Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome, Baby Punkin!

My daughter the night before

Born Friday, Aug. 26, 2011
It's a BOY!
Logan Christopher
7 lbs., 8 oz. 
19 1/2 inches long

The name Logan is in honor of his daddy's great-grandfather, who drowned in a boating accident. His middle name is in honor of daddy's best friend, who passed away suddenly from meningitis a few years ago and is still missed dearly. 

I have a grandson! He looks like his daddy.

They got home from the hospital tonight. She had a c-section. They've had about five hours sleep the past three days. Grammy to the rescue tomorrow to help the weary parents out. I don't know when I'll get back to blogging, but as soon as I get that monkey and its stinkin' wrench off my back (gotta get my work done while baby is sleeping), I'll catch up with your posts. 

My question for all of you:  How have you been sleeping lately? I hope all is well, and I wish you peaceful dreams.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cyclops Clyde - Told By Ma Cob

Here she is, Ma Cob, with her chilling new makeover.

Last week's post featured Ma looking strange and goofy, but far from macabre. Now this creepiest storyteller in cyberspace looks the part as she tells Cyclops Clyde, first short story in Trio of Haunting Tales. 

Cyclops Clyde
The Monster in Your Computer!

As you can see, it's almost 7 minutes long. Let's face it, many of you are short on time. If you're in a rush, I hope you'll keep Cyclops Clyde in mind for upcoming Halloween gatherings. It's a fun, scary tale for kids.

Teachers - Please Note: This story is a good tool for teaching alliteration.

It's been a heck of a week dealing with a big honkin' monkey wrench, and I'm way behind in everything. So much for trying to tie up all those loose ends before my new grandbaby, Punkin, makes his/her big debut into our wonderful, wild and wacky world. Any day now. (Told you last week I'm on an alliteration kick!)

In the meantime, I'll try to catch up with everyone's blogs.

One last thought: I realize many kids don't like spooky stories, but it seems like most of them do. Do you? Why do you think kids like scary stuff?

Would you believe I'm a big scaredy cat? Yep. There's got to be a bit of humor in order for me to deal with that stuff!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ma Cob - Creepiest Storyteller in Cyberspace

If you've been following my blog, you know I'm a cyberspace-cadet. I warned you in my profile. Back when I was a court reporter, I had to hide my kooky side and present myself as a professional.

Here, in my little corner of the web, I'm taking a huge risk by exposing my quirkiness. It could all blow up and I'll have to dig a black hole to crawl into.

I hope you'll bear with me as I share another vlog with you. It's out takes of the first attempt to read my short story, "Cyclops Clyde." I named the storyteller Ma Cob, but she wasn't spooky looking at all, just weird, and needed an overhaul.

I'll post that one next week, and that'll be the last vlog I do for a while because my new grandbaby (nicknamed Punkin since we don't know the sex yet) will be arriving in a week! I'm trying to contain my excitement. Do you think it's a boy or a girl?

Anyway, here's the first version of Ma Cob. The stupid hairdo wore me out. By the time I started recording, I was tired, tongue tied, and kept messing up. Over and over. The whole thing would have been a waste of time, except for a few silly out takes that might put a smile on your face.
Ma Cob attempting to read "Cyclops Clyde."

I don't know which vlog is riskier, this one or next week's, where Ma Cob's makeover is so creepy, I even scare myself.

Here's a peek:

Ma Cob's new look - Creepiest Storyteller in Cyberspace

Forget all those phooey ponytails that made my arms ache and my hand cramp. A wig takes a couple seconds to pull on. Shazam! 

Mo' makeup gave Ma a creepy-crawly effect. Oh, and check out that manicure. Fake nails at a penny apiece, what a bargain. (Can you tell I'm on an alliteration kick? It kinda goes with the story.) 

How do you feel about climbing out of your comfort zone in your blog posts, your writing, or elsewhere? Do you wonder if you should be more low key? I think that's good if it's being true to who you are, but what if it's not? I LOVE your comments, even if it's just a, "Hello, weirdo!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Trailer for "Trio of Haunting Tales"

Below is the trailer for my eBook, which offers three short, scary stories for kids who love spine-tingling fiction. Great for reading aloud at ghost-story gatherings, such as sleepovers, around a campfire, in the classroom, or at home for a night of spooky, family fun. 
Do you like Zombie Loo's new look?

Zombie Loo needed a makeover after my first attempt at the trailer. Here's the post with some of the out takes in case you missed it last week. 

Wild Hairy the Werewolf appears in this trailer, too. Each monster attempts to read "Cyclops Clyde," first story in the eBook, but they don't quite cut it. Watch and see why. 

Cyclops Clyde, a freaky computer monster, wreaks havoc both on and off screen, taunting and paralyzing his victim. (This story is a good tool for teaching alliteration.)

In Night of the Howling Werewolf, Eric Lung searches out the bullies who jumped his best friend, Ben, and stole his bike. Things get weird on Slaughter Hill, the bullies’ favorite hangout. 

Ghost Warrior kicks the fright factor up and will creep out even the bravest of souls. Connie worked overtime and now worries that she’ll be punished with extra pushups for being late to karate class, but pushups become the least of her problems when rival ghost gangs that haunt the parking structure claim first dibs on this mortal prey.

If you'd like to download TRIO OF HAUNTING TALES for 99 cents, the links are in the sidebar.

The next post will feature out takes of Ma Cob's attempts to read "Cyclops Clyde."

Ma Cob needs a remake, too. She's just not scary enough.

See what I mean? Plus, she kept messing up the words and needs to memorize the story. Talk about tongue tied. Hmm, another good example of alliteration.

So, wish me luck finding a spooky look for Ma Cob and making the new video.

I'm going to WriteOnCon for the first time. Have you ever gone to it? Do you have any tips for me?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Out Takes of My Attempt at a Book Trailer

Do you think lip-gloss is a good enough adhesive for candy eyeballs to stick to your eyelids?

Watch my vlog of out takes from my first attempt at making a book trailer for my eBook, Trio of Haunting Tales – Spooky Short Stories, and then you’ll be able to answer the question.

Now, I know some of you might be wondering why I didn’t use spirit gum. For one thing, I don’t have any. Even if I did, I wouldn’t risk using it on my eyelids.

Yes, it’s great for clown noses, but eyes are delicate and sensitive. It was risky using lip-gloss. Especially the thick, glittery kind. Not too swift, now that I think about it.

As far as the trailer, I finally finished it. I’ll share it in my next post. It was way more work than I bargained for. Zombie Loo’s makeup barely showed up in this video (due to the lighting, I finally figured out) so I had to redo her part the next day.

Mo’ makeup, turn off the ceiling light, close the blinds – Voila! Much better, though far from perfect. 

I still have a lot to learn. Pancake makeup might work better, but I’ve never tried it. Do any of you know if it works well, or is it slimy and greasy like some types of clown makeup? In my experience, clown makeup, even the nongreasy kind, is messy and gross and doesn’t make for a happy clown.

Instead, I used eye shadow all over my face. Why, yes, it’s quite itchy. So is clown makeup. And, yes, it does clog your pores. Takes a lot of scrubbing. For days. 

Black eyeliner on my teeth felt waxy and didn’t stay put. My husband said he hoped it didn’t make me sick. Well, I’m still kickin’, so it’s not poisonous, but I do admit it was stupid to put eyeliner on my teeth. I mean, what if it stained them permanently? I'd never want to smile again. 

I was able to edit this photo so the makeup showed up. If I knew how to edit the highlights and shadows in the videos, I wouldn't have had to redo Zombie Loo's part. 

Maybe I should stop being such a risk taker, huh? What about you? What kind of risks do you take? Or are you a cautious person (like I usually am when I’m in my right mind)? 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sweet'N'Versatile Blogs With a Twist

C'mon, Peeta, ditch Katniss. You know you want me!
This applies to Answer #3 below.

Three wonderful blogger buds gave me awards.

On 6--29-11, Margo Berendson of Writing at High Altitude awarded me the Versatile Blog Award & the Irrisistibly Sweet Award, but she changed the questions and credits the Fantastic Book Reviews blog as the source of the questions.

On 6-30-11, Nutschell of The Writing Nut awarded me the Irrisistibly Sweet Award also, in which I'm supposed to list seven things about myself.

Then Gracie of I Am Writer...Hear Me Roar!, a teen blogger from Canada, surprised me with an award by listing my blog as one of her favorites. She didn't notify me. I found out while reading her post, and she left it up to each blogger to decide whether they wanted to accept the award or not. I thought that was a cool idea.

I'm combining these awards. Let's name it the Sweet'N'Versatile Blog Award. I'll answer Margo's questions, which pretty much cover the seven things about myself that Nutschell's award calls for.

Before I answer the questions, I'd like to put in a plug for Margo, Nutschell, and Gracie. Check out their blogs. Each is unique in their own right.

So here are the questions and my answers:

1. If you were given a chance to travel back in time, what year or place would you go?

I LOVE time travel stories. This was hard to answer.  I finally decided on the Roaring '20s, in a big city like New York or Los Angeles. I learned the Charleston in junior high. It would be a blast into the past to try my hand and feet as a flapper. I'd also like to check out a speakeasy. Did they sell beer & wine, too? I can't stand the taste of whiskey. Blech!

Josephine Baker dancing the Charleston at the Folies Bergere, Paris, in 1926
Photo from Wikipedia

2. Describe your writing work-in-progress in seven words or less.

Edgy. Teens. First love. Summer 1971. Betrayal.

3. Please share with us about your favorite book and fictional crush to date.

My favorite book is The Good Earth. As far as my favorite fictional crush, I'm kind of old to be crushing on a teen, but if I was young again, it would have to be Peeta from The Hunger Games, my second all-time favorite book. Peeta's a genuinely nice guy, and I bet he's got hunky muscles!

4. If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be? And why?

I guess I'm a glutton for punishment because I'd pick O-Lan from The Good Earth. Her character captures the epitome of an indomitable spirit.

5. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the role as you?

I'm stumped. Any goofball comedienne will do.

6. How would you describe yourself in seven words?

Quirky, mediator, nurturing, spiritual, loyal, unorganized.

I'm passing the Sweet'N'Versatile award on to some of my favorite bloggers, and I'm pulling a Gracie and not notifying them, but will let them be surprised when they read their names. And it's their choice whether or not they want to accept the award and pass it on:

Kristen Lamb's Blog - Author of the best-selling book "We Are Not Alone--The Writer's Guide to Social Media." She's overcome unbelievable odds to get where she's at. No whining or feeling sorry for herself. She persevered and succeeded. Now she shares invaluable tips with us.

Gene Lempp - His Designing From Bones series, "where we use archaeology and the artifacts of human history to find and design stories." In each post he leads us on fantastic adventures and offers us some awesome writing prompts. I highly recommend these posts to teachers to use in their classrooms. He also shares weekly links to Blog Treasures he's found.

Ellie Ann - "Navigating Through the Week." I just started following her blog, but she has a variety of topics, has a humorous voice, and a great imagination. Her Tall Tales Tuesday posts are hilarious as she weaves tall tales about other bloggers who leave a comment saying they'd like to be in the next Tall Tales post.

Haley Whitehall, Historical Fiction Author - She just redesigned her blog and needs her old followers to sign up again. If you're a history buff, you've got to follow this blog. She also started a new Twitter hashtag for history buffs, #lightonhistory, where writers can meet up, help each other with research, and share their WIPs.

Writing YA and Other Things I Love - StephaniePQW has been working hard designing the breastplate for the model to wear for an authentic-looking cover pic for her novel about ancient Nubia. It will debut in February. She's looking for new blogger friends, so I hope you'll follow her journey toward publication.

Heather Kelly of Edited to Within An Inch of My Life. She's so thoughtful and helpful to newbies.  Right now she's hosting the Tour de Writing. This contest is actually helping me accomplish my writing goals, plus she's offering some cool prizes to the winners.

Laura Pauling of Exercising the Write to Ramble. Lately her posts have been covering changes taking place in the publishing industry. She's hooking us up with some informative links, and she's getting lots of interesting feedback in the comments.

There are a lot of other blogs I follow and thoroughly enjoy, but I could only list a few. So I'll leave each of you this question, and I hope you'll share your answer in the comments:

If you could be a character in a fictional story, whether in a book or a movie, who would you be, and why?