BurCon – Sunday November 24th

I got to see the stars of Supernatural yesterday! Check out how awesome it was!

Spellbound Scribes

I was very lucky to win a ticket to the Supernatural BurCon event for Sunday, thanks to the awesome Debra Kristi!

Because it was such short notice for me I couldn’t do any of the autographs or photo ops with the stars of the show, so I was reduced to taking a few ninja shots of them. I thought I’d share some of the pics I got. Forgive the quality – I forgot my real camera and was reduced to taking pics with my phone so some of them are quite grainy.

photo 4First up! I was lucky to get to meet fellow Spellbound Scribe, Emmie Mears in person and we got to chuckle about the similarities of our hairs. And, thanks to Emmie’s keen eye, we got to meet one of the writers and Executive Producer, Adam Glass. Mr. Glass was very nice and approachable, I think, if we’d…

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The Color Blue

Some days you just feel out of sorts. Kind of off. Like the color blue. Yesterday was one of those days.

There’s no one reason and there are a hundred reasons. I have reasons to be happy, sure, but sometimes that color just sneaks up on you and there’s nothing you can do but bear it.

I woke up in the morning knowing full well that I had written up to the half-way point of chapter 16 in my new work in progress (WIP) but that I had only outlined through the first quarter of chapter 17. What does that mean? That means that there was a very real chance that by the time I finished writing in the morning I would come to the end of that outline and be lost come Wednesday. And I was right.

When I was done writing for the day I had to go workout and then do cardio. I did it even though I was kind of dragging my feet, sighing like a eye-linered teenager. And when I was done I dragged myself back inside and did some cardio. I managed to read one chapter of the book I’m critiquing as well. So, not a bad morning by any means. It wasn’t even lunch time and I’d accomplished a lot. A lot. But I was just kind of deflated.

If it gives you any idea, to get through writing I went from listening to Gold Dust Woman on repeat for an hour to Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums for the next solid hour. With the volume turned way up. If I can’t listen to my soundtrack on random and have to resort to ear-splitting levels of one angry song, things are not going smoothly. Funny enough, I love every word I put to paper today, even if I hated them while I was writing.

Then I made a business call, and was very happy to just leave a voicemail. Extroverts don’t get this quirk of mine. I fucking hate talking on the phone. Hate. It. It’s one of my introvert quirks of mine that gets worse the older I get. I don’t like the anticipation of a phone call, especially if it’s an important one, I don’t like trying to sound calm and cool because I so rarely am and I’m conscious of my “Ums” and “likes” and all that weirdness. I’ll happily talk to a crowd of hundreds but put me on the phone and I hate life. I have no idea why. I just know that I was a happy camper when they stopped charging ten cents a text.

Then my hubs told me that he was done for the day – no more clients. He hugged my blue self and asked if I’d like to do something. Get out of the house. Try to shake it off. Whatever I wanted.

We’ve been watching our pennies because, as they say, “Winter is coming.” And we’ve dealt with the plague going around like so many others. So these two things have kept us cooped up in our tiny house for weeks.

So I put myself together, figuring out what would accessorize nicely with my particular shade of blue and we left. We had a little lunch and then went to see Loki and the Dark Planet. What? Oh, you thought it was called “Thor” and the Dark Planet? Yeah, that’s going around a lot. It’s wrong. It’s the Loki show and WE ALL KNOW IT. SHADDUPYOU.

By the time the movie was over I was feeling a lot better. I even got an idea to make the last scene I wrote in my WIP better, stronger and might help me figure out what’s happening to this character. I even managed to outline the rest of chapter 17 so I have something to work with tomorrow.

Why am I blue? Who knows. I think it’s the book I’m working on right now. I just hurt my main character and I hate when I do that. And I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo without a complete outline and that sucks.

So why am I telling you all this? Because it’s easy to think that people always have it together online. It’s easy to look and sound upbeat and like everything is just mashed potatoes and gravy. But it’s not, not always. Sometimes the gravy is lumpy and the potatoes are burned. I’m writing my ninth novel right now and it is kicking my ass. I actually looked at my hubs at lunch, sighed and said, “Writing is hard.”

So if things are hard for you, if you’re feeling a particular shade of blue, know that you’re not alone. Even if people seem fine, they might be trying on their own blue coat today. Take a break. Go do something. Get out of your head for a minute and cheer yourself up. Let go of that problem. You deserve a minute.

All Hallows Read – Halloween 2013

Last year was the first year I ever participated in All Hallows Read. If you’re not familiar with it, it is this cool concept that Neil Gaiman came up with, where on Halloween you give out at least one scary/Halloween-themed book to kids to help promote reading. Though it doesn’t have to just be kids, people are taking the concept and running with it, which is pretty cool too. But the idea is to promote reading among kids who might not be so excited about reading.

Now, I’m no fool, I don’t just give out books, I also give out little goody bags and then offer the books too. Last year I only gave away five books. I was heartbroken when one little girl looked me in the face and said, “I don’t like reading.” Yeah, this is what we’re working against.

I’ll admit, last year I was actually kind of nervous asking if kids wanted the books and often found myself not asking, especially if it was a huge group of kids at one time. Though often, once you drop the treat into their pail or bag, the kids turn and run too quick for you to say anything about the books. I found it was way easier to give the tiny tots books because their parents were right there and I could look at the parent and say, “Would s/he also like a Halloween picture book!?” And of course parents loved that.

But this year I decided to be more active and vocal about the books. And this year not ONE kid said no if I got the chance to ask. Yes, some still turned and ran before I had a chance to ask, but if they lingered just a second, that’s all I needed to quickly say, “I have books too! DO YOU LIKE SCARY BOOKS?!” Once again the parents of the tiny tots loved it and were happy to take the picture books, but the older kids surprised me so much. Last year, every single pre-teen and teenager said no when I asked if they wanted a book. But not this year.

I gave out seven copies of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline to kids ranging from 7 years old to 12 years old. I gave out four copies of Forest of Hands and Teeth to teens ranging from 13 years old to 15 years old. I gave out nine copies of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps to kids ranging from 7 years old all the way to 16 years old. And that 16yo zombie boy was my favorite. I looked at him, sad I didn’t have an “age appropriate” book for him because his friend got the last copy of Forest of Hands and Teeth and said, “You might be too old to want Goosebumps.” To which he replied, “No way! Never too old for Goosebumps!” And happily picked one from the stack.

I also gave out five copies of It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and around 10 copies of two different Witch-themed picture books to various tiny tots. And often, when I held out the choices, the kids (even as small as 2 years old) would pause and actually consider which book they’d like to pick.

At one point, I heard one mom say to another, “Oh yeah, I think they do that every year. They gave us a book last year.” That’s right, I’m developing a reputation which is fantastic. And very often I heard kids yell to their parents and friends, “I GOT A BOOK!” Which of course made me do a little Halloween dance. At one point a little girl yelled from our porch, “They’re giving out books!” And I was really worried she was warning people off but then five kids came running up for their books. I can’t even.

But more surprising? We ran out of goody bags because there were actually more trick-or-treaters this year than last, but we still had books. So when people came to the door, I apologized about being out of candy, but offered the books instead and you know what? They happily took the books. Not one kid said, “No thanks.” Not. One.

So I started out with nearly 40 books and now only have 5. This is amazing.

Gave away one more book right after I took this pic.

Gave away one more book right after I took this pic.

And the Winners Are….!

WOA (1)

Thank you to all my readers who participated in the Hallowe’en Jack-o-Lantern Book giveaway! There were lots of awesome entries, but only five could win. And the winners are…

1. Jamie Hale: Most Creative for her amazing Greenman Pumpkin
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2. Jeni Matthews: Creepy but Pretty for her Jason Vorhees pumpkin AND her Wicca inspired pumpkin.

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3. Kelly Lynn Harris: Funniest for her, well for that munchkin’s face really.
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4. Amanda Weese Rienguette: Scariest for her cannibal pumpkin.
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5. Maritza Cruz Whiteman: Prettiest for her Magical Castle Pumpkin.
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All the winners have been notified by email. If you didn’t win, don’t worry, the book comes out in just one month and you can get your hands on it too!