Monday, November 13, 2017

TURKEY TAILS AND WRITERLY WISHES...








To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:

WISHES 

My childhood stories revolve mainly around my mother who worked hard to take care of four growing children on a poor man's salary. My father was a chef on an offshore oil rig. His work took him away from home for weeks, sometimes months at a time, but he always managed to make it home for the holidays. 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with it come memories of two turkey traditions that happened every year while I was growing up. The first one involved the annual fight over who got the turkey tail. I know most people might think the end of the bird was best thrown out, but at our house my father and I would royally battle over  it and I usually won.

The second tradition involved the turkey's WISHbone. Sometimes I would pit my WISHbone pulling talents against my sister and sometimes my mother. I don't remember what I WISHED for every year, but it was more the excitement of the tug-a-war than the WISH itself.

When they're not working on their latest manuscripts, writers are adding to their own WISH lists...

1. A WISH to become a published author.
2. A WISH to find that perfect critique partner or group.
3. A WISH to receive an offer from an agent or publisher.
4. A WISH to win a prestigious award and make their mark on a writerly world.

While we're WISHING, I WISH for all my literary friends a holiday season full of writerly accomplishments and many a published manuscript...





ARE YOU THE MISSING PIECE? is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, and other fine retailers. It was a #1 bestseller in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US earlier this month.

 




International best selling author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt Taekwondo Instructor by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host and book reviewer for Harper Collins, She is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and Children's Book Insider. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and well written stories.

Monday, November 6, 2017

A...A...A...ACHOO...

Allergy, Cold, Disease, Flu, Girl, Handkerchief, Ill 



I don't know if my computer gave me the bug it's been fighting for this past week, but now I'M not fully functional and fighting my own bug. I promise I will get back to posting on a regular schedule just as soon as I get rid of a few bugs...


Germ, Cartoon, Frown, Sick, Nasty 







ARE YOU THE MISSING PIECE? is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, and other fine retailers. It was a #1 bestseller in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US earlier this month.

 






International best selling author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt Taekwondo Instructor by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host and book reviewer for Harper Collins, She is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and Children's Book Insider. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and well written stories.

 
 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Not Your Normal Zen Garden...






To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:


HACK


One of the houses I lived in as a child had a rather large area at the back of the house filled with tall bamboo trees, giving it (at first glance) a rather Zen feel to that corner of yard. I could stand next to those trees towering over me and dream myself away to some far away land where anything was possible.


My mother, on the other hand, lived a very practical existence and all those trees meant to her was another back breaking chore to be done by HACKING the branches back into some resemblance of order instead of the wild array of branches they typically displayed.


The only problem with trimming those wild trees, is the fact we never knew of the multitudes of hornets who called those plants their home.


That is, until the day Mother decided to HACK into their nest and unleash their outraged fury on my poor head and shoulders. I remember there was a lot of screaming on my part and numerous lumps left all over my head on the part of the hornets. 


While the pain subsided eventually and the bumps finally healed, the memory of that horrible day is etched into my soul forever. Even to this day, if any winged creature ventures too close to my head, I will still do the dance of the deranged to try to escape another possible attack.


I don't think HACKING is such a good thing for a writer either. A few years ago my own computer was HACKED by a gentleman out of South Africa, posing as an author trying to be a part of my WRITERLY WISDOM series at the time. While I chose not to allow him to participate, he decided to HACK into my yahoo email account at the time, as well as my Facebook account, and delete two years of detailed research I had been doing for a project I was working on at the time.


My computer was very old and really didn't allow much back up capabilities. There was nothing I could do to recover from being HACKED.


Sometimes things happen to our writing that devastates us. The pain to our writerly spirit is as real as the pain caused by those hornets so long ago.


But we have to remember it's not the end of the world. Some of our work may no longer be around, but the spark that chose to take on a particular project is still there...deep within us...leading us to even bigger dreams than we might have first imagined. I know, because my latest book is a dream come true...





ARE YOU THE MISSING PIECE? is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, and other fine retailers. It was a #1 bestseller in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US earlier this month.

 






Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and good stories.

 






Monday, October 16, 2017

Waves Upon Waves of Stories...


 


  


 
 
To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:
 
STORIES
 
I feel like I've been writing all my life. I have copies of poetry I wrote beginning at age 8. Even then, voices whispered in my head...calling to me and wanting to spill out onto paper. By age 11 I was entering writing contests, and even won a contest sponsored by my hometown library to receive a copy of MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE. It even had a book plate on the inside with my name inscribed on it and I thought I had won the lottery.
 
Over the years I've written snippets and full manuscripts of hundreds of stories...picture books, chapter books, young adult fantasy, essays...stories swirling and dancing through my mind  when there was no one else around to keep me company. 
 
Writers ALWAYS have another story waiting to be told. It might go into hiding and we have to work hard at enticing the muse to show themselves. And sometimes the stories tumble out of us so quickly, we stumble over them, just trying to write all of them down before they fade from our memory.

But there is one thing that ALL writers have in common. It is "written" in our DNA to gather words together in the hopes we can create a strong enough picture to leave our imprint on the world...


My latest book, Are YOU The Missing Piece?, is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, and other fine retailers. Last week, it became a #1 bestseller  in Austrailia, Canada, the UK, and the US. All those stories now flowing out into the universe like waves in the ocean...and maybe one day, flowing back to me...
 
 






Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and good stories.

 
 
 

Monday, October 9, 2017

DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE...






To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:

COMFORTABLE

When I was growing up, my family moved around a lot. With extreme poverty came the constant need to find living arrangements that matched my paren'ts dwindling financial funds. 

My father worked every type of job from construction to offshore cook, but it was hard to get COMFORTABLE when you never knew if next month you would be moving again.

Finally my parents saved up enough money to put a downpayment on a century old home and we could put down roots. Their mortgage was $50 per month, but it could have easily been $5000 as I watched my mother struggle each month to come up with enough money to keep her children COMFORTABLE in their "forever" home.

Being COMFORTABLE and knowing the wolves are no longer at the door is okay when you're a kid, but as a writer, the worst thing we can get is too COMFORTABLE with our stories.

When we stop striving to challenge our characters...stop throwing obstacles in their way to overcome...we short change ourselves and fall short of the stronger writers we can become.

And what's the fun in that?









Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and good stories.

 

 

 

Monday, October 2, 2017

STORING UP FOR THE WINTER...





To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:

STORE

Memories of my childhood would not be complete without remembering all the canning my mother would do each year to STORE up enough food in anticipation of a long, hard winter with four young mouths to feed.

Everyting that flew, swam, ran, or grew on the vine would find its way into one of Mother's canning jars. Nothing was overlooked and I never had to wonder what  we would do with our garden bounty.

While other folks in my hometown would make do with STORE bought goods to fill their bellies on a cold winter's night, I could dine on fresh vegetables that had basked in the warm Cajun sunlight just months before. Finish that meal off with frozen, sugared figs straight from our back yard or an ice cold banana "pop" and I'd swore I was in heaven!

As writers, we STORE up story ideas in notebooks, on computers, even scribled on restaurant napkins, with the hope that one...or more...will someday develop into a beautifully woven writerly masterpiece to be shared with the world. Those STORED up ideas take the same amount of nurturing and dedication when creating a manuscript to feed young minds as it took my mother all those years ago to make sure four young bodies were fed every winter...









Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and good stories.

 


 

Monday, September 25, 2017

FALLING IN LOVE WITH FALL...



To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:

FALL

I'm pretty sure my sister didn't realize just how much I admired her when we were growing up. I thought Janet had it all...a witty personality, a bevy of friends, and the coolest wedge sandals I had ever seen.

I've been 5'10" since I was eleven years old. Tall enough to tower over most of the other students in my class which didn't win me any popularity contests, but the thought of adding another 5 inches to my height was too tempting to resist. Besides, to a gangly pre teen, those shoes represented about the sexiest thing I had ever seen.

My sister let me borrow those shoes one day and I strutted around the playground like I was the Homecoming Queen. That is, until I tried to turn the corner of a building and ended up FALLING off those shoes.

Hitting the concrete face first.

In front of a group of kids.

Who started to laugh and point at the goofball on the ground trying to gather her dignity and her high heel wedges before slinking off to hide in the girl's bathroom for the rest of recess.

I never wore those wedge shoes again, but for one moment in an otherwise mediocre elementary school career, I was on top of my world!

Writers FALL in love with their stories. They are passionate about those writerly relationships,  sometimes extending the "honeymoon" phase of loving their main characters long past what is best for the overall storyline. That's where a good critique group or critique partner comes in.

An outside pair of eyes will catch weaknesses in those manuscripts, preventing those main characters from FALLING into the dark hole of the slush pile.

For writers looking for a critique partner or critique group, here are a few links to check out...

 http://thewritersmatch.com/

https://www.ladieswhocritique.com/ 

 https://thewritelife.com/find-a-critique-partner/

 http://lisapoisso.com/2016/07/26/find-critique-partners-groups/










Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and good stories.