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Welcome to DonnaLevin.com

I'm a San Francisco author and writing teacher here to provide resources for writers of any level of experience. I am the author of the novels Extraordinary Means (William Morrow) and California Street (Simon & Schuster), as well as two books on writing: Get that Novel Started and Get that Novel Written, both published by Writer's Digest Books. Visit often for updates about newly released books and trends in publishing. Send me a message--and be sure to read and add your comments on my new blog, below.

HELP ME. PLEASE.

Posted by Donna Levin on December 18, 2014 | Read More & Add Comments >>

        Help me.  Please, please help me.

        You: the pedestrian.  Me: the driver of a modest automobile.

        I don’t want to hurt you.  Partly because I’m a nice person, but mostly because I’m a selfish one.

        If I hurt you, you will sue me.

        If I hurt you badly, or G-d forbid kill you, I will never forgive myself.

        It is not easy driving in the city, in the dark, in the rain.  A surprising number of intersections remain unlit, even in high-density neighborhoods.

        After a couple of close calls with pedestrians approaching from my left, I trained myself to look in that direction, only to find Satan’s own hoard approaching from the right.

        And so, several times this rainy autumn I have rolled past outraged – outraged! – pedestrians, waving furious arms at me.  They are dressed entirely in black.  Sometimes I wonder if they’re angry that I missed them.

        Your anger at me isn’t fair.  A car is not human, but a driver is.  My eyes have a range of approximately 180 degrees, but they stick together, those eyes, and they can’t cover that entire width simultaneously.

        She who is a pedestrian today may be a driver tomorrow.  And tomorrow I will be the pedestrian.

        I’ll look out for you if you look out for me.

The Last Endangered Species

Posted by Donna Levin on April 12, 2014 | Read More & Add Comments >>

George Orwell, in 1984 (one of my favorite books, and I’ll leave you to wonder what that says about moi), predicted many horrors that have come to pass: government spying, “enhanced interrogation,” and strangling political correctness.  The prediction that hasn’t come true – yet – is factory-produced fiction (Winston Smith’s lover, Julia, repairs “the novel-writing machines”).  But when I saw how the auto-correct capability on my iPhone changed “cyxt” to “Hi there,” I realized that this final abomination cannot be far away.

The Latest & Greatest but still Fit to Print (NEWS)

Posted by Donna Levin on March 05, 2014 | Read More & Add Comments >>

No musings here, just updates: First, we are still filling the class at Rocketspace, the San Francisco tech incubator.  We'll meet Saturday mornings from 10am-1pm.  Our focus is capturing the experience of the emerging tech culture, which actually isn't the sign of the Apocalypse some fear.

Second: My new Novel Writing Workshop at UC Extension starts March 17th and some spaces remain.  I hate to brag, so I won't.  Let's just say you'll thank me later.

Finally, for now: I'll be part of the staff of long weekend writing retreat at Pema Osel Ling.  The place is beautiful, but not too rustic for a city girl such as I, or they'd never get me down there.  It's a time to reconnect with a project, or begin the one you've put off for too long.  (Did I mention that it's women only?)  Contact Elizabeth Pomada for more information.  Or...

For more information on any or all of the above, contact me directly at DonnaLevin@aol.com

Finishing Your Novel for Fun and Profit

Posted by Donna Levin on February 12, 2014 | Read More & Add Comments >>

 What follows is the handout for my break-out session at the 2014 San Francisco Writers' Conference

 


The Fiction Inside You

Posted by Donna Levin on January 28, 2014 | Read More & Add Comments >>

          I have the privilege of facilitating a fiction workshop at Rocket-Space starting Feb. 22 nd.  We’ll meet Saturday mornings from 10am-noon for six weeks.

          Somebody – possibly Henry James, although I confess I can’t get the Internet to confirm it for me – once said that most people have a novel in them, and for most of them that’s where it should stay.  (Henry James was kind of a jerk.  I find him nearly unreadable – and I’ve read Moby Dick. Honest, I have.)

          If you had good English teachers, they inspired you to express yourself in your own way.  If you had less-than-good English teachers, they tried to get you to write the way dead white men did.  I have nothing against dead white men; you miss a lot of Western culture if you don’t read a few of them.

          I believe in writing what is in you to write, and that in today’s world there’s not only no reason, but no excuse, for it to stay there.  With cheap self-publishing and blogging for the mere price of a domain name, you can leave you digital thumb print on the world.

          So if you have any interest in e-mail me at DonnaLevin@aol.com and we can discuss it further.

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