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.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Our persimmon tree is small and bent from fighting with my neighbor's large avocado tree for sunshine and from the weight of heavy crops. Unlike our temperamental pomagranate tree that refuses to bear whenever it is pruned, the persimmon withstands every abuse. It has never failed to deliver a crop.

For those of you who are not familiar with persimmons, the Fuyu is a non astringent variety, which means you can eat it even if it is not completely ripe. When golden orange, but still firm, it makes a mildly sweet addition to a salad or can be sliced and eaten like an apple. When ripe, its pulp resembles a very sweet, translucent custard. You can freeze the pulp and use it in baking sweet breads, cakes, cookies and puddings.

The first picking overflows onto my patio table. There is still plenty more on the tree. I'm wondering what to do with all this bounty.

Persimmon butter? Jam? Chutney? I'm not sure I want to go to all that trouble for something that has a short shelf life or has to be stored in the freezer. (Because persimmons are not acidic enough, it's not really safe to can them. ) I'm not in the mood to bake them in cakes or cookies. Drying them doesn't sound appealing either.

I think I will have to settle on something healthy. Perhaps a salad of arugula and romaine with roasted pecans, fresh grated parmigiano reggiano and slices of persimmon. A simple dressing of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

The majority of my persimmons will undoubtedly be donated to the curious who think they are miniature pumpkins or those who know and appreciate the sweet beauty of this fruit.

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