Ending Up Creative

My Search for Renewal Through the Arts

Non-Fiction - Memoir
198 Pages
Reviewed on 07/29/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Ending Up Creative: My Search For Renewal Through The Arts by J. William Thompson is a memoir that chronicle's the author's life. A twenty-year career at a magazine ends abruptly when the editorial values that have long sustained publications from being mere advertisements are forcefully revoked, and Thompson becomes a retiree sooner than expected. Retirement wasn't as comfortable or easy to slide into as one would imagine. This changes when he hits a spiritual stride and picks up some charcoal. Thompson can sketch, and he's rather good at it. These artistic milestones lead to other endeavors, including the performing arts. Thompson marks his evolution by the timeframes that correlate to major world issues, travel, and plain old-fashioned daily events. A chorus leads to musical instruments leads to solos, and Thompson's life is reinvigorated in kind.

My dad once retired for a handful of weeks before he did what he wanted to do, got it out of his system, and decided that the fulfillment he got in his professional life was far greater than anything he could find on a golf course or bowling. He did what J. William Thompson never had the chance to do, which is to leave when he wanted and simply because he wanted to. As a Christian, Thompson will see that this is exactly how he was meant to find himself, and under what circumstances, and the “after” he describes in his golden years with his wife and his artistic pursuits are well-written and wholly engaging. He really has an excellent talent for sketching but what I adored was the music scene with bluegrass, particularly when he pulls out a harmonica. Drawing, music, and now writing: a triple treat that has put his work out into the world for us to enjoy in Ending Up Creative, and I have enjoyed it! Very highly recommended.