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.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

iPhone Mania

My husband accuses me of being a geek. I confess I am. Though I know technology can be a two-edged sword, nevertheless, I am entralled with it, especially when technology encourages creativity, expands knowledge, and provides an avenue for communication with others. I love sleek and intuitive. That's the iPhone.

If you are a writer, it's so handy to have a dictionary or Wikipanion at your fingertips. aNote, Evernote, and Calendar keep you organized. Dropbox helps you access important files on your computer. Reader apps and news apps keep you up to date with what's going on in the world. I particularly love Evernote because if you come across a recipe or brief article in the newspaper you can take a snapshot of it and save it for future reference. It beats dealing with the clutter of accumulated news articles, recipes, and to-do lists that used to litter my dining room table and purse.

The iPhone helps you to quickly access email and if you need to communicate in multiple languages, no problem. Just go to Settings and set up additional language keyboards. You can toggle between whichever language you want to use. There are also nifty apps like Dragon Dictation that take your recorded voice and convert it to text, which you can then edit, and voila--instant email without the hassle of all that tapping on a tiny keyboard. (I discovered it supports French dictation too and inserts all those darn accent marks.)

Photos? iPicasso makes it a snap to access your Picasso web albums and transmit photos to Picasso. There are camera apps which allow you to quickly touch up your iPhone photos with just a swipe of your finger. It's magic.

For those of you who are foodies, try an online subscription to Cook's Illustrated. You can also access recipes on your iPhone with their free app. By the way, Cook's Illustrated has great recipes that have been kitchen tested. Some of my favorite recipes have come from Cook's. They provide a wealth of information about cooking utensils and food products that you won't find anywhere else.

I could go on and on. There are so many ingenius things an iPhone can do. Unfortunately, it doesn't do the dishes or clean the house.

So who is the next to get an iPhone?

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