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, August 10, 2011

Just One Little Thing

The stories on the news and in the paper, whether local, national, or international, are all too much to bear. They are stories that incite sadness, rage, disgust, and an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. The world feels like it is coming apart at the seams. Somebody give us some respite from this deluge of worldwide madness and chaos.

I want to put my head in the sand so that's what I did this week, figuratively speaking, but I accomplished one thing that pleased me. One thing is some thing. It's better than nothing.

Recently, I asked a graphic artist friend of mine to mock up a book cover for my work-in-progress. You know, something I could use for target practice--well, at least as a constant reminder that I need to focus on completing my edit and rewrite. He sent me three mockups, all of which I disliked. I have to blame myself. I somehow failed to communicate. What happened next, I can't quite explain. I picked up a sketchpad and put together a rather crude drawing that features a red, flatbed Ford that appears throughout my novel. I had never thought about it before, but that Ford is my story's ship. So here is my iPhone snap of my sketch. I'm hoping my friend will clean it up and drop in a title--for target practice.

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