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, June 15, 2011

The Face of Evil

It was dusk. The sky was clear over the mountains; the moon was rising. I hate exercising, but I agreed to a three-mile walk with my husband anyway. My husband had to stop at the corner liquor store to buy a lottery ticket. (When will he ever get lucky?) I'm the antisocial writer so I waited outside and gazed at the sky. He's the talker. Mr. Sociable. He likes to talk to the manager because he's Syrian and my husband was born and raised in Syria.

My hands smelled of the bushel of oranges I had juiced earlier that evening. I eavesdropped on the snippets of conversation in English and Arabic. I learned that the store manager had just brought his wife and fifteen-year old son from Syria. None too soon, it seems. The son's best friends had been killed and dismembered. Lately in the news, Syria is the face of evil. Killing and torturing children to frighten the populace. Burning down whole towns and forcing its people to flee to the borders of Turkey for safety. Long before my husband was born, most of his relatives were killed by the Turks. His parents survived and made it to safety in Syria. How ironic that Syrians must now flee to Turkey for safety.

My hands are scented with the perfume of oranges, and I am glad I am in America, but I know evil can thrive anywhere. There's always someone who wants to take your life away. Am I a realist or a pessimist?


  1. It's really sad that people are so willing to harm each other.

    I hope that the boy and his mother will find peace now.

  2. The Face of Evil is eloquent. How many times can our hearts be broken by violence?

    Beautiful lines, "My hands are scented with the perfume of oranges...."

  3. Thanks for dropping by, Louella.