Title: Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write
Written by Gayle Brandeis
Published by: Harper San Francisco
Reviewed by: Pixie Malherbe
If you are dreaming of writing, or if you are already trying to write, whether as a part-time hobby or full-time author, this is a delightful book full of inspiration, hints and ideas and wonderful encouragement. But it goes further than that. Even if you have no thought of putting pen to paper, it is an inspirational way of seeing the world through fresh eyes, or should one say fresh fruit?
Using the metaphors of seeds, roots, trunk, branches, leaves, buds, flowers, fruit and seeds the book takes one on a sensual tour of feeling, showing how one can open up one's very soul to write with passion. Each little mouthful is prefaced by lines of poetry about fruit and all its many facets. The poems and extracts come from a wide range of sources. They are carefully selected to expand on the ideas to follow. Each section begins with a "Fruitflesh" meditation. Through it all the fruit images are spellbinding, using every sensual fruit imaginable, the juice of the mango, the lushness of papaya, the kiwifruit, the pomegranate, watermelon, star fruit and more.
And all this comes with great advice like: "Find a space of your own to write in. It need not be whole room, it can be just a little nook."
And hints like: "If we don't tell the stories that ask to come through us, they will die inside their skins…."
And "Even if you write just one paragraph, just one line of the piece you'll prevent it from rotting away…."
Other great ways of encouraging you, the writer, to get it all down include advice on freewriting, to connecting yourself to the earth. Remember a landscape, bring yourself right into it, describe it in detail, the feel, the smell of it.
Brandeis says, "Creative energy moves throughout our bodies like sweet sap. It makes you feel the energy in you, the desire to harness it and pour out the words. Keep all your senses open, alive to all around you. How else can you write?"
How else indeed. She is a delight, an inspiration in words that themselves are delicious, tasty and full. And her exercises for the senses are a pleasure. Hold a piece of fruit, touch it, look at it, smell it, lick it, then at last bite into it savouring the texture, the smell, the taste.
Open yourself up to feel the elements that made it, too. The earth in which it is rooted, the water that fed it, the air, the fire. And think of how these all inspire your writing. Try and see for yourself what emerges from your own sense of earth, fire, water and air.
A book that will inspire your thoughts and open your mind.<3/p>
"Risk blossoming, both on the page and off."
BIO: Pixie Malherbe is a South African journalist and communication consultant. She was on newspapers for years, worked on women's magazines in London and then ran her own communication consultancy for about 12 years. She was President of IABC Southern Africa (International Association of Business Communicators) and was given their Chairman's award in Toronto in 1995. She is currently a stringer for local newspapers.