TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Not Your Normal Zen Garden




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, was 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 was 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 at the time 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…






Ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal worker’s strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?




donna - Copy


Best selling, award-winning 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, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 1th, 2019.

Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

One thought on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Not Your Normal Zen Garden

  • July 30, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    I was inside bathing the 2 nephews when this happened. I remember Mother getting stung on the lip. And my calling her Beakface until the swelling went down.


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