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 4, 2013

October: Changing Your Perspective

There is a rhythm to seasons that is very distinct in some parts of the country and very subtle in other parts. On a recent trip to Canada to visit family, the colors were already beginning. Pretty flowers lined the streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake, but in wooded areas the maples were starting to turn red. I tried to remember what it was like when I lived in Minnesota and the Fall air turned cool and crisp on a sunny fall day. You could smell and feel the change of the approaching season. It was an event to prepare for. You harvested the last of the garden. You bought a cord of wood for the fireplace. You put away the spring and summer clothes and brought out the winter ones. You put a shovel, sand, jumper cables, and a survival kit in the trunk of your car.

In Southern California, I have to rely on my instincts, that internal clock that says the days are growing shorter despite the profusion of flowers and sunny days. You can ignore the seasons if you choose to and Mother Nature rarely gives you a slap in the face. But elsewhere there is a decent into a cold world of gray skies and leafless trees. Then comes the snow and ice. You must rearrange your life. Your perspective changes.

I like these photos of flowers and leaves that I took in Canada--the end of a season and the beginning of a new one. In California, I remind myself of these changes by ripping out the last of the vegetable garden and laying down a weed mat. I prune bushes and trees. I look forward to days when there might be gray skies and even rain because they change your perspective and remind you that there is a rhythm and cycle as we spin with the world in the universe.
And so I plan to hunker down with my writing and art projects. I look forward to the arrival of shorter days and maybe, just maybe, a few cold, rainy days that will keep me from playing outdoors. In any event, I plan to write something scary for October and also pick up my novel writing again.

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