Songwriter finds her work therapeutic

Donna Tumey, of Trail, shows off her latest cover, “Heartland”.

People write for a variety of reasons. For a number of people, a it’s relief.That’s what it is for Donna Tumey of Trail, relief from heartaches of the past. This songwriter has been writing since the year 2000, because getting those words down on paper is a relief from things that have bothered her during an earlier time in her life.

So many people find they are facing demons—that only get worse when allowed to remain inside, without ever seeing the light of day. Many soldiers, fresh from the battle, find they can’t deal with things that happened when they were in combat, so they closely guard those memories as if they somehow served them by keeping the secrets. So few have learned that letting loose of the demons is the only way to deal with them. Tumey faced demons of her own and found that through writing songs and poetry she was able to find needed relief.

Tumey writes of the memories of loved ones, of friends and relatives. Songs with titles like “I am a soldier” and “in this game of love”, two from a recent Hilltop Records album titled “Heartland.”

Hilltop Records is a subsidy or vanity publisher, as some call them. Hilltop accepts manuscripts, screens them for the proper content, then records those chosen with their own musicians and singers. Then the work is published and promoted, and for the hopefuls, recorded by a nationally acclaimed singer. Should that happen, the author stands to make a fair paycheck from the work. Most, however, are not picked up by famous recording stars and therefore don’t receive much recognition. The writer still holds the copyright, so if the song ever does make it, they control their own destiny.

For Tumey, it’s not about stardom or raking in piles of money, it’s about that relief that comes from exposing painful memories to the light of day. She says the recognition is nice, the awards received for her poetry are great, but in the end, it’s still about the release from pain that often grips her.

She has no magic formula, but just writes from her heart. At times, she has to labor for the lyrics, at other times, it’s as if the doors are open and the words come so fast she can barely get them on paper. Those prolific times are when she feels her work is the best.

Over the years, Tumey has piled up awards for both songs and poems. In 2002, she received a certificate of recognition from the Famous Poets Society. The following year it was an invitation to enter the International Open Poetry Contest. 2004 was a busy year for Tumey, winning the Editor’s Choice Award and being included in the best poems of 2003 and 2004. That year she was also included in the International Library of Poetry and the International Who’s Who in Poetry.

From 2005 until 2012, she has won a string of awards for her poetry. Those awards include several outstanding achievement awards, best poets, our great modern poets and numerous other awards grace the wall in her Trail home.

Tumey plans a book of her poetry for some time within the next year and has some of her work available. Those interested can contact her by email at


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