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, March 2, 2011

Crusader Groups: Adult Mainstream and Literary

These are the Crusader Groups I am participating in. My goal is to revisit all these sites next week for a more up-close look. The variety and creativity is amazing. Take a look and see for yourself.

Most of my writerly time in the next weeks, what little there is after work and the usual drudgery, will be spent on editing and research. As I start my editing from the beginning of my book, I am aware of the time period it which my novel takes place, the turbulent Sixties, that crucible which forges my characters and the story.

Listening to the news this evening, I heard a Republican senator say that collective bargaining has no place in a representative government. I learned that by dirty tricks the Ohio state government passed a vote to take away the right to organize and demonstrate. In Wisconsin, the governor has locked the doors of the state capitol to its citizens. He is demanding that union members give up all their rights. The news is filled with stories of sweetheart deals for wealthy corporations and citizens, but the average middle class family struggles for a job, a decent wage, education. A world away, a simple street vendor immolated himself after his only means of making a living was taken from him. He ignited a revolution in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya that has spread like wild fire through the Middle East (and you might also include the Midwest). This is the crucible in which we now live. As my main character, Hawk, says--there is always somebody who wants to take your life away. So when I sit down to continue my editing tonight, I will remember this and the crucible which forges story.

Group 11 - Adult Fiction (Mainstream)
  1. Lola Sharp (Sharp Pen/Dull Sword) Adult fiction (mainstream), YA (urban fantasy and dystopian)
  2. Ann (Inkpots n' Quills) Adult fiction
  3. Charlotte Rains Dixon (Charlotte Rains Dixon) Adult fiction
  4. Zan Marie Steadham (In the Shade of the Cherry Tree) Adult fiction (mainstream), women's fiction, science fiction, devotional, non-fiction history
  5. Lauri Griffin (Lauri's Blog) Adult fiction (mainstream, literary), short stories
  6. Rachel (All the World's Our Page) Historical fiction, historical suspense
  7. Susan (All the World's Our Page) Adult fiction
  8. Trisha (W O R D + S T U F F) Fantasy, contemporary romance, Science Fiction, MG   
Group 12 – Literary Fiction
  1. Claire Gregory (All the World's Our Page) Literary fiction, adult fiction (focusing on Australian family saga and First World War topics)
  2. LV (Literary Friction) Literary fiction, erotic fiction, contemporary, psychological
  3. Pam Parker (Finding Meaning with Words) Literary fiction (novel and short stories)
  4. Nicole Ducleroir (One Significant Moment at a Time) Literary fiction, women's lit, mainstream
  5. Nikki (Raising Marshmallows) Picture books, YA, Literary Fiction
  6. Pensheep (A Writerly Pensheep) Speculative fiction, literary fiction
  7. Danette (There's a place I dream) Literary fiction
  8. Len L (Conversations with Self) MG, Literary women’s fiction


  1. Yay, happy to be in your group! :D One of 'em anyway. hehe

    I'm in revisions too, and I'm making an extremely large mess of my novel. Yay!? ;)

  2. It is a crazy world we live in these days. You think of all the money and lives we've wasted in Iraq and all that needed for democracy in the Middle East was a street vendor setting himself on fire in Tunisia.

  3. And to add to your bit about Wisconsin, the press continues to make it sound like it's all about fiscal responsibility which it is not. It's about breaking the unions- and part of that means they want to make sure the unions can't fund democrats. But the media hates the unions and wants them driven into extinction as much as Walker does- at least for the middle class workers (not their union).

  4. I am a Wisconsin State worker. I truly wish my life style was that life style Walker is projecting for state workers. Union busting because that is what we are really talking about here. Union busting is the goal. In one fail swoop Bust the unions, remove hard fought for protections for the working middle class and render the Democrats fundless in future elections. All in the name balancing the budget! HA! He is also saying 15000 of us will lose our jobs if this doesn't pass. My job is rumoured to be one of them. HeyHo!

  5. Ann, you have my sympathy. I think we have all been amazed at the fighting spirit of the people of Wisconsin. I hope a lot of people wake up and realize what's really at stake here--women's rights, the right to organize, the right to have a decent job, the right to have an education and on and on. All these things are being stripped from the middle and lower classes, with the middle class bearing much of the burden while wealthy corporations and individuals grow more wealthy through corruption, bought politicians, etc. I didn't mean to get off on a rant, but it's disgusting. It's the same kind of disgust people in other countries express for the inequities of life. And yet, this is probably why we are writers. Whether we write fiction or nonfiction, this is the clay we work with.

  6. Hi, fellow crusader. I'm a follower now. :)

  7. Hi groupie,

    I've given you two awards at my blog. Check it out.

    Zan Marie