Archive | October, 2012

It’s a Writing-themed Halloween!

30 Oct

My husband I love to dress up for Halloween. (Well, if truth be told…I love to dress up for Halloween; Gary goes along with whatever costume I tell him he’s wearing.)

In the past, we’ve been a Gangster and his moll; the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen; a Caveman and Cavewoman; a Dalmatian and Cruela de Ville; a pirate and his wench; and two old men.

This year, Gary and I will be dressed as a couple inspired from one of the books we both read and enjoyed this past year. Gary will be Abraham Lincoln and I will be a vampire. (And we will probably be explaining the costume the entire night long.)

Our costumes this year are inspired by a favorite book, which made me wonder: What literary characters might make for good costume inspiration? What other costumes might be perfect for the word-minded?

And what costumes might actually be related to writing or writers?

Some of my favorite literary characters would make for good costumes. Like…

~ Mrs. Havisham from Great Expectations

Seriously. How easy would she be? Get an old wedding dress from the thrift store, give yourself “old” hair (shake baby powder in it for some easy gray), and embrace your inner crazy.

~ Scout and Jem from To Kill a Mockingbird

Although you could dress up like Scout and Jem on a normal day, the perfect idea is to dress up like they did for the school play. Anyone who dresses up like Scout as a ham gets huge points.

~ Any of the the Harry Potter characters

The options for Harry Potter costumes are endless (think: Voldemort, Mad Eye Moody, Umbridge, any random students from one of the particular houses, even Hedwig). The picture above are of two of my best friends as Luna and Harry.

~ Nancy Drew

The most famous of all girl detectives has changed her look with the years, but I love the classic ND. Grab 50s attire with bobby socks, cardigan sweater, and a stylish hat. Add a large magnifiying glass and an old clock (from the first book’s title) and you’ve got it.

~ Daisy Buchanan

Sure, you could dress up like a flapper. But wouldn’t it be much better to dress up like a flapper and say you’re Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby?

But you could also go with writers for inspiration…

~ Jane Austen

Party and costume stores are filled with historical costumes. Grab a “Renassisance” style dress, add a copy of Sense and Sensibility, and you’re Jane. (To make it creepier, make her a zombie, as in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.)

~ Edgar Allen Poe

Get extra points if your partner goes as a Raven (as the couple did in this picture).

~ Mark Twain

White pants, white shirt, bowtie, suspenders, white wig, and a pipe. Instant Twain (or Samuel Clements, if you prefer).

~ Your favorite journalist

A reporter/journalist is a super-easy costume that can made with things probably already in your house: a professional outfit, steno pad, camera, microphone, and press badge. Go old-school by adding a hat with “Press” on it and an old-fashioned camera.

~ Richard Castle from “Castle”

My favorite tv novelist is Richard Castle, who likes to go to crime scenes wearing his bulletproof “WRITER” vest. Make your own vest and be the “star” of the party. (Ask your partner to dress as a policewoman, to have the Beckett to your Castle.)

~ A book cover

The ultimate Halloween costume for a book-lover would be…well…a book! And to make it extra special, be your favorite book.


If you could be any literary character for Halloween, who would you be?

If you could be any famous writer, who would you be?


Upcoming Events

23 Oct

My speaking schedule is filled-to-the-brim for the next couple of weeks.

I’m excited about being at the following events, and know that the organizers would love to see you at any of them. (Please let me know if you have any questions about any of them; also please follow the links for more information.)

Saturday, Oct. 27:

Glimmers of Hope Writing Conference, sponsored by the Sonshine Writers Group, at North Highland Baptist Church, Hueytown, Alabama

I will be presenting a session on magazine writing, and will be joined by three other speakers who will present sessions on marketing, book publishing, and songwriting. The conference goes from 8:3o to 4:00 and includes sessions, lunch, snacks, door prizes, and more.

Learn more information about GLIMMERS OF HOPE CONFERENCE.

Saturday, Nov.3:

Breeze Hill Writing Retreat, Northport, Alabama

I will be facilitating  a day-long retreat on writing for and getting published in magazines today. Sessions will last from 9 to 4, with lunch and snack breaks. The retreat is designed to get attendees writing, so my sessions will include instruction but also plenty of time for writing.

Learn more information about the BREEZE HILL RETREAT.

Monday, Nov. 26:

Cahaba Christian Writers monthly meeting, Trussville, Alabama

I will be presenting a session at 7:00 pm on “Writing Seasonal Articles” for this writing group (which meets monthly at First Baptist Church in Trussville); I will also be talking about my newest book on feature writing.

Learn more information about the CAHABA WRITERS.




Wednesday Link-Ups

17 Oct

Hello writers and friends (and writer friends)!

There’s a lot going on right now on the Internet. (Why does it just seem like there are some days when I get online to do some writing-related surfing, and I come up dry? While there are other days that provide me with a wealth of information everywhere I turn?)

Here are some link-ups to some interesting, informative, and inspiring posts I’ve found today online. I hope that they do something for the writer in you.

* John Green is one of my favorite current young adult authors. His An Abundance of Katherines and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan) are both fabulous reads; his blog and frequent videos on reading and writing topics are just as on-point.

Check out this interview with Green from Huffington Post Books to get his take on where he likes to read, the “best” classic (I have to agree with him that The Great Gatsby has “the best sentence, like ever”), and his least favorite (I have to disagree; I loved “Ethan Frome”).

John Green Interview

* Folio Online (always a treasure trove of great information for writers) interviews magazine editors and asks, “Would these editors hire you?” The interviewed editors (of Fitness and Durham Magazine) provide some really good insights.

Would These Editors Hire You?

* “The increasing popularity of Twitter as an online marketing medium makes it a viable option for freelance writers promoting themselves, but it’s not without drawbacks,” says this article on the excellent The Urban Muse blog (and then offers the pros and cons of Twitter as a marketing medium).

Twitter and Marketing

* Do you need some ideas for the next book to read? If you want something high-quality (no fluffy, beach read here), check out the nominees for this year’s National Book Awards. The National Book Foundation announces the finalists for the 2012 awards in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. (The winners will be announced on Nov. 14.)

2012 National Book Award finalists