Creative Strength Training – Prompts, Exercises, and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius by Jane Dunnewold – A Book Review

Creative Strength Training – Prompts, Exercises, and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius

By: Jane Dunnewold

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Aids to Becoming the “Self-Actualized” Artist We Are Capable of Becoming

“Creative Strength Training – Prompts, Exercises, and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius” is designed to help the reader discover strategies that combine writing with hands on art and to develop a unique voice.

The table of contents reads like of a menu, filled with so many choices of mouthwatering delicacies and aromatic scents that it is difficult to know where to start. The catchy chapter titles grabbed my attention with key words and descriptive phrases that offer rewarding results and bright colored illustrations that offer irresistible prompts, and strength training exercises that focus attention on detail and cultivate imagination. Each uniquely formatted page contains a myriad of approaches that reinforce the theme of the chapter.

The exercises from How to Distill and Edit Your Story grabbed my attention. The suggestions on mining content, writing, distilling and editing your story are well worth the time and effort of implementing.

Jane Dunnewold understands all aspects of the creative process. Jane’s book “Creative Strength Training” will resonate with artists and writers alike.  The inspiring stories of artists, mentored by Jane, tell how they have benefited by applying Dunnewold‘s exercises and prompts in unique ways in their art.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

North Light Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, 978-1440344954, $ 16.70, 2016, 144 pages



Secrets of Sucessful Writers by Darrell Pitt

Secrets of Successful WritersSecrets of Successful Writers
Darrell Pitt
Amazon E-book

A Compilation of Interviews with Success Tips from 50 Contemporary Successful Writers

As an avid reader with dream of becoming a successful writer I frequently find books written, or compiled by other writers provide the motivation and inspiration to continue in the process of perseverance in writing. I especially enjoyed Darrell Pitt’s “Secrets of Successful Writers.”

Darrell has compiled results from his interviews with 50 individual successful authors. The proven tips and techniques featured are the results of a variation of questions asked in these interviews: Authors responded to questions on topics including:

• Their typical day of writing
• Best way for authors to promote themselves
• The future of hard copy books with the growing trend of e-book publication
• Advice for someone trying to make it as an author
• Plotting stories/Character led writing
• Producing a Series
• Pricing e-books to sell
• And dozens of others

I have accumulated two full shelves of select titles on a number of topics on writing, including other compilations. Darrell’s book “Secrets of Successful Writers” is one I will go back to time after time for reminders of these key tips, additional motivation, and inspiration

Book Review: Nothing is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller

Nothing is Impossible with God: Reflections on Weakness, Faith and Power

By: Rose Marie Miller

New Growth Press, 1451 S. Elm Eugene St., Suite 1102, Greensboro, N. C. 27404, 9781936768684, $ 15.99, 2012, 252 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

The Ministry, Outreach, and Vision of World Harvest Mission

In her book “Nothing is Impossible with God: Reflections on Weakness, Faith and Power” Rose Marie Miller shares a collection of personal meditations, journals, Bible studies, and stories of ministry experiences with her husband Jack. She tells of experiences during the years of ministering in the New Life Presbyterian Churches, and in the vision, formation, and outreach of the World Harvest Mission.

Miller’s reflections include profound insight in Bible studies on forgiveness, a good conscience, and an in depth study on learning to pray. She tells of facing loss, her transition while moving beyond grief, and of discovering open doors of ministry. I enjoyed the balance of sound theology, practical in depth teaching on discipleship living and the stories telling of unique opportunities open to her through the World Harvest Mission.

Rose Marie’s writes with candor and humility as she relates her feelings of a dark cloud of guilt hovering over her in the early days of her faith and ministry.  Her focus is always on the power and grace of the gospel of Christ.

“Nothing is Impossible with God” a testimony of learning to trust God, to rely on His strength in impossible situations. Timely and relevant.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes, The opinions expressed are my own.


Book Review: Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer

Take Ten for Writers

By: Bonnie Neubauer

Writer’s Digest Books, 978-1582975337, 2009, Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

1,000 Stimulating Exercising – Proactive Steps for Preventing Writer’s Block

“Take Ten for Writers” is a follow-up to Bonnie Neuberger’s “Write-Brain Workbook.”  The book is made up of 1,000 stimulating exercises designed to help you, the writer, maintain a momentum while avoiding writer’s block.

The exercises suggested provide:

  • A basic set up scenario
  • A starting phrase
  • A list of words to incorporate within the exercise
  • A suggested audience
  • A take-away for the potential reader

The concept of the book is a cycle of exercises based on a rotation of set ups as noted above. For me, this became somewhat repetitive. However, the concept remains a refreshing stimulus during dry periods when writer’s block rears its ugly head with any kind of frequency. In addition to the motivating exercises Bonnie’s suggested rules for writing are practical, helpful and relevant.“Take Ten for Writers” is an important resource for beginning writers as well as a seasoned writer faced with a sudden relapse into “Writer’s Block.”