October is one of my favorite months. First of all, football season has officially kicked into high-gear. Also, the cooler weather slowly begins to creep into the state of Texas—everywhere really, but we Texans can finally start to notice a difference between the daytime and nighttime temperatures.
Additionally, one of my favorite holidays just happens to fall during the month of October—Halloween. I enjoy getting dressed up, most of the time anyway, and handing out candy to all of the children who knock on my door. I’m also fascinated by the idea of anything spooky—haunted houses, horror movies, etcetera.
And, since it is October and Halloween is right around the corner, why not dedicate a Friday FaBOOolousness post to my fellow bloggers getting into the spirit with some spooky and festive posts?
Before we go, this week a few of my writer friends (Catie Rhodes and Rhonda Hopkins) released a collection of spooky short stories in their anthology Tales From the Mist. Be sure and check it out! I’ll reveal my review of the works in an upcoming Friday FabOoolousness post… so stay tuned!
What does Halloween mean to you? Do you dress up in costume and go trick or treating? What’s some of your favorite Halloween pastimes and crafts? Do you have any ghost stories to share? I’d love to hear from you!
And just when you thought my post was over, I decide to keep going. I guess it’s my little “trick” for Halloween…
Are you looking to go to the movies this month? Here are a few posts that might help sway you one way or another…
Piper Bayard’s Review of Argo… I hear Ben Affleck knocks the ball out of the park with this one. Do Piper and Holmes agree?
Bond. James Bond. A few weeks ago, the world celebrated its favorite spy’s 50th anniversary, and my favorite British gal Donna Newton helps us get ready for the Skyfall release in theaters November 9th.
Do you plan to see Argo or the new James Bond? Or have you already? I’d love to hear from you!
And, if you like to read whodunits, check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook! High School Football Can Be MURDER…
We skipped February so it’s time for The Ooo Factor’s next installment of MarvelOoous Mashups. This month I’m including a few awards that my fellow bloggers so generously awarded me, as well as participating in the widely spread Lucky 7 Meme.
First up, a big HUGE thanks to Marcy Kennedy for awarding me the Liebster Award!
Liebster is the German word for beloved person. If anything, I have definitely developed a close friendship with Marcy, even though we’ve never met in real life. She is one of the most supportive writing friends a girl could have, and I look forward daily to her tweets, emails, posts, and smiles.
In turn, I award these great blogging friends with the Liebster Award: Amber West and Jen L. Kirchner. They’re my liebsters and excellent bloggers.
Jen has previously written a few great Vote Your Own Adventure blog series, but she’s now venturing out into the Sci-Fi world and provides great Gaming Reviews for Girls as well as Sci-Fi Pin Ups each month.
Amber, in addition to all of her blogging greatness, has started a new series of her own where she takes inspiration from her blog commenters to build the next portion of her story. Her tale has just begun, so be sure and stop by her blog to contribute to her Tell Me a Story series.
I’d also like to express a big HUGE thanks to Martine Svanevik for awarding me the Kreativ Blogger Award and Fallon Brown for the Versatile Blogger Award.
I’ve done this a few times, but still feel like I should share the love and award a few new bloggers with the same honor.
Let’s see….who’s Kreativ? Definitely Myndi Shafer. Myndi blogs about anything and everything, but my favorite series is her I am Beautiful posts where she features women’s beauty from the inside out.
Who’s deserving of the Versatile Blogger Award? Lydia Sharp of The Sharp Angle. Lydia blogs about everything from vivacious spring colors, to the writing craft, and in one of my favorite segments, she promotes other writers and their books out in the market today in Fresh Baked Books.
THANK YOU, everyone! Winning these awards for my posts means so very much to me, AND congratulations to the new recipients.
In addition to these fabOoolous bloggers deserving of the awards, be sure to click on these sites featured in the March edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!
PART I: FabOoolous Writerly Posts
When writing, we’ve all heard to be careful with our use of flashbacks. Luckily, Lydia Sharp helps us along with her post: Good Flashbacks, Bad Flashbacks.
All writers waffle back and forth as to whether or not they should travel down the traditional publishing route, the indie publishing route, or the self-publishing route. These next two posts explore two of the three roads: The Ins and Outs of Indie Publishing, a guest post by PJ Sharon courtesy of Catie Rhodes, and Publishing with Small Press, a guest post by Laura Kaye courtesy of Stacy Green. These are fabOoolous reads for all writers considering their publishing options.
Show Don’t Tell – one of the most popular phrases a writer hears when attending self-editing workshops. Thanks to the great Angela R. Wallace, I found this wonderful example of how to show and not tell by Ilona Andrews. Thanks for sharing, Angela!
What do we do when we want to talk about a controversial topic on our blog? Taking a side in any controversy can be controversial in itself. Thanks to August McLaughlin, she offers up a wonderful summation of just what to do in her post: Controversial Blog Posts – How to Make them Work.
Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t corner the market on homosexual oriented serial killings. Kansas City had its own monster: Robert Berdella, a.k.a. the Butcher. While Dahmer killed his victims fairly quickly, Berdella liked to torture the young men he seduced for days and sometimes weeks. He kept a “torture book” detailing his sadistic activities.
Ooo, Stacy really grabbed my attention with this one! When I see an introduction like this, I’m interested. For more about Bob’s Bazaar Bizarre, check out Stacy Green’s thrilling post.
What ‘s better than True Crime? Throwing ghosts into the mix. The Devil’s Weekend by Catie Rhodes does not disappoint. To quote Catie quoting Joseph Conrad: “The horror! the horror!”
Part IV: Just Because They’re fabOoolous
Anyone who knows me, knows I love scary movies. Especially slashers. Which is why it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite links these past few months is Sonia G. Medeiros’Creepiest Movie Quotes.
Can anyone name a few Songs that Became Movies? It’s a lot harder than it seems. Check out a few of the lyrical sensations that took Hollywood by storm, courtesy of Catie Rhodes.
Ever wonder what in the world the kids are talking about today? Take a trip down memory lane with these Excellent Generational Phrases by Erin Brambilla.
Who is a Larger than Life Character? Check out this very interesting blog post by Julie Glover where she explores theconcoctions of an author’s mind who take on their own identity and become conversational touchpoints…
Ever wonder what a logline would be like if we combined two movies together? To be honest, I hadn’t either. Not until I read Loglines from the Edge of Ridiculousness by Myndi Shafer. This post is brilliant and very entertaining.
We can never be too safe in today’s digital world, which is why I absolutely recommend this fabOoolous Tech Safety and Security blog with Ian Thompson courtesy of Amber West. Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the hackers are growing exponentially today?
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines (sentences or paragraphs) and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 writers and let them know.
Everyone knows that I’m working on my first YA mystery novel, but very few know anything about it. I’ve kept pretty mum on my title and storyline, but considering I’m almost done with my cover and am in the final editing stage, it’s time.
So here’s an excerpt from the rough draft of my first book… drumroll please…
Whew! That’s the first time I’ve publically announced the name of my book!!
I’ve been editing for the past few months and I’m really not sure if this scene will actually end up on page 77, but it’s there now. So here goes…
Aimee glanced up while singing along to Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” only to notice Jeanie wasn’t standing in the circle any longer. She slowed her swaying, and started looking around. Jeanie was new to the school, new to the group, and had never been out to Uncle Marty’s — not with the girls anyway. Just as she started to panic, Aimee spotted Jeanie across the dark street talking to Bobby.
“The nerve!” Aimee spewed spit with the exclamation, luckily keeping her tone low enough to only grab the attention of her friends.
Okay, so it’s not much… but I did play by the rules – page 77, 7 lines down, 7 lines of my novel.
I’ve read some great excerpts of those participating in the Lucky 7 Meme tag game these past few weeks, and I’m looking forward to more. Here are my Lucky 7 that I’d like to return the favor and slap on the back — TAG, YOU’RE IT!
This was really out of my comfort zone to announce the name of my book as well as include a small excerpt. But why not? I sure hope my Lucky 7 take the plunge with me, but I also understand if they don’t.
What blogs have you read lately that have really stood out among the rest? Have any good blog posts for writers regarding self-publishing or e-books that you’d like to share? Recipes? How about a favorite true crime story that sends chills down your spine? We’d love to hear from you!
Welcome to the first edition of 2012’s MarvelOoous Mashups. We spent the last few months of the year keeping to holiday themes, but now we’re back to sharing the writing and entertainment links that stood out and provided us with great information.
A few of these posts were published months ago, but we held onto them here at the Ooo Factor because the content of these bloggers is definitely worth the wait. Be sure to click on these fabOoolous links featured today in the January edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!
PART I: FabOoolous Writerly Posts
E-Book pricing is a heated debate right now. We’ve seen multiple blogs discussing whether or not free is a good thing, but these publications didn’t really help the rest of us looking to self-publish who want to know exactly how to price our work. Not until we read E-Book Pricing by Ruth Harris and another E-Book Pricing post by Dean Wesley Smith. Finally, some food for thought.
Before writing, many of us would question whether or not writer’s block is an actual disease. Well, maybe it’s not a disease, but it does happen. Heidi Cohen helps writers Fight the Writing Demons with challenges we can overcome.
Show, Don’t Tell. Speak to the Reader. These are all things important to our manuscripts that we’ve heard as writers. But how does a writer add psychological power to his or her writing, or speak to the reader’s subconscious? Margie Lawson tells us how and provides fabOoolous examples in her guest post over at Jenny Hansen’s Cowbell.
Feel like getting to know a New York Times Best Selling Author? Piper Bayard takes us one-on-one with Sandra Brown in this fantastic interview. Sixty of her books have made it onto the NYT Best Selling List!?! Oh, to dream…
What makes a story a mystery? A thriller? A romance? Genre is a very important aspect of all writing; it’s actually the first question anyone asks when we announce that we are writing a story – What are you writing? Learn what makes up a few of the different genres here in Genre Matters by Kristen Lamb.
Another hot topic in the world of writing involves the different publishing methods available to writers today. Will self-publishing phase out the traditional publishing houses? What does the future have in store for us?Lynn Kelley takes a look at her Publishing Choices and includes a couple of great blurbs and links from other writers and agents for the rest of us worried about taking that next big step.
As if the perils of writing, e-book pricing, and publishing aren’t stressful enough, where would writers be without the important step of editing – and editing correctly? Girls with Pens (the great Marcy Kennedy and Lisa Hall-Wilson) share 6 Steps for the Final Edit and the ever important 5 Ways to Show and Not Tell. Seriously. Read these.
PART II: FabOoolous Recipes and Crafts
Who doesn’t like to order Bread Pudding when dining out at a nice restaurant? Well, now we don’t have to wait for that special date night! Instead, Amber West cooks up this homemade dessert for our very own private recipe list!
Ever enjoyed a Cupcake Martini? Jillian Dodd shares this delicious recipe, including a rim of icing. Seriously. Yum.
Looking to fill the day with something other than work? Why not get crafty and creative with Custom Coasters like these man-cave favorites designed by Amber West.
Part III: FabOoolous True Crime Stories
Comics about Jeffrey Dahmer? Songs about Charles Manson? Yes, they do exist. Catie Rhodes shares a few shocking true stories about Murder and Pop Culture adaptations, including the actual crime that inspired the movie Scream.
We always hear about all the open cold cases that have never been solved. We even watch television shows including A&E’s Cold Case Files and the former CBS series Cold Case to see authorities working diligently years later to find closure for these victims. So why not celebrate a few Solved Cold Cases, courtesy of Stacy Green.
Part IV: Just Because They’re fabOoolous
There has been a lot of Buffy talk on Twitter lately, and for good reason – Buffy rocks. Luckily for those who haven’t watched the fabOoolous vampire slayer kick some serious butt and fall in love with multiple bad boys with bite (awe, Angel and Spike – how we miss thee!), Lyn Midnight takes the time to Break Down Buffy for us.
It seems we’re always watching movies about teen rebellion. But when Catie Rhodes mentions that Over the Edge is the 1970’s version of Rebel Without a Cause, how can we resist watching? Better yet, Catie explains that the story is inspired by actual events AND that the Nirvana hit “Smells like Teen Spirit” was based on the tale. Interesting, right?
Time for the Sci-Fi Battle Royale: Who would win – Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? Jen L. Kirchner places the two Star Trek captains side by side and offers her opinion on the matter. Who do you think would win?
Who read the Choose Your Own Adventure stories growing up? We did, which is only one reason why we love Zombies over at Mark Lidstone’s blog. Each week, Mark posts another chapter in Victoria’s attempt to escape the post zombie apocalyptic world, and our votes help guide him through to the next week’s story. Vote now!
What blogs have you read lately that have really stood out? Have any good blog posts for writers regarding self-publishing or e-books that you’d like to share? How about a favorite true crime story that inspired Hollywood to make a movie? We’d love to hear from you!
It’s that special time of year – a time when families join together to eat, drink, and be merry. It’s the time of year when most family traditions come into play, and the time of year for celebration. For one, it’s Christmas; for another, it’s Hanukah; yet for a few it’s simply the end of the calendar year.
To celebrate this time of year, here are a few links that might just help us get in the true holiday spirit.
What says Holiday Tradition better than the music? Shannyn Schroeder shares a few of her favorite holiday songs like a rocked out version of Santa Claus is Comin’ ToTown, and Julie Glover translates a few of the Christmas Carols for us.
Sonia G. Medeiros talks New Holiday Traditions, including watching movies in pajamas while drinking hot cocoa. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
I look forward to midnight every Christmas Eve so that I can put baby Jesus in the manger of our family’s Nativity Set.
I love egg nog. With alcohol.
The only time of year I actually bake is Christmas. This year, I made my mother’s famous Walnut Muffins and I tried a new recipe – Chai Sugar Cookies.
I love to watch the holiday two-hour movies on Lifetime, LMN, and Hallmark with my mom as we wrap Christmas gifts.
I’m hesitant to drive home on Christmas Eve now, courtesy of a snow storm a few years back that pushed me seven and a half hours off course.
Spending time with my family is the most important thing to me when it comes to holiday celebrations. I love to watch my nephews play, fight, or whatever it is they feel is necessary to do, and this is my niece’s first Christmas – that’s special in itself.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave me a new music box or snow globe every Christmas. To this day, I look forward to seeing all of my collectibles displayed in my parent’s living room and enjoy remembering one of my favorite people in the world.
I like the idea of giving a child one gift to open on Christmas Eve to help ease their anticipation of Santa coming. My cousin and I couldn’t wait to choose our one gift to open while the adults partied the night away.
I may be in my mid-thirties, but I’m dying to go have my picture taken with Santa at the mall. I think my parents have at least twenty-one pictures of me and Santa. I have no idea why I stopped going…
I love midnight mass – the candles, the smell of incense, and the organ. There’s nothing quite like hearing a mass of hundreds sing O Holy Night and Ave Maria with the music playing through the organ’s pipes.
Now share a random holiday related thing about yourself. If you’d like to do this as a blog post, consider yourself tagged.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions, recipes, and gift giving/wrapping ideas? I’d love to hear from you!
A few weeks ago, Angela R. Wallace graciously awarded me the 7X7 Link Award.
Thank you, Angela!
Angela released a new e-book this week titled Elemental Magic. Congratulations! Please stop by and check out one of Angela’s books today by clicking here!
With the 7X7 award, the recipient selects seven previous blog posts that represent certain categories before finally passing the award on to seven new awardees.
Most Beautiful – Paradise in the Florida Keys. This was the first vacation we had taken in a while, and the pictures alone take me back to paradise. Pina Colada, anyone? I’ll take two.
Most Helpful – The DVR Priorities of Casa Blanca. Everyone wonders how I watch as much television as I do, well now they know! The DVR might just be the best invention ever…
Most Popular – The Kiss and Kill Murder. The story of Betty and Mack continues to get blog hits every single week. I’ve received blog comments from current and former Odessa High Students. To everyone who has shared their memories of the two, thank you.
Most Controversial – The Kiss and Kill Murder. I specifically steer away from controversial blog topics, however if I had to choose, the story of Betty and Mack would probably also be the most controversial. Not everyone remembers the author’s story the way he tells it, and to each his own.
Most Underrated – The Tamberny Award Show (part one and two). Preparing for this award show required a ton of work – Amber and I went back and forth, over and over again, generating conversation pieces for each of the televised nomination categories. I couldn’t have done this post without her – Amber is the Sean to my Gus, the Siskel to my Ebert, or vice versa – she can be whichever one of these power duos she wishes.
Most Prideworthy – The Go Without Game. Going without a luxury item and giving back to those in need…need I say more? Again, all the credit for this fabOoolous game goes to Amber West. She started it, and we can only hope to continue.
Keeping with tradition, the below bloggers deserve and earn the 7X7 award. Not everyone always feels like participating in blog awards; and no worries if that is indeed the case. Regardless, I want to select seven fabOoolous bloggers to receive this award. These writers have a plethora of fabOoolous blog topics published over the past few months and I would love to see what they consider to be their Mosts.
Of course, an award presentation wouldn’t be complete without including my partner in crime, Amber West. Amber already shared her Mosts with the blogosphere, so please click here and take a look at her selections.
And, let’s not forget Angela Wallace’s Mosts here.
Taking a page from my dear friend Jenny Hanson, who in turn took a page out of Chuck Wendig’s book, now it’s time to Pimp It, Pimp it Real Good.
Pimp another’s blog or promote one of your own. Tell us which of the Mosts apply: Beautiful, Helpful, Popular, Controversial, Surprisingly Successful, Underrated, and/or Prideworthy. I’d love to hear from you!
Preparing for Thanksgiving as a child was always so much fun. At school, we’d dress up like the pilgrims and tell the story of the first Thanksgiving. In arts and crafts, we’d trace our hand, making the design of a turkey and our parents would hang the holiday masterpiece on the refrigerator.
But as adults, preparing for the holiday stresses most of us out, so I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite Thanksgiving blogs to help anyone who may be looking for a bit of holiday history or that special dish.
Who knew that Jen L. Kirchner not only writes the very creative and thrilling Vote Your Own Adventure series, but can also cook like a gourmet chef? Well, she can… Check out her Sausage Stuffing Twist.
For those of us in the south, what meal is complete without cornbread? With that in mind, Catie Rhodes generously shares her Mamaw’s Onion Cornbread recipe over at David N. Walker’s blog.
Don’t worry; we didn’t forget the sweets and treats!
Who said we can’t have Christmas Pudding at Thanksgiving? Obviously, Tameri Etherton thinks we can. Thanks, Tameri!
Who loves chocolate? Try Kerry Meacham’sMom’s Fudge Pie Recipe. Notice the warning to practice before planning to serve. To quote Kerry, “I’d hate for you to have fudge soup.” Fudge Soup. Doesn’t sound so bad.
What dessert round-up would be complete without cupcakes? Cupcakes are slowly but surely growing to be a staple in our household. Amber West knows this, therefore she shares a step by step process for making Pumpkin Cupcakes.
To contribute to the recipes, I’ve included my favorite Light and Fluffy Fruit Salad that is perfect for a holiday gathering:
1 can cherry pie filling
1 container whipped cream
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can mandarin oranges
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup marshmallows
Now, this is the fun part. Mix everything together in a large bowl. Don’t worry about draining the fruit. Just dump, mix and refrigerate.
And when we’ve reached that point of misery where we’ve unbuttoned our pants and dropped down onto the couch afraid our stomach is going to blow, Natalie Hartford has found the perfect Hands-Free Drink Holder so we don’t also collapse due to dehydration.
Before we go, let’s remember one of the most important messages of the Thanksgiving Season – to give thanks.
Ellie Soderstrom is writing down 1,000 things she is thankful for everyday and asks that we share in the spirit and be thankful for even the smallest things in life in her blog: Thankfulness and Ode de Toilet.
Your turn – what are you thankful for? What’s one of your favorite holiday dishes? I’d love to hear from you!
On a personal note, I am thankful for the love of my life; my partner in every aspect of the word. My guy is a true blessing and I thank God every day that He brought Erin into my life. My mom always tells me that I’m not an easy person to live with; she’s not joking.
Oh, and Erin – he’s thankful for my dad….for raising such a spoiled rotten little princess. Haha.
Back to being serious, I’m thankful for my family and friends. I have been blessed my entire life with an impenetrable circle of strength, love, and support. But most importantly, none of this would be possible without the Man above and the men and women dedicating their lives to keeping all of us safe.
Halloween is right around the corner, so why not dedicate October’s MarvelOoous Mashup to bloggers getting into the spirit with some spooky and festive posts?
We start with one of the most familiar crafts this time of year, pumpkin carving and decorations. Luckily for us, Angela R. Wallace walks us through some fun ideas in It’s Pumpkin Time!
Keeping with crafts, Tameri Etherton talks about the art of taxidermy (now that’s kind of a creepy conversation for Halloween, right?) and shows off her new front porch skeleton friends in her Wednesday Whimsy post. Be sure to check out the link she provides to teach all of us how to make our own skeleton buddy.
Do people really poison Halloween candy or is it urban legend? Catie Rhodes investigates and provides some food for thought in her edition of Bad Candy.
Is chocolate really dangerous for our dogs? Amy Shojai, my pet-guru, offers her expertise in her Howl-oween Spook-tacular and provides helpful first aid tips just in case man’s best friend bites into our chocolate Halloween treats.
Zombies are taking over the world, at least on TV. Sonia G. Medeiros talks AMC’s The Walking Dead and announces the poll results to best and worst zombie movies ever in The Zombies Have Arrived!
Who can think Halloween without thinking about witches? Personally, I’m a big fan of witches, which is why when Jess Witkins published A Wicked Review of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked (prequel to The Wizard of Oz), I was wickedly intrigued.
While we’re discussing wicked witches, click over to Jillian Dodd’s Halloween special and tell her which of these sexy warlocks can cast a spell on you in her MANday: Warlocks Edition.
How about some television to get us in the mood for Halloween? Besides horror, science fiction provides many haunting stories and far-out costume possibilities, as well as keeps the creatures crawling around the screens spooking us. Not sure what sci-fi to watch? Check out Amanda Rudd’s series: Top 10 SciFi Television Shows Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Skeptical that sci-fi and Halloween go hand-in-hand? Michael Myer’s mask in the Halloween movies was adapted from a Captain Kirk Halloween mask. No joke.
Speaking of haunting TV, who’s watching FX’s new show, American Horror Story? Creepy….check out Lauralynn Elliot’s thoughts on her blog post of the same name, American Horror Story.
Do you believe in vampires? They’re fictional, eh? Read Stacy Green’s post The Vampire of Sacramento and tell me if you change your mind.
Speaking of vampires, visit Jillian Dodd’s blog and vote for which of these hot television and cinematic bad boys with bite can snuggle up and take a nibble out of your neck on her MANday: Vampire Edition.
Finally, it wouldn’t be Halloween without a few hauntings….
Was the home of one of the sexiest men in Hollywood haunted? Check out Errol Flynn’s Ghost by Catie Rhodes – would you stay the night in Mulholland Farm if the house hadn’t been destroyed?
What are two of the creepiest establishments associated with hauntings? Insane Asylums and Prisons. Stacy Green educates us on America’s Most Haunted Prison, and it’s not Alcatraz.
What does Halloween mean to you? Do you dress up in costume and go trick or treating? What are some of your favorite Halloween pastimes and crafts? Do you have any favorite Halloween recipes or ghost stories to share? I’d love to hear from you!
Come back next week for a Friday FaBOOolousness Boo Factor installment –Halloween.