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, June 23, 2014

Movie Review: The Immigrant

Ellis Island
We Americans like our happy endings and bigger-than-life characters. The actors—Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner all give excellent performances, but The Immigrant is a little too dark and dreary for me. It’s not just the story that’s dreary, but the filming is done in sepia tones that allow no ray of sunshine to break through. Two Polish sisters, Ewa and Magda, arrive at Ellis Island in the early part of the 20th century. Magda is ill and ends up in quarantine, while Ewa is left to her own devices to avoid deportation. Ewa quickly falls victim to Bruno, a charming but evil man who forces her into prostitution as she desperately tries to survive and reunite with her sister. Her uncle, whom she had hoped would help her and Magda, disowns her and throws her out on the street. Bruno’s character deceives and mistreats Ewa but falls in love with her. To complicate matters, Bruno’s cousin Emil also falls for Ewa. For Ewa, it’s a dark struggle of desperation and disappointment as she hopes that either Bruno or Emil will help her reunite with her sister. In the end, Ewa takes matters into her own hands and manages to persuade her aunt to provide the money she needs to get her sister out of quarantine.

It’s a film that leaves you as hungry for happiness as Ewa herself.

1 comment:

  1. James Gray's film, The Immigrant, understands hopeless desperation like few other motion pictures.