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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ants on a Log

Page-a-day WC - 151 words

Use to have this snack all the time when I was in kindergarten.

Ants on a Log

5 stalks of celery
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup raisins

Cut the celery stalks in half. Spread with peanut butter. Sprinkle with raisins.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Website Aids

Repost from Write Anything:
Page-a-day WC - 161 words

I noticed I haven’t done one of these in a while. This edition is themed. Sometimes, when writing, we find ourselves blocked. Can’t come up with a title, name, setting, whatever. Generators can sometimes help inspire you to push forward or at the very least give you a little chuckle.

1. Random Word Generator (Plus) - you choose a word type (noun, verb, adjective, etc) and complexity (common, average, uncommon, etc) and hit “New Word”.

2. Evil Name Generator - evil spirits, dark gods, and any other evilness

3. Random Plot Generator - Gives you a list of different plots to choose from. Click your browsers refresh button if you want more.

4. Random Band Name - Need a great rock-n-roll band name. Try this one out.

5. The Mafia Name Generator - Try giving your character a mafia name or enter your own name. Mine is Gabriella Testarossa

6. Vampire Name Generator - Your creature of the dark needs a name. Give him/her one.

7. Random Book Title Generator - Don’t know what to name your latest project? Click through these titles a few times and see what you find.

8. Plot Twist Generator - Plot twists keep things spicy and interesting.

9. Horror Movie Plot Generator - I know it says movie plot but could be used for stories and novels.

10. Writing Prompt Generator - This one has several to choose from.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

WooHoo!!!

Page-a-Day WC - 146 words

The lawsuit against Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss, the principal operators of the Writer Beware website has been dismissed! They were being sued by Robert Fletcher and his company, Literary Agent Company for defamation, emotional distress and all that jazz because they posted warnings against their business practices. The suit was dismissed with prejudice March 18 by the Massachusetts Superior Court due to Fletcher's failure to respond to discovery or otherwise prosecute the lawsuit. Of course, that's not the end of it. Ann and Victoria are filing a motion against them for recovery of legal fees. I hope it's granted.

http://www.sfwa.org/news/2009/wbwins.htm

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Terrible Wizard of Oz

Page-a-day WC - 290 words

We all loved Dorothy and her little dog too. But now you can send this fantasy world in to the depths of Hell. There is a call for submissions out for horror stories based on the world of oz. Take this fairy tale and turn it ugly. Payment is $20 and 1 contributor copy paid on publication.

Deadline: June 31st hehe

http://jwschnarr.webs.com/submissions.htm

Monday, March 23, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Apollonian and Dionysian Themes

Page-a-Day WC - 153 words
Write Anything has a whole new look! There are more new things to come. Check it out!


I recently finished reading Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. It’s like the earlier version of his book On Writing except it’s centered on the horror genre: film, TV, books, etc. Throughout Danse Macabre, he discusses Apollonian and Dionysian themes, but what are they?

The Apollonian and Dionysian is a philosophical and literary concept based on parts of ancient Greek mythology. Apollo and Dionysus were sons of Zeus. Apollo was the god of the Sun, light and music. Dionysus was the god of wine, intoxication and ecstasy. In literary terms, Apollonian is the order, while Dionysian is the chaos.

For example, the film The Exorcist begins with a mother and daughter living the suburbs. You see a very order lifestyle where everything makes sense (Apollonian). The moment when you hear the animal-like roar order transitions in to chaos. Sweet Regan was taken over by something darker and Father Karras and Father Merrin come to her rescue, performing the exorcism (Dionysian). You don’t see order come back in to play until the end when you know the beast has been defeated and a drained Regan is placed in the back of a car.

Now it’s your turn. What are the Apollonian and Dionysian themes of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend?

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Know Who Killed Your Career

Page-a-Day WC - 161 words

I watched I Know Who Killed Me last night. Everyone said this movie was bad when it came out but had to see it for myself. OMG! This movie soooo killed her career. Half the time I didn't know what the hell was going on. It was suppose to be about stigmata twins but turned out beyond bad. I think there should have been a warning label: "bury it in the back yard never to be unearthed again." The whole Doublemint twin thing worked fine with Parent Trap. This one should have been left alone. Seriously Lindsay....leave horror to the professionals, ok? Stick with what you know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Poisoned Contest

Catherine Gardner over at The Poisoned Apple has a little contest going. See her little werewolf friend WolfDude is having girl troubles and is now threatening to join the circus. The purpose of this contest is to convince him that circus folk are bad people. First prize is a copy of the Malpractice Anthology and a signed copy of an unknown novella. I have my fingers crossed for the Booby Prize. *grin*

You have until Midnight (GMT) this Friday, March 20th to enter. So, what are you waiting for? Go scare the circus out of him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day


I often write about holiday origins here. To be honest, I think I know less about St. Patrick's Day than any other holidays until now. So, who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and one of Christianity's most widely known figures. Despite his popularity, a lot of what is known about him is false thanks to hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling, that includes the story about him banishing the snakes from Ireland. The story was actually a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Near the end of the fourth century, St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents and is believed to have died on March 17, 460 A.D.

At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. There is some dispute as to where he was kept captive. Many believe he was taken to Mount Slemish in County Antrim, but it's more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala. During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to religion for comfort and became a devout Christian. It is also believed that at this time Patrick first began dreaming to convert the Irish to Christianity.

Patrick escaped after more than six years of being a prisoner. His writings stated that a voice which he believe to be God spoke to him in a dream telling him it was time for him to leave Ireland. In order to do this, he walked 200 miles County Mayo, where he was aid to have been kept as a prisoner, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training that lasted over fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

Familiar with Irish language and culture, Patrick incorporated traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For example, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. He used the shamrock to explain the Trinity. He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity.

The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland but in New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the Irish soldiers to reconnect with their roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army. However, the first time St. Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated in America was in Boston in 1737. In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world.

I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick's Day. If you're planning on drinking, please do it responsibly.


Source: The History Channel


Repost from Ghost Stories
Page-a-day WC - 311 words

Monday, March 16, 2009

Attention Artists!

Page-a-Day WC - 164 words

Monster Librarian posted this bulletin on Myspace:

Spring into Terror Art Contest

MonsterLibrarian. com and a number of other horror fiction review sites are conducting our second annual Spring into Terror horror fiction review project. As part of Spring into Terror we are holding an art contest to celebrate reading horror this spring.

Theme: Reading horror (books or graphic novels)

Deadline for submissions: 4/15/09

Prize: A Spring into Terror grab bag of horror and thriller books including at least one limited edition title.


The criteria for entries are:
File format: JPG
File Size: 2 Megs or Less
Medium: Digital, painting, or illustration
Dimensions: Any, but the larger the picture the larger the file
Send submissions to: monsterlibrarian@monsterlibrarian.com

By submitting art work as part of the contest you are giving MonsterLibrarian. com permission to use the submitted work

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Update

Page-a-Day WC - 650 words

I thought I would update you all on my current writing status. Many people don't stick to their New Years resolutions. I have managed to stick to the only one I made for this year. You may have noticed my daily word count. On occasion, I take a day or two off but nothing longer than that.

I started the year off finishing up a Nano story, "A Tale of Two Sisters 2", from two years ago. I know by the time I start editing that one parts 1 and 2 will be combined in to one. After completing it, I wrote three more stories, not one have titles. Story number three was for AbDWriMo. It's more of a novella than a short story. Not sure if I'll keep it a novella or edited it down to short story size. Currently, I'm finishing up "The Auction", a story that teaches you not to spend some much time on sites like eBay.

March is National Novel Editing Month. Decided it was as good of a time to establish an editing routine. Finished editing "The Not Know". It's a short story I wrote a lifetime ago and the writing surely reflected it, a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes (had the lazy habit of not hitting the spellcheck). The plot sucked....okay the whole thing sucked, but hopefully not anymore. I'm currently editing yet another lifetime ago project. "The List" formally known as "One Wrong Move" is as bad as "The Not Known" structure wise but yet a tad better. It's amazing when you dust off a few of the oldies you see how much you've improved.

As far as submitting, I haven't submitted anything yet this year though I am looking. I'm thinking about trying to get my short story "Tornado Luck" published once or twice more before retiring it. I've been searching for a market to send it to but haven't had much luck. It's amazing how many magazines/ezines don't accept reprints. I'm beginning to think if I get it published for a third time, it'll be the last. Hopefully, when I get an actual working printer, I can get some others sent out. Yes, I edit the old fashion way, red pen and all.

I think that's all I can think of. I hope to have something more to report next month.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Most Annoying

Page-a-day WC - 169 words

I so hate renovations. My mom and Alan picked this weekend to re-do our bathroom. A certain someone took a screwdriver to our bathtub. Therefore we needed a new one. So instead of just replacing the bathtub and nothing else, they decided to work or replace some pipes, move the water heater from one end of the tub to the other and a few other things. This project is suppose to be done before the weekend is over but I'm not banking on that. It probably wouldn't be so bad if the bathroom wasn't right next door to my room. *sigh* Oh well...

Friday, March 13, 2009

When Zombies Attack

Page-a-day WC - 912 words

Today we should be wielding rabbit's feet and four leaf clovers. But furry limbs and plants aren't going to save us this time. Today is International Zombie Awareness Day 2009. That's right. On this day, zombies all over the world are organizing and we are on the menu. What are poor, helpless humans suppose to do?

You could always hunt down a copy of Max Brooks book The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. However, you would most likely die before finding one. There's always the wiki route. Although it is a wiki which aren't known to be the most reliable. That's the difference between life or death. If all else fails, watch a 1950s educational video clip. They know what they are talking about.



GOD HELP US ALL!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rougarou

The Rougarou has various alternate spellings as well as being attached to several cultures: the French, Native American and English. This legend has a werewolf quality to it.

Through the French culture, the Rougarou, or as it is sometimes known as Loup garou, is thought to appear with a human body and head of a dog or wolf. Some stories say it will hunt down Catholics if they don't follow the rules of Lent or break it seven years in a row. Obviously, these stories are told to persuade children to behave. Another legend states, the Rougarou is under a spell for 101 days. After this time has passed, the curse transfers to another person, of which the original is drinking blood from. The former creature turns human once again and goes on living life as normal.

In Native American folktales, the Rugaru is sometimes described as being like bigfoot or a wendigo. Some stories state if you see a Rugaru you turn in to one, and is to wander the Earth forever as this monster. Rugaru is not a Native American term. It is believed they picked it up from French Canadian trappers and/or missionaries. While wendigos are feared, Rugarus are considered more sacred like bigfoots.

The Old English version of this tale was used as inspiration for an episode of Supernatural. This legend dates back to the 16th Century. They considered the Rugaru as more of a genetic defect rather than something you could catch from another person or a spell. Basically, a person with this gene would live a normal life until it becomes active. Then, the creature's bones moves under its skin and it gains an uncontrollable hunger trait, craving raw meat. However, the final transformation wouldn't be attained until the creature takes a bite of human flesh. Then, the skin and eyes seems to rot. There are only two ways to kill a Rugaru: fire and decapitation. The supposed "attacks" have taken place up until 2008. The victim was a child and the Rugaru was scared off by their father. Many missing person cases are believed to be linked with this creature.

Repost from Ghost Stories
Page-a-Day WC - 206 words

Monday, March 09, 2009

Stories of Strength

Tornado season is pounding on the door and I feel the need to plug this. This project started out as a way to contribute to the aid of Katrina victims. In 2005, writers from the Absolute Write forum put together an anthology. Jenna Glatzer, author of the Celine Dion biographer For Keeps, headed up the project with several other authors. The result was Stories of Strength. Contributors include Orson Scott Card, actor Wil Wheaton, Robin Lee Hatcher, Raymond K. Wong, as well as myself. All proceeds go to disaster relief charities.

If you haven't picked up your copy yet, please do. It's for a good cause. Stories of Strength is available on Lulu and Amazon.

Page-a-day WC - 1,301 words

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Read an E-Book Week

Page-a-day WC - 939 words

It's "Read an E-Book Week"! From March 8-14, download yourself an e-book and get to reading. Project Gutenberg has tons of free classics. If you're looking for something different, check out the Read an E-Book Week website for a list of sites containing free e-books: http://www.ebookweek.com/index.html

Friday, March 06, 2009

Boycott

Page-a-day WC - 139 words

I have had serious thoughts about boycotting Wal-mart. They are abusing their power and it must stop. It seems like every time I need something they don't stock it for months or sometimes never again. It's starting to piss me off.

For a while, they didn't have the toothbrush heads for the electronic toothbrush that I had. They stopped carrying the only cough drops I like. Halls Breezers are the only ones that get the job done when needed and doesn't make me gag. Wal-mart doesn't have them anymore. On grocery day, we get these microwavable cheeseburgers and a Cobb salad for dinner. I look forward to it every week. Didn't have either one this week.

Around here, we don't have many grocery shopping options. Wal-mart is pretty much the closest and most convenient store here. The frustrations are mounting though some were subsided by a little treat....this time. While I didn't get my dinner preference, I did get the dessert I've been craving for the last few weeks.


SAMOAS!!! Some little Girl Scouts were selling cookies in front of Wal-mart. God bless them. My mom and Alan (my step-dad) were only going to buy the Thin Mints but generously picked up a box of Samoas for me. Thank you, guys!

So, I'm putting my boycott tendencies on hold....for now.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Don't Be Selfish

Growing up, we didn’t have an abundance of money. My mom worked a multitude of low paying jobs. That and child support, we barely kept our heads above water. Don’t get me wrong. We weren’t homeless poor. We always had what we need which is more than what some can say.

Back in those days, I felt guilty about a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have even worried about. For example, I hated asking my mom for more shampoo when the one in current use wasn’t empty yet. I felt guilty if I had more than a few items on my Christmas list. I hated making Christmas/birthday lists period but was always forced to. I hate asking for things unless I absolutely need it. I feel the same way towards writing.

I read an article in the Sunday edition of Tulsa World about writers being selfish. Some writers are selfish when it comes to advice or providing connections. The publishing world is competitive. Don’t want to give someone a leg up. Help them to get the spot you want and/or deserve. Some may think this is as trivial as me feeling guilty about asking for shampoo, but I can understand such fears.

Personally, I’ve never met a selfish writer. You certainly won’t find them here. We’ve been dishing plenty of advice for the last couple of years. Have you ever met a selfish writer? How would you react to someone who refused to help you in any way? Would you take it personal? If so, why?

Repost from Write Anything

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

McPike Mansion


The McPike Mansion Mist


Built in 1869, architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger crafted a home with sixteen rooms, a vaulted wine cellar, eleven marble fireplaces and beautifully carved banisters in Alton, Illinois. McPike Mansion was home to Henry Guest McPike and his family. A famed horticulturist, he perfect the McPike Grape and became well known across the country.

It is believed the McPike family lived in the mansion up until 1936. Although there may be some discrepancies with the dates. Records state Paul a. Laichinger owned and lived in the house between 1908-1930. Either way, it has been unoccupied since 1950s. The current owners Sharyn and George Luedke bought it at an auction in 1994. They are in the process of restoring it to its former beauty.

There have been many stories told about McPike Mansion. Though some believe a whole army of spirits haunt the place only two have supposedly been identified. One is a female servant of the McPikes which Sharyn has dubbed "Sarah". "Sarah" has been described as the friendly sort, touches and sometimes hugs guests at the mansion. The other spirit is believed to be that of Paul Laichinger. Sharyn has claim to have seen him wearing a striped shirt and tie. She possesses a photograph of Laichinger wearing the same thing.

Above is a clip about McPike Mansion from Worlds Scariest Ghosts Caught on Tape. Visit their website to take a virtual tour of the mansion and more: http://mcpikemansion.com/index.html

Repost from Ghost Stories
Page-a-day WC - 788 words

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Square Root Day

Page-a-day WC - 844 words

Today was Square Root Day! Yay! It's a rare holiday which occurs only when the month and day are the square root of the last two digits of the year i.e. 03/03/09.

I hope you had yourself a little Par-Tay! Win yourself a little extra cash. Do a math problem or two. Whatever!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Hamster Power!

Page-a-day WC - 725 words

Some geniuses with too much time on their hands decided to come up with this clever idea for a more greener vacuum cleaner (whoa..that rhymes). They took one of those Roombas and combined it with hamster power. Placing the furry creature in the plastic ball, it runs in a certain direction and the robotic vacuum cleaner follows its lead. Of course, who could resist the urge to display this wonderful creation on YouTube? A few problems with this.

First of all, this may seem environmentally good, but not exactly healthy...for humans anyways. Does allowing a hamster rolling around vacuuming your floor while you sit on your ass, watching Oprah or Desperate Housewives sound healthy to you? Sure the hamster is getting exercise but you aren't.

Secondly, there's no guarantee the hamster will do a good job. There's no point in having a hamster vacuum your floor if it's not going to clean the whole thing. Maybe if it's being chased by a cat. But sounds to me you'll be vacuuming the floor yourself after all said and done.

Last, how long do you think it'll take for the animal rights groups to break out the protests? They jumped down Miss Britney's throat about having elephants in her circus video (not saying she was in the green on this one). They are certainly going to have a problem with this. They are trying to market it as the hamster is getting exercise. They can get the exercise without the vacuum cleaner attached to them. Basically, this idea is turning a hamster in to an animal slave, cleaning the floors in your house. I'm not cool with that.

Here's a challenge to all the inventors in the world. Develop a vacuum cleaner that is great for the environment and doesn't require your household pet to do your dirty work for you.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

AbDWriMo is Over!

Page-a-Day WC - 228 words

The Authors By Design Writing Month is over. My final word count came out to be 20,078. I didn't do as well as some of the others but I have to say I did pretty good. Here is an excerpt for your reading pleasure:

Leaning over hot stoves, the butcher put his culinary talents to work. Added a little of this and that. Then, stirred. Mixed in a few more ingredients and taste tested his creation. More adjustments were made. He moved on to another dish. Anna intended to switch to a difference camera when something caught her eye.

Zooming in, she realized what it was. The grilled cheese sandwich and pie fought for a reappearance. She wanted to dash to a nearby restroom but knew she would be caught. "The stew. I can't believe she would do that. Go that far."

That first night when they arrived, her group sat down to dinner as the current was about to do. "I knew something was off. Who eats stew with a sixteen-piece place setting?" she said. The mere thought made her gag. "I knew the meat tasted funny. I can't believe it. She turned me in to her."

The thought made her want to run from herself. This bĂȘte noire upgraded from murderer to monster. Suddenly, her breath quickened. Her heart pounded. The room began to spin. She felt like her number was up. She escaped murder, dismemberment and being devoured by some unexpected person. She had survived it all when so many didn't. Now a heart attack was going to accomplish what they hadn't.

Now on to National Novel Editing Month!