Why I Started Writing:
I always knew I wanted to write. I wrote my first poem for soldiers at the age of nine. It was printed in our church bulletin. That same year, I wrote a poem for my mother for Mother’s Day because I didn’t have the money to buy her a gift. My third poem was written at the age of eleven when my dad left my mother after twenty-two years. I sold my first poem (for $1.40) at the age of fourteen to our denominational teen magazine and my first short story (for $12) to our denominational teen Sunday school take-home paper.
Who Influenced Me:
Three people influenced me. 1) My mother—who should have been a writer as she saw ideas in everything and passed them on to me. When she died, she left a big box labeled “Save for Donna” in which she had dozens and dozens of newspaper articles, columns, etc., on which she had written “would make good article.
2) The children’s librarian at our local public library who introduced me to The Writer magazine when I was 9 years old. She held an annual talent program at which she encouraged me to read my poems.
3) Probably the biggest influence was my fifth- and sixth-grade teacher in the Opportunity Room—a room similar to the accelerated classrooms of today. This was the only school in town with such a room so students came from all areas—rich and poor. We learned the Dewey Decimal System, how to outline speeches which we gave in front of the class. These were followed by “Any comments” and the class shared good and bad points. One of every four speeches had to be a memorized poem and one had to be a book report. We put on plays for the entire school (“Christmas Carol,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” etc). Had weekly “Names in the News,” similar to spelldowns except we had to identify names in local, state, federal, and international news. We also had a club meeting every other Friday using Robert’s Rules of Order (keeping minutes, etc.), followed by a time of talent where students could recite, sing, play an instrument, etc. I feel all my writing success today is 95% due to her.
Books I Have Written:
Through the Bible Puzzles (Standard Publishing), puzzle book
Brighten the Corner (Standard Publishing), woman’s devotional book
Dare to Be Different (Standard Publishing), junior devotional book
Help Me, Jesus (contributor, Standard Publishing), teen devotional book
Winning Souls Through the Sunday School (Beacon Hill Press) for S.S. teachers
Early Church Leaders (Alpha-Omega), 8th-grade textbook
I, II, III Peter (Alpha-Omega), 12th-grade textbook
How to Set Up & Run a Typing Service (John Wiley & Sons)
How to Set Up & Run a Tax Preparation Service (John Wiley & Sons)
Teacher Tune-Ups (Gospel Publishing), Sunday school teachers’ devotional book
Hymn Lovers Favorite (Warner Press), perpetual calendar with hymns and Scripture
The Other Side of Broken (Callendar Lane), bio of Dave Clark, gospel songwriter
Michigan and Ohio Cookbooks (Golden West Publishers)
Healing in God’s Time, update of The Other Side of Broken, Believe Books, 1/09
A Step in the Write Direction—The Complete How-to Book for Christian Writers, (UpWrite Publications 2010); also separate Student Edition. Re-released by Elk Lake Publishing Inc in 2015.
Preparing Your Heart for Christmas (Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas).
The Freedom of Letting Go (Comfort Publishing)
Editor: Celebrating Christmas with Memories, Poems, and Good Food (Hidden Brook Press).
Editor: Grandmother, Mother, and Me…Memories, Poems, and Good Food (Hidden Brook).
Editor: Grandfather, Father, and Me…Memories, Poems, and Good Food (Hidden Brook).
The Little Book of Big Laughs (joke book), Harvest House Publishers, 2014
Rhyme-Time Bible Stories for Little Ones, Harvest House Publishers, 2015
Self-published: How to Organize & Lead a Christian Writers’ Club…Critique Group…Conference
What I'm Working On Now:
I sent out a request for submissions over a year ago for a book for caregivers and received over one hundred well-written entries. I have the book divided into chapters, but due to illness have not been able to get back to the authors, for which I feel terrible. I still hope to finish this book as I feel it’s needed.