Sunday, October 30, 2011

'Twas the Day Before Halloween....

Hey, I just realized it's Sunday and that's when I usually post here. I was just checking things out at the blogs, and I've been entering all sorts of contests left and right. Seems I've won a clutch bag from Vintage Halloween!

Isn't it cool? Thanks goes to Jenn at Vintage Halloween!

Yesterday my husband and I went to the Pumpkin Fest and downed certain foods that may or may not be good for us (definitely didn't need to eat the elephant ear!) We stopped to see some nieces, one of which was running a booth and I had to have some great hot chocolate!

Then we decided to hop over to a cool place called Blumen Gardens. It's not just a place that sells plants and flowers, it is a whole experience. The family that owns it began in their garage and then added to it across the street where an old brick warehouse stands (1870's). Because of it's historical value the city said they could not demolish it. I think they did a wonderful job in utilizing the space. The front has been turned into a hall where weddings and parties are held.

They've used the distressed, and primitives to add to the place. I wish I could have taken pictures, but maybe some day I'll return and have a new camera to take them with.

My purchases weren't many however I found something I thought I couldn't find anywhere near here. Out of all the things I like to decorate with, I love pumpkins. If I find something that catches my eye. I happen to like the distressed ones, when I find them The one I bought sort of looked like this one but it had a black witch's hat and he was more squished and darker--like a patina was added to it.

I only know that this looked the same as the one I bought, so I'm assuming it came from Pumpkin Hallow, but I'm going to say that they did because there were others like this one and various sized ones as well. So, cool that I could find something I really had wanted.

Last night we watched a Christopher Lee movie "Dracula-Prince of Darkness" In this one Dracula doesn't have any lines. I've learned that he refused to say them because I guess they were stupid lines that he felt would not add anything to the part. And actually his hissing and looking morbidly calm at other moments was better. My only complaint was the ending. The endings of these Hammer films always disappointed me. This one went on the vampire legend that said vampires couldn't cross running water. Sorry if I ruin the movie for you--you can skip this portion if you want--but they had him on ice at the end and the friar had a shot gun and shot at the ice, breaking it up and made Dracula fall into it and--I don't know what happened, as he couldn't have drowned, but froze. I know that another movie made after this has him coming back from this icy pond. I just felt it made him look idiotic when he should be more powerful. I don't think that Hammer ever had Dracula fly, or turn into anything else. And this business with taking two pieces of steel and making the form of a cross in my book isn't the same thing as a real crucifix. So Hammer just sort of fudged the lines a little bit.

However having said all that, this was a more bloodier movie than the others that I recall, since they (again, don't read this because I'll spoil the movie for you here, if you have not seen it) have a man killed, strung up by Dracula's servant and slit his throat over his ashes, filling up the stone vault he rests in. Not only that they did a bang up job of special effects in showing Dracula's body forming from the ashes--and use of the dry ice was rather clever in making the fog rise as well. This was made in 1965, way before we got all techno.

So, tonight I'm not sure which film we will see. We have four out--one down. Tomorrow we both have the day off and want to just do nothing important other than enjoy the day off. I think we'll go to a coffee shop, maybe brows some places for a cabinet for our kitchen.

But before I go I want to wish you all

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lorelei's Muse: 99 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL . . .

Lorelei's Muse: 99 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL . . .: Wait... What I meant was 99 FOLLOWERS! Yes. I have 99 followers. Uh . . . I can't see who they are. No. Really. I can't. If you don't beli...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

iDig Your Blog Award

Hi, everyone. Well, you know when I began this blog I never expected anyone to give it much notice, let alone awards. I had my main blog for two years before people even came to it and had only one wonderful follower for the longest time. But this one, you all have surprised me by suppporting it. And I do appreciate the jesture, and I love to get comments to know you all love me. *smiles*

Okay, on with business. Vivienne Moss has given me this iDig Your Blog Award. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, VIVIENNE! *bunny waves*

I try to resist going through the whole deal, but I've found some fantastic blogs to send the award to and they all have something to do with Halloween, or things we associate with Halloween.

Here are the 5 things I must do to accept this award:

1. accept the award gracefully (which I've done)
2. Link to the person you recieved it from (which I've done)
3. Post three interesting things about yourself (interesting???)
4.Pass this award on to 5 blogs you dig
5. Notify these blogs that I've awarded them. (which I will do so today)

3 interesting things about me backwards:

#3. I live on a prairie/wetlands preserve where we see wildlife all the time and can have quiet piecefull walks right out our door.
#2. I've been married to a wonderful man for 24 years.
#1. I've been writing for over 30 years, and it was a year ago that Vampire Ascending was picked up by a small publisher.

The 5 Blogs I Dig:

Halloween Nights

The Halloween Tree

A Bad Witche's Blog

Wiccan Writes

Pumpkin Hollow

Now I'm off to bake some cookies in my new oven. Ta ta!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm Into Halloween

This was a beautiful fall day. My husband and I took a walk out in the park--we are managers of Afton Forest Preserve in DeKalb County. We watched the geese on the water, they were rolling, flapping their wings and preening on the pond. I could watch birds and wild life for hours. We also saw the "woolly bear" caterpillars--the orange section of their black and orange bodies was wider than the black. I can't recall what that means about winter's duration. Probably means long or cold, or snow amounts. Who knows? Also, I was very excited to have spotted a praying mantis. It was about 3" or 4" long. Not the largest one I've ever seen, but I must say it was a first here in our prairie preserve/wetland.

We are quite excited about the new oven we've finally gotten as part of the forest preserve's renovations on the kitchen. It's electric. Our gas stove was fumigating us and leaving black soot all over the house! So, tonight it is getting a little test. Originally we were going to bake a chicken. But my husband found a turkey breast and we decided "why not?" We bought cranberries (organic with no high fructose corn syrup), and baking an acorn squash with it. YUM! (^;

Tomorrow I'm baking cookies. I was excited that I could finally bake without this terrible smell. We have avoided using the gas one. But now, the electric oven is just wonderful. I'm baking sugar cookies and frosting them with orange frosting (made from scratch). I want to bake an apple pie, and cupcakes--chocolate, of course!

Normally I have designated Sunday as my post day for this blog, but I wanted to enter this today, just a general "my day" thing. Tomorrow I will address the blog award I've been given by Vivienne Moss. I think you guys are great thinking I deserve a blog award. This makes 3 blog awards here on this blog alone.

I will pay it forward. I'm to give it to 5 other people/bloggers and I'm making my choices tonight. Come back tomorrow to see who I give it to. I think you will see I've gone with a theme--of Halloween.

Now, the sun is making it's way into the shadow world. Light your pumpkins because you know you don't want the demons approaching you. Or . . . maybe you do?

Lorelei's Muse: COFFIN HOP ~ SCAVENGER HUNT! ! !

Lorelei's Muse: COFFIN HOP ~ SCAVENGER HUNT! ! !: So, you're in this strange neighborhood and want to see if you can scare up some damn darn good fun while trick-r-treating, and you stop at ...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lorelei's Muse: COFFIN HOP!

Lorelei's Muse: COFFIN HOP!: I'm very excited about the Coffin Hop! It's the first blog hop I have ever been a part of. A bunch of horror fiction writers are particip...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Great Pumpkin!

This Charlie Brown cartoon was my all-time favorite. I usually missed it because I think they put it on on Halloween night--when I was a kid. Later on, they began showing it during the week of. Now I'd like to watch it again, if I can catch it.

My husband and I are planning a weekend with certain events and video watching. I hope to bake cupcakes in my new electric oven, if we get it installed (the electrician is supposed to come out either tomorrow or Tuesday and get the wiring done for it.) We've had it with stinky propane, and this oven which was bad to begin with.

Back to the video-watching. We have a collection of old movies on video. We have a number of werewolf, mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein. We choose one and watch one in the evenings, but we may put one on in the morning, and have our coffee and the decadent cupcakes I hope to make.

Then, we will go to the Pumpkin Fest, which has been on-going for (I think) more than 50 years now, in near-by Sycamore. People will pick up free pumpkins (children and adults can partake), carve and decorate and enter them in their age-range, or they have specific themes. They get things going on Wednesday and it runs through the weekend, with a parade and a race on Sunday. We go on Saturday, find some yummy food and hang out, walk in and out of shops. I usually buy my "pumpkin" cookies. That's a tradition as well.

I've also been out looking at other bloggers who are into Halloween all year long. I think it's a hoot to visit some of them. I never knew so many people are as demented as I am over a holiday--especially Halloween! But there are others out there like me. Which is cool.

So, what are your plans, if you haven't told me as yet? I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall and Halloween My Favorite Time of Year

Just a quick post. We are enjoying some magnificent weather and tomorrow is the last day we can be free to enjoy it. Thus I'm going to post a little up date here.

I was contacted by my publisher the other day, showing me possible cover art for the next book. I was ecstatic over it. I think it will do it justice. (No, silly, it's not the cat with the black hat here, that's for Halloween!)

I've been working on read-through and re-writes of Crescendo. At the moment it's going fine.

Although I'm signed up for NaNo, I won't be able to do this. I don't even know why I signed up. Possibly a moment of insanity touched me. There is no way I can do 50K words in only 30 days--having only a few hours most days in which to write. No freaking way! And I respect anyone who can do it w/o cheating, and without making everyone around them nuts because they're in a frantic pace--I'd have to cheat. I'd also be all snarly, and snap at my husband and have no time for anything else.

I simply have no time, not enough energy and not only that, I hope to be promoting Vampire's Trill soon. What with having several blogs to maintain as well, I certainly can't expect to find time to work on a book at that pace unless I stay up way past my bedtime. That may put my health at risk, and my job in jeopardy. Two things I won't do to myself.

Getting the fourth novel done in 3 months I felt was my best, and it will stand as such. My murmurrings probably upset those of you who want to do NaNo. It shouldn't. I'm merely stating why I feel no need to do this. It's really up to the individual if they feel like whipping themselves into something so frantic, and I feel takes them away from other important things when they have a job, family, children and a house to maintain. I just can't do that to myself or my husband. He said he would understand if I did it. But I told him I'm recanting and not doing this.

But I hope to get through this first read through of Crescendo and begin thinking about the next book I want to write which is a new mystery series. If it grabs me I'll run with it. I've got a few ideas which overflowed from something I had written years ago. That was actually what I was planning on writing for NaNo. I'll begin writing it on November 1st and see how I would have done. Poorly, I'm sure.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Finished In 3 Months

The satisfaction of finishing a first draft is still exhilarating. Not like it used to be with me, so obviously I've become jaded in this way. But I've been writing for a very long time. I used to write non-stop works. That was in high school. I don't recall how long it might have been but I had one on-going "romance" that I wrote on Gregg tablets. I believe my stint in Newbie/Rookie status went for about 15-20 years after that. But I gradually learned how to plot a novel, but mostly how to end one. I once wrote a novel that was 800 pages. I think I might have mentioned this about a week ago. Yeah. It is housed in a large box in a bin. No one would touch it. Which only figures. I have other works in boxes too, and too busy to take them out to go through.

Anyway the fourth book of my Sabrina Strong Series is at a finished state which I can now work on with editing, adding details, etc.

But I'd like to go back to the third one and tweak it some more.

And I'm working on notes for a mystery series, wondering if it would be possible to present it to a different publisher.

At the moment I'm looking into Smashwords and going Indie. But I have slow dial up. Until I get a faster Internet, there would be no way. I'd like to either get a lap-top or find the money to get satellite. Our funds are rather tight. We're about to pay off one loan, but have another one to get out of our hair and that will take another few years to pay off. Meanwhile there are other things we need, and would like to have, but money is tight.

My writing had always been hinged on a simple need to write. To create. I'm a creative person, always have been. Writing seems to fulfill some deep, inner need in me that is inexplicable, yet I have no other outlet for it. And what writer doesn't want to see his or her work in print? And make money doing it?

I will never see the light of a large publishing house. I've gone through 30 years of trying to appease the Powers That Be. Now that the Industry is in flux, and we who write are beginning to get better control over publishing (which can be fraught with frustrations as well as success), I think the idea has become more appealing to me. I did self-publish a first light fantasy (Spell of the Black Unicorn), and it was good. Our mistake was buying more copies than we could sell. I might, someday, put it in ebook format and self-publish it (without paying for it, going with Smashwords, probably), but again, this isn't possible right now.

Thus I'm between a rock and an hard place, wanting to do something that is so readily available to everyone, and yet I can't. Frustrations kindle the fire of need and want and that only adds more frustration to the pyre. Seems I've always been at the disadvantage, at least in getting my work published.

At any rate, having finished a book gives me lots of time for other washing floors, dusting, etc. Sounds so melodramatic, but not meant that way. I need a little break. I can prowl sites and learn some necessary things. I've joined Smashwords site so that I can get a handle on it. I'm following some mystery writing blogs. This one is really good and if you are into mysteries, you'll want to check out Mystery Writing is Murder. Today she had some excellent offers from Twitter that any writer can take advantage from, not just mystery writers.
Another one I might suggest for all writers is The Kill Zone, with several authors of suspense and mystery novels giving their weekly tips or write on other topics of interest. I highly recommend it for expert advice. My favorite author among them is James Scott Bell, who has written many books, and wrote/writes for Writer's Digest (a magazine I no longer get, mainly because it aggravated me by how they always made it sound like you could get published by following their advice, but it never worked for me. And because their articles had become repetitive, plus, I found I was already doing some of the things they suggested, and thought the rest of it was a bunch of horse hockey pucks.)

Okay, my husband and I will be putting a roast in the crock pot and while he is out lopping the grass for possibly the last time, I will wash my (new) kitchen floor.

Have a great Sunday, and rest of the week, everyone.

Visit my main blog Lorelei's Muse for some fun posts I'll be doing all October.
Lorelei signing autographs at Borders 2009
for Spell of the Black Unicorn, a light fantasy.