Because You Just Never Know

Where you’ll meet your next online friend!

Happy Wednesday, friends and followers-hope all of you are doing well and finding your hearts and minds in a peaceful place during the hump of the work week!

I pick up books pretty much anywhere. That’s how Gary Chapman‘s Love Is A Verb wound up in my hands. As I read through, I came across an essay (Just Call Me Babe), which I enjoyed to the point I had to contact the author and let her know. I looked up today’s guest, reached out, heard the fun from her essay  echo through her email responses and asked her if she’d like to join me here. Voila! Post #233 was born! 🙂

A quick bio: Donna Smith, a retired secondary English teacher for Altus, Oklahoma, Public School District and for Wayland Baptist University on campus at Altus Air Force Base, now edits and publishes Victory Herald. She has also taught Sunday school classes in Tipton First Baptist Church, Tipton, Oklahoma, for 60 years. Donna (a.k.a., “Babe”) can be reached at

Donna’s inspirational articles have appeared in various publications, such as Bible Advocate, Home Life, Guideposts, Mature Living, Mature Years, Journey, Open Windows, A 6th Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Good News, Education Matters, Christian Social Action….and I’m guessing…others.  

So I asked Donna the following questions:

What do you love best about writing?

It is a means of sharing inspirational messages with others.

What got you started?

A high school dropout, married at 17 and the mother of four, I spent what little spare time I had in reading book after book. One day while in the city post office, an older friend, the city newspaper editor, asked me if I liked to write.

I laughed, answered, “No! I don’t know how to write!”

She asked, “Do you like to read?”

“I read every minute I can.”

“Well,” she said, “if you can read you can write. I’m starting a writer’s group and I want you to attend.”

I attended, worked with a critique group, and shortly thereafter became a published author. That achievement and my husband’s encouragement led me to take the GED. I passed, was accepted into college, graduated with a language arts major and taught secondary grammar/comp and British literature for 23 years. For 5 years, I taught comp classes at the nearbyWaylandBaptistUniversitysite on Altus Air Force Base.

Now there was a ‘different’ way to be off and running, Donna. What keeps you writing?

The responses I receive from the publishing of my monthly ezine, Victory Herald, as do the requests I receive from so many others asking for help in editing their materials.

How has writing impacted—or significantly changed—other aspects in your life?

Over the years, I became a speaker at several seminars for English teachers. Too, I spoke at two state writers’ conferences. One of the greatest impacts, however, was that after I retired from the classroom, for several years, I served as a feature writer for five area newspapers. I was newsletter editor for the Public Oklahoma Educators association. Writing has made my life, formed my life, and now having been twice widowed and living alone, writing keeps me going.

Where do you get story and character ideas?

Personal experience, studying Scripture, and perusing lists. In fact, I’m a collector of books of lists.

Kindly elaborate on what kinds of books and lists you collect, and how they inspire you. 


Included in my collection of books for ideas are The New Ecyclopedia of Christian Quotations, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World, and 14,000 Quips and Quotes for Writers and Speakers.


Books of lists include Major Bible Themes, Meridith’s Big Book of Bible Lists, The Christian Book of Lists, The Treasury of Bible Lists, Lists to Live By (1,2,3,4).


I also clip and save lists that appear in magazines, newspapers, and that appear on my computer screen.

Wow, Donna. You really like lists, lol. Current, past, and future projects?

Currently, I’m under contract with Union Gospel Press for writing a testimonial feature. My work has been published in a variety of markets: Guideposts; Love Is a Verb; 6th Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul; Standard, Mature Years; Mature Living; Teacher; Teaching Today; Education Matters; Christian Social Action.

Three ways you find most effective to promote your work:

(1) editing for others;

(2) publishing Victory Herald;

(3) sharing my work and ideas with members of my Sunday school class.

So there you have it. My newest online writer-friend, who has inspired me with her energy and accomplishments! Please take a moment to share a thought with our guest and maybe even click on a SHARE button, too. 😉

Have a great day and catch y’all later this week, friends. I’ll be running a JFF (Just For Fun) post on a random topic that struck me the other day.