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.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Papa: Hemingway in Cuba - Movie Review

It’s the late 50s and Ed Myers, a junior reporter at Miami Herald, writes a fan letter to Ernest Hemingway. A week later, to his complete disbelief, he receives an invitation from Hemingway and his fourth wife Mary to join them in Havana.

The movie was shot during the economic embargo at Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s actual home. It is based on an autobiographical script by Denne Petitclerc. The story is told from Petitclerc’s point of view through the character, Ed Myers.

So here’s the story. Abandonned by his father as a child, Ed Myers is in need of a father figure, and well, perhaps Hemingway was in need of an admiring son. It’s a rather tedious movie about Hemingway’s dark genius and his preoccupation in his later years with his sexual and creative impotence. Throw in the Cuban revolution for a little spice and the pursuit by an FBI agent who has it in for Papa. It’s still a rather bland stew punctuated by bouts of rage, paranoia, and alcoholism. The story has an uneven weave to it, like it was just swatches of dull dialog and actions patched together. I think there was more to Hemingway than this. While the locale is authentic and actor Adrian Sparks looks like Hemingway, something is definitely missing in the telling.

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