Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs with Donna Wichelman

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Donna Wichelman
Light Out of Darkness

Donna Wichelman is our guest today on Thyme for Writers. Donna holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication/Journalism and worked in community and employee relations for ten years. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications. She now writes novels and screenplays. She and her husband live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs

By Donna Wichelman

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orgs
by Donna Wichelman

Before LASIK surgery at age forty, severe nearsightedness distorted my vision without corrective lenses. At Christmas, I saw an advantage to this condition when the tree went up with its strings of colorful bulbs. Without vision aids at night, the lights on the tree appeared as hazy orbs, blending together in a dazzling display of color. I could sit for long stretches of time mesmerized by the beauty.

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs
by Donna Wichelman

Yet my distorted vision kept me from viewing more extraordinary things on and around the tree. With my glasses, I could see the ornaments friends and family had given us, reminding me of dear ones who’d touched my life. Some ornaments had been collected from travels my husband and I had done over the years, invoking sweet memories. The Christ child in the manager under the tree centered my focus on the truth of Christmas and the purpose for which we gathered around the tree. Letting go of my distorted vision and putting on my lenses showed me the beauty, wonder, and joy beyond the fuzzy orbs.

The first time an editor solicited a manuscript I had pitched, my heart soared. When the manuscript went to committee, I knew it would be accepted and become a best seller. Months later, I received a rejection letter in the mail with constructive notes and the acquisitions editor’s good wishes. I felt crushed. My mother fell ill with cancer soon after, and I never implemented the changes.

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Light Out of Darkness
by Donna Wichelman

The first rejection letter was not my last. Over twenty years of writing, I’ve sold several personal essays, a couple of short stories and a handful of devotionals. Two years ago, I self-published my Christian romantic suspense, Light Out of Darkness, and I will have the sequel out next spring. In spite of modest success, I’ve also experienced much rejection and have even thought about giving up this seemingly hopeless cause.

Yet a writer’s journey is a little like finding the wonder and joy beyond the distorted vision of my hazy orbs. It took a while, but eventually I was grateful for that first rejection. I realized the onus was on me to keep honing my craft, never to be complacent about my work, to accept constructive criticism and throw out the chaff.

I also learned that rejection doesn’t mean I’m unworthy. My value as a person isn’t dependent upon whether my work gets accepted. I am much more than my writing. As a person of faith, my worth comes from my position as a child of God.

Ultimately, I’ve grown to understand that my purpose for writing isn’t about the glory, notoriety or money. I write, because God has laid it on my heart to bring people along with me on this journey of joy, wonder and discovery. If I’ve touched one heart, if one morsel of truth gets passed along, if one person was encouraged, then I’ve done my job. My hope is that you, also, will find the beauty beyond the fuzzy orbs.

You may contact Donna or purchase her books with the links that follow:

Buy Link: Amazon
Social Media Links:


On Writing Full Time with Jill Haymaker

I would like to welcome Jill Haymaker as our guest today on Thyme for Writers. Jill was born and raised in Indiana and Ohio. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado. Ms. Haymaker made her home in Fort Collins until her recent move to East Texas. She practiced family law in Fort Collins for the past 20 years. She has three grown children, a son and two daughters. She also has three granddaughters.

Jill Haymaker, writing, full time, author, Peakview, Colorado Series, marketing, writing schedule
Jill Haymaker

Jill has always had a passion for writing. Colorado Sunset was her first full length romance novel in her Peakview, Colorado series. Her latest book, Colorado Summer Stars is the seventh book in the series. If you love small town romance, you will love the characters in this series. She also has had several short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, the most recent in the book Random Acts of Kindness.

When not practicing law or writing, Jill enjoys The Colorado mountains, horseback riding, gardening, long walks with her Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys their numerous sporting events. She is also an avid football fan and can be found on autumn weekends cheering on her favorite teams. She has a passion for working with high school youth- she is a youth group leader at her church, coaches a high school mock trial team and is a volunteer at cross country and track meets.

On Writing Full Time

by Jill Haymaker

Jill Haymaker, writing, full time, author, Peakview, Colorado Series, marketing, writing schedule
On Writing Full Time
Jill Haymaker

I recently quit my day job and moved to a new town and home, so that I could write full time. I was so excited. This would be great, nothing to do but write—all day, every day. But then the reality set in. I now had to figure out how to make a living writing. And how to manage my time.
Until now, my writing schedule had consisted of an hour or two here, an hour or two there. I soon learned, that if this was my full-time job, I needed to be more structured. I set up eight hour work days. Every morning I write for three or four hours, stopping every hour or two to stand up, stretch and take a short walk around my neighborhood, then I’m back at it until noon or after.

Most afternoons, I spend more time on marketing than actual writing. Back to paragraph one, where I said I need to make a living. I can’t say I’ve figured marketing out yet, but I’m getting closer. I keep trying new things, learning new techniques, and exploring social media for ideas. I now have time to read all those articles about marketing that I’ve saved over the years.

For the most part, I’m glad I made the leap. The solitariness of what I’m doing is hard sometimes. I need more interaction with the real world. On days when I feel isolated, I allow myself to take a day off. Last week I volunteered at a low income preschool one morning, and the next afternoon I helped cook and serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Both of these activities refreshed me and got me back to writing.

Jill Haymaker, writing, full time, author, Peakview, Colorado Series, marketing, writing schedule
Thyme to Write

Sometimes I worry that my writing is not making a difference in the world, but then I read an email or review from a reader who says my books give them hope, help them to never give up on finding love or happiness. I hope they do that. It’s definitely the message I try to convey. Meanwhile, I now have a job that’s flexible enough to work in many volunteer hours. I feel truly blessed by this opportunity that God has given me and I intend to make the most of it each and every day for as long as I can continue to write. I truly love what I do.

You can contact Jill or purchase her Peakview Series with the following links:

Buy link:

Social Media links:






Goodreads: https://www/

Jill Haymaker, writing, full time, author, Peakview, Colorado Series, marketing, writing schedule
Colorado Summer Stars by Jill Haymaker

Colorado Summer Stars by Jill Haymaker

How did her relationship go so wrong? When NICOLE PHILLIPS flees San Francisco after her boyfriend’s jealousy turns violent, she doesn’t know where to go next. Out of a job and a place to live, she heads to the only place she feels safe—her childhood home in the tiny town of Peakview, nestled high in the Colorado Rockies. The one place she’d sworn to never live again.

RICK BRADY was a skinny, nerdy kid, earning him the not-so-flattering nickname of Scarecrow in high school. He’d been glad to escape his reputation and leave Peakview behind. When his parents’ health begins to fail, he returns to Peakview and opens his own veterinarian practice on their ranch. He’s never really been in love, unless you count that crush he had on the most popular girl in school from kindergarten through senior year.

Now fifteen years after they both left town, they are back home and searching for answers to questions they can’t define. Beneath the beauty of the Colorado summer stars, they reconnect. They soon discover that it’s not easy to leave the past behind. To move forward and find true love, they must overcome their insecurities and doubts and learn to trust again.
Come home to Peakview, Colorado where everyone has a chance at love.


Single Mom Survival with Linda R. McCutcheon

I would like to welcome Linda R. McCutcheon as my guest today on Thyme for Writers. Her path to writing came about as she faced a new challenge in life — that of of single mother. Here is her story… . 


by Linda R. McCutcheon

Suddenly, I became a single mom with two young children. I was faced with going back into the workforce, healing my broken heart, and learning who ‘Linda’ really was. Many times, I was working two jobs, taking night school courses, and keeping the home together. Exhausted? You bet! Overwhelmed? You bet! Empowered? Absolutely. I didn’t think I would be single for twelve years and I had many discussions with God about that, but He knew best. Who would have thought I could take the battery out of the lawnmower, use a saw, or balance my little paycheck? I learned much from taking night school courses, but the most I learned was from the School of Hard Knocks knowing I could trust God to protect my little family. Keeping endless schedules, working full-time, and spending weekends alone were challenging. God kept saying ‘just hold on’. Because of that, the girls and I became a team. We still smile and talk about our family traditions. God did bring a wonderful man into my life because I trusted in Him to ‘hold on’. It was so surreal when my daughter and I were dating at the same time. Many days weren’t easy but hard work paid off.

Writer, Pen, Paper, journey, writer's journey, tips, write, author
Writer’s Tools

As a single mom, I began to put my thoughts on paper and little-by-little doors opened for me to publish articles for on-line magazines. I always have a piece of paper and pen handy because you never know when an inspiring thought might come! There was nothing more satisfying then to know I was encouraging and helping others as I told my story. I certainly didn’t know I had a gift for writing or how much I loved to express my heart through the written word. It was an amazing time for me to continue to heal and understand this new Linda. Because of my life experience, I help mentor women on-line, have a blog for single moms, and published a book to inspire those who are on the same journey. My greatest joy is knowing that God is using me to reach others all over the world reassuring single parents that YOU CAN DO THIS! and claim Isaiah 43:18-19.

Single parent, survival, writing, tools, tips, journey
SINGLE MOM SURVIVAL SUCCESS: Tools and Tips For The Journey

I have walked in the shoes of single parents whose path is tough, challenging, and many times downright frightening. These pages are written to encourage single moms (and dad’s) in their journey. For me it was the most challenging but most blessed as I choose not to be defeated. I share issues such as loneliness, grieving, contentment, making memories with the kids, forgiveness, and re-entering the dating scene. There are questions my daughters asked which will hopefully help in discussions with your children. You will find questionnaires to inspire and help as you move one step in front of the other. Hopefully this backpack of helpful tips can help you believe that YOU CAN DO THIS; not only survive but succeed!

Buy Links (e-book will be out in October)

1.Essence Publishing

Social Media Links

Bi-monthly Blog:
Facebook: Linda R McCutcheon