The recent release of A to Z Devotions for Writers by Pam Williams has been pleasing to me for a number of reasons. Firstly Pam Williams has been a blogging friend of mine for a couple of years now. As one might expect, her blog 2 Encourage uplifts with its positive messages and helpful suggestions.
What Pam has accomplished with her book should also excite any of you who have been participants in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. The book was inspired after Pam's participation in the 2011 Challenge. She realized that her April posts could be the basis of a book for writers. She pursued the idea and the book is now a reality.
Particularly pleasing to me is that Pam mentions me in the Acknowledgments and Foreword sections. I also contributed a blurb for the bookcover. I feel like a partner of sorts in her publishing venture and I hope she does well with the book.
A to Z Devotions for Writers was written with Christian writers in mind, but I think the contents of this book have a far greater reach than just Christian writers. Firstly, non-Christians who are open-minded enough to go along with the program presented here will get a lot out of the contents.
Each chapter corresponds with a letter of the alphabet and a theme based on that letter. A Bible verse leads each entry with a follow-up Bible passage to be read for study purposes. Then Pam presents a brief anecdote or thought to go along with the passages read and the chapter theme. She continues with helpful writing suggestions and prompts where the chapter theme can be practically applied to a writing exercise.
In essence this is a work book concerning the craft of writing, telling stories, and communicating ideas. Christian writers will find it useful, but all writers can find a value to what is contained within the covers of this short book.
I think that the book could work wonderfully in a group session whether participants were writers honing their craft or just students of life or the Bible itself. In other words it could actually serve as a supplement for writing education. It would not be unthinkable to me to see a book of this nature used in a Christian classroom setting. And whether completed with a group or on ones own, the book offers activities that are fun, useful, and highly rewarding.
And so again another writer shows us that the Blogging from A to Z Challenge can be more than just a blogging diversion in April. A book can actually result from those A to Z posts. Be sure to check out A to Z Devotions for Writers by Pam Williams. If you have a copy don't forget to leave reviews wherever you can. Get the word out!
Barnes & Noble
Follow the Tour!
Pam Williams has a blog book tour underway currently which includes stops at some blogs you may already know and visit. You can support Pam in her tour by visiting the following stops:
9/1 1st Writes
9/2 Dawn at The Write Soil
9/6 Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out
9/11 Me (LOL) Right Here for another sample chapter!
9/16 Denise at Warrior for Jesus
9/23 Janis at Heart-Filled Moments
9/26 Wanda at The Watered Soul
Be sure to check out Pam's blog 2 Encourage for additional information on her book, the virtual tour, and general words of encouragement and inspiration.
Battle of the Bands (Round 3) results!
Last Friday I joined in with Far Away Series and Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends in the 3rd installment of the Battle of the Bands. If you missed my selections you can review the match-up here.
To summarize, I pitted Neil Young's original version of "Down By The River" against the version by the group McKendree Spring. The outcome as voted by readers was decidedly in Neil's favor 11 to 3.
So what's my pick?
This is a very tough one for me and since I can't just say it's a tie, I have to come up with a final call. Neil Young is one of my all time favorite songwriters and musical performers. I own a good many of his albums. His version of "Down By The River" is a masterpiece of rock music. With the backing of Crazy Horse the song is performed exactly as I think they should have done it. The chunky ragged sound of the instruments and plaintive vocals gives this rendition a down home quality that evokes memory and sadness. In all respects Neil Young's version is outstanding.
However, from the standpoint of my personal listening pleasure and my judgement of technical superiority, I'm going to give this contest to McKendree Spring. The vocal is purer and the instrumentals are masterful. I'm in agreement with Robin's comment last week:
I liked the arrangement better. McKendree Spring saved their instrumental section until the end and it had PURPOSE (aside from showing off the skill of whomever was rocking it out). I actually felt the tension of the song building to a crescendo as it raced toward the end.That's pretty much how I see it. I'm a fan of orchestration and the Spring version has a very orchestrated sound with the synthesizers. Instead of Neil's telegraphing guitar solo, Spring's Martin Slutsky's guitar soars with exquisite etherealness. Then there's the violin. As a violin player I tend to gravitate towards rock music that uses the violin and the playing by Michael Dreyfuss is superb. If nothing else Spring's version wins me over with the violin.
My first round in the BOTB competition goes to Neil Young according to your vote. My choice is McKendree Spring. Anybody care to rethink their vote in retrospect? Do I make a good case for McKendree Spring?