Sunday, October 31, 2010

5 Things I Hate About Halloween

Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday.  In fact, I don't even consider it a holiday.  Another fact:  I hated it when I was a kid.  Now that I live in the Rocky Mountains--two miles from the highway up an unpaved road--Halloween is no longer part of my life.  Until people bring it to my attention:  like my granddaughters and people posting on Facebook.

I have two younger brothers and, when we were kids, they loved scaring me out of my wits on Halloween...and every other day.  Of course, I was a girly-girl and a chicken, so it didn't take much.  They convinced me that monsters lived in the crawlspace (which is why I dragged my parents' case of 78 records over the door hatch in the closet each night before climbing into bed) and that if I allowed my arms and legs to dangle over the bed at night, snakes and other creatures would nibble on them as I slept.  Living with those two, every day was Halloween.

Candy is the only good thing about Halloween.  Good, mind you, not great.  Although I'm not fond of milk and white chocolate, I adore dark chocolate.  Especially with almonds, walnuts, or pecans.  Licorice is pretty good and so are gum drops.  Unfortunately, I seldom found either being passed out as Halloween treats.  Dressing up was okay--when my mother allowed me to be a princess.  Which she seldom did.  Sigh.

Okay, enough whining.  Here's my list--the five things I hate about Halloween:
  1. Being outside in the dark
  2. Monsters
  3. Screaming
  4. Being scared
  5. Remembering being outside in the dark and scared out of my wits by all the screaming monsters in costumes.
What do you hate about Halloween?

(Photo by Luigi Diamonte)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Humanities Montana Festival of the Book

Humanities Montana Festival of the Book is taking place now!

Its website begins, "Two days and three nights of events highlighting the incredible richness of Montana's literary landscape will take place for the 11th straight year, October 28-30, 2010.  The Humanities Montana Festival of the Book brings together the region's finest writers to celebrate reading and writing in one of the Inland Northwest's biggest cultural events."

Schedule of Events

Authors and Presenters

Facebook Page

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting into POV

I received an e-mail today that contained excerpts from the diaries of a dog and cat.  I especially like the POV of the author who wrote the cat's diary.  Kudos for "getting into" POV. 

Excerpts from a dog's diary:

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with my people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a cat's diary:

Day 983 of my captivity...

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.


There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Check out the Blog for My New Book

Just in case you don't already know, my non-fiction book, Taking the Mystery Out of Business:  The 9 Fundamentals of Professional Success will be released in early January.  It will be available in bookstores, and at Amazon and Smashwords.

Check out the blog, where you can request free business tips and advice, complete a survey, and enter your name in a drawing to win a free copy of Taking the Mystery Out of Business by making a comment to select blog posts.

If you have a particular subject you'd like me to discuss on the blog, or that you'd like to consider posting about, e-mail me at

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What do the Author Exchange Blog and my Dreams Have in Common?

I've decided to consolidate and include the author interviews, book reviews, and guest posts I've been publishing on my Author Exchange Blog on this blog beginning November 16th.  Dividing my life into compartments has taken a lot of energy so I decided that since I am one person who does many things, I'd combine the writing/educating aspects of my life.

I wanted to be a published writer when I was a kid, along with stints of wanting to be a doctor (which ended in 7th grade after the frog dissection), a ballerina (does Fantasia mean anything to you?), a rock star (my range is about 5 notes), and a teacher.  Since I dropped out of college during my first semester, the teacher dream shattered.  Or so I thought...

Here I am, a number of years later, teaching.  And writing.  Not in the precise manners I'd envisioned, but teaching and writing nonetheless.

Hosting the Author Exchange Blog has enabled me to "meet" a great number of writers, some of whom have become buddies and friends.  It has entertained me, educated me, and--at times, I admit--frustrated me.  It has also become a part of my life that brings me great pleasure.  So, as if it were one of the animals I periodically invite into my family, you'll be seeing it merged into this blog.

Let's see where this adventure leads...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Book Giveaway

Linda Weaver Clarke was kind enough to interview me on her blog today.  If you make a comment, you'll be entered to win a free copy of my mystery, SECOND TIME AROUND.  (I didn't know my habit of eavesdropping was shared by so many other writers!)