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, October 21, 2011

Sandvox for Writers

I do all my writing on a laptop PC because my novel is in Word and I’m perfectly happy to leave well enough alone. But I recently bought an iMac, which I have come to love almost as much as my iPhone. Some things drive my PC mind crazy, but all in all, the iMac is a fantastic machine. It opens a lot of creative doors to just ordinary users.

I’m in no hurry, but I decided that at some point in the future I need to create an author website. I took one look at my laptop screen and thought—no way. That big beautiful iMac screen is the only way to go. But what software to use? I decided I wanted something quick, easy and fairly versatile. I did not want to write HTML code. I don’t need another career. I recall coding HTML years ago just to create a few simple pages. Nope. Not doing that. I’ve got a novel to finish.

I settled on Sandvox. I’m just getting my feet wet, but it’s fairly simple to set up a basic website structure. There are plenty of templates to choose from and you can modify them. Karelia Software provides a very nice video overview and online help, although I would have preferred a more in depth, step-by-step process.

The first advice to myself was to look at other author websites and see what I like. My second piece of advice is to storyboard and get together text and graphics I want to use. That’s where I’m at – play mode. If you have used Sandvox and have any tips, I’d love to hear them.

1 comment:

  1. Hello there! Thanks for commenting on my flood story this week. Pretty scary considering we're being told it's all going to happen again this season. Gulp!

    I'm very interested in your web page experiments. I haven't used Sandvox but I'll be returning to see what others say. I wonder if I need to make a dedicated website rather than relying on a sometimes dodgy blogger.