penny's pages

purposeful ponderings

Five Stars The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Dugoni writes a captivating story about a young boy struggling with his uniqueness in a way most if not all readers can appreciate. Yet, the battles for Sam are also his and experiencing them with him […]

In my grandfather’s desk, he kept a slate and a slate pencil. I still feel the narrow smooth soapstone resting against my already-developing writer’s callous. I hear its tap-slide against the charcoal-gray slate. Sometimes I couldn’t wait for the surface to dry between wet-rag washes, and my marks faded before I could finish an entire […]

Five Stars Just get past the first chapter (try not to laugh!) and the rest of the book is a pure eccentric delight. Honeyman’s characterization of Eleanor is believable and poignant as well as dead-pan humorous and winsome. I listened to this one on Audible, but would recommend earbuds for that first chapter and a […]

As I begin my routine each morning, I am flanked by two yellow Labrador Retrievers. They alternate positions, but one tucks under the drop-lid of my desk and splays across my feet while the other plays sentry behind my chair. The Ragdoll-Himalayan watches my back from the wood-slat box under the window ledge. Or he […]

Five Stars Music-lovers and guitar-enthusiasts will appreciate the instrumental inclusion that composing and writing lyric plays in this inspirational novel by Charles Martin. Martin’s characters are well-developed while being imperfect and endearing. His vivid descriptions transport readers through the reviving yet tumultuous story of one family wavering between the pinnacle of passionate evangelism and the […]

Three Stars The Orphan Master’s Son is a challenging read in structure and content. It is difficult even at the end of the book to be fully certain what is truth and what is a lie. Perhaps that is the point of this book set in North Korea. In such a regime, morality, identity, and […]

Recently, this article was sent to me. While I applied it to the person and the situation at the time, I began to wonder, how can I apply a 30% increase to my writing career? More importantly, how can I make these criterion a viable “bucket” list for my future projects and endeavors? It’s important, […]