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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Grim Reaper

I don't do death very well. I won't go to funerals. The only funeral I've ever gone to in my entire life was my grandfather's when I was eight years old. My psyche tries to prepare me for these events through dreams or premonitions so that I have time to pull myself together--to work out the sorrow in dribs and drabs rather than an overwhelming paroxysm of grief.

A few days ago my father died at 90, a month after the death of my stepmother, who died of leukemia. He lived in a supposedly good nursing home, but they apparently neglected his care and he developed gangrene. The horrible choice came down to death by gangrene or death by amputation. We chose gangrene and he only lasted a week. On the day before his death, I lit a candle for him and whispered into the flickering flame: It's time for you to go, Daddy. Your body is too broken and worn out. Be free. Follow the light to the other side. He died the following morning. I had a few years to prepare for this death. Logically, he should have preceded my stepmother in death a long time ago, but I dreamed she would die first. When she died, I feared he would not be far behind. And so it was. Ninety is a lot of years. You don't have to be psychic to predict that death is just around the corner. I prepared myself for the inevitable. When the time came, I was relieved that he would no longer have to suffer the indignity of this never ending death march. I pulled myself together and wrote the obituary. But ask me if I want to attend a funeral service and I will tell you NO. That I cannot do. That will break my heart.


  1. Such a sad time, Linda!! I know how it goes. My dad couldn't live without Mama, so he went only 17 days after Mama. He was 87 and she was 81. Even though you know they are both elderly, sick or infirm, you are never really prepared for when the "inevitable" actually happens. Hugs and love for you, my friend!!

  2. Thanks for your kind thoughts, Polly.

  3. I can Not breathe in a funeral home. I think there is a lot of emotion hidden underneath what you wrote and I think if you go deeper, well who knows. Have a great day! I really enjoy your blog and I understand having a huge assortment of interests, it is a blessing and a curse.

    Elizabeth Scanes