Goldberg's books have inspired thousands to begin a writing practice to release their wild minds, and now she shows how to direct that raw energy into stories, essays, poems, novels, and memoirs. This sequel to "Writing Down the Bones" and "Wild Mind" is for anyone who's ever dreamed of converting that initial flash of inspiration--the thunder and ...
Goldberg's books have inspired thousands to begin a writing practice to release their wild minds, and now she shows how to direct that raw energy into stories, essays, poems, novels, and memoirs. This sequel to "Writing Down the Bones" and "Wild Mind" is for anyone who's ever dreamed of converting that initial flash of inspiration--the thunder and lightning--into finished work.
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Nearly every writer I know has read Writing Down the Bones and found it life changing. Goldberg has published several other honest and encouraging books about writing including Living Color which I have read again and again. But Thunder and Lightening is different. Goldberg calls her first chapter "Warning." It begins "I have not seen writing lead to happiness in my friends' lives." This rather stark statement sets the tone for the book. Goldberg does not gloss over any of the difficulties she has encountered as a writer. She does not offer magic solutions. But she brings to bear a lifetime of profound spiritual searching, of zen meditation and insights gleaned from zen masters, and of skilled and intensive writing. She is, as always, deeply honest about her struggles as a writer and as a person. But in many ways she de-mystifies the writing process. Yes, it is a matter of skills, some innate perhaps, many learned, but more it is a matter of persistance, of believing in one's own journey, and most vital of all, a process that requires encouragement. We do write after all to communicate and it is most offen the interest of others in our work that keeps us going. Goldberg is far too skilled and wise to let us off with a book of platitudes. She discusses at great length books she loves and admires, books she uses in her writing classes such as Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety and Willa Cather's Song of the Lark. Thunder and Lightening is a book that should be on the shelf of every writer, or rather, not on the shelf but in the hand.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-07-31 Goldberg here urges aspiring writers to go beyond the Zen-inspired writing practice she presented in her 1986 bestseller Writing Down the Bones and the subsequent Wild Mind. Writing practice was a means Goldberg devised of observing the mind by moving the hand, writing through our endless judgments and opinions until the unstoppable stream of thought becomes transparent and we can see clear through the mind to the vibrant life force that shines up from the bottom. In this guide, Goldberg seeks to help students find the organic forms?the resonant questions and quests?that exist deep down within us. She doesn't teach technique so much as affirm that the life force carves a particular channel in each of us. The title came to Goldberg several years ago in Costa Rica, as she stood at the foot of an active volcano and experienced the sudden power of a tropical storm: "I thought, some divine structure has just whipped through here." Goldberg describes her various book projects as inspirations that crash down like lightning, absorbing her and vanishing. As she delves into her own process and the process of other writers, however, it becomes clear that the work of discovering form can be as long and painstaking as an archeological dig, and as painful as surgery. Great book and story ideas do tend to come in flashes, she confirms. But they come to those who have gotten by the barking dogs of the conventional mind only to face the raw truth about what is. Goldberg writes as someone who has been there and back. She guides readers without handing out any illusions about how easy the trip is. BOMC, QPB, One Spirit Book Club and Reader's Subscription alternates. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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