Entry Title:Bare Elements
Author: Wanda Argersinger, Lottie Boggan, RC White
Judge Number: 55
Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction.
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Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 4
Voice and Writing Style: 4
The cover image is breathtaking, with a wonderful sense of movement and femininity that conveys the stories of women in the book. Stunning choice.The story summaries on the back cover are well-written and enticing,particularly the first and third ones. Well done.The introduction is brilliant, showing the common thread in the stories and introducing the reader to their region and land with sensory-packed details and engaging beckoning into the book. Very well done.
Excellent to break the book into the elements, and the stories do a wonderful job of conveying them in non-clich ways, very well ingrained in their stories.The first story is a stand-out in the collection, with beautiful lyricism and characterization, a smooth-moving plot and unexpected plot moves and details. This could be a stand-alone novella. Excellent work. Love the regional slang and dialect. The relationships between characters are multi-dimensional, and characters voices are differentiated well. A layered, finely-written story. Love the unique descriptions like liver-skinned man. Beautiful writing.
Thelma is bad news. Author shows so much about her in the smallest of details and movement, which is excellent skill.Great names for the characters! Very engaging and real. Good tension build up with Warner. Author unspools character traits and plot twist beautifully.The pace of this plot mirrors the pace of the region from which they come. Nice detail. Its after marriage that love grows says so much about the character and her generation. We see some of the cultural mores that the characters deal with.Watch out for little typos, like harsh, hollow, gasps.And there are some dropped commas, like on page 428 Hi there Miss Lil.
The second story flows well, and while the characters take a little extra time to establish themselves, they are well differentiated with good voices. Waves opens with a drier situation, a lawyer meeting, so we lose a bit of the momentum from the first story. But pace picks up pretty quickly, and reader makes the transition into this next story.Theres a lot of Earth in the Water section, so reader looks forward to what the Water meaning is. We get it soon, but for this section,author needs to add more movement with the characters so they are not just standing around talking, sometimes reiterating. Let characters move a bit more, and provide imagery that conveys movement. That can happen in scenery. Like the beach that delivers the water issue.In big blocks of dialogue, provide more description, scenery,movement, facial expressions. The dialogue will come more to life.Like page 347. That interaction could have more depth via extra detailing.
Give us more about Hawaii as a contrast to her home region, which is also a character in the book. We can get that in scenery descriptions,smells, pace of people, and other details. We see a little more of the scenery on page 371 with the courtyard descriptions that are very well done.Watch out for dialogue skips, like on page 376, where it seems the same character is speaking on two line breaks. A bit confusing and pulls reader out of the story.
On page 489, watch out for stilted dialogue. When characters are exchanging pleasantries, add extra detail like physical attributes,movement, even just a breeze to convey something more about the scene.When they are going through the cemetery, it feels a bit rushed. Give us scenery and detail of the headstones, the types of flowers on the graves. Show us some names. Things wed notice if we were walking with them.
Good description of Zen garden on page 551, but a little more is an easy way to bring this section to life. Good sense of panic when she realizes that everyone is in the woods. Author does a great job of conveying the emotion here.Well done The ending of story three can happen with we just did, which is the stronger end that the current last paragraph with the newspaper story description.
The fourth story is strong, opening dramatically. her mind had simply tired of reality is brilliant.
Good sense of place, and excellent description of the hotel, which has its spooky elements and a fascinating history. How did she know the man was trying to speak to her from the painting? Author just says it,but find a way to show that in her emotions and gut feelings, what she sees in the narrow of his eyes, etc. What exactly makes this important plot element realistic? We have to SEE more of this.
Also, show more of the people in the hotel. Author writes the hotel was alive with conventioneers. Theres so much description that can then follow, such as colors, smells, outfits, overheard snippets of conversation, etc. This is an area that can stand out and get more real with a bit more detailing. On 618, make it a longer scene when she goes to the council to ask for funds. Give this more of a sense of place, show her as nervous, give her emotions, what if they say No?etc. It wraps up quickly, so make this a feeling not just a scene.The first story sets the bar high for the others and indeed elevates them. The reader will have his or her favourites, but authors do a good job of having their tones and styles meld together. Good work.
22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Wanda Argersinger’s Y-Mee’s A B C Book of Emotions is a wonderfully written book that comes from the heart. As a Lupus sufferer herself, she has been able to use the humor and the alphabet to describe different emotions that not only lightens the spirit, but will put a smile on your face and laughter in your heart even through difficult pain and distress. I recommend this book for anyone who is battling a chronic disease or depression, or who needs a laugh to just break the stress of everyday life. Wanda has helped so many people through her commitment to support those in need, and if you read her book, she has just helped one more. I extend a grateful hand to Wanda for all of her efforts and for expressing herself through humor to do good for everyone who needs a lift in life. God created a miracle, and her name is Wanda Argersinger.
Janet Quong Boise, ID
Everyone has, at one time or another in their lives, said or felt, “Why me?” Whether it’s carrying a burden of debt,having a chronic illness, losing loved ones at an early age, having a divorce come about unexpectedly or without resolution, or any number of other reasons. We all have felt the “Why me?” syndrome. However, life has a way of working things out -- eventually. We all feel it, and it is a part of life. Now there is something to take your troubles away!
Wanda’s latest venture is “L-Bow.” In its first month, L-BOW broke even and is turning a profit in its first year – 2008 -- with the Y-MEE doll. You may be asking, “What does L-BOW mean?” It stands for “Little Bit of Wanda.” But, believe me; Argersinger has give far more than a little bit to the Lupus community and her home town for years. Not only is Wanda an accomplished business woman, she is an author, a public speaker, a national advocate for all Lupus patients, and she has written a medical journal for patients to use as a personal reference,giving all rights for the sale and profits of these journals to the Lupus Support Network.
Camryn Oliver Lemmon, APR, CPRC
Wanda, I don't always comment on your posts, but I have to tell you that I absolutely adore your sense of humor! You are a gal after my own heart.
Janet Elaine Smith - Author, Writer
If Patch Adams and Erma Bombeck had had a baby, it surely would have been Wanda Argersinger. Though gifted with a magnificently, magnified sense of humor Wanda is no stranger to suffering. She has lived with Lupus for 12 years. She has personally experienced the highs and lows that come from having a chronic illness.She has learned that laughter IS the best medicine.
Beverly L. Copeland, MS, LMHC
Integrity LIfe Coaching
subject = Thank you !
comments = You are amazing. I love your sense of humor and it was a great blessing to meet you in Orlando. Peace and joy to you!
I just wanted to say thank you once again for speaking at our PHIMA meeting last evening. I have had many wonderful comments today about what an interesting speaker you were and how people really enjoyed the meeting. I also must tell you that in the course of my coding today I came across a patient with the diagnosis of lupus and she is on prednisone and plaquenil…what would have normally been routine coding took on a whole new meaning for me now that I know the significance of these drugs in relation to lupus.
It was a pleasure to meet you! I hope that we can call upon you again in the future to visit our group. Please continue your great work in spreading the news and helping the newly diagnosed with this disease. Your story is inspiring and I am sure you have helped countless others by paving the way to better healthcare in the future.
Donna M. Soto, RHIT, CPC
Wanda...I have to say that I needed that laugh!! That is my favorite story thus far!!! Do tell me your sign so I can see for myself what your day has instore!! I bow to thee ohh funny one!! 2 thumbs up!!.