Collaborations with Michael Mauldin, composer #2

Aki’s Story MP3

Audio file, turn on your speakers.

Story:  Penny Raife Durant

Music:  Michael Mauldin

Performed by:  New Mexico Wind Quintet with KL Higgins, narrator, and Adam Durant, Aki

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Collaborations with Michael Mauldin, composer

We Are One

This is just an audio file.  Be sure to turn on your speakers.

Penny Durant, poet

Michael Mauldin, composer

Santa Fe Women’s Chorale with flute

This was premiered in the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe.

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Writing Tip #1: Write What You Like

Hot Romances were beginning to establish new authors and selling a whole lot of books when I decided to try writing seriously.  I went to a meeting of women writers.  This group was very excited about the new romance categories.  This was a great way to break-in to publishing.  I could do this, I told myself.  I bought several of these new, sexy romances and started reading.  When I got to the steamy parts I laughed out loud.  Making love on a running horse???  In a hot air balloon??  It was pretty obvious I wasn’t the person for whom they were writing.  And if I wasn’t part of the audience why would I think I could write one?  

I thought a lot about what I liked to read.  I read a lot of books in a variety of genres, but what I enjoyed most were children’s books.  I’d been an elementary teacher.  I’d started a preschool.  Children’s literature and how children learn to read was a large part of my Master’s Degree.  So I started a middle grade novel about a girl who moves from the bustling city of St. Louis to a remote ranch in New Mexico in the 1930s.

I think each of the women who met that day wrote and sold at least one romance novel.  I read theirs and admired the writing.  That group eventually became SouthWest Writers and encompassed all genres.  The group is alive and well in Albuquerque.  I never sold my ranch story, but writing it felt good.  It was my place to start.  I’ve had nine books published, all for kids.  I’ve written two books for adults from true stories.

Before you write what’s hot, popular, in the news, think about how the writing makes you feel.  Choose what you love.



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Let the Crazy Child Write!

I’m often asked to suggest a good book for writers. LET THE CRAZY CHILD WRITE! by Clive Matson is helpful to writers of all types and levels of skill. It focuses on letting your inner, playful, self take over description and sensory details. It’s available at Amazon both as a book (new or used) and a Kindle download.

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This is it!

After feeling foolish for having trouble setting up my own website, I’m now ready to blog!  I’m hoping this will be a site where everyone shares thoughts, questions, and tips.  If you read my profile you’ll know that I’m a teacher as well as a writer.  One of the skills I can share with you is editing.  I critique for the SouthWest Writers, focusing on both fiction and non-fiction for young readers and novels for adults.  Through this website you can contact me about editing full manuscripts or partials and check out my fees.

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Hello, world!

I’m Penny Durant, an award-winning author of nine published books for children ranging from preschool to young adult.  I have also written a “true story novel” of an epic WWII story involving my uncle.  Composer Michael Mauldin has put two pieces of mine to music.  I am also a frequent speaker, an editor/critiquer, and I teach novel writing classes. I’ll be starting up a blog soon, so come back again!

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