(Editor’s Note…If you’re like me, adjusting to a new, COVID-19 world is a bit stressful. Everywhere you look…radio, TV, newspapers, and even the internet…are stories of the latest stats from around the world. Hospitalizations. Unemployment. Social distancing. How do we keep our sanity in the middle of all the craziness? 


For the next several weeks, many of my writerly friends will be virtually dropping by to inspire, uplift, and make us laugh as we look for reminders that even the scariest of times do not last forever. I hope you enjoy this FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS series. If you want to know more about me, Donna L Martin, or my books, check out my Story Catcher Publishing website at www.storycatcherpublishing.com)


How I Get by – In Good Times and Bad

by Rinda Beach


When Donna L. Martin put out the call for this post, she asked for something “humorous, uplifting, inspirational, or in some way helpful to parents and children struggling to deal with being at home.” I thought about what I do in hard times, and that’s when I came up with this list. They’re my guiding principles, in good times, but especially in hard ones.

  1. Listen to your body. I’ve learned over time to listen to my body talk, whether it’s tired or hungry. I used to make myself push past those things. Sometimes I could, but sometimes things just got worse. I learned to listen.

Now if I’m tired, I take a quick nap. If I’m hungry, I eat something. If I’m craving chocolate, I eat it, in moderation. Too much of anything is a bad thing!

What do you need? Try letting yourself have it. This is a trying time. It takes a toll on our bodies, and they demand things from us. Listen, and let them have it, in moderation.

  1. Make time for the things you love. This feels a little like my first principle. I love to read. When I’m going through a tough time, I feel better when I read. I escape problems and live someone else’s life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Make time for the people you love. This is hard for me, personally. I’m a work-horse, but I’m grateful I wrote less over Christmas, and later when I saw my grandgirl baptized. My family was all together. I held out till early evening. I tried not to feel guilty, to enjoy the gift of my family. I’m glad I did, especially now when we’re all locked into social distancing.

What do you love? Try doing it. You’ll feel better if you feed your soul. Maybe you’ll have to find another way to do it, like playing soccer. You won’t have your team, but find something for a goal, and practice your skills. Game on! You need to have fun!

  1. If something bugs you, flip it. Is there another way to do it, like soccer? One of my favorite things is to look at something bad as an opportunity, flipping bad to good.

Sometimes I have trouble sleeping. I hate it! I think how tired I’m going to be the next day, and it only makes it worse. I love laying in bed in the morning and taking time to get up. What if I flipped it? What if I thought about night time as time to curl up in my bed and enjoy being curled up there? I bet if I did, sleep would come easier to me.

How about you? What is bugging you? I’ll bet there’s a way to flip it and find the opportunity in it. It’s worth a try! If you can’t think of it, ask a parent, a friend, even email me. Good luck looking for opportunities!

  1. Talk! I love to talk! When I was in school, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was quiet and shy. I learned to be more social, probably because I became a teacher.

Now when I’m upset, excited, sad, whatever, I talk. It helps to get those emotions out. Before I think I bottled it up, and then you either explode or grow bitter like vinegar. Talking gives you ideas, possible solutions. Sometimes it just gets you empathy. Having someone understand you always feels better.

So, reach out and talk to someone! You are lucky. Back in dinosaur days, I only had a telephone. Now you can talk via the internet on places like Facebook or Snapchat. You can even see people half a country away thanks to things like Skype and Facetime. You can even play games with people a world away. Who do you want to talk to?

  1. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. I started doing this when I started teaching. Thinking ahead for the worst gives you time to prepare for it, to come up with a plan for how you want to handle it. Hope is always a good thing. It pushes away depression and helps you stay positive, which helps you make better choices.

If I look at the Coronavirus and think worst, for me that’s death. I’m old and a diabetic. That’s 2 strikes – YUCK! Hope for the best, I love that! I hope to see my family soon, especially my mother and my grandgirl.

How do I make that happen? I stay home a much as possible. I wash my hands way more. When I go out to get groceries, I use hand sanitizer when I’m in the store. I use a towelette in the car when done. When I get home, I wipe off/wash most of my groceries. With things that can sit out, I leave them out for 3 days. I hope it all works! At least it keeps me busy!

How about you? What are you most worried about? Look it straight in the eye, and think what is the worst thing that could happen to you. Just looking should make you feel better. Next, think of the best thing that could happen to you. Don’t you feel even better? And the last step, remember that worst thing? What can you do to keep it from happening? Remember, you’re not alone. If you need help, talk! You’ll get ideas and feel even better.

Now, get out there, or stay home, and get by! You’ve got this! You can do it! If you don’t think you can, remember, you can always talk to parents, friends, even me. I’m only an email away!




This is Norris Lake, Tennessee. My family has been going here for years. It inspired my newest book, coming out in late May, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME. It’s part picture book, part souvenir. A digitized version of this photo will soon become my book’s cover. On one side of the page you can read a story about Norris Lake. On the other side you can write/illustrate about your own lake.




Rinda was a second-grade teacher who read and told stories, until she met a bat in Germany. She learned to edit, thanks to SCBWI classes and critique partners. Rinda substitutes to stay connected to the kids she wants to write for. She established Beach Girl Press to publish her first book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. Her second will arrive in late May, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME.

Visit her blog and book review at www.rindabeach.com

WHERE DID AMELIA GO? Getting To Know All About You…



Some of you have already met the mascot of the HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series. Some of you have no idea what I’m talking about. Meet Amelia Earmouse…


Amelia 1


My incredibly talented illustrator, Estella Hickman (www.estellahickman.com), first introduced me to the idea of a mouse mascot for my historical fiction chapter book series. Estella knew me better than I knew myself and she knew her sassy, time-traveling, globe-trotting rodent would be just what I needed to introduce each new title in the series. 

But I didn’t think having a fabulous illustration alone would be enough to help launch my new series. I thought I could use a little more tangible prop to help children connect with each story. That’s when I came up with Amelia Earmouse version 2.0…




I shared the original illustration with my critique group, and  my friend, Rinda Beach (www.rindabeach.com), came up with the perfect name…Amelia Earmouse…in honor of the sassy, adventure-seeking historical icon, Amelia Earhart. 

That’s when things got a little strange. Amelia seemed to take on a life of her own and pretty soon it felt like we were almost twins…




Oh, the adventures we went on in search of little known historical events and even a touch of mystery! Who knew a little mouse would know so much about history? The only problem? Amelia’s favorite game is hide and seek, so the minute my back was turned, off she went! 

Now, I’M the one on the trail in search of my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES’ mascot, and all I can say is WHERE DID AMELIA GO? The last time I caught up with her, she was chilling out in the basement children’s department of the downtown library…




I took a quick picture, but before I could grab her, Amelia was on the move again. Maybe I’ll catch her next week! If you see her somewhere and attempt to grab her, be careful… you know how quick mice can scatter…






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.






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.






Title: Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream
Author: Rinda Beach
Illustrator: Cole Roberts
Publisher: Beach Girl Press
Ages: 8-12



Most people know that Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon, but very few know how it all started . . . with a dream to build his own wind tunnel.

Read how Neil’s love of planes took him from the Cleveland air races at age two to the Wright Brothers’ wind tunnel at age sixteen. Discover how Neil made his wind tunnel dream come true.


Why you should read it:


I remember Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. I remember the awe I felt watching him march into history with each step he took on the moon’s surface. But what I didn’t know is what drove this man to venture into the unknown.

Until now.

Rinda Beach’s debut chapter book, Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream, gives her readers a chance to go back in time following the Wright Brothers history making flight, and one young boy’s dream to replicate their wind tunnel experiment.

Engaging and entertaining, Rinda’s story takes us on a journey from two year old Neil’s first glimpse of a flying machine, all the way to a high school senior’s quest to build his own wind tunnel, and all the challenges in between to make that dream happen.

A nice addition to any home or school library.

Like-O-Meter Rating:  4 out of 5…think about it!

**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it! 
4 out of 5…think about it. 
3 out of 5…take or leave it.
2 out of 5…maybe not for you.
1 out of 5…forget about it!