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Shaping Destiny: A quest for meaning in art and life Paperback – March 5, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Allison did a superb job of pouring her heart and soul onto the page and creating an inspiring volume that bridges sculpture to other creative arts and life in general." - Story Circle Book Reviews


"Allison is an engaging and passionate writer whose words pull you into and through the story." - craftgossip.com

"Allison pulls off a titillating combination of Eat, Pray, Love meets Art & Fear. We easily follow the evolution of her life and art, as she moves harmoniously between heartfelt emotion and mental clarity. The conscious parallels between the relationships in art and life she brings into view in Shaping Destiny click with my own truth that art reflects life and vice versa. Kudos to Allison for originality and brilliance." - Nancy Reyner, best selling author of Acrylic Revolution

From the Author

Writing Shaping Destiny was a cathartic experience for me. It took over ten years to complete. During countless revisions as I pared the book to its current size, I reexamined my life in detail. What I learned was that my life is my greatest work of art and that the creative process is about understanding who I am.

It is my sincere hope that Shaping Destiny will help readers on their own journeys to self-actualization. I didn't mince words when I described my experiences so that readers will be able to compare their lives to mine and possibly share similar discoveries.

Each of us is taught who we are supposed to be. It is our responsibility to determine who we actually are and create the life we want to live. Being passionate about something, and committing to that passion -- whether it is for art or literature, gardening or running -- is what helps us along that path.

If you would like to join me as I continue to investigate and explore the things that inspire me, please visit my book blog at shapingdestinythebook.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468077333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468077339
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,525,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Destiny Allison has written a wonderful (!) book about the interaction of life and art, and the lessons to be gained from both. While many books talk about how and why art gets made, precious few draw the line between life and art with such unflinching autobiographical honesty.
"Shaping Destiny" is not a book about freeing your inner child or talking to the angels sitting on your shoulder; it's about the gritty day-to-day struggle to carve out a life in the arts in the face of -- well, of everything the world drops into your lap uninvited. In drawing larger truths from the particulars of her own life, investing those truths into her art, and then relating that voyage of discovery to the rest of us with clarity and authenticity, Destiny Allison shares common ground with writers like Anne Lamott and Annie Dillard. This is no small accomplishment!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shaping Destiny is a beautifully written novel about the journey Destiny Allison took to learn who she was as a person, mother, artist, friend and woman. This unique novel was written with such passion, skill and finesse that I from the very first paragraph I was drawn in and couldn't put it down. Destiny writing style is absolutely flawless and incredible. She paints a picture in your mind so vivid you feel as if it is your life. The entire journey I was taken on really hit home, being that I am a young woman, and showed me that if I find something I am passionate about I too can become the person I aspire to be.

Destiny Allison mixed the art and becoming a woman perfectly. She showed us how passion drives us, how woman are who they want to be and really drove home what shapes our lives. Men, don't think you can't read this novel and learn a thing of two. The life lessons can still be understood and the story is phenomenal! The most impressive part about this novel is how she manages to teach and entertain in a way that isn't Chicken Soup for the Soul-ish, very obvious *life lessons* that make you feel like a bad person. The one thing I wish I could have from this book...is more! I hope that Destiny Allison continues writing and producing literary gems like this one. I am your new and loyal fan!!

-- HilyBee from Novel d'Tales
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There aren't many books that have been life changing for me, but "Shaping Destiny" is one of them. I read it in two days because I could not put it down. The author's intense honesty about life, life and art is contagious and compelling. By the time I finished the book, I felt inspired and energized to live my life and create my art. Destiny Allison shows us how life "is" art and that we are the "sculptors" of our own beautiful lives. I highly recommend reading this book, it's like taking a high potency vitamin for your soul!
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Format: Kindle Edition
When I first bought his book I expected a simple mix of a life of an artist. It only took a page to find myself immersed in a raw journey quite aside from the journey of a sculptor; rather a beautifully written and profoundly expressed reflection of my own life's questions seen through the eyes of someone I have never met. What Destiny writes about is life, raw, unadulterated, brutally honest, haunting, and yet somehow poetic in the complex meanderings that brought out, for her, her true self, her passions, her career, a deep understanding of life and death and, perhaps more importantly, of motherhood. It is only after she has run full circle through her past, her pains, the loss of her father and grappling with an understanding of her own self-worth, that she ends in a place of optimistic peace, still taking on challenges, but without the tempest that had preceded it. At the end, it has become a dance.

I had to read this straight through. I could not put it down. What Destiny sees and feels in her art, I see and feel in music, words; what I observe when I hide in a corner and watch the world without the world seeing me. I was fixed to her brutal honesty, the raw pain conveyed without the cliched obscenities or graphic violence we expect of writers. Her words flowed smoothly, thoughts to actions to feelings to emotion, all the while tying the lessons to the threads of her art, her growth as an artist, told in tandem, each leading to the next lesson until she has fully emerged.

Life is pain with love sprinkled throughout. Or life is love with pain sprinkled throughout. There is a lot of sprinkling of both, along with hope and understanding. I highly recommend this book and look forward to her next one. And here I thought she was a sculptor!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Insightful and passionate. Before each chapter in the book is a short lesson, which illustrates Allison's ability to concisely express important artistic ideas while framing the action of her life. She writes in Lesson 2 "Sculpting is learning a new language, a vocabulary that evolves through the use of medium, tools, and the method of creation. The process is physical and requires that we be physical too. The physicality of the work is a vehicle through which we can learn to listen to ourselves." Later in the following chapter she writes "I was at the core of something ancient and primal. The casting process was more intense than anything I had ever experienced. Fire became a vital tool. I could feel its piercing heat through my protective gear as we poured molten metal just inches from our bodies. If my gloves caught fire, as they often did, I would have to wait to put them out or lose six weeks of work and preparation. I knew the silent dance after the the roar of furnaces had stopped. Silence was the music that supported the rhythm of my breathing." By expressing her ideas both as authoritative statements and the result of intense personal experiences, we don't just see ideas, but the living and breathing force that makes those thoughts important and compelling. Her immense intelligence and powerful diction is combined with heart wrenching forwardness. On page 48 Allison writes about when her father assaulted her mother, she writes "My sister, brother, and I were home alone sleeping when we heard a crash followed by moaning and crying. My sister and I came out of our room to see what the matter was and saw him dragging my mother into the house by one arm. She was bloody. We wanted to call an ambulance. We wanted to clean her up.Read more ›
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