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, September 28, 2011

Losing It

The list is long of the things we are losing in this country.

Across the country, Republicans are making a concerted effort to erect barriers to voter register. They know average Americans have very little time for complex registration requirements, especially young people, the elderly and disabled, and those who are simply too busy trying to keep body and soul together. They know these Americans, if they could get to the polls, would be the least likely to give their votes to them so they do everything they can to discourage them. Power must remain in the hands of the few, the anointed.

Republicans have set out to destroy Planned Parenthood under the false pretext that they use Federal funds to perform abortions. The truth is they are focused on family planning and women's reproductive health. Without Planned Parenthood, many women would have no access to these services, adversely affecting them and their families, not to mention our country. And when it comes to abortion, why should a victim of rape or incest be subjected to someone else's decision to deny them access to this service? How are we any different from a country that forces women to cover their faces or forbids them to drive? Can we not trust most women to make conscientious decisions about reproduction?

Why are those who are on welfare disparaged as being lazy, unproductive members of society? Of course, there are the few who try to game the system, but for most people welfare is truly a safety net. They would much rather be gainfully employed. In Florida, Rick Scott asserts that people on welfare are more likely to be drug users. Really? A completely false statement. So now welfare recipients must undergo drug testing at taxpayer expense in order to receive welfare. What's all that talk about government interference?

In states like Wisconsin and Ohio, Republicans have swiftly moved to destroy unions. Why? Because unions defend the middle class and they tend to vote Democratic. Although we have all heard stories of union corruption and abuses, the truth is unions have been the catalyst in bringing about safety in the work place and fair wages. They have been the champion on the middle class. They were why America was able to grow a prosperous middle class. But we're losing our grip on the good life. Now teachers, nurses, fire fighters, police, and all the others who belong to unions are being stripped of their right to collective bargaining.

Republicans accuse Democrats of inciting class warfare. Restricting voter registration, outlawing collective bargaining, making reproductive health care inaccessible, demeaning those on welfare---the list goes on. What would you call it? What country am I in?

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