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.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Movie Review: The Martian

With the proliferation of outer space movies, one might guess this trend is a harbinger of things to come in the future of the human race. The day will arrive when we’ve finally succeeded in messing things up so well here on Earth that we have to wend our way through all the debris in space and find a new home. Forget about the spirit of adventure: space exploration is all about survival.

The Martian is a feel-good movie. Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, a NASA botanist who is injured during a violent sandstorm on Mars. The mission must be aborted and Watney’s team of fellow astronauts, who assume he has been killed, reluctantly leave him behind. Finding himself injured, alone, and with a limited food supply, Watney must figure out how to survive and how to communicate with the Space Center. When the Space Center discovers that Watney is alive, there is a huge effort by NASA and international scientists to figure out all the tricky logistics of getting Watney safely back to Earth. The Martian is about survival in an alien place under the most difficult circumstances. Drawing on his own wit and ingenuity, Watney methodically works through all the options available to him but it is the help of those back on Earth that gives us hope for the human race.

It’s an enjoyable, realistic space movie. Best of all, it gives you a glimpse into the future. Go see it.

1 comment:

  1. We liked it. Made me appreciate potatoes even more, if that's possible.