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Book Review: The Sound of Paper

By Catherine Franz

She splits her year between New York City and Arizona. I

have been a fan since her first book and especially enjoyed

"The Artist Way." I like to believe that I was one of the

first to devour it page by page, exercise by exercise. Not

just once but six times. Having studied with Julia through

the years, not just in my pajamas but in workshops and one-

on-one, I ponder how "The Sound of Paper" escaped my notice

until last month.

One of Julia's gifts for showing readers instead of telling

them, I believe, begins with her perception. As a writer

myself, I saw myself as a writer for some years. But Julia

sees herself as an artist. And as I read the rhythmic

cadence, I see Julia swaying in front of a large white

canvas swirling colors on a brush getting ready to paint

with words. A creator of language, of prose, singular words

that say in just an instant what a picture says in a

thousand brush strokes. Mona Lisa step aside.

Julia took a year's worth of morning pages and spun them

into this book, adding an exercise at the end of the

chapters, and leaving off the table of contents, as if we

wouldn't notice. It doesn't really matter though, her

eloquence sent visions of possibilities for myself into my


The exercises show us how to step beyond who we are or what

we can accomplish as a writer. It is from here that one can

make the transition to artist. At times the exercise seemed

too simple and began to lull me to mindful meditation. Her

words from earlier years, ones of trust, kicked me out of my

trance and allowed me to place the ink onto the page. These

resisting moments let go of the word writer and transferred

my view to artist.

Julia shares her love for Manhattan and Taos and the music

of Rogers and Hammerstein. She shares experiences about

writing music and plays. In Taos, she shares too many

chapters on its drought and how it compares to writer block.

In frustration, I skipped several chapters because the

drought was giving me drought.

You will enjoy this book, not as a fast read, but like a

multi-vitamin -- one (chapter) a day. You can sit back, as

if in a five-star restaurant, smile at the penguin-style

waiter, place the satin napkin in your lap, and let the

rhythm roll off the page onto your plate. The feast will

definitely empower your artist view. A book worth keeping

for additional takeout.

(c) 2005, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Catherine Franz, CEO of Eagle Communications, is a syndicated marketing columnist, radio host, International speaker, and master life and business coach.

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