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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Columbia River Gorge: Thoughts & Impressions

I recently made my first trip to Oregon, spending a couple of days on the coast at Cannon Beach and the rest of the week on the Columbia River Gorge. It was awesome scenery. Thank God Oregonians have struck the right balance in preserving this area. Yes, there are bridges across this river and dams have tamed what was once a treacherous body of water. Yes, there are mile-long freight trains going up and down both sides of the river all day and night. Nevertheless, development along the river is not overwhelming and intrusive: Mother Nature reigns supreme. Lewis and Clark would immediately recognize the river that they explored back in 1806. It is still majestic and I hope it remains so far into the future. It is a gift to be able to hike through the woods and cliffs overlooking the Columbia. I’m sure if this river was in California, it would be fully developed beyond recognition and we would be sucking it dry. (It was 106 degrees Farenheit yesterday in southern California and no sign of relief or a drop of water.)

So here are a few pictures. It’s easy to imagine what a challenge this region was to early settlers and explorers. We should all be thankful for those who have strived to preserve this beauty for all of us.

Stevenson, Washington

Multnomah Falls

Horsetail Falls

Mt. Hood

Haystack @ Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Cascade Locks, OR

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