Kate’s Garden by Janine M. Donoho

Madrone CommunityAlong my way to an oceanfront writers’ retreat, this parched desert woman received the gift of Kate’s garden. Fitted like a jewel in the bezel of coastal Washington, her garden’s the opposite of dry. I sipped coffee surrounded by lush morning filled with intricate songs from MacGillivray’s and Wilson’s warblers, Swainson’s thrush, and the ubiquitous Robin. Cacophonous geese winged northeast–perhaps toward my high desert.

Serene PathKate’s artfulness shows in her placement of azalea, stone, rose and bench. Prayerful seating maximizes natural connections. Her latest Mother’s Day hydrangea–deepest pink–confirms how much she’s loved. Even the air smelled green with plant exhalations and floral abundance.

Her stunning historical FOR SUCH A TIME from Bethany House Publishers launches April 1, 2014. Even though her novel’s been endorsed by heavy-hitter Debbie Macomber, Kate’s too shy to tout her own bona fides. Besides that’s what fan-friends are for…

Like many of us creatives, she balks at misrepresenting herself.Serenity What that equates with? We fail to reach out to the very readers who want and need our work. Since she writes inspirational fiction steeped in history, I’ve no doubt that her readers will come. To help that happen, watch for updates both here and at http://katebreslin.com/.

Mature garden spaceI hope you enjoyed this pictorial journey. Right now Kate’s wrestling with how to make her next novel as life-enhancing as FOR SUCH A TIME. Meanwhile I’m infatuated with editing my next MISTBORN CHRONICLE.

So I shared–now it’s your turn. What’s riveting your attention and getting you out of bed each morning?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Really? Moderation in all things… by Janine M. Donoho

Our Immoderate Daffs

Our Immoderate Daffs

At various time this phrase has taken on political and religious fervor, but that’s not where I want to go. Instead I ask you, “Really? Moderation gets us to awesome?” Just sayin’.

Immoderate White-tailed Deer

Immoderate White-tailed Deer

Perhaps before Terence’s death in 159 B.C.E., life demanded restraint. If you start your life as a slave as he did, that could bank your fires. It might have led to his early death, too. Plus those Roman robes required sweeping gestures and a measured pace. Still it’s tough to feel ardent about moderation.

Granted self-restraint’s necessary in any number of arenas—when you’re a martial arts expert, cleaning a garbage disposal, teaching a child, dealing with fringe elements…. I get that. Transplanting my seedlings takes self-control, although I’m more driven by reverence for life. How cool is it that entire forests begin with a seed?

When it comes to other passions like dance, writing, reading, or artwork, I’m more of a full throttle woman.

Immoderate Mountain Bluebird Male

Immoderate Mountain Bluebird Male

Even when gaining competency, don’t you need to push yourself—immoderately? The sense of our firefly existence drives me. So many choreographies, stories and visual renditions percolate that I’d have to live another century or two to finish them. Besides how can anyone approach the work of completing entire novels or series unless your vision’s intensely engaged?

Thus let me modify Terence’s words to ‘moderation in those things necessary, exuberance in all else’. I don’t think he’d mind. His Woman of Andros (Andria) was a romantic comedy after all. As in most New Comedy, he relied upon frequent external solutions to smooth the path to resolution. Very soap opera, don’t you think?

Moderate Blue Grouse Female

Moderate Blue Grouse Female

So I leave you, dear reader, with another Terence quote that works much better for me as a world-building writer of fantasy:

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”                 

“I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”

With that you’re invited into my world with FORGED IN MIST, book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES, coming soon to an e-reader near you.

Immoderate Blue Grouse Male

Immoderate Blue Grouse Male


End of YakTraxia by Janine M. Donoho

End to YakTraxiaWhat does spring mean to you? For us the season of YakTrax draws to its annual end. The timing’s good; my Pro-Trax have sprung a few coils. The snow-laden roof will release the flying squirrel toy lost since December. Earth’s bones begin to emerge from beneath ice and our winter cave can use a good airing.

Connor racing to tall about the eagles' returnLast week a major melt began, punctuated by hail last night. Like the rest of our planet, we’re experiencing cockeyed seasons. This thaw arrives earlier than usual. Other than crafting sustainable choices on a personal level, what’s a citizen to do? I order more vegetable, fruit and flower seeds from Swallowtail Garden, then go for a hike.

Dependent upon temperament–or which leg of the ramble we’re on–our pack treads on either remaining snowpack or The boys of my packemerging soil. Both can be fraught with risk. Slush engenders a new dance step: one-step-forward, half-a-slip-back. The percussion of cascading drips from Ponderosa pines enhances our unique tempo. Meanwhile treading upon saturated moondust–yes, the yummy brown of my fave dark chocolate–gobbles an entire boot. Sucking sounds accompany language picked up while testing Naval ship systems. The boisterous aroma of fertile soils and emerging plants combines with this.

One of bald eagle pair on snagSongs of returning birds add delight. A persistent pileated woodpecker competes with local black bear on who can peck or gouge the most insect larvae from a downed pine. Later in spring the same woodpecker will perch on our metal roof at sunrise and broadcast his mating vigor–think jackhammer. Our whippet informs us that the mated pair of bald eagles has returned–Connor insists upon yelling at them. Then at dusk I hear the wicka-wicka-wicka of a Northern Flicker. Anticipation warms me.

Iggy in rotting snowNow my break’s over. Back to editing FORGED IN MIST, book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES. I’m over half way there–and spring comes.

Soulful Pack & One Outlier by Janine M. Donoho

Manny Kartouche' & Nina Sophia, puppyWho are your boon companions? When not writingConnor & Nina or playing with artful things, much of my life revolves around mine. I thought I’d share the nonhuman ones with you. Yes, you’re witnessing unconditional love.Chicken skin love with Mandy, Connor, Ziggy & Gilly Girl


Gilly Girl on lapExcept for Gilly Girl, who’s a cat, after all. To her, I serve as private groomer, comfy lap and she-who-feeds-me-scrumptious-stinky-foods.

Now onto daily edits of FORGED IN MIST, book 2Best garden helper ever - Mandy of MISTBORN CHRONICLES.

Greetings Well-Hung Sweetheart by Janine M. Donoho

Morning has broken 5Greetings Well-Hung Sweetheart. Yes, that’s the joyful porn spam greeting of the day. Remember when spam meant spiced ham with the ingredients of pork shoulder, ham, salt, sugar, sodium nitrite and water? And yes, Google spam automatically goes away after 30 days. What’s in my box can’t be good feng shui, though.

The Association of Feng Shui experts for this Year of the Snake warns that if you want to avoid misfortune–and who doesn’t–never, ever disturb the path of a snake. In a landscape populated by rattlesnakes, that goes unsaid. They also admonish against renovations or hole digging along your southeast property. Nothing about porn spam, but I still delete daily while laughing at its absurdity.

On another note, we’re into a pre-spring cycle of melt by day, freeze by night. Our northern exposure has developed into a stellar luge course and the western mountains inspire coralline mornings. Plus we’re still finding gorgeous critter tracks in the snow. Definitely feline, here’s either a lynx or cougar print beside my boot for reference.Probably Lynx We’re an exotic predator pack surrounded by native predators–very stimulating for a geeky biologist.

Now back to editing FORGED IN MIST…book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES.

Free Verse Gratitude to 1st Reviewer of BORNE OF MIST by Janine M. Donoho



5 stars dropped5.0 out of 5 stars E book, December 27, 2012

By Judith F. Reel (Smithville,Mo USA)
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is for Borne of Mist (Mistborn Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)

Great story line and well written. I have read this author on Fanfiction.net and that is why when I found out that this author wrote a e book I bought it.

Thank you so much for my very first reader’s review of BORNE OF MIST, Judith. You’re officially a pack member.

As I finish editing FORGED IN MIST, Book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES, I visited my Amazon site for an update. And there your review was–the equivalent of lightning bolt and plant root starter. Yes, a seemingly mixed metaphor even though both fulgarites formed by strikes and root starters can be rich in phosphorous–but that’s another story.

You see, we writers often write in isolation, impelled by story worms that drill into our brains and refuse to leave until we do their will. Then we offer our finished works to readers, hoping with little credence that someone will come along who gets the story. When that person goes even further and reviews with 5 stars dropped   …well, expect tears and crazy dancing.

The New DayNo longer quite so alone in the Okanogan Highlands. Thank you, my sweet, for both your interest in reading my story along with the added fillip your review bestowed. Joy to you and yours.

Fellow authors, how does a great review from a reader affect you? And Dear Readers, what compels you to write reviews?

Warmed by Gratitude by Janine M. Donoho

Fairy LegsWinter crept upon us with fairy legs. The snow pack resembles a polar bear rolling around to scratch its back, agitating flurries as it wriggles. So grateful for a snug home,Doe eating dessicated Maximillian sunflowers outside the dog yard curried winter squash stew bubbling in the crockpot—a keyboard that does my bidding. Outside the dog yard, a doe browses last year’s Maximilian sunflowers. Playing with the cover of FORGED IN MIST, Book 2 of the MISTBORN CHRONICLES before editing more copy. Thankfulness cradles me.





Icicles on icicles

Icicles on icicles

The New Day by Janine M. Donoho

Okay, I considered ‘going rogue’. Unfortunately, that phrase has taken on an abysmal political stench even as Urban Dictionary defines it as a sexual act. Then there was the option to ‘shoot the moon’ or ‘go commando’, each featuring unintended connotations and neither quite right. You may be glad to know I never contemplated going postal, since we all know how that ends. So now I’ve decided in a purely creative way to run with scissors.

Call me Ella Disenchanted. I’ve tried to play nice. My efforts to forge ties with agents and editors at expensive venues exhaust me. Conferences cost too much as do obligatory lodgings and transport there. Besides, I often feel like an outsider. Then there’s the process of submitting work from afar. Postage for multiple mailings puts serious dents in grocery money.

So here I sit, mass quantities of ‘how to’s’ on every aspect of publishing crammed into my head. I’ve queried my little heart out, then published two novels with a tiny literary publisher. Together we built lovely and substantial books. The unexpected gift of designing my own covers fell to me. Yet the company’s distribution flat-lined at nonexistent. My attempts to expand on that? Well, allow me to express how uncomfortable I felt as primary in all aspects of this endeavor.

Now for some insight into this writer: What I yearn for are readers. They makeup that temporary herd with whom I want to run. However without dispersal, it doesn’t matter how many awards your stories win, you still lack readers. Obstinate pursuit of the wily reader is one thing. Going around gatekeepers to find them? That’s quite another.

Remember the Luddites? They were a group of lacemakers in England who faced new technology. Their answer? They combined forces to tear down the machinery against which they could no longer compete. Guess who won?

Thus I’m embracing the grand e-cloud of tech. Launching two previously published novels, WILDFIRE and CALLING DOWN THE WIND, you’ll now find my work available for download. I’m starting with Amazon’s KINDLE, then possibly SMASHWORD with distribution to iPad, Nook, etc.

Since one of my favorite reading periods occurred when paperback books cost what straight black coffee from Starbucks does now, I’m pricing my downloads that way. After all, expense should not stand between me and my reading herd. Thus flip-flops, certain Apps, and too many non-nutritious fast foods cost the same as a download. I believe my novels offer more value. Yes, your Grande and Venti chai latte or espresso sets you back more. However, you could choose both a great read and a hot cuppa.

 My only caveat? If readers want new content, they must show me the love and download. For a limited time, you can do so through the KINDLE Owners Lending Library.

So celebrate my independence with me by visiting my site or Amazon.com to download my stories. If this experiment works, you can look forward to my high fantasy MISTBORN CHRONICLES along with more ELEMENTALs.

False Thaw by Janine M. Donoho

Icicles, which began feeling like family members, melted away this week. Actually, they first liquefied, then slid from the roof into shattered crystalline heaps. It felt like spring as temperatures reached the low 40’s. Heavy coats peeled away, Yak Trax found no traction in slush, and the hounds shifted to light vests during their walks. And yet…

We had another 3″ fall of snow. You see, while vernal equinox officially arrives on March 20th, we don’t plant bulbs until after Mother’s Day in May. I start my seeds in the blue-light-flashing-special greenhouses in the garage this week with heating pads on the lowest shelves. Eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, melons–those vegetables and fruits that take longer than our short growing season to mature–begin each season this way. There will be hardy grapevines and arctic kiwis this year along with more perennials suited to this high desert.

Last week, I also finished another edit of my MISTBORN CHRONICLES. Printed out, the entire manuscript was 8″ tall, a high fantasy indeed. MISTBORN went to Peter Stampfel at DAW books, home to many of my favorite fantasy authors: Jennifer Roberson, C. J. Cherryh, Mercedes Lackey and Melanie Rawn. Of course, whenever I address a manuscript to New York, an echo of Black Hole ricochets back to me.

But wait! Another edit? Yes. This one surfaced after finishing the 3rd novel, when another revision became necessary to bring elements into alignment. After nearly 1575+ manuscript pages and 375,000+ words, a story still can take a writer in new directions, which is one of the great joys of building worlds, after all. Besides, aren’t all artistic endeavors works-in-progress? Each time, we take our piece as far as we know how, then release it into the universe.

Then like a thaw, growth as an artist occurs. Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers believes, then supports his claims, that it takes 10,000 hours to master such a process. He draws from fields of hockey through piano virtuosity to computing excellence. Think Bill Gates. Of course, Malcolm also discusses the uniting legs of commitment and opportunity, which regrettably can hinge on birth month. Ah, synchronicity.

Hence as writers progress, we move through precipitous curves onto plateaus, then continue toward mastery by putting time in the chair. Periodically, a thaw happens. Shoots of megacreativity take root, then reach toward the sun. When we revisit previous endeavors, we find ways to clarify our vision and strengthen the work. So we edit.

With each edit, we realize a composition as whole and light-filled as we can make it…at that time. Like early thaws in the Okanogan Highlands, thaws that come with greater frequency as global climate changes persist, we tell ourselves, “This is the moment. This will be the last time this year that the trucks sink into slushy mud up to their wheel wells. Spring has come.” We have taken our work as far as we can.

Every time, that is true for now. Accordingly, MISTBORN CHRONICLES goes into the Mecca of publishing that is New York. Will the novels fill my chosen editor’s needs? Perhaps. Yet when the manuscript comes back, you can be sure there will be ways to improve the work. On balance, isn’t that what this writing profession is about? We seek to bring our unique vision, story, and voice to readers in ways that change their perceptions. Thus do thaws arise. 

Next Newer Entries

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27, 2015
The big day is here.

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