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 9, 2010

What is your favorite book and why?

There is a worn copy of King Arthur and His Knights on my book shelf. It was dedicated to my father in 1931 by his grandparents. It later became mine. I lived in that book when I was a child, despite its difficult language. Treasure Island was the other book I inhabited. Whatever else I read, these two books were essential to my childhood.

When I became a young woman, Camus, Balzac, and Stendhal were my favorite writers, but books like Gone With the Wind and The Thorn Birds were home.

Later in life I moved on to Allende's House of Spirits, the earthy stories of Louise Erdrich, and the exquisite White Oleander by Janet Fitch.

I have lived some time now in a story of my own device, Laughing Hawk. The last two chapters weigh upon me. My years have been filled with raising a family, running a household, and working full time as a technical writer. I was not disciplined enough to demand more than the scraps of time I found for writing, but I never gave up my ill-tended dwelling. It always sheltered me.

Now I must soon begin the tedious task of editing and thinking about agents and platforms and all the attendant nonsense of book selling. Ambivalent is the tamest word I can find to describe my attitude, but I am defiant like all the protagonists in the books in which I have lived. We dream of breaking free. We are the "wild of heart, kept in cages."


  1. Speaking of King Arthur, my favorite book of all time is "Mysts of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I've read it cover to cover dozens of times and never tire of it.... often wishing I could be there at that time period too. Such a fascinating era.... the Arthurian times.

  2. I will definitely check out Mysts of Avalon. Have never read it. I venture to say Arthurian lives were probably brutal, but short.