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The Pocket Muse Paperback – July 15, 2004

ISBN-13: 003-5313109584 ISBN-10: 1582973229

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (July 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582973229
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582973227
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

According to Monica Wood, every writer needs two critics: one who offers unconditional praise and another who tells only truth. Wood's Pocket Muse does both--"on some pages you get a pat on the head, on others a kick in the seat"--and more. Every page of this pretty little book is devoted to helping you "jumpstart a writing session, inspire confidence, or strengthen your resolve." There are intriguing writing exercises, thought-provoking photographs, offbeat quotations from writers, enticing unfinished sentences, mini writing lessons, quirky word lists, stories from the writing trenches, and a generous dose of encouragement. "Write about a noise--or a silence--that won't go away," Wood suggests. "Someone has left a note on a car windshield," she offers. Books of this sort are often forced, or cute, or more about spirituality than writing. Not The Pocket Muse. It is a lively, appealing companion for a writer in need of a good nudge. --Jane Steinberg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A new type of writer's reference...a timeless resource to keep on any writer's shelf."

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Customer Reviews

Both of her books are great and fun to use.
Kathleen Olesky
Instead, in "The Pocket Muse" you'll just find lots of fun, bushels of inspiration, and plenty of things to think about!
H. Grove (errantdreams)
This book helped me break my writers block, and it has helped me start a new piece of writing.
leyla

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The Pocket Muse", despite its name, is not really small enough to fit in your pocket (although it'll easily fit into your backpack, purse, or bag). It has an odd black-and-olive color scheme that I actually came to love after a while. Black and white photos are scattered throughout, and they're quite well reproduced. Suggestions are presented sideways, right-side-up, at an angle, on (reproduced) tacked-up notes, luggage tags, and index cards.

There are suggestions and exercises. Sentences with blanks to fill in. Ruminations on elements of writing. Little horoscopes you can apply to your characters. Quotes from writers that don't duplicate the quotes I've seen in all the other writing books! (Monica Wood promised this would be the case in the introduction, and to be honest I didn't believe her. I do now.)

There's fire and enthusiasm, and a deep understanding of the writing life and what it takes to not only survive it, but enjoy and thrive in it. Her "ten commandments for a happy writing life" and her recommendations for handling rejections are spot-on.

I have not a single complaint about this book, except perhaps that I'd like to take every single page and put it on a card in a deck. Then on any given day I could shuffle the deck and draw a card or two.

There are a lot of things in writing books that bug me--bits of advice I don't agree with. Condescending attitudes toward new & developing writers that annoy me. Ways of approaching things that, really, everyone else has already done a hundred times over. Instead, in "The Pocket Muse" you'll just find lots of fun, bushels of inspiration, and plenty of things to think about!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jenna of the Jungle TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful gift book for the writer in your life. Inside the pages, you'll find photographs-- some cute, some beautiful-- and tidbits of advice about writing and prompts to spark your creativity.
The book has a likable randomness to it; you can open it to any page and just read until you feel like writing again. Some pages have fairly lengthy anecdotes, and others are just a few lines long, with instructions like "Write about a simple board game that turns its players into pie-eyed cutthroats" and "Take two people you know who seem to be opposites in every way. Think about them until you hit on something they have in common. Start writing."
It fulfills the promise of its title: it is, indeed, a handy little dose of inspiration. It's upbeat without being cloying, encouraging without being unrealistic, and full of very do-able exercises.
I recommend this book as a gift because it applies to all writers; all of us have times when the Inspiration Fairy just seems to have flown away, and this book speaks to that. It won't teach you how to be a better writer-- it'll just entice you to set pen to paper again in a friendly coach-ish sort of way.
My only complaint is that my fingerprints show on the glossy colored pages. Is that a stupid complaint? I'm petty like that. But it's still the kind of book that's fun to have around...
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K.Beswick on August 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A nice little book - it won't exactly fit in your pocket, but it's small enough to be tucked away in a laptop case. It has the usual 'suggestions for writing,' any one of which generally puts the lid on a grownup writer's imagination, especially if one is actually engaged in writing something. However,they are not intrusive, and the book also has a lot of practical, cheerful advice about the problems of the writing life: time, place, revision,style and so forth. I particularly liked 'you have to be willing to write badly' and the mantra: 'one more sentenec' when tempted to quit. That one sounded like the voice of a good friend encouraging one to go on, go on.I also liked her scheduling of 'once a week,' 'once a month' 'once a year' tasks - I e-mailed that one to my writing friends! This is a valuable book particularly for those lonely moments when one is tempted to pack it all in and go back to teaching drama in primary schools.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chelle on April 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Always on the lookout for writing ideas, I picked up this little book to flip through and see if anything would catch my eye. Just about everything did.
The person responsible for the construction of this neat little book, whether it be the author or the publisher, deserves a pat on the back. This is a fun book. Each page offers a different background, different typesets, and varied images/pictures. Along with ideas to get you started, the author also includes tips on style, and humorous stories of things that have gone wrong(and right)in writer's lives.
Whether or not *The Pocket Muse* actually gets you writing, it's still an enjoyable book that you can read just for fun.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By iqhope on July 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This little book is a wonder in itself. It is a combination book of philosopy, book of poetry, and book of inspirational ideas.
It doesn't spell out a whole scene on every page that you are encouraged to write out yourself like other idea books...it gives you a tiny snippet of an idea that you can springboard off into your own writing journey.
It does have some neat little stories and poems that are less than 1 1/2 pages long, has gorgeous black and white pictures that can prompt your imagination into a story or memory of your own, and the subtle, gentle push by the author through out the book for you to go ahead and 'take the plunge, write...!" is ambiguous enough to not sound like your mother nagging at you to get a chore done.
I like the fact the book is small--five x seven inches--and easily thrown into a purse or coat pocket.
Well done, Ms. Wood!
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