Thursday, December 8, 2016

HAPPY BLOGVERSARY TO ME!






When I wrote my first blog post back in December of 2010, I had no idea six years later I would still be sharing a part of myself with YOU, my awesome readers. I've come a long way and connected with thousands of people from all over the world...

Moldova.


Singapore.


Germany.


Russia.


Over 20 countries.


Now, 564,000 people later, I'm still feeling the love of connecting with this wonderful community. I feel like I've grown up here...grown stronger in my role as a writer and hopefully, I've occasionally shared a post which inspired, amused, or entertained you.

This past year found me expanding into novels (completing a young adult fantasy novel, LUNADAR: HOMEWARD BOUND), revising early reader historical fiction chapter books (ALL ABOARD TITANIC and CHOCOLATE TRAIN WRECK) and even a number of picture books. I've even began research on my third historical fiction chapter book to take place during World War II. 

My world revolves around the beautiful symphony of words dancing across a computer screen. Swirling phrases and descriptions creating worlds as real to me sometimes as the everyday one I live in. A new year on this blog is beginning for me and a new series where I study how certain words affect my writing. The fact I can sneak in a story here or there about my interesting childhood is just icing on the cake.

Not exactly as cool as the icing on the cake above, but hopefully enough to carry me through another year...;~)


Happy Blogversary to me!








Monday, December 5, 2016

TIS THE SEASON TO BE SNEAKY...






20. desember - December 20 (6475960503).jpg



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:
 

SNEAKY


I grew up in a very small town to a very poor family with six mouths to feed. Things may have been very rough any other time of the year, but during the holidays my mother made sure there were plenty of surprises under the tree to be opened on Christmas morning.

Only thing is, it was never a surprise what was in those gifts so colorfully wrapped. You see, I’m the youngest of four siblings and my brother learned how to be SNEAKY at a very early age.

As the baby of the group, I was the lookout while my parents slept, and my brother would very carefully unwrap each gift and tell the recipient what they were going to get the next day! Then he would just as carefully rewrap the present and return it to its rightful place under the tree. For years this was a Christmas Eve ritual with us kids.

And my mother never found out.

I know this because she had a very strict moral code when it came to things like that and let’s just say our backsides would have been redder than a baboon’s if we would have been caught.

Sometimes you have to SNEAKY. Take this writing journey we are all on. We all began this journey for various reasons. You know the ones I mean…

“My kids love when I tell them stories.”

“I want to see my name in print.”

        “I've read several books and I can do better.”

        “There's something I want to share with the world.”

But there are times when negative self-talk and doubters all around you try to sabotage your writing efforts. And if you truly want to be a writer, you have to be SNEAKY to trick your mind into doing what’s best to stay on this publishing path…not what’s comfortable!

My own SNEAKY examples:

1) Make it a priority to write every day, no matter what!
2) Participate in writing groups, whether in person or online to connect with other writers.
3) Take a writing course...or two...or three...to continue to improve your writing skills.
4) Don't be afraid to put your writing out there and get others to critique your efforts. Seek out the wisdom of those who came before you and learn from them.

Writing for me is not a hobby; not something I can simply set aside when something better comes along. For me, there is NOTHING better than writing and I intend to SNEAK in writing every chance I get for the rest of my life.

How about YOU?

I hope you have an awesome day today, DCSPeeps, because you deserve it!


 
 

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, middle grade 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, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse
 

Monday, November 28, 2016

UNDER THE WEATHER BLUES...




Disgusting, Man, Sick, Spew, Vomit



I'm feeling under the weather right now. I've been sick since Thanksgiving and will have to wait until next week to give you my latest TODAY'S WORD, with an interesting holiday story from my long ago childhood...



Sorry for the delay. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I'll be back next week!





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A THANKSGIVING POEM



 BLESSINGS
by Donna L Martin
 
To all my family, both near and far...
To all my friends, both old and new...
This special day God blessed us with...
To cherish each other with love anew...
To give our thanks for all dear things...
And give the Lord blessings he's due...



Happy Thanksgiving Images




Monday, November 21, 2016

GETTING MY STUFFING ON...






File:Stuffed turkey.jpg



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:

STUFFING

It was not long after I moved into my new apartment when I decided to adopt a kitten. One of my coworkers told me her own cat delivered a litter six weeks prior and those "little bundles of energy" were ready to find a forever home. 

I should have taken her words as clue #1 of what was to come.

After seeing the adorable kittens playing outside (clue #2), I decided to take two of them home instead. The calico one I named Patches for obvious reasons, and the grey striped one I named Cricket because she hopped like a cricket more than she did anything else.  Cricket was also lightening fast and liked to climb my curtains when my back was turned.

Clue #3.

I brought Patches & Cricket home the weekend before Thanksgiving. Other than having to peel Cricket off the curtains a time or two, by Thanksgiving morning both kittens were settling into their new home and I could concentrate on cooking the turkey.

At some point in the process I needed to check if the STUFFING was done, so I sat the bird on the stove top just as my hall phone began to ring. Thinking it would just take a minute to answer it, I left the bird cooling and took the call.

My phone conversation took longer than I'd planned which I regretted as soon as I returned to the kitchen to discover Cricket had scaled the side of the stove like Mt Everest and was now buried up to her shoulders INSIDE MY TURKEY!

Who knew cats liked STUFFING? 

I guess I should be happy at least SOMEBODY liked my homemade recipe, but for me, Thanksgiving dinner was ruined and by the next weekend I found new homes for my two feral kitties...

During this holiday season, I have decided to STUFF my writing with lots of flavorful ingredients:

🦃 rich details in my world building
🦃 quirky personality traits for my characters
🦃 challenging obstacles to overcome
🦃 a life changing event to help someone grow
🦃 a surprise, unexpected ending

You see, my DCSPeeps, strong writing is the backbone of every great story, but it's the STUFFING that makes your audience want to climb up and dig in!

I hope you have an AWESOME day today cuz you deserve it!



 
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, middle grade 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, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse
 
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: SPECIAL EDITION

  


Image result for thanksgiving children's books


Sometimes it's hard to choose just ONE book to review for Thanksgiving, so I decided to share with my readers many, many wonderful children's books about this special time of year. Maybe you will see one you have cherished over the years. Possibly you will find a new treasure to discover hidden somewhere among these titles. 

One thing is for certain.

With all these children's books about the upcoming holiday, there is certainly much to be thankful for!

Tell me...what is YOUR favorite Thanksgiving children's book?


 

Related image



Image result for thanksgiving children's books




Related image


Related image


 

Monday, November 14, 2016

CHASING AFTER THE WRITERLY DREAM...



Jack Russell Terrier Eddi Jumping.JPG 
 (wikimedia commons)


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:

CHASING

When you come from a poor family you have to be creative. Especially when it comes to games.

My mother didn't especially care for me hanging out with the neighborhood kids, so it was a good thing my sister, Janet, and I were fairly close in age. She was four years older than myself, but many a Saturday morning would find us outside getting creative with whatever was lying around.

One particular Saturday when I was about 9 years old, we decided to pretend we were grand ladies going to a Ball. The only problem was, we didn't have any fancy dresses to wear. I don't remember which one of us came up with the idea, but soon my sister was cutting holes in large packing boxes trying to make cardboard skirts out of them.

The plan would have gone great except for the fact my sister cut the leg holes of my "skirt" a little bit too small. When I stepped into the box, she quickly pulled it up my legs to see if it fit, causing my legs to be painfully scraped and my temper was immediately inflamed.

Throwing the cardboard to one side, I grabbed the knife my sister had used and began CHASING her around the yard, screaming at the top of my lungs I would kill her if I ever got a hold of her! It took much persuasion from my mother to eventually convince me to put the knife down. My sister and I continued to play together after that fateful day, but I can't remember either one of us ever wanting to go to the Ball again after that!

CHASING our writing dreams, my #DCSPeeps, can sometimes be as scary as being CHASED by a madder than heck victim of a cardboard attack. Some newbie writers CHASE random agents and publishers like dogs barking at cars...not very effective, but it gives the impression they're being productive.

There's nothing wrong with CHASING the chance to see your name in print. Just make sure while you're running down that publication path, you remember three things:

1. Make sure your story is the best it can possibly be. Revise, critique, and polish your words until they shine like diamonds on that page.

2.  If you go the traditional route to publishing, do your research so that your manuscript has the best chance of being read by the right person to possibly help you.

3. Once you have completed that manuscript, don't hesitate to start on your next project. The more you write, the more you learn HOW to write, and when it comes to CHASING those writerly dreams, MORE is better!

I hope you have an AWESOME day today cuz you deserve it!


 


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, middle grade 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, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse