THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Where In The World Is Amelia?

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Well, here’s a sneak peek at a new feature I plan to introduce into my blog. Beginning next week three things are going to happen here…

 

ONE

 

I will go from a five day a week blog to a two day a week blog for a couple of reasons. My publishing house, Story Catcher Publishing, is starting to ramp up and takes more of my focus going into my company’s second year. There are just so many hours in the day and a lot of time 10-12 hours of those days are used being the Program Director/Center Manager of my Taekwondo school, so I have to free up some of those other hours to take care of the publishing side of things. Another reason I will be reducing the overall number of weekly posts, is because I will be shifting some of those types of posts to my quarterly newsletters I will start sending out this year.

 

TWO

 

Due to reader request, the blog will retain my Monday, TALES OF THE BAYOU, post as I will bring you other interesting, quirky, and downright weird moments from my childhood growing up near the bayous of southern Louisiana.

My FLASH FICTION, BOOK NOOK REVIEWS, and WIRTERLY WISDOM posts will be shifted to my quarterly newsletters and hopefully also include author, illustrator & agent interviews as well as other goodies to share with my email list.

 

THREE

 

Finally, my THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY post will shift to the Friday slot and will be renamed to WHERE IN THE WORLD IS AMELIA? This new series will take a lighthearted look at some of the unusual or interesting place Amelia Earmouse might find herself.

It’s kinda following Susanna Hill’s tour of her picture book character, Punxsutawney Phyllis, a few years back. Susanna did a remarkable “tour” by sending Phyllis around the world while allowing her author friends to take pictures and write blog posts of Phyllis’ adventures globe hopping. Amelia’s travels will be on a much smaller scale, at least at first, but you never know where she might end up or what mischief she might get into…

 

Amelia

 

 

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Donna's Books

Looking for a way to spend that Christmas cash? Gift cards burning a hole in your pocket? Books always make a great gift! There’s everything from inspirational essay journals to picture books…young adult fantasy novels to historical fiction chapter books. Something for everyone on sale now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other retailers. HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams can also be found at the Titanic Museums in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Branson, Missouri.

 

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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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: New Things Coming Your Way…

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I’m a firm believer the day you stop trying new things is the day you stop growing as a writer and as a human being. I worked on lots of new things this year…some great…others not so great. But all came with a lesson to learn.

I feel like I’ve grown in my writing as well. My original goal at the beginning of the year was to post five days each week and for the first ten months of 2019, I managed to stay consistent. But Fall came along and my life went into hyperdrive with three books lined up to be released October, November, and December! By the time the holidays came around I got the news I would also have another book coming out in January, as well as two more books in the HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series.

With the sudden flurry of manuscript and publishing deadlines, I’ve had to give some serious thought to my blog and I’ve come to a decision I hope is agreeable to my followers as I strive to balance the many career pans I have on the fires in my life.

Beginning January 6th, I will be cutting back on some of the blog posts and shift some of those weekly posts to a quarterly newsletter. This helps me continue to connect with my wonderful readers, but still gives me the opportunities I need to hit my writing and publishing deadlines.

I will also be testing a new post series that I’ll reveal with the new year…;-)

If there is any particular type of posts…Monday’s TALES FROM THE BAYOU, Tuesday’s FLASH FICTION, Wednesday’s BOOK NOOK REVIEWS, Thursday’s THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, or Friday’s WRITERLY WISDOM…that you want to continue to see on a weekly basis instead of in a quarterly newsletter, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!  

And if you are new to my blog, or visit but haven’t “followed” me yet…it might be time for you to leave your email so you can get my quarterly newsletter and keep up with all the latest Story Catcher Publishing news including more contests scheduled for 2020, updates on each new title being released in the HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series, as well as other goodies I have planned for the new year!

Counting down the days to a new year and a new surprise…

 

surprises

 

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Donna's Books

Looking for a way to spend that Christmas cash? Gift cards burning a hole in your pocket? Books always make a great gift! There’s everything from inspirational essay journals to picture books…young adult fantasy novels to historical fiction chapter books. Something for everyone on sale now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other retailers. HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams can also be found at the Titanic Museums in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Branson, Missouri.

 

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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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING YA’LL

 

Happy Thanksgiving 4

 

To all my friends who are celebrating Turkey Day today…HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

I have much to be thankful for:

 

FAMILY…

 

Those people close to my heart, whether by blood or heart connections…you know who you are and I am thankful you are a part of my life!

 

 

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FRIENDS…

 

Those people who come into my life…sometimes for a moment…sometimes for a lifetime…but always with love to share and life lessons I can take with me wherever I go.

 

Happy Thanksgiving 3

 

GOOD HEALTH…

 

I have my moments…don’t we all…when I’m not 100 per cent, but I get to wake up every day thankful I don’t allow health obstacles to get in the way of my life’s goals. It’s certainly better than the alternative…lol…

 

 

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A ROOF OVER MY HEAD…

 

I worked hard to keep a roof over my head for years and now I’m blessed to have a mortgage-free home in which to spend the holidays. I love my solitude and my home is my sanctuary.

 

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MY WRITING, MY READERS…

 

How can I not give thanks for my writing? It allows me to connect with others all over the world and provides me a way to share the worlds in my imagination with a new generation of readers. It’s one of the things I’m most thankful for.

 

 

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AND LAST, BUT NOT LEAST…

 

I’m most thankful for YOU!

 

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THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Broken In The Most Delicious Way

 

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When my sister and I were growing up, we helped our mother with the holiday baking. My brother and oldest sister were both in the military.

That meant every year my mother would spend hours in the kitchen preparing a sweet, culinary care package to ship out to places throughout the country as my siblings waited to receive some homemade love in a little brown box.

Cut out sugar cookies covered in colorful royal icing, thumbprint cherry cookies, oatmeal cookies bursting with golden raisins, and snickerdoodles I would only see at Christmas time.

Everything had to pass the MOM test before it could go in the box.

You would think my stomach would have ached with the taste testings of so many sugary delights.

You would be wrong.

We actually weren’t allowed to EAT any of those cookies.

Not one.

They were for the ones in faraway places, while the burnt, BROKEN pieces were just as flavorful as the rest.

The next time you start to create perfect characters for your stories, realize it’s the broken and flawed personalities that connect with your readers, not those demigods on Mt. Olympus. Broken people like…

The ditzy neighbor that’s a little bit OCD.

The strong, leading man that tears up at sad movies.

The work driven female that can’t seem to complete any home projects.

Take time for another look at your stories and see how you can break those perfect characters into more realistic people. And don’t worry whether a flawed main character will be welcomed by your reader. They may be broken, but they’re are ALL just as sweet!

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

 

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contest prizes

STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST

 

*** I’m WAIVING THE ENTRY FEE!!***

It’s now FREE to send your short stories in for a chance to be published in an anthology. 25 winners and 25 prizes! Tell all your young, writerly friends from ages 10-18 to check out the contest rules by clicking on the STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST tab above.

Hurry…entry deadline is Friday, November 15th!

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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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.

 

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: In A Flash (Fiction) It Was Gone…

 

COOKIES

 

In honor of Halloween, I had a really tasty short story to share with you today. One to give you the shivers and get you ready for the night. But something happened on the way to this post. What should have been a spooky, chilly holiday tale, suddenly morphed into this wonderful picture book story and in a flash, my flash fiction today was gone like a gourmet cookie and all that was left was a hint of what might have been…

That’s one of the things I like about writing. The freedom to twist and turn your words into something different than what you originally envisioned. A fleeting thought can become an idea which blossoms into a story which before you know it, becomes a five book series. In real life, I’m an organized person who takes only calculated risks…never straying far from the path I planned out for my life.

In the world of my imagination…oh, that wonderfully twisty, turny, never-ending world in my mind…I am free to create whatever those unlimited boundaries will allow. And so, when my flash fiction laughed at me, removed it’s mask, and revealed it was a creepy, quirky picture book manuscript, I decided to go with it. Instead of capturing one moment in time, I find I have stepped into yet another world of my own making and I will follow it wherever it might lead me.

But just in case you are wondering what you might be missing, here are the first couple of lines from what WAS going to be this week’s flash fiction piece…
Its dark and creepy, with just a little peeky,
As we sneak to the gloomy ghoul hall.
While outside drooping, silently swooping,
Birds of the night will eerily call.
With eyes gleaming, gnashing teeth showing
A scary scarecrow welcomes one and all.
Lumbering clouds drape the moon like a shroud
As stars light our way to the gloomy ghoul ball.


Now, don’t you wish it would have stayed a flash fiction piece so you know what happens next? 

 

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STAR CATCHER CONTEST Prizes 10-13-19

STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST PRIZES

 

*** I’m WAIVING THE ENTRY FEE!!***

It’s now FREE to send your short stories in for a chance to be published in an anthology. 25 winners and 25 prizes! Tell all your young, writerly friends from ages 10-18 to check out the contest rules by clicking on the STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST tab above.

Hurry…entry deadline is Friday, November 15th!

 

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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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, will be released in November.

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Proud To Be A Loser

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LOSER


When I was a senior in high school, I was the editor of my school paper. I took great pride in making sure I produced the best paper I could and thought I was a winner at that task.

That is, until the day I lost my position on the paper.

Call it a conflict of viewpoints or even a difference in artistic perceptions, but when the teacher overseeing the paper decided one day it was okay to completely “rewrite” a submitted poem because he didn’t like author’s interpretation of the subject matter, I walked away from my position in protest.

I felt like a loser that day. I wasn’t strong enough to stand up to someone demeaning someone else’s creative words. If I could have sent the ME I am today back in time to the ME I was back then, I would tell that insecure, introverted teenager that words are worth fighting for.
 
There are even some words in the English language that just seem to get a bad rap and loser is one of them. It used to be if someone called me a loser, I would hang my head in shame. My spirit would be shaken and my self-esteem would deflate like a pricked balloon. 

But words can be a powerful ally when used in the right way. I should know because one of my dual careers is in the writing field. As an author of inspirational essays, picture books, young adult fantasy, and historical fiction chapter books, I can confidently state I know a thing or two about words. 


Take a word like that mean, little ol’ word loser.


All I have to do is shine it up a bit, give it some lovin’, and before you know it, it’s a word I’m proud to claim as my own! For example: 


Today I’m a LOSER of negative self-talk. 



Today I’m a LOSER of “haters” who try to get between me and my writing goals. 



Today I’m a LOSER of low self-esteem and zero self-confidence in my writing ability. 



You see, all it takes is looking at certain words from a different perspective. I love this writing community and I proudly stand up for all the beautiful LOSERS I see here! 

How about YOU? Are you a LOSER too? 

Have an awesome day today because you deserve it!

 

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contest prizes

 

*** I’m WAIVING THE ENTRY FEE!!***

It’s now FREE to send your short stories in for a chance to be published in an anthology. 25 winners and 25 prizes! Tell all your young, writerly friends from ages 10-18 to check out the contest rules by clicking on the STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST tab above.

Hurry…entry deadline is Friday, November 15th!

 

*************

 

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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, will be released in November.

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Racin’ & Writin’

 

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What does the horse racing world and writing have in common?

Handicaps…you know, those obstacles placed in the way as an attempt to either “level” the playing field or hold something back from achieving a higher goal.

I don’t really follow horse races like the Triple Crown races anymore. But I have been fascinated with one race horse for as long as I can remember.

Man O War.

Why, even the name seems as regal as the horse himself. No one had any idea just what amazing feats this one horse could do when he was a foal. That is, no one but the horse himself. And once Man O War starting showing the world what he could do, everyone began putting handicaps in his way. Despite all the handicaps, this horse managed to win every single race during his career…except one…and that was the rider’s fault, not “Big Red’s”. His own owner refused to put this horse in the Kentucky Derby because he judged him to be “too young” for such a race. And yet Man O War went on to win the other two races of the Triple Crown. The HORSE knew what he was capable of, but his OWNER decided to throw a handicap in his way of superstardom. Officials within the racing circuit would even add lead weights to his saddle…up to 30 pounds and more…just to try and slow him down because apparently he was “embarrassing” the other horses by being faster than them.

Wait a minute…isn’t that the point of horse racing? To SEE who is the fastest?

Writing can be seen as a sort of race as well. A challenge for the individual to get to the finish line…whatever that may mean to that individual. Maybe the goal is to write the next great ________ (fill in the blank with novel, play, song, etc…you get the idea) or maybe the goal is to be the family historian and capture those moments in a personal history before they are forgotten.

My goal is to become a great children’s books author. I don’t mean “great” as in well-known, although I certainly wouldn’t turn my back on that…lol…but I mean the BEST I can be without allowing handicaps to stand in my way. I’ve realized in the past that one of my MAJOR self-induced handicaps was the fact I doubted my own writing ability. That wall of “what ifs” held me back from embracing the love I have for writing. What if no one likes what I write? What if I fail at becoming a children’s book author? What if I succeed??? The many “what ifs” weighed me down until I simply stopped trying.

Then I decided it was time to let go of the handicaps and do the thing I love to do…to write. To learn how to become better at this and allow others to participate in my journey should they decide to come along. To take the critiques given with an open mind for all the lessons to be learned and to NOT see them as a “handicap” holding me back, but as an “incentive” to keep pushing me forward toward my own finish line.

So what is YOUR handicap? That thing you have placed in front of you to slow down your own race? Wouldn’t it be more fun to enjoy the ride as Man O War did and leave the “handicaps” for other people to worry about? Well done, Man O War, for not letting others tell you how GREAT you could become but just believing in your own ability…well done!

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)

 

Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known secrets. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in this latest volume of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES!

In Book One, Ship of Dreams, 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 workers’ 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?

 

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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, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also coming soon to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!