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, February 6, 2015

Life is Too Damned Complicated

Sometimes I wonder how we humans survive this constant onslaught of life complications in this modern era. There is so much knowledge that you need to have beyond basic life skills in our society.

This week I am recovering from cancer surgery on my left thigh. I'm not looking for sympathy because there are many people who are going through far worse than I am BUT it's nevertheless a damn inconvenient complication.

Then my husband's iphone begins to malfunction so I decide it's time to replace both of our phones. There went a day researching phone plans, upgrade options, etc. I finally order the phones.

In the meantime, the HD-DVR for our cable service needed to be replaced. Great. More stuff to remember, more stuff to learn.

The phones arrive and I have to figure out how to back up the phones. I roundup all the usernames and passcodes I will need. I manage to backup my phone to iCloud and port it all to my new phone, however, the WIFI on my husband's phone has failed so I can't back his phone with iCloud. I try iTunes but iTunes will only recognize my phone on the MAC. I know there is a way to fix this but I don't have all afternoon to research and implement it so I download iTunes to my PC and finally, finally I succeed in backing up his phone to iCloud and then downloading to his new phone. That was a little miracle. Of course, there is the gotcha they don't mention when you update your iphones: you have to update the software on the iMAC in order to be able to use iCloud on your phone. Geesch. Now I have to wrestle with the iMAC.

Meanwhile the sprinkler system is acting up. It has been leaking small pools of water on the perimeter of the patio. The water indicates no leakage but when we cycle the sprinkler system through its stations, the valves rattle, the sprinklers pump up and down, and the water doesn't shut off until I turn it off at the main sprinkler shut-off. Voila! A $600 repair bill to replace the cheap valves the contractor installed a year ago.

Also, our new Toyota has to go in for its first maintenance appointment. Nothing like driving around in a computer. Sometimes the car doesn't pair with my cell phone. Occasionally it fails to load the navigation. So we pull over and restart the car--errr, reboot the car. Incidentally, I still have not taken the time to learn all the features on this car. It gives me a headache. Really, all I need to do is get safely from point A to point B. I have fond memories of our first car--a burnt orange 1972 Chevy Monte Carlo with a black Landau top. It was a beautiful thing, more like a wild horse than a computer. Turn the ignition key, press the gas, blast-off.

Of course, it's tax time so I drag out my worksheet and the accumulation of papers I will need to turn over to our tax preparer, This is one of life's complications that I refuse to participate in. I just pull everything together and let the tax preparer figure it out.

So what's next? I have a log to-do list of ordinary shopping and errands. All I want to do is prop my leg up on a pillow and take a nap on the couch, Fat chance. I'm dog sitting. Luna, my youngest daughter's puppy, is taking a nap but that will probably only give me a short breather and then Luna will be another complication in my life. I'm supposed to keep this wild animal quiet because she has a torn ACL. Luna has become such a complication in my daughter's life that I fear my daughter will never have human babies. This dog is teaching her that motherhood is a lifetime complication. Amen to that.

Okay, so I got that off my chest. Maybe next week won't be so challenging. But what happens when my brain finally melts down and I can't remember my own name and all my passwords?


  1. Gadzooks. We have to get phones too. I didn't know it was called "porting" - getting the stuff out of the iCloud. Now I'm scared. You're right - everything is too complicated. And you can only squish so much into the old noggin before it starts to protest. Re-booting the car would be absolutely too much. Shouldn't some manufacturer be making an OFC - old farts car without any gadgets? Mercy.

  2. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!