Well, my two reviews will not be published nor will I be paid monetarily though I am receiving a few good, free CDs. The company is struggling, and really, I keep telling myself I should have known. But I'm not bashing the company at all. A previous formation of the company employed me for five years, and currently they were willing to publish and pay little ole me with minimal work under my belt. Still, I think any writer will relate to the disappointment of work and time flushed down the toilet of rejection - even the rejection of a dying company. Since I know writing rejection of all species will greet me the rest of my livelong days, it is OK. And by golly, I have this taupe blog! I did not like the CD I reviewed, but I surprisingly enjoyed the book so I will post my review here because some of you might enjoy the book as well. My review is raw like honey waiting to be edited, and there is raw writing all over my blog anyway. I know great writers and editors kindly read my musings, so feel free to shoot me an e-mail with suggestions (disclaimer: I was given what I feel is an extremely limited word count). I plan to pursue creative writing which probably won't be published anytime soon, but who knows, perhaps I'll try my hand at reviews in the meantime. I would give that hand and a whole arm to write paid and/or published book reviews.
Coming Up For Air by Margaret Becker:
My horrible swimming technique is to inhale a gulp of air, plunge down into the pool, weave around as long as possible, then shoot up for air. I never learned to officially swim, and if stranded in an ocean, I’d be in dire trouble. While reading Margaret Becker’s new book, I was reminded of my deficiency; her book is not a swimming manual, but she gently cautions spiritual peril if we don’t learn to swim in the chaos of our world. She even structures the book into three breathing stages which reads like a good session of Yoga. Becker understands a hectic lifestyle with the demands of her trifold career: musician, writer, and speaker. Traveling and hotel rooms once defined her existence until one night long ago, she woke up not knowing her locale, and a sudden, desperate need for escape.
Becker fled to a picturesque house on the shore of Destin, FL and commenced what became an annual ritual: a secluded retreat to reevaluate her life. In our rushed society, retreats are viewed as self-indulgent, yet God commands stillness - first to know Him, then we may truly know ourselves. Becker’s retreat was brilliance inspired by His wisdom. She allowed sunrise and sunset to be antiphonal songs, opening and closing each day rather than her watch. She learned to indulge in childhood activities remembering her roots and rediscovering the joy of play. She prayed. She made present-tense and future lists of who she desired to become. Though she realized the gift of solitude was temporary, she squeezed from it every ounce of grace to infuse her with strength. This shaped her into the woman she is for her fans, neighbors, family, and children in Africa, and for her future days only known in God’s eye.
Coming Up For Air is prose written by a poet with a natural eye for detail, and an uncanny ability to describe a vegetarian meal as well as Scriptural insight. And, she is subtly funny, throwing in humor as a surprise following profundity. She rightly sees God in His ordering of her life, and learned to make time to honor both serenity and structure. If we are smart, we will heed her advice laid out in these pages which exudes peace, a tranquility better than Zen, and is best read with chamomile tea. I predict you will find a kindred pilgrim-spirit in the author.
Posted by jenni at 12:30 PM