TALES FROM THE BAYOU: The Nomadic Life

 
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As we step into the new year, I’m turning more of my focus into making Story Catcher Publishing the best little publishing company I can. My company’s motto is “catching great stories…together” and to that end, beginning today and every Monday from  now on I will be sharing a little story from my childhood growing up around the swamps of Louisiana. I promise every story is true and maybe you will even discover a little bit of your own childhood in my TALES FROM THE BAYOU…

 

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While I never had a pet camel growing up, I certainly know what it’s like to live the nomadic life. My family moved into five different houses in the first twelve years of my life. We were considered one of the poorest families in my hometown of Gueydan, Louisiana and with my mother trying to make ends meet on one cook’s income and six mouths to feed, it was a challenge just to keep food on the table much less pay the rent. So we moved around. A lot.

The first house I lived in on Second Ave I don’t actually remember. I was a baby but I’ve been told it was in a run down state with walls not quite reaching the ceiling which allowed unwelcome rats to peek over the top and spy on my crib.

Fortunately the next home we moved to, 202 8th Street, had a large back yard where Mother could raise rabbits for extra food. That was where I ran away from home for the first time, with candy my sweet reward but that’s another story for another time…;~)

Then came 510 Garland where I did everything from collect loose baby teeth for the tooth fairy to accidentally breaking the collar bone of a childhood friend. Yet another story for another time.

The next home, 313 McMurtry, was where I started school, ran away from home for a second time, and collected some of my favorite childhood memories.

The last house I moved to before leaving home for good was 407 McMurtry. The house itself was steeped in local history…as well as spirits. It was where both my parents died, I discovered secret passages and had ghostly encounters…more fodder for more tales later…

I think living the nomadic life helped shape the person I am today. Not only do I appreciate the stability of having my own home now, but moving so many times taught me to think small…to minimize the material things in my life and to reevaluate what truly matters. To make sure wherever I go, I keep what’s important to me…like friends and family…close to my heart at all times.

Thanks Mom and Dad for that nomadic life!

 

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Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

donna

 

International 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, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

 

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Dreaming About A Dream Job

dream job

 

There were many things I wanted to be growing up. A writer. A veterinarian. A horse breeder. Always a writer above everything else. The urge to tell stories would spill over into childhood play time. I would place my stuffed animals in a circle as I read them stories and created some tales of my own. The ebb and flow of characters danced in my head to a song only they could sing.

And I waited.

Waited to grow up…waited for one day to be that elusive thing called an “author”. In my child’s mind an author could create magical worlds with a wave of their hand, drawing their readers in with a more powerful potion filled with words than any magician could create.

And I waited.

Waited and wrote and wondered if my writing would ever be good enough. Afraid to tell anyone of my secret desire to write children’s stories. Nervous to show my writing to the world because my fragile writer’s ego might not be able to survive being told my writing wasn’t good enough…that I wasn’t good enough.

And I waited.

Until one day I had two notebooks full of poems, essays…bits and pieces of me just waiting to go out into the world. Along came a vanity press agent telling me I was worthy. That I was a writer and they would publish my poetry. For a price. And I thought that was all there was to writing and it was a price I didn’t want to pay so I lay my pen down for more than twenty years. Tried to quiet the voices inside my head and went on to create a life built around other passions.

And I waited.

I waited until the voices could wait no more and I returned to my writing. Older, hopefully wiser, I took my time…learned new skills…made new friends…and started giving back to a writing community who always believed in me.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve grown and blossomed as a writer and it looks like I’m about to step beyond even my wildest childhood dream. My new publishing company Story Catcher Publishing (www.storycatcherpublsihing.com) will be releasing it’s first book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound, on October 15, 2018.  Hopefully this will be the first in a long line of writerly releases to carry me into the next phase of my writing career.

I have discovered it’s never too late to have a dream…to follow your first love…but sometimes those dreams take you to a place you never imagined before…

 

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lunadar

(Ebook available on Amazon)

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of Lunadar. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of Lunadar at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

donna

 

International 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, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), ebook edition, is now available from Amazon, with the print edition coming October 15, 2018.

CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL OF READING

 

 

Children's Festival

 

Every year, right before school lets out and summer begins, my city celebrates the written word in a big, big way.

The Children’s Festival of Reading has been going on for more than fifteen years and every year 12,000 or more people crowd into World’s Fair Park to laugh, dance, sing, and weave their way through a number of booths honoring books of all genres.

 

tents

 

I arrived at Word’s Fair Park at around 8:30 to find my tent and start setting up. STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING and TAEKWONDO YOUTH ALLIANCE had teamed up to give away free self defense lessons and a bevy of books!

 

student

 

A number of my Taekwondo students had signed up to help at my booth today. This is one of my black belts doing a little “community service” work. If you look closely at the tablecloth, you will discover my little yard sale treasure when I came across someone selling a bolt of “book” designed cloth that was a perfect fit for my display table! My sister doesn’t like being photographed so don’t tell her I snuck this picture in when she wasn’t looking…;~)

 

booths two

 

It threatened to rain all day but never did, so many people braved the potential thunderstorms to come out and have a little fun.

 

panel

names

 

They even had a panel of authors from around the country speaking about their work and the art of writing well enough to become published.

As always, I LOVED all the excitement of this festival and I got a chance to share my two passions…writing and taekwondo…with the many children who stopped by my booth. Now, it’s time to recover from my day in the sun and get ready for my next adventure into the indie world of publishing.

Be sure to check back next week when I talk about the next step in setting up STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING and counting down the days until the ebook release of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound!

 

donna

 

International 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, My Journey, My Journal, is scheduled to be released by Expert Insights Publishing in the Fall 2018.