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.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes

Four 6-foot tall plants in my garden can deliver more tomatoes than you'll ever imagine. Carbons, Cherokees, and Whoppers. I also have some San Maranzanos, a Roma type. The Carbons which I started from last year's seed seem to have strayed a little from the original genetic intent by becoming rather misshapen, but the Cherokees have stayed true--green-shouldered, with a mild, smoky, mahogany flesh.
What to do with them? Put a large pot of water on the stove, bring it to a boil, and dip the tomatoes in for about 1 minute. Remove them from the water and put them in a colander and run cold water over them. Final step--peel and quarter them and seal them in freezer bags. Resurrect the frozen tomatoes on a nice, cool Fall day and can them. I have two great recipes for chili sauce and spaghetti sauce that I'll resurrect in a few weeks.


  1. I have better tomatoes. Agop

  2. Thanks for the tip. We have an abundance of tomatoes as well from our garden. Every night I snack on them, with soy sauce (its good, but weird). I didn't know we can freeze them.

  3. Yup, they freeze nicely. You can use them later for canning or making soups, stews, etc.

  4. Thank you. The tomatoes for this year's garden are just little two-inch sprouts but I hope to get a good crop like these.