Tag Archives: blog

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

COMING NOVEMBER 1, 2013 A GIVEAWAY!

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

When a mysterious “voice” warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she’s losing her mind!

My friend and fellow writer and blogger, Lorraine Ruguly and I are preparing for a free giveaway of two copies of my book “Nightmares” beginning November 1, 2013 and ending November 29, 2013.

This means, for any of you procrastinators out there, you’ll have three weeks, beginning Friday, November 1, 2013, all the way to Friday November 29, 2013, to follow the instructions and possibly win a free copy of “Nightmares“.

So be sure to keep watching for the new posting on my blog on October 31, 2013. It will contain all the information you’ll need to win! And I promise, it will be fun and will not involve any blood or body parts!

Happy Halloween!!!

I’ll be seeing you again on Halloween, October 31, 2013 with the information to win a free copy of “Nightmares”!!!

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.

Follow me on my blog: https://donnajeanmcdunn.wordpress.com/  Like my Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn Friend me on my Facebook profile page: http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean.

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

So what are your thoughts on a FREE giveaway? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Band-Aides For The Heart-An Essay

Over Sixty Years Of Life

In 2010 our three daughters threw us a surprise 40th anniversary. Our oldest made this collage to show our lives before, during and after children.

Band-Aides For The Heart-An Essay

By Donna Jean McDunn Author

Do you have children? My husband, Pat and I raised three daughters. Talk about drama. It began almost from the first moment of birth, right up until they moved out of the house… Oh, wait, it didn’t stop there. Maybe it lasted until the second time they moved out or was it the third. No, that wasn’t it either. Could it have been when they each were married? Nope. So when does it stop? The truth is, I don’t have a clue.

During their growing up years I had almost completely stopped writing. Life had just gotten so over whelming. The only writing I managed to do was to scribble out some of the funny things they did or said to put in their baby books.

When our youngest was a teenager, the desire to write began to grow again, but I could still only manage a few words now and then. And usually when I would pull out paper and pen too write, it was because something had upset me.

From birth on, seeing one of my daughters in pain for any reason was enough to make me write. I wanted their lives to be free of physical and mental hurts. Unrealistic, I know, but that desire is still a big part of me and will be until the day I die. Below is a short essay I wrote many years ago when my youngest was sixteen; she will be thirty-five next month.

Band-Aids For The Heart

From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I loved my baby dolls, and treated them as if they were real babies. I was seven when my baby brother was born. I had wanted a baby sister, but he was so cute, it soon didn’t matter. I couldn’t wait to hold my nieces and nephews when they were born. I baby-sat a lot. I just knew that being a mom was going to be easy.

Here I am as a teenager with my favorite people and animals. My little brother, Mike is on the far left, my nephew Tommy is next to him and I’m holding Tommy’s little brother, Danny. The two dogs belong to them. Duchess is on the left and that’s Duke on the right.

Then reality struck.

Pat and I were married at nineteen and hadn’t quite reached our twenty-first birthdays, when Patty was born. Jodi followed three years later and Jamie three years after her. No one had warned me about the mountains of diapers, bottles and the tons of clothes that were necessary incase of accidents…and there were always accidents.

I soon learned that being a mom was a lot different than being a big sister, aunt or a baby sitter. I couldn’t just hand them over to my mom or my sister like I had my little brother and nieces and nephews or go home to my own house like I could when I used to baby-sit. I was stuck with them twenty-four seven.

But the joy of all those first smiles, first steps and first words made all the sleepless nights and the worry worth every minute. The milestones soon began to add up and before I knew it, those years of babyhood were slipping away.

Instead of dirty diapers, I now had to deal with bumps and bruises, scraped knees and cut fingers and toes.  Most boo-boos could be healed by Mommy’s kiss. For other ouches, a band-aid and a kiss could stop the hurt. I thought I would always be able to take away their pain. No one warned me about the boo-boos we had no control over.

Like the disappointment Patty experienced when she didn’t win the Science Fair in the fifth grade or the surgery when Jodi was five. The learning disability that still haunts Jamie today. Each time and for each daughter, I wanted desperately to take the pain away and make it my pain. Isn’t that what I’d been doing since infancy? “Let Mommy kiss it and make it all better.” And sometimes I still could, but that wasn’t going to last for much longer.

The teenage years were filled with drama in the form of laugher and tears. The laughter came with each new budding romance and the tears came when it ended. By the time my youngest daughter became a teenager, I had gotten quite good at spotting the first signs of a failing romance. Unfortunately, they didn’t make band-aids big enough for broken hearts.

It didn’t come as a complete surprise the day I came home from my aerobics class to find my sixteen-year-old daughter sitting at the dining room table, her schoolbooks spread out before her. She looked up at me and with a shaking hand, brushed blond hair from flushed cheeks and red puffy eyes.

My stomach did a somersault. I took a deep breath and silently prayed for the right words. “What’s wrong?” I asked, even though I thought I already knew the answer.

Her eyes filled with tears. “Matt,” she said, her voice cracking. “We…” Her face crumbled and she buried it into her hands.

“I’m so sorry.” I put my arm around her shoulders. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” she whispered.

I knew that wasn’t true because my own heart felt ready to burst. “Do you want to talk about it?”

She shook her head no without looking at me. “Not yet, maybe later.”

What do you say to someone who is in this kind of pain? Is there anything that will take it away? If there is, I hadn’t found it yet. I stood there with one arm around my little girl’s shoulders and couldn’t think of one single thing that would ease her pain or my own. “How about a hug?” It was the best I could come up with.

Jamie stood and wrapped her arms around my neck. I wanted to ask her when she got so tall, but instead I said, “Anytime you feel like talking, I’m here to listen.” I rubbed her back, like I did when she was tiny and needed comforting.

She nodded, sucked in a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. “I’m going to lay down for a while.”

“Okay, I’ll let you know when dinner is ready.”

She seemed…different. A tiny smile played on her lips. “Thanks Mom,” she said.

Somehow that one little hug had made a difference. Maybe, I’d found a band-aid after all.

As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions.

My short story Trapped, included in the anthology Mystery Times Nine 2012 will be released November 19, 2012. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon now. 

My young adult paranormal/mystery will be released in May 2013, but can be viewed on Muse It Up Publishing’s website: Nightmares

Other places I can be found:

Facebook Author Page  

Facebook Profile Page 

LinkedIn

MusePub_Readers : MuseItUp Publishing Readers Group

I’m also on Twitter.

Other Places to view my short stories:

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

A Reason To Live

Saving Katie 

Pack Leader 

The Golden Stallion

Gus’ Big Adventure

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.

Proactive Means Taking Charge

Image

Did this guy learn to do this by simply reading about it? Or did he become proactive, take charge and just do it? 

 Proactive Means Taking Charge

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

I have a habit of saving things I read on the Internet. Little scraps of ideas or sayings, quotes or names I like and may use in a story someday, sometimes its web addresses of websites or blogs that I liked and want to remember. I’ll copy and paste them into a word document so I can read it again later.

Of course after I do this, I promptly forget about them. Then weeks or even months later, while trying to clean up my computer from all the stuff I’ve saved over time, I’ll come across one of those rare ones I should have been reading everyday.

I really need to apologize to the author of this little gem I found, because I didn’t save her (I say “her”, but it could have been a “him”.) I didn’t save her name or even where I found the original article. So if anyone reading this recognizes the words and knows the author’s name please let me know. I want to give her the credit she deserves.

I had no idea in January of 2011; I would start a blog in 2012 and want to pass on some of the great stuff I’d saved. Now when I find things, I do save the authors’ names and where I find the information, but it’s too late for this particular article to get her consent.

The author starts out with: “Fate does not run your writing career. You do.”

Then she lists ten things she believes anyone starting out in the writing business should be prepared to do. Most of what she listed, I now do and some I had to modify to fit my goals.

  1. looking for new markets…check
  2. finishing a novel and starting a new one…check
  3. beginning a blog…check
  4. finding the perfect agent…working on it
  5. landing a publisher…working on it
  6. establishing your writing career…check
  7. attending a conference to find your footing…someday
  8. locating or starting a critique group…working on it
  9. publishing in that magazine you’ve feared for too long…This one I would change to “sending queries/manuscripts to various markets”…check
  10. finding a writing mentor/partner…check

The list may not apply to you if you’re not a writer. And even if you are a writer, there are many different kinds of writers. Some writers write news stories, articles for magazines, short stories of fiction and/or nonfiction, books of fiction, and books of nonfiction…well you get my drift. Some of the list may not apply to you either and that’s okay, just modify the list by setting your own goals and work toward fulfilling your dream.

So what is your passion? Maybe it’s photography or painting beautiful portraits or starting your own business. Whatever we aspire to do or become can only be accomplished if we take charge and press forward toward a specific goal.

In this same article, the author goes on to further state: “Proactive means taking charge instead of waiting for events to find you.”

I think, to put it another way, if we’re still “dreaming” and wishing for something to happen, but not working toward a goal, then we’re not proactive. We’re not moving forward. We’re stagnant. Have you ever seen stagnant water, it’s not a pretty sight and it smells bad too. Are you stagnant?

What are ten things you should be doing to move forward toward your dream? Have you set reachable goals?

It takes more than just setting goals though. The article goes on to say: “being proactive and taking charge would help you fare much better, appreciate yourself more, and open new doors of opportunity by grabbing 2012 and molding it to your desires”.

I began taking charge in 2008. Not by “trying” to reach my goals. The article said “taking charge”, because by taking charge I’m no longer giving myself permission to be excused if I fail. I’m doing the things that make me uncomfortable, like blogging, socializing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, branding my name and sending out queries and manuscripts, searching for markets. I could just write and not do any of the other stuff, and I could say I’m “trying” to be a writer. I’m writing, aren’t I, and learning, but who’s going to read my work if no one knows it exists. Are you really a writer if you don’t have readers. I tried for forty plus years for fate to make me a writer. It never happened and it wasn’t going too, because all I did was “try”. Trying is not doing.

So if trying isn’t the answer, what is? I decided to become proactive, take charge and make things happen. It’s taken time and effort, but I’ve already won; I became a writer and an author in my own eyes that day. And that’s where it has to start. The author of the original article made one final, but important point in her article. She wrote: “If 2011 wasn’t to your liking, make a change. No one else can do it for you.”

Just like the guy in the picture above and the quote here; you’ll never know what you can do until you do it, take charge…and be proactive.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretsky

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, 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 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.

The Many Blogs and Facebook Pages I’ve Visited

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It’s definitely not Iowa!

The Many Blogs and Facebook Pages I’ve Visited

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time on social networks. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are places I used to be afraid to explore. I don’t know why or even what I thought could happen if I did. Steal my identity I suppose or make fun of what I had to say. But then someone encouraged me to try and I have met some very nice people.

The one thing I couldn’t quite understand about some of these sites is why so many don’t want to have their names on the site or if they do, I still had to spend a lot of time figuring out where it was. What are they hiding or trying to hide?

Many are promoting their books on their blogs, websites, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Well, okay, I don’t mind, I’ll be doing the same when I have a book to promote, but it’s still nice to know whom I’m talking too. Are you a real person or a clever machine? Without a name or a picture of a human face, sometimes it’s hard to tell.

Of course, there are certain personal things I would never put on any of the sites. My home address is one and I would never give out any of my phone numbers. The closest I would come to saying where I live is in Iowa. I know that’s not exactly an exotic place to live, but I like it.

I am a writer. An author. I write short stories and books. Someday, I even hope to get paid for writing my stories. So that means I’ll need readers, people who know my name. If they like me as a person, they’ll be more willing to read what I write. If, as a writer, I stayed anonymous and no one had ever heard of me, how could I ever expect to have anyone searching for me or my stories? If I wanted to stay anonymous I’d use a pen name, but at least it would be a name people can relate too.

I started this blog to let people know what kind of person I am. I hope in doing so, they will like me (and I don’t mean only on my Facebook page “like”) and hopefully they’ll be willing to at least check out my books when (notice I said when, not if) they are published.

Something else I’ve noticed about many of the sites I’ve visited, is the branding of the book titles. Some of the stories haven’t even been published and that’s okay if I’m self-publishing. But what if I want to find a brick and mortar publisher? Many times a publisher will change the name from the original one the author gave it and then what?

I’d have to either refuse letting them change it and possibly lose a contract or I’d have to start all over with a new blog. If I had branded my name instead of the title and gave the domain my name or a variation of it, I wouldn’t have to worry. I could add as many books as I could write to that one blog and promote them right there.

I also started wondering if I did brand just my book and story titles, how would anyone searching on any of the search engines know they’ve found the author who wrote the book they wanted to read.

Titles are not protected. Domain names are. There could be a thousand books with the same title. My name could be the difference between the reader giving up and settling for someone else’s book or blog with the same name or finding me.

Another problem I could see with branding only the book title is; how many books am I going to write. What if I write 20 books or more, am I going to brand each book separate and have a blog or author page for each one. The truth is, I couldn’t keep up with that many promotions. I’d go crazy trying. I do have a life I want to keep along with my writing.

And what if I’m lucky enough to find a traditional publisher to do the marketing for me, all I’d have to do is sit back and rake in the money. Yeah! Right! The traditional publisher is no longer so traditional. Many of them expect the author to have a presence on the social media sites, just as the not so traditional publishers do and self-publishing is an option now too. It’s becoming more and more accepted, but who’s going to take a chance and buy my book if no one has ever heard of me and the only image of me is of an avatar? They probably won’t because they will go to the person they feel they know and have a connection with.

That’s why politicians spend so much time and money on letting the people meet and greet them. If the potential voters feel they know and like the candidate, they are more likely to vote for them.

Here’s someone else’s opinion on this subject. Explore Kristen Lamb’s blog and read what she says about branding. She’s a best selling author. She’s also very honest about how she first started out and what her expectations were. She’s funny, smart, a great teacher on writing and she says she learned the hard way and felt very alone and that’s why she wrote these two best selling books. Her website: http://www.warriorwriters.wordpress.com

Her books: We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media

Are You There Blog? It’s Me Writer

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return and do my best to get to know 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 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 4-10, it might be worth it.

What Are Writers, Really

This is why writers write

“It is impossible to discourage the Real Writers – They don’t give a damn what you say – They’re going to write” – Sinclair Lewis

What Are Writer’s…Really?

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

How would you describe a writer? If you are a writer, how would you describe yourself?

I was thinking about this the other day and I don’t think there is a good way to describe a writer. We are all so different; one description does not fit all. But then I thought about it a little more and I realized there are a couple of things every writer on the planet has in common, but is that enough for a description for every writer?

One place to start investigating is on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and read the comments of writers. Examine their pictures and read their blogs and websites. You’ll learn many things about them and their thoughts.

They come from all walks of life. Some are married with children; others are single by choice and still others who haven’t found the right “one” yet. There are single writer moms and dads and there are young and old of both genders, which work full or part-time jobs. They are all different in many ways, yet all of them are writers.

Many are published, but all are hoping they will be someday…soon…again and again and again…Well you get the point.

I include myself in that writers list. I’m one of the old ones, but I’m not dead yet. I still work full time. I live with a husband, two dogs and four indoor cats and several more outside cats. When our three daughters and son-in-laws and eight grandkids aren’t visiting, I write.

We writers, no matter what our differences, find time to write books, poems, plays, screenplays, blogs, articles and short stories of all genres of fiction, nonfiction, essays, and memoirs. Wherever there is a need for a story, there you will find a writer hard at work, developing their own unique “voice” and doing what they love.

At the end of the day, each writer may have taken a different path, but before their day ends, they will each have fulfilled their dream. Whether they sat typing or scribbling in a notebook or simply writing the words in their memories to put to paper at a later time, their dream of writing is real and it’s always there, pulling the writer to write.

Just like the quote above from Sinclair Lewis so adequately states, “It is impossible to discourage the real writers—they don’t give a damn what you say, they are going to write.”

So how would you describe a writer? I guess for me, it’s really not all that difficult after all. A writer is well, a writer. It’s not just what they do, it’s what they are. Enough said.

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, 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.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at www.knowonder.com.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/

Sometime in June or July 2012 my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.

Who Does Your World Revolve Around?

 

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Who Does Your World Revolve Around?

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

“If your world revolves around you, it’s a very small world. But if it revolves around others, then it’s limitless.” – Master Betsy Steven’s, a sixth degree black belt

 I ran across this quote and thought wow, so I wrote it in the back of my address book. I put it there a long time ago so I could read it often…and then promptly forgot about it.

 Have you found a quote that’s made you sit up and think? One that made you say, wow! One you wanted to remember? If so, then you probably wrote it down or copied it, and like me, stuck it somewhere…and then forgot about it? Maybe, like me you found it unexpectedly while looking for something totally different and it still made you say, wow!

 When I read those words above, they made me question my life and ask myself some thought provoking questions. (Isn’t that why we save stuff like that?) What exactly is my world? Who’s in it and why? Do I want everything to revolve around me? Am I concerned about others? Do I go out of my way to make other people feel good about themselves? Am I willing to step out of my comfort zone to help others, even strangers?

 I think for many, many years, I hid behind my shyness. I know there are some who know me now, and they’re thinking, “What shyness?” The truth is I’ve fought being shy my entire life. I remember as a little girl, hiding behind my mom when a neighbor lady talked to me. I never knew what to say, so I didn’t say anything. I’d rather be alone than be with other people I didn’t know, or go somewhere I’d never been, because what if I said or did something I shouldn’t. People might get mad at me or even laugh and make fun of me.

 It wasn’t until I was nearly an adult that I began to understand other people often feel the same way and they are sometimes thought of as conceited or a snob, when in reality, they are afraid. (Of course there are conceited snobs everywhere.) I didn’t want to be one of them and I didn’t want anyone to think I was.

 Do you ever wonder if shyness is a fear of making mistakes, or a fear of being laughed at, or maybe it’s a fear of being hurt either physically or emotionally? If not, what do you believe shyness really is? Are you shy, and if so, what do you do when you feel a case of shyness coming on? How do you handle it? Do you hide behind your mother’s skirts like I did?

 I’ve learned to face it head on. I ask myself, what could this person or this place do to me? Now, if there are killers and drug addicts where you are or if the person you just met is really dangerous, like a serial killer or rapist, then the fear is legitimate, but if that person or the people there, are just ordinary human beings, probably facing the same fears you are, then look them in the eye, smile, think of something nice to say and say it.

 “Hello, my you have lovely hair.”

 Or “I love your shoes. They’re so cute.” (I love shoes.)

 Or you can even comment on the weather, but you can only use that one if you’ve already tried to think of something better to say and couldn’t.

 I guess what I’m getting at, is we are all in this life together. If we allow fear or shyness or anything else, to hold us back from helping others in whatever possible way we can, then our world is very small and will stay that way.

 I’ve been trying very hard to make my world limitless. This blog is a small start. I try to comment on Facebook and Twitter and I read other peoples blogs and leave comments. It sounds easy, but for me it wasn’t. I had to step out of my comfort zone, but now my small world is growing and soon I hope it will be limitless.

 So what size is your world? Is it very small or is it limitless? Only you can answer that question.

 As always, I appreciate your opinions, comments or questions. Please leave your blog address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter and I will return the favor by leaving a comment, follow, like, 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’d love to hear from you.

 Some of my work can be found online: Last year my children’s story “Pack Leader” was published by Knowonder.com.

 I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories.

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ 

Sometime in June 2012, my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.

 

Working Together When Life Throws Punches

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When Life Throws Punches You Can Always Count On Grandpa  Family

When Life Throws Punches

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Have you ever woke in the morning and found the world, as you knew it, no longer existed? That happened to me recently and it was not fun, but did I give up and crawl back into my bed? No! I faced the day head on like a true black belt.

That’s what we all have to do from time to time when our world is changed without our permission. No one is immune until you’re dead, and I don’t know about you, but that’s one place I’m not too anxious to see anytime soon. 

So how do we cope? Is all change good or bad?

In my opinion, not all change is good or bad. Winning the lottery, getting a raise, changing jobs, because the one you have sucks, buying a new car or house; these are things that have the potential of good, for obvious reasons, but sometimes turn bad, but incase someone doesn’t see the good and the bad, let me explain a little.

Okay, so you won the lottery, you are now the newest millionaire. You can buy anything you want, live anywhere, new house, new car, no more boss, travel is no longer a problem, so many good things.

But then the leaches start coming out of the woodwork wanting your money. Suddenly you have an agent and he’s investing you’re money in stocks and bonds and whatever. Your lawyer is supposed to look out for you and keep his eye on the agent.

You’re too busy having fun and helping the less fortunate to notice what your lawyer and agent are really doing. You’re a good and trusting person, so you’re loaning and giving and buying and…hold on…you’re a millionaire right, so why is the bank foreclosing on…everything? It’s because life throws punches and even when we’re paying attention, those punches can hurt.

Yeah, you say, I suppose that could happen to a lottery winner if he had his head up his butt, but what about the other things you mentioned, how could those things be bad and good?

Okay, so you got a nice big raise, but you better duck, because life is about to throw another punch your way. Now your boss is going to want you to work late, come in early, skip lunches, be at his beck and call day or night. You want to keep your job, you like it, it pays well, it also pays the bills, but now you’re only home to sleep.

Your wife/husband is about to leave you and take the kids. You’ll have to pay child support and alimony for the next umpteen years and even worse than that, move in with your sister’s family. You’ll never recover your losses and you don’t have a life anymore, except at work. Now you realize you hate this job, so to save your marriage you quit and find a new job.

Oh, oh, you’d better duck again because here it comes. Instead of the new job being your salvation, it turns out the boss is even more demanding than the last one. He sends you on business trips for weeks at a time and to top it off, you had to take a cut in pay because of the economy. You don’t even get home to sleep anymore. Your spouse is threatening to leave or lock you out of the house.

Hold on, you say, I suppose that could happen, but getting a new car or house, how can those things be bad?

I have the perfect examples.

My sister-in-law bought a new car so she didn’t have to worry about maintenance. She was a single mom with one son. She figured the warranty would cover pretty much everything. She’d be worry free.

She loved the new car; hence, the good.

It drove great and was easy on gas, but wait for it…here comes the sucker punch…one day, a few weeks later, while driving down the highway…it just stopped running like someone flipped a switch. She had it towed back to the dealer for them to fix. They had it for two weeks. It started again when it was unloaded and every time they turned the key it fired right off. They found nothing wrong.

My sister-in-law took it home and for a few days it ran perfectly, until one day it stopped again. It went back to the dealer. They found nothing wrong. This continued for several months. Sometimes she could drive it for several weeks, other times just a few days.

The mechanics thought it must be electrical, but no one knew for sure. They replaced things though, hoping to fix the problem, but each time the car would die, refuse to start again and then suddenly start.

Finally, one afternoon, on her way home, the car stopped again. She was fed up with the dealership, so she called her brother, my husband, and asked him to please look at it. She told him where it died on the highway and that she’d left the key under the floor mat.

When he arrived at the designated spot, the car was gone. To this day, no one has seen it since. We live in a small town and everyone knows everyone else’s business, even the police. They knew of the problems my sister-in-law was having. After the car was reported stolen, they contacted my husband and asked him where he dumped the car. I swear, he didn’t do it. They sure thought he had, but of course, they didn’t have any proof, because there was none.

My sister-in-law had to fight the insurance company to get a replacement for the stolen car, because she’d left the keys in it, but in the end this punch from life turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Hang on; we’re not done yet. I haven’t showed you the example of the good and the bad of buying a new home:

My niece and her husband bought a new house one spring. They loved it. But soon after moving in, life decided to throw them a punch. It began to rain and didn’t stop for several days. The windows leaked and then the basement flooded. Remember, this is a brand new house.

But the worst punch, was the driveway. The house was built on a little hill and the driveway sloped down toward the street. It began to crack from the rainwater eroding the yard and allowing water to undermine the driveway. It became so bad, they couldn’t use it. They notified the contractor of what was happening. He said it wasn’t his problem.

They contacted their insurance. They said we’re sorry, but it’s not covered. They tried to fight the contractor and the insurance, but to no avail. In the end, her father and uncles repaired the damage and rerouted the flow of water. They also fixed the windows and several other things the contractors had screwed up. They now love their house again.

So, as the examples have shone, not all change is bad, but not all is good either. I guess what I’m trying to point out is when the punches from life come, you have to pick yourself up like a black belt…brush yourself off… and call your family and friends for help.

Of course, there are always some family members and friends who won’t answer that call, but that’s for another blog, for now take comfort in the ones that do.

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment and allow me to find your words, so I can learn what has inspired you to use your imagination to create. If you leave your blog address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will leave a comment, like, 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’d love to hear from you and read your work.

Some of my work can be found online: Here’s a direct link to my children’s story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine. http://www.knowonder.com/2011/11/03/pack-leader-short-bedtime-stories/

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” will be published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ 

Sometime by June 30, 2012 my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.