NaNoBloMo – not this year

fountain pen

There’s the NaNoWriMo challenge which a bunch of friends of mine are trying to write a 50,000-word novel or that word count this month. There was another challenge, and I was tempted, the NaNoBloMo – which is to put up a blog post every day. I can’t do that either, but I will attempt to post twice a week.

In an effort to involve you, my readers, let me know what you’d like to see on this blog. So far, my best posts have been about my writing journey. I have many other things I could talk about here as well.

What do you think? Take the poll, leave me a comment. In a couple of days, I’ll post again. The poll is open for a week. I’d like to know what you think. Thanks.



Let’s Face It – what about brick walls?

A brick wall at Jerusalem's Golden Gate

A brick wall at Jerusalem’s Golden Gate

What is it in your life you don’t want to face right now? For me, it’s this: after all I’ve done to get my manuscript ready for publication, it still might not be ready. It’s been professionally edited. I spent a lot of money on it – never mind the time.

What prompted this? I got another reject letter this week – from another agent. This one was a nice reject, written by the agent himself, and he offered the positive things he liked, besides saying the writing could improve and be stronger.

Sheesh. So what do I do now? Pay another couple thousand dollars to have it edited by another professional? I’ve already spent a LOT of money on editing, plus a LOT on writing classes. How much more do I spend?

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Writing Emotional Pain – without bleeding too much on your readers

“Please reject.” The email was from a complete stranger. I almost didn’t open it because I thought it was junk mail.

Then I thought, oh. Oh. A reject letter. I might as well see who this is really from.

Sad girl

Sad girl

I was once told that writing one’s pain makes a compelling read. It’s deep and people can identify. My pain is rejection. I don’t do well with it. I never have. I think I was born with it. It’s called Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD). In other circles, it’s called Root of Rejection. Healing comes in stages with me.

I promise not to bleed all over you, but show you a bit about how my thinking is skewed. Ridiculous thoughts of self-condemnation and diminished self-worth keep running through my mind.

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The Waiting Game – how to play it



I hate to wait. Don’t we all. But I’m in The Waiting Game now, and for at least a week or so, I will discipline myself to find something to do besides thinking about whether or not I’ll get an agent or an editor.

Since I don’t like waiting, I’ve decided not to sit around and think about it, but to do something creative. Yesterday, I opened a Create Space account on Amazon, where I plan to self-publish novellas and short stories.

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Just When You Think You’re Done – Part II

Old City Jerusalem

Old City Jerusalem

It seems to me that writing is a never-ending process. Some friends of mine recently moaned about “line edits.” And they’re not published yet. Neither do they have an agent or an editor. So what are they doing? Making their manuscript the best they can to give their story the best chance to get published. They have critique partners and beta readers who are helping them edit their work.

I don’t have a critique partner or beta readers, but I had my manuscript professionally edited twice. And still, I’m revising. I think I mentioned that after my meetings in St. Louis, I could expand my manuscript from the shortened version I’d had to make it in order to enter a contest.

But like these doors and covered walks in Old City Jerusalem, it never seems to end. I’m working with two versions of my manuscript, the shorter and the longer – to make them both longer. The longer needed to reach 100,000 + words. I made it yesterday, but I decided to tweak it again. Add richness.

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The Next Step

Walkway by the Mississippi River - St. Louis

Walkway by the Mississippi River – St. Louis

Writing is a process, and this blog talks about my writing process. Over this last weekend, I was in St. Louis at a writer’s conference to pitch my novel and try to either get an agent or a publishing house interested in Meghan’s Choice. I’ll talk a bit about Meghan’s Choice on a different post – and soon – I’ll post the Prologue as it now stands.

I believe the best way to make these connections is at a writer’s conference. I’ve been to others, but this was the best one yet. I had five appointments – two with agents, three with publishing houses. Four out of five went really well.

The best you can expect from a writer’s conference is to make connections and hope they want to see more, or desire further contact with you. More can be anything from “I want to see a book proposal” to “I want to see your manuscript.”

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Trust the Peace

Sea of Galilee

Sea of Galilee

There’s just something peaceful about a body of water. This is my background photo – the Sea of Galilee at the dawn of a new day.

I’ve had some tumult this year, both bad and good. You’ve heard about the ‘bad’ – the broken wrist, the l-o-n-g rehab. It’s all part of the process.

Now – life gets busy.


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If you wanna write a novel…here’s how

by DiAnn Mills

by DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is a mentor of mine through Christian Writers Guild’s Craftsman class. They just renamed it to Fiction Intensive. The book, Dance of Character and Plot is a primer for writing fiction. I recently talked with DiAnn about the book. It’s a great book for beginning novelists. It’s easy to understand and there are great exercises at the end of each chapter. Thank you DiAnn, for being a great teacher and a great woman!

Donna: Why another book about writing?

DiAnn: I wanted to write a simple book on how to write a novel. Something simple that would give you resources like how to write dialogue, and here are a couple of resources to help you with that. #2 I have all these workshops – and maybe I’ve massaged them a bit for a blog – but I’ve always wanted to take all those and throw them into a ‘how-to’ book.

Donna: What would you say are the most important elements to writing a good novel?

DiAnn: Characterization. Always character. Think about the books you love. Think about the characters that you remember – anything from Gone with the Wind to Divergent. It’s the characters who I care about. I guess that’s why I called it The Dance of Character & Plot. Because it is a dance.

Donna: That was my next question. Why did you call it a dance?

DiAnn: Because that’s what you do. You take this person – their quirks and their personality, writing their backstory – all of that – here’s all their strengths, their fears – and the challenge is they’ve already selected the ten people who are going to the moon. What is in my personality that will allow them to take eleven – or what is in my personality that one of the others can be replaced?  It works together. My problems and your problems are different because of who we are. How you approach them and how I approach them depend on who you are. Read More

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Writing Process Blog TourI want to thank the talented Justina Luther for inviting me on this lovely blog tour. Check out her blog! She loves to write fiction, and she’s prolific. Visit her blog by clicking here.

I also want to thank everyone who has read, commented on, liked, and followed my blog! I love writing and sharing my thoughts with you. I hope you are uplifted and encouraged as you read, and maybe sometimes – challenged and inspired.

Without further ado, let the tour commence!

1) What am I working on?

I just completed my novel, Meghan’s Choice. I entered it into Operation First Novel, a contest from Christian Writer’s Guild. I’m also thinking about entering it into a contest sponsored by Westbow Press. I’m going to wait a bit to see if I make the cut on Op. 1st Novel before entering the Westbow contest.

Next week, I’ll be attending a large writer’s conference, where I will pitch the novel to editors and agents. We’ll see what happens. If necessary, I would say, towards the beginning of next year, I’ll know whether I have to self-publish it. If I do, I’ll probably do it POD. Remember that from about 3-4 posts ago?

I’m trying to blog more regularly and expand what is called my platform, and in so doing, expand myself to be a better person.

I also contribute once a month to When Readers Write, a group blog of some of us from a Christian Writer’s Guild Craftsman class. Read More

My Lovely Blog Award

lovely-blogWhat would I do without Justina Luther? She is one heck of a lady!

Thank you so much, Justina Luther, visit her blog here, for nominating me for this award! It means a lot. Justina is a very generous person. She passes along her good fortune to me!

Here’s the rules for this award:

  1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.You must list the rules and display the award.
  2. You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  3. You must nominate 15 (or more) other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  4. You must display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

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