It doesn’t matter where I’m speaking, about what, or to which group, eventually someone wants to know where the stories come from. I really want to say that’s a tough question, but I find inspiration in the darndest places. Mostly because I can’t keep my nose out of other peoples’ business. The Huckleberry Finn guy, said write what you know. My mother would hate to hear this, but I’ve been around.

If we’ve ever met, you’ve heard my pig stories, or how getting married is like collecting stamps. My writing technique involves KISS and STAR. So, keep it simple, remember to identify the Situation, select the Task, get to the Action, and reap the Resulting rewards. These are the keystones of a sleuth, professional or busybody.

Let’s start channeling. As a writer, you travel the roadways and byways with your eyes open. You see things most people don’t, because you have to, that’s were your written tale is going to come from. Channeling is nothing more than seeing that second of interest, delving into the facts, and turning it into inspiration.

If you go to a new place, check out all the details. Don’t walk in, go to the meeting, and leave. Walk up and down the halls, look at the embellishments, consider the ramifications. Strike up a conversation with the staff. New city? Same thing. Drive around, talk the people, maybe pick up a tourist map.

But here’s the real dirt. Three people are talking. Person One – “My dog brings home the weirdest things.” Person Two – “Dogs are like that.” Person Three/You – “How weird? What kind of stuff? Where do you live?”

Get it? What kind of conversation happens that you don’t want to know a little more? Once Person One starts talking, keep pushing for more detail. Never mind you just fell down an elevator shaft, find out what they have to offer. If the answer is downtown Houston, and a cattle jaw, get on line. See where those key words will take you.

My friend is a judge. All I have to do is get her started. So much information comes from asking where someone works, about their vacation, what they see the neighbors do. I went to a Mardi Gras party, little guy, corner of the couch. We started talking, his words; “My boring job.” Guy owns a security company, is a private investigator, part owner in a trash company, and it went on from there. We’re looking at my next book!

Channeling isn’t just a psychic adventure. When I read the cards, I follow the path. I’m not only looking for the direct line to the light, but all the fuzzy little threads snaking off to the sides. That’s were the juicy gossip is. The judge is headed toward justice, but on the way, she’s going to meet a tall dark stranger, swim with the manatees, and find out she does a mean rumba.

With my new PI friend, we’re going to learn about interstate flight, guarding a shipment of porcelain dolls, and get nose deep in recycling. Who knew that saying hello could be so much fun?

Channeling is all in asking what happened then. Delve inside, think of all the events you never shared with mom, or hubby either. Yeah, I’ve got those as well.

The Morality Issue  (Currier of the Dead series)   

Glenna Woodward had no job, no prospects, and only a few friends. Then she met Dennis Slater and went to work for him, delivering urns of cremated and unclaimed remains. It was his morality issue until one urn came with a terrifying tale of road rage and a confusing back story. Now Glenna had a job, a fledgling sweetie, and a strange man willing to kill to shut her up. Shots are fired. Who is going to fall to the ground? Is this the career end for the Courier of the Dead?

Buy Link for The Morality Issue is here.

About DonnaRae Menard

My unofficial writing career began in the seventh grade. While writing descriptive notes about fellow classmate, I was apprehended and sentenced to reading those notes to the class. The episode went far in undermining my popularity and was the start of my training for the hundred-meter relay. Though it was an embarrassing event it didn’t deter my fascination with the written word. I followed the course of diaries, pen pals and eventually to a children’s story published in a High School anthology. Though my education was non-contemporary, I continue to attend writing courses, seminars, conferences, and even book signings learning from authors about their works and how they moved through the publishing process. I wrote bi-weekly visual pieces for the local newspapers, one in the About Town column and another featuring my Golden Retriever as the traveling star.
Every job I have had has offered me an opportunity to examine the human conditions that are reflected in my writing. My career included writing the pre-briefs for legal suits I investigated. These pre-briefs required clarity, conciseness and logic allowing legal professionals to comprehend the information without my being present.
For twelve years I was a member of Toastmasters International, an organization established to promote public speaking. Toastmaster’s require that each participant write and orate their own original material. For four of those years, I was an award-winning international competitor in the areas of motivational, humorous, and Table Topics, an exercise which requires you to think on your feet.
I am a New Englander first, second, and always, sharing my home with strays and friends alike.
Find Donna on
Facebook @ DonnaRae Menard
or at her website: DonnaRaeMenardBooks

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