Tag Archives: short stories

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

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.

Is There Goodness In Murder And Mayhem?

They might be friends or they could be strangers. In the face of mayhem, people care about each other.

They might be friends or they could be strangers. In the face of mayhem, people care about each other.

By Donna Jean McDunn

Sometimes thinking of something to write about can be very difficult, so tonight I went on the internet to find an inspiration. Instead all I found were sad and in some cases, horrible stories of murder and mayhem. There was nothing good to report, but after stumbling across this headline “Abandoned Baby’s Mom Found Dead” I had to read it.

Suddenly what was and still is a terrible crime, had mutated into a combined effort of total strangers and one caring police chief, coming together to find the perpetrator of this heinous crime and bring justice to a young woman and her child.

The police chief’s idea was to raise $5,000 for a reward for the arrest and conviction of the person who took this young woman’s life and left an innocent child motherless and abandoned in an apartment complex hallway. The crime has not been solved yet, but there is not any doubt in my mind that it will be.

After I read the short article, I realized there are still many more good people doing good things for others everyday, even in the face of death and mayhem, than there are those causing all the death and mayhem.

These good people aren’t expecting a pat on the back or even a thank you. They do it because they care and when people care, good things happen.

So the next time you read a story about death and mayhem, look for the good, because if you do, I am sure you will find it in the form of a stranger helping others.

As always, I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts, so please leave a comment.

My short story Trapped, included in the anthology Mystery Times Nine 2012 has been released on Amazon.

My young adult paranormal/mystery will be released in May 2013 on Amazon, but can be viewed now

on MuseItUp 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

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.

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.

A Little About Me

A Little About Me

By Donna Jean McDunn

This is my first entry in my new blog. My goal is to blog at least once a week. I’m going to choose Thursdays for now, until I figure out what day is best. So please check back on Thursday. As you can see from the name of my blog, I’m Donna Jean McDunn and I write fiction. I write short stories for children and adults and maybe the occasional essay. I’ve recently finished writing a paranormal novel for teens (no, it’s not about vampires, it’s about ghosts and psychics and a serial killer in training).

As a child, my older sister and my mom used to read to me, so I grew up loving books. I couldn’t wait to go to school and learn to read and write and before long, I began to dream of becoming a writer. I started out like so many others, writing stories for my friends to read. The stories were always about us, me and my four best friends. Of course they loved them. Who wouldn’t? They were the stars in the stories. But I knew, deep down, the stories really sucked.

Many years went by and during that time, every once in awhile, I’d pull out my paper and pen and write, but gradually that became less and less until one day I woke up, and I was a grandma. (It really did seem like it happened that fast.)

It was June 2008 and I heard my biological, writer’s clock ticking. I realized if I was ever going to be a writer, I needed to begin now. I thought I’d start with a story for my grandchildren (at that time there were six, now there are eight). My first idea was to use one of my old stories, so I pulled them out…and laughed. I couldn’t give such horrible stuff to my grandkids.

I needed to learn to write for real. I decided to take a writing course. That first writer’s course was the beginning of a long and wonderful journey. Since then I have completed two other courses and I’m in the process of completing number four. I now have several short stories I’m proud of, a teen novel, the beginnings of another novel for women’s fiction and I’ve started planning another teen novel. I’ve also learned a lot from reading books and exploring websites about the do’s and don’ts of writing life. On the Internet, one of my favorite places to hang out is with Kristen Lamb www.warriorwriters.wordpress.com where I found the books “We Are Not Alone The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” and “Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer”. They helped me create this blog.

From that first writing course, I found I had a lot to learn about accepting criticism with a smile. I believe this is what really held me back all those years ago. The first few times my instructor told me to rewrite my story and “show, don’t tell” I cried and then I got angry. My stories are my babies. I care about the characters and listening to someone say I’ve done something to hurt my baby…well it’s very hard to accept, but accept it, I had to, if I ever expected to be published. And I wanted that more than anything, so I did as she asked.

It made my stories so much better and I couldn’t begin to thank her enough. Editors have no time to worry about a writer’s feelings or care about a writer who refuses to change what needs to be changed. There are plenty of writers out there who will do whatever the editor asks of them without question. So, if I was ever going to have a prayer of being published, I had to be professional and treat my writing as a business, not my child. It’s critical to continue reading, writing and learning, as much as possible about writing, and the life that goes with it. That’s why at least one critique partner is important and writing courses are a must. They both helped to toughen me up and get me ready to submit and deal with editors in the real writing world.

Rejections are another part of writing that’s hard to accept. I began sending children’s and adult short stories out to online sights and print magazines. I’ve gotten a ton of rejections and I’ve saved every single one. My head said it wasn’t personal. Nevertheless, my heart was still broken. But, I kept submitting and eventually I had a couple of short stories for children published.

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

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

In June I’ll have my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.

Short stories are fun to write and writing for children is even more fun, but I wanted more. That’s why two of the classes I took were designed to teach me how to shape, write and sell novels. I will be submitting my YA paranormal novel to publishers soon. I’ll be sure to keep everyone informed.

In the other novel class designed to teach writing for adults, I’m learning how to write women’s fiction with a little romance, mystery and stalkers added in for flavor. I’ll let you know what happens with it too.

You may be wondering if I ever wrote that book for my grandkids and the answer is a yes. The story is about a stray mama cat (Belle) and our big red dog (Little Red) and how the two of them became friends. Belle produced several kittens before I was able to capture her (feral cats are smart). I finally managed to trap her and the kittens to get them all spay and neutered. I even used real pictures of the animals and the grandkids in the story. They loved it (the kids, not the cats). But like I told my oldest granddaughter when she asked me if it was a true story, she was twelve at the time, I said, “I write fiction. The story was based on real animals and people, but Little Red never rescued Belle from the creek across the road.” How about you? Are you a writer or a reader or maybe both, like me? I will reply to anyone who comments. How else could I get to know you?