times, I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I put it down.

I’d give the book 3.75 out of 5. For a historical drama, you’d be hard pressed to find one more detailed and lush with description. For supernatural action and adventure though, you might want to look elsewhere.

And so it begins…

Just a quick announcement! 

I am so happy to get started! Whilst I have been dreaming of starting my own author’s blog ™ I keep thinking that I’ll never have the wit, the bombacity or the clout to really interest a single being on the planet. So…screw it! I’ll just start a blog anyway! Ha-HA! Take that personal insecurity! I’ll have none of you! *shoo’s it out with a broom*

So! You have made your way to the blog of Dawn Seagrave! I am working on my first book, and look forward to releasing several short stories, novellas and even a lovely little choose-your-own-adventure Visual Novel when I get the time! In short, thank you for coming! I will happily post terribly droll and boring posts so lame as to make you want to salt your own eyes out of boredom!

You’re welcome!

Author Blog: Writing, Books and Independent Publication