Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Pictures From Today

Here are some photos from our work party.

Happy Halloween!

Today is the party at work. I made my acorn cookies yesterday afternoon. There will be bingo game with prizes and other games as well. Will be posting pictures later today.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Been Going to a Local Writing Lab

Some news I want to share--there is a writing lab on Wednesday nights at the arts center in my town. I've been going since the beginning of the month. We won't be meeting this week, since tomorrow is Halloween, but I plan to go whenever I can as the first three meetings I have attended (along with two other girls from work who are also writing books), have been fun and Have enjoyed meeting the others who attend. Last week, the group critiques the first ten pages of my book You Can't Hide From the Teeth. Various opinions came from each of the members. We also have writing exercises in the class which is an hour-and-a-half long. So far it's been fun and I'm glad to have found it. 

BTW, the critique group I found on is closing down since the organizer stepped down. I never got a chance to go to this one, as it was at a bad time for me. But now that I've found something closer, I'm not going to be sad about not getting to the other group. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Color Coded Reading Challenge 2019

I have loved doing this one and will be in again. 

Here are the rules:

~Challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2019 and any book read after January 1 may count regardless of when you sign up. Sign-ups accepted until November 1, 2019.

~Read nine books in the following categories:

1. A book with "Blue" or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

Bluebird, Bluebird--Attica Locke (link)

2. A book with "Red" or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

Red Earth and Pouring Rain--Vikram Chandra (link)

3. A book with "Yellow" or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

Gangsters and Gold Diggers--Jerome Charyn (link)

4. A book with "Green" or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

The Old Limey--H.W. Crocker III (link)

5. A book with  "Brown" or any shade of Brown (Tan, Beige, Sand, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

A Line in the Sand--Sherry Garland (link)

6. A book with "Black" or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

Between Shades of Gray--Ruta Sepetys (link)

7. A book with "White" or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc.) in the title/on the cover:

White Houses--Amy Bloom (link)

8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Magenta, Pink, etc.):

Quicksilver Chronicles--Frances K. Woods (link)

9. A book with a word that implies color in the title/on the cover (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Shadow, Paint, Ink, etc.):

A Painted House--John Grisham (link)

Challenge completed on April 16

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Monthly Key Word Challenge 2019

This is once again at My Reader's Block.

*The object is to read one book each month--ideally during that month. However, I know that life can get in the way and some folks may not see this challenge until a couple (or several) months have gone by. So, if you get behind or if you sign up later in 2019, you are welcome to post any catch-up reads while the most current month's linky is open. Just be sure to identify your post appropriately. For instance, if posting January's key word (at any time): Bev (Why Didn't They Ask Evans?) January.

*However, our time machine only works one way--to the past. Please do not read ahead and post books for future key words until that month's linky is up or later.

*Key words may be tweaked. If the key word is dance, you may use dancing or danced. You may also be more creative and use "tango" or "ballet" or "waltz."

My Books:

January: Journey to Topaz--Yoshiki Uchida (topaz=jewel)

Challenge completed on December 5

Zombie Night

Last night a Zombie Crawl took place, put on by the local arts commission. The local karaoke bar was an it the zombies's stops, and here are some pictures (too many good ones to choose from!)

And there was a costume contest at 11:30. I was third place! Here I am with the first-place winner, a man-eating zombie and below is the second-place winner, a baseball girl:

Saturday, October 27, 2018

More Neighborhood Haunts and Some Art

I took these pictures while on a walk this afternoon:

 And here was the project for our art class on Wednesday, a witch hat Halloween wreath. The client who had the idea got it from a Youtube video. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Hear This Every Year

Saw this article this morning:

It seems inevitable to hear about this trend every year. I do my best to avoid anything like this, but no one has ever called me out on not wearing anything sexy. I see no reason I couldn't wear the cop costume labeled for men, as long as it's not too big on me. And why should a burger or taco costume be labeled for men only? That's just ridiculous.

One year I pointed out that that I would not wear this costume (below) so I went searching for materials to  create my own:

Not one person called me out for not being sexy.  

And just last week I saw this video:

I found it weird that the men's cop costume was sold without pants. I'm sure many men buying it won't notice that until they get home 😀 And even if they do see the "Accessory sold separately" warning on the package while at the store, they probably won't think "accessory" means the pants. 

I've always wondered how people in cold climates can even stand wearing these costumes. Being from California, it's hard to tell what the weather will be in late October, but the thought of freezing from wearing one of these things has occurred even to me. 

Also, everyone has been hearing about "cultural appropriation" every year now as Halloween approaches. No doubt everyone by now has heard about what just happened to Megyn Kelly. I don't even want to get started on that one, but will say that no one called me out for such a thing when I wear this costume one year:

Nor did anyone call me out for wearing a grass skirt last year:

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Music for Halloween

Here are some Youtube videos to get you into the Halloween mood. Five more days! What are some of your favorite songs for the season?

Monday, October 22, 2018

2019 Picture Book Reading Challenge

This one is up now at Becky's Book Reviews. There are three options this time and I have decided to try the seasonal one.

Original artwork by Charles Haigh-Wood (1856-1927)

Seasonal Challenge 

X holiday of your choice: The Miracle of Hanukkah--Seymour Chwast
X book set in winter: An Irish Night Before Christmas--Sarah Kirwan Blazek
X free picture book of your choice: Hello, Baby Animals--Lorinda Bryan Cauley
X free board book of your choice: Love Monster--Rachel Bright
X free early reader or early chapter book of your choice: Valentine's Day--Rebecca Pettiford

X holiday of your choice: The Story of Easter--Jean Miller
X book set in spring: Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms
X free picture book of your choice: Oh So Brave Dragon--Julia Rawlinson
X free board book of your choice: The Crayons' Book Of Numbers--Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
X free early reader or early chapter book of your choice: Pedro's Burro--Alyssa Satin Capucilli

X holiday of your choice: Fourth of July Mice--Bethany Roberts
X book set in summer: In the Piney Woods--Roni Schotter
X free picture book of your choice: I Pledge Allegiance--Pat Mora 
X free board book of your choice: Pig Kahuna--Jennifer Sattler
X free early reader or early chapter book of your choice: Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana--James Dean

X holiday of your choice: Sammy's Spooktacular Halloween--Mike Petrik
X book set in fall: Apples and Pumpkins--Anne Rockwell
X free picture book of your choice: The First Day of Kindergarten-Tish Rabe
X free board book of your choice: Paw Patrol School Time Adventure--Steve Behling
X free early reader or early chapter book of your choice: Turkeys Together--Carol Wallace

Challenge completed on December 5

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ten Days Till Halloween

Wow, time sure has flown. Halloween is in 10 days. I'm looking forward to the Zombie Crawl in my town this Saturday and our party at work on the 31st. I've already pointed Halloween bingo cards for the party and each of us will be getting prizes for bingo. And I will be making acorn cookies again for the party. Here are the ones I made least year:

Bite-size Nilla Wafers, Hershey Kisses, butterscotch chips.
and frosting  in a tube used for the acorn cookies below:

As I said in this post, I decided to make a half ladybug/half bumble bee costume, an idea I took from this reversible one:

I had once been a half devil/half angel (one I made myself  that was similar to the one in the photo below) . Seeing the reversible ones made me think of this one and gave me the idea to a half ladybug/half bumble bee. I don't know if anyone else has ever thought of this idea.

Once I made this decision, I went to Goodwill and dollar stores for materials. First I made the antenna, using this pattern. Here is what mine looks like:

I sued some black felt to cut some hearts for the antenna since
I was unable to find black pompoms anywhere in town.
The heart idea came for the antenna sold with the reversible costume.

At Goodwill, I got two shirts and some black leggings (nAnd the white ot shown) and some costume wings.  looks likeI had to look in the men's shirt racks to find a solid red and a solid yellow t-shirt. One was larger than the other, I noticed after I'd paid for them and taken them home. Eventually I cut them each in half and decorated each half appropriately. Here is what is looks like:

As you can see, I cut off the sleeves and the collar. The stripes were made from duct tape from the Dollar Tree. I used most of it for the stripes, then started to use what was left of the tape for the spots. But cutting circles from the tape was a little hard, so I stuck the  tape on some plastic wrap and tried to peel the spots off. But this was difficult, so I decided to buy some poster board from which to cut the circles. I attached them with tacky glue. Then I had to sew the halves together and make the bottom of the red one nearly equal to the yellow half (the red shirt was a large and the yellow a medium). I had not sewn in such a long time and this took early all day. But I was determined to get this part done in one day and I did.

And the wings I decided to make black like those in the costume picture. I did so today using black spray paint:

I will definitely be putting up pictures of the whole thing later. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Another challenge I will be bring back for 2019. It will be the third year for this one.

Choose a level from below.  You may go up a level, but not down.
Cartoonist: 1-5 books
Humor Columnist: 6-10 books 
Comedy Writer:  11-15 books
Stand Up Comedian: More than 15 books 

Guidelines for the Challenge:
  • Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2018. Books must be started on or after January 1 to count. Re-reads are allowed as long as they are read during the specified time frame.
  • Books may cross over to other challenges in which you are participating.
  • Any book (fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, graphic novels, poetry collections, plays, picture books) labeled as humor counts. As such, all book formats (paper, audio, electronic) may be read.
  • You do not need a blog to sign up. You may keep tract of your progress on Goodreads, Amazon or other similar sites with a shelf dedicated to this challenge. Or sign up on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. 
  • There will be no checkins, nor do you need to post reviews.

NOTE 10/10: Closing signups for 2019. Challenge to return in 2020.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Creativity Reading Challenge 2019

This challenge was started two years by Julie Cornewell at her blog. I then asked to take over as host of this challenge for 2018, and will bring it back once again for 2019.

This challenge is about reading books on creativity, art, crafts, writing, film making, photography, cosmetology, DIY, cooking, music and any other topic that helps you live a more creative life. 

Here are some links to get started:

Best Books on Creative Life
Fiction Books Involving Art
Books on Creativity
Best Books on the Writing Life
Books with Main Characters Who Are Artists

You are by no means limited to what is suggested in the links above. Any books you find that fit the challenge description may be read toward the challenge.

Challenge Guidelines

  • Begins January 1, 2019 and ends Dec 31, 2019. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want.
  • Books may be nonfiction, memoir, how to, self help, coffee table books, instructional, picture books, and even fictional if they are about people who are creative.
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks or audiobooks
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges in which you are participating
NOTE 10/10: Closing signups for 2019. Challenge to return in 2020.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2019 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Another one I have been doing is up now.

Here are the Reading Challenge details:

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:
  • Everyone can participate! If you don't have a blog you can post a link to your review if it's posted on Goodreads, Facebook, or Amazon, or you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish.
  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please use the direct URL that will guide us directly to your review)
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, History/Non-Fiction, etc.)
During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:

20th Century Reader - 2 books
Victorian Reader - 5 books
Renaissance Reader - 10 books
Medieval - 15 books
Ancient History - 25 books
Prehistoric - 50+ books

To join the challenge you only need to make a post about it, add your link in Mr. Linky below or just leave a link to your blog if you are not yet ready to post about it yet. If you don't have a blog you can just leave a comment for this post saying that you are joining, and link to your Facebook, Goodreads or other social media page where you will be sharing your reviews.

The challenge runs from January 1st to December 31st, 2019.

Here is what I am reading:

  1. Journey to Topaz--Yoshiki Uchida
  2. The Mysterious Affair at Styles--Agatha Christie
  3. The Diary of a Nobody--George Grossmith
  4. The Gangster We Are All Looking For--Le Thi Diem Thuy
  5. Not Without Laughter--Langston Hughes
  6. Red Earth and Pouring Rain--Vikram Chandra
  7. A Raisin in the Sun--Lorraine Hansberry
  8. White Houses--Amy Bloom
  9. Cat Running--Zilpha Neatly Snyder
  10. Stella By Starlight--Sharon M. Draper
  11. Cavalleria Rusticana and Other Stories--Giovanni Verga
  12. When You Reach Me--Rebecca Stead
  13. The Godfather--Mario Puzo
  14. Dead End in Norvelt--Jack Gantos
  15. Don Quixote--Miguel de Cervantes
  16. Burning Bright--John Steinbeck
  17. A Painted House--John Grisham
  18. The Heretic's Apprentice--Ellis Peters
  19. Between Shades of Gray--Ruta Sepetys
  20. Where the Crawdads Sing--Delia Owens
  21. And the Mountains Echoed--Khaled Hosseini
  22. Ulysses--James Joyce
  23. A Line in the Sand--Sherry Garland
  24. The Saturdays--Elizabeth Enright
  25. The Neighborhood--Mario Vargas Llosa
  26. The Carnival at Bray--Jessie Ann Foley
  27. The Inheritance of Loss--Kiran Desai
  28. A Cup of Tea--Amy Ephron
  29. Rachel--Vivian Schurfranz
  30. Extremely Loud & Incredible Close--Jonathan Safran Foer
  31. Blameless--Gail Carrier
  32. The Joy Luck Club--Amy Tan
  33. Rebel--Beverly Jenkins
  34. Jo's Boys--Louisa May Alcott
  35. On Tall Pine Lake--Dorothy Garlock
  36. Before We Were Yours--Lisa Wingate
  37. The Color of Lightning--Paulette Jiles
  38. Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo--Ntozake Shange
  39. Al Capone Shines My Shoes--Gennifer Choldenko
  40. The Night Watch--Sarah Waters
  41. The Temple Dancer--John Speed
  42. Keeper of the Light--Diane Chamberlain
  43. Our Town--Thornton Wilder
  44. The Tale of Genji--Murasaki Shikibu
  45. The Wayward Bus--John Steinbeck
  46. The Feast of the Goat--Mario Vargas Llosa
  47. Lies We Tell Ourselves--Robin Talley
  48. That Was Then, This is Now--S.E. Hinton
  49. Summer of '69--Elin Hilderbrand
  50. Daughter of the Pirate King--Tricia Levenseller 
  51. The Bone People--Keri Hulme
  52. Ruth--Elizabeth Gaskell
  53. Spoon River Anthology--Edgar Lee Masters
  54. A Corner of the Universe--Ann M. Martin
  55. Stalin's Ghost--Martin Cruz Smith
  56. Merci Suarez Changes Gears--Meg Medina
  57. The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde--Robert Louis Stevenson
  58. The Borrowers--Mary Norton
  59. Miracle's Boys--Jacqueline Woodson
  60. Malinche--Laura Esquivel
  61. Time's Arrow--Martin Amis
  62. Salvage the Bones--Jesmyn Ward
  63. Unaccustomed Earth--Jhumpa Lahiri
  64. The Wind in the Willows--Kenneth Grahame
  65. Play It As It Lays--Joan Didion
  66. The Magic Barrel--Bernard Malamud
  67. A Death in Vienna--Daniel Silva
  68. Fruit of the Drunken Tree--Ingrid Rojas Contreras
  69. Eve of the Emperor Penguin--Mary Pope Osborne
  70. City of Girls--Elizabeth Gilbert
Challenge completed on December 17