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, April 6, 2011

Strange characters: I tawt I taw a Puddy Tat a sneakin’ up on me

Sometimes the weirdest characters you meet are not the ones you create, but the ones driving down the street. This morning on my way to work, I was driving behind a Honda CRV that had a huge Tweety Bird on the spare wheel cover. (Remember Tweety the cartoon canary from your childhood?) That’s kind of odd, I thought. Why would any self-respecting adult choose to display Tweety on their car? I find license plates that say HOTMAMA or DRTHVDR more intriguing—and well, character-revealing. I was wrong. As I got closer, I noticed there was a stuffed Tweety hanging in the back window. Hmmm. I could see the driver was a middle-aged woman driving by herself. The car did not have that lived-in look that children bring to the picture. Tweety was clearly her personal obsession. On the side of her car was a Jesus fish emblem, and a bright yellow plastic Tweety was sitting on the dashboard. A vinyl Tweety was taped flat to her steering wheel. And when I did a double take, I realized to my surprise that although the woman had dark hair and Asian features, she actually resembled Tweety Bird. I kid you not. I thought about her all the way to work, trying to unlock the secrets to this most unusual character. Why Tweety?

1 comment:

  1. It's probably her nickname and she figured if you can't beat them join them. Maybe she's the great granddaughter of the cartoonist who came up with Tweety!

    ReplyDelete