My Review of Creativity Matters by Wendy Jones
‘Creativity Matters’ by Wendy Jones is a handy and useful work of art that impacts anyone who has the calling to be a writer. An array of genres in both fiction and non-fiction, like a buffet, have been presented by carefully selected renowned published authors in their speciality of flash, fantasy, romance, historical , drama, poetry, science, memoir and much more. As W. Jones has said, it is not a 'how to do’ book. Reading through the different contributions, it was obvious to me that writers are encouraged to enlarge their coast in terms of variety in their writing, while would- be and new writers are encouraged to become published! By reading each presentation of the different genres, writers and readers develop the - ‘I can try that’ attitude. Wendy Jones, herself has presented here four different genres: Romance, historical non –fiction, Crime and Mystery, making her a multi genre author! This is what writers reading this book are stimulated to become. Why not? As Nanette Fairley advises, ‘ To stay healthy and happy, we need to continue to grow and learn even in our ‘Third Age.’ Find out what the ‘Third Age’ is! My desire to try my hands on Flash and Biblical fiction has been strongly ignited, but it could be different for you!
It could also be that you are not yet a writer because you have not yet discovered where your passion lies. This is the practical book for you. Reading through each author’s Bio, one gleans a lot of information such as offers to teach creative writing to new and aspiring writers. Each chapter begins with a question: ‘Why write…?’ This prompts the reader’s choice to engage in a specific genre after reading convincing and encouraging excerpts, quotes and experiences of what is involved by each contributor. For instance, Fay Rowland says, ‘It is your invention.’ Janet Wilson says, ‘Books help readers feel understood.’ Some books are borne from the writer’s own personal experience as Joy Margetts confirms. Maressa Mortimer tells us that, ‘It is a great way to use imagination.’ Lizzie Ngulube mentions her love for writing memoir and hopes she has instilled that passion in readers! Sub genres are mentioned but what grabbed my attention was my learning of a new genre: Cat Tales! Kirsten Bett quoted Goodreads having 257 best Cat books. So you can write about your own pets! If you are science inclined, A.J Chamberlain’s contribution would interest you. You will also discover as I did, that you don’t need to have studied Creative Writing! Some of the authors are nurses, civil servants, mathematicians and other disciplines.
Like the Bible, which is a compilation of different books to bless readers, I can say that ‘Creativity Matters’ is a highly recommended book worth its 5 stars and you will be greatly blessed to get one for yourself!
#Scentofwater is a must have book for numerous reasons too many to mention here. It is a handy gift to give one in bereavement when they are inconsolable, beyond our reach and there is no place for our words. The title, which from Job 14: 7-9 hints a lifeline .The writer describes her feelings of losing her mother comparable to the feelings in Psalm 94, where the psalmists asks WHY and WHERE is God? The illustrations make for a light refreshing and calm read for the eyes and mind. The contents highlight topics which allow for a quick browse and help the reader to choose a relatable topic or verse on the spur of the moment as they go through fear, depression, self-doubt, tiredness, feelings of being lifeless, being in denial and other extra ordinary emotions caused by grief. The book provides a daily connection to engage with departed loved ones and can be used as a weekly comfort to keep one’s memory from falling out of God’s love because there are appropriate examples of scripture which give hope and encouragement like: Do not be afraid for I am with you in Isaiah 43:5.
Numerous apt quotes from the bible in connection to grief and loss are mentioned but I particularly liked the writer’s mention from John 11:35 - ‘Jesus burst into tears’ publicly and in anger, because of His grief for a loved one. This had enabled the writer to understand her grief without guilt. It had encouraged her gratitude to the Lord for His understanding of her anger, pain, hurt and loneliness. Penelope Swithinbank had invited Lord Jesus to weep with her!! The writer explains that feelings of depression shouldn’t make one think they are weak, less spiritual, or doubt one’s self in grief because one is being human. The writer mentions that God understood her grief even when others didn’t and that comforted her when she kept away from community, family and other commitments. For her, it is God’s way of giving one time to recover, rest, refresh and recoup. The writer thanked God for the relief the rest had brought to her. For other kinds of losses such as work, home, defilation, the writer reminds readers of El Roi –‘ the God who sees me’ through the incidence of Hagar who achieved deliverance from death when she cried to God as El Roi!
How does the writer explain those times one calls out to God and He seems far away and doesn’t hear? There are many scriptures given but readers will find this great quote given in Psalms 22:1 - ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’ This reminded me of Lord Jesus on the cross saying those same words and achieving victory in the end!! He came out of death alive, powerful and restored. The writer throughout this book gives us hope that this day of victory and strength will come to us after grief. There are loads of the writer’s thoughts shared on the destination of our loved ones which you will find comforting.
The writer gives revelations about the love and mercy of God that comfort our troubled thoughts for loved ones who did not acknowledge Lord Jesus before they died. I leave you readers to discover the numerous advantages and benefits too many to mention here. One gold nugget I will finally share from the book is Psalm 23, which the writer recommends as a gentle pastoral aid for grief. Verse by verse, the writer shows how assurance, protection, care and love are bestowed on the bereaved.
This book of 192 pages is highly recommended and worth its 5 stars!!
STORIES FROM THE HEART –An Assessment!
I’m amazed at the support and response from family, the Association of Christian Writers, followers from Face book and the Writing Community on Twitter and Instagram! By God’s grace, in less than a month, the book has attracted almost 20 reviews on both Amazon and Good reads. It may not sound great but this means a lot to me. I remember a quote from the bible in Zechariah 4:10: DO NOT DESPISE SMALL BEGINNINGS.
My most treasured moments in some evenings is reading over some of the amazing reviews this book has attracted in less than a month when it was published by Austin Macauley Publishers on 28th May, 2021!! It is hard to say which story in the collection is my favourite! The longest story is ‘Teddy Boy’, the first story and the shortest story is ‘The Maiden Visit,’ the last story. Most people mentioned, The Teacher, Teddy Boy or The Rush has been their favourite.
I think my favourite story is ‘Farewell’. Even now, its memory brings nostalgia. All the stories are true and drawn from real life experiences from people I know or me. So each story is a story from my heart, warmly told and written passionately to elicit the right feelings from readers. It is my hope that readers get to feel what I experienced on a personal level or from what I observed about others which I wrote down!
I agree that most of the stories are a mixture of love, sex, sadness, comedy, tragedy and all the other elements of life that people are prone to experience at some point or stage in their lives. So, even though I am a Christian, it does not prevent me writing about characters that have questionable moral standards or religious and sexual orientations which are different to mine. Two reviewers called my style of writing a ‘slice of life’ style. True!
Nigeria, my homeland, is reflected 40 years ago in different aspects of life because that was when most of the stories were written. There are stories about university life, national youth service life, married and unmarried life and work life which depict lust, friendship, love, family, adventure, romance, regret, humour, freedom, the forbidden and procrastination.
Readers will definitely be entertained, enlightened and educated. ENJOY!!
Author Website - News
News Title: FIRST KISS WITH AM PUBLISHERS!!
Your manuscripts were brought to our attention at the latest Editorial Board meeting when we discussed can confidently state that your works were found to be most fascinating and immersive reads, with a unique voice, that will undoubtedly captivate a large audience. Stories for Older Generations was of particular interest to the Board. Each story is unique. The characters are compelling and very relatable giving the reader a sense of familiarity that keeps them absorbed to the very last page. The Board was keen to comment on your eloquent writing style and how this works to deliver an enhanced appeal for readers. They also commented on the vivid quality of the prose, and it is felt that your work has the potential to excel within its genre.
What I think about LOVE from my 35 years plus experience of marriage.
When marriages fail for various reasons, I wonder. I know that we have all been brought up in different ways with different attitudes and concepts to what love and marriage entails. Yes, but LOVE is universal. It can exist freely and perfectly irrespective of our upbringing, culture, religion and faith. How? Be God conscious! This way you will be alert when the devil is trying to bring in pride, disrespect, pomposity, infidelity, dishonesty and lies to your relationship. These vices mentioned are the main things that destroy any kind of relationship.
Is there something like seasons in aspects to do with LOVE? Of course, NO! The bible says there is a time for everything under the sun. Yet God says that Love always remains. When you are at home doing your chores, or you are busy at work or resting or having your quiet time,LOVE is there. Never let it leave your system. Never let it stray from your thoughts and consciousness.Why? Because 'God is love!And he who abides in LOVE abides in God and God in him.' This is what the bible says in 1John 4:16.
So when there is an arguement, a disagreement, an irriation, a quarell, a conflict, a dispute or an offence from a spouse, family member or a friend, remember that God is LOVE and God is PEACE. It does not make you small in God's eyes to back down, offer the olive branch of peace or apologising first. You show God that you LOVE Him and put Him first in all situations. God will surely bless you more than you can imagine! Let us be God conscious and be people of love who love God and love others.
God bless you and your understanding of this revelation in Jesus Christ's name. AMEN!
Next episode, Iwill mention some personal life examples to demonstrate how being God concious can save any relationship from going down the hill of ruin!
What a mind absorbing, engaging and thrilling read.
‘Beyond The Hill,’ by Maressa Mortimer is a book for the film industry. I’m not a fan of dystopian novels but when I read the first in series, ‘Walled City’, I was hooked and eagerly read the ARC of this book, ‘Beyond The Hill’ which is second in the Elabi Chronicles. Though it is a second book in the chronicles, this book could be enjoyed as a stand-alone read. Readers will enjoy the author’s carefully chosen words which give a distinctive, vivid imagery.
The author has succeeded, in full flying colours, in her desire to explore how faith looks like in daily life through Macia. Readers who enjoyed George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty - Four’ will absolutely love this read, because Elabi citizens like in G. Orwell’s book are brainwashed in certain ideals wholeheartedly. Elabi citizens have no freedom to express certain emotions and they are constantly watched for faults.
Within the first two pages, the author throws the reader in to curiosity which gets heightened in the plot by the subtle introduction of Caecilia. Macia gets to read letters from Caecilia considered to be forbidden and mind poisoning but which is like Macia eating the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden. Like Adam and Eve, her eyes open to truth, enlightenment and wisdom. Macia becomes conscious of what she is missing in life and aware of the shortcomings of her society.
Suspense and tension grip the reader as Macia tries through various ways to hide her new found knowledge and disguise her secret desires and thoughts from family and society. Readers breathe through Macia’s feelings, her trials and live through her every experience of her emotions in her new faith. As in Anne Frank’s diary, we enjoy her diary excerpts written and imagined with God. Macia goes Beyond the hills and from this point, the book is a non –stop read!
I found Chapter 34 immensely powerful! It made me compare the strength of my faith to that of Ruth in the Bible and Macia! At the end of the story, readers will reflect like I did. Through this story, I’m reminded that it might be extremely difficult to break away from fear, bad habits, addiction, wrong company and wrong environments which are harmful to our spiritual and emotional well-being. BUT it can be done - with just a little amount of faith as small as a mustard seed in God!! Then one can move mountains like Macia did!
The best thing I loved about Macia, the heroine in this story, was her being thankful for everything, every situation, and keeping God, her new friend in the knowing! What a great lesson and a great book that refreshes one’s faith and makes Mark 11:23 come physically true: I assure you that whoever tells this hill to get up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him!
A highly recommended read for anyone wanting to see what living in faith or living out of faith is like!