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  • Alice Hoffman Birthday Blog Hop

    We'd never heard of a 'Blog Hop' before, but when one was announced on Twitter to celebrate Alice Hoffman's birthday and connect readers who share a passion for her stories (like us) we decided to sign up and see how it worked. in theory, we should be able to connect to all the blogs of those signed up and they to ours if the 'linkys' work. [There's no end to learning about websites and blogs it seems . . .]

    The Blog Hop is being organised by Heidi Garrett, author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie a fairy tale fantasy series for young and new adults and Jessica Fortunato, author of the original short story, Steam, and The Sin Collector Trilogy.

    We just love Alice Hoffman. In our opinion she is one of the world’s finest storytellers, with a unique voice - her writing is different, quirky and sensual. She takes risks that others might not dare to take but usually pulls them off with great aplomb. Her ‘trademark’ in the books we've read is a weave of myth and contemporary realism, and she writes it with consummate skill.

    As readers who also write professionally, not only do we enjoy Alice’s wonderful storytelling, becoming attached to her vivid characters and wanting to know what happens to them at the end, but we appreciate Alice’s books as ‘craft instruction’. There is so much to learn from her writing; from the way she constructs scenes, thematic development in her books overall, and from her powerful use of language, unique metaphors, similes, to make literally thousands of memorable, emotive lines.

    Take this beautiful paragraph, for example: ‘The nature of love had totally escaped her until now. She had thought that if you lost it, you could never get it back, like a stone thrown down a well. But it was like the water at the bottom of the well, there where you can’t see it, shifting in the dark.’ (The Story Sisters, p.324). Spine-tingling!

    We've still to read some titles from her large body of work, including the latest, ‘The Dovekeepers’, which is on the next holiday reading list, so that rather than reading chapters in snatches left at the end of the day, it will be savoured in a spell of self-indulgent retreat from normal life.

    Alice, we salute you as a supreme writer's writer. Please keep giving your readers stories to remember forever. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Best Wishes from 'Mirren Jones' (the creative writing partnership of Marion Duffy and Elaine Atkins)

    3 Comments

    • 1. Mar 16 2013 7:37PM by Heidi Garrett

      Elaine! Thank you for joing with the hop early on! I have enjoyed our tweets and messages. I'm sorry your linky list ran into technical glitches, but hopefully everyone will find you through the other lists. I just read Cheryl's post at Reason to Believe and she shared that she uses Hoffman's novel as mentor-texts. Even though I write, too, I've never attempted to deconstruct her stories:) I just start reading and let them carry me where there will. Maybe I'll have to go back and look a little bit more analytically. AFTER the first pleasure reads. I think maybe there's a part of me that either thinks I can't acheive what she does, or perhaps maybe that I'll absorb some of her magic by osmosis, lol.

      I have to agree that she is "one of the world's finest storytellers." Also, that you point out how sensual her writing is, it's one of the qualities that makes me go gah-gah, too. I've yet to read The Dovekeepers, too, but after this hop, I kind of can't wait.

      Elaine, it has been so nice to meet you! Thank you for being part of the hop. Heidi

    • 2. Mar 17 2013 3:15AM by M Teresa

      I am not a writer, but I understand why you would say that Alice Hoffman is a teacher in terms of storytelling. I mean, her writing is absolutely heartbreaking. I always tell my friends that she is my favourite writer because she writes with everything, with absolutely everything she has to offer. At least that is what I feel as a reader... I feel like she is constantly opening herself to the world, not afraid of what the world's reaction might be. It's rather inspiring, I believe.

    • 3. Mar 17 2013 6:07PM by Cheryl

      Ohhh--I love that quote from the story sisters! So very much lies in that small paragraph.

      thank you for sharing that--it is now going in my mentor text notebook!

      LOVE your beautiful words about Miss Hoffman!