Friday FaBOOolousness –MarvelOoous Mashups in the New Year

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.

One demon I wouldn’t mind battling while writing…okay, so he’s not a “writing” demon.

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…

With Sandra Brown at DFWcon 2011

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!

Looks good to me!

Ever enjoyed a Cupcake MartiniJillian 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.

Amazing!

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!

Friday FabOoolousness – September Awards & Mashup

This month, my wonderful writer & Twitter friends awarded me with a few new blogging awards.

Gene Lempp and the magnificent Girls with Pens duo awarded me the Liebster Blog Award.

Liebster is the German word for beloved person.  I have developed close friendships with Gene and Marcy Kennedy (one of the Girls with Pens), even though we’ve never met in real life.  They are two of the most supportive writing friends a girl could have, and I look forward to their tweets, emails, posts, and smiles every day.

Thanks, Gene & Marcy!

In turn, I award these great blogging friends with the Liebster Award: Andrew Mocete, Amber West, Jen L. Kirchner.  You are my liebsters.

Tia Bach awarded me the Kreativ Blogger award.

Tia’s blog, Depression Cookies, is a wonderful place to visit.  The website is truly a family affair – Tia writes posts along with her mother and the site was designed by her sister.  Check it out!

Thanks, Tia!

I’ve had the pleasure to meet many creative bloggers over the past few months, but I can’t help but award Ellie Ann Soderstrom with this Kreativ Blogger award.  Her blog is wonderful – if you haven’t already checked it out, you must!  Ellie is so creative, that she writes her very own Tall Tales.

Lynn Kelley awarded me the One to Follow award.

Without a doubt, Lynn is one to follow.  Her blog is so much fun.  She shares pictures of her family, she introduces other writers and their works, and she vlogs (video blog).

Thanks, Lynn!

Who do I feel are the ones to follow?  I highly recommend Roni Loren, Kait Nolan, and Piper Bayard.  Seriously, just follow these wonderful women.

Ashley E. Prince  and Amanda Rudd awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thanks, ladies!

Nothing says versatile like Kathy Owen and Amy Shojai.  Kathy takes us back through history with wonderful mysteries and trends in fashion, while Amy is my certified pet guru, a vloger, and she writes fiction!

Like with most of the blogging awards floating through cyber-space, these awards come with a few rules.  Just a few weeks ago I posted ten random things about myself, therefore I am skipping that rule.  Instead, I am passing these awards directly to my wonderful blogging friends.

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 receiving awards, be sure to click on the sites below featured in the September edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: FabOoolous writerly posts

How does one prepare for success?  Jill Kemerer tells us how in this great three-part series – Part one: The Mental Game; Part two: Writing; and Part three: Standing Out.

Writers, do we want to be arrested for POV Prostitution?  I think not!  Check out this great post by Kristen Lamb.

As writers, we must always continue learning the craft.  Check out these three very important elements to writing: Contrast, Details, and Emotion by Phillip Creighton via Jenni Holbrook Talty’s blog. 

PART II: Just because they’re fabOoolous

What are some of the Best and Worst Movies of 2008?  Check out Lyn Midnight’s Secrets of Zelda.

Stacy Green shares a very disturbing true crime murder story in London with the Face of Pure Evil – Mary Bell.

Ever wonder exactly how rock bands get their namesJulie Glover investigates…..

Have you ever played with a Ouija board? Catie Rhodes teaches us The History of the Ouija Board.

 

Have a favorite movie or television star that you miss seeing on the big screen?  Ellie Soderstrom shares her list in Hire Them Hollywood!

Who didn’t read fairy tales when they were younger?  Sonia Medeiros breaks down Little Red Riding Hood in this two-part series: Never Stray and In The Company of Wolves.

Who are a few of your favorite fabOoolous bloggers?  Do you prefer to read posts about writing or fun miscellaneous reads?   I’d love to hear from you!  Happy Friday FabOolousness everyone! 

Friday FabOoolousness – August’s MarvelOoous Mashups and Blog Awards

This month, fellow writer & Twitter friend, Angela R. Wallace awarded me with a very fun blogging award – the Blog on Fire Award.

THANK YOU, Angela!  Winning this award for my posts means so very much to me.  I love the color red, and I love to light candles, so why not set the blog ablaze?  Well, I don’t want to burn it, but I’m definitely adding the fun badge to my homepage!

From now on, anytime someone clicks on the Blog on Fire Award icon on my site, they will experience Angela’s fabOoolous blog!  While you’re there, be sure and check out her post, My First Vampire.

The fun thing about this award is that I’m supposed to rattle off seven random things about myself.  But before I do, I want to award this honor to my fellow writing friend and She-Writes member, Jillian Dodd.

Jill is new to the blogging world, and her blog is on fire!  Just a few weeks in, she’s blogging three times a week – check out a few of my favorites.

The Bad Boys of Monday’s MANday Who would you choose?

Freaky Friday’s film Review of The Change Up starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman.  Jill’s review chart is quite fun!

In addition to the fabOoolous blogs by Angela and Jill, be sure to click on these sites featured in the August edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: FabOoolous writerly posts

Every writer wants to know how to take their written words to the next level.  Check out Market Your Novel, a guest post by Donna Galanti via Stacy Green’s fabOoolous blog.

In addition to the manuscript and query, writers need a synopsis.  Roni Loren offers five helpful tips to get us through the Not So Dreaded Synopsis.

Every writer wants and needs to hook the reader.  Catie Rhodes helps us Get the Ball Rolling with our inciting incident by offering a few movie references as examples.

Amy Romine shares her realization that the word “writing” and the word “exercise” are interchangeable.  After all, Writing is Exercise for the Brain.

 PART II: Just because they’re fabOoolous

Julie Glover helps decipher a few British terms with American translations in The Queen’s LanguageUse your favorite in a sentence below in the comments section.  Bloody Brilliant.

Who doesn’t like to laugh?  Jess Witkins reminds us of a few television sitcoms that Make us Snicker.  That reminds me – I must queue up Freaks and Geeks on Netflix….

 

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you see the world ‘Rebel’?  That’s what I thought – James Dean.  Catie Rhodes remembers the young talent gone too soon, and explores The Curse of Little Bastard.

 

Hobbits – are they primitive, futuristic, or Tolkein’s creation?  Gene Lempp researches the mythology of Hobbits and Pygmy Elephants.

Once Upon a Time….  Sonia G. Medeiros revisits the fairy tales that captured our imaginations as children.  Watch for her new blog series!  What’s your favorite fairy tale?

What were the best and worst movies of 2009?  Lyn Midnight reveals in the Secrets of ZeldaWhat didn’t make the list?

Manon Eileen feels that drug criminality is the most interesting field of criminology, and she recommends these 10 Drug Movies for our entertainment pleasure.   What film would you add?

And, now seven random things about me.  Enjoy!

1 – I name my cars.  My first car was a 1993 Red Thunderbird named Scarlett from my mother’s favorite movie, Gone With the Wind.  Today, I drive the car that most females in Texas drive – my Black Beauty, a 2003 Yukon.  She’s really a dark shade of grey that sparkles like the Texas Tech football helmets when the sun shines on her.  What, you don’t name your car?

 

2 – I’m naturally blonde, technically strawberry blonde.  Most of the online universe is fooled by my recently darkened hair courtesy of my profile pictures.

3 – I’m overly competitive.  In school, I had to be the first one done with the tests AND I’d be upset if I didn’t score a perfect 100% on each one.  Because of this, I actually gave myself a stomach ulcer from self-imposed stress at eight years old.   Okay, maybe I didn’t give myself an ulcer, but I coincidentally was diagnosed by the pediatrician as having an ulcer around the very same time I realized that I wanted to be perfect.  It took me a while to realize that perfect isn’t possible – we all just have to be our very best.

 

4 – I love monkeys.  My favorites are the See No, Hear No, Speak No Evil Monkeys.  Ironically, one of my favorite episodes of Charmed is when a spirit steals a sense from each of the sisters using evil monkey magic – Phoebe loses her hearing; Paige loses her voice; and, Piper loses her vision.

 

5 – If I’m ever brave enough to get a tattoo, it will be of the triqueta – also known to fellow Charmed fans as the symbol on the Book of Shadows.  Where?  The inside of my left wrist so that my watch can cover it up when necessary.

Or, maybe I’ll get an Ankh Cross?  I can’t decide, and it doesn’t help that I’m absolutely terrified of the pain from the constant sticking of the tattoo needle.  Maybe I’ll just stick to my Henna tattoos?  They are painless, and they wash off after two weeks, another bonus.

6 – I quit the game of basketball after one hellacious week at Lady Raider Basketball camp.  The camp came as my first trip back to the court after dislocating my knee cap (I had to wear an awful pink knee brace for what felt like forever), but the final straw was when another girl elbowed me in the mouth and my upper lip got stuck underneath my braces.  The head trainer at Texas Tech University had to pull my lip out.  Isn’t basketball a non-contact sport?

Isn’t the knee brace awesome?

7 – I hate to get dirty, especially my hands and fingernails.  Even as a child, I’d cry and run to the nearest adult and beg them to help me wash my hands.  I’m quite certain that I bawled my eyes out when my parents pushed my hand into my first birthday cake.  I don’t remember, but that’s what they tell me.

Knowing that I didn’t like to get dirty, my cousin used to throw dirt on me just to watch me squirm.  Don’t worry; I got her back….plus some!  Love you, Ali!  Perhaps my parents should have seen this as one of the early stages of OCD.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m Monkish, right?  Man, I really miss Monk.

 

Who are a few of your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? What’s a random fact about you that you’d like to share?  Do you have any tattoos, if so what and where? What’s your favorite fairy tale, and do you like any of the recent cinematic releases? Do you agree with Lyn’s best and worst movie list of 2009?  What drug film should Manon watch that she didn’t list on her blog?  I’d love to hear from you!  Happy Friday FabOolousness everyone! 

Friday FabOoolousness – The “Kiss and Kill Murder”

The time was 1961, and the place was Odessa, Texas.  High school football was king, and still is today.

In the ‘60s, teenagers lived for their weekly pep-rallies and frequent trips to Tommy’s Drive-In for their ice-cold cherry cokes.

Teens also spared no expense in driving up and down the strip, or cruisin’ as it was called.  After all, gas was cheap back then.

Teenage girls appeared innocent with their ponytails, bobby-socks, and penny-loafer shoes.

Not seventeen year old Betty Williams.

Elizabeth J. Williams lived with devout Christian parents.  Her father prohibited her from normal teenage activities such as dating and seeing movies, especially anything with Elvis Presley.

What sometimes happens with overly protective parents? Betty defied the rules.

She was flirtatious, and sometimes aggressive with the boys.  She mocked teachers and other girls, and didn’t shy away from making inappropriate comments.  She would wear tight clothing revealing more than she should, and she just didn’t care – outwardly, anyway.

Betty dreamed of leaving Odessa and becoming an actress, but her reputation stood in the way of her dreams.  She was overlooked during the casting of Our Town as “Emily” because she wasn’t innocent enough, but not being cast in Winterset really upset Betty.

Mack Herring was cast in Winterset, as “Garth” – the killer.  Mack played football at Odessa High School, and was Betty’s ex-boyfriend, many times removed.

The two teens had a tumultuous relationship.  They fought constantly, but couldn’t stay away from each other.  Publicly though, Mack refused to be seen with Betty.

After losing Mack and the play, Betty did the unthinkable.  She asked to die.  According to friends, she asked quite a few girls in class to kill her.  The girls of course didn’t take her seriously; Betty was an actress.

Late at night on March 21, 1961, Betty rode with Mack to a stock pond outside Odessa wearing only her pink pajamas.  Being a perfect gentleman, Mack helped Betty down out of his jeep and wrapped his red and white letter jacket around her to keep her warm.  The two walked together to the pond, where she asked for a kiss.

The two teens kissed, and Betty knelt down in front of Mack on the ground where he had removed the rocks and pebbles for her.

Mack picked up the 12-guage shot-gun that he had brought with them, held it to her head, and pulled the trigger after Betty said, “Now.”

From “Washed in the Blood” p. 84, 2004, Bristol Publishing Company

After a few days, Mack led the police out to the scene of the crime.  He immediately pointed to the stock pond where he had placed Betty’s body, remembering the exact location because he had centered himself between two mesquite trees before putting her into the water.

Mack never denied planning the murder or killing Betty.

Needless to say, murder charges were brought against Mack and his trial began in February, 1962.  Although he wasn’t the star athlete, the trial gave him celebrity status.  High school girls, known as “Mack’s Girls” filled the courtroom to support him.

The media soon named the shooting, “The Kiss and Kill Murder.”

The trial took place in Winkler County, since the stock pond was physically located within Winkler’s county lines.  Former Odessa District Attorney, Warren Burnett served as Mack’s defense attorney, while Andrews’ County District Attorney, Dan Sullivan represented the state.

In opening statements, Burnett clearly indicated that he had no intentions of disputing the murderous plot, or the fact that his client shot and killed Betty Williams.  He did, however, shock the courtroom when he announced that the court must first prove Mack’s sanity at the time of the murder.

Burnett continued to rock the courtroom when he introduced an apparent suicide letter written by Betty:

“I want everyone to know that what I am about to do no way implicates anyone else.  I say this to make sure that no blame falls on anyone other than myself.

“I have depressing problems that concern, for the most part, myself.  I am waging a war within myself, a war to find the true me and I fear that I am losing the battle.

“So rather than admit defeat I am going to beat a quick retreat into the no man’s land of death. As I have only the will and not the fortitude necessary, a friend of mine, seeing how great is my torment, has graciously consented to look after the details.

“His name is Mack Herring and I pray that he will not have to suffer for what he is doing for my sake. I take upon myself all the blame, for it lies on me alone.” – Betty Williams (Washed in the Blood, p 102-103).

Burnett called other classmates of Betty’s to the stand to testify that she also approached them for assistance in her death.  His star witness, psychiatrist Dr. Marvin Grice, testified that after Betty repeatedly asked Mack to kill her, Mack lost his ability to reason and agreed.

On Saturday, February 25, 1962, the jury found Mack Herring innocent by reason of temporary insanity.  The result was the same later that year when Mack’s sanity was tried again, this time in Beaumont, Texas by the Texas Supreme Court.

No one really won in this case. Betty was gone, and Mack’s life would never be the same again.  While Mack was looked at as a star during his trial, the celebrity faded and he slowly became a pariah.

Betty is still known around town as the “Ghost of Odessa High School” where she lingers around the school’s theatre.  She’s also known as “The Original Drama Mama.”

For more about the tragic story of Betty Williams, read Washed in the Blood, a novel written by her cousin, Shelton Williams.

Shelton “Shelly” Williams attended the high school across town at the time of his cousin’s murder.  He was actually a classmate of my mother’s and my aunt’s, which is one reason why I’m so intrigued by this story.   Washed in the Blood is a fabOoolous read, and I highly recommend to anyone that loves true-crime stories.

It was rumored that Hollywood, including actress Moira Kelly (Twin Peaks, Cutting Edge, and One Tree Hill), was interested in adapting Betty’s story to a screen play.  I’m not sure where the project is today, but I can only hope to see it come to fruition one day.

Were you familiar with the “Kiss and Kill Murder”?  Did you know of any particular person during your high school years that resembled misunderstood youth similar to Betty?  Do you think Mack was indeed temporarily insane?  What true-crime story has affected you?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, to lighten the mood, check out Lyn Midnight’s post – The Blog of Fame: Google Brain Farts.  Oh, how search engines amaze…

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