Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy spooks and goblins day! I'm sure all you writer's out there that write paranormal, horror, and anything mysterious just love this day!


 
 In honor of this day, here are a few things that have spooked me to death in my lifetime:
 
One day a longggggg time ago, while working in a factory on a machine I worked on everyday for 8 hours straight, I was daydreaming. Go figure, huh. Anyway, I had a special male friend that was moving out of town soon. This friend had just lost his brother so as I was daydreaming, I prayed to that deceased brother to please let me see my friend one more time before he moved. I day dreamed that as I got off work for the evening (I worked 2nd shift) that as I approached the parking lot to my car I heard my name whispered, "Allyn." It was dark out so I looked around but saw no one. I continued on to my car. I heard it again, "Allyn." And a third time, "Allyn over here." That's when I saw my friends car and his head sticking out the window. I got in the car and got to spend some "goodbye" time with him. But what's so freaky about that you ask? Well remember that was all a total daydream, except the praying to his brother part. The freaky part is that when I actually got off work that night...... that EXACT thing happened. And I am not kidding or exaggerating. I'll never forget that! It still sends shivers down my spine everytime I think of it.
 


 A couple of years after that, it happened again. I was sitting in the parking lot of KMart, missing my friend again. He now lived 4 hours away and I hadn't seen him in a long time. As I was leaving the store to my car, I prayed again to his deceased brother, "Please let me run into my friend today!" When I got in my car, another car sped right up to me. Yep, you guessed it, it was my friend!! And there is no reason in the world for him to have been in the town I lived at at the time. Freaky!
 
Another freaky thing that left me thinking I'd gone insane was one day I went into my closet to get some shoes. Suddenly I spotted a pair of black shoes I had never seen before! I thought maybe one of my sisters had left them at my house or something because they certainly weren't mine. I picked them up but they were my size NOT my sisters and it was obvious they had been worn many times! To this day, I have no clue where those shoes came from. That is creepy!
 
My final creepy thing I remember is really creepy and sad. I was driving around my small town, back and forth, around and about (this was about all there was to do in this town, we did it for hours!). We had recently lost our first classmate in an auto accident and it was still fresh on my mind. I remember driving around town wondering who would be next to die. I drove by a house that a couple of male friends lived in. I said outloud to myself, Jeff is going to be next! Then I forgot about it and went home. One month later, Jeff died in a car accident! I'm still freaked out about that!!
 
 Now for a few interesting facts about Halloween that you might not know:
 
When trick-or-treating first became popular in the United States in the 1800s, more children played mischievous pranks than asked for candy. By the 1950s, though, the focus had switched to good old family fun, with sugar-hyped children dressed in costumes.
According to Zillow.com, Seattle, Washington, is the best city for trick-or-treating.

For some towns in the U.S., the Halloween theme lasts all year long, thanks to their names. A few that would be especially fun to visit for the holiday: Frankenstein, Mo.; Scary, W.Va.; Spook City, Colo.; and Candy Town, Ohio.
 
A working magician from the age of 17, Harry Houdini (née Ehrich Weisz) became America’s favorite magician and a world-renown legend for his daring escapes. It was only fitting, then, for this master trickster to die on October 31, 1926—from a ruptured appendix
Due to safety concerns, trunk-or-treating was introduced in 2000 as an alternative to hitting the pavement for candy on Halloween night. Cars are parked in a circle at a school or church parking lot, with event-goers decorating their open trunks and dressing in costume in order to hand out treats.
 
In 2010, Belleville, Illinois, became the latest city to ban trick-or-treating for kids over 12. Teens can face fines from $100 to $1,000 for going door-to-door (although according to officials, more often than not, over-age Halloween-goers are just given a warning).

Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

 
According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.g
 
There's a $1,000 fine for using or selling Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween.
 
 
Here a few silly jokes I thought you might get a giggle from (remember I write children's books so yes, these are goofy!)

Question: Why don’t ghosts like rain?
Answer: It dampens their spirits!
Question:  What’s a ghost’s favorite room?
Answer:  The living room!
Question: What do you get if you cross Bambi with a ghost?
Answer: Bamboo.
Question:  Whom do monsters buy their cookies from?
Answer: The Ghoul Scouts.
Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!
 
 

 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

TV Addiction. I don't have it!

I am not a TV fanatic, I'm not!! However, I am really happy to see the new fall season in full swing. I'm sick of reruns.

It's interesting to talk to different people about what shows they enjoy. I'm finding that my favorite shows are drama's. Ones where the show continues from week to week sort of like a soap opera. For instance, I love the show "Revenge". Anyone else watching that? I'm also really getting into "Scandal" and of course I love "Grey's Anatomy."

But what's really upsetting me and I find myself almost swearing off the shows is that you see one episode one week and the next week, they are already
showing a repeat! I anxiously turned my channel to Scandal the other night and it was a rerun of the week before. WTH!! And Grey's Anatomy is always doing that. I don't get it. Can't they wait to run the reruns until it's rerun season!

I really love all the singing shows. Especially "Nashville" and used to love "Smash." What happened to that show, it was wonderful but only lasted 2 seasons (wiping a small tear from my eye). But I'm totally addicted to the reality singing shows. American Idol used to be my favorite and one that I counted the days until it came on again but after last seasons judges... I have to say I'm not as enthusiastic anymore. However, with JLo coming back, I'm sure I'll tune in again this year. XFactor is also a favorite of mine. I hate to admit it but I like Simon Cowell as a judge. He has mellowed since his days on American Idol but I find he's really the only truly honest judge out there and I admire his honesty as long as he does it with tact and doesn't completely insult the poor singer! I've watched "The Voice" since it's first show and am liking it more and more each season. I enjoyed the new judges last year but I also like Christina and CeLo. The talent this year is pretty amazing!

It looks like there may be a few new good 30 minute comedies on this season. The show "Dads" looks pretty funny. I haven't made up my mind about Michael J. Fox's new show yet but will watch it a few more times before I either write it off or become a fan. I do want him to succeed again. He was so good in "Family Ties" way back when.

I like some of the crime shows too but some have become too upsetting for me. I used to love "Criminal Minds" but found I couldn't get to sleep sometimes after watching it. Sometimes it's just too disturbing realizing there are such sick people in the world. There are a few others that are just too creepy and frightening for me. I do like the CSI shows though but have to cover my eyes when they are cutting into bodies!

Okay, okay just because I've devoted my entire blog posting on TV shows still doesn't mean I have a TV problem. I CAN turn it off once in awhile ya  know! Unlike my hubby. He walks in the house and turns it on immediately and sleeps with it on. I don't go into convulsions if I miss a show (I only shake a little bit but I do not foam at the mouth!). I don't even DVR anything (however that's because I can't convince my husband to let me get it). And just because my dog is addicted to his show "Too Cute" doesn't mean I'm a bad mother!

So you see, I don't need to go into TV Rehab. I can stop whenever I want to! But let's make it tomorrow, Grey's Anatomy is on tonight!

What about you? Have you seen any good new shows this season that I can fit into my schedule? Not that I'm addicted or anything!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Feeling Blessed


Today as I contemplated what to write about, I wondered if I should write about fall, which is one of my favorite seasons. Or maybe I should write about my recent trip to Virginia and the "traumatic" experience my family and I experienced during that visit. But I decided to save that for a book idea instead! Then I thought maybe I should just stick to a writing subject.

But I decided against all that and instead I felt the need to express how "giddy" and "blessed" I feel today! So what better place than here to "hop up and dance with joy!"

I'm not a very religious person but am smart enough to know when God has blessed me with wonderful things. First off, it is fall after all so I'm happy as a I can be about that. Finally us Louisianians have some relief from the heat! My dogs and I can now begin our habit of walking everyday again.

My stomach is full of butterflies right now because I think we've found a publisher for my mom/sis's book of holiday stories! This has been my mom's favorite book to write so far and means a lot to her so keep your fingers crossed that it all turns out. I have a lot of faith in this publisher though but that's all I can say about it for now.

I'm also jumping for joy because I was able to work with my Futureword Publisher and get a firm title decided for the sequel to my picture book The Pea in Peanut Butter. The title will be Kailee Finds Magic IN Words. The estimated time for publishing is April, 2014 but all of you writer's know that could change. But I'm excited!

The big Louisiana Book Festival is coming up in a few weeks so I'm gearing up for that. It's always so much fun to see how many thousands of people love to read! And there is nothing more fun than a book signing, especially of this magnitude, so my butterflies are flying around in my stomach thinking of that as well.

Even more important than all of that, I'm feeling blessed because God was able to give me a chance to get together with my family not once this year but 3 times! And that truly is amazing since we all live so far away from each other. Wish we could make that happen every year!

One of the biggest miracles of this year was that God allowed my mother-in-law to recover from her grave illness that we thought was almost hopeless. She still has some problems but she's still with us and doing so much better.

So those are just a few of the things that are making me so happy today. How about you? Do you have any "giddy" news you'd like to share? If not, have faith, patience, and determination and good things will come to you too!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Is A Positive Attitude Really Enough?

Having a positive attitude in the writing industry is something we all need to strive for. But it isn't everything. I believe in a positive attitude and try very hard to keep one going at all times. But sometimes, it's just... well... extremely hard. It seems everyday we come across a barrior that tests us.

I have no doubt that a positive outlook helps but is it enough? It certainly makes us more pleasant people to be around and gives us strength to get up every morning. However, it can't substitute for other critically important things we need in order to be successful writers.
We still need to study our craft. A positive attitude can't tell us if we've not given enough description in our stories or if we've used proper grammar.

A positive attitude alone doesn't write our stories or sell our books. We still need to become "tech" savvy and learn how to use social media. I have come across quite a few writers who have wonderfully positive attitudes, but they don't do the other things that will get them published or sell their books.

A positive attitude doesn't change the real facts of our life or our dreams. Those 5 kids we have to feed, clothe, and bathe are there to stay. So on top of staying positive, we still have to work towards making our other dreams come true. A positive attitude won't do the research needed if we're writing non-fiction or come up with perfect characters for our fiction novel.

We have to actually do the work that it takes to make our writing life a success. Positivity alone can't do that for us. Sitting around all day thinking positive doesn't produce a good story and a publisher!

Below are a couple of quotes that I love about this subject:

"Get going. Move forward. Aim High. Plan a takeoff. Don't just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won't happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you'll love it up here.”  
Donald Trump

You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.”
Stephen Richards, Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free

Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.” ~ Vaclav Havel

Don't get me wrong, we should all stay positive, it's critical to our character as well as our success. But let's not forget that we also have to take the other necessary steps to help build our lives as writer's!

I'm no expert on this subject but decided to write about it because I also needed that reminder!