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, October 12, 2015

The Seer (Part 5)

The following short story is a continuation of the Seer series:
It's true I see the world through dark glass. I see the clouds in your sky and I call it as I see it but sometimes the glass is rose colored. Sometimes I catch the ray of sunshine that puts a smile on your lips or makes your heart skip a beat for joy or wonder. I might see the storm that is brewing but I might also see the miracle waiting on your horizon. I have to laugh at myself. Psychic weather reporter. I hope I am more accurate than the cute girl with the skin-tight short skirt on the local weather channel.

And so this Saturday morning I am standing at the end of my driveway. I have just stuffed a handful of bills in the mailbox as I look around to locate the source of the cacophony of squealing children and barking dogs. I see the young teenage boys running behind three leashed dogs, big dogs, barking and straining in their pursuit of a cat. I am not troubled for the cat. It is faster than greased lightning. But then I see a red-headed, freckle-faced boy ahead of the pack as he raises a mewling fuzzball of kitten in his fist and he dances in circles before the unruly hoard. The dogs leap forward; their boys hold them back, laughing hysterically. Then the boy pulls back his arm and launches the kitten.

"Stop," I yell at them.

The kitten lands on his feet and skitters under a large bush near the end of my property, then zigzags across the lawn toward my house.

"Shame on you."

They laugh and contemplate tearing across my lawn after the kitten. "Let the dogs go," someone yells.

I raise my cell phone. "The cops are on their way."

They scurry off.

And then I see him--a small teary-eyed boy shuffling down the sidewalk, choking back his sobs.

"Your kitten?" I ask.

He pushes out his lower lip and nods, eyes me suspiciously.

"I think we might find your kitten. Shall we look?"

He looks up at me from under long wet lashes.

"He will be very frightened." Somewhere a little heart is pounding in a 2-pound, wide-eyed kitten. "What is your kitten's name?"


I detect the light trembling of leaves and I look up at the flame-red blooms of the African tulip tree. I sigh. "I think we need a ladder." I point.

He smiles and wipes his eyes with his chubby little fist.

I wish I could dish out some karma to this little boy's tormentors but I will settle for the safe return of the kitten to the little boy who loves her. He is a good soul rising. Anyone can see that. I send him off with a cookie and a kitten.