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 12, 2012

Sticks and Stones

Whatever happened to that old childhood adage sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me? Recently, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sentenced two Armenian men for killing a teenager three years ago because he sent an insulting text message. A young man, perhaps overly protective, sends a text message to his girlfriend in which he calls one of her friends a bitch. Somehow the maligned friend sees the text message and is so infuriated she asks her brother to beat up the fellow. So a meeting is arranged in a Sears parking lot in North Hollywood between the teenager and his friends and the brother and his friends. After a brief conversation, one man attacks the teenager and another pulls out a gun and shoots him in the back of the head. There you have it: an insult and a girl who incites retribution which results in murder. Finally after fleeing and evading arrest for a couple of years, the murderers are caught and given sentences of 50 years to life and 25 years to life. The offended girl and her brother are sentenced to five years probation and 1000 hours of community service for conspiracy to commit assault. Lives destroyed. All of this for a word. Bitch.

It's an ugly story, but true. Perhaps the murdered boy was correct in his assessment of the girl he called bitch; she was capable of instigating his murder.


  1. I once wrote a post about how words and cause injury, pain, and death. I'm sorry to say this is an example. It is so senseless. Another post spoke today of the need for all of us to take a step back and rethink our responses. The world is going to change soon, are we ready?

  2. So true, Yolanda. Thanks for your comment.

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  4. Its sad what our society has been reduced to. People seem to bring a gun or knife to every argument, no matter how frivolous. Is getting so you can't disagree with anyone - let alone be rude or cuss them out - without threat of violence or court action.

    Its a sad world, and this story proves that.