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The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood

The Pocket Muse” by Monica Wood is a new type of writer’s reference. It is a scrapbook of inspiration comprised of snippets, quotes, writing tips and prompts, intermingled with an odd collection of photos, word collages, and illustrations.

A book without page numbers, this is not the type of book that one reads from cover to cover. Beyond the introduction, it is best savored randomly at quirky moments. The images will not grab the reader and make her sit at a keyboard or grasp a pen to paper to record lines of prose never imagined. With the proper concentration and a few moments to study Wood’s choices of image and text, the novice or seasoned writer may find a new way to look at a common object or scene.

For example, Wood uses a photo of an older ornate doorknob against a blank white wall as a shadow falls lightly against the words, “WRITE ABOUT THE WORST VISITOR WHO EVER DARKENED YOUR DOOR.” This prompt could conjure a phobia or a forgotten memory. The amused writer might suddenly have the skeleton key for a new story or poem. “The Pocket Muse” is meant to catch the writer’s mind off guard so that the images and prompts elicit a writing response.

Of course, it’s not a “miracle worker” since writing requires effort. This book is not for the quick-fix oriented readers/writers… this is not a story plotting crib sheet. These prompts want the reader to delve more deeply into the page and come out with a work of her own.

If given the chance, the images encourage the “reader,” or rather – the “observer”, to open creative regions of the mind that might not have otherwise been explored. “The Pocket Muse” is a timeless resource to keep on any writer’s shelf.

Buy this book: The Pocket Muse

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