BOOK REVIEW

There are those who say that writing is a gift bestowed by divine power upon the lucky few. If so, they  reduce writers to puppets whom a capricious deity manipulates when the mood strikes. When the mood does not strike, happy is the puppet  whose strings keep him  tautly yoked to his work.
There are those who claim that writers must write or die. They exaggerate. I have known writers who became teachers, cab drivers, daycare center aides without suffering any more angst than if they had been lumberjacks manque.
 Then there are those who say that writers open their veins and pour their life's blood into their work. That is nonsense. It is self-evident  that daily  hemorrhages require the kind  medical intervention  few writers can afford.  Nevertheless, there are writers who buy into this moth eaten  mythology.  They talk themselves into a write-or-die state and next thing you know they are unburdening themselves of  stories best kept untold. Oh, I know that they sacrifice for their art. I know that they tell their stories hopeful and  honestly when lesser fools  would  count the number of trees they could save with their silence and turn to a cleaner profession, such as fish mongering.
Alas for me, the writer I am honor bound to review--her publisher sent me a free copy of her book--would have done well to save a few thousand trees.

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