Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Review—Rumors of Water

by Lynn H Blackburn

Right after the first of the year, I suffered a painful injury.

I sliced the tip of my thumb. 


I won’t share the photos. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty and it seriously messed up my writing plans.
There was an upside—the injury also resulted in several weeks away from ironing, cleaning, and anything else I could use my overactive imagination to describe as “potentially painful.” Care to guess the one thing that was not off limits?


So I turned to my “to-be-read” list on Goodreads. Do you have one of those? I love mine. Anytime I come across a book that someone has recommended or that sounds interesting, I add it to my list.

It works great, except for one thing.

Sometimes, I can’t remember why I added it. Not that I let that stop me. If it’s on the list, I’m sure there’s a reason, and sometimes, it’s fun to discover a book without a lot of preconceived notions.

That’s what happened with Rumors of Water by L.L.Barkat.

picked it up and was surprised to discover not chapters, but brief essays filled with stories of Barkat’s daughters, gardens, and relationships, each highlighting an essential truth about writing. With a gentle, poetic voice, Barkat takes a story about Japanese beans and infuses it with guidance on writing with what you have. She turns a tale of Big Bird teaching Tai Chi into a lesson on caring for your writing, and uses a garden of beets and basil as an example of having realistic expectations.

While there are solid writing tips and publishing advice found on these pages, Rumors of Water isn’t a craft book in the traditional sense.

It’s more like a quiet conversation on a screened porch with an experienced writer, editor, and publisher, who knows the best writers are those who have full lives, for they are the ones who have something to write about.

Now, it’s your turn to add to my to-be-read list. I review a lot of books here at The Write Conversation, so I’m always looking for something new. I read everything, but for our purposes here, I’m interested in books on writing, the writing life, productivity, and anything that includes tips for keeping my fingers safe from flying knives.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Word Weavers, Greenville. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.


  1. Lynn Your lovely reviews always do damage to my budget.

  2. Rumors of Water sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for recommending it. Your reviews always send me to Amazon. ;-)

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  4. Sounds absolutely delightful, Lynn! Thanks for the tip. Um, at least losing one tip led to a good tip for others! ;)

  5. You made good use of your convalescence. Did you buy voice recognition software so you could dictate books?

  6. So sorry about your accident, Lynn, but I guess it's pain with purpose. I've been joking with another writer about that same thing. Let's make it matter.

    I suggest the same book each time. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron paves the way to the creative process. It was the main catalyst for my writing career. I refer back to it when I'm losing steam, procrastinating or pouting.

    Thanks for sharing Rumors of Water. Sounds like a beautiful book.

  7. It's a favorite book (and poet) of mine, Lynn. I was delighted to see today's review!

    Glad you're on the mend. :) Hope to see you next week.

  8. Thanks for all the lovely replies! Sorry about the impending hit to the book budget!
    I did try Dragon Dictation - but I think it struggled a bit with my oh-so-subtle Southern drawl :-)
    Kim - Barkat references The Artist Way several times, so this confirms it. It's going on the list!
    Cathy - I thought of you often as I read. You can tell she's a poet. Her prose is so descriptive and lyrical. I loved it!

  9. Hi Lynn
    Do you review children's picture books?

    1. Hi Janis,
      Here at The Write Conversation I review books on the craft (or, ramble about something related to writing!). I do review other types of books on my blog, but I can honestly say I've never even thought about reviewing a picture book. Which is kind of crazy, considering I read a LOT of picture books. Some of which I've almost memorized due to excessive repetition! Your book looks lovely :-)