Words to Warm My Heart

piano red rose violin

This week’s topic was one that I proposed: “What are the nicest or most inspiring things people have said or written about your writing? How did it affect you?”

When I first started writing and blogging, I had a few friends who followed my blog and some actually commented. One of my scrapbook friends particularly loved a post I wrote describing the peacefulness I felt as I walked along the shore of a nearby lake during a weekend retreat. She told me that my words brought back the fun and camaraderie we felt during our time together. Others had nice things to say about the short stories I submitted to various online magazines. Those tributes reaffirmed my goal of finishing my novel and getting it published.

It was a few years after that before I finally celebrated the publication of my first book. I kept busy, writing and learning the craft through workshops offered by local writing groups. My first full-length novel was The Samurai’s Garden. This was the book of my heart, a story about a former samurai soldier trying to find his way during the turbulent years after the feudal system gave way to western ideas, and the samurai class was abolished. It took about seven years from the time I first started the story until its publication. But when it was released, there wasn’t a lot of excitement around here. Only one of my five children read it. I’m not sure if anyone else related to me has, and frankly, I’m not surprised. Japanese history isn’t exactly something they’re into. But most of the reviews I received for that book have been good, and I’m grateful. 

One reviewer went far beyond the usual observations of story line, character development, and editing. When I saw it, I took a screenshot and saved it, as authors and reviewers have from time to time complained of reviews disappearing. Every now and then I’ll pull it out and read it again, because it is truly special.


I have no idea who this person is, but I am truly thankful he or she took the time to leave this review. These words have inspired me to keep working through dry periods when I can’t seem to string a sentence together. They reaffirm my belief that the stories we write have the power to transport the reader into new and fascinating worlds, and to have empathy for those who are different from us. 

These are turbulent times. But words can take us away to better places, if only for a short while. It truly warmed my heart to know that I did this for one reader.

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
This entry was posted in book review, Books, characters, Dealing with stress, history, inspiration, Patricia Kiyono, Why I Write, writers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Words to Warm My Heart

  1. My, what a lovely review! And wonderful words from your friend. Sometimes we forget how important letting others know when they brought peace to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful review, Patricia.

    Every word that tells me my readers loved the story are the best words in the world to me. A lot of them come from emails and comments on social media. They lift me up and encourage me to do even better for them. But the words that most stick in my mind are when my readers say they couldn’t put the book down, and it drew them into the story and the lives of my characters. What more can you ask for? It’s why we write.

    In general, I don’t rely on reviews when I look for a book, because my likes and dislikes may be different than someone else’s. And I never leave lower than a 3 star review for anyone, because I know there are others out there who would not share my “opinion.” Most often, I only leave a review when I can give a 4 or 5 star. I don’t want to discourage anyone, writer or reader.

    Very rarely, will I even check the reviews on my own books, except to copy some of the words for my advertising. But I do appreciate everyone who does leave a review, on the book site, social media, email, or otherwise. So many don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Like you, I read reviews of my books only when I’m looking for a quote to advertise. That’s when I found this one. And the only time I read reviews is when I’m purchasing something other than a book. If I’m looking for a small appliance or gadget, for example, I’ll skim those to see if people had bad experiences. But reading tastes are unique for each person, so what one person likes or dislikes may not align with my taste. Thanks for weighing in!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    that’s an awesome review… and you’re certainly correct that there was a massive purge of Amaz*n reviews (some years back). I only wish I had had an inkling of what was to come so I could have saved a few of my own reviews. Makes me angry every time I think about it.
    Seems to me we (authors) should have been contacted by Amaz*n and asked: “is this person related to you… or a personal friend… or in any other way indebted to you? Or may we consider this review legit?”
    Most of the ones that were dumped were NOT relatives or close friends — but simply readers who had learned my first name through facebook. Gad.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Awesome review. It just warms your heart.


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