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, May 12, 2014

A Mouthful of Sand

For Mothers' Day I got a mouthful of sand. It seemed everyone in Orange County decided that the best way to celebrate mothers was to take them to the beach. We thought we would snag a picnic table at El Morro and then use the tunnel to cross over to the Crystal Cove beach afterwards. As it turned out, we arrived too late and the parking lot was full so we ended up parking at Crystal Cove State Beach and hiking down the cliff like pack mules loaded down with food, towels, blankets, and sun umbrellas.

It was a beautiful sunny day but very windy. We anchored our umbrellas low against the sand using our picnic baskets as ballast. The water was cold but a beautiful dark blue. We managed to eat our picnic lunch, but not without a little sand. (I guess that's good for the gizzard.) My two grand kids collected shells, ran in and out of the water, tracked sand over all the blankets, and amused the adults with their antics.

At the end of the afternoon, we had to shake out the sand the best we could and haul everything back up the cliff.  By then I was looking forward to going home for a shower to get rid of all the sand on my clothing, legs, and feet. Nevertheless, I am grateful for my two daughters and, well, I take them with a few grains of sand.

I could have sworn this morning at breakfast, I heard the crunch of a grain of sand on my back molar as I bit into a piece of toast.

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