Archive for October, 2008

Halloween Costumes, Part II

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

There’s such a thing as getting too creative… (Funny, I’ve been told this by editors, too).

First up, The Halloween Costume No One Can Guess:

Pond Scum!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Steal husband’s pair of baby blue one-piece long johns in comfy waffle-print cotton. Do this completely ignorant of the fact that it will cost $100 to replace them.
  2. Tie-dye long johns in shades of moss green and puke yellow.
  3. Cut old pillowcase into strips and also dye in shades of scum green and scuzz yellow. Sew these “weeds” all over your long johns so that they flutter when you walk.
  4. Smear face with dirt and draw vines and weeds on your temples with liquid eyeliner.
  5. Wear spider or other insect earrings. Glue little plastic bugs all over your costume.
  6. Attach more plastic weeds to head using barrette.
  7. Assure guests that YOU ARE NOT MOTHER EARTH!! YOU ARE POND SCUM!! POND SCUM! Can no one get it?
  8. Remind self to invite smarter guests to next party.

Second up, even if your child begs and begs and begs, unless he’s a strapping 15-year-old with Incredible Hulk-like muscles, do not ever ever create the following costume: 

 

Robot Boy!

INSTRUCTIONS (For Those Who Do Not Follow Warnings):

  1. Allow child to destroy old computer. Allow child to pick out which pieces of computer he wants glued onto his costume. Do not ever think of advising child to choose pieces other than those he desires with his oh-so-cute widdle heart.
  2. Promise child that should a device call a Blog ever be invented you shall not admit if he is Eldest or Youngest on said blog.
  3. Buy gray vinyl and and cut hole for his cuteness head, creating a poncho that can fit over even the heaviest snow suit. HINT: Vinyl for kids’ Halloween costumes is my Best Kept Secret (regarding Halloween). I’ve created homemade Batman and Ninja Turtle costumes using vinyl on which you can then draw muscles, etc. Vinyl makes a great shell for a turtle, on which you can draw the turtle shell lines, and then add a fabric front in yellow, all stuffed with newspapers for padding. You want pictures and detailed instructions? Come back next year.
  4. Glue computer parts onto poncho with Shoe Goo. (Shoe Goo can be found in your workshop, if you have a forester for a husband. If you can not find Shoe Goo in your workshop, divorce current husband and marry a forester OR go to nearest workwear store or maybe hardware store and insist on Shoe Goo and no other!) HINT: If you’re too lazy to follow my instructions, find some other glue, but it must be thick and gooey and capable of holding heavy computer parts on vinyl.
  5. Cover child’s face with silver makeup.
  6. Create hat out of cardboard and tin foil. Attach over toque with torn-up pillowcase strips for ties. (Sure, you can use fabric other than old pillowcases, but why bother when fifty million old pillowcases are falling out of your linen closet?) HINT: Pillowcases make excellent Trick or Treating bags.
  7. Very quickly clean every last trace of silver makeup off child’s face once you REALIZE HE’S ALLERGIC TO IT!!
  8. Take child Trick or Treating for maybe 10 houses, because the costume is too freaking heavy and he can barely move his widdle tiny legs.

What Halloween costumes would you not recommend?

Happy Halloween tomorrow everyone! (I’m taking the day off to carve pumpkins). Stay safe and guard your children. Eat their candy to test for danger. Tell them it’s in their best interests. Don’t blame me if they don’t believe you.

Halloween Costumes I Have Been

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

I used to be known as quite the Halloween costume designer—and Halloween party-giver for grown-ups. I had to give up the parties when My Liege and I were forced to refinish our hardwood living room floors one year because all that dancing in high heels (those of my guests, I assure you) was not friendly to our 40-year-old wood floors and also because one of my guests BROKE MY CLARINET!! The clarinet I’d had since grade seven and proudly displayed on my fireplace mantel even though I couldn’t remember how to play it any more. After several months passed and I received confirmation that it was, um, Moi who dropped the clarinet, I decided it was time to grow up.

First up, the perfect group Halloween costume for a young family, very easy to make (if I can do it, so can you), and inspired by a lack of ANY Halloween costumes for sale in the tiny logging town where we lived at the time:

The Wrigley’s Gum Family!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Measure family members and buy appropriate lengths of broadcloth in Juicy Fruit Yellow and Doublemint green (if can’t find shade of Doublemint green, fake it like I did). HINT: A cotton diaper works wonderfully for the baby’s costume.
  2. Sew tubes to fit bodies.
  3. Use felt pens and/or cut out and sew letters onto broadcloth, depending on how dark your background is. Draw very straight, and remember, if I can do it, so can you!
  4. Sew on shoulder straps. HINT: If you’re breastfeeding, make sure straps attach to costume with snaps—very handy.
  5. Create silver gum crowns out of cardboard and tin foil.
  6. Go forth and elicit oohs and ahhs.

Second, another easy group costume:

The Three Witches of Macbeth!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Locate two friends who’ll agree to play the Three Witches of Macbeth with you, as long as you guarantee that should a device called a Blog ever come into existence, you will not post their photos.
  2. Agree that each of you will memorize your assigned parts of the “Bubble, bubble, boil and trouble” (or whatever it is) speech in the play. Provide your two fellow witches with photocopies of the scene so they have no excuse not to memorize it!
  3. Have the good grace to have been born a brunette. If you’re not a brunette, dye your hair.
  4. Grow hair as long as you can and get a spiral perm (Yes, you can always buy a wig, if you’re not, you know, truly committed to Halloween).
  5. Spray white Halloween paint on your hair in streaks.
  6. Dress as witch. HINT: If you have a huge zit on your chin, cover it up with wart makeup.
  7. Include hat but forget to wear it in pictures.
  8. Create witch’s brew.
  9. Note that carrot in brew does NOT represent anything other than a carrot, so advise guests to get their minds out of the gutter.
  10. Try as hard as you can to forgive the other two witches when they DON’T MEMORIZE THEIR LINES!!! (Agh, does no one take Halloween seriously?)
  11. Repeat the three witches speech several times throughout the evening all on your lonesome.

So, what have some of your favorite Halloween costumes been?

Tomorrow – Halloween Costumes I Have Been or Created for Others to Be That Are Not Recommended.

Guest Bloggers Coming!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

A heads-up that I’m hosting my first two guest bloggers in November: Silhouette Special Edition author Mary J. Forbes is visiting Wednesday, November 5th, and Kensington historical author Diana Cosby will make herself at home on Monday, November 10th. Both ladies are blogging on a subject of their choosing and will reply to comments in the comment trail. Commenters have a chance to free books! Mary is offering a two-book prize of her Home to Firewood Island mini-series (Books 1 & 2—Book 2 is Mary’s November ’08 release), and Diana is giving away a copy of her December ’08 historical, His Woman.

How do you win? I’ll post the blogs at 6 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on their scheduled day. If you leave a comment for the guest blogger between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. that day, your name will be entered in the draw for that week’s books. Each name/email address qualifies for one entry in the draw, and please remember that you have to include a valid email address or I won’t receive notification that you’ve commented and you won’t be entered in the draw. I’ll draw a winner from a hat (no playing favorites, moi) after 11 p.m. and contact the winner by email the following day. You’ll supply me with your mailing address, which I shall forward by email to the author of the week, and she’ll mail you your free book(s). I’ll also post your first name and the initial of your last name (if more than one commenter shares the same first name) to my blog the following day, so those visitors who haven’t won can drop by and check out the gloomy news for themselves. So if you don’t want me to post at least your first name to the blog, it’s easy—just don’t enter.

Mark your calendars! And alert your friends. We want these ladies to feel welcome so they’ll drop by again.

Oh, and if you’re an author who would like to guest blog on Muse Interrupted, please email me at cindy AT cindyprocter-king DOT com (don’t include spaces, replace AT and DOT with appropriate symbol, spell Procter with an E, and don’t forget the hyphen, blah, blah, blah), and we’ll talk.

Typée Dans Le Français?

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Or something like that.

Okay, I got A’s in French all throughout high school, and I also got an A in first year university French. But what can I say? It’s been a few decades.

THANK YOU to Teresa for pointing me to a website that lists the ALT key/Key Pad codes for French accents. Yes, it took the combination of two emails and the website to get the information through my thick skull, but now I have it. My apologies to anyone else over the last few months who has attempted to teach me how to use the computer codes for accents. For some reason, Teresa’s lessons took hold while yours didn’t. I assure you, I’m a lousy student, you’re not a lousy teacher.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

  • You must use the number key pad on your PC, not the numbers across the top of your keyboard.
  • If you have a laptop without a key pad, I can’t help you, because I am laptop-less.
  • You MUST have your Number Lock key pressed before you attempt your bee-oot-iful accents.
  • You DON’T type the letter you want accented before or after the number code. Just type the code.
  • You DO press the ALT key before you type the code.
  • You let go of the ALT key.
  • The correct accent above the correct letter magically appears.

Voici un example. Mais, ou es l’accents dans l’examples?  J’ai oublie moi accents completement!!

Okay, let me try again (I have no idea if completement is a French word, so don’t hassle me if it isn’t, at least I’m trying, damn it). (For those who wish translation of Cindy’s feeble French, the above is meant to read: “Here is an example. But, where are the accents in the examples? I have forgotten my accents completely!”)

I think ou (where) has an accent above the o. I mean the u: Où. Yes!

Tres has an accent above the e: Très. Yes!!

Moi, j’ai mucho brilliance!

Clearly, I’m no better at Spanish.

Go forth and accentuate yourself. 

I Couldn’t Resist

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I had a blog post planned for today, but it’ll have to wait for next week. I can’t resist posting this mock romance novel cover that’s floating around the Internet:

All in good fun.

A-Mazing

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

I visited a corn maze recently. Well, okay, in September. But I’m lazy, so I’m just getting around to posting the evidence now.

Have you ever gone through a corn maze? I haven’t. But My Liege and I happened to be near a spectacular corn maze a few weeks back, so I made him take me through it. Here’s an aerial view of the maze:

Cowahumungoid, huh?

Ten points if you can guess the province (or state!) in which it resides.

A hundred points if you can guess what wonderful city it’s near.

Two thousand points if you know what “BH” stands for.

Six million points if you can correctly identify the figure within.

Fine Print: Points are not redeemable for monetary or merchandisable value. Points are for your personal validation only and a shout-out in the Comments section, typed, I kid you not, personally and without assistance, by Cindy!

So, we parked near this maze and trundled our way to the tenty-thing. Now, I thought we’d enter the maze, get lost in under fifteen minutes, then screech for help to find our way back out. But no. The Maze Guardian informed us that we had to guess two sets of clues hidden within the maze, solve two puzzles as a result of finding those clues, and then, only then, would we win a prize.

I wanted that prize. I needed that prize.

The Maze Guardian handed us a map/drawing of the maze so My Liege could mark off the segments as we searched them (no way could I do that job—I’d have gotten us lost in no time) and I could correctly guess the clues as we happened upon them (seeing as I’m the brilliant one). It took 90 minutes to complete the maze and find all the clues! It was like running a partial leg of The Amazing Race. I loved it.

What the inside of a corn maze looks like:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What an exhausted writer nearly finished the corn maze looks like:

I won a can of Pepsi.

Yes, I’m Cheesy

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Filched from Linda McLaughlin’s blog:


You Are a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 



You are a traditional person with very simple tastes.In your opinion, the best things in life are free, easy, and fun.You totally go with the flow. And you enjoy every minute of it!
Your best friend: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Your mortal enemy: The Ham Sandwich
 
 

 

Sadly, I must report that Linda is my mortal enemy, because her blog says she’s a ham sandwich.

Any best friends out there? (PB and J).

I ate a Reuben right before taking this test, and it dares to say I have simple tastes? Because I’m too lazy to cut my sandwich into pieces? Because I drink milk? Sheesh! Milk rocks!

I must point out that I’ve made TONS of grilled cheese sandwiches over the years, because they are a favorite of my family’s. However, I’ve eaten maybe three. Yet, I proudly admit, I AM cheesy.

Tell Me Tuesday–Please!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Okay, blog-buddies, I need some good news! My life has been very stressful for the last couple of weeks. A loved one is experiencing an extremely stressful situation, as well. I can’t go into what our situations are on a public forum like a blog, but the good news is my situation is not health-related and it’s not marriage-related. The bad news is I have no clue when the stress will alleviate. Thank Elle Muse I can find a refuge in writing.

So hit me with your good news! If you need to vent, you can hit me with that, too. Misery loves company, right? But I would most like to hear about your writing goals and accomplishments. If you’re feeling great about your writing lately, tell me. Maybe it’ll rub off into other parts of my life.

Pubbed Contest Deadlines

Monday, October 20th, 2008

A mini-rant. Gee, coming on the heels of my bye-bye to Bebo post last week, I almost feel grouchy!

Okay, last year, I entered Penny’s first novella in the RITA. That was the only contest Penny entered. Penny did not final, but that’s not the source of my gripe.

This year, Penny has entered her second novella in the RITA. Now, because Penny’s novellas don’t actually release until the end of December, the January 2nd receipt date for the five copies of the book reaching RWA in Texas is impossible to meet. I can pre-order Penny’s novella anthologies on Canadian Amazon all I want, but I won’t receive them until mid-January. Argh. (P.S. for those who’d like the link to pre-ordering Penny’s second novella on American Amazon, here it is).

For the RITA, I’m willing to pester Penny’s publisher for five copies of the anthology and, like last year, perhaps even hassle her to mail them to RWA for me. I mean, it’s the RITAs—the Oscars of romance writing. Even though there’s a slim chance of an erotic novella finaling, entering is a chance Penny can’t pass up.

So, I receive the October Romance Writers’ Report (RWA’s monthly magazine, for those not in the know), and I’m thinking this year maybe I should enter Penny’s new novella in more than one contest. However, every contest listed in the October RWR has an entry receipt date of no later than January 15, 2009. Usually earlier. That’s fine and dandy if you receive copies of your books from your publisher no later than December 15th (especially when the author lives in Canada, as I do), but when you don’t get copies until mid-January for a book released the end of December, where on earth is the author supposed to find the time to enter these contests?

Hopefully the November RWR will list published contests with more reasonable entry receipt dates—like February 1st. Because I would love the chance to enter a couple of contests other than the RITA and see how Penny’s work stacks up (assuming the contests have novella categories—many don’t). However, I still feel like my freedom of choice of which contests to enter is sorely lacking. Not to mention ironic. My book is copyrighted and published in 2008, but because the release date is the end of December and I don’t physically have copies in my grubby little hands until mid-January, I can’t enter contests with an early January deadline. Yet I can’t enter Penny’s 2008-published novella in next year’s contests, either. Because then I’d need a 2009 copyright/publish date. I dunno, I think that’s wonky.

Awwww…

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Allie McBeagle is seven today. This is how she celebrated:

Also, she got a hard-boiled egg for a present. She’s one happy dog.