Monday, September 30, 2019

October Eve

I have been seeing the phrase "October Eve" in various images on the Internet.
Now it is October Eve.

As you saw on my blog yesterday, I've already decorated the front porch for Halloween even though the first of October isn't till tomorrow. It was just easier doing it on Saturday and Sunday, even thought I'm off on Tuesday. I wanted to get it up by the first. 

Now I have to decide on a costume. More on that to come.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Decorating for Halloween

October is still two days away, but the porch is now decorated for Halloween. I made the scarecrow myself from the following: a trick-or-treat tub and scarecrow hat from Goodwill, worn-out jeans and hooded jacket (with the hood cut off), skeleton tongs for hands (from Dollar Tree) and an old pair of boots found in the garage.  The patches were from worn-out clothes as well,  and the scarecrow was stuffed with newspaper. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Unique Places to Look for Writing Inspiration


Sometimes it can be challenging to keep coming up with new, fresh, and exciting ideas for our stories. Or, perhaps we get halfway through our latest one and then suddenly hit a blank wall where we can’t for the life of us figure out where the story is going to go next.
Continually coming up with new ideas and being able to continue to write new stories is, of course, imperative for any writer. If our inspiration suddenly dries up, we can’t write!
It can be very unnerving for writers to have a bout of ‘writer’s block’ (or whatever you want to call it), but the most important thing to do is not panic and remember that it happens to the best of us!
Getting out of this state as quickly and painlessly as possible, however, is a priority. We might try all our usual methods to get those creative juices flowing again, but if nothing is working, it might be time to try a different tactic.
Here are some more unusual places to looking for writing inspiration - ones that just might give your imagination that boost it needs to get back on track.
Social media
OK so some of us love social media and some of us hate it, but no one can deny it is a fantastic resource to tap into what other people are talking about, the latest news and trends, weird and hilarious goings-on in the world and much more. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and endless wells of information, and an excellent resource for understanding how people communicate, how they think and feel, and what’s important to them.
Classified ads
Classified ads are full of unusual things for sale, of things people are looking to buy, and everything else in between. If you browse through the classifieds as well as the dating sections of newspapers you can find some great ideas for stories right before your eyes!
Local and national papers
Local and national newspapers are also great for pinching story ideas and developing them in new ways. Local papers are great for small-town news events which you could turn into powerfully dramatic stories with dark twists and amusing turns! The national news is ideal for learning more about the state of the world - using the news to inspire our stories is always a great idea - and gives them a grounding in reality that people can relate to too.
Public transport
Eavesdropping on other peoples conversations is an interesting way to get some new inspiration for your writing. Buy an all-day bus ticket and sit on it with a notebook and make notes about the people you see and the conversations you hear. You’ll be sure to end the day with lots of exciting ideas that might just inspire you to create your next novel!
A picture is said to speak a thousand words! Get out old family albums or go to your local library or charity shop and look at history books and old photographs. Something about the way a person is looking into the camera or the body language of people in a particular picture might well spark an idea - and all it takes is one little spark to create a great story.
Children’s books
Children’s books are fantastic places to look for inspiration for more grown-up tales. Children’s stories have all the elements of a story, just told more simply. Browse through some of them in your local bookstore and think about how you can use them as the foundation for your next piece of work.
Taking up a new hobby or class
Writing inspiration comes to us not when we are sitting and fretting at our desks, but when we are out and about in the world, experiencing all the richness and wonder it has to offer. Get out there, try new things, and see what you can see. If you do, you are sure to feel refreshed and inspired in no time!

How many of you out there have used any of this ideas? By coincidence,  I recently used a few of these ideas in my class at work. One was the newspaper idea. I bought that day's edition of the San Francisco Chronicle to use in class. I had read about the newspaper idea in a book I have been using for the class. I would have never considered using the classified ads for ideas, though and no one else who participated that day thought of that one either. One person that day used a line that was in a full-page ad, another idea I would not have considered. The idea was to write a story based on one in the paper or use a headline to make up a story (without reading the original). But the classified ads idea sounds good, too, as does the ad idea.  
Public transport isn't very big in my small town, however, there are many places people can go to for eavesdropping and people watching. I did the Legitimate Eavesdropping exercise in my class as well, going to a coffee shop near the center where I work. I want o go try going outside to write at work more often, and maybe do so myself. I have tried this on my own, but it's been a while since I have. 

And just this week, I tried the writing from photos. We used photos from magazines at work. It was amazing what people came up with for this one. I now want to try this one again at home.

As for the other ideas listed, I have done fairy tale retellings, which goes with the kids' book idea. I've not tried to use social media much for writing ideas, though I may just find some story to use, much like with the newspaper idea. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Clay Pot Scarecrow

Here is the one I made at work this past week. Our boss was only able to find tiny clay pots at Walmart, so that is what we had to use. But it looked good and took less time to paint and decorate the pots.

Here is the Youtube video where I got the idea (everyone decorated theirs using their own ideas):

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

An Unusual Week

It has been an unusual week what with 9/11 and Friday the 13th both occurring last week. I didn't get around to blogging about either last week, so here some brief recaps.

I can still remember what I did on the fateful September day in 2001. Click here to see what I wrote on the 15th anniversary in 2016. My decision to leave the house that day was good one.

As far as Friday the 13th goes, I have never been superstitious about that date, but I have known a few things about it. Click here to read some weird facts

And you may have seen this meme:

Yes, that is often true. This past weekend, the weather was nearly 100 degrees  (though fall hasn't officially begun). But yesterday, it was reported that there was a chance of rain, which did prove true, but only for a while. And the rain wasn't very heavy. Then the weather became somewhat warm but still cloudy. Now the weather is expected to be in the 70s for the next three days. Weather in my neck of the woods at this time of year is always unpredictable.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Quiz: The Gourd Test

Agree with most of this one.

You Are Quiet

You are a natural introvert, and you enjoy as much peace as you can bring to your life.
You are easily overwhelmed, and you often retreat from the world to recharge.

You go unnoticed in a crowd, and you feel like your close friends and family are the only ones who truly "see" you.
You like to observe and take notes on what's going on around you. You don't let on to how much you know.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Quiz: What Color Apple Are You?

Agree with most of this one. Quiz here.

You Are a Golden Apple

You are humane and compassionate. You are merciful and kind whenever you can be.
You don't get too caught up in how you think things should be. You know there's not much you can control.

You are principled and conscientious. You try to behave as virtuously as possible.
You are easy on everyone you meet, including yourself. You can't stand harshness of any sort.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

New and Old Signs of Autumn

Saw this on Facebook today:

Wow, is there really toothpaste, mouthwash, milk, yogurt and deodorant with the pumpkin spice flavor? If so, I won't be getting any of it. Pumpkin space candy is all right by me, but I think the craze may have gone a little too far with some of the other items it has found its way onto.

I must admit I did this Pumpkin Spice costume 10 years ago. At the time, I wasn't quite aware of the pumpkin spice craze.  Some people who saw me wearing it then did not know what it was supposed to be, but one actually knew it was called "Pumpkin Spice."

And I hate to admit it, but I am now eager to eat some candy corn. I just like the stuff. And there's a costume for that:

I won't get too much into the candy corn craze right now.

Friday, September 6, 2019

National Read a Book Day

I did not know this day existed. There seems to be a "National Day" for just about everything these days. But since  I'm always reading book, knowing that such a day exists seems unnecessary to me.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Chapter Break Bingo – September 2019

Here is this month's card.

September Bookish Bingo

My books for this one:
  1. The Astronaut Wives Club--Lily Koppel (9 squares): Physical Book, Shelf Love, New-to-You Author, Tournament/Competition, Ship, Not in a Series, Nonfiction, Travel Guide, Actor/Actress
  2. All's Faire in Middle School--Victoria Jamieson (2 squares): Library Book, Set in a School
  3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe--C.S. Lewis (5 squares): Audiobook, Magical Academy, In a Series, Water on Cover, Free Space
  4. Wolves Eat Dogs--Martin Cruz Smith (1 square): Thriller/Suspense
  5. A Confederacy of Dunces--John Kennedy Toole (2 squares): Man on Cover, Beard
  6. Chocolate Cream Pie Murder--Joanne Fluke (1 square): Free Book
  7. Lady Midnight--Cassandra Clare (2 squares): Angel, New Adult
  8. Daughter of the Pirate King--Tricia Levenseller (1 square): Pirate
  9. Flunked--Jen Calonita (2 squares): Single-Word Title, Piercing
25 squares completed on September 23