Debbie Mink — An Author at Last

Debbie Mink — An Author at Last

Debbie was a teacher in Crawford Central and Penncrest School Districts in northwestern Pennsylvania. At a language arts course she attended in 1998, teachers were encouraged to do writing projects along with their students. She thought this was an excellent idea, and as her students were writing their stories, Debbie also worked on a book that she thought her students could help edit.

Willow Valley Communities Resident and Author, Debbie Mink

As the years went by, she’d run into her past students from time to time; they had moved on, graduated from college, started families, and they would ask Mrs. Mink, “Hey, did you ever finish that book?” Debbie had to answer, “No.” Debbie had retired and moved to Willow Valley Communities with her husband, Keith. The dream of writing a book moved along with her. Debbie’s neighbor at Willow Valley Communities, Bonnie Frick, read the first chapter about three years ago to help Debbie edit. She, too, joined the chorus of questions inquiring about the status of the book.

Debbie had many good reasons why the book wasn’t finished. “I was busy with many Willow Valley Communities activities, such as pickleball, tennis, biking, swimming, fitness classes, walking, and concerts. But then I went to Australia and New Zealand with Willow Valley Communities’ travel group, and upon arriving back in March, I was quarantined,” she explained.

Debbie started to use the quarantine as many did: to clean closets. But as she dug into her task, she came across several letters from students who mentioned the book, wondering if it had been published yet. “These letters really motivated me to complete the project,” Debbie said. “Plus, the Willow Valley Communities’ writing groups I participate in made me realize that publishing a book really could happen. I knew that if I was ever going to finish my book, the coronavirus was the time.”

Debbie got to work, and Bonnie, along with other Willow Valley Communities Residents Marian Yoder and Linda Jones (both of Spring Run), proofread.

While quarantined, Debbie was able to complete not only the first book she started with her students, but a second one as well. Choices is about bullying and includes cross sections of many of her students. The second book, Adapting to Vision Challenges — Together, is Debbie’s memoir of living with someone who is visually challenged. Both books are available on Amazon.

Debbie is happy she was able to finish these books and looks forward to writing more. “COVID-19 may have hit me and stopped me in my tracks,” she said. “But I certainly did hit back!”

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Joe McDonald

    Great article, Debbie!!! Being a retired teacher and school administrator I really enjoyed it. I, also, appreciate how you motivated your students as evidence by their efforts to contact you and their interest in your finishing your book. Well done!!

    1. Willow Valley Communities

      We couldn’t agree more, Joe! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

    2. Deborah Mink

      Thank you, Joe. It was the one thing that the Coronavirus helped me to finish. This project that sat idle for so many years was finally completed . I have one more book I wrote with my students, so time will tell if that gets published.

  2. Jan Sega

    Congratulations on completing your books and getting them published! I can verify what a wonderful teacher Debbie was and still is. We were colleagues for many years in the OENNCREST School District. She always had fun and thought provoking activities with her students!

    1. Deborah Mink

      Thank you Jan for your kind words. It was so exciting to see a book published and then a second one. I hope you can come to Willow Valley again to visit. It has been a great adventure with people in the writing groups here at Willow Valley helping me through the steps of completion. I am presenting at our Creative Writing Club February 9th for about 10 minutes telling the process of my writing.

  3. Janet Morton

    I’m so happy for you, Debbie. You have always been busy with outdoor activities. This was a great opportunity to fill the time while confined. I pray that you and Keith are staying well and will soon have the freedom to resume all activities!
    ❤️ Janet

    1. Deborah Mink

      janet, thank you for your kind comments. Keith and I were just talking about you wondering how you were doing.

  4. Shannon

    Amazing accomplishment!! Something the kids can read someday as well! Very proud of you- great picture too!

    1. Deborah Mink

      Thank you Shannon!

    2. Deborah Mink

      Thank you for your kind words.

  5. Jay Shah

    Wow, the addition of another author at WV.
    Now WV libraries will have to add an extra shelf for all these authors in WV!
    Debbie, you are inspiring.
    Jay Shah

  6. Deborah Mink

    Jay I appreciate your kind words.

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