Recently, I was invited to join the group Writers of the South (USA). It is a small, but enthusiastic group of authors in every type of genre. The group is aimed at supporting and promoting authors in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee.
As we grow, we plan to take several opportunities to showcase the varied and talented people in the group. We will hit it hard over the next couple of days, hopefully gaining some new exposure and introducing you to writings you might not have found otherwise. Looking at the group, there is something for everyone, so be sure to check these posts every day. The plan is to do this again in a few months.
What is the most important award that you have received? What one do you value most?
People often ask that question.
Although I value all of the awards, honors, selections, and complimentary reviews that I have received on my books and periodical publications, the ones that mean the most, bring the greatest joy, are the simple ones that show me that I have accomplished what I set out to do.
Before I start working on a book, I ask myself, “Why am I writing this book? What do I hope to accomplish?”
As examples, I often give the school appearance that I made many years ago to a class that had spent most of the semester learning to read the series of books I had created to help children learn to read. And now, most recently, I’ve added a school appearance
to a class where I spoke several years ago and demonstrated “The Little Ghost” marionette from the book, Storytelling Discoveries: Favorite Activities for Young Tellers.
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meet alex and his friend andy...they are ready for a little "tricking and treating"!
i thought this piece fit illustration friday's theme of 'disguise'. it's an older piece, but it's definitely appropriate. besides...it's never too early for cute halloween art. in my opinion anyway...;)
Last year I picked up a couple of vintage dresses that needed some serious altering before I could wear them. Recently I decided to take a break from fall sewing to make the necessary changes; I don’t buy vintage to simply admire or learn from them but to actually use them and these were hanging in the to-do section of my closet for too long! They are somewhat delicate but I don’t mind, I’ll wear clothes until they fall apart (much to my mom’s chagrin).
One of the frocks mentioned I’ll share with you here. Post-alterations it’s now my favorite vintage dress! Once a 1930s floor-length gown it’s now a saucy, ethereal thing. It has its original hem; I just moved the whole skirt up to preserve the ruffle whilst moving up the waistline too. The waist before was more fitted (with a side snap closure) but now I can just slip it over my head. (Yay.) Lately I’ve been making or altering dresses/skirts to make them hit above my knees–a more flattering length for me–but I didn’t want this to be too short. Since the dress is sheer, my solution was to wear a slip underneath that was quite a bit shorter. And don’t you love the capelet? That tie!
Oh, yes, I added some thread belt loops so I can wear a ribbon when it suits my fancy. (I just read on Coletterie a great post about how to make such belt loops by machine although I make mine by hand.)
I love the look of winter white or cream during the cooler months. There is almost celebratory about it, especially when contrasted with dark or jewel tones. (The starry stockings, by the way, are J.Crew tights from the girls’ section that I refashioned. I no longer have a garter belt and for now they are staying up by sheer willpower.)
By: Patrick Girouard,
By: John Nez,
The farmers had never seen such a sight
as they saw on their porches that Halloween night.
Cows and pigs all dressed up in wigs,
possums in peacoats and chickens with bows.
There were spooky goblins and scary witches
and pigs bustin’ buttons in pirate britches.
There were ghouls and a mummy and goblins galore
and a princess dressed from the second hand store.
A halloween ghosty illustration from my never to be published Halloween book. I still think it's good, even though it is a bit over-written.
Maybe I'll just do it as an e-book app instead...
By: Ellen B,
This is from an anthology of ghost stories: the story is entitled "How He Left the Hotel", illustrated by Ellen Beier
I’d like to welcome as my guest author today Marie Dees! Read on about her fun ghost hunting adventure!
I went ghost hunting this weekend at Ashley’s of Rockledge, a Florida restaurant with a long history of being haunted. I car pooled with two young ladies who lived near me, one who had never been ghost hunting and one who is now the newest member of the team. Mostly because Mike didn’t see what we were getting up to on the investigation. (If you read this, don’t tell him.)
Ghost hunts are interesting things, and they all work a little differently. Mike, who leads the team, is as serious as the guys you see on Ghost Hunters on TV. (Serious like Jason Hawes from TAPS, not Zak from Ghost Adventurers.) This investigation ran very late because we had to wait for the restaurant to shut down. (Thanks to the folks at Ashley’s for giving us the run of the place.) But this meant by the time we got going it was late at night and perhaps that influenced the events and why my table was like the bad girls who sit in the back of the classroom and don’t pay attention to the teacher.
When we ghost hunt, the team brings tons of equipment. (Yes, like the stuff on Ghost Hunters.) But since we were in a restaurant, we had the equipment on Mike’s table while the rest of us sat at the other tables. Mike led the sessions and we all let him know when we were getting responses. This worked fine upstairs. Then we moved to the area that was booths.
So, the three of us found ourselves sitting in a booth where we couldn’t really see what was going on in the main part of the investigation. And we discovered there were four of us, because we seemed to have picked up a ghost who was more interested in hanging out with us than having a serious question and answer session with Mike.
See, ghosts can be like that. They may not be interested in the serious questions the investigator is asking like “can you tell us how you died?” Especially if three teams of investigators have been looking into the same area. The ghost might be floating around thinking “look, I told the last guy how I died. Do you have anything more interesting?”
For this ghost, what was more interesting was a flashlight a collection of crystals. The restaurant was dark and we spent about 20 minutes putting various shiny objects – from jewelry to a large quartz crystal – in front of the flashlight so the ghost would turn the light on and off. At one point, I picked out one of Cara’s crystals, trying to see in the dark if it was perhaps a piece of ametrine. Then I put it in front of the maglite flashlight and whispered a request for the ghost to turn the flashlight up as much as possible so I could see the crystal. The maglite came on and kept getting brighter until we could all see the crystal.
The interesting part was that by then, we’d all become so used to the ghost cooperating, it didn’t even surprise us. Instead we were all more worried that Mike would notice we weren’t paying attention to the main investigation and ask us to behave more appropriately. All of us, including the ghost. But sometimes girls, and apparently ghosts, just wanna have fun.
If you’re interested in the paranormal, check out my blog and my books over at http://Mariedees.com. My current ghost hunting research will soon figure into both the Cassadaga Mystery series and Lucifer’s Boys M/M erotica series.
With this week's theme, I was reminded of my son's toddler years of him putting a sheet or blanket over his head and saying "boo" to try and scare people. Usually it just made them giggle. And he has always loved dragons. Now he is about to start college in less than a week....
Current word count: 39,107
New words written: 354
Words til goal: 893 / 60 words a day til the end of September
After two days off, my writing was a bit slower this morning, but I’m trying to get back up to speed and finish this book by the end of the week. I’m now so close to my 40K goal, but I still have two chapters to go, so I know the book will be over. That’s ok. Trimming will come in the revision.
I had my critique group last night (got some great advice about the beginning of this novel) and learned about the passing of Patrick Swayze. So sad, although he had suffered from cancer for a while. My critique friend Sara and I remembered Swayze’s movies, especially Road House (buff Swayze) and Dirty Dancing (sexy dancing Swayze) and that oh so memorable line: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
Us writers strive to write clever, fun lines in books and movies, and when they are in movies, we need actors to make them memorable. Patrick Swayze did that for Baby, as well as “Ditto” in Ghost. Oh, Ghost.
Thank you, Patrick Swayze. You’ll be missed.
What’s your favorite Patrick Swayze movie line?
Happy October - fun topics this month :) I’m in a Halloweeny kind of mood already! Here's my pumpkin madness painting. It's mostly watercolor, with a bit of acrylic and pencil too.
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Happy Halloween everyone! For more six words, click here.