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Writing Out the Storm: Reading and Writing Your Way Through Serious Illness or Injury 1st Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0312285456
ISBN-10: 0312285450
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Writing Out the Storm: Reading and Writing Your Way Through Serious Illness or Injury + A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement + Courage and Craft: Writing Your Life into Story
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ignore the title, which is bad. It's okay, even, to ignore the writing exercises. Barbara Abercrombie's Writing Out the Storm: Reading and Writing Your Way Through Serious Illness or Injury is a moving, unsentimental portrait of the author with breast cancer, as she navigates her fear of death and love of writing with intelligence and grace; it's a worthwhile book for anyone who's ever thought about writing or thought about sickness. With excerpts from the famous (Raymond Carver, Andre Dubus, Gilda Radner) and the un- (a Spanish-speaking woman who distances herself from her cancer by only writing about it in English), Abercrombie, who teaches in the UCLA Extension Writer's Program, shows how others have dealt with mortal issues and how "nothing can heal the spirit like creativity and faith."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Barbara Abercrombie gently takes readers' hands and leads us through the world of writing during times of emotional upheaval." (Dr. James W. Pennebaker, author of Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotion)

"Not a whiff of either sentimental optimism or lachrymose pessimism taints this terrific book." (Carolyn See, author of The Handyman and Making a Literary Life)

"Her passion and compassion shine through on every page as she leads us to examine and understand our pain." (Jennie Nash, author of The Victoria Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming and Other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (October 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312285450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312285456
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Abercrombie has published fifteen books, plus essays and articles in many national publications. She teaches in the Writers' Program at UCLA Extension where she won an Outstanding Teacher award as well as the Distinguished Instructor award. Recent books are COURAGE & CRAFT; CHERISHED: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved & Lost; and A YEAR OF WRITING DANGEROUSLY. Her fifteenth book, KICKING IN THE WALL, exercises and prompts for writers and teachers, will be published May 14th, 2013 by New World Library. Barbara lives in Santa Monica and Lake Arrowhead, California with her husband Robert V. Adams, and their rescue dog Nelson.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely sensitively and well written book about an increasingly common and yet delicate and difficult subject. While the medical specialists are doing their best to deal with the physical aspects of this unwelcome arrival into our own life or the life of a loved one, what do we do about the equally important aspect of the emotional, spiritual and psychic effects?
Using her own personal experience to provide a path to examine the many anxieties and traumas through what was an eventual successful outcome for her the author provides inspiration from famous authors and people like the rest of us that end up providing comfort, insight and even humor into a situation that once seemed simply hopeless.
It may seem awkward or even trivial to write to one of the chapter questions until after you do one but the insight,the relief and the understanding at the end can make this aspect of the book as valuable as a simple reading of an important entry into the library on this important subject.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Barbara Abercrombie is a simply wonderful writer. One of UCLA's most
popular and gifted writing teachers the exercises in this book are
simply amazing .It is easy to understand why Ms. Abercrombie's writing
classes are always full. You will want to give this to everyone you know
who is journeying through an emotional or physical storm. At a recent
book signing people were buying 5 and 6 copies at a time. No ordinary
self- help tome, Ms Abercrombie's own encounter with breast cancer
forms the core of this book. She tells of her fear and anger, her
family's love and support, the indignity and isolation of the disease
and the eventual bonding with others in the Wellness community, where
she holds the workshops which inspired this book. She is able to capture
the humor in even the darkest moments.
You won't be able to put it down. It's a real page turner.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David E. Milam on September 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
A natural gift to oneself, friends who are on their own journey, and caregivers.
"Writing out the Storm" is an exploration of the journey through life threatening illness and the identity, meaning, joy and personal mastery that may come from it. It draws the reader in.
It has four tracks - each hope filled while reality based
1) The author's own story which wonderfully unfolds, is masterfully told, and woven together with her selections of
2) vivid descriptions from other authors and public figures who bring to bear, through their own unique presence and communications skills, the essence of steps along the journey.
3) gems of real time writing responses by her "ordinary" workshop participants. Some of which so connect with you that you find yourself reading them over, again and again.
4) Direct and sometimes playful trigger questions which invite each reader to explore their own journey and writing.
"Writing out the Storm" is a stirring read that can't be put down, yet must be put down from time to time, as it takes the reader to their core and back.
If you have any doubts just read the chapter headings and imagine the gifts to be found within each.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Lewis on October 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Writing out the Storm is a gift to all who have experienced trauma in their lives...and even those who haven't. Abercrombie's compassion, sensitivity, sincerity and humor engage the reader in a community of the famous and not so famous who have in common the hardships that life doles out. The reader finds that he or she is not alone and that there is a creative way to channel the anger, despair, loneliness, fear, and other emotions generated by serious illness or injury into very beneficial and positive energy. Abercrombie crafts the layers of this book so beautifully that she not only encourages the reader to write, but also dissolves the writer's block that discourages most of us from trying. Wonderful!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By \s preston on June 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Writing Out The Storm by Barbara Abercrombie.Paperback 145 pages. As The title suggest you can read and write your way through the storm of serious accident,illness or injury. It provides a positive way to cope with long standing medical issues. This book is not for the casual reader.

I was drawn to it because I have Cerebral Paly and I was looking for a way to cope with the psychological effects of this. I like many people in this book want to live my life rather than being defined by a condition. I liked this book for many reasons.I was attracted by the wide variety of people sharing their situatins.I found it very helpful because the sources of the material was all given. If you want to use it as a writing/ reference book,a simple,clear structure encourages the writer and helps with those difficult blocks.It also provides a page turning story.I think it is clear I am a fan. Give it a go and good luck!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Otaku Girl on December 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I nursed my mother through breast cancer in the 1990s and how I wish this book had been available then! Even though those years are behind me, I still found Barbara Abercrombie's Writing Out the Storm to be a wonderful and healing book for me. I really appreciate that she includes caregivers in her narrative as she describes the terror, the anger, the ups and downs, that we all experience when a loved one is diagnosed with a terrible illness. Abercrombie shares her own feelings with great honesty, humor, wit and at times anger as she takes the reader through her own journey with breast cancer from the moment the lump is found to the terror of the diagnosis to her treatment and life afterwards. I also loved her writing exercises. You don't have to be a professional writer or teacher like Abercrombie to find these simple but oh-so-important exercises useful and meaningful. I know they would have helped my mother and me when we were navigating this terrifying journey.
Even if you don't want to write about your feelings, it's so wonderful to read Abercrombie's spot-on descriptions of her emotions. So many times, I was moved to tears because, yes, this is exactly what it feels like to face Cancer head on.
She has also chosen many wonderful quotes by other writers. They are at turns poignant, laugh out loud funny, beautiful, courageous, and eloquent.
This book was very healing for me to read. It helped me, even after all these years, to feel less alone in my grief. (My mother, unfortunately, died from her cancer.) I highly recommend Writing Out the Storm.
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