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 8, 2013

Movie Review: Mud

I had no intention of ever seeing this movie, but somehow I ended up watching it and I was pleasantly surprised. It is the story of two young boys, Ellis and Neckbone, who covet a boat lodged in the treetops on a Mississippi island. It is here that they meet Mud, who is on the run for killing a Texas man who abused the love of his life, Juniper. Well, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) is in town and so is the father of the man he killed. The father has formed his own posse to hunt down Mud.

The story is kind of a Mark Twain type adventure and coming of age story. Mud, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a big story teller and he appeals to the lively imaginations of Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland). Mud has told them that he is hoping to connect with Juniper and he enlists their help in acquiring food and then eventually the things he needs to extract the storm-lodged boat from the trees and get it in working order.

Ellis is a romantic. He's traumatized by the impending divorce of his parents and his attraction to a pretty local girl. Mud's story of undying love and commitment appeals to him and so he commits himself to the adventure. The story is told against the backdrop of gritty, southern river life. The characters are unique, but Ellis and Neckbone steal the show. They are truly gifted actors.

The story builds slowly at first as it introduces the characters and gives us a Southern experience before it turns into high suspense. It's not a "great" movie, but it is definitely a solid one. It's worth the price of admission.


  1. Matthew McConaughey really seems to have turned his career around. He's been in lots of interesting movies instead of romcoms with his shirt off.


    1. Ah, yes--he has done quite a few romcoms sans shirt, but he is a capable actor when he wants to be. He is not an actor with a wide range in terms of the kinds of characters he plays. I love actors who can completely transform themselves and play diverse roles.