Thursday, February 28, 2013

Moving Forward

The thing about being an author these days, is necessary marketing of ourselves and our work. Fortunately social media has made this a lot easier.

I have this blog as well as Twitter and Facebook. Now I have an author page:

I'm pretty excited about it. I think it's kinda funny how I spent 2 1/2 years writing this blog, and only have 49 followers, but once I fired up that author page, I had over 60 in two hours. Wild.

So if you're seeing this blog from my new author page for the first time, let me tell you about it.

I started it in September 2010 in order to promote Thoeba BEFORE it came out. I did it in Thoeba's voice, and I chronicled her discoveries here on Earth.

She discovered things like fashion, coffee, credit cards and a vast variety of cuisine. She learned about our holidays and the meal times that went with them. Then she discovered exercise. It was fun for awhile. It was like experiencing everything for the first time, through a fresh set of eyes.

But of course that got old. It's difficult to get excited about everyday things like phones and refrigerators.  Even harder to make them SOUND fascinating. And as the saying goes..."If you didn't enjoy writing it, the reader won't enjoy reading it."

So I started writing as myself. Nothing in particular...just whatever comes to mind that week. Sometimes I'm pondering inspiration, sometimes there's an interview. I just don't want to be bored or boring. Hopefully I'm doing okay on that end.

If you've never been here before, you'll find three pages to your right. One is the Prologue for Thoeba, so you can have a peek at the novel of the same name.

The one titled 'Who is Jim-Thing?" is just a little blurb I wrote after one of my villains made an appearance and took over the blog for a couple of weeks. I chose him after my beta readers expressed a certain affection for him.

My favorite is 'The Sacred Truth'. This is the myth I wrote to tie all my novels together. I'm not writing a series, but this little write-up explains Thoeba and her kind--How they came into existence. Essentially this myth explains the Donna Milward brand.

Soon I will include an excerpt of my upcoming novel, Aphrodite's War to add to these pages, and I hope you'll like it. In the meantime, I'll be here every Thursday. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm Thick.

Thick ath a nog...

My nose and chest are full of disgusting goo, and my head and throat ache. When I cough, I don't cover my mouth, I grasp my head in the hopes that my brain won't burst through my skull like Athena on a bungee cord.

Last time I was ill, I ranted on Facebook, "What purpose does snot serve?" My friend Kelly googled it and came up with something like this: "This mucus serves to protect epithelial cells (the lining of the tubes) in the respiratorygastrointestinalurogenital, visual, and auditory systems in mammals; the epidermis in amphibians; and the gills in fish. A major function of this mucus is to protect against infectious agents such as fungibacteria and viruses." Gee, thanks Wikipedia. 

That still doesn't tell me why...Why is there so much of the stuff? If the 'infectious agents' already breached the wall, how is MORE mucus somehow better? Is that another one of God's weird jokes?

Why doesn't my cough medicine work? Why does it make me dream of cartoon fruit? Where is the talking tomato taking me anyway? Why is it that all I need is rest, but my cough and stuffed nose won't let me? Why does sickie hair have to look all tousled and cool when you can't go anywhere and you'd have to wash it anyway? 

AND WHY IS THERE STILL PULP IN ORANGE JUICE? (See photo) Seriously, do you know anyone who wants to CHEW their beverage?

Sigh...Wish me wellness. I'm going back to bed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


David Castillo Dominici/
Today is Valentine's day, but I wrote this blog yesterday to take the day off from it. Y' all excuse me while I make a Sheppard's Pie to woo a troll from under a bridge?

I've known my friend Mel off and on since we were 14 years old. We grew up with each other in Fox Creek, and way back then, we didn't care for each other much. Even though we are born a day apart, we had nothing in common. To generalize and categorize, she was religious and I was a headbanger. Nuff said.

We got in touch through Facebook, and have been close ever since. Funny how that happened...we still shake our heads in wonder. How did that happen? But we no longer care.

We get together as often as time allows, talking about our lives, our good times, our problems, old times and job stress. (What? I have deadlines, promotions and I DO have a life away from my keyboard, y'know) Anyway, since we both turned forty-one, we decided we needed to get away. Have some frivolous fun. Maybe we were feeling impulsive.


We decided we would drive around in our own backyard of Alberta and check out museums. Believe me, there's TONS of them. Most towns have one sight-seeing point or another. So we drove to Morinville...

Oops! Too early. Well no problem, on to the next. So we arrived in Legal. Also too early. But I got a chance to point out where the settings of my current manuscript was taking place. We took pictures of churches and laughed at our lack of timing.

Why churches? Because the chapter I'm currently working on takes place in a church, and I figured I needed some authentic provincial and cultural atmosphere for it.

We drive back roads, sketchy stuff since it's winter in Canada, but the roads are good.

We made our way to Thorhild, and since the museum was open from 2-5, we decided to go for lunch the only chinese/western restaurant in town.

Insert "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" theme here.  Nope. We're not local. Could y'all  please stop gawking while the owner seats us at the only available spot (the staff table, obviously) in the joint? Decent and cheap buffet. $8.95 a person, and the ginger beef tasted like beef, not MSG. The food was so cheap, they couldn't afford real bathrooms, which were not much more than attached outhouses with plumbing. Clearly an afterthought when the building was constructed. ( What? You need to pee? What do you think this is? A DINING ESTABLISHMENT?!) How did the water not freeze in the toilets?

We go to the museum, and guess what? IT'S CLOSED. Apparently, if we hadn't gone for lunch, we would have made it. Oh for three, so we head home as the day wanes.

I found a small secret--a historical site not on our map and certainly not on Google. I looked. I'd seen a  small sign with a red arrow that told me Sandy Hills Historical Site went thataway, and Mel made good on her promise to take us there on the way back.

It was a tiny church with a silver, pointed dome. It's old, white, and clearly no longer in use, but lovingly cared for. Someone wanted to keep it alive.

It's perfect. It's the precise thing I've been looking to write about. And I can't wait. It means redoing several pages in a manuscript already accustomed to change, but this pretty little gem deserves my attention. It inspires me.

I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that one can find inspiration anywhere, with good friends. Thanks Melaida. I can't wait for our next adventure!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I had a birthday on Tuesday. My forty-first, and strangely enough, I don't have a problem admitting to it.

When I turned twenty-one, I drank my face off until the early hours and had a great time doing it. But I remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach...the one that told me the best years of my life were over. The party was about to stop and the pressures of reality and growing older were about to descend upon me. Funny thing is, I worked two jobs most of the time already, and I'd been worrying over money and my life's direction for years.

When I turned thirty, I cried for two thirds of the day. My youth was gone forever, and all I'd done with it was WORK. I never traveled or did anything cool because I was always busying working to create a better life for myself and my beloved troll.

Last year I turned forty without any tears. In fact, I had a great milestone with my husband and a handful of good friends. I had only a few years previously married my troll and got my first novel published that year. We had no credit card debt...only a mortgage. I was pretty pleased with how things were going.

This year, instead of fretting over my lost youth and opportunities, I'm making plans to reclaim both. Not that I'm not satisfied with what I've got. On the contrary...I have the time, knowledge and enough money to live life as I like it. And I may look older, but I've got character. I'm counting my many blessings.

If I could go back in time and talk to a much younger me, I would tell her:

All the hard work you do will amount to something. You are a good person with strong core values that will guide you to your dreams and you will find a way to makes them come true. You will learn to roll with the punches, and solve the problems that overwhelm you now. Better yet, you'll learn how to avoid them. People really DO love you. You will find self-worth, and discover you have endless love to give. You will grow and change and find happiness.Stay the course, because you actually know what you're doing.

Yep, being forty-one is fine. I can't wait to see what adventures await! What will life be like at fifty?