Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Ugly 2014

My pumpkin — er, I mean my husband — carved the pumpkin this year. Isn’t it hilarious?  Almost as hilarious as he is…

Steve as Waldo for Halloween 2014

His entire department at work dressed up as Where’s Waldo.  Fun!  There was a hat involved, too, but he’s not wearing it here. He is wearing face paint, though, since he loves to go the extra mile.

Me?  I’m just happy to hand out candy…

Have fun trick or treating, everyone!

And the SECOND winner is …

OOPS.

I goofed.

Big-time!  Emily just reminded me that there were supposed to be TWO winners announced for the recent giveaway of A LITTLE WOMEN CHRISTMAS!

LittleWomenXmas_1

So with no further ado, the second winner is HANNAH, who chose this as her favorite Louisa May Alcott quote:

“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy
and life lovely.”

That quote always reminds me of my own mother. She had a gift for doing exactly that.

And as a thank you to Emily for her sharp eyes and reminder that there was supposed to be a second winner, I’m adding a THIRD winner — EMILY herself!  Here’s her favorite Louisa May Alcott quote:

“Love is a great beautifier.”

Seriously, was Louisa a fount of wisdom or what? I’m in awe of her amazing gift for sharing that wisdom so eloquently.

Congratulations to all three winners!  And for those of you who didn’t win a book this time around, stay tuned. My new novel ABSOLUTELY TRULY will be published in early November, and there’ll be another giveaway party to celebrate. Meanwhile, click here to read a sneak preview…

ABSOLUTELY TRULY cover

Saturday Story Starter

October snuck up on me!  I guess I’d better post a story starter before it completely zips by….

As those of you who have participated before know, Saturday Story Starter is purely for fun, just a way to exercise those writing muscles (think of it as Heather’s Literary Gym). There are no prizes, only the simple joy of putting words on paper (well, OK, on the computer screen). Also, I won’t be offering critiques, just brief words of encouragement, but I will read all your entries, that I can promise! (And if you’d like to read some of the earlier stories that have been shared, click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here to browse to your heart’s content.)

Before we get started, I need to let you know the location of the “magical staircase” which was the inspiration for last month’s story starter. Remember this picture?

Magical Staircase

I LOVED all the stories it prompted!  And yes, it’s a real place. It’s called the Mosaic Steps, or the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project. Next time you’re in San Francisco, head over to 1700 16th Avenue between Noriega Street and Moraga Street. Click here for more information and pictures. And here’s a cool YouTube video as well, which gives you a sense of how completely awesome these stairs are. I want them in my backyard.

Now, on to this month’s story starter. Here’s our inspiration:

Doll under a rug

Yeah, I know.

It’s a little weird.

What can I say?  It’s getting close to Halloween!

Tell us a story. Paint a scene. Make us laugh or give us the shivers. How did this doll get there? Or is it a doll? What is it doing? Who put it there? Or did it get there all by itself….

Ready, set, WRITE!

 

 

Fan mail Friday

Reaching into my mail bag today for a fun book club do-it-yourself project!

First of all, check out the centerpiece that this fifth grade book club put together when they discussed THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB:

Centerpiece

I love it!  Skates to represent Cassidy, a notebook and pen for Emma, sewing basket for Megan, and what looks like a stuffed dog for animal-lover Jess. Oh, and a copy of LITTLE WOMEN, of course.

But wait! There’s more! Check out the mood pillows that they made:

Mood Pillow 2

Mood Pillow 1

 

Cuuuuuute!  Wondering what a mood pillow is?  Click here to find out (hint: if you read LITTLE WOMEN, you’ll know).

Ann, who leads this particular book club, generously offered to share directions with all of my blog readers for making a no-sew mood pillow. Ready? Here you go!

You will need — cylindrical pillow insert, sweatpants or pajama leg (or sewn cylinder), sturdy rubber bands (2 each), ribbon (about 1 yd. each).

Pillow insert
This is what a pillow insert looks like

Take a pajama leg or a sweatpants leg and cut it the length of the pillow plus from six to ten inches on each side. Stuff the insert into the pants leg so that it is in the center. Gather up the excess fabric on either side, and make a ‘pigtail’ with it, securing it with sturdy rubber bands.

Finally, cut the yard of ribbon in half, and tie a bow over each rubber band!

Mood Pillow 3

Thanks, Ann, and thanks to your book club girls and moms, too!