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, December 14, 2011

Jane Fonda's New Face

Jane Fonda is not one of my favorite celebrities, but I freely admit she's a fairly good actress and a  talented, successful human being. Over the years we've seen her in the movies, the news, and on exercise DVDs. We remember her sparkling blue eyes and the famous Fonda smile.

Last week I caught a Piers Morgan interview of Jane Fonda. The first thing that struck me was that she no longer resembled herself. The familiar wrinkles around her blue eyes are gone. The skin on her cheeks and throat is taut. She's 74 years old, but could pass for 34. I kept staring at the face that I could no longer recognize and listened to her discuss her life. Even her conversation seemed artificial, somehow stripped of her true self. She looked uncomfortable in her new skin. It made me uncomfortable. She recently stated on the Rosie Show that she was ashamed that she went back on her vow to never undergo a face lift.

Most women do not gracefully accept the ravages of aging, certainly not me. I appreciate the obsession with keeping up appearances but I wonder about a woman who has successfully erased her own face and possibly her own personality. So as I am laying here flat on my back and trying to keep my shattered left arm elevated so it doesn't swell up and turn purple, I wonder. I wonder about a woman who has successfully erased her own face and possibly that sparkle of personality that used to be her. I'm confused by it all, but I know how it happens. One day you look in the mirror and you realize the person in the mirror doesn't match the image in your mind's eye. Well, I for one, never liked what I saw in the mirror and I like it even less now, but I do recognize myself.

So what do you think about this modern dilemma of to be or not to be. Where do you draw that line between being your authentic self and fooling mother nature? When is it a good thing and when does vanity become a joke?

No comments:

Post a Comment