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.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mojitos for Survival

It’s been awfully hot lately--98 degrees most days in the OC unless you’re near the beach. The garden is singed around the edges, but the mint is looking just fine. Do something useful with that persistent plant. Grab a few handfuls--enough so you can pack a measuring cup with the leaves. Bring it to a boil in one cup of sugar and one cup of water. Remember this ratio for life. 1:1:1 Let it cool for a half hour, strain it, and now you have a simple mint syrup for Mojitos that can be refrigerated.

Okay, there are a million ways to make Mojitos. If you like the kinds that are muddled with a pestle, then this is not your recipe.

But if you like a refreshing buzz without having to pick mint leaves out of your teeth, here is your personal cocktail for a hot summer day.

Juice of one lime
1 jigger of white rum (Bacardi)
1 jigger of mint syrup
Sparkling water (San Pellegrino)
Mint leaves and thin slices of lime for garnish

So there you have it. My prescription for survival. I'm hoping this puts me in the right frame of mind for editing/writing this weekend.

Does this work for you?


  1. Looks good, sounds good, must be good! I'm gonna run outside right now to make sure my mint hasn't fried from neglect.