Why I Write

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I loathe “why” questions, though when I turned age 10 through 31 — I became driven by why questions. That’s quite another story.

My sister wrote a fantasy story when she was 11 years old or so and asked me to read it. It was so good I asked her if I could send it off to “Jack and Jill” magazine for possible publication. She said “No.” Subsequently I pleaded her to get it published and that may have had the opposite effect on her desire to write.

Maybe there was some jealousy in me about her writing. I continued to be an avid reader and visual artist. I won several Book Fairs with my posters encouraging people to buy books at our elementary school and won books as prizes for best poster three years running: Jack London, Edgar Allen Poe and Washington Irving. I loved adventures especially outdoor adventures.

I spent 3rd grade through all of High School surrounded by thousands of acres of apple orchards, farms, woods and watersheds that surrounded 4 to 5 houses in the “wilderness” a mile or so from the suburban boundary. But I didn’t begin my thirst for writing stories until I was twelve years old.

I wrote a short story for a creative writing project in 6th grade called “The Great Race”. It was about a crew of four in the fifty-foot sloop sailing around Cape Horn in South America. My teacher flunked me because he said I plagiarized the story. I knew that I hadn’t. My father went to bat for me and explained our sailing outings on Sunday and that he had taught me many nautical terms as well as tacking into the wind, sailing before the wind, etc. The teacher was adamant that I had stolen the work. When my dad asked him to produce the work, I had stolen from, the teacher could not name the novel, short story or film. I got an “F” on the story.

I took it as a complement and began writing stories.

Later as I read the classics and saw some Shakespeare plays performed I fell in-love with the sound of words.

Why I write:

1. I love the sound of words in my head. I love the web and weave of words and the images they evoke.

2. I love a good story with plot-points, twists and turns whether driven by character or plot.

3. I love complex stories that closely mirror the complexity and mystery of life.

4. I love ideas — especially in non-fiction — the exploration of a premise, taking a subject to its logical extreme and exploding the boundaries to see what’s beyond.

5. I love the process of simple and complex problem-solving through characterization, paradox, seeming chaos and those ah-ha moments.

6. I love creating more questions as answers to drive the journey through the clouds of mystery towards epiphanies. I love stories and words that can transport.

7. Writing is its own reward.

My Fiction Writing Process



Long ago, in my late 20s, I found that establishing a rough ending to any fiction story whether it be a novel or short story was necessary to avoid wild uncontrollable tangents.

I don’t believe in writer’s block

After establishing a rough ending, then in the course of the story, most often a novel I have a rush to get to the end.

“Let’s get this over with,” I say to myself.*

“I’m tired of working on this. Let me move on to something else I’m not going to finish… yet.”

When the magical thinking tangent happens

So I write an intelligent action story with plot points, twists etc. I know I’m off base when I start to set up something (a tangent) that’s about to introduce super powers inconsistent with the powers that be and set the story in a different less character intimate magical thinking type thing.

When the magical thinking tangent happens I can usually do one of two things. One: go back into the story and look for a place where the new material can be set up in a way consistent with the story. Or Two: delete the section I’ve just written because it doesn’t fit.

the previous observation could be an analogous tangent

Since I don’t believe in writer’s block, I’ve come to see that blocks are temporary pauses to step back and run scenarios or do something else – like write this process blog piece. (Although in writing the current novel – Extreme Measures book 5 of a nine book Sci-Fi series is in the 4th chapter of non-stop action.) Meditation helps to clear the slate and wait for the story’s consciousness to pop up a way forward.

Find your voice.

Characters and the story that they find themselves in, have a life of their own. This could also be said of our lives through the voice of a Higher Self, an AI observer or God looking in on the course of our story. Or the previous observation could be an analogous tangent.

Writers have their processes. Most teachers of writing impart: “Write. Find your voice. No one can tell you how to become a good writer. It’s work. Keep going.”

I have a friend who is a retired advertising executive / writer who told me my writing process was wrong. I more she spoke about my process the more irritated I became. I finally told her that I was ending the conversation because I didn’t want to argue with her.


* When I want to write quickly to the ending of the story I may let myself do that and then go back and add the other stuff. However it’s far easier to allow conflict and blocks to character forward movement in the form of the main action and weaving sub-plots during the course of moving towards the end than to go back and add it later. The step-by-step process is enticing and exciting for me. And I have found readers like it too.

Womb with a View – satire

Lobbyists in the womb – a fanciful look at The Rights of the Un-Born (fiction I hope)WombWorldWomb-World

“I just met with sixteen hundred of our new potential constituents, in the first trimester,” Carol said.

“And are they with us?”

“I did my best. A little over one thousand have detected that they are unwanted being carried by either by unwed mothers or by mothers who aren’t sure they want to carry their babies. One thousand want to return to the “before-space” mainly because it’s not cramped. They report that the corporeal form they occupy is very primitive and brain function is minimal. Some are hoping for miscarriages because its the easiest way to release, but in leu of that abortion is okay. They don’t want to be here and are not interested in joining any political party. If they are forced to stay most would choose anarchy, but some would be socialists. I gave some of them vouchers, about two hundred souls or so.

“Of the remaining four hundred and thirty four, three hundred and two have declared themselves independents and aren’t interested in politics and think money is funny or stupid. They could be potential progressives. The others are divided into two or three categories. One group is definitely with us and about a third of them have vouchers. Another group could go in any direction and will ally with their families, some with the mothers and a smaller percentage with the father. They refused vouchers.

“The last group were very grumpy and claimed to be related to a guy I’ve never heard of – William F. Buckley Jr. I had to look him up. He was this elitist conservative type. They not only didn’t want vouchers and thought we live more in a welfare state than ever before. They wondered why we were soliciting voters in the womb.”

“Did you tell them?”

“Of course I did… But I have to tell you that this ‘Before-Space’ is a very appealing place. I’d go there tomorrow if I could. No money, no stress, no weight gain, no weight, no body. You can have sex there without any consequences, no children at all. They call it blending. I used to get blended in my 20s and the hangovers, well I don’t need to tell you. Expanded consciousness is the best thing. I guess death is something we can all look forward to.

“I asked them why they would want to leave the ‘Before-Space’ and they said it had to due with some weird attachment deal, a. Catch 22 thing. If you want to stay they boot you out, If you want to go,- trying to stay-  well you go but its a trick apparently.

“The people that don’t come back have the widest choices but they choose one thing over and over.”

“What? You’re killing me.”

“Its stupid. Its Love.”

“Well you know I’ve always loved you,” and Bob started his grab-ass thing.

“Get off me, you pig,” Carol pushed him away.

“You know what?


“They want to know why we are courting their votes in the womb? And I told then the history. That in 2017, the GOP declared that they were citizens who could have funding to go to college and that’s when it all started.”

“What was their response?”

“They said that womb-life was too cramped and making promises was bullshit and they should be left alone by political parties and everybody else.

“I did see some conservative lobbyists there promising them fiscal responsibility. I heard giggling…”

“I gave them the survey and 100% of them said that Mom has a right to choose to send us back for another shot later when we are wanted.”

On Writing


My Father had a rich vocabulary that my sister and I would put to the test every month with Reader’s Digest “Word Power” quiz. Invariably he would know the definition to most every word. I grew up within the richness of a word cornucopia without realizing it until much later in life.

When I was eleven years old my sixth grade teacher assigned us to write a short story. Mine was called The Great Race. It was about a Yawl (a kind of a sailing boat with two masts – a main and a mizzen) sailing around the treacherous waters of Cape Horn in South America.

My teacher, Mr. Smith failed me because he said I plagiarized the story. I asked my Father for help. My Dad met with Mr. Smith and explained how I knew many a nautical terms due to Sunday sailing on my Uncle’s boat in Long Island Sound, how I had a rich imagination and how I have used a thesaurus during the writing process. Mr. Smith held his ground and continued to claim that the work was not mine. My Father asked him to cite the work that I had copied from, but he could not do this. He failed me.

My Father referred to Mr. Smith as a little man with a cloud over his head.

Rather than take this as a failure I let it go to my head. “I must be a pretty good writer if I had fooled him into thinking it was stolen when I know it had not been.”

And thus my passion for writing stories was launched.