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, August 5, 2011

A Story of Survival: Raising a Fist to Death

Today's LA Times had an excellent story about 101-year old Leon Weinstein, a Holocaust survivor. Survivors often have a strong premonition of danger when those around them are in denial. In war time Warsaw, Leon Weinstein and his wife Sima decided that if they didn't survive at least their 18-month old daughter Natalie must survive. So they changed her last name, hung a crucifix around her neck, and pinned a note on her chest begging that his daughter be taken care of in the name of Jesus Christ. On a cold December morning, he set his daughter on the doorstep of a childless couple, hoping they would accept the blond, blue-eyed child as their own.

At a distance, Leon watched in horror as the man he had selected as his daughter's savior picked her up, read the note, and then carried her off to the police station. There was no way to know what fate awaited his daughter.

Leaving his wife with a sympathetic family, Leon headed for the Warsaw ghetto where he became a resistance fighter. Some how he managed to survive the most horrific situations. His wife and family all perished. In the spring of 1945, when the war was over, he set out to look for his daughter. After months of following her trail from convent to convent, he finally found her in a convent next to the ghetto.

It's a  remarkable story of a man who looked death in the face and shook his fist. It's a story about evil in the world that we should remember for these times.

No comments:

Post a Comment