Welcome to DonnaLevin.com

Welcome to DonnaLevin.com

Here you can see an excerpt from my latest novel, which will be published this upcoming April, read my blog, purchase my previous books, and contact me—but only if you have something nice to say. Seriously, I would love to hear your comments on any of my posts, suggestions for futures pieces, or questions about anything that Wikipedia doesn’t cover. Remember, that every time someone likes my Facebook public page, an angel gets her wings.

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Curious About the Curious Incident

Curious About the Curious Incident

(My review of the stage adaptation of the best-selling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time first appeared in DifferentBrains.com, a website devoted to neuro-diversity.)
I didn’t think I would like Simon Stephens’ Broadway adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

True, the play swept the 2015 Tony awards (tying the musical Fun Home for a total of five wins apiece). True, it was based on a novel that I had read (three times) and admired: Mark Haddon’s 2003 bestseller of the same name, one of the first novels to be narrated by a teenager on the spectrum.

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Let the Future Not Be Here

Let the Future Not Be Here

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. My anxiety seemed even more justified last week when I read about the HemingwayApp: a program that will scan your prose for adverbs and the use of passive voice.  Not that we shouldn’t be able to do this for ourselves, but we used to grow our...

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How to Not Fit In but Not Care

How to Not Fit In but Not Care

THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DIFFERENTBRAINS.COM ON AUGUST 4, 2016.
A few years ago my then-high-school-aged daughter asked me to buy her a laptop skin: It was an intricate drawing of bookshelves, featuring titles such as War and Peas and The Seven Pills of Wisdom.
When I saw it, I asked her if she’d mind if I bought one for my own laptop.
She minded.
But all things come to those who wait. I have my own copy now, because the same design is printed inside the covers of Colin Thompson’s new memoir, Fitting In. He didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission to use it, either, because he’s the artist.

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Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

(Yeah, eventually you have to hang it up.)

There is a profusion—nay, a glut, an excess, a veritable avalanche of books and instructors out there who will help you get started writing a novel.

I myself contributed to this surfeit with my book, imaginatively titled Get that Novel Started. I was so grateful for having overcome my own writer’s block with the help of a compassionate teacher that I wanted to spread the joy. I also wanted to pass on what that first teacher had drummed into my head: just get that first draft written.

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Fly the Hostile Skies

Fly the Hostile Skies

I don’t travel very often, so when I do I usually have the luxury of saying to myself, “Self,” (sez I) “you don’t need to write for these few days.”

But not always. And just occasionally, believe it or not, I want to do some writing when I’m out of town.

So I take my laptop and set it up in the hotel room or the nearest Starbucks, which is usually no more than five feet away.

There was also a time when I could work on a plane.

Last week I flew to Houston for a wedding. Surprisingly, a flight to Houston is almost four hours from SFO. That doesn’t make sense: If it’s five hours to New York, then shouldn’t it be two-and-a-half hours to Texas? It must have something to do with what my third grade teacher, Mrs. Ritter, taught us about how maps are misleading, because maps are flat and the earth is round.

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A Blind Date Every Day

A Blind Date Every Day

I keep blogging about how miserably, masochistically and unjustly hard writing is, blah blah, poor me, poor me.  Well, as Leslie Gore sang, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.” But I had one of those miraculous moments today, one of those – dare I say? – epiphanies, one of those times when it’s all worthwhile, and darn it, I’m going to record it. Yes, I have been in a slump of late.  I play Hearts for twenty minutes before I even try to write, and it isn’t more than a sentence before I’m back to Hearts, if only to get revenge on Nicole, which would be North (the default setting on the computer) but I changed the come-with-the-computer settings (North, South, East, and West, South being moi) to make the game more interesting.  More interesting, yes, but not...

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