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.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Mysteries of Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon or Canon de los Indios ( is located in the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County. I had never heard about it until this week when they decided to have an open house for the public in celebration of this land gift from Irvine Company chairman Donald Bren.

This canyon was wild country at one time--populated with American fur traders, Mexicans, and horse-stealing Tongva Indians. There are stories of ghosts and ranchos. All I can say is that it's extraordinarily beautiful and a great place for biking and hiking and spinning a story.

The park is not easily accessible to the public. Today was one of those rare opportunities, although I believe you can get access if you participate in the docent-led activities. There are easy, moderate, and strenuous trails. Black Star Canyon Road connects to the Cleveland National Forest.

It's a beautiful, beautiful place. I will have to find out more about it--and the ghosts.


  1. Such beautiful photos. That's a place of inspiration for me. Someday I would like to go to a place like that.

  2. Lovely pictures. I'm dropping off an award:

    You deserve it!

  3. Thanks for the award, Catherine! Lovely surprise.

  4. Nice pictures, thanks for sharing them!

    If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! It's the ultimate grudge match between social media and the zombies. Details are here: