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.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: Olive Kitteridge

I read a review of the movie Olive Kitteridge recently and decided to download the novel before seeing the film. I think I'll skip the movie.

I admit I am not being fair to the book and I am prejudging the movie, but I have always hated stories of ordinary. I consider myself to be ordinary, but the last thing I want to do is read a book or see a film about ordinary lives of quiet desperation. I confess I pushed through the book too rapidly, not bothering to keep straight the cast of characters and their complicated relationships. I already know people like this. I skimmed through the dialog; it wasn't anything I haven't heard before. I kept hoping for a little unexpected excitement to show up, something awesome or unpredictable, some great revelation. I live for the moments of extraordinary and, if I can't find enough of them in my own life, then I'm quite happy to vicariously experience someone else's extraordinary moments.

Nevertheless, I am not a lover of fantasy. I'm all for a strong dose of reality in literature or film, but I want that magical joust with the confines of ordinary life. Break out. Transcend. Overcome. Bust up. Take off. Blow it away. Since childhood I have hungered for extraordinary when I first read King Arthur and His Knights. Give me an adventure.

Oh, Olive. Just because you've lived and stumbled through your life like the rest of us and ended up learning a thing or two doesn't mean you've got an interesting story to tell. I don't want to hear it.

Tell me if I've got it all wrong.

1 comment:

  1. I guess that's why I like fantasy and sci fi; breaks me out of my humdrum life.