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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Do You Have a Catharsis Handy? Five-Minute Writing Tips is a nonfiction writing skills guide by Kathleen Kaska. Kaska is a blogger, author and the Marketing Director of Cave Art Press. She was also a middle-school science teacher for twenty-five years, and is an avid bird-watcher. She learned the tricks of the writer’s trade from other writers, such as William Zinsser, Mary Norris and Stephen King, while keeping close tabs on the venerable style guides such as Strunk and White. Her guide is separated into three parts: Inspiration, Style and Nonsense, followed by a section on grammar and punctuation and, finally, an introduction to the mysteries of writing, marketing and publishing your work.
Kathleen Kaska’s nonfiction writing skills guide, Do You Have a Catharsis Handy? Five-Minute Writing Tips, is first and foremost an act of love. Kaska loves words and the power that an author can wield with the right combination of ideas, words and just enough grammar to make it work. Purists who’ve been trained under the guidance of classic grammar texts, such as Otto Jesperson’s works on English grammar, will probably find themselves somewhat relieved at Kaska’s common-sense and modernized take on grammar and style -- I know I was. I was caught up in her enthusiasm and delight with her colleague’s husband’s “Douglassims” and loved her ideas for coping with the ever-dreaded writer’s block.
Each tip is artfully presented in the author’s smooth, conversational style. And while I fear I’ll still shamelessly indulge my love of using archaic words and phrases, and continue leaving in just a few more words than absolutely necessary, I learned a lot from reading this engaging collection of blog posts. Her ideas on finding or forming writing groups are especially helpful, and her tips on marketing and publishing are illuminating. Do You Have a Catharsis Handy? Five-Minute Writing Tips is most highly recommended.