Dedra Davis

Late-in-life writer following her dream

United States

I am a late-in-life writer, trying to fulfill a life-long dream, emerging myself into the kidlit world. I am writing, editing, and querying while learning patience and failing forward. I hope to be a published children's book author with my YA novel and my picturebooks.

I won the 2021 Austin SCBWI Carmen Oliver On-the-Verge Scholarship Award.

I started as a freelance writer eight years ago. It took me 26 years to use my journalism degree earned in 1988. For three years, I freelanced for newspapers in Waco—The Hometown News and The Groove, an arts/music/food magazine. That led to other magazines.

Published in print and online magazines, like Modern Texas Living, Holl and Lane Magazine, Culture Trip, Unread Magazine, Taylor Magazine, Victoria Lee Magazine, The Outfitter, Everything Home Magazine, and Wacopoint, is something that makes this late-in-life writer proud.

I reside on The Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Waco board.

I review picture books regularly on dedra davis writes while also trying to inspire others to follow their dreams. Currently, I am a Contributing Writer for Waco Moms, a local family-based blog, where I write regularly about Waco and the life of an empty-nester.

I am revising my first YA contemporary romance novel.

I am a Psoriatic Arthritis warrior.


Waco Moms Blog

Waco Moms
Advocating for Her Own Health

As women and moms, we often put our children and husbands first. I'm guilty of this. But if we don't take care of ourselves, how will we take care of our families? And, more importantly, who will care for our families? If you learn to advocate for yourself, your family as a whole will be healthier and happier.

Waco Moms
Donating to Waco Charities on Giving Tuesday %

Every act of generosity counts, and you can contribute something toward building a kinder, better Waco by giving something, anything, of what you have to others who need your help. You can involve your children by holding a family meeting and discussing your top Waco charities.

Waco Moms
Tips For Making Reading Aloud To Your Child More Beneficial

The act of reading aloud to children is 100% beneficial to children. It nurtures and bonds the reader and child, teaches more than reading, stimulates the mind and emotions, motivates, and aids in pretending. And continuing this beloved ritual after they begin to read promotes more learning and nurturing behaviors.

Waco Moms
Growing Young Minds | Herb Gardens 101

As I write about planting herb gardens, I'm sitting outside, getting in touch with nature. I love spring, the week we have between winter and summer. Okay, so maybe we have nice weather longer than a week. But as you know, Texas has short springs and falls and too long on the other two harsher seasons.

Waco Moms
Mother of the Groom - A New Role for this Waco Mom

I prayed for someone to love them, respect them, and grow old with them. Finally, He answered one of my prayers by giving my son someone kind, intelligent, fun, and beautiful-inside and out. Life is full of doors, opening and closing along the way.

Waco Moms
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Waco

Waco Moms and Dads, please join me in giving a big virtual hug to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Waco. Everyone loves Dolly. She's so lovely, isn't she? She throws joy around like it's meant to be. And now Waco has one more big reason to adore her.

Waco Moms
Family Friendly Breweries in Waco

Two things bring me joy-writing and drinking with friends and family. So, writing about family-friendly breweries in Waco made me happy. I was cheer ful to step up to the challenge. Happy to do the research. I know all about Waco bars, pubs, wine bars, and restaurants, but I am new to breweries.

Waco Moms
Traveling to Waco? Why We Love Waco Baby Rentals & You Will Too

Traveling with baby means packing a lot of stuff. As a parent or grandparent, you know baby equals an overabundance of gear. And that equals stress. Wouldn't traveling be easier without all the baggage? Traveling with littles can incur significant expenses and induce big headaches.

Waco Moms
Reading Aloud to Children Builds Tools for Life

It's good for parents, too. I am a picture book writer, and reading aloud to children is important to me. And as a board member of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Waco , I know how vital reading out loud to children is-for so many reasons.

Waco Moms
Buying Books the Indie Bookstore Way

I am reading more these days. Yes, because I am home more, but also because I am writing and trying to get my picture book manuscripts published. Reading picture books teaches me to write better. And I miss spending time in bookstores, browsing, dreaming, reading, and buying new books.

Waco Moms
Plants 101: How to Teach Kids to Have a Green Thumb

We all need more plants in our lives! I hope you will consider a plant-pet for your child. If you could see my home, you would say I have a " green thumb." My mother told me I got my green thumb from my grandma. And that makes me smile.

Waco Moms
COVID has reminded us that time apart is wasted precious time

I have read and heard of families closed-in together and how finding quiet time and alone time can be impossible. As stressful as this is, it is also a gift. You are gifted a slower pace, time to be together, time to bond, and yes-time to get on each other's nerves.

Waco Moms
Summer Reading: Children's Picture Books for Ages 4-8

Picture books are magical, artful- and dreamful. Children's literature is an essential piece of writing, and often a child's first look into poetry and art. Picture books teach, inspire, and cause giggles. And giggles are necessary. If you know me, you know I am in love with picture books.

Waco Moms
My Mother Taught Me

Thinking of my mother while I am writing this mid-quarantine, and all the emotions of yesteryear come flooding in my mind. Memories of my mother make me smile and make me miss her more. I can't wait to give her and my father big hugs as soon as it is safe.

Waco Moms
Read On: Books for Ages 6-12

Before I was a writer, I was a reader. Reading is a beautiful way to escape. As adults, we need to escape from our lives, our worries, and our stress. Kids need this, too. Encouraging your children to read is a powerful way for them to grow. To relax and to learn.

Waco Moms Blog
Children's Books--Ten Terrific Books You'll Want To Read

And, they remind you lovingly of your children. I used to read to my children every day and every night, long after they could read on their own. I cherish the memories of piling in one bed for story-time before lights out.

Waco Moms
Buy Yourself Flowers :: Put Yourself First

We eat last, we go to bed last, and we are the last to buy ourselves clothes. We are last. And for the most part, we wouldn't have it any other way. Women are raised to serve others, and that is a good thing. We nurture, and we love wholeheartedly.

Waco Moms
Drawing Families Together--Waco Cultural Arts Festival

The Arts Fest is face painting, wood sculpture, claymation, mask making, easel art, and more! It is a festival within a festival. It is Music Fest, a Dance Fest, a Science Fest, a Film Fest, and a Word Fest! All in one weekend!

Waco Moms
September Is Our Second January

Resolutions, to get us through to our January resolutions. When my kids were young, every May, I would look forward to the last day of school, and no schedules. And every August, I would secretly look forward to the first day of school- and schedules.

Waco Moms
Build It And They Will Come | Magnolia Silos

I once wrote about Joanna that I wondered if she was raised by Walt Disney because she is all about the details. Every single detail at the silos is pretty spectacular. And it is only getting better. Should the silos now be called JoJoland? Chipworld? Gainesplace?

Waco Moms
25 Things To See And Do In Waco

With the growth of the city, Waco is now home to many delicious eateries, bars, and great places to shop. We have art galleries, museums, and sites worth seeing. You can find a lot of nature in Waco, as well as plenty of sidewalks for exploring.

Waco Moms
Old Bethany Weddings and Events

Or for a photo shoot, a party, meeting, or any excuse to see this white beauty. Think white. Think barn. Image a lily-white, Instagram-worthy, barn nestled in the woods. A bride's dream. A pristine barn, too pearly-white for farm animals, but perfectly-white for a wedding or event. Bright and lovely.

Waco Moms Blog
Giving Birth is Not the Fairy Tale I Imagined

When I first found out I was pregnant thirty years ago, I began fantasizing about how wonderful it would all be. The fantasy bubble burst when I delivered. What was left was a harsh reality and a lot of love. The love was more abundant than I had dreamed, but the reality was still harsh.

Waco Moms Blog
Waco's Newest Restaurants

As we all know, Waco is still growing, and the downtown area is booming with new businesses. Waco's newest restaurants are making it harder to answer the question, " Where do you want to eat tonight? " One thing that excites this Wacoan is the food trucks who are building brick and mortars.

Waco Moms Blog
Charcuterie Boards-How To Build An Easy Cheese Board

You can make the charcuterie board as simple or as elaborate as you wish. It is really up to you and how many guests you are expecting. Easy to put together, and everyone loves the look and taste of a cheeseboard. Charcuterie, pronounced shahr-cute-uh-ree, is a French word for smoked, dry-cured or cooked meats.

Waco Moms Blog
Eating At Magnolia | Magnolia Market's Food Trucks

Street eats are the urban way of life for many cities, and Waco has many food trucks for you to delight in, including a plethora at Magnolia Market's food trucks. Waco's f ood truck scene spans from University Parks Drive, along the river to the silo's and beyond.

Waco Moms Blog
5 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To Today

Whatever podcasts you listen to, don't forget to leave a review. And, subscribe! This helps Apple know people listen and love the podcaster's work. It helps them tremendously-so do them the courtesy. They are bringing you goodness, so if you enjoy-let the world know.

Waco Moms Blog
Waco Dog-Friendly | Guide to Dog-Friendly Spots To Take Spot

Here is a list of some of the best Waco dog-friendly places you and your canine friend can spend some quality time together. Some are obvious and some you might not have thought of before. 1424 Bistro has a romantic outside patio, located at 1424 Washington Avenue, perfect for a canine date.

Waco Moms Blog
Mothers And Daughters | A Bond In Friendship

Mothers And Daughters | A Bond In Friendship The bond and relationship between a mother and daughter is different than that between the same mother and her son. It doesn't mean the mother loves the daughter more; I think it is more about feminism and best friend-ism.

Waco Moms Blog
Gather, The Art of Hospitality

To bring together or to collect. Also defined as to pick or to harvest. Gather is a word that suggests closeness, togetherness and plentiful- ness. Waco has plenty of wonderful things to ' gather-up ' as well as a place to gather together, in Gather, The Art of Hospitality.

Waco Moms Blog
Workshops in Waco--Adult Style

While you are busy filling your child's summer with camps and ways to improve their time off from school, consider yourself, too. There are many workshops in Waco, for adults. There are a few in town that might leave you inspired, at the very least entertained.

Waco Moms Blog
Milo All Day: An Adventure For Your Taste Buds

Milo All Day is a vacation from the norm. Milo All Day is an adventure for your taste buds. Milo All Day is a new taste in Waco and you must give it a try. Waco is on a cusp and Milo All Day is one point. One exciting, delicious point.

Waco Moms Blog
Waco Dining: Al Fresco-Style

Waco summers are hot. That is no secret, but if you can brave the heat, Waco dining offers many choices. A lot of new choices for dining, depending on your preference, dine inside or out. Here is a list of summer spots to dine in Waco, al fresco-style.

Waco Moms Blog
Three Bits Of Wisdom About Good Parenting

Being a mother of three twenty-somethings, and on the other-side of parenting, I have three bits of wisdom to pass on to mothers of young children. Three things I learned only by living through them. Trial and error. I highly recommend it.

Waco Moms Blog
Tesla's Café and Coffee Pub-A New Waco Must-Go

Waco is being fixed-up all over town. Many homes and buildings, in the downtown and uptown areas, are being renovated and this urban city is looking new again, while still maintaining its history. One of the newest restaurants in downtown Waco is no different. Yet, it is.

Waco Moms Blog
Until Death Do Us Part-My Husband Has Cancer

Until death do us part. Do you ever seriously think about these important words you say to each other? Or do these words come to mind only when you are faced with death? I have had the opportunity lately to think heavily on these words. And another word.

Waco Moms Blog
Walking Waco-Shopping and Exploring Small Shops In Waco

Waco has so much to offer visitors and citizens alike. Walking Waco allows you to explore and discover small shops in Waco, and other Waco wonders, along the way. Because of the growing number of visitors Waco has, there are more tucked away treasures to explore in our town.

Waco Moms Blog
A Christmas Lesson Learned- Patience Is A Blessing

Patience is a virtue, yes, but not always practiced. I was lucky to have the gift of patience yesterday and because of this opportunity, I learned a valuable lesson I would like to pass on to you. Mary Ellen Chase said, " Christmas, children, is not a date.

Waco Moms Blog
Christmas Traditions-Eight New Family Traditions To Start This Year

Even though my children are well into their twenties, we still hold and cherish family Christmas traditions that were started both long ago, as well as new traditions we start each year. Family traditions, at Christmas and throughout the year, are important to children of any age.

Waco Moms Blog
Serving Up Waco's Hamburgers: Where To Find Four of Waco's Best

Once known as a "leftover food," the hamburger hasn't evolved much, in the history of Waco, anyway. Hamburgers are here to stay, born deep in the heart of our American culture. Some of the juicy burger joints I feature are some of the first restaurants known in Waco. That's history.

Waco Moms Blog
Christmas Shopping in September-6 Reasons Why You Should Start Now

It's hard to think about Christmas shopping in September. I mean you haven't even picked out your Halloween costume? But trust me, if you get in this habit, this year, you will feel the benefit and do so every year. For me, the habit began 26 years ago.

Waco Moms Blog
Where to Drink Waco's Best Cocktails

Waco has much it is now famous for. Where do you go to get Waco's best cocktails? If you are visiting our small urban town, a new Wacoan or a long-time resident, you may need some pointers on where to go in Waco if you are thirsty for a specific drink.

Waco Moms Blog
Forecast for Snow: Waco Snow Cones are a Great way to Beat the Heat this Summer

It's hot in Texas. No surprise there, right? Change your forecast today with a icy treat; discover where to find Waco snow cones and beat the heat this summer. Whether you call it a snow cone, a snocone or a snowball, the flavored ice once served in a paper cone-shaped cup, is both delicious and refreshing on a hot, summer day.

Waco Moms Blog
Dating Throughout Marriage: Why Date Night Is So Important

I remember well the days of him picking me up, having butterflies, anxious and excited, all at the same time, awaiting his arrival. These feelings are special but for most people, once you date for a bit, the butterflies tend to go away. What if you are married for thirty years?

Waco Moms Blog
Cupcakes in Waco: Where To Find {and Eat} Them

Waco is now known for many things, from Baylor to Magnolia Market. Waco is becoming a tourist destination, one for discovering, with its numerous historical sites, as well as new attractions, shops and eateries. One thing attracting tourist is cupcakes. ( Yes, Waco's cupcakes!) I am Waco-proud and I am also Waco-cupcake-proud.

Waco Moms Blog
Three Wine Bars in Waco: Serving Both Wine and Comfort

You can get a nice glass, or bottle, of wine at just about any restaurant or bar in Waco, but for those who really love their wine, going to a wine bar is like no other. Some wine bars serve only wine, while others offer a limited menu and perhaps a variety of beers.

Waco Moms Blog
Where to Find the Food Truck Scene in Waco

Street eats are the urban way of life for many cities and Waco is now one of them. Waco's food truck scene spans from University Parks Drive, along the river to the silo's and beyond. The food trucks only add to the downtown experience and the trend is sprouting like weeds, truck by truck, menu by menu.

Waco Moms Blog
H.O.T Coffee: Where to Get A Cup {or Two} in Waco

Coffee houses seem to be on the rise and Waco has some notable places to grab a cuppa coffee. Sure, you can pull through the drive-thru of that one place, that is on every corner, and yes, I do, but it isn't the same. You can get coffee there but that is where the parallels end.

Waco Moms Blog
Where to Eat {Non Chain} Pizza in Waco

By the slice or by the pie, I have never met a pizza I haven't liked so deciding the pizza joints in Wacotown was a hard one. Of course, everyone has their fast-food pizza they prefer. But when it comes to pizza that is not bought with a coupon, is not a chain, or mass produced, seriously narrows the choices down.

Waco Moms Blog
More to love in Waco

There is far more to love in Waco than the silos. I am proud of Waco . The city is both historical and changing, evolving and ever-growing. This wasn't always the fact. Living in the Waco area for over twenty years, I can sadly say I have only been loving Waco for the last five years.

dedradaviswrites-the blog

dedra davis writes
February's Weenteam Wednesday picture book reviews

February's Weenteam Wednesday picture book reviews were bright funny, and I wish I had come up with the idea. I read a lot of picture books. Reading helps me develop my voice and teaches me about story arcs and so much more. I don't have kids or grandkids, so I read aloud to my Weenteam, Charli, and Martha!

dedra davis writes
Picture Book Review-Weenteam Wednesday Reviews

Every Wednesday, on Instagram. Picture book reviews! Paws up or down. And on the last Wednesday of the month, I will post all four Weenteam Wednesday picture book reviews here on my blog. I write picture books and read A LOT of them-I love them and believe you are never too old for a picture book.

dedra davis writes
How It All Started VS. How It's All Going-My Road to Publication

Yes, I'm still full of hope and determination. My road to publication to be a published children's book author is paved in persistence, determination, and failing forward. Two years ago, I started this road to publication(again) when inspiration hit, and I wrote a picture book manuscript.

dedra davis writes
The Little Reindeer Book Review

If you know me at all, you know I always have a stack of children's books near me. I live, breathe, write, and revise children's books these days. Kidlit even appears in my dreams some nights. And today, I am reviewing a Christmas picture book.

dedra davis writes
Playing The Waiting Game-The Game Of Cancer - dedra davis writes

Sitting and waiting, waiting on words I hoped I would never hear. The waiting game is a game that is no fun to play. And it's a hard game to win. With patience, peace and a whole lot of prayer, I know we will win and we will be okay.

Over the Edge

Becoming a Davis, as I did 29 years ago this month, means that once a year, on the second Sunday in June, you travel to Johnsville, Texas, to a tiny little white church ( in the vale) and you worship God and Jesus and afterwards you eat among the dead in the cemetery.

dedra davis writes

January is a do-over. A reset button. A clean slate. The new year is a new you. A brand new pretty planner. January is the time to begin again. Continue reading January Is A Diet Of All Things-Time To Begin Again Posted on Categories Tags Inspiration dedra davis writes, do-over, home decor, January, New Year's resolutions Having a faux tree is a convenience, for sure.

Modern Texas Living

Unread Magazine

Taylor Magazine

Taylor Magazine
Nine Things I Wish I Had Known In My Twenties | Taylor Magazine

Giving advice and taking advice are two different things, but both equally important in life. When you learn something from experience, you need to share your wisdom with those younger than you. I am doing that--giving advice and sharing what I know. Sharing nine things I wish I had known when I was in my twenties.

Taylor Magazine
Be An Opener Of Doors | Taylor Magazine

I have walked through my share of doors. Often, with the door slamming behind me and I feel myself in an empty dark place. When the less happy doors open for you, and you get shoved through them, remember you will be walking through a jollier door before you know it.

Taylor Magazine
Look Forward, But Stay In The Moment | Taylor Magazine

Do you ever catch yourself looking forward to something? Looking forward to the weekend. A relationship, better weather, a holiday? Do you ever look back on time and wonder where the week went? Month? Year? Or maybe even years? I am guilty of wishing my days away and I am trying to stop myself.

Taylor Magazine
Keeping Up With Your Resolutions | Taylor Magazine

January is to resolutions like February is to failure. Like most people, every January, I make a New Year's resolution . Usually for me, it is weight loss related. I lose the same December slash Christmas pounds every new year. And then I quit. Sometimes by February. Sometimes by the spring.

Victoria Lee Magazine

Victoria Lee Magazine March/April 2017
A Day at the Market

An informational and picturesque visit to Magnolia Market at the Silos

Guest blogger

letters from a Good friend
July Guest Post: Amelia Island

I am so very excited to share with you July's Guest Post! This month's guest post comes from a super sweet lady from one of my favorite states, Texas! I found Dedra on Instagram when we were both doing the Instagram Challenge by Jenna Kutcher.

Be You and Thrive
Choose a positive - Be You and Thrive

Insight from Thriving Women. Writing Contribution by Dedra Davis I learned something about myself while going through a difficult period a few years ago; I learned I am a happy person. I also learned I am a grateful person. These...

Hustle with Beauty
[Title of your Article]

Most everyone has heard of H&M. If you haven't--be glad you are reading this! There are some hidden gems at H&M. They are known for their fashion, most of which is reasonably priced, all over the world. Both online and in their hip stores.

Dianne Leigh
Pay It Forward Archives - Dianne Leigh

Being featured on Wedding Wire's 2017 Couples Choice Awards didn't surprise me in the least for this Friday's Pay-it-Forward feature. Introducing a Paper Tie Affair. A Paper Tie Affair is an invitation and stationery boutique specializing in weddings. The Boutique [...]

Crystal Stine
Holding All Time Together - Crystal Stine

Christmas traditions have been the handed down generation to generation, but some can start today. Christmas traditions are a fun way for families to engage in Christmas festivities, making memories, year after year. Continuing family Christmas traditions is both necessary and meaningful. My husband and I began our own traditions when we married 29 years ...

Arrows & Awe
Decorating with Christmas Trees for the Holidays - Arrows & Awe

Written by Dedra Davis Christmas trees are the main element in my Christmas décor when I deck the halls at my house. There is a quote I like a great deal; it sums up the way I started decorating for Christmas. " The Perfect Christmas Tree ? All Christmas trees are perfect!

The Culture Trip

The Groove

92-Year-Old Hewitt Artist Has Been Painting Since He Was 10 | Groove Magazine

Having a passion for something, your entire life is a blessing; being able to provide for your family with this passion is even a bigger blessing. And when you are 92 years old, you are still blessed with this passion and the ability to bring it to life and provide joy to others with your work, that's a godsend.

The Hometown News

Lives Matter | hometownnews

Our country, among other things, seems to be arguing about which lives matter. Every life matters. Black lives matter. Brown lives matter. LGBT lives matter. Women matter. Men matter. Police matter. Americans matter. All lives matter. We are all the same; from the same mold.

hometownnews - Your locally owned hometown newspaper

Hometown News is now DIGITAL!! Pick up your copy at your favorite store or read it online Click here to find your newest issue Welcome to your locally owned hometown newspaper covering all of McLennan county. Now we have more coverage of schools, cities, and communities than ever before.

The Hometown News

Weekly newspaper

The Outfitter Magazine


Waco Escape Rooms | Wacopoint

A locked room that is theme-decorated to make you feel you are in a different place altogether, many hidden clues that lead to keys that unlock more keys that lead to the key that unlocks the room, and a group of friends, family or even collogues, that are working with you, searching and racking ...

Everything Home Magazine

Don't Skip Over Thanksgiving ~ Everything Home Magazine

It seems to be a trend lately to skip over the turkeys and the pilgrims and head right into decking the halls for Christmas. I love the holidays; all of them. Including Thanksgiving. I still love and enjoy my pumpkins and I don't like to rush to put them away.