Writing & Publishing Journey

The Bumpy, Twisty, Pot-hole Ridden Journey to my New Agent

Erin Murphy I am over-the-top excited to announce that I have signed with the incomparable Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. This has been a bumpy, twisty, pot-hole-ridden journey but the destination offers a humbling panorama through my rear-view mirror. It doesn’t seem fitting to simply say that I’ve got an agent. Sometimes the… Read more »

Once Again- The Do’s, Dont’s, and “Stuff” of Writer’s Conferences

I know we’re on the tail end of Spring conference season, but I thought it worthwhile to repost this. I originally posted this article Feb. 17, 2011, but it’s a good annual reminder. The Do’s, Don’ts, and “Stuff” of Writer’s Conferences Writers conferences can be fantastic for writers of all experience levels. A little pre-conference… Read more »

Donna’s Dummy for Dummies

I’m currently polishing a p.b. biography and a fiction picture book that I’ve been whittling away at for a couple of years. Before I attempt to submit the manuscripts, I want to work them each into a picture book dummy to test the pacing, illustratable scenes, and page turns. Obviously, a publisher’s art director would… Read more »

Visions and Revisions

A few days ago, I sent off the second round of revisions requested by a particular editor. It’s rather exciting to have interest in my work. BUT, though we’ve gotten off to a glorious start, we’re still in the early dating stage. I try not to get too giddy when the editor talks about taking… Read more »

My 2011 Recommended Books about the Writing Craft

My shelves are full of books on craft and I’ve mentioned many in this previous blog post. Today, I offer the best craft books I’ve read in 2011.  I recommend them all. **Special note: Reading craft books is a great way to improve your literary education, but don’t forget to put your own words on… Read more »

Who’s On First- “Showing” Lessons from The World Series

Cardinals vs Texas Rangers = World Series 2011 It’s the curse of a writer to always be in critique mode. Once the inner editor is brought to life, there’s no stopping it. When I go to movies, I subconsciously pick apart plot problems and character inconsistencies. When I pick up a magazine or journal, I… Read more »

Emotion- Memory’s Glue for the Reader

Memory is a fickle friend. Some things we remember in minute detail; The birth of our children; The death of a parent; crouching in a closet after a tornado alert; The moment we heard Elvis was dead (I was playing with my brother’s train set on my parent’s living room floor. I cried.). The glue… Read more »

Rock Time- Quieting the Mind

Temps of 105 degrees couldn’t keep me and my un-pedicured toes away. Eons ago, during a particularly stressful period of my life, an old friend quipped that I needed to head out for “rock time.”  In his estimation, I needed to find a big ole rock to perch upon as I pondered my way out… Read more »


Returning to the research. Yes, all of this relates to one nonfiction picture book.           Rewriting is the essence of writing well—where the game is won or lost. —William Zinsser That big ole pile of paper and books in the above picture represents three years of research. Today, I return to the resulting nonfiction… Read more »

Do you outline? Or do you write by the seat of your pants?

Do you outline or write by the seat of your pants? It’s a common question among writers. Samantha Clark has begun a fabulous thread on her blog about the subject. Today, she very kindly featured me. Next in her lineup are authors Bethany Hegedus, P.J. Hoover, Nikki Loftin, and Jessica Lee Anderson. Pop over to… Read more »