Category Archives: An Inspiring Post For the Writer

Did You Know?

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time.

British mystery writer Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. It is estimated that she sold over 2 billion works, putting Christie’s books just behind the Bible and William Shakespeare in terms of most sales.

She has sold approximately a billion books in English, and another billion have been sold and translated into around 45 different foreign
languages.

She is the most translated author, and has been translated into more languages than Shakespeare. Since her first novel was published in 1920, Christie’s 80 works have been adapted into film versions 27 times.

Read More:
http://www.wisegeek.com/who-is-the-best-selling-novelist-of-all-time.htm?m

I found this very interesting and did a little more investigating to find out more about Agatha Christie.

She was born September 15, 1890 and died of ‘natural’ causes on January 12, 1976 at the age of 85.

Agatha Christie--Best Selling Author of all time!

Agatha Christie–Best Selling Author of all time!

I wonder if Ms. Christie really knew how much her books influenced the world of literature, plays, movies and television, and even video games, radio and comics or knows that she lives on in the hearts and minds of millions of fans who love and enjoy her work.

My greatest achievement, as an author is being published, but I’m practical. Becoming famous from a few eBooks is rare and ending up on the New York Times best seller’s list is only a dream.

Yet Agatha Christie managed something even more spectacular. Something no one else in the world has: The Guinness Book of World Records lists Christie as the best-selling novelist of all time.

One last thing about Ms. Christie, as of 2014 media reports state that the BBC has acquired exclusive TV rights to her works in the UK and plans to air new productions for the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth in 2015.

What an amazing legacy Agatha Christie left for all of us to enjoy.

Thank you for reading my blog. In case you might be interested here is a link to my Amazon author’s page: Donna Jean McDunn’s Amazon author Page

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NIGHTMARES GIVE AWAY WINNERS!!!!

Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.

Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.

The giveaway is now closed and the winner on my blog and on Lorraine’s has been chosen.

Drum roll please–and the winner of Donna Jean McDunn’s “Nightmares” giveaway is: Sherri!

And the winner on Lorraine fabulous blog is: Diana Marinova!

Congratulations to both winners and thank you all for joining us.

Find my “Nightmares” and my short story “Trapped” an anthology, Mystery Times Nine 2012 both are found here on Amazon.

Some of my online short stories can be found at these wonderful sights. knowonder! your bedtime story and story time resource – a story a day awaitsStories That LiftNew Bumples Interactive Magazine, Online Magazine for Children.The Pink Chameleon and Page & Spine: fiction showcase – The Front Page.

Please “like” my author page and/or friend me on Facebook.

Profile Page: http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean

Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn

And please check out my book Nightmares and Mystery Times Nine 2012 both right here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_8?ie=UTF8&field-author=Donna+Jean+McDunn&search-alias=books&text=Donna+Jean+McDunn&sort=relevancerank

ANNOUNCING A GIVEAWAY

Lorraine Reguly

Lorraine Reguly

I met Lorraine Reguly on LinkedIn and discovered her blog. I enjoyed her writing so much I decided to sign up to follow her. Lorraine writes about everything, from very serious and personal life subjects, to topics on writing, social media, blogging and the occasional review and interview.

On one of her posts, (You can find it here) she offered to let anyone include a link of their blog or website in the comments and to be sure to leave a little information about themselves. She encouraged other bloggers to visit these sites. So of course I added my blog and Facebook author page and I mentioned my debut novel, “Nightmares” was published May 8, 2013 by MuseItUp Publishing.

Soon after posting my information on her blog, she contacted me and offered to post a review of my new e-book Nightmares on Goodreads if I sent her a copy.

Of course, I agreed.

A mysterious "voice" warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she's losing her mind!

As promised she posted this review to Goodreads: “Nightmares” is a well-crafted suspenseful tale that encompasses psychic visions, murderous intent, love, betrayal and acceptance within a captivating storyline. By the third chapter, you’ll be hooked, drawn in by the author to the dilemmas faced by a teenage girl – a young woman – who has a special “gift” of both seeing and hearing things. You’ll join her on her journey of discovery and acceptance while she and her boyfriend match wits with a killer and frequently find themselves in precarious situations. The plot twist will both surprise and satisfy you and leave you wanting more. That is how it was for me – a very good read, indeed!

Hey! She gave it four stars! Not bad for a first book!

The review was great, but she wasn’t done yet, she asked if I would do an interview. Of course I said yes.

If you’re interested in learning more about “Nightmares” and The Nightmares Series, you won’t want to miss the interview on November 1, 2013 on Lorraine’s blog.

It could be your chance to WIN one of two FREE “Nightmares” (The book, not bad dreams) that will be given away to TWO lucky winners.

As I mentioned earlier, “Nightmares” is in e-book format and the two winners will have their choice of PRC=Kindle, e-pub=Nook, PDF=Adobe Reader or HTML=For Web Browser. If you don’t have a Kindle, go to Amazon and get free Apps for your computer, Smart Phone and several other devices. If you don’t have a Nook go here for your free Apps.

This is our way of saying thanks for reading our blogs. All you have to do is post a comment on my blog ON THIS POST and become one of my followers. (If you are already a follower, then you are eligible to win after posting the comment).

If you’d like to double your chances of winning, go to Lorraine’s blog on November 1, 2013 and post a comment after reading the interview and join her followers (If you are already her follower then you are eligible to win, if you’ve posted a comment).

Simple! Right!

The giveaway will run for the first three weeks of November, starting on Friday, November 1, 2013 and ending on Friday, November 29th, 2013. The two winners, one from my site and one from Lorraine’s site, will be chosen randomly using a random generator.

Lorraine and I are both looking forward to seeing you, so please don’t disappoint.

See you then!

Note: We get notifications from WordPress whenever someone follows our blogs via email-not when we gain followers via the WordPress “reader”, so make sure that you click on the button that says: Follow Bog Via and an email will be sent to you. It can be found in the sidebars of our blogs and we will be able to track our new followers and know who is eligible for the prizes!!! Thanks! 🙂

My short story “Trapped” is included in an anthology, Mystery Times Nine 2012 and published by Buddhapuss Ink Publishing on December 6, 2012 and can be found on Amazon. I have had short stories published online at knowonder! your bedtime story and story time resource – a story a day awaitsStories That LiftNew Bumples Interactive Magazine, Online Magazine for Children.The Pink Chameleon and Page & Spine: fiction showcase – The Front Page.

My blog: https://donnajeanmcdunn.wordpress.com/  Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn Friend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean.

I can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Are you excited about winning a free book? Do you like mysteries? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

For additional chances to win, enter your name into the contest by sharing THIS POST on Twitter using the hashtag #NightmaresBookGiveaway. For even more chances, share Lorraine’s post: A Special Featured Friday, Featuring Author Donna Jean McDunn, and A BOOK GIVEAWAY! using the same hashtag! There is no limit on how many “shares” you can earn – so share, share, share! 🙂 (NOTE that the link to this post won’t work until November the 1st)

#NightmaresBookGiveaway

Working With An Editor

This is a depiction of my mood when I opened my manuscript after my editor was finished with it the first time. Please notice the sun just beginning to come through the clouds after the storm. Yeah, I got over it too.

Working With An Editor

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

If you are a traditionally published author or a self published author who hired an editor to look over your manuscript, then you have worked with an editor. You know that feeling of seeing the email come in with your work attached after the editor has gone over it. Part of you is excited and can’t wait to open it and learn what she thinks of all your hard work, but then there’s the other part of you that’s scared to death. What if she hated it and has changed her mind or wants you to rewrite the entire book.

That’s how I felt anyway as I stared at the email with my manuscript, Nightmares in the subject line, for five minutes. I couldn’t bring myself to open it, so instead of facing it right then, I washed the dishes, sorted the laundry, fed the cats, cleaned the cat pans and finally worked up enough courage to see what she had to say.

The first thing I saw in the body of the e-mail, after the greeting of, Hi Donna, were these words: “Okay, I’ve gone through the first four chapters. Now is the moment where you take a breath and relax. When you open the attachment you will see many, many things. Don’t panic. Have no fear. :o)”

Let me tell you, the happy face at the end did nothing to squelch the growing panic in my stomach. I literally had to close my eyes, afraid to read any further. My first rational thought a few minutes later: Was my story really that bad? My second: Is she going to make me rewrite the entire first four chapters of my book as I had feared earlier? My third and final thought: What are my choices?

I could delete the whole thing and pretend I never received it and never see my book published or I could keep reading and find out exactly what she wanted.

I chose to continue reading and my fear began to subside as I read. She didn’t want to be my ghostwriter; all she wanted to do was spruce up my words a little. She wrote that she had made a few adjustments and offered suggestions, all of which I had the choice of accepting or rejecting or simply changing to something I thought might work better.

Then she went on to explain how to accept or reject the edited material and how to add my own comments, plus she recommended a course on sentence structure and longer sentences, put out by www.thegreatcourses.com and is called Building Great Sentences. This was exciting; I’m always open to learning more about writing, but then I realized this was her way of introducing her first big complaint and she thought most of my sentences were too short.

I’ll admit it irked me a little, because I had also read that a variety of sentence lengths are important and I’ve read where other big name authors have recommended short sentences because it kept a story moving along and young adult readers liked it that way.

So what do you do? I believe mostly it’s a matter of preference and because she’s the editor, I’m not going to argue. As long as it doesn’t damage the content or change the message of what I want the reader to get from the sentence, I’ll do my best to revise it to her liking.

My editor’s other complaint was about repetitive words, which is pretty much universal with everyone. Even I get annoyed when I read books that continually use the same words or phrases multiple times and especially in the same paragraph.

A few months ago, I read this great young adult novel series that I loved. I can’t wait for the next and final book to be published, but there was one thing that started to bug me. The author used the phrase: “He shuddered” or “She shuddered” all the time and in all four of her books and multiple times on the same page. It started to wear pretty thin, but not enough to keep me from finishing the series, yet some people may not be as forgiving as I am about repeats.

The problem is, when it’s your own work; it is SO much harder to catch. I realized when I read my own manuscript silently to myself or out loud, I still couldn’t see or hear all the repeated words, but believe me, an editor will and your manuscript will come back to you with a bunch of highlighted words all over the place.

The way I have solved that problem, okay solved might not be the correct usage, but I have managed to find so many more duplicates by going over each line in a paragraph and comparing it to all of the other sentences, deliberately looking for one word at a time to see how often I had used it.

The first time I wrote the paragraph above, I had repeated at least two or three times the following words; book, catch, repeat, repeated and duplicate. I corrected the problem by thinking of synonyms. Example: Book, replaced with manuscript, catch, replaced with find, repeated, replaced with duplicates so that in the end I used each word and the synonym only once.

So do yourself a favor and look for duplicate words in all of your work before you submit the manuscript to any publishers or agents. The publisher will still have their editor look over the manuscript and there will be changes, it’s inevitable because much of writing is subjective, but in the end you’ll be glad you did.

What do you think, do repetitive words bother you? And which do you prefer, short sentences, long ones or a verity of lengths? Do you believe much of writing is subjective?

Here’s a link for anyone interested in a contest for young adults. It closes October 31, 2012 so get your story in soon. It pays $500 for 1st prize. Check it out: http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/af627/

As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address, I’ll visit and comment. If you’d rather be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, I will like, be friends, follow, or Tweet.

My facebook author page is: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn

My facebook profile page is http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/donna-mcdunn/42/819/423

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best or The Worst Critique; What Was Yours?

The Best or The Worst Critique; What Was Yours?

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

When I started writing at a very young age, I did it for myself because I had something I wanted to say. I never thought about getting published or who might want to read my stories. I just knew I loved to write.

Looking back at that time, I didn’t have a fear of being laughed at or criticized at least not until someone said, “I thought you had a better imagination than that”. Those words were spoken by my older sister, who is nine years older than I am, after I foolishly let her read a short story I had written. I was fifteen.

I put that short story away and didn’t look at it again for many years, but those words echoed in my brain for a long time whenever I was writing and I’d feel that same squeezing pain in my heart and wonder if I could ever be good enough.

I continued to write back then though, but my readers consisted only of my close friends, who I knew would love my stories, because they usually had the leading roles.

Of course I finally grew up and would write sometimes, but with a husband, three growing daughters, a full time job as a short order cook and livestock and gardening, I didn’t have much time or energy for much writing. But as the saying goes, “Nothing ever stays the same”.

Our daughters grew up too and finally moved out of the house. I still work full time, but now I work in an office that allows me to use my free time for whatever I want. We no longer have livestock, but we do still garden. I just don’t freeze and “can” produce as much as I used to.

By the time 2008 rolled around, we had six grandkids and I began thinking about writing a story for the two oldest granddaughters. They both loved to read, but then while reading a storybook to two of my grandsons, I suddenly saw something in my grandkids I hadn’t seen in anyone in many years; a safe audience. I could count on them to like what I wrote and not criticize.

I pulled out my old stories. I hadn’t read any of them in years and now I could see how lame they were. As for the story I had my sister read, well it wasn’t the gem I had thought it was all those years ago. My reaction wasn’t even as nice as what my sister had said to me. I didn’t know why I felt that way. I just knew they sucked and I needed help.

I decided right then, I had to write a story all the grandkids would love, starring the feral mother of five new kittens we found in the woodpile a few weeks before. I already thought of a title, “Wild and Free”.

But first, I had to take a writing class and boy did it open my eyes. I had the answer to why my sister thought I had no imagination and why I knew all the stories I had written as a kid sucked.

I had made the same mistakes almost all new writers make. I used a lot of dreams and the protagonist’s memories to fill in back story I felt my readers needed to know. But in the story my sister read, I had made the biggest mistake of all, I had my protagonist wake up and realize the entire story had only been a nightmare.

At the time, I thought it was clever and original and maybe it was when the first few hundred writers used a dream to end their stories back when they first invented the alphabet, but even in 1965, an ending like that was pretty lame.

All the new knowledge about “how” to write led me on a new mission. I wanted to fix the mistakes I had made in that short story my sister read. I worked on it for over two years. The story grew from a short story, to a young adult paranormal/mystery novel. The story changed so much it doesn’t resemble the original at all. The title, “Nightmares” and the fact my protagonist has nightmares are the only things I didn’t change. In fact I can guarantee Emily the protagonist, will not wake up and find she’s only had a nightmare.

Muse It Up Publishing will release my book “Nightmares” in May 2013. I’ve started working on the sequel.

I look back now and realize, even though it hurt, my sister did me a huge favor by telling me what she really thought. It was something I needed to hear. It’s true she could have done it in a kinder way. I’m still grateful though because it turned out to be the worst and the best critique ever for me. It sparked the motivation to take those writing classes forty-six years later just so I could finally prove her wrong and write a great story for my grandkids.

 

 My grandkids benefited too. In the picture above, all six of them received the story “Wild and Free” for Christmas that year. It has pictures of the real animals the story is about and there are pictures of them in it too. They loved it or at least that’s what they said. Now I have two more grandkids. I guess it’s time for a new story for them.How about you, what was the best and/or worst thing someone has said about your writing?As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address, I’ll visit and comment. If you’d rather be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, I will like, be friends, follow, or Tweet.

My facebook author page is: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn

My facebook profile page is http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean

Twitter is http://www.linkedin.com/pub/donna-mcdunn/42/819/423

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

When To Say “I Made It”

Some days it only looks like rain

When To Say “I Made It”

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Are you a writer? What do you write; fiction or non-fiction? Do you write for small children, middle grade/teenagers/young adults or adults? What genres do you write?

If you are a writer, then you know how much there is to learn before we can call ourselves writers and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever measure up. Sometimes, I wonder if I should have stopped writing a long time ago. Would it have made my life easier?

What does it really take to be a writer anyway?

My main goal as a writer has always been to be as good a writer as possible. But how do I accomplish that? How do I know for sure when I’ve arrived? There are so many rules in writing, how am I supposed to learn and remember them all when I have trouble remembering when to use “to” and “too” and what the heck is a dangling participle anyway? Am I fooling myself into believing I can turn this writing dream into reality? Will people want to read my stories and encourage others to read them? Is being a writer worth all the trouble and the heartache?

The truth is No one knows. (That answers all the questions, but the one about dangling participles; there are people out there who do know and can explain it. Now if I could only remember…)

Anyway, just ask anyone. Ask a dozen different writers at various stages in their writing careers and you’re going to get a dozen different answers. Why? Because the answer is different for everyone and the answers come at various stages in each individual’s career.

For an example, one writer may feel they’ve “made it” when they publish their first piece. Someone else my feel they’ve made it only after they’ve sold that one manuscript that had been rejected twenty-seven times, even though they’ve published several others. Some writers, even after publishing several best selling books, may still be waiting for that moment when they know they’ve “made it”.

I was told at a young age that I had a natural talent to write, but when I started writing seriously, I realized something. Natural talent, for most of us normal humans, isn’t enough.

There are several things writing experts agree on, one of them, and maybe the most important, is to continue to learn and grow as a writer. How do you do that?

Well, some say by taking writing courses either online or in a classroom setting. Continue to read the types of books you want to write. Step out of your comfort zone and stretch your imagination by reading and writing various genres. Short stories are a good way to begin. If they’re bad no one has to see them, but it will help you to grow as a writer.

Study the books you read and really enjoyed. How did the author of that book draw you, the reader, in? And of course continue to write. It doesn’t matter what you write, only that you do it and do it often, everyday if possible. Start a blog and read and comment on other peoples blogs. You’ll be glad you did.

I haven’t made it yet, but someday in the near future I hope to be able to say “I made it.”

An update: When I started this blog post, I was waiting to hear from Muse It Up Publishing about my novel manuscript I sent them. On Saturday August 11, 2012 I received an email from them. They want to publish my novel. I’m not ready to say “I made it” but now I really do have hope that I will.

As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter I will like, follow you, or Tweet so I can thank you.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of the nine winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at: (13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC    Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.

My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/  A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between the ages of 4-10, it might be worth it. It’s a very entertaining website.

Claim This As Your Motto: Let It Be Me

Become everything that God wants you to be. It is within your reach!

Claim This As Your Motto: Let It Be Me

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

What do these three things have in common with writing: Taekwondo, Weight Watchers and Mary Kay Cosmetics? If you’ve read my bio, then you know I became a third degree black belt in Songahm Taekwondo at the age of 58. During my years of training and teaching Taekwondo, there were several recurring themes for students and teachers alike and I soon learned that was also true for Mary Kay and Weight Watchers.

For Taekwondo:  Commit to goals, Keep promises, Persevere through challenges, Honor those who surround you and Be loyal

For Weight Watchers: Set goals, Stay motivated, Make smart choices, Learn the program, and Learn to overcome obstacles

For Mary Kay Cosmetics: Set goals, Follow the Golden Rule, Pursue your dreams, Enthusiasm propels you forward to meet challenges and Have a “sharing and caring” attitude

Do you see the similar theme running throughout all of these as I did? Each set was designed to educate, encourage, motivate and overcome challenges. When the leaders talked about reaching goals, they would often ask, “What is your dream? Where do you want to be in five or ten years?”

My answer for Taekwondo was easy. I wanted to be a black belt and an instructor. The answer for Weight Watchers was also easy; I wanted to lose 40 pounds. But when it came to Mary Kay Cosmetics I wasn’t sure and I didn’t quite know why.

During my training for Taekwondo I set goals, persevered through the challenges, reached my goals, set new ones and kept my promises to myself never to give up. I honored those around me by showing respect, helping in whatever way I could and by doing this I brought not only honor, but also loyalty to the dojo and sensei. I worked hard and I am a black belt.

During those years of learning Taekwondo, I also needed to lose weight and I wanted to be sure I was as healthy as possible. I wasn’t getting any younger, you know. Taekwondo is a great exercise, but for me it wasn’t enough to lose all the weight I needed too.

Weight Watchers moved in next door to the dojo and I thought why not give it a whirl? So I joined. I began hearing a very familiar theme from the first day I attended, “set goals and with hard work and perseverance you’ll realize your dream.”

I already knew how to set goals and I knew it took work to reach them. I already understood I had to keep learning. The only difference now was instead of learning forms and free sparing; I needed to learn how to be a Weight Watcher.

Instead of breaking boards and side kicks, I needed to learn how to make smart choices, stay motivated and how to overcome obstacles in real life situations. I had to learn about nutrition and diet and exercise and how they go hand in hand with one another. Diet and nutrition without exercise or exercise without diet and nutrition, just doesn’t work for me.

After two years and oh so many obstacles and ups and downs, I had lost forty-five pounds. I worked hard, reached my goals and I am a Weight Watcher.

My oldest daughter introduced me to Mary Kay Cosmetics. She convinced me and my youngest daughter to join her in Mary Kay. I loved the product and I enjoyed the other women who attended the meetings and by selling it, I received a discounted price. So I was hooked and now I was hearing the same familiar tune of set goals, follow the golden rule, pursue your dreams, enthusiasm propels you forward to meet challenges and have a “sharing and caring” attitude.

The recurring theme of “Pursue your dream” first with Taekwondo and then with Weight Watchers and now with Mary Kay, always made me think of writing. When I was young that was my dream, but life got in my way and I thought I had missed my chance so I would push it out of my mind. I told myself I wasn’t any good at it anyway and no one would want to read anything I wrote. I told myself I was too old and I’d die before I ever got anything into print.

So whenever I heard someone say pursue your dreams (you hear it a lot more at Mary Kay meetings and seminars than you do anywhere else) I would ignore the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach and continued pursuing my goals in Mary Kay. I thought I could make enough money to quit my day job, set my own hours and still have time to write. But even though I loved the product and the people and Mary Kay Ash is someone I wish I could have known (she passed away in 2001), my heart wasn’t in it.

I didn’t need to quit my day job to be able to write and as it turned out, it was Mary Kay Ash who convinced me I should pursue my real dream.

I was watching a special on TV about her life and they showed her talking on stage to a huge audience at a seminar in DallasTX. These were her words:

“Do you know that within your power lies every step you ever dreamed of stepping and within your power lies every joy you ever dreamed of seeing? Within yourself lies everything you ever dreamed of being. Become everything that God wants you to be. It is within your reach. Dare to grow into your dreams and claim this as your motto: Let it be me.”

Of course she was talking about Mary Kay and becoming an Independent National Sales Director and earning a free pink Cadillac, but that’s not what I thought about when I heard those words. My head said, don’t be a fool, but my heart was screaming be a writer.

I still am a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, but I don’t pursue it the way many do. I love and use the product and I know a few ladies who use it too. I put an order in once in awhile, just enough to stay active.

I’m also still a member of Songahm Taekwondo, although I no longer teach. I’m also a member of Weight Watchers, but instead of attending meetings. I attend online.

In my heart, I’m grateful to all three for everything I’ve learned. I don’t believe I’d be pursuing my dream today if I hadn’t been part of each one of them. Everything I’ve learned about pursuing writing as a career, I’ve already learned from Taekwondo, Weight Watchers and Mary Kay, well everything that is except how to show don’t tell.

When I need a dose of encouragement or want to tell someone about my newest writing project, I turn to the Internet and go where the writer’s are, in blogs, on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and a dozen other sites. There’s no shortage of good advice, words of encouragement and best of all when I see the words “Pursue your Dreams” I can say, “I’ve worked hard and I am a writer.”

How about you? Are you pursuing your dream? Have you always had the same dream? How did you decide what your dream would be?

As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter I will like, follow you, or Tweet in return.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of the nine winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at: (13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC    Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.

My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/  A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between the ages of 4-10, it might be worth it.