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 – December’s MarvelOoous Holiday Mashup

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.

Holiday Traditions

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’ To Town, 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?

Kathy Owen poses the question, is Santa Claus a Man of Mystery?

 

Sarah at Classy with a Twist catches the Christmas Spirit and tackles the age-old question – do you believe in Santa?

Donna Newton tells a story from her childhood of Father Christmas and Jingling Bells.

Read about Christmas Down Under with Katy Hulme over at Angela R. Wallace’s blog.

Want to spend Christmas at the Happiest Place on EarthTameri Etherton shares her magical holiday at Disney.

 

Deborah J. Hughes wishes everyone a Merry Christmas or Not over at Ghostly Dramas.

Is the term “Merry Christmas” cultural or religious for you?  See Piper Bayard’s thoughts in Merry Christmas or Happy Water Buffalo Day.

Staying Merry with Parties, Food and Beverage

Jillian Dodd mixes up some tasty Holiday Cocktails.

Kate Wood isbaking up a storm in her kitchen this year.  Check out her Yummy Holiday Treat Ideas.

Tameri Etherton shares her Super Easy and Delicious Holiday Treat with us!

Marji Laine offers up her Top 10 Christmas Party Tips.

Giving Gifts

Alica McKenna Johnson asks, do you give Passive Aggressive Gifts?  I might fall into this category with my nieces and nephews….

Kathy Owen blogs an instructional wrapping video in What’s Your Greatest Gift Wrapping ChallengeHere, Kitty, Kitty.

Crafty?  Lynn Kelley shares her scrapbooking ideas for anyone who is in the mood to make some Homemade Gifts this holiday season.

Ellie Ann Soderstrom lists out her Holiday Gift Guide.  Now this is just too funny!

Stacy Green provides a few off-the-wall holiday gift ideas in her Glovers for Lovers post.

What does Jillian Dodd want for Christmas?  For Sexy Santa to come to town…

Holiday Fun

A girl after my own heart, Liz Schulte reminisces about five of her favorite holiday TV episodes.

Julie Glover asks, Are You a Christmas Person?, in this fun quiz…

What’s your favorite holiday book?  Jennie Bennett guest blogs over at Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project and shares a few of her favorite Holiday Books that actually inspire her to be a better writer.

Catie Rhodes started it, and the idea is just too fun to pass up!  So here’s Ten Random Holiday Things About Catie…

And now, me…

  1. I look forward to midnight every Christmas Eve so that I can put baby Jesus in the manger of our family’s Nativity Set.
  2. I love egg nog.  With alcohol.
  3. 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.
  4. I love to watch the holiday two-hour movies on Lifetime, LMN, and Hallmark with my mom as we wrap Christmas gifts.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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…
  10. 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!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

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 – June’s MarvOoolous Mashup & Blog Awards

This month, fellow writer & Twitter friend, Raelyn Barclay awarded me with my second blogging award – the Versatile Blogger Award.

THANK YOU, Raelyn!  Winning this award for my Tele-Tuesday and Friday FabOoolousness posts means so very much to me.  I hope to share the things that make me say Ooo with others out there, whether it is television, movies, authors, novels, mysteries, or other bloggers.

From now on, anytime someone clicks on the Versatile Blogger Award icon on my site, they will experience Raelyn’s fabOoolous blog!

This award comes with a few fabOoolous rules:

  1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
  2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
  3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
  4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

Before I share seven random facts about me, I first pass the baton.  The Versatile Blog Awards go to:

  1. Amber West
  2. Ellie Ann Soderstrom
  3. Sonia G. Medeiros
  4. Catie Rhodes
  5. Jess Witkins

 Congratulations!

In addition to these 5 versatile blogs, click on these fabOoolous sites in my June edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

What’s the first rule of Author Club?  WRITE a GOOD story! Oh, what a great post by Andrew Mocete.  Brad Pitt even helps him out with the rules….

If you are your TV like Catie Rhodes suggests, I’m in trouble.  My DVR is jam-packed full of random programming – does that mean that my head is jumbled with complete randomness?  Uh-oh…

Bond, James Bond.  Who doesn’t love 007?  Piper Bayard and her partner Holmes break down some of the Bond films in their new series: Classic Spy Films.

Trapped in a city surrounded with zombies, what do you do?  How about Vote Your Own Adventure by Mark Lidstone.

Let’s flip the switch now to grammar.  Remember that class?  Take the Homonym Hell test issued by Girls with Pens.

Sticking with the writing theme, check out the writing series by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, aka The Bookshelf Muse – 7 Deadly Sins of Writing.

My last mashup goes to the great Jenny Hansen.  This week, we celebrated the release of James Rollins’ new novel, The Devil Colony.  On Tuesday, we partied like it was going out of style on Twitter, and Jen deserves a prize for all of her fabOoolous posts.  Check out a few of the devilish blogs she put together for the event:  Devilish Snacks, Devilish Movies, a Devilish Playlist, and a fabOoolous Devilish mashup.

In addition to my awards & mashup, I was “tagged” (kinda like – Tag; You’re It!) by two fellow Twitter friends & bloggers this month.  It may have taken me a while to get to the game, but sure, I’ll play….

First up, Angela Wallace:

Angela tagged me and the rules state that I must answer these questions & tag eight other bloggers.

1. Do you think you’re hot? I’ve never considered myself hot, like most girls I’m sure.  However, when I darkened my naturally blonde hair to a deep red (not fire engine red), something happened.  Blondes have more fun, but men like red heads!  My new hair color definitely compliments my fair skin and light eyes better than the blonde, but I miss my pretty highlights.

2. Upload the picture or wallpaper that you’re using at the moment.

Having fun in a picture booth….

3. When was the last time you ate chicken? Last night; we eat chicken a lot in my house.  This time, I served chicken with cream of mushroom and sautéed garlic & green beans.  It received rave reviews.

4. What song/s have you listened to recently? “Independently Happy” by Blue October.  BO is my motivational music at the gym.

5. What were you thinking as you were doing this? Holy Toledo this is taking forever….

6. Do you have nicknames?  What are they? I’m T-BRAT for those of you who don’t already know.  T-Brat stands for a few different things: Tiffany-Brat (my brother refused to call me Tiffany growing up, I looked more like a Brattney); Tech-Brat (Guns’ Up, Red Raiders!); and, T-bird-Brat (my very first car was a cherry red Ford Thunderbird).

I have another nickname, but in order to keep the blog clean, think the Meredith Brook’s lyrics….”I’m a _____” – You fill in the blank.

Now, I tag 8 friends: Tymothy Longoria, Robyn Sadler, Jennifer Starks, Haley Whitehall, Mia Castile, Nichole Chase, Leah Lozano, and Elizabeth Sogard.

Next, we have Julie Glover

This tag requires me to type the phrase, “Writing is like…..,” and finish it, post it on my  blog, and then tag three other bloggers.

Writing is like….staring out the window and dreaming of all the wonderful things in this world that you’d like to accomplish but having the ability to transcribe those thoughts into words.  Writing is capitalizing on your imagination, taking the journey you’ve always wanted to travel, and silencing the voices in your head.  (Okay, other writers will understand that this doesn’t make me crazy!)

Now I tag –

Amy Thomas, my friend Wordluster on Twitter, and the creator of my Facebook writing group Young Adult Sisters (and Brothers).

Shellie Sakai, my WANA alumnus, and fellow writer in the fabOoolous Round of Words in 80 Days challenge (aka Row80).

Liz Schulte, another fellow writer and Twitter friend who graciously invited me to join HP’s Writing Group on Facebook, as well as the proud author of the new thriller, Dark Corners.  Check it out!  I’m pretty sure Liz is still up in the clouds….as she should be!

Finally, to my 7 fun facts – This time I tackle the top 7 travel destinations on my bucket list:

1.        Italy – specifically Positano, Rome, and Vatican City.  I want to experience the history, the architecture, the food, and the wine – Now, that’s a vacation!

 

2.       Hawaii – any island, just take me to the beach!  Perhaps a trip while Hawaii Five-0 is filming would be best….it might increase my odds of meeting Alex O’Laughlin. 

 

3.       Canada – I’d like to travel at least once to the west (Vancouver) and once to the east (Prince Edward Island).  Anyone with me?

 

4.       The Caribbean – specifically Jamaica and The Bahamas.

 

5.       Paris – do I really have to explain?  What female doesn’t want to travel to Paris?  See the Eifel Tower?  Eat a fresh macaroon and drink a cup of black coffee at a Parisian café?

 

6.       Germany – my great-grandfather emigrated from Germany to New York.  I’d like to experience the land of my ancestors, and participate in the real Oktoberfest.  Beer & Frankfurters, please!

7.       London – like most Americans, I’m infatuated with the Royal family.  I’d like to see Buckingham Palace, the changing of the Queen’s Guards, ride the London Underground, and experience a culture and history we’ll never quite understand in the states.

 

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? Do you have a bucket list of places to travel?  If so, please share!  Leave a comment; I’d love to hear from you!

One final note, if any of the award recipients or tagged bloggers don’t feel like playing, no worries!  I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Friday FabOoolousness – Click & See!

The end of the week snuck up on me so I’ve decided to take this time and publish my first Mash-Up.

What’s a Mash-Up?

Blogs that can’t be missed

Blogs that deserve a click

 Blogs that I recommend

 My Mash-Up ranges from beautiful randomness, to information hot spots.  I hope you’ll click all ten & see!

Monday Mystery Fun: 

Check out Masters of Mystery Monday by K.B. Owen.  She hosts fun facts and quizzes, all about classic mysteries.

Check out all of K.B.’s other posts on her website: http://kbowenmysteries.com/

Perfect Blog for Animal Lovers:

“Bling, Bitches, and Blood” by Amy Shojai – my favorite is Tuesday’s Tips.  You can catch Amy speaking at the OWFI (Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Inc.) conference in Oklahoma City, May 5-6.

Check out all of Amy’s tips at her website:  http://amyshojai.com/

Informational Blogs:

Jen Hansen’s blog is great for writers, the technically challenged, dating, book reviews, and more.   A perfect example, Jen provides step by step instruction on how to schedule a blog’s publishing date and time using Wordpress and Blogger.

Check out all of Jen’s other posts at her blog: http://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com/ 

Piper Bayard’s blog “On Life, Belly Dancing, and Apocalyptic Annihilation” – yes, really – all those things.  I love movies; therefore, I love the Bayard, Holmes, Movie and No Popcorn posts most, but enjoy so many of her apocalyptic pieces too.

Check out the other posts at Piper’s blog: http://piperbayard.wordpress.com/

Peter Saint Clair’s “My Silent Fury” covers everything from mystery fun, to writing tips, to cults, and to crime.  And, as his tag line reads, “whatever the hell else I want.”  This week he featured The Columbine Tragedy and the David Koresh and the Branch Davidians’ anniversary stories.  I’m hooked!

Check out Peter Saint Clair’s other posts at his website: http://mysilentfury.com/

Blogging Randomness and Pure Fun:

Daniel Garner writes of living life in your 30’s on his blog, “Post Thirty Post”.  Plus, he has fabulous guest posts written by my dear friend, Jenn.

Check out all of Daniel’s posts at his blog: http://www.postthirtypost.blogspot.com/

Blogging for Writers:

Social media queen, Kristen Lamb, provides information galore including writing techniques, time management for writers, and social media 101.  Kristen’s Twitter Tuesday posts are perfect for those wanting to stick their toes in, and learn to swim the distance.  Kristen Lamb’s blog addresses all of these topics in a fun, humorous tone.

I credit Kristen, my guru, with throwing me in, and teaching me how to swim (in the pool of social media, that is).  Check out all of Kristen’s posts on her blog: http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/

Blogging for Writers:

The great “How We Write” series, written by Jennifer Holbrook-Talty, and different writing techniques to the same series, “How We Write”, by Anna DeStefano, includes multiple ways to plot, revise, edit, and so much more.  Two ways are always better than one, right?

Check out more of the series, and their posts, on their blog sites: “The Glamorous Life” http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/,  and “Anna Writes” http://www.annawrites.com/

Writing tips galore!  Check out Roni Loren’s Fiction Groupie.  R The Ten Commandments of the Successful Author or The Author Bio – Six Important Components.

Check out all of Roni’s posts on her blog:  http://fictiongroupie.blogspot.com/

What’s your favorite blog that you absolutely can’t miss?  I’d love to hear from you!