Our Favorite Halloween books

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We have two books that we have loved since my kids were little. It’s exciting having a little one again after half a decade. My older children and I have been reading the first of the two to my toddler. The other one is a good choice for a story before bed later this week. We would love to find more fun holiday books over the next few months.

This Is Not a Pumpkin by Bob Staake

It is made very clear that you can do a lot of things with this large orange orb that has a stem, but no matter what you do with it, the orb is still not a pumpkin. Quite simply pumpkins cannot smile.

And

Jon Pig’s Halloween by Jan Waldron pictures by David McPhail

Jon Pig is afraid of witches and monsters so while his friends go out to trick-or-treat, he stays home. Baking eases his anxiety so he goes to the kitchen and starts to create some treats for his friends. Suddenly someone knocks on the back door. Who could it be? And will he find more fun than fear in his unexpected guests?

Do you have a favorite Halloween book? Please share with us.

Halloween!

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Costume: Bad Case of the Stripes

This week is Halloween! During the weekend many groups already had harvest and haunting fun. We participated in a Halloween chili cook off, trick-or-treat and activities at church. We haven’t done something like that for years because of the types of allergies in our family that made it hard to control the foods. We make sure we have fun. We watch movies and make safe treats. Halloween doesn’t necessarily cooperate with convenient days in the calendar so we can keep it small for a school night or do something bigger for a weekend.

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My Sweet witch

I have a favorite Halloween movie that I haven’t gotten to watch for years. My oldest child found it disturbing when she was little and hasn’t liked it since, but really, who wouldn’t like Jack Skelington?

The past few years there are a ton of remakes of old horror and scary films. Obviously they are favorite thrillers if people go to the effort to make then anew for our modern generations. I like the ones that are fun and interesting. I have a weakness for the stop motion films since I’m a puppet artist. I bought Coraline before we moved so it’s still missing in the unpacked boxes. Maybe I can find it before Thursday!

What is your favorite scary movie? What do you do on Halloween? What ever you do have wonderful, safe fun!

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Tip your hats for Halloween!

Fog

Halloween is coming. Simple elements seem to hold a lot of power over us. Today I am thinking a lot about fog. Fog, thick enough to keep your vision a foot or two ahead mixed with full-moon light. Mmmm! I wish I had been able to get a picture of it last week! The fog has persisted in our region, day in and day out. In some areas it lifts during the day leaving it overcast, but other areas are blanketed day and night.

Oooo! Fog. What simple elements do you think create intensity?

Genre- What are your favorite books?

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Mysteries? Romance? Fantasy? Science Fiction? Cook books? Instructional books? YA? Middle Grade? Inspirational?

Add to my list! So many genre’s out there! So many writers to write them. Even more readers to read them! BOOKS!

Did you know that a fantasy set in an urban world is an urban fantasy, but technically if it’s written about someone in the rural environment that it would be a rural fantasy? Or a suburb fantasy? A metro fantasy? An agricultural fantasy? This could get fun labeling the possibilities.

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Give me the name of a genre or sub-genre you like and I will list it here!

Mainstream

Fantasy

Science Fiction

Romance

Young Adult

Middle Grade

Bizzaro:

Bizarro fiction is a contemporary literary genre, which often uses elements of absurdism, satire, and the grotesque, along with pop-surrealism and genre fiction staples, in order to create subversive works that are as weird and entertaining as possible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro_fiction (Thank you Jon Jefferson)

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Loss vs Potential Loss

mirishana 6th

    Today our dogs got out. We searched all over and couldn’t find them. Imagining the worst we went to school, running home between classes in case they came home. Finally on the third trip home I called out their names, sadness weighing me down and the possible loss hanging over my head. I called out again and our small dog, a smile on her silly face, came running towards me from the neighbors house. Sure enough our big dog was close behind. We’ve had our little dog for eight years. Our pets are members of our family. I locked them up and hurried back to the school so I could give my daughter a thumbs up through her classroom door. I can’t imagine she could concentrate with the fear and worry for her canine friends.

This had me thinking about Loss verses Potential Loss. My main character is facing the possibility of losing a loved one in the chapter I am currently revising. I spent the morning considering what do to if the loss of either of our dogs occurred. We are human. How could we not imagine the worst, but pray for the best? When we experience loss we mourn, we come to a place of acceptance and keep going.(at least we hope to do that much) If the loss is something that might happen, if we don’t know if or when the loss will be definite, we can get stuck in a horrible place of fear, anxiety, premature sorrow…

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My character actually ends up having the potential loss end well only to discover another loss is eminent. We read books with both these situation all the time. We can feel for the characters because our dog did run away a time or two, a friend did quit being our friend, a person beloved to us did pass away. My heart goes out to anyone that is currently experiencing a loss. Which do you think is worse? Maybe both are just as bad. What is your experience? What did you feel when you didn’t end up having to mourn?

Dragonflies

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Summer has faded away into high speed winds, rainbows in the rain and the need for cozy blankets and sweaters. Dragonflies, one of my favorite friends of summer, will have to wait to visit again until next year. They have been giving their final goodbyes to us on these sunny days that have been showing up in the middle of the fall weather.

Dragonflies like the one above were all over my wedding. I had pretty, little white dragonflies on my dress and veil. The colored ones were sticking out of the center pieces and dancing across the cake. I have always loved this particular sophisticated bug.

In July of 2009 the Northwest was enduring record triple-digit temperatures. I was trying to be a vendor for the first time at a faerie event a state away. We were all way too hot, nothing seems to be going right and I didn’t know if I would even get to go. A few days before leaving my father nearly died, but got to the hospital before he had a heart attack. They did surgery and he was able to meet me in my driveway the night before I was supposed to leave with a box full of turned-wood fairy tops he’d made for me to take. He couldn’t get out of the car and looked weak, but I now knew I could go because he was safe.

Still the heat persisted. I couldn’t fit things in the car so we were trying to change the plans. I needed to take the big van that hadn’t had a tune up or oil change in preparation for the 7 hour drive. I sewed my finger trying to get one more product made. I was sure I wouldn’t be leaving in the morning. We all gave up loading the van and took a break. I wanted to try being a vendor to share my art with others. I wanted to jump into the new adventure, but I couldn’t find the will power as I stood looking through my open front door to the trees outside.

Sigh… But then a dragonfly, fat and purple, zipped into my house, stopped right in front of my face and looked at me. We considered each other for a moment before he turned and sped back into the sweltering evening air. I suddenly knew I could do it. I knew that we would get things packed into the van as the evening air cooled us. I would load up my two kids that were joining me and we would be headed to the glorious state of Oregon in no time. FaerieWorlds here we come! The following night, sleeping in a field I thought about that dragonfly. It had reminded me to pause and not give up. I’ve had some of the most magical experiences of my life in that same field each summer since. We are visited by dragonflies while we’re there in the Faerie Realm, but none have had quite the impact as my little friend who visited my entry that hot night.

I love dragonflies!

Seeing Magic in our Lives

  We can see magic wherever we choose to, be it the fairies that skimmed by unseen or magic that flowed from the earth to brighten our lives. The magic of a spider web sprinkled with dew or the magic of flour, sugar, water and eggs turning into those magical childhood treats called cookies, we are surrounded by magic of the mind, heart and world, if we so choose to see it this way.

 IMG_6458 A gnome hiding in a local park.

The smile of my now one year old daughter has been magic since I first saw it a year and a half ago. Her color changing eyes smile too, as little sideways half moons. My oldest son has those same eyes. Waking up every morning to this little girl’s smile of utter joy has changed me, shown me magic.

IMG_8509That smile!

    The amazing fog-affected frost our region experienced last year was magic. I wish I’d been able to get a picture. It took me a week to figure it out and each outing I happened to forget my camera. (I don’t yet have a fancy phone with a good camera quite yet.) The fog, thick with moisture, would hit the cold leaves and twigs only to freeze into ice drops. As another bank of the week long fog drifted by, another layer of ice clung to the previous creating ethereal, unreal looks to all the abundant plant life of the Northwest.

I have even found magic in the amusement of having my Egyptian Fayumi chickens climb up two stories to my master bedroom deck. Incidentally they are named Meep and Fay. (Some of you may know the significance of this. If you don’t… Keep reading in the future.)

Where do you find magic? What wonderful thing in this world amaze you and bring you joy? Let me know what you find magic in.

IMG_4907Icicles the week our Fairy Changling was born.