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.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Writers and Their Pets

Most of the time, our plots and lives revolve around people and we overlook the creatures that inhabit our world. Today, my favorite cat Ché died. Several years ago, I adopted him from a local animal shelter. He was a big, beautiful, gray Chartreux with golden eyes and an easy-going demeanor. He was elegant. I must have been in a Motorcycle Diaries phase when I decided to name him after Ché Guevara.

Ché weighed in at 11 pounds when I first brought him home. He was big-boned and skinny, but he soon filled out to a sleek 17 pounds, the weight he maintained all his life. He was a silky gray panther who didn't like too much cuddling, but who loved to bestow little kisses now and then on your ear or the tip of your nose. I loved his intelligence. He had few faults. He was extraordinarily quiet, except when there was chicken or fish in the kitchen, in which case he would sing for his dinner with all his heart.

Ché was so sick this morning, but he did not complain. He seemed to understand that I was trying to help. He purred when I stroked him, even though he didn't have the strength to move. It was sad to say farewell. He had a unique personality. His old pal Leo, a Maine Coon, will miss him and their daily ritual of a playful wrestling match. I will remember to find him a place in a story some day.

So here's the question. How many animals inhabit your lives and stories?


  1. :( He looks just like my cat Smog! Same eye colour, and my cat has a stripey tail (reminds me of your cat's paw up there). Sorry for your loss. Cats have always been a part of my life, and I know how hard it is to lose them!

    I have 2 cats at present (did have 3, but one disappeared over a year ago), and I've been involved in fostering cats/kittens too.

    I've also had a hermit crab in the past, but that was when I was a kid.

    As for stories, one of my MCs has a goldfish (didn't want to give her anything more demanding) who has seen her through some very tough times of her life.

  2. My cat died last year. She was 15 or so. It's very sad when pets you've had for a while die, almost as sad as when human family dies.

  3. Ciao Linda,
    Oh, I am very sorry to read about your cat Che passing away. My heart goes out to you! He was quite the handsome fellow. I have a weakness somewhere inside for grey cats and fluffy orange cats. Right now I have two indoor/ outdoor garden cats that are deliciously fluffy and orange. Recently, my little guy Puffy was sick with a urinary block, but we were able to get him to the vet in time. He recovered well and now has a special diet. It was so hard to see him suffer, but he was quite the trooper! He makes it into the stories on my blog quite often, along with his rather grumpy mother.

    I'm working on a novel with my mother, and for us the dog in the story is just as much a character as the rest of the family. We've had a fabulous time writing her into the story.

    Warm wishes from the Amalfi Coast!

  4. Thank you all for your comments. Animals are amazing for their beauty, intelligence, and their patience with us humans.

  5. I am so so sorry to learn that one of my special boys is gone!! I knew he had been ill this past week, but I'm sorry to learn the outcome. As you know, he was quite special to me. Big hugs, Polly