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, July 12, 2010

Huntington Beach 4th of July

 They say it's the biggest parade west of the Mississippi. Probably the craziest too.

I've seen the parade a couple of times from a safe distance, but this year we spent the day on the beach. You see every nationality and more tatoos and tents than you can imagine. I was especially amazed at the new fad of unbuttoning the top button of your shorts to display a tatoo just below the belly button. Maybe it has to do with eating too many hot dogs and you can't button your pants--but I suspect it's intended to be a "fashion" statement.

You will also see more bicycles than you can imagine and a little road rage as people battle for the sidewalk along the beach. Heaven help you if you're a pedstrian---you're just inches away from being road kill.

By the end of the day, everything is full of sand and your eyes are burning from the campfire smoke. You know the real challenge after the fireworks will be getting out of the parking lot.

Where's the sun?

Why is everybody bundled up? Isn't it supposed to be warm in California?

Ok. Where's the beach?

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