Love is in the air!

Winter is a time of blustery winds, warm blankets, and book friends to fill your heart.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Samhain

Welcome to the Still Moments Halloween Blog Hop.

You may call October 31st Halloween, but others call it Samhain. (sow-en)

Samhain is one of the "high holy days" for Pagans and Wiccans. It is a day to celebrate the Harvest and to honor ancestors. It is a day when the veil between the world of the living and the dead is at its thinnest. It is also the Witches New Year.

The Catholic Church, in its push to defeat the "Pagans" and bring Christianity to the world decided in the 8th century (C.E.) to make November 1st All Saints Day. A day to celebrate the dead Saints and to eradicate the Pagan celebration which was already being celebrated on that day. It was originally named All Hallows, to show it was to honor the holy ones who were gone. They hoped to replace the Pagan celebration with a celebration the church sanctioned. (They did this with many Pagan holidays: Christmas was to replace the Yule celebration, Easter in exchange for Beltane.) This was a practice the Church had learned from Rome. Whenever the Empire conquered a new land, they adopted the Gods of that country into their pantheon.

Christianity was successful at establishing roots and becoming the religion of the masses, but it was never successful at eradicating Samhain. People still carved out frightening faces on gourds to frighten away evil spirits, they still wore masks to keep the spirits from recognizing them.

Nowadays, we dress our children in costumes, cute or frightening, depending on the age and taste of the child, and take them door-to-door for our friends and neighbors to fill a pillowcase with candy. It is the children's harvest.

Enjoy the fruits of autumn, but beware passing grave yards on All Hallows. Remember, it is the night the spirits walk around, looking for their loved ones.

There is a Barnes & Noble gift certificate waiting for a lucky person. Be sure to leave your comments along with your email address in the comment box.

Plus! Still Moments is holding a contest for all blog hoppers. (Details are listed below) 

Please be sure to visit all the participating blogs, to increase your chance to win. Each blog is unique. Some have fun flash fiction, personal stories, one of the blogs even has Halloween music. 

October 22, 2012 
Terri Rochenski - 
Jennifer Eaton - 
Ceri Hebert - 

October 23, 2012 
Liv Rancourt - 
Denise Moncrief - 
Dani-Lyn Alexander - 

October 24, 2012 
Mackenzie Crowne - 
Maggie Devine - 
Liberty Blake - 

October 25, 2012 
Darlene Henderson - 
Em Epe - 
Clara Waibel -

Still Moments is giving away three grand prizes.  Just leave a comment below and you'll be entered into a drawing for a beautiful handmade piece of jewelry and one of the books published by Still Moments.  Three lucky winners will be selected from ALL the comments left on ALL the blogs in the hop. Please be sure to leave your email address in your comment below, so we will know how to contact you if you win!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


As anyone in my family will tell you, housekeeping is not my thing. I heartily subscribe to everything else comes first. I hate cleaning!

I have a friend who told me that when she gets stuck in her writing she does the dishes. It gives her time to work out tangled plots. When I do the dishes I don't work out plot tangles or character glitches. I don't see my character's face in a mound of soap bubbles or dried on marinara sauce. All I see is dirty dishes and how gross it is to stick your hands in with all the old food particles, germs, and bacteria. I worry about how all the   anti-bacterial detergents are leading to super bacteria. If I see anything in those darn bubbles it is a giant bacteria cell flying around in a red cape. Unfortunately, the bacteria cell does not have the face of Henry Cavill.

Are you wondering what washing dishes has to do with writing? 

Writing is a job. Even if you have a contract with a major publisher, you are still a self-employed person. The only incentive you have to finish your project is the hope of receiving a paycheck when you are done. If you are under contract and your editor likes what you have done, you will receive that paycheck. However, if you are trolling the Writer's Marketplace looking for a friendly home for your baby, you are not guaranteed a check. You must search out a home for it and hope it will be adopted by a kindly editor that will give you an advance. If you end up with a smaller company, there may not be any advance in the near future, you will have to hope for good royalties.

Money is a pleasant bonus, but it should not be your primary motivator. Unless you had oral sex with a sitting President, the chances are your advance, or even your royalties, won't be enough to buy a car or put a down payment on a house. You must write for the same reasons you pick up those nasty dishes and scrub them clean. It needs to be done. 

You write because there is a story inside you that is fighting to come out. There will be days when it is fighting with you and not coming out, but if those voices decide to take a vacation, you must find a way to work around them until they return.

Writing is a job. A job you have to work at. Even if the weather is so nice you want to spend everyday at the beach, or the snow is powder fine and you want to swoop down the slopes. Any job you work at will expect you to maintain a schedule. If you take a leave of absence or go on sabbatical, you must realize that things change while you are gone, your skills get rusty, others may have taken your place.

Don't treat your writing like a hobby, something you can pick up and put down for months at a time. Treat it like a sink full of dirty dishes. If you want nourishment, you must get your hands dirty. 

Your writing should nourish your soul as much as the food on your plate nourishes your body. It is the fuel that will keep you going through rejections and advances.

Carolyn Sullivan has written a daily horoscope just for writers. The horoscope can guide you through the rocky shoals and help you keep your Muse attentive. She has given me permission to post the horoscope for the next three days. The following is from Wisdom for Writers: Autumn 2012.

Monday, October 22:
This evening the sun enters Scorpio.
If your hero and heroine have been in conflict, no matter what genre you write, now is the time to write their love scene. You all need the relief.
Tuesday, October 23:
Others are going to oppose your plans. This is your story, tell it your way. Friends and critique partners mean well, but they don’t have the whole picture. They have only seen the parts of your story you have shared with them. You are the master of the universe (your story), and only you can decide what fits and what doesn’t.
Wednesday, October 24:
Business conflicts are brewing around you. It could be something as simple as a critique partner who doesn’t like your story or as complicated as your editor or agent not liking your story. Not all is lost however. You are about to undergo a rapid series of changes. These changes may have you feeling as if you’re wallowing round in muck. You must regain control and keep it.

Available at:


Carolyn also has a daily horoscope for everyone. It is a unique horoscope that is based on plants, not planets.

Available at:


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Penny Watson

Today I am pleased to welcome Penny Watson to the Spell Room. Penny, in your honor we are having our beverages in mustache cups. I know how you love hairy men. 

Penny Watson is an author of quirky fiction, reviewer of romance novels, and lover of dachshunds, plants, and beards. (Not necessarily in that order).

She lives outside of Boston with one fly-fishing crazed husband, two lively Filipino kids, and a wiener dog.

1. You wear many different hats, which one is your favorite?

I do wear a lot of different hats. Visors. Babushkas. A winter hat that makes me look like Adrian from the original Rocky movie. And of course my gorgeous tiara.

As far as my professional hats, I love them all! Writing my stories is a kick, reviewing novels is fun, and I love chatting about promotion and social media to writers’ groups. It’s all good!

2. A little Bulldog told me you like hairy men. How long have you had this obsession and how did it start?

I blame my hairy men obsession on Pa Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie (the book, not the TV show). Remember him? He had a big, bushy beard. In fact, the first time I watched the television show with Michael Landon, I yelled “Oh no! Why doesn’t Pa have a beard?” Hee hee. That seriously peeved me off.

3. Does Marcus Anderson, your Lumberjack In Love, wear boxers or briefs?

He wears boxer briefs. There’s a fun scene in the book where Ami discovers this fine fact. :^)

4. What do you find sexy about flannel shirts?

Flannel is soft, warm, cuddly and snuggly. Just like a big hairy, muscular teddy bear of a lumberjack.

Lumberjack + Flannel Shirt = Heaven On Earth!

(If the flannel shirt is plaid, then it’s even better)

5. We make a lot of concoctions in the Spell Room and you are notorious for creating special libations. Did you bring a special little drinky poo for moi? 

In honor of my LUMBERJACK IN LOVE book, here’s a recipe for JACK ME OFF (a cocktail). Hee hee!


1 and ½ oz. Applejack brandy
½ oz. Midori melon liqueur
3 oz.7-Up or Sprite

Put brandy, melon liqueur and ice into a shaker and shake it up good, baby! Then strain into a glass and add the soda. You could serve it with small twigs as stirrers if you’d like. Enjoy!

Thanks so much, Liberty, for the fun interview!


Thank you for visiting the Spell Room, Penny. It's been fun.

Penny is graciously giving away a copy of her new book Lumberjack In Love. A wonderful book which will lift your spirits on a gray day and make you laugh. Just tell us who has the best beard you have ever seen. The contest is open until October 15th. 

Penny's 2 main links…