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.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Movie Review: The Master

I needed a little escape from my novel writing/publishing tasks on Friday so we went to see The Master with Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Hoffman. I'm a big fan of Joaquin Phoenix, but The Master is not a movie for escape. If you have ever seen Joaquin Phoenix playing big, strapping Johnny Cash, you will be stunned to see him play an emaciated, alcoholic, slump-shouldered World War II veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. The character Freddie Quill is crazy out of his mind, violent, and struggling to adjust after coming home from the war. He runs through a string of jobs and is mainly sustained by his home-made alcoholic beverage which is based on paint thinner. One night, while drunk, he boards the yacht of Lancaster Dodd who is the leader of a philosophical movement/cult known as The Cause. For whatever reason, Lancaster Dodd, the Master, takes a keen interest in Freddie Quill despite his violent, erratic behavior, and Quill becomes an experiment, a test of Dodd's philosophy. Also Dodd is very fond of Quill's homemade hooch. Soon Dodd's followers become uncomfortable with Quill, and the disturbing side to Dodd's charismatic personality is also revealed. I won't spoil your viewing of this movie by giving away any more details, except to say that it is a dark psychological tale. The acting is superb, but you will not get a lift from this movie. Insight maybe, but not lift.

No comments:

Post a Comment