This unique format of one page for each story would challenge most writers, but Carr seamlessly takes me through it, eager to turn to the next page, excited that I can pick up this page turner at any time and often while I am waiting on hold for someone or another.
Dozens of characters dance with author Pat Carr across 259 pages. Some make an appearance, while others weave in and out throughout. All, and I mean all are interesting, unique and original, just like Carr’s stories. No surprise, since Carr has won numerous awards for her writing throughout her writing life. And, oh, did Carr have some eclectic and laugh-out-loud relationship experiences.
And there are pictures of some of those whose interactions with Carr thread frequently on her pages. A bonus comes as Carr shares her first meeting, courtship and marriage to her current husband to whom she has been married longer than all the others. I loved the page that discusses his I.Q., for example.
So, who is Pat Carr, and why do writers need to read her? Simply stated, because Pat Carr stands tall among the top three writing teachers I have ever had. Why? Because Pat Carr knows how to write real stories that resonate without getting into people’s heads, trying to psychoanalyze characters, or putting in even one unnecessary word. Her writing is tight, to the point, and makes a point, each time, every time.
Here’s my Pat Carr story: While I made a good living as a speaker and syndicated columnist, published internationally, I had not one book to my name. Because I lived in Saratoga Springs, New York, I attended The International Women’s Writing Guild’s annual Remember the Magic week-long writing conference for years at Skidmore College. In 1998, I attended a Pat Carr week-long writing workshop for the first time. This workshop invited attendees to bring their book ideas to flesh them out, get feedback, and get a good handle on going forward and finishing the book. I brought my first book Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love, a book that came to be out of workshops designed to help people see what they needed to do, what they had to stop doing, what they had to understand about others, and what they had to understand about themselves to have a life they love getting up to each morning, every morning. In Pat’s workshop, I learned how to take my growing metaphor and permeate it throughout the book, how to eliminate the unnecessary, and what I needed to edit my manuscript. Back then, IWWG met in August every year. By April the following year, Thomas More and I had a contract for the publication of my book that was released in September 1999. In 2012, Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love still has five stars on Amazon.com, has sold out and is only available at Internet sites. Does that say something about Pat Carr, not only as a writer, but also as a writing teacher? I can tell you I am grateful.
Dr. Carr still teaches, just took another workshop with her in 2011, again at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, this time sponsored by the Women Artists & Writers Matrix.
Dr. Carr has many award-winning books still in publication. Anyone who wants to learn how to write well and enjoy what they are reading would be well-served reading all of Dr. Carr’s books.