Thursday, September 25, 2014

Four Years Already?

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Do you people realize that I've been blogging for FOUR YEARS? How about that? My introduction to the blogging world occurred on September 23rd, 2010, as Thoeba.

A lot has happened since then. I even got married that year after 14 years of living in sin.

Thoeba wasn't published yet, and I was still typing away madly at Aphrodite's War while searching for both an agent AND a publisher. The art of writing was, and still is, intimidating. That's why this blog rarely contains expert writing advice. I'm no expert.

This blog became less about Thoeba, and more of a public journal. I only have 90 followers, but that's okay. I'd love more followers, but I don't want to shove these meandering rantings down your throat. I know you're still reading, even when you're not commenting or following regularly. I see my stats (Thank you United States of America, including Alaska, Canada and China!) and often in conversation I'll mention my blog, and I'll hear, "Yeah, I read that post." Thank you <3 That means a lot to me. There are thousands upon thousands of other blogs out there, and you're still reading mine.

Thanks to my regular and semi-regular commenters, Kevin, Mj, jlotus, Colleen, and Kathy. It's always nice to see you.

I'm not running a contest for this anniversary. My smashwords codes have been voided due to piracy issues, but I'll still send signed bookmarks to anyone who asks, either here, or on
My author page:
Google+ Donna Milward
or in person.

If you look back at my old posts, my favorite is still 'Javascript', (Nov. 4/2010) when Thoeba discovers coffee for the first time. Most recently, I loved my semi-sleeping ramble 'Don't Follow the Tomato.'(Jan. 16/2014.)

So...Here's to at least four more years. Cheers! I hope I can still keep you reasonably entertained. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

If You Can Read This--

I don't have any children, but I have a deep appreciation for this quote and for teachers. Maybe it's BECAUSE I don't have kids that I can stand on the outside and look in.

I see teachers like my friend Kevin <3 as unselfish people, motivated by the love of children and learning, and it's NOT a job I would ever want.

Actually...There was a time I wanted to be a teacher, specifically English or Language Arts. I thought sure, the money wouldn't be that great, but I'd spend my days teaching others about the beauty of reading and writing. I could teach them the importance of an idiolect and explain what it means to 'coin' a word. Plus I'd get my weekends and summers off. I could hand out cute little stickers for good work and change lives. That sounded pretty cool to me.

Then as I got older, I realized I didn't like children much. AND that I wasn't selfless enough. (I'm incredibly self-absorbed and was born without patience. I'm like Lumpy Space Princess.) 
I found out that teachers make next to nothing these days, especially in comparison to the ACTUAL hours they put in, and that they spend their own cash to dole out those cute little rewards, after they've spent their evenings correcting countless papers.

It occurred to me...Who in their right mind goes to university for four years to make a piddly wage that requires them to be a glorified babysitter five days a week? Keeping an eye on 30 kids at a time? They're also charged with educating these children on top of that. That's a heavy responsibility.

What if every teacher threw down their sharpies and pens and said "Screw this! I want to do something else for a living. I can make better money selling Mary Kay." Where would we be? Oh yeah...Home school. Not for the faint of heart, light of brain or the impatient.

I know some people who home school their kids, like my friend Natasja, and they're pretty good at it, but I don't think that's an option for everyone. Not everyone has the kindness, patience and perseverance Nat has.

Put it this way...Do you really want to spend all day with your kids? Every day? Trying to drum lessons they may not feel like learning into their inattentive minds? Yes? For how long?

I'm saying pay teachers more, and cut them a little slack. It's a thankless job, but someone in the village has to do it. Better them than you and me. We're not qualified.

Thank you , teachers. I will always appreciate the work you do.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kiss the Monarch Sky

IMG_2297.jpgHow about something a little different? One of the cool things about being a writer is the other creative people we get to meet. I met Brandy Black on a paranormal project, and while the project fell flat, we stayed in touch.

I knew she was in the band Monarch Sky, but never really had a chance to go see them. They came to a favorite bar of mine that's within walking distance of my house, so no more excuses! So glad I went!

Brandy's voice soars over crunchy, grinding guitar and bass. The drums stand out without overwhelming the songs. This is a great example of four individually talented people who come together to form a juggernaut of pleasant noise.

They have a fundraiser going on if you'd like to see them succeed as much as I do. Here's a link!

Please feel free to check them out. This band is very hands on, and work hard. Brandy does all the artwork, and you'll love it! These people deserve to be HUGE!! Here's the Facebook event page!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Official Announcement About 'Chasing Monsters'

I rewarded myself with this bead. It looks like Nequam.
At the actual time of this writing, it's Tuesday. I've just finished the first draft of my third novel, CHASING MONSTERS. I'm hyper and I'm wiped. I'm ecstatic and relieved. I wasn't sure if I could do it.

Note to self: Never write characters based on your friends, or your current obligations. It's not polite to make poetic writer's license for people you like. If you've read this blog long enough, you know I was a paranormal investigator for a time. My main character's name is Noelle, and SHE is a paranormal investigator. For the record, I did not become a paranormal investigator just for the novel. I was invited, and I jumped at the chance because I REALLY wanted the experience. It was so cool, and taught me so much! To Edmonton Paranormal's credit, they asked me to be Client Care Consultant even though they knew I was writing the novel.  They thought I would be approachable and nice. (My reaction was something akin to "Have you even MET me?!") They'll be in the acknowledgments.

A lot of things happened from the beginning of this novel to its conclusion. Some things exciting, some things uncomfortable. One of our team members, who asked if he could be in my novel, passed away two months after I said yes and it hurts to know that he'll never see how heroic I made him look. Or how I tried to show the world the interesting little Dane he was. Well...he was special to us. We all loved him. CHASING MONSTERS will be dedicated to the memory of Gary Larsen, and those of you who knew him might just recognize him in the book. I hope. He's not around to give me any feedback to his character.
This is Gary Larsen. RIP, Sweetie <3

This is the plan. I'm taking a week away from CHASING MONSTERS. I want to come in with fresh eyes when I edit the crap out of that manuscript. I intend to be finished all three, four or five of those revamps by Christmas before I hand it over to Staccato Publishing. No, it's not because it NEEDS changing. It's because the book has evolved considerably, for the better, and the entire work needs to make sense.

In the meantime, I won't be idle. I have a lot of research to do--starting with Egypt, and I need to establish a timeline for a new novella series. Wish me luck.

I'm also going to take the time to enjoy one of my hobbies: canning. I'm also going to harvest my garden and clean up my poor, neglected yard. It looks abandoned, with weeds past my waist. I wish I were exaggerating. I'm 5 foot four and a half.

So don't be surprised if I'm not here next Thursday. And don't be surprised if this blog isn't about writing if I am. Don't worry...I got it ;) I just have some work to do.