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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Little People: The Magic of Being a Child

If fate grants you loving and wise parents and a safe, secure home, chances are you will be blessed with that idyllic bubble in life called childhood. For a space of a few years, before reality intervenes, you have the luxury of indulging your imagination. The world is a magical place and your memories are happy ones. This is a gift that can color your whole adult life. Unfortunately, too many children in this world don't get to experience a happy childhood. They live in fear and confusion. Many are hungry and abused. These children rarely get to experience the magic of being a child. They are little people trying to survive in a scary adult world.

My grandchildren are crazy, inquisitive kids. They are loved and secure. These little people each have their own quirky personalities and they are learning so much. It's fun to watch them because they are magical at this age. Too soon they will have to learn to deal with the real world, but you hope they retain enough of this sense of magic to get them through life.

The following depression-era picture is of my father. At the age of three his mother died and his father sent his two older brothers to live with an uncle. My father was handed off to his grandparents, farmers who had lost all their savings. His grandfather was disabled. I imagine taking care of a toddler and a husband in a wheelchair was quite a challenge for my great grandmother. And for my father, I am sure there was not much happiness as you can tell from this picture. The love and loyalty of this little dog he is embracing no doubt helped him survive a childhood that was too soon shattered by the death of his mother and separation from his brothers.

This is a  photo my father took of me as a child. We always had a kennel full of hunting dogs in addition to all kinds of farm animals. I think my father's lonely childhood taught him a great appreciation for animals. They were probably the only magic in his childhood. They were certainly an important part of the magic in my life and they taught me a great deal.  I still remember my pony Lady who always looked out for me like I belonged to her and the loyal little Bantam rooster who waited for me on the front porch each morning and followed me around wherever I went.

Give all the little people in your life that precious space in time for the magic of imagination and play. Today I'll take my crazy little people to the beach and playground.


  1. A lovely post. Childhood is so precious, I wish I'd had more time as a mother but now I can give my time for the next generation.

    1. Thank you, Sally. It's just so unfortunate that not everyone gets the gift of childhood.

  2. So beautiful! I do hope you'll stop by and pick up your Sunshine award. Your blog is always filled with it!