Donnell's Articles

Mega Million Dollar Lotteries–Who Needs ‘Em?

Currently the country’s astir with people who won part of the Mega Million lottery last week. It was the topic of conversation, and I imagine co-workers of various companies pooled their resources to get in on the action as well. I didn’t buy a ticket. Not that I don’t need more money, you understand. Who doesn’t?

But as a romantic suspense writer, my mind goes to what ifs and always, always the worst case scenario. So here are a few things that “could” happen in my writer’s imagination if I won Mega Millions.

  1. At first my husband and I would be elated. Then as the excitement wore off, the phone started ringing, the media began pounding down our door, investment bankers seeped out of the woodwork, and every relative I’d ever heard of –or not—we’d come to our senses and decide to go into hiding. With the kind of money at our disposal, we might even pay to go into WITSEC.
  2. If WITSEC turned us down, we’d have no choice but to hire our own private security service.
  3. The private security service naturally would employ a corrupt individual who leaked our whereabouts, and #1’s scenario would begin anew – ad nauseum.
  4. My ALREADY ringing phone that begs for charitable contributions would quadruple and I would need to buy a burn phone to keep in contact with my mother.
  5. My children, immediate family, charitable organizations I do care about would suddenly find themselves growing richer.
  6. While out running, my husband would be kidnapped, and I would have to pay a King’s-size ransom to get him back.
  7. I would, of course, cooperate with the FBI and at the same time, use my enormous fortune to hunt down the thugs who kidnapped my husband, save my beloved, and dispose of the kidnappers in some obscure lake or cement plant.
  8. The kidnappers turn out to be on the Top 10 Most Wanted List of the FBI, part of organized crime, and now instead of prison time, I agree to testify against them. The result? The FEDS want to put me in WITSEC.
  9. WITSEC, where I should have been in the first place, contacts me and assigns me an incredibly hunky, handsome and romantic US Marshal that I can’t take my eyes off of.
  10. My husband divorces me after he learns I’ve had an affair with the US Marshal.

I hope I’ve made my point that money is the root of all evil and cannot buy happiness. But while we’re on the subject of Mega Million Dollar Lotteries, can anyone tell me when the next drawing is?

Don’t Leave Your Readers Fragmented

Fragmented sentences have left me feeling  fragmented of late.

Writing is all about feeling.  If you write a story, the number one thing you must be concerned about is not perfect sentence structure, not is your plot the most brilliant ever, and not even are the characters quirky and out there.  The number one thing writers must be concerned with when adding words to the page is how am I making my reader feel?

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Deadline Hell

Back in 2008, I read a blog by Tess Gerritsen called ,”When business runs your life,”  in which she expressed concern over a bestselling author, a millionaire many times over, who had become so consumed by her deadlines she was literally making herself sick. 

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Are you passionate? Or are you a bully?

I have a strong concept of right and wrong.  Perhaps that’s why I write fiction.  That way I can ensure the bad guys get their comeuppance and that’s where I prefer to keep my conflict.  It’s reality that troubles me at times; I see no happy ending for this dilemma.

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Living Vicariously Through My Characters

This article first appeared on the Stiletto Gang blog.

Hello, Stiletto Gang, and thanks to my buddy, Joelle Charbonneau, for inviting me to chat with you today.  I hate to get off to a bad start, but frankly, I have a bone to pick with all of you who wear stilettos—and now I see you’ve formed a gang?!!!

You see, I’m an unwillingly reformed shoe-aholic.  I didn’t even get to go through the twelve-step program.  Pretty high-heeled shoes to me were an addiction.  I’d buy so many pairs I’d hide them in the trunk of my car.  That worked until my husband came in, arms full, and said, where do you want these?

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On Accepting Advice

“No enemy is worse than bad advice.” – Sophocles

Every once in a while people offer advice that really works. E.g., Look both ways before crossing the street, read warning labels on products and exercise three to five times a week to maintain a healthy weight. Those kinds of input I can use and appreciate. But some of the advice I’ve received of late leaves me shaking my head.

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The Intervention

I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and I certainly don’t do drugs.  Why then did my family get together and decide an intervention was necessary where I was concerned?

I’ll tell you why.  They took away my scooter.

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You’re Who? You Want to Do What?

One meets the most interesting people when writing romantic suspense and mysteries. Like it or not, writers are forced to leave Google every once in a while, walk out the door or pick up the phone to do research. There’s many a raised eyebrow and snicker aimed at writers who perpetrate their fictional situations and crime scenes. And I’m certainly no different.

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Help! I’ve Lost My Noodle

By Donnell Ann Bell

I developed plantar fasciitis a while back and the inflammation has been cramping my walking program. I enjoy that exercise more than any other, but since that routine has reduced me to limping, I’ve decided to take my friend Kathy’s advice.  Kathy suggests I join her in water aerobics until I recoup.  Water aerobics, she assures me will take the pressure off my joints, and according to Kathy, “anyone” can do it.

I’m writing today to explain why Kathy is now my ex-friend.  What she failed to tell me is that water aerobics requires coordination.

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Wisdom and Second Chances

By Donnell Ann Bell

Have a nice weekend, Mrs. Bradford.”

I took the brown bag from Jackie, the liquor store owner, before realizing that, one, he’d turned his back on me, and two he no longer called me Melinda. Jackie, like so many others, had grown uncomfortable in my presence.

“You, too,” I said softly. No one could say I wasn’t a polite drunk.

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