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.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My First Week of Freedom

I am delirious. I finally shed my full-time job as a technical writer and I'm pursuing my dream of being a novelist. Hah, I can't even say the word. I choke on it from fear. There are lots of things you can choose in life that seem less dangerous. Writing feels like standing naked on a high cliff and knowing you need to take the leap but you are unsure where the boulders are in the rough waters below. Okay, so I'm being overly dramatic. Maybe.

What I've discovered in my first week of freedom is that time goes by much faster than I ever anticipated. I thought I would spend a leisurely morning or two walking the beach and sipping a latté. Instead I find myself in a constant spin. There are so many things vying for my attention and my brain is overflowing with ideas. I feel like my garden--wildly undisciplined, pushing out at the edges.

This week I have begun a class in publishing so that I have a better understanding of all the choices I need to make as an author. I am also working on finishing editing my manuscript and thinking about ideas for cover art.

While I'm going through all of this, I hope to post some occasional pieces of flash fiction or excerpts from my novel as well as things I've learned along the way. Feel free to weigh in with your comments.
This is a rough sketch I did as a placeholder book cover. I expect to hire someone to come up with something much better than this. It looks grade school, but there are some important story elements in the picture that are a starting point for discussion with an artist who knows about book design.

So, now I better get to work.


  1. Great post, you have a wonderful writing style. Love the cover art, too.

    ~ Olivia J. Herrell

  2. I do like the drawing; and its much better than the stick figures I draw :)

    Oh, I'm so envious of you getting to quit the day job and write full time. I'm so looking forward to that day. I always feel my vacation days go by way to fast, and I never get all I want done.

    I hope this enthusiasm lingers for you a long while :)


  3. Hello Linda. I've already said how I like your temp. cover. The colours stand out and looks like there is a promising story inside.
    You'll need to adjust to being a full-time novelist. Will take some getting used to. You'll settle into a routine eventually. Sometimes when you have that full-time job you make time to write and now you've had that impetus removed. So for a start I guess you need to allocate number of hours or number of words per day.
    Keep us posted.


  4. Thanks, everyone. It's my second week of being "jobless" and I find there are not enough hours in the day. So far so good. I am writing every day and taking a class in self-publishing.

  5. You know, Linda, I still love this cover drawing just as much today as when I first saw it!! It's great...... really....... don't change anything at all.... The mere simplicity of the drawing catches the eye and wants you to open the cover to see what is waiting inside. I love it!!! Polly