Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blog Chain

I’m honored that Donna Volkenannt  has invited me to be part of a blog chain to discuss my writing process. 

Donna Volkenannt was the first-place winner of the 2012 Erma Bombeck Global Humor Writing Award, and a top-ten finalist in the 2014 Erma Bombeck Global Human Interest award category. I’ve known her for several years, and not only is she a great writer, but a wonderful person who is a caring and supportive friend. She blogs at Donna’s Book

Here are my answers to Donna’s questions:

1. What am I working on?
Several articles that are in various stages of completion, including one on Jory Sherman and his role in the Beat Writers. I’m also putting together a talk for the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writer’s Guild Conference this fall on getting your message across effectively in non-fiction. I’m always searching for blog content, and grading papers or speeches for my communications classes at St. Charles and St. Louis Community Colleges.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I try to bring a fresh perspective to my nonfiction by keeping the writing simple, clear and with a humorous slant, if possible. 

3. Why do I write what I do?
Everything I write is because I have a passion for it. I’ve written a couple of novels that still need editing, but everything comes from the need to answer a question, regardless of genre.

4. How does your writing process work?
I don’t have a particular process. I write when I can, and edit while I’m writing, and then again when I’m finished. I’m a night owl, but have recently been writing (a little) in the morning. And, I’ve been composing some sentences, thoughts and ideas on my iPhone. It’s always with me, like a notebook, so it’s a convenient way to record those short bursts of creativity that happen at the most unlikely times. 

5. The last step in this process is to invite two other authors to participate in the blog chain.
I hope that my writing friends and blogging buddies, Sheree Nielsen and Pat Wahler, will continue this blog chain. 

Sheree Nielsen is the author of Folly Beach Dances, a soon-to-be-published coffee table book that features the photography of Sheree and her husband, Russell, along with the poetry of many women writers (full disclosure) including me.

Pat Wahler is a grant writer by day and writer of essays and fiction by night. She is published in dozens of national and local venues and is a member of Missouri Writers Guild, Saturday Writers, and Coffee and Critique. Her work also appears in Folly Beach Dances. Her blog is Critter 

Thanks, Donna, for inviting me to participate in the blog chain.

Write soon,


  1. A couple of novels that need editing? Is that all you're going to give us, Mary? No details? No tidbits?

    Come on...;)

  2. Eminent Domain - about one woman's fight to save a historic mansion, and True North -- a suspense novel about a government cover-up of a geologist's findings. I just don't feel like either one is even close to being ready for readers, so I guess I'm hiding behind vague bits and pieces of information. Maybe your prompt will get me back on track to some serious editing. Thanks, Sioux, for making me accountable!

  3. I wonder, do you find that you are more creative in the morning or at night? Much success with your novels and all of your writing, Mary.

    1. Linda, I used to say more creative at night, but in the past few years I have had some very creative ideas in the morning that I find myself jotting down on my phone or in a notebook next to my bed. I'm sure it has nothing to do with getting older, ha ha.

  4. Hi Mary,
    Wow! You are one busy writer.
    Like you, I tend to edit while I'm writing, which I've been advised against doing, but I can't help myself. I love the concepts of your novels, especially Eminent Domain, about the woman's fight to save a historic mansion.
    Glad to read you're working on the Jory project.
    And thanks for participating in the blog chain and passing it along.

    1. I can't help myself either! But that was one good thing about NaNoWriMo, that it forced me to keep moving forward instead of rereading and changing everything as I went along. I do think that there is no right or wrong way, so whatever works is the best way to go!