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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tarot Tales #2: The Fool

0 - The Fool
The first card in the Major Arcana is the Fool. It doesn't even merit a number; it's a big, fat zero. This is my rendition of the Fool in watercolor. I'm kind of a fool too. I just started taking a class in watercolor and I'm wingin' it. I've got a lot to learn, but the story behind the Fool is this: innocence. It is the beginning of whatever journey you are on. You are impulsive, intuitive, and you pursue your dreams with childlike simplicity.

Look at this guy. He's taking a leap of faith. Whether he's splashing through water (which I failed to render very well) or teetering on a cliff, he trusts in the future. He has the courage to speak the truth and search for his own liberation.

April Fool's Day is coming up. (Incidentally, it's my oldest daughter's birthday.) Ever wonder why we need to dedicate a day to being foolish? Perhaps it's the beginning of spring and we look forward to the joy and mystery of seeing the world recreate itself. We are the child that needs to revel in silliness.

The Fool begins the journey of life as a zero and travels this circle until he completes the Major Arcana, the path of wisdom, and comes back to himself. The Fool is irresistibly propelled forward, and if he can allow himself to be detached from the outcome, he will eventually complete his journey and return to the source of all mysteries.

In retrospect, I suppose I could have loaded this little painting up with all kinds of symbols, but I think the most important thing to understand about the Fool is that he is drawn forward into the world, unafraid and trusting in the outcome. He is all potential. He is like the writer that sits down and places a blank sheet of paper on his desk.

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