Time Flies And All That Jazz

IMG_20191113_135133422As I’m writing this, Libs (The Tiny Terror) is shivering in her…er, paws. Oh, she’ll throw out a little bark every once in a while, but mostly, she’s just cowering behind me. Because the Carpet Cleaner Guy is at the house!!!

Yeah, the Carpet Cleaner Guy. When I called him, I asked, “When did I get the carpets cleaned? Last November? Or was it September?” And there was this awkward little pause.

“Mrs. Hall,” he said. “It was three years ago.”

Which just goes to show that one minute, you’re thinking how nice and clean your house smells, and the next minute, it’s November (and you’re wondering why your house smells). Such is time flying and all that jazz. And that brings us to my blog post over at the Muffin today: NaNoWriMo: Are We Done Yet?

Because for cryin’ out loud, y’all, can it possibly be nearly the middle of November? If you’re toiling away at the National Novel Writing Month writing challenge–and lagging behind–then you’re going to want to read that post. But if you’re like me, skipping NaNoWriMo but just getting around to getting carpets cleaned after three years, then you might want to check your fridge.

Me and Libs both are scared of that.

 

The October WOOooOooo Wrap-up!

10626620_10204178615537318_786430566163493947_nOctober is a favorite month for me and not just because I happened to have been born on one of its spooktacular days. (But I’m not saying which because honestly, I pretty much celebrate the entire month. And Oldest Junior Hall is taking me to see Wicked this weekend as a birthday /Christmas gift–I suspect he’ll be using this adventure for the next couple years to cover everything–so the party’s not over until I sing so much that Oldest Junior Hall tells me to stop. And P.S. I won’t. Because yeah…it’s my birthday.)

The point is, lots going on in October and now it’s time to catch up:

Remember the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy over at Kaitlynn Leann Sanchez’ blog, Math is Everywhere? I wrote Worms Crawl In for this fun contest and boo-yah! I was a winner! I love when writers join together in community to support each other, and when there are prizes, too? Well, that’s just about the best in my book.

Of course, now that I’ve won a creep-tastic critique, I suppose I’ll have to write up something. I’ve got an idea for a sort of nonfiction, sort of funny picture book that I might work on in November during NaNoWriMo.

I’ve also got lots of opinions about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so if you’re on the fence about whether to participate in this November writing challenge, you might want to give a read to “The Rights and Wrongs of NaNoWriMo” over at The Muffin.

And yes, I know that a picture book is not a novel, even if it’s a long non-fiction one. But I’ve been working on a revision of a middle grade paranormal all month and I’m this close to being stick-a-fork-in-it, I-really-mean-it-this-time done. So I’m kinda novel-ed out right now.

I’m not done with all my research, though. I’ve been binge-watching every ghost hunter show this October–who knew there were so many?–partly to pick up a pointer here and there, but also to get me in the paranormal mood. I even went to a presentation at my local library where a paranormal investigation crew played EVPs and answered questions and showed us ghostly, ghastly photos and videos.

It was all a bit oooOOOOooooo. Until I asked one of the investigators my burning question: Why do ghost hunters always hunt for spirits and such at night? I mean, time doesn’t mean anything to a ghost, right?

No photo description available.But it’s October, y’all, and hunting ghosts and telling spooky stories and getting ready for NaNoWriMo is what you do. Unless you got something different? Spill your guts, please, ’cause yeah…it’s still October for a day or two.

All Kinds of Thanks

IMG_20191016_113809085Monday night, I spoke to the Women’s Guild at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and thank goodness I did because inspiration has been in short supply lately.

See, the friend who contacted me (way back in the summer) mentioned again how much she loved my blog and how she laughed at my social media shenanigans (at least, I think she said that. I may just be adding that part to make the story better). The point is, she wanted to liven up her meetings and she thought of little old, lively me. And then Eureka (and just in the nick of time, I might add)! An idea popped into my hitherto empty head!

Most of my blog posts are promoting whatever I’ve got out there in the world and I totally forget sometimes that my blog posts are actually promoting…well…me.

Which is crazy, I know, because right up there at the top of the page is Cathy C. Hall in really big letters. Anyway, inspiration struck as I realized that as a writer, I’m always selling me. So I’m always working, no matter what I’m doing. Of course, I went into a lot more writerly detail over at the Muffin today in “It May Not Look Like Work…” But bottom line, I’m very grateful to my friend and the Women’s Guild for the idea.

And did you see that delightfully cute fish they gave me? It’s on my bookcase where all my books are shelved–and it’s pointing in my direction. Because I need to remember that point about me and working.

But also because I’m grateful for the warm welcome from the Women’s Guild, not to mention their generosity. They’re involved in all kinds of service over there at St. Patrick’s so I know how giving these women are. But honestly, even if they hadn’t bought a ton of my Chicken Soup for the Soul books, I would still have been overwhelmed by their kind words and generous spirit, plus their laughter (in all the right places).

See, a writer may be working all the time, but it takes a joyful reader to make her glad that she does.

How I Love the Smell of a Contest in October

It was once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary…

Ummmm. Okay, it was the middle of a sunny afternoon, just last week. And I’d just had a delightful little siesta so I wasn’t so much weak and weary as I was perky and up for a little shenanigans. Which I found in a contest over at Math is Everywhere, Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez’s home on the web.

And this contest has everything I love: prizes! A 200 word limit! Creepy picture prompts! And did I mention PRIZES?!

So today, when it was at long last a bit overcast with a slight chill in the air for about 37 minutes, the mood was right for a little Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy. I chose this image–though if I’m being honest, it chose me–and I wrote a little 197-word story I like to call…

             Worms Crawl In

 

The  worms crawl in, the worms crawl out

She could not get that song out of her head. What was that called again?

Oh, yes. An earworm. She smiled, holding her pumpkin. Only she could see the hole she’d carved in the back of it; only she knew that she’d scooped out its pulpy insides…

A giggle slipped away from her. Annabelle was not a bad person. Honestly, she’d been an awfully good girlfriend, always looking out for Brad. It was Annabelle who always reminded him to lock his car door, brought him special treats, helped him with his homework. She was a good listener, too, so when he’d laughingly admitted his unnatural fear of worms during Biology class, she’d remembered.

She watched as he walked toward her, his arm draped around Chloe Davenport’s shoulder.

“Happy Halloween,” said Annabelle.

Brad smiled awkwardly but he took the pumpkin. And then screamed like a banshee as the gummy worm dropped onto his shoe.

Not funny,” said Chloe.

It was sort of funny, thought Annabelle. But the giant pumpkin full of live, slithering worms would be way funnier.

She giggled gleefully. That boy would never learn to lock his car.

**********

So if you’re up for a little creepy or Halloween cheery writing fun, join in the shenanigans before the clock strikes midnight on October 11th. Here’s all the rules and prizes. And here’s where you can officially enter.  

And here’s where you can find the rest of that mood-enhancing poem,  The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. Because one can’t always count on 37 minutes of overcast skies with a chill in the air when you live in Georgia, even in October.  (And good luck!)

 

Boo, Y’all, It’s October!

black-and-white-blur-close-up-237205I do not understand how it can be October already.

I mean, I understand how the days of the year work, divided into months, starting with January, then February, and so on and so on but wasn’t I just hanging out at the beach yesterday? And the week before that…wasn’t I singing for Easter? Just last month, I was thinking about what I’d like to accomplish this year around the old homestead. Now here it is October and when I took a look at that list I made (Seriously, it seemed like just last month), well…the less said about that, the better.

Okay, that’s not quite true. I had a whole lot to say about it over at The Muffin today in “The October Checklist (Or EEEKS! It’s Getting Scary Now!)”. Mostly, I shared my plan about how I deal with accomplishing a whole list of goals when there’s not much time left to do ’em.

Or technically, not accomplishing goals when time’s running out. See, I am all about prioritizing so basically, when I have a whole list of things to do, I toss anything that’s not absolutely necessary. That way, I get my taxes paid and I leave the torn wallpaper for another day. And now that I think about it, that torn wallpaper has been tossed off the list for about two years. But at least I have a house so it’s all good.

Or it will be good. ‘Cause I’m off to mail my taxes right now. I may accomplish something else today, but frankly, after the check’s in the mail, everything else is gravy. I was going to work on the kitchen wallpaper project but that ripped paper ain’t go anywhere. I, on the other hand, have a sunny day and a good scary book.

Priorities, people. Happy October!