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Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing Paperback – August 28, 2011
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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?Read more ›
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:
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?Read more ›
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.
That is all.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If I could give six stars I would, this book by Laura Barkat is that good. She is a gifted writer, I couldn't put the book down. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Marcia Terwilliger
There was nothing I didn't enjoy about this book. It is easy to read, flows naturally, has super short chapters (more like letters) that make it enjoyable to drift through. Read morePublished on January 26, 2013 by Everly Pleasant
The illustration approach to teaching works well in this book. It avoids being preachy, and allows the reader (and would-be writer! Read morePublished on January 2, 2013 by John Feaver
Rumors of Water is a short book on the writing craft, drawing from the author's day to day experiences as a writer, editor, wife, and mother of two daughters. Read morePublished on January 1, 2013 by Cheryl Russell
Just finished reading Rumors of Water, Loved it! Pleasant, easy reading that taught as well as inspired. Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by Lanaya
I have recently read a special little (but not so little) book titled "Rumors of Water; Thoughts on Creativity and Writing" by LL Barkat (NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2011, Englewood... Read morePublished on September 6, 2012 by BrighterSideBlg
I liked the way the book was written and the way she made one feel they were with the family.Published on February 11, 2012 by Neysa Le Beekman
This gentle book is amazing. She couched her tips on writing in tender little stories of raising her daughters. Read morePublished on January 30, 2012 by sacredgrrl
A few interesting ideas, but nothing much new. Just sort of bland rambling. Filled with blank pages to make the book longer. An anemic Writing Down the BonesPublished on January 28, 2012 by Rimrat