Thursday, June 22, 2006

Donita Loves Bunnies!

I have the incredible pleasure and privilege being in a face-to-face critique group with Donita K. Paul. And one of the biggest things I have learned that Donita loves bunnies. There have been quite a few times when we've been sitting around the table, listening to a member reading a scene, when all of a sudden Donita shouts out "Oooh! Bunny!" and everything comes to a quick stop as we all look at the little furball scamper across our host's back yard. And then just as quick it is back to work.

It is a joy to be able to work with Donita because she is such a humble and loving person. Always seeking to bring out the best in others. In fact I have often felt that she is the earthbound embodiment of an Emerlindian Granny. Quick to laugh and with a real talent for encouragement and mentoring young writers. Which is also apparent on her website, where she actively interacts with her readers and encourages them to excersise their creativity (the Dragonkeeper.us library is made up of reader submitted stories and information as well as Donita's own bits).

She has made an impact in my own writing as well, far more than just mercilessly slaughtering my commas, but in helping me gain confidence (along with the rest of my group) and pushing my rough talent toward a polsihed craft. Even if it took her over half the book to realize that the Saurians weren't wearing little shorts, but were in fact just wearing their thick skin (and battle gear when appropriate).

To know Donita is to love her, because she loves openly and widely. And that warmth comes across through her characters and her writing style.

Dragonknight, is the best book yet in this series. Following Bardon's "sabatical" as he tries to decide if he truly wants to be one of Paladin's knights. The book starts off with Bardon saying, "People. Always too many people." and that sets the mood for this book perfectly. The wide and varied cast of characters that fall into Bardon's life will charm your socks off. But most of all, seeing Bardon growing and realizing where Paladin and Wulder are calling him, and how he responds, is what it is all about.

The Dragonkeeper chronicles are all about journeys and quests, but the outer ones are simply there to highlight the true quests within these books. The inner quests that each character must go on as they continually discover that what Wulder has planned is far more than they ever would have done on their own.

So be sure to check out the beautiful and wild world of Amara, where dragons fly, and wizards dwell, and where the impossilbe happens every day.

4 Comments:

Blogger Becky said...

Great job, Stuart! I love the personal anecdotes. You do a wonderful job showing Donita, a highly successful writer, to be a caring person.

Great comments about the book, too. Your closing line was perfect.

Man, I have to move back to Colorado. I think that's the happening Christian fiction place!

Becky

11:37 AM, June 22, 2006  
Blogger Tiff/Amber Miller said...

I agree, Becky. CO *does* have its share of rising talent and a fantastic support system. And who can beat the view of the Colorado Rockies? The mountains, of course, not the sports team. :) Then again, Stuart wouldn't know much about them anyway. *winks*

Great insight into Donita's soft and caring side. I've glimpsed it many times through IM but once in person when we met in Denver at ACFW. How fortunate you are to be in her crit group.

4:25 PM, June 22, 2006  
Blogger Donita K. Paul said...

Now, several hours ago, before I went out and bought an extremely comfortable, way-to-expensive chair, I wrote a rebuttal to Stuarts comments about my bunny enthusiasm. I really don't see why bunny sightings don't excite more people. I was terribly disappointed that somehow this wise and witty post got lost in cyberspace. Perhaps I didn't copy the squiggly letters correctly into the box.

I also said Stuart is coming along in his taming of the comma, but still gets scarred horribly in each battle.

And that the nice things he said about me brought tears to my eyes but I am going to get back at him with calories. I think I'll bring him a plate of cookies, a cake, or brownies. I am NOT paying him that huge check he demanded for talking nice about me!

5:01 PM, June 22, 2006  
Blogger Shannon said...

ROFL! Donita and Stuart, you are both a hoot! I can't wait to see you both together in person in September ...

Good review, Stuart! And a great story!

9:54 AM, June 23, 2006  

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