Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Haiku

Had my classes writing Halloween Haiku to present this week. Here are some I wrote...

Scary Halloween
Always starting at midnight
Lots of scary fun

Leaves drifting around
Gently floating to the ground
Orange, yellow, brown

Werewolves out at night
Howling at the moon so bright
Such a scary sight

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween quotes again? But mom...what about a teaser?

Okay guys, I've only got three weeks left to finish the draft of Book 2 of the Children of Atlantis series.

Do you know where zombies come from?
Guess what Raven has to battle? and these aren't exactly your ordinary ones.

So here are some Halloween movie quotes to enjoy while i work on Raven's story.

"It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare."
     --Halloween (1978)

"Without me, Transylvania will be as exiting as Bucharest...on a Monday night."
     --Love at First Bite (1979)

"Whatever you do, don't fall asleep."
     --A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

"Welcome to Fright Night. For real."
     --Fright Night (1985)

"That cold ain't the weather, that's death approaching."
     --30 Days of Night (2007)

"We all go a little mad sometimes."
     --Psycho (Norman Bates)

"Oh yes, there will be blood."
     --Saw II (2005)

"I see dead people."
     --The Sixth Sense (1999)

Friday, October 26, 2012

My first speaking gig...pretty cool stuff!

The 7th grade writing teacher across the hall form me asked me to come in and speak to his students about writing--specifically writing ghost stories. I've taught writing, but this is the first time I've been invited into another teacher's class to talk to the students about writing and what I do as a writer. I'm excited and nervous.

What am I going to say?

I know they're writing ghost stories, and the teacher said many of the students believe only blood and guts is scary stuff. Hhmmm...

I think I need to talk about the elements you need to include to create a good scary story.

  • Suspense -- You want your story to create a feeling of excitement, anxiety or even fear.
  • Plot Twist -- Don't take the story in the direction everyone expects it to go.
  • Conflict -- You have to have a central problem that your characters have to solve.
  • Setting -- Take a normal, ordinary setting  and have something unexpected happen.
  • Surprise ending -- Give your readers an ending they didn't expect.
There are a lot more things I could talk about, but I've only got a limited amount of time. Some of the 7th graders came up to me and asked if I was going to read them one of my stories. Maybe I could do that and have the students tell me what works and what doesn't.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Dance! Cooler Weather's Coming...

All week the weatherman/woman has predicted a cold front would come through my area by sometime Friday. Well, it's supposed to get here tonight. In fact, sometime after midnight the winds are supposed to shift and we may have some rain. They say the highs for the next three days will be in the 60s.

I can't wait!

I'm so tired of hot weather!

I know. I know. Some people are probably going "Is she crazy?"

I've never lived in any other state than Texas. In the New Braunfels area, we don't have snowfall. We might get an occasional flurry that causes a huge stir, but there's no actual accumulation. (Sleet doesn't count. Right?) So I've never been in an actual snowstorm or in a place with lots of snow. I've never been skiing either. I wouldn't have a clue what to do on skis. It would probably be hilarious though.

But anyway, I'm ready for the cold weather.

And for those of you who are already having it--stay warm and safe!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A peek at book two cover...NOT!

Book two of the Children of Atlantis series is coming along really well. I'm well over halfway finish with the first draft, but I've only got a little less than four weeks to finish it. I would give you a peek at the cover, but I'm not really that nice. LOL! So instead, here's a picture of a Halloween drawing with three Halloween haiku incorporated into the picture. I created this as a sample for the project my students are doing.

If you're interested in buying an signed copy of either the Guardian of Atlantis or No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales, check out yesterday's blog. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Books for Sale!!!

Okay, I got it ready. I've got extra copies of paperbacks, so I'm selling signed copies through PayPal. Right now I've got a limited supply on hand, but I've got more ordered.

Guardian of Atlantis is priced at $9.99 for the book and shipping is $5.10 (that's what it costs for a flat rate priority mail envelope in the US). I can only get two books in a mailer, so if you order more than two, you'll have to do separate orders.

Signed copies of Guardian of Atlantis

No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales is priced at $5.99 for the book and shipping is $5.10 (that's what it costs for a flat rate priority mail envelope in the US). I can get only up to three in a mailer, so if you order more than that, you'll have to do separate orders.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

writing and stuff

I've been writing like crazy and I've made it halfway through the rough draft of book two in the Children of Atlantis series. I'm excited! I have to admit, I putting Raven through a lot--both physically and mentally. Being the Guardian of Atlantis is definitely not all it's cracked up to be.

And on I've got another book idea. Yelp! You heard me right. I've got ANOTHER book idea. I can't get away from them. LOL!

I'm jotting down the ideas as they come to me. Slowly the story is revealing itself. It's definitely a vampire novel--a vampire apocalypse set in the not so faraway future, but it's different from anything I've read or watched, and it's going to have a bit more of a horror feel to it. At least, that's the way it is revealing itself to me.

In the meantime, Guardian of Atlantis is still only $0.99 for the ebook. If you think about it, that less than a penny for every two pages. Not a bad deal. I've got a few extra copies of the paperback to it and to my ghost story collection, No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales, stacked on the corner shelf of my desk. I'm thinking of signing them and putting them up for sale. So watch for that in the next few days. If you're looking for a Christmas gift for someone, either book, or both, would make a really great Christmas present. Yeah, it's time to start thinking about Christmas and shopping. So keep watching for more details.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

candy, candy, and more candy

The stores are filled with candy displays. Now it's not just for Halloween, but Christmas candy is starting to appear. It's so hard not going down the candy aisle and now it's harder because not only is there the candy aisle but the seasonal candy aisle.

And it's more difficult for me. I love the orange Halloween Kit Kats. In my mind they taste better than the regular milk chocolate ones. My absolute, anytime, favorite candy is the Ferrero Rocher Chocolate. I also love Oreos. When I'm stressed, that's one of the things I look for, so I don't keep them in the house very often.

So, today, instead of buying candy, I found a bag of Honeycrisp apples and bought that instead. They're my favorite apple and can only get them around this time of the year. Slices of the Honeycrisp apple with peanut butter--YUM!

What is your favorite candy?
  • candy corn
  • Kit Kats
  • Twix
  • 100 Grand
  • M & Ms
  • Almond Joys
  • Peanut Better Cups
Or is it something totally different?

Monday, October 15, 2012

scary movies

I'm like a lot of you. I love a good, scary movie.
In no particular order, here are some of my favorite:
  • Rose Red
  • Carrie (original starring Sissy Spacek)
  • Aliens
  • Alien Resurrection
  • Bram Stroker's Dracuala (directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Gary Oldman)
  • Sleepy Hollow (directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp)
  • Fright Night (1985 version)
  • The Lost Boys
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • Pet Semetery
  • Psycho (directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anthony Perkins)
  • Silver Bullet
  • The Ghost Rider
  • The Brothers Grimm
  • The Craft
  • Halloween (1978 starring Jamie Lee Curtis)
  • The Sixth Sense
  • Jaws
What are some of your favorite scary movies?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Did you know...

Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

Halloween has also been called
     -All Hallow's Eve
     -Snap-Apple Night
     -Summer's End
Harry Houdini (1874-1926), the most famous and mysterious magician who ever lived, died on Halloween night as the result of a ruptured appendix that may have been brought on by a series of punches to his stomach. He had been suffering from appendicitis for several days.

Halloween is the 3rd biggest party day of the year in America. It follows just behind New Years Eve and Super Bowl Sunday.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

a few Halloween movie quotes

I don't know about ya'll, but I've always liked quotes. So for Halloween, I've collected some to share with you.

Here are a few of them:

"You're going to need a bigger boat."
          --Jaws (1975) (Brody)

"Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say 'YES'!"
          --Ghostbusters (1984) (Winston Zeddemore)

"They're Heee-re!"
         --Poltergeist (1982)

"You'll never grow old Michael. And you'll never die. But you must feed..."
          --The Lost Boys

"They won't stay dead."
          --Night of the Living Dead (1968)

"Whatever you do, don't fall asleep."
          --A Nightmare on Elm Street (1987)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

life, titles, and a shameless plug

Life is weird and crazy. There's no way around it. Right?

Three months ago I was just thinking about publishing Guardian of Atlantis through Amazon, and now barely three months later it's a reality. And Then I turned around and published a collection of short ghost stories, No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales.

Now, I'm working on book 2 in the Children of Atlantis series. I had a working title on it since day one of its birth, but now, it has officially been given a title to proudly wear!

And the book cover?

It's not official yet, but I've mocked up the front cover with the official title and I've shown it to some people. I really like it!

So, in a couple of months book 2 will be out. If you haven't read Guardian of Atlantis, you need to so that you will be ready for the next book. Yes, I'm shamelessly promoting my book. It's a good story. If you like mythology, you'll love the twist I've put on it. So buy the book. Buy the book. Buy the book...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

no Halloween today, just ramblings...

Fall weather has definitely made its way to Texas. The high today was 58 (Fahrenheit). But it's not here to stay. Tomorrow it'll be in the sixties and for the rest of the week, they're predicting highs in the 80s. Still cooler than our typical summers, but not the cold weather I'm ready for.

I've spent a good part of the weekend looking for bloggers who are willing to review my book or do an interview/promo. I've gotten a few replies and have already sent out some ebooks. I want to thank everyone who has bought copies of Guardian of Atlantis and No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales (they're only .99 cents if you haven't bought your copy yet--hint-hint-wink-wink). Ya'll are awesome!!! I know it's often a gamble when you buy a book by a new, unknown author. I've been and still am in your shoes. My Kindle is full of books by new, unknown authors as well as traditionally published authors. Some I really like and others that are okay get the idea. That's why there are lots and lots of books to pick from.

I've also been working on book 2 in the Children of Atlantis series. Haven't broke a 100 pages on the manuscript yet, but almost--something like 2 and a half pages to go. I took a break to work on the cover idea. I had to come up with a new idea. The picture I had originally planned on using, can't use anymore. Someone else beat me to it, which was probably a good thing because I've come up with a cover concept that I like better. Tomorrow I'm going to show the "mock-up" to some friends to see what they think and go from there.

Hope everyone has a great week!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

How about the Halloween songs?

Let's start a list of songs for Halloween.

  • "The Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett
  • "Thriller" by Michael Jackson
  • "Love Potion #9" by The Clovers
  • "Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley
  • "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC
  • "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr.
  • "The Addams Family" theme 
  • "Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon
What others can you think of?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A couple of Halloween facts

"I've seen enough horror movies to know any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly."
               --Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)

You've gotta love that quote!

Now for the Halloween facts I promised...

Did you know that candy corn is the top selling candy with over 20 million pounds sold per year?  I have to confess. I like candy corn. I usually buy a couple of bags this time of year. By the end of Halloween, I don't want to see candy corn, and then the next October, I'm ready for my candy corn fix.

I read somewhere that Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped candy.

At Halloween, about 600 million or so pounds of candy is bought. I have to be counted in that number because I buy candy for the "trick or treaters" who come by.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Do you remember...

Okay, how many of you actually sang this after seeing the movie?
How many of you remember going to watch the movie when it came out in the theater?

"1 - 2 - Freddie's coming for you,
 3 - 4 - Better lock your door,
 5 - 6 - Grab your crucifix,
 7 - 8 - Better stay up late,
 9 - 10 - Never sleep again..."
                                              from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Gotta love Robert Englund!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ghost Stories

Everyone loves a good ghost story. Right?
Here are several of my favorites...
  • "The Monkey's Paw" by WW Jacobs
  • "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner
  • "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving
  • "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe
  • "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite writers and poets. I remember, when I was younger, watching an old John Wayne western in which the sidekick quoted Poe's poem, "El Dorado" as they rode along. I think the movie was titled El Dorado.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Favorite Family Movies for Halloween

It's October!!!!
And that means...fall, cooler weather (the highs are dropping into the 80s instead of 90s and 100s), rain (yeah, but need more), fall colors, pumpkins, start making more soups and stews and of course, chicken and dumplings (my son's favorite), ghosts, scary stories, and Halloween!!!

Okay, you get the idea. I love this time of year. So what am I going to blog about this month? Bet you can't guess...

There will be a lot of Halloween related stuff.

So let's start the month with a list of my favorite family movies for Halloween.

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (I'm trying to figure out how to use this one in my speech class!)
  2. Hocus Pocus
  3. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  4. Practical Magic
  5. Coraline
  6. Matilda
  7. Monster's Inc.
  8. Ghostbusters
  9. Haunted Mansion
  10. Monster House
  11. Casper
  12. The Addams Family
  13. The Addams Family Values
  14. all the Harry Potter movies
Yes, I know some of these aren't that scary, but they're good family movies for this time of year. Put a couple of these on and curl up on the couch with some hot chocolate or coffee (spiced pumpkin lattes--my fave) and popcorn.

What are your favorite "scary" movies for the family? (And don't worry, I've got a list of my favorite scary, scary movies to share with you.)