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, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving and Persimmons

Finally it's fall and Thanksgiving is here. I'm relieved that the gardening work has slowed up a bit. (It never stops in California.) The persimmons are the last thing that needs tending in the garden for a few weeks.  The Holidays and all that craziness are upon us and I'm trying to give birth to a novel.

Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on the year and count your blessings even though there are some sad days in the mix and we may no longer be able to share this holiday with some of our loved ones. In my case, both my step-mother and my father departed this world last spring so their absence will feel very strange.

This year I am in charge of organizing the Thanksgiving feast. It will be a big turkey with all the trimmings, fresh-baked pesto bread, twice-baked potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts and pears, Waldorf salad, sweet potato casserole, pies, and my favorite Kataifi dessert. (Somewhere among all these dishes there will have to be some persimmons.) I'm sure after a whole day working in the kitchen and taste-testing everything, I won't have much appetite. Hopefully, everyone else will.

After Thanksgiving comes the infamous Black Friday crazy holiday shopping. Not my thing. I'll be doing good if I find all the Christmas decorations in the garage.

In the meantime, if anyone has a great recipe for persimmons, let me know. I made a breakfast bread with ripe persimmons, chopped apple, walnuts and cinnamon that turned out well, but I could use some fresh ideas for recipes.

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