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 28, 2014

Flash Fiction: Blinders

The following snippet of flash fiction is probably the kernel of a second book that has a working title called Blinders. I don't know about the title or content. I am just putting it out there and letting it spin around in my brain.

     A cool mist had settled on the twilight trail behind their neighborhood. She felt it brush against her face like a feather. Her hair kinked into damp ringlets. Ahead, her husband Jake and their dog Jersey trotted along the path. Trail lights began to flicker on. Sonya buttoned up her sweater, turned up the collar, and buried her hands in the pockets. She picked up her pace to keep up with Jake, but she had to glance over her shoulder. Something was there, lurking in the bushes, ducking between trees, calling her name softly. She wasn’t in the least bit frightened, just curious. Her imagination was playing tricks. Perhaps it was all just boredom with the routine after-dinner hike that had provoked the curious sensation of being touched and spoken to.

     “I am here.”

     The voice was commanding and seductive. Sonya’s eyes searched for the source of the voice and realized it was all in her head. She smiled at the silliness of the game she was playing with herself. Nevertheless, she could not shake the sense of a powerful presence.

     “Ignore me if you think you can, but you are called. Here and now.”

     “Called? Who the hell are you?” Sonya whispered to herself.

     “I am the sword.”

     Sonya sniffed and trudged forward. Jake and Jersey were getting too far ahead.

     “You belong to me.”

     Sonya stopped in her tracks. “Say what?”

     “You are bound by our covenant.”

     “What covenant?” Sonya waited for a response, but there was none. Annoyed, she started to run. She was falling too far behind. She saw Jake stop and heard his muffled call to hurry up.

     “I am the sword of God. When I summon you, you will come. You are bound by the oath you made to me.”

     “Ha. I made no oath to you, What’s-Your-Name, God’s sword. Are you …”

     “Not in this life time, but another.”

     She sputtered her words to interrupt him. “Are you out of your freakin’ mind?”

     “It is time to take up your sword.”

     “Jesus Christ,” Sonya muttered to herself. “I’m having a fucking meltdown. I’m losing my mind.”

     “Find your way in your dreams. In the morning, you will remember who you are and what you promised.”

     Sonya ran faster and as she closed the gap between her and Jake, she heard a crack overhead and then felt a shudder as a large tree branch crashed to ground just in front of her.

     “Sonya,” Jake shouted. “Sonya, are you alright?”

     But all Sonya could hear was the voice: “I am here.”


  1. Is she losing her marbles? Is she using part of her brain henceforth untapped? Is she an alien? Or could she have a tumor in her brain causing hallucinations? Or will she wake up and find it's all a dream? Why doesn't Sonya live in an avocado grove?:):):) I love this beginning....

    1. I bet she lives in an avocado grove. :-)

  2. I loved this Linda. It was suspensful, but would have been even more so if she had been frightened at the beginning.