Friday, October 17, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-October 17, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

There's another round of illness ravaging my house.  My son Jude developed some swelling in his neck, and out of concern, my husband took him to the emergency room in the middle of the night last night.  Fortunately, after two CAT scans, the doctors determined that it's just lymph node swelling caused by a generic virus (which is what I thought it was all along, so I'll happily accept my medical degree right now, thank you).  Though he didn't get home until 3 A.M. and was clearly sleep deprived as a result, Jude managed to have a good time at the hospital.  The doctors and nurses thought he was the cutest thing ever, and they entertained him by dressing him as a doctor.  There's even photographic evidence.

Adorable, right?  He even got to take the gear home, so he can play doctor while he recovers.

We're planning on carving a pumpkin with my dad on Sunday, so that should be fun. We'll also be carving more pumpkins the following weekend.  I may eventually share some pictures if they turn out okay.

What would you like to celebrate?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Express Yourself: Halloween Plans

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: Do you have any Halloween plans?

Most of my Halloween plans are pretty standard.  My boys are planning to be pirates for Halloween, and I'll take them trick-or-treating like usual.  I have to finish making their costumes soon.  We'll also be carving pumpkins.  I've already worked on coming up with a cool design to carve this year.

The weekend before Halloween, my husband and I might go to a haunted house.  We probably won't take the kids this year.  In the years to come, we'll bring them along, but it might still be a bit too spooky for them at this age.

I also plan to participate in this year's Spooktoberfest, which is a great way to get into the Halloween mood.

What are your Halloween plans?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew

If you're here to Celebrate the Small Things, you can find that post HERE.

In celebration of the return of The Walking Dead, a triad of lovely ladies are hosting the Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew Blog Hop.  Let's thank Jackie @ Bouquet of Books, Dani @ Entertaining Interests, and Mina @ Some Dark Romantic for making this possible.

To help build your zombie apocalypse dream team and survival kit, you'll need to pick ONE person and/or ONE item for each of the topics listed in the below categories.

(Items you already have on your person: undergarments, shirt, bottoms, socks, tennis shoes & a backpack. If you want special shoes and/or boots, jackets, belt, etc., those are extra and will need to be listed for one of your items below.)

And since this bloghop is all about having fun, if you have kiddos and/or pets, we can assume they are safely tucked away in a safe haven while we’re out in the world fighting off zombies, so do not worry.

With the characters below, please include the book, movie, & TV show they stem from.

The Walking Dead character (crew member #1) is the only one that needs to be from a zombie themed entertainment outlet, but please feel free to choose characters from your other favorite books/movies/tv. They may or may not be zombie related. It's all up to you. Just let your imagination flow!

Now we know the basic rules.  Here is my zombie survival kit and crew!  It may not be perfect, but it will at least be interesting!

1 TWD Character-
     Daryl Dixon.  He's badass and you gotta have those crossbow skills.
1 Book Character-
     Hermione Granger (from Harry Potter in case anyone didn't know).  She's smart, she's well-prepared, and she's good with logic and planning.  You need at least one person in any group who's good at that sort of thing.  She can also do magic, so she's essential to our team.
1 Movie Character-
    Captain Jack Sparrow (from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies).  He's unpredictable and frequently lands himself in sticky situations, but he always finds crazy, unconventional ways to get himself back out again.  That could be useful.
1 TV Character-
     Lyta Alexander (from Babylon 5).  She has wickedly powerful psychic skills.  You definitely don't want her working against you.  Plus, she's a redhead.  Don't get on her bad side!
1 loved one-
     My husband Jamon.  The kids, by some stroke of luck, hidden away somewhere safe.  He'll be good to have around for company, and he's well-versed on all things zombie related.
1 friend-
     Josh.  He's a friend of Jamon's from high school, and he is also well-versed in all things zombified.  I've seen him kill zombies in video games enough times to know that he would be useful.  You should see how many zombies he can wipe out with an auger.
1 freebie-
     Susan Ivanova (also from Babylon 5).  She's tough, smart, and she doesn't take no for an answer.

1 comfort item-
     Notebook.  If you can count a notebook and pencil as one item, then I claim the pencil too.  However, if I can't, I'll use blood or mud or something.  Gross, maybe, but I can't give up writing altogether.  Just not happening.
1 weapon-
     Sword.  I always wanted an excuse to learn to use one.  It's quiet, and it has better reach than a knife.  The second I have to get too close to a walker to kill it, something bad is going to happen to me.  I just know it.
1 luxury item-
     Coffee.  Can't give that up.  It may not be easy to brew coffee while on the run from walkers, but I'll figure it out.
1 food item-
     Chocolate covered raisins.  If I'm going to be facing death every day, I have to be stocked up on this one.  I have a weakness for them.  Don't know why, but I do.
1 medicine/first aid item-
     Medical masks.  The illness that has been causing zombification seems to be airborne, so this seems like a practical way of dealing with it.  Zombie bites will become infected and kill you, but a sneeze in the face will also do it.
1 hygiene item-
     Toothpaste.  Sure, I don't want to reek, but having my teeth rot out during the zombie apocalypse seems like a bad move on my part.  It would complicate eating far too much for my taste.
1 freebie-
     Duct tape.  They say it can be used for anything, right?

     We've been using a castle as our homebase.  Castello di Amorosa in California, to be specific.  It's a good location with solid stone walls, and there's a lot of wine here.  That makes our evenings more tolerable, for sure.
Image courtesy of Jim G./
     We're not sure how widespread the outbreak is, but we haven't seen any signs of civilization for awhile.  We heard rumors that it's been contained to the western half of the United States so far through a strict quarantine, but we have no way of being sure at this point.
Cause of it-
     An unknown illness seems to be the cause.  The initial symptoms are odd.  The infected person's skin first turns an odd greenish hue, and profuse vomiting soon follows.  Clinical death is closely followed by an insatiable hunger for human flesh.
     Interestingly, zombies seem to be going for the neck of their victims first.  This has complicated dating, as we're now wary of letting anyone's mouths near o
Cure (if applicable)-
     There is no cure for the illness itself, though I hope someone truly is out there searching for one.  As for the zombification part of it, the only sure cure for that is an axe to the neck.
1 item you NEED to find-
     A new chess board.  The one we have here has 3 missing pieces.  Hey, you may think that doesn't count as a need, but without adequate entertainment, people start messing with each other.  And nothing is more irritating than a game with missing pieces.
1 item you WANT to find-
     I want a gallon of chocolate ice cream.  Sure, it may not be necessary for survival in any way, but lack of refrigeration has left me deprived of yumminess for far too long.
Method of travel-
     When we need to go for supplies, we sometimes go by car, though we also have some horses for reversing rough terrain.   Hermione uses her broom and a borrowed invisibility cloak for covert trips when needed.

Celebrate the Small Things-October 10, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I'm proud to play co-host, along with these other lovely bloggers:

Diana Wilder
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

I'm celebrating the fact that my birthday is tomorrow.  I'm going to bake myself a cake, so I've been searching for good recipes.  My husband originally offered to bake it for me, but his culinary skills are somewhat limited.  Instead, he's agreed to wash the dishes that result.  I'm more than happy to take that trade-off.  I enjoy baking anyway. I also need to figure out what I want to eat for my birthday dinner.  Decisions, decisions.

I'm enjoying the weather.  There is a fall-like chill in the air, but it's still warm enough to enjoy time outside.  I'm hoping it sticks around for awhile.

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Express Yourself: Scary Movie/Book

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: What's the scariest book/movie you've read/watched?

That's a tricky one for me since movies and books don't scare me all that easily.  I enjoy them, but I don't necessarily find them scary.  There are, however, some stories that have a particularly frightening premise behind them.

The film A Nightmare on Elm Street takes away one of the most fundamental requirements of life: the ability to sleep.  A killer unleashing himself upon your dreams is, thankfully, not possible, but it makes for a scary story. How long can anyone go without sleep without going insane?  How can you protect yourself while in such a vulnerable position?

Any strong horror story knows how to tap into those vulnerable parts of being human, and this film did it well.

What movies/books scare you?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-October 3, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I am one of four co-hosts.  My fellow co-hosts are:

Diana Wilder
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

The weather is getting colder here, but along with that comes the beauty of falling leaves.  I also plan to have some hot chocolate or hot apple cider (possibly both) soon to welcome the season.  My birthday is next week, and Halloween is coming up soon, so there's a lot to look forward to.  My boys have school pictures next week as well, so I get to have fun deciding what outfits they're going to wear for that.

I had a fun day out with just my dad last Sunday.  As much as I adore my kids, it's good to get away from them from time to time.  We went to a musical performance at a local winery, then we had dinner at an Indian restaurant.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: October 2014

Is it the first Wednesday of the month already?  That means it's time for the next meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Thanks to our wonderful leader Alex J. Cavanaugh for making these monthly gatherings possible.

His co-hosts for this month are Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue.

This is a special month because the IWSG website has now been in existence for one year! Woohoo!  To celebrate, the writers of IWSG are getting together to create an ebook-The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond-as a resource for writers.  This is a worthy project, and I knew I wanted to contribute something.

Then my insecurities started nagging at me, hence why I'm posting so late today.  No matter what I wrote, I questioned whether I had anything worthwhile to contribute. At the end of the day, this is what I came up with.  I think I wrote this particular entry today because it's what I needed to remind myself of to get my confidence back.  I hope it works.

*     *     *

Title: You Are a Writer
Topic: Marketing
Name: L.G. Keltner

So you love writing, but you haven’t yet achieved publication.  All writers start out this way, and there are bound to be moments of serious doubt.  Lingering doubts can make it difficult to put words to paper or hold us back from sharing those words with the world. 
Here’s something important that all writers should bear in mind.  Being a writer isn’t just something you do.  It’s an identity you inhabit.  Even when you’re unpublished, or struggling with the confidence to produce good work, you can still very much be a writer.
Do you see every strange situation you encounter as a potential story?  Do you find yourself looking at people who catch your eye and wonder about the story of their life?  Do you feel like something is missing from your life if you aren’t writing?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may in fact be a writer, regardless of your publishing history.
Writers spend a lot of time learning how to market themselves and their work to the world.  Social media and blogging are excellent tools for this.  However, many people seem to forget one crucial element.  You need to market yourself as a writer . . . to yourself.
If you know you are a writer, then declare that to the world.  When you say that you’re aspiring to be a writer, you’re telling yourself that you’re not yet worthy of that distinction.  You may aspire to share your writing with the world, but the seal of approval publishing provides does not make you a writer.  You do.
In those times of uncertainty, tell yourself “I am a writer, and I can do this.”  Convince yourself, and you'll soon convince everyone else around you.

(I give permission for this to be used in the IWSG anthology)