Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Short Story: Running Away (Part 3)

Jack

She left me a letter, a proclamation of the wrongs I supposedly committed, a declaration of freedom. All about her. It’s always about her. I know she’s hiding out somewhere with family or friends. She cleaned out the checking account so I guess I can be sure that no serial killer has finished her off. I’m disappointed--in serial killers. I’ve got a right to be angry when she pulls this shit. If she wants to run away, fine, but without my children. She’s not getting the children and she’s not getting my money either. I can promise her that.

I knew something was up when she stopped arguing with me. I’m not a hitter, but I really felt like decking her when she started with the silent treatment.

It wasn’t always like this between us, but with time she seemed to develop an attitude of disrespect. She was pretty once, but honestly, I can’t look at her anymore. I’ve mapped every freckle and flaw. Lora turns me off. I don’t know who she is anymore. I can’t remember why I chose her. She has broken my life and I can no longer see myself when I look in the mirror. Neither one of us has a face anymore.

So I’ve filed a missing person’s report and now I’ll hire a private investigator. When I finish with her, she'll wish she was dead.

To be continued

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Short Story: Running Away (Part 2)

Shannon

For over a week now, the closet in my spare bedroom has been full of suitcases and boxes. Lora is going to make a break for it. She has rented a mini-van under her new name and I am loading it up with her belongings while she is hiding out with the children. I have packed a box of groceries for the kids and a few toys. I wonder how she will set up a bank account, get a phone, find a safe place to live, get a job, create a new identity so that her husband Jack cannot find her. I wonder if Jack will suspect that I am helping her. Lora and I must be very careful how we contact one another. Only on my work phone and email. I don’t know. I hope she’s sorted this all out. It’s too much for me.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Short Story: Running Away (Part 1)

Lora: The Tunnel

There is a cold drizzle coming down. It is raining in my heart. I am sitting in a street underpass in my neighborhood late at night with my 5-year old daughter Mila and 10-year old son Jordan. I pray no dog walker comes along and I have to explain what I am doing here squatted in front of this little fire of twigs we have collected. We are camping out. Sort of. I do not know why I am here except that my husband will be checking all the hotels but he will not be looking here yet. I must be out of my mind. I wonder when he will call the police. Not yet. He has a few cards he wants to play first. He thinks I am pathetically weak and foolish. I'm sure to screw up. I have to think clearly.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Life is Too Damned Complicated

Sometimes I wonder how we humans survive this constant onslaught of life complications in this modern era. There is so much knowledge that you need to have beyond basic life skills in our society.

This week I am recovering from cancer surgery on my left thigh. I'm not looking for sympathy because there are many people who are going through far worse than I am BUT it's nevertheless a damn inconvenient complication.

Then my husband's iphone begins to malfunction so I decide it's time to replace both of our phones. There went a day researching phone plans, upgrade options, etc. I finally order the phones.

In the meantime, the HD-DVR for our cable service needed to be replaced. Great. More stuff to remember, more stuff to learn.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Good and the Bad

We spend of good deal of energy in life trying to anticipate and ward off the bad things that come our way so that when something good happens we are stunned.

So here is my story--a few weeks ago I decided to mention to my doctor that I thought there might be something in my leg. It felt too firm, but otherwise there was nothing very noticeable about my left thigh. The doctor thought it was nothing but decided to play it safe and request a second opinion. (Thank you!) An x-ray, an MRI, and two biopsies later, the conclusion was that there was something nasty embedded in the muscle tissues. Possibly a low-grade fibrohistiocytic sarcoma.

I now have an 8-inch incision on my leg and an ankle-to-hip brace. But hey, I can wiggle my toes and the pain is subsiding. I am thankful for the excellent care I have received from doctors, nurses and hospital staff. I am thankful for my husband and my two RN daughters who have watched over me to make sure I am getting the best of care. And I am thankful for all the those who have offered a helping hand, their prayers and well wishes. That says that for all the bad there is in the world, there is also a lot of good. I am stunned and appreciative.

And now I hope this ordeal will be soon be over and there will be no other unpleasant surprises (although I expect there will be some radiation treatments). I have no patience with show stopper events in life. I do however have a greater appreciation for all the angels on earth and in heaven.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What's Your Mantra?

It's January, that time of the year when we assess the past year and look forward to correcting our course in the new year by trying to implement a few resolutions.

I'm of the opinion that before you can make a resolution, you first need to find your mantra. If you break down the Sanskrit roots of the word mantra, it means mind instrument. In other words, a mantra can be a tool to set the stage for change.

So what exactly is a mantra? Some claim it's om, the sound of universal consciousness that pulls you into meditation and quiet. That may be true, but I like to think it's more than that. A mantra is an intention. It sets the stage for successful change and helps achieve those nagging resolutions that bedevil us.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Empress Wears Rags


The inspiration for this short story was a recent shopping trip where I noticed a pair of tattered jeans on a rack for $235. I throw away clothes that look like this. I might use them for gardening. I certainly would not wear them anywhere or gift them to anyone. They look awful and I find it appalling that a department store would have the nerve to put this on display, not to mention the price tag. Nevertheless, some fool must be buying these.

* * *

It was a shopping day for Jana. She had to come up with a birthday gift for her daughter-in-law that would not be met with contempt or boredom.

In his 39th year, Jana’s son Chad had acquired his fourth wife, Marta. Jana could only conclude that her son made a good deal of money as CEO of a tech firm to be able to support his financial obligations to so many ex-wives and a young son and daughter.