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.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crystal Cove

Christmas is coming, but I don't quite have the spirit. I did manage to put up a Christmas tree, but I'm dragging my feet when it comes to shopping.

The sky was too blue and the sun was too bright today to think about the holidays so I tried to sign up for a beachside cottage at Crystal Cove first thing this morning. For those of you who don't know, Crystal Cove is a state beach that includes a cluster of beach cottages. It lies between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach on Pacific Coast Highway. Up until a few years ago the beach cottages were regular homes. Built in the 1930s, the cottages are now the property of the State of California and they are being renovated in their original style and rented through Reserve America. The first of every month there is a wild 5-second attempt by phone and Internet to snag a rental unit for 6 months in advance. Alas, it's next to impossible. I was thinking it would be a perfect gift to myself and whoever else wanted to tag along--even if I had to wait till June. That would have put me in the spirit, but it was not meant to be.

Even if you can't rent a cottage, Crystal Cove State Park is a great place for a hike along the beach, a casual meal at the Beach Comber, or a pit stop at the Shake Shack. There are 17 miles of hiking trails in the hills across from the ocean. (FYI, the daily parking fee is $15 if you don't have a state park pass.)

I'm praying for a little warm weather and some sunshine this weekend and to be far away from the maddening mall crowd. Maybe I'll find my way to Crystal Cove.


  1. If I were on this beach, I would also have difficulties to find the right Christmas spirit: :-)

  2. Ahh, well you might not find the Christmas spirit, but you would certainly find the Spirit. Nothing relieves the craziness of life like a walk on the beach.

  3. well you better get shopping. I am expecting something good ;)