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, April 7, 2014

Movie Review: Lunchbox

What a title, you say. Doesn’t sound very interesting. It conjures up pictures of school lunches and the cubicle life many of us have had to endure. This is the story of a young neglected housewife, an office worker who is approaching retirement, and the mistaken delivery of a lunchbox that engages them in a dream of the human touch that eludes them in their daily life. The story takes place in Mumbai, India and is subtitled in English.

Mumbai’s lunchbox delivery system efficiently delivers meals from housewives to their spouses or from restaurants to workers who have contracted for their midday meal.

In the first moments of the film, you are introduced to the hurly-burly of the city. Mumbai feels like a spirit-crushing environment in which to survive—overcrowded, rushed, dirty, chaotic. Ila, housewife and mother to a young school-age daughter, cooks her husband a special lunch in hopes of winning a little attention from him. She packs the hot lunch in a multi-tiered metal lunch canister and hands it over to the dabbawala for delivery. Curious why her husband shows no interest in her cooking, she slips a note in his lunchbox on the following day, unaware that the lunch is not going to her husband but to a lonely widower and office worker named Saajan. This begins as an innocent exchange of notes between Ila and Saajan but quickly evolves into a deep virtual friendship that allows them to share their fears and hopes and reach out to each other for the small joys that evade them.

This is a delicately told story about the human spirit and how a virtual friendship can come to have a strong hold on desperate people, resulting in a conflict between fantasy and their day-to-day reality. Go see this movie!

4 comments:

  1. As a food person I've always admired the incredible efficiency of the Indian lunch box system. I've got to
    see the film. Not altogether on the subject, but we saw antique tiffin boxes in Vienna over Christmas selling
    for up to $1000.00. Astonishing. Happy Easter!

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    1. Yes, I've seen photos of some very exotic looking tiffin boxes. Hope you enjoy the film!

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  2. What an intriguing film with such a pedantic name. Thanks for the recommendation. Mumbai! Great! I've read about the lunch box system and the laundry system.

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    1. By the way, Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boos is an excellent non fiction book about Mumbai. It's very well-written and reads as fluidly as a novel.

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