Happy Friday! Remember way back on September 23rd when the Life List Club held its Milestone Party with prizes? Well one of my prizes was to interview the winner, on my blog, in order to help promote her work. That’s what today’s interview is all about.
Let me introduce Donna Donabella from Garden’s Eye View, her very successful gardening blog. She not only writes her blog but contributes on others and writes poetry. She’ll be talking about her published works and how she got started in this interview.
1. Hi, Donna. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I come from a middle class family of 4 children. I am the middle child due to being sandwiched between my older sister, only brother and younger sister. I do have middle child syndrome for sure. Always the peacemaker. I am of Italian, German, English and Irish heritage. It makes for interesting moods especially those temper outbursts although I am a rather quiet, shy person. At least I think so.
I’m an educator by trade. I have been teaching since the early 80s and moved into administration in 1998. I have been happily married to my husband, Robert since 1997. It was one of those perfect fits from the day we first met. We just sort of knew we would be together. My passions are gardening and writing. I have been interested in gardening for over 40 years and recently launched a garden design business, Purple Door Garden Designs.
2. How did you get started writing?
I have loved to write since I was a child, especially poetry. I left writing sometime after high school. College did not lend itself to creative writing in my field of study; psychology and education. That creative part of me was shut off for 35 years. I found it again when I decided to write a blog. It was a dare with myself to step outside of the box; outside my comfort zone.
3. I know you have work published in the book, Reflections From Women. Can you tell us how that came to be and what sort of book it is?
Reflections is a dedicated group of women who challenge, support and encourage women writers from around the world to tell their story. I found this wonderful group through a high school friend who wrote that she had submitted some work. I looked them up and thought, “Hey I should try this”. Of course the deadline was days away. But that did not stop me.
4. What was required to submit work for inclusion in the RFW book?
It’s fairly simple. You have to submit your intention to enter a piece in the current book. Then you fill out paperwork and submit your piece. There were a few of us who decided late to enter our work and they kindly extended the deadline. Our work was selected by a panel of judges. There were a couple of rounds that your writing had to make it through. Terri Nelson, the editor, has been a pleasure. She is very organized and so positive and supportive.
5. What has your experience been like with RFW? Has being published in this book connected you with more readers?
The folks at RFW have worked hard to promote our work. This blog tour was their idea and I love it. Definitely being published has connected me more with readers. Many did not know I wrote poetry so it was a pleasant surprise for them. Those who read my blog have been supportive and inspired by my story and that is so rewarding.
6. Garden’s Eye View is more than just a ‘how-to-garden’ blog. What is the essence of it?
I have been on a personal journey the last few years to find my authentic self. I noticed as I gardened that many life lessons were being shown to me and I wanted to share them. So I launched a blog to reflect on my garden and life. A fellow blogger at Jean’s Garden did a wonderful review of my blog. She certainly describes my blog better than I could. My blog is just a year old. I post once a week on Monday. Sometimes I am able to post more than once a week, but with a full time job and gardening it is hard to find more time.
7. I’ve read your poems and they moved me. Do you have plans to write more poetry? And what other work can we expect to see?
I am launching a monthly feature to share more of my own poems throughout the next year called, Gardens Eye Verse. It started with my Monday post on Nov. 7th. I also am a monthly contributing writer on 2 other blogs; Walkabout Chronicles and Beautiful Wildlife Gardens. It was a wonderful honor to be asked to post on these blogs.
I hope to publish a book of poems in the next couple years. I also have written a children’s book that I would love to illustrate or have a dear friend perhaps illustrate. I hope to also get it published.
8. I know I’m anxious to to buy a copy of Reflections From Women. How can we purchase the book and find your blog?
The book can be purchased from Sugati Publications where 40% of the proceeds go to women’s groups that the authors chose to sponsor. It is also available at Amazon, but the proceeds are less if purchased from Amazon. The publisher is also looking for folks to write a review of the book. My blog can be found at Gardens Eye View (gardenseyeview.com).
9. Just for fun, what can you tell us about yourself that might surprise your readers?
I have a very warped sense of humor. I can get into practical jokes and sarcasm easily. I also love to dance. I can be found chair dancing in my office or even dancing around the house. I can’t carry a tune, but it doesn’t stop me from belting out my favorites in the car.
Lastly, my husband thinks I am the consummate taste tester. By that he means, he loves the way I ask for a taste of anything he has without actually asking for a taste. For example, he may have bought some luscious cookies, and I may ask if he is going to try them. He knows that means open them and give me a taste.
Thanks so much, Donna, for being here today.
For those of you who may be interested, here’s a little more information on the Reflections From Women project.
7 Reasons to read or share “The Moment I Knew”
1. The publisher (Sugati Publications) is an independent book publisher with a special kinship to and respect for women writers and aspiring authors. This book supports women’s writing. The Reflections from Women series encourages and promotes women’s writing through the
2. The Moment I Knew appeals to women from diverse backgrounds and all ages with authors from 6 countries and 3 continents sharing topics of interest and of importance to women.
3. You can see and hear for yourself on our captivating 90 second video trailer featuring some of our authors and the moments they knew at the Reflections from Women YouTube channel.
4. The book is an easy read with powerful, short essays on relevant topics to women across the lifespan. It’s a great book to give: to someone who enjoys writing; to someone who likes to read a lot; to someone who doesn’t have much spare time to read; or to someone who only reads the occasional but meaningful book.
5. You can give a gift to women that benefits women. Every book sold supports charities assisting women and girls in need with a portion from every sale going to:
a. The Women’s Microfinance Initiative (global)
b. The Nurse Family Partnership Program (national)
c. Women Writing for (a) Change (community/grassroots)
6. You or a friend can win a two-book gift set. One new fan each month until 12.25.11 who ‘likes’ our Facebook page will receive the Reflections from Women gift set.
7. When you give this book to a friend, you can write in your inscription about the moment you knew you would be friends. Use our girlfriend’s special offer and get 2 for $22 or get free shipping for orders in the U.S. with coupon code BlogSpecial (to use at checkout)
Remember, you can submit a poem or an essay to Reflections From Women at Sugati Publications for their 3rd book in the series. This link will take you right to the submissions page with all the information you need, if you’re interested.
I’ve got to tell you, the Reflections From Women – The Moment I Knew giveaway book just arrived and I couldn’t stop myself from taking a peek inside. I read a paragraph of a few different stories and I was tempted to keep it for myself. Instead I wrapped it up, fired up my laptop and ordered my own copy! The giveaway copy is safe and will be on its way to a winning commenter by Wednesday, November 16th. Good luck everyone!
You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments!
We all have had experiences that can benefit another. Would you write about one of them and submit it for publication?
What do you think about a publication that supports other women and promotes women’s writing?