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, March 16, 2015

A Short Story: Running Away (Part 5)

I have driven hard all day--long flat stretches of monotonous freeway, tires humming, music blasting, kids squabbling, and me worrying about my sanity. I wonder if Shannon found a public pay phone: it just occurred to me that these are hard to find these days. (I should have told her to try the court house.)

When the caffeine no longer works and the kids are driving me crazy, I stop at a Best Western just before I reach Chicago. I buy the kids McDonald's for dinner and then turn them loose in the motel pool in hopes they can burn off some of their pent up energy.

Late at night, unable to sleep, I watch my angels dream as the flickering light from the TV plays across their serene faces. I wonder how I got to this place in life. Blindness. Blind stupidity. As my sister would say, I have an inability to see beneath the surface of things, to read body language, to hear the falseness in words, to know.  I have no clue about that sixth sense my sister seems to live by.

I should be focused on where I am going but instead my brain spins round and round trying to figure out how I got so many things wrong and worried that I am setting myself up for a repeat performance. What if this? What if that? I cannot shut off my brain. I pop a couple of Advil PMs and hope that in the morning I will not feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck.

To be continued

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