Monday, May 8, 2017


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:


When I was growing up, I had a very vivid imagination. I still do. But sometimes my imagination would get the best of me and I would step beyond my DREAMS to blend fantasy with reality by sleep walking or sleep talking. 

I wouldn't do it often, but my siblings enjoyed seeing just how far they could take a conversation with me until I woke up and realized I was somewhere different than the place my imagination had led me. 

I've walked into my clothes closet thinking I was walking into another room.

I've gone into the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon during a nap and tried to cook breakfast because I thought it was time to get ready for school.

I've even had DREAMS of frightening events that continued to play out in front of me long after I finally woke up. 

DREAMING...good or bad...has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Now, as a writer, my DREAMS take on a very different meaning. 

I DREAM out the plots of my latest picture book stories like the one I woke up to yesterday about the magic to be found on a teeny tiny corner of one teeny tiny town.

I DREAM to work out a tricky part of my fantasy novel revision that I've struggled with during the day time. Now, the answer to my problem seems so clear.

I DREAM of the day my name will appear on another published manuscript. That one might not be too far into the future as I currently study the details of my latest offer of publication.

DREAMING is what we writers do and if we are really lucky, some of those DREAMS might even come true!

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



  1. I dreamed the answers to an English test on a book I was supposed to have read, but didn't. When I woke up, I wrote the multiple choice answers down on paper and memorized them. I didn't remember any of the questions. In class, I wrote my memorized answers on the test. I was the only one who got all of them right. When the teacher praised me in front of the class, I told the truth. No one believed me. I used my power for evil instead of good. Don't be like me.

    1. Janet, I'm slowly pulling you over to the good side...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  2. I enjoyed this. I'm new to the Fighting Bookworms, but I think I'm going to become one of the #DCSPeeps with you! :-)
    Like you, I have been writing since I was a young child. However, I was one of the fools convinced I could not make money writing and that I needed to get a REAL JOB. I got a degree in Social Work to help people. I wasn't happy, so I went back and got a Master's degree in SW (Masters in unhappiness?). However, in the last few years, I've decided I cannot deny my heart and what I feel may be one of my life's great purposes. I'm a husband and father of 2, so I can't just quit and devote myself full-time to writing, but I am using every free chance I can, and I'm MAKING more time as well. I'm going to do this!
    I was excited to see you are in Knoxville! I don't know why, other than just to know a successful writer is just down the road. My best friend is in Knoxville and my family lives in Johnson City.
    Do you ever do any workshops or readings? If so, I'd love to come hear you. Thanks for the inspiration.
    I have a question about the dreaming blog. What advice do you have for those that rarely remember their dreams. I've tried a dream journal, but used it so infrequently, that I never keep up with it. I have heard of people trying to influence dreams before going to sleep, but not sure how to go about that. Your thoughts?

    1. Hi David and welcome to my blog! I'm glad you were inspired by this post. You might want to check my archives for my other #DCSPeeps posts on different words and stories from my youth...;~)

      I can truly understand the feelings that come with denying what is in one's heart to do and settling for a "real job". I didn't write for 25 years simply because I trusted the words of others that my storytelling wasn't good enough, when I should have listened more closely to the tiny voice inside of me begging to be heard.

      As far as making money writing, I'm no expert. My latest book contract I'm considering right now will be my third and I will STILL hold down my job as the Center Manager of my martial arts school. Some people write to pay the bills. I'm lucky enough that my bills are relatively tiny so my little salary from my job is sufficient. Of course I would love more money...who wouldn't...but at least it frees me up to follow my heart where my writing is concerned instead of trying to write to the current trends in the hopes someone will buy my stories so I can pay the bills.

      Lol...glad to know we are in "spitting distance" of each other! East Tennessee isn't exactly a mecca for huge writing events but I do believe we still manage to have our fair share of more well known writers come from this area, like James Agee, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Lowell Cunningham, Alex Haley, Cormac McCarthy, Karl Edward Wagner, Bob Mayer and others. We're both in good company and I can only aspire to have their kind of talent.

      I currently don't go on book tours/readings but if everything works out with my latest book contract, my fantasy novel would come out next year and then I would be making the rounds. I'll always post those type of things on all my social, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

      When I say "dreaming", I don't necessarily mean those you have during actual night time sleeping. It can also mean daydreaming...those times when I let my mind kinda free float with a particular idea I'm working on. I try to think of all the different "what if" scenarios that my story might encounter and if I think of anything (no matter how small) that I consider a possibility worth remembering, then I WRITE IT DOWN! I have paper files and digital folders of different things that I've gone back to at some point and put it inside of a current project. I've also lay in bed once I first wake up and just let my mind wander for a moment or two in that fuzzy headed early morning time and THAT is usually when a solution to a current writing problem will present itself. Then I either grab the tablet on my night table to write it down or chant the info to myself as I get out of bed and run for paper and pencil. For me personally, the more I try to FORCE a particular technique, the harder it is for it to work. But that is not to say I don't PRACTICE a particular habit until it becomes second nature.

      I've been professionally writing for almost 8 years now...your journey is just beginning. We both still have much to learn but the most important advice I can give you is this:

      1. Learn to have lots of patience with the process because this industry is SLOW MOVING at best.

      2. Learn your craft. Read all the books you can about improving your writing. Take classes and workshops if you can afford them. Read the blogs of established writers and follow them to learn the tricks of the trade.

      3. Find time to write. EVERY DAY. I don't mean a novel a day or even a full story but make every effort to work on your passion every day. A child doesn't learn to read or write or even ride a bike on the first takes lots and lots of practice and so does becoming a strong storyteller.

      I wish you all the best and here's to a productive writing career.

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!