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If you write, or want to write, or think of writing -- buy it. Shelves: non-fiction-memiors. There are things I like about all of Natalie Goldberg's writing books. She really has a love of writing and that is infectious. However, every writer has a different method and different things that work for them. Her methods are not what work best for me. As I read, I could accept that she was describing her method and I was thinking how that wouldn't work in my situation.

I particularly did not like that she said you shouldn't be thinking about the story you're writing unless you're sitting do There are things I like about all of Natalie Goldberg's writing books. I particularly did not like that she said you shouldn't be thinking about the story you're writing unless you're sitting down with pencil or laptop in hand.

I've done most of my own plot mapping in my head while showering and driving and jogging. For a mom, like me, I have to use my valuable time driving carpool, etc. That being said, this is still a worthwhile read and just confirmed how different writers are and what works for one does not work for all. Jul 09, Rebecca rated it really liked it.

Thunder and Lightning didn't effortlessly send my wild mind flying like Writing Down the Bones did, but it wasn't just a piece of fluff, either. Far from it. It's still Goldberg, writing in that clear and poignant way that she has, sharing herself and what she's learned about writing. The best books about writing inspire rather than dictate.

Goldberg inspires. Mar 07, Mary Catelli rated it liked it Shelves: how-to-write. A book about actually turning writing into works of literature. Particularly novels. Very personal accounts. More or less useful depending on how close your writing style comes to hers.

May 15, Nathan Elias rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Unlike other writing craft books that are chopped down into neat sections, Goldberg speaks to the reader on a sympathetic level, often offering her own life experiences in order to provide rawer insight into craft. Thunder and Lightning reads like a writing craft book with a Zen mindset the book could be titled Zen and the Art of Creative Writing. When Goldberg gets down to the nuts and bolts of writing craft she utilizes stories the narrative experience from her own life for the reader to relate to rather than switching to a demonstrative mode.

Mar 25, Barb Nelson rated it really liked it. But I do write, often. I rarely go more than a few days without writing something— a review here on GR, a blog post, an email to a friend. So I occasionally pick up a writing book, for ideas, inspiration, or just to see how someone else does it. As an example of that— how someone else does it— Thunder and Lightning is terrific. Unsurprisingly, Goldberg is a great writer. There are bits of memoir, bits of writing instruction, bits of Buddhist practice, all told in a clear, compassionate voice. Good book. Jan 22, Lauren rated it really liked it Shelves: audio-book.

Her approach of "writing practice" has given me back my writingI can finally silence the internal Editor and let myself write freely, penning those "first thoughts" that often turn out much better than overworked, carefully manicured prose. This book was a nice follow-up to "Bones," if just to keep the conversation going and hear Natalie pronounce "memoir" as "mem-wah" in her terrific N Ever since I read Natalie's "Writing Down the Bones" last fall, I have been writing steadily, almost daily.

This book was a nice follow-up to "Bones," if just to keep the conversation going and hear Natalie pronounce "memoir" as "mem-wah" in her terrific New York accent I listened to the audio book. I don't share her Buddhist views and could do with a little less Zen in the book, but I certainly appreciate her insights into the writing life. Jun 12, Brian Cuban rated it liked it.

I listened to this book because I enjoyed Writing down the bones. I found much of this one redundant to that book. That part is really a continuation of Writing Down The Bones. The quality of this audio book is a giant leap over Writing Down The I listened to this book because I enjoyed Writing down the bones.

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The quality of this audio book is a giant leap over Writing Down The Bones Superb look at the craft of writing and vignettes in the lives of many writers, with wonderful candor about her own life as a writer and lecturer. Rich in insights into the challenges of keeping the word vibrant, it also recognizes that one size can never fit all. I strongly recommend this lively guide to anyone who wants to write or even just read better. Sep 07, Kathy D rated it really liked it. Writing Down the Bones will always be first in my heart; but this book shows Natalie as a vulnerable, relatable human who also is a world class writer.

We all have struggles with our lives. Feb 17, Nikki rated it it was amazing. Each one of Natalie Goldberg's craft books dives deeper into her own writing process, and her own memoirs. Thunder and Lightning read like a soothing and honest conversation with an old friend. I am happy to have discovered Goldberg's books. May 27, Barb Royal rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , writing.

From a novice writer's perspective - absolutely fabulous, riveting. Feb 24, Joshua Allison rated it it was amazing. Amazing as always. Natalie starts with a very true warning but ends with the inspiration you need to get writing. Especially memoir. May 15, Stephanie rated it it was amazing. I loved this book and found it incredibly helpful for my writing in both practical and inspiring ways. Sep 04, Kelly Danahy rated it really liked it. Love her writing advice. Hope to read some of her work soon. Can't wait to dig into the reading list of books she loves. This book swings between meditative and mind blowing.

I've had it on my shelf for years.


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Never felt like the right time to read it. Then suddenly it was. If you're a writer on a journey, then hitch a ride with "Thunder and Lightening" for a while. I've read more than my share of books on writing and none have come close to this. It at once feeds your writer's mind and your wishing, dreaming writer's soul. So get yourself a brew, put your feet up and enjoy. If you're ready. If not, wait. No harm This book swings between meditative and mind blowing.

No harm in waiting Dec 01, Kressel Housman rated it really liked it Shelves: writing , non-fiction. It tells you how to turn writing practice entries into a book. Just what I needed! The middle section is about reading to learn craft. So at that point, my enthusiasm began to dampen. The final section was about writing practice again, and Natalie advised two years of it before embarking on a book. Two years! Sorry, but not for me. Definitely not what I needed.

Luckily, I can always go back to Writing Down the Bones for the solution. My favorite lesson was that if a tackling a certain topic intimidates you, sneak up on it from the side. Unlike Writing Down the Bones , this book was about writing and publishing.

Natalie Goldberg: Thunder and Lightning—Cracking Open the Writer's Craft - Danielle Lin Show

As she points out, with publishing, the stakes get higher, so the writing process can become more daunting. So at the core, her lesson always goes back to writing practice. This was a good book, but Writing Down the Bones remains the foundation. Enough of my free-wheeling childhood. I was serious. I learned that one Zen master lost his mother at nine; one was the son of a whore.

My own teacher was the youngest of six children; they lived over a small noodle shop owned by his father. Nobody in the lineage began as someone special. I saw that the only way to elbow my way into the lineage of writers was by sincere effort. The fact that my father owned a bar, that my grandmother had plucked chickens in a poultry market, did not deter me.

I understood that it was no more helpful to have a parent who was a well-known writer than to be the child of an army general. But no matter what, it was up to me. I never gained control of my mind — how do you dominate an ocean? Yes, even people with terrific, supportive parents are inhabited by this blabbing, resistant mouthpiece. But as I wrote longer, went deeper, I realized its true purpose: monkey mind is the guardian at the gate. We have to prove our mettle, our determination, stand up to its nagging, shrewish cry, before it surrenders the hidden jewels.

And what are those jewels? Our own human core and heart, of course. The nearer I get to expressing my essence, the louder, more zealous that belittling voice becomes. It has been helpful to understand it not as a diminishing parent but as something universal, impersonal, a kind of spiritual test. Instead, it is my signal to persevere and plow through.

I scream with pen unlanced. But this intimacy with my mind did not come quickly and I never gained the upper hand. If I smelled sulfur from a factory, or autumn leaves burning by the curb, I panicked and stomped on the brake, certain the car was on fire and about to blow up. Other than putting the key in the ignition, steering around corners, and turning on the lights and radio, I had no idea what to do with this enormous moving animal.

Later, with the sprouting of feminism, I learned to change a tire, the oil, a filter. These things — plus I had more driving experience — gave me a closer relationship with this entity called an automobile. Hallucinating Emeralds In the late spring of , as the green leaves finally broke through the heavy Midwest winter, I moved to Minneapolis to marry. I felt a new force in and around me.


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I walked the well-organized streets and city blocks and a desire woke: I wanted to record the writing odyssey I had been on and share with the world what I understood of practice and the mind. I was entrusting myself to marriage, why not commit my inner journey to the page? I would write a book!


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I woke early and kissed my new husband good-bye. He was off to work.

The morning sun splashed in the bedroom. I looked out the window: the street in front of our duplex was crowded with cars. Everyone had a job to go to — and suddenly I did, too! I rushed down to the Cedar-Riverside area of town and purchased a ream of white paper and a batch of fast-writing pens. Then I returned home and sat down behind a small wooden desk in front of a window in our living room to begin. I stared out the window. Deep maples lined the street. A short woman walked by with a dachshund on a leash.

I grabbed my pen and jotted it down. I paused, nothing else came. Ahh, now I have something, I thought. Then I looked out the window again. I hallucinated emeralds in the trees. My eyes watered. The shadows shifted in the room. I was thirty years old, bored out of my skull. Two hours passed. A column of eight crossed-out words decorated a single page of paper.

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A day of writing was finished. I drifted over to the kitchen and made a shrimp-in-wine-sauce quiche for my new husband. This I liked.

Thunder and Lightning : Cracking Open the Writer's Craft (Reprint) [Paperback]

I had purpose; I felt alive again. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview In this long-awaited sequel to her bestselling books Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind , Natalie Goldberg, one of the most sought-after writing teachers of our time, takes us to the next step in the writing process.

Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer's Craft

Show More. Finally, I carry love. For myself, for others, for my world, for what I create. Love is at the base of everything I am and everything I do. Without love, passion, none of this would exist. Things that gave a small degree of joy, kept heart, spirit, and mind alive in a place of overwhelming chaos and sudden oblivion.

I carry things that ensure the writer and artist in me survive. The things I carry keep away chaos and oblivion. They ensure joy lives in the whole of me. And that is enough. Skip to content. So now I am wondering, what do I carry? What do I carry? Like this: Like Loading Post to Cancel.