I am Dana, a writer, editor

and small business owner living in the thriving metropolis of Bakersfield, California.

Dana Martin Writing

A Little About Me…

I am best characterized as a ringmaster of many circuses, but I’ve actually made money as a freelance writer for various magazines, as a nine-time contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul, and working with haunted attractions across the United States. I was the president of Writers of Kern for five years and the editor of the nation’s first citizen journalism magazine, The Northwest Voice. When I earned my degree in English, someone said, “Wow, you just wasted four years of college on a degree you can never use.” My response was, “It took me nine years, thank you.” I am a mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I wear cowboy boots a lot because they’re my favorite, I mind my own business, and I am a follower of Jesus. I fail Him daily, but He is pretty cool with that–I mean, I’m working on it, but He’s cool while I work on it.

My birth stone is a coffee bean.

Another perspective

There’s so much good going around. I learned today that my mom’s hairdresser—with no fanfare, no Facebook post, and before any quarantine dictate—told my mother that her weekly hair appointment would now be at my mom’s own house until further notice. She’s going to LEAVE her shop to go fix my mom’s hair. Thank you, Darcy, for your beautiful heart. You are SUCH a model of God’s incredible love. I’m seeing families on hikes, people out playing Frisbee golf. People are exercising outdoors, riding bikes. Earlier today, I took my mom for an outing (to her favorite social place, the grocery store), but I “quarantined” her in the car while I took her list and shopped. She stayed in the car, window down, playing Words with Friends on her phone. Someone pulled beside my car, who had the driver’s own dad inside, doing the same thing and with the same instructions: Stay in the car. How can we ever repay our parents? We can’t, but this seems like such an easy place to begin. They get their shopping done but also get the social interaction they need. My church streamed their services online today and asked only this of us: Be the church. Grab a small group, make breakfast, and watch the service together. Be. The. Church. How beautiful to imagine groups of people in their pajamas eating bacon and watching live streaming church to hear a message of love. I see families with a newfound reason to hang together, spend time with isolated, aging parents, and find new activities other than watching TV or going out. Neighbors taking care of neighbors; bakeries staying open all night to provide for our city; stores opening early for seniors-only; free internet, free concerts, virtual museum tours. If the “enemy” meant this only for harm, I am afraid he’s pretty irritated with the hearts of people who are living smart but without fear. We are living.

"Nothing makes you feel as unique and as loved as another seeing you for who you really are, someone who looks into your soul and cannot look away."
Dana Martin Blog

Before I was a grandma…

This is an ode to when I wasn’t a grandma. When I wasn’t a grandma, I had all the time I needed for work. I worked at a job that took 18 hours a day, at times, and I didn’t think twice about it. I enjoyed working. I’d come...

Diary of an obit writer

Dear Families: I want you to know that I cry over your loved one. From the time I leave our interview, even if I’m able to hold it together for the 90 minutes spent talking to you, I break down the second I get alone in my car. Your...

I knew I disliked January

I spent my last post decrying NYE and wishing away the the entire month of January. To that, January replied: “Hold my beer.” By the time most people read this, the staggering headlines will have lost most of their sting about basketball’s most tragic death and the demise of...

Dana Martin Writing

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Helping improve the world, one written word at a time.