Showing posts with label non-fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label non-fiction. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Where Do You Want to Go?


“When I write something that really happened, people read it and say, ‘Sounds like bullshit.’When I pull something completely out of thin air, I hear, ‘Wow, that was so real.’”—Steven Pressfield.




Where does this leave us?


Write what’s real, or make it up?


But don’t lie and say it’s real if it’s not.


Pressfield’s point is, Write everything as though it is fiction, even if it’s true.


I’m trying to learn to write since, for some stupid reason, I feel compelled to do it.


I remember the day it began. Well, not the specific day, but the place. I had driven my two girls to school, a 45-minute drive from home. One daughter was in the first grade, the other in the third. Sometimes I didn’t want to drive right back home, and often I would stay away the entire day. It took 45 minutes to drive back home, do a little work, then drive 45 minutes back to pick them up. That’s when I started to write.


Bless their hearts, they gave me a profession. 


 As I sat on a hill above Fashion Valley in San Diego, California, having just ordered orange juice and coffee, I asked one of those pertinent life questions. I had graduated from college and had my children. Now they were in school. My question? What do I want to do with my life?  


“Well, I’d write if I had something to say.”


I wrote my first little children’s story that day. And I haven’t shut up since. I am not a verbose person, but I enjoy putting words on a page. 


Am I an illustrious writer? Nope. However, I have filled copious notebooks since. I didn’t know about blogging then—come to think of it, neither did anyone else. 


Some 40 years later, I had a book published. I remember reading that it takes 20 years to become a writer . I said I would do it, but I wanted a guarantee at the end of those years.


Life doesn’t come with guarantees, but I’ve had a damn good time with the process. This adventure has taken me to fascinating places. I studied and wrote about Cosmology—which is the origin of things. I told another writer what I was writing about, and he thought I said Cosmetology (About make-up and hair.) 


I studied metaphysics and came to some understanding about where I was regarding religion and such subjects. I wrote about Africa, and I made up stories. Then, somewhere in the midst of it all, I became involved with horses and self-published a book called, It’s Hard to Stay on A Horse While You’re Unconscious, that no one can manage to spit out the title. To my detriment, I was rebelling against the need for short titles. However, it was pertinent, and in Hawaii, Mrs. Chiropractor got it right off the bat. You can’t navigate life too well when you are unconscious. 


The unconscious part is both philosophical and literal. Sierra, my mustang, once knocked me in the nose, and I didn’t know what happened until I woke up on the ground. And there followed a week where I had racoon eyes.


I’m still trying to learn how to write. I still can’t keep my fingers on the correct keys, but so what. You plunge ahead, right?


So, Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones) was correct when she said, “Writing will take you where you want to go.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2022


 I don't know why this impacted me so.


I've lost pets, and I've grieved over them. However, when I checked in again to I was impacted a second time over the loss of Charlie, the coyote. And for Shreve Stockton, who is still grieving. 


Charlie was almost fourteen years old, a good age for a coyote, and he lived a happy life on the farm with Shreve, Mike, her partner, a hound dog named Chloe, and Eli, a tomcat. 


And I found that Shreve had taken a year off from writing. 


I have followed Shreve's site since reading her book, My Daily Coyote in 2009. She was riding a Vespa from San Francisco to New York when she stopped in Wyoming and found a home. She made it to New York but went back to Wyoming, where she fell in love with the land and a man. When her partner brought home an orphaned coyote pup after his mother had been shot for killing sheep, she had a family. That family expanded to another dog, two cats, numerous cows, and chickens. And the one coyote who entered the fray as one of the gang. 


Someone wrote that this story wouldn't have a happy ending. They thought the coyote would eat the cat and bite Shreve's face off while she slept, but Charlie cuddled with the cat and dog, and they frolicked and played together. When Charlie was sick, a magpie came to Shreve. As magpies were not familiar in that area, she felt it was Eli, who came to help Charlie transition to the other side, or maybe it was to help Shreve.


Over the years, I worried that he might get shot, but he lived to a good age and died of natural causes. The story ended sadly, but his legacy lives on, and his life was happy.


Thousands of people fell in love with Charlie. And a ten-day-old, eyes-not-yet open coyote pup became a phenomenon.


I thought of how we become embroiled in other people's lives, and although Charlie was a real flesh and blood animal, I only knew of him through Shreve's magic words and photos. She is an excellent photographer and began taking a picture a day of Charlie and sending them to friends who sent them to friends. And with the blog and a nod from Rosie O'Donnell, it got national attention. And I know Charlie and Shreve more intimately than some acquaintances in real life.


Fiction can be that way as well, for we know the characters in ways real people will not share. We know their thoughts and feelings. We ache with them, are embarrassed with them, and take joy in their joy. I remember reading that in England, when Jo, a character in the novel Little Women, died, the country went into mourning.



For a fun read, check out, A Journey into Inner Earth by jewell d on



SCUBA, whales, a school bus, six kids, and a journey to the North Pacific and into a land inside the earth. (A review would be lovely.)