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, September 23, 2011

Once Upon a Blue Moon

The first time I heard the banging noise from my upstairs bedroom window, it was a black, starless night. I couldn’t see a thing when I stumbled from my bed to the open window. All I could hear was the roar of an engine as a car took off. The next morning we discovered that someone had smashed our mail box to smithereens.

We had to have a mail box so, of course, we replaced it, figuring lightning wouldn’t strike twice. A couple weeks later, we were again awakened by the sound of our mail box being demolished. My husband flew out of bed in his usual half asleep state and nearly flung himself through the screen window before I grabbed him.

We informed the local police, but I decided to take my own revenge. I hammered long nails into thin strips of wood. Every night I placed the strips on the street in front of my mailbox. Another week went by. I now was so sensitive to sound that the slightest noise would wake me. When I heard the clatter of one of my boards being spun into a wheel well, I thought for sure I had caught my man. I jumped to the window only to see a patrol car slowly pull away from our house and then abruptly stop. Oh shit. I had visions of some police officer pounding on the front door, but then, much to my relief, the patrol car drove on.  In the dead of night, I slinked out of the house onto the dewy front lawn and quickly retrieved my wooden strips.

It was a blue moon that last night our visitor came. If a leaf were to fall off a tree, you could have heard the sound ricochet off all the homes in the neighborhood. I was deep asleep when all of the sudden I sat up and went to the window. In the moonlight, I saw the slender figure of a man as he raised a baseball bat or club and approached the mail box. All of the sudden a deep voice croaked. “Hey you, get out of there.” The voice boomed loudly through the slumbering neighborhood. The startled man ran to his car and floored it. It took me a moment to realize that the eerie voice had come from my own throat. He never returned.


  1. I particularly like the descriptive last paragraph. The "if a leaf were to fall" is lovely.

  2. Love this story, but, but... [whimpering] where's the romance?

    You made me laugh about the strips and the cop car- you coulda got in trouble, bad there. Welcome!

  3. Hi,

    Fabulous thrilling fun read, but awww, no romance!


  4. I'd be so scared to hear this voice! Must be some low timbre happening!


  5. My bad. I just ran with the story that popped into my head. I will not stray again.

  6. An intriguing read...I would have love to know why someone was destroying her mailbox. Oh yes, and some romance too. :)

  7. This story makes me very curious. Your writing grabs me, keeps me reading, but it feels unfinished. I'm betting that you wrote a longer piece and had to cut it down until you losts some important parts of the plot. (I do this myself.)

    Why would anyone want to destroy a mailbox? I demand an explanation!

    Forget about the word limit and finish this story. It could be great!

    Best wishes,
    (My own text for this theme is far from perfect. I am still working on it. )

    Anna's REWers Challenge No 20 'Blue Moon'

  8. The mailbox destroyer is a young man who wants some revenge against the husband for some imagined affront. So this story could go lots of directions and obviously needs more flesh on the bones, but I am just trying to finish editing my novel. The end of my novel is giving me a headache and I have got to sit down and do it. But once in a blue moon, you need to take a break and get some fresh air. :-) Thanks for all your comments.

  9. There's that sense of something unusual and perhaps a little scary. The blue moon fits in perfectly. I like the bit at the end too where the character describes what it is like to hear her own voice.