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November 15, 2010


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Love the image of your laptop as a pirate's treasure chest, Donna. I can just see you singing, "Ho-ho-ho and a bottle of rum (Coke? coffee?); the writer's life for me!"

Leigh Michaels

Donna Cummings

LOL, Leigh -- it depends on the time of day (right now it's coffee!)

And my pirate's chest needs to be filled up I think -- it's not producing enough treasures at the moment. LOL

Thanks for stopping by!

anita clenney

I loved Murder She Wrote. I was in love with her lifestyle. My daughter was getting ready for kindergarten when I realized--after a long reading spell--that I wanted to write. It seemed bizarre, but I was determined. If I'd known how hard it is, I wouldn't have tried, so thank goodness I didn't know, because I love being a writer. It's frustrating and tiring, but the most fun, wonderful thing I could be doing. I still sometimes feel like I'm still dreaming it all. I love being able to say I'm a writer. I love being able to create these stories and characters. There's something incredibly empowering about knowing you've created larger than life characters and given them histories and quirks and characteristics. But the hardest thing for me is learning how to balance it with the rest of my life. Not so good at that :)


I love it when a good commment disappears. Sigh.

I can't remember all that I wrote...but I know I wanted to write from really young. I think it was from reading "Hawaii" from Michener that did it for me. Yup, the big, fat historical novel. Then I read Leon Uris and again... I wanted to be a historical novelist.

Well, that eventually faded away but not the desire to write. Instead, I fell back into the adventures I loved to read...Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, even Conan... So, I write adventure and am so much happier than I would have been as a historical novelist. Too much research!


Clarissa Southwick

Like you, I always wanted to be a writer, but thought it was an unrealistic goal. Until the day my husband told me, "If you're going to waste all that time writing, you might as well try to get it published." So kudos to him for any success I may have.

Donna Cummings

Anita, that's exactly it -- I was in love with her lifestyle. :) And I know what you mean about not knowing what you're getting in for before you start something--been there a FEW times. LOL

I love saying I'm a writer and being a writer and letting my stories come to life. It IS hard to balance it all with the other aspects of life. I wish I had the answer for that. :) If you come across it, make sure you share it!

Donna Cummings

Maureen, so sorry that happened to you! I was getting a lot of spam comments recently, so I reinstated the code thingie--hope that wasn't what ate up your comment. :(

I LOVED Michener's HAWAII. I read it twice within a few years. I don't know that I could get involved in a huge book like that now, but at the time I was so absorbed in all the different stories he had in there. I can remember so much of it too, which means it was very powerfully written. I don't think I'd have the stamina to write something like that either!

Donna Cummings

Clarissa, I can't wait to see the dedication you write to your husband when your first book is published (which I just know is going to be sooner rather than later!)

I'm still laughing at "if you're gonna waste all that time writing". It's practice, right? :)

Rochelle Staab

Donna - yes, yes, yes on all of it. The minute I saw Jessica Fletcher at her typewriter in the 80s I knew my dream of writing one day would come true. Seeing her pound away at the typewriter just felt right. Of course, good old Jessica didn't have Facebook, blogs, Twitter, or websites to juggle (just the townspeople who kept dropping dead.)

Being a writer means freedom to me. Freedom to exercise my creativity and share. A portable career that will take me anywhere and everywhere. A reason to go to the most bizarre websites on the Internet. My Internet history is a novel unto itself.

I'm proud to identify as a writer - I set a goal and immersed myself in the process. And came out the other side with a novel! About time this imagination did something useful :)

It was great fun to meet you this weekend, Donna. I'm so happy we had the chance to connect - writer to writer.

Donna Cummings

Rochelle, I'm nodding my head, agreeing with everything YOU said. And I'm laughing trying to decide which is worse, juggling all the social media or dealing with the townspeople dying off. LOL

I agree with the freedom aspect -- that's what is so intoxicating to me about writing -- and I love the notion of it being a "portable career". I definitely take it with me everywhere, and everything I see/hear/experience is a potential story idea.

I loved getting to meet you too! And the dancing and laughter and talking about writing was priceless. :) I've been quite inspired since I got back.


Don't you wonder if after Jessica left Cabot Cove, did the lifespan of the residents rise? ;-)

Donna Cummings

LOL, Maureen -- maybe that's why they had Jessica go visit all those nieces and nephews in other cities too. To give the Cabot Cove residents a chance to repopulate!

Erin Kelly

Ahh, Murder She Wrote. That was one of the few TV shows we were allowed to watch growing up. Ironically, in my opinion, given the requisite dead body ;) Still, she was so darn clever and sophisticated, I did want to be like her :)

I'm glad that you had a lovely time at the conference, as well as meeting your agent. Getting those little affirming moments in the quiet life of a writer is a very good thing indeed. As for me, I've taken a seasonal job at a jewelry store through Christmas, so hopefully I will be bursting with plots and ideas come the New Year.



What a wonderful post! I smiled as I read--so glad you've been able to fulfill your life dreams. I can't wait to read your novels one day. Murder She Wrote was my mother's favorite TV show--brought back great memories.


Donna Cummings

Erin, that is pretty funny that you got to watch Ms. Jessica, even though her presence guaranteed a dead body would show up somewhere! I thought she was clever and sophisticated, too, and she was always so darn NICE. :)

You're right about those moments with other writers. I have a tendency to forget how great the connection is until it happens, and then I wonder why I waited so long!

Good luck on your seasonal job. :) I'm sure you'll have plenty of story ideas, and how nice to be in the midst of all those lovely baubles!

Donna Cummings

Marilyn, I'm glad my post brought you such great memories! Isn't it great how a little snippet of a song, or a TV show, can put you right back in the midst of happy times?

I'm looking forward to reading your books too. I know you've got to be thrilled at your recent sale. :)

Jan O'Hara

I wanted to write in elementary school, but the desire had cemented by middle school. I read Hemmingway, Mary Stewart, Jan de Hartog... The concept of being able to travel and view other cultures was a huge part of the appeal, not to mention my long-term love affair with words.

Now I sit in the same city as where I was born, only about eight miles from my childhood home. I seldom travel. But I love the writing itself, the sense of purpose, challenge, triumph. I also appreciate the friendships I've made online.

Lovely post, Donna. You sounds so content. :)

Donna Cummings

Jan, I remember writing when I was in elementary school, but I don't think I thought of it as something I could do outside of school. LOL I envy you realizing that so early.

It's funny since I thought I'd never leave home, and I've ended up living all kinds of different places. :) Guess it's a good thing we weren't in charge of predicting our futures, right?

I really enjoy the online writer friendships I've made -- they help keep things on an even keel.

Kathryne Kennedy

Hi Donna! What a wonderful post! I have to say, one of the things I didn't consider when becoming a writer was all the friends I would make, especially people from the UK, Australia, Germany...such a thrill!
I'm grateful for my online friendship with you!

Donna Cummings

Kathryne, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It sounds incredibly thrilling to make friends all over the world--especially since writing can be so solitary at times. :)

I definitely enjoy my online friendship with you--another one of those benefits to being a writer!


Donna I'm extremely ecstatic that you decide to become a little more impractical and set aside your practicalities.

In other words

I'm so happy that you decide to pursue your dream of being a writer!

Donna Cummings

LOL, Julie -- hopefully being impractical will end up being the height of practicality at some point.

I am very happy to be pursuing my dream. Thanks for sharing it with me. :)


Ah, yes, "Murder She Wrote" brings back fond memories. Jessica Fletcher is an inspiration. I like to think she didn't start selling her writing until she was older, because that's when all the adventures began! Hey, it's my birthday today so I'm right on schedule for the interesting stuff to start happening! LOL Oops, that is, I don't exactly want the murder mystery kind of real life excitement. Eeek. Careful what you wish for? LOL

Donna Cummings

Melissa, another Scorpio? Woo hoo! I hope you are going to have a "birthday month". . .or maybe it's a "half month" for you. LOL No matter what, Happy Birthday! I hope it's a fun one for you. :)

And I definitely like your idea about Jessica not selling until she was older. Yes, that's definitely the way to look at that! Thanks--you've given ME a great birthday present!


I first started watching Murder, She Wrote with my grandmother when I was in kindergarten. She would watch it at noon and I'd put my toys down and watch it with her while eating lunch and I became hooked. I now have all 12 seasons(at least I think there were 12) on Netflix and I'm watching one now. Now that I'm 18, I am determined to publish a novel. After watching Murder, She Wrote, I fell in love with writing. While most of the stories I've written have been based on TV shows and stuff, I have worked hard to start writing original stories.
For my graduation gift, I'm hoping someone gets me a typewriter, specifically an Old Royal Typewriter with glass keys. It's a long shot but a girl can hope can't she?

Donna Cummings

Sydney, that's awesome that you're a lifelong Jessica Fletcher fan! And it's exciting that it inspired you to write too. :)

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get that typewriter--there's something so appealing about that, even though I do love my laptop (I don't want it to feel neglected all of a sudden!) Because yes, a girl can hope. And she should. :)

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