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Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: T.S. Poetry Press (August 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984553169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984553167
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A few brave writers pull back the curtain to show us their creative process. Annie Dillard did this. So did Hemingway. Now L.L. Barkat has given us a thoroughly modern analysis of writing. Practical, yes, but also a gentle uncovering of the art of being a writer. --Gordon Atkinson, author Turtles All the Way Down

The real beauty of this book is the truth it teaches slant: good and beautiful and honest writing comes from a life that pursues the same. This is not just a book about writing well, it's a book about living well. --Leslie Leyland Fields, author of Surviving the Island of Grace and The Spirit of Food, and columnist for Christianity Today

I love living and breathing in L.L. Barkat's writerly mind. The way she weaves the story of her girls alongside her writing journey is invitational. Her book was a beautiful pause in my day, and it made me ache for a more attentive life. --Mary DeMuth, author of Thin Places: A Memoir

L.L. Barkat models a vibrant writing life, nourishing the reader with moments infused with meaning. Her words satisfy, like a fragrant cup of Christmas tea. --Ann Kroeker, author of Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families

About the Author

L.L. Barkat is Managing Editor of Tweetspeak Poetry, where writers and poets can find everything from basic inspiration to full-fledged writing workshops. The author of six books, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, Barkat understands the writing process from all angles and gently, skillfully mentors both up-and-coming and established writers.

More About the Author

L.L. Barkat is the author of six books, including an experimental fiction and poetry title, 'The Novelist: A Novella,' and 'Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing'(twice named a Best Book of 2011). Her poems have appeared at Best American Poetry, VQR, NPR, and Every Day Poems. Staff Writer for The Curator and Managing Editor of Tweetspeak Poetry, Barkat can be found at llbarkat.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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She also offers practical suggestions to facilitate the writing journey.
Laura J. Boggess
While reading her book, I finally took the time to figure out how the highlighting feature on my Kindle works so I can return to L.L. Barkat's words again and again.
Nancy O. Franson
I finished the book feeling inspired and more courageous in my own writing journey.
Jennifer Dukes Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nancy O. Franson on September 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some years ago, I decided I need to stop buying and reading books about writing. I found myself turning into one of those people who reads about writing but never actually does any. Then along came L.L. Barkat's Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing. I'd followed some of Barkat's pre-publication conversation on her blog and on Twitter and, when I saw the book was available for download on Kindle; I told my inner-responsible grown-up to hush and quickly snatched it out of cyberspace.

I'm so glad I did.

Although a book about writing, Rumors of Water is, at its heart, an offering of love. L.L. Barkat invites the reader into her love of language, the craft of writing, and the art of living passionately and well. Her book transcends mere writing instruction, offering glimpses of the life of creativity Barkat has sought to cultivate in both her daughters and herself. To have a voice, a writer must have passions, says Barkat. She shares stories of encouraging her daughters to pursue their passions through experiences of working in the garden, catching fireflies, playing story, embarking on a tea pilgrimage, and even watching old episodes of I Love Lucy. Something tells me these girls are being raised right.

An accomplished writer and publisher, Barkat addresses many of the roadblocks which keep folks like me merely reading about writing instead of doing it. She talks about lacks of creativity and the fear that one's words won't do what we want. She encourages writers to risk being brave and daring in their description and, in a pair of sentences which made me laugh out loud asks, What if someone calls the godliness police? What if someone accuses us of a crazy mind?
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Diana Trautwein on September 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Disguised as a small, digestible collection of memories, rich with stories of mothering and growing up; of woodland meanderings and local farm-stores; of lighthouses and ailing grandmothers, "Rumors of Water" is one of the of the most beautiful books on the art and craft of writing that I've ever read. Paying heed to the changes in the publishing industry, unabashedly admitting that it's not easy to be either a writer or an editor, L.L. Barkat shares with her readers some of her own journey as both.

Weaving in conversations with her two daughters, ages 14 and 11, Barkat shows us what the writing life looks like while living creatively with her children, tending to the needs of her garden, keeping her fingers in multiple occupational pies. Using snapshots from day-to-day life, she sets down a kind of diagram; a diagram not just for the act of writing, but for the art of living a writing life.

Each of the book's seven headings tells part of the story:
Momentum
Voice
Habits
Structure
Publishing
Glitches
Time

And within each of these seven, come the smaller slices. In chapters no longer than two or three pages, each one built around a brief vignette from life, she expands the sectional headings, touching on things like:
"Write with What You Have"
"Nurturing Voice through Tenderness"
"Do You Cultivate Your Wild Side?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Laura J. Boggess on August 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book, for me, was like a deep sigh at the end of a long day. L.L. Barkat speaks to deep places for anyone who has ever been on a dream-journey and experienced the joys and frustrations of pursuit along the way. She also offers practical suggestions to facilitate the writing journey.The writing inspires the reader to better craft his or her own work. The book does speak to the writing life, but I believe can be applied to all art. Beautiful writing. I will read this one again and again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Lagrand on September 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Today I finished up the last few chapters of L.L. Barkat's latest book, Rumors of Water.

It's solid writing advice, served up from a place of earned wisdom, folded into a love song for her two daughters. But there is not an ounce of sappiness, nor triteness, nor cliche, anywhere within its pages. She teaches without a hint of didactic language, sharing lessons that the reader can tell she's won the right to share.

Buy it.

Read it.
Twice.

That is all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Young VINE VOICE on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It at first seems almost incongruous, to create a book for writers within the structure of the everyday activities of one's children. But that's exactly what L.L. Barkat has done in "Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing."

Of course, it helps if you bring extensive experience as a writer, as the author of three previously published books, as the editor and or publisher of four books by other writers (and more on the way), as the managing editor of an online site for faith, culture, work and family, and as a contributing writer for Curator Magazine. And it helps if you've been homeschooling your children for several years, and that you were once a public school teacher. But still, it seems something of a stretch.

It works. It works stunningly well. It works so well that I think I've just finished one of the best books on writing I've ever read.

In 32 pointed and tightly focused chapters, Barkat (and her daughters, Sara and Sonia) walk you through creativity and inspiration, voice, the habit of writing, the structure of writing, publishing, roadblocks and problems, and how and why writing takes time.

Places writing within the context of family and children, within the personal and the everday, within what one experiences in 99 percent of life. She took a similar approach with "God in the Yard: Spiritual practice for the rest of us," by spending a set time each day, every day, in her garden. And she found God there, as did the rest of us who read the book.

Without overtly saying so, in "Rumors of Water" Barkat is telling writers to consider that a children's game, that minor disappointment, that simple joy of seeing a garden grow, that pain of climbing the steps of a lighthouse are all metaphors - and lessons - for writing.
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