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 8, 2011

A Simple Recipe with a Story

The weekend is coming up and I thought I would share this very simple recipe. Love onion rings? Then this is the recipe and the story of its origin.

When I was a teenager, my family took a vacation in northeastern Canada, somewhere out in the boonies in a cabin on a lake. My memories of this trip are rather fragmented. I definitely remember the deer flies. They were numerous and had a vicious bite worse than any mosquito. I remember the lake (but not the name) and beautiful scenery and the Canadian family that befriended us. My brothers had a crush on one of the young girls in this family, but the most interesting character was the grandmother. She had a heavy Cockney accent and had run a fish and chips shop in a former life. She bestowed her batter recipe for fish on my stepmother, but for some reason, I ended up being the only one who ever made the recipe.

Both of my parents had full time jobs and weekends were a marathon of chores and projects. At the end of a long weekend day, my parents would sometimes fix themselves a stiff drink and put their feet up. This was conversation time in our family if you wanted to participate. All topics were up for grabs and I certainly didn't mind having a stiff drink myself. (My parents' theory about teenagers and drinking was that all experimenting should be done at home. Since my brothers converted to Mormonism, alcohol wasn't really much of an issue, except perhaps where I was concerned.) One duty that fell to me was onion rings. My parents doted on onion rings made with this batter. I whipped up the batter recipe from the Cockney grandmother, sliced the onions, and got the deep fat fryer going. It's a simple recipe, but it makes wonderful onion rings or batter-fried fish and vegetables. Here it is.
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
Enough water to achieve desired consistency

Just whisk all the ingredients together, adding water in small increments until you get the batter thick enough to smoothly coat whatever you are frying. Very simple and delicious.


  1. I love onion rings. Though the problem with some is you bite through the batter but it's hard to bite cleanly through the onion so you wind up pulling all the onion out of the breading.

  2. Onion rings are delicious, but I haven't had them in a while. Thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

  3. Rogue, I always do that, especially with those really good sized onion rings. I'm not sure what the trick is to keeping them from doing that.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe Scheherazade. I'll definitely be using that one. I love onion rings.

  4. Enjoy! I plan to use this recipe when my garden produces some eggplants.

  5. I remember those yummy onions and eggplants when you use to fry them up!

  6. Ooh! I think I'll try this batter for fish. Not much of a onion rings fan.