Book Bashing

Now that more and more people are participating in National Novel Writing Month, I see many snarky comments from people; writers and non-writers alike…. such as “well, don’t write a lame book like [fill in name of a highly successful book]…

Seriously? If a book is highly successful, there must be a reason for it. The author must be doing something right!! So, unless you’ve written, published, and sold a book that has sold over a million copies, do you really have the right to judge and criticize?

You may not like the subject matter, or the characters, or the plot, and that’s fine.

However, your opinion of the book doesn’t mean the book is bad; it just means you did not care for it. But it seems like for many people, if they don’t like a book, better not be anybody who likes it!! That is what is lame, not the book, but your assessment of it.

I read a lot. I read 5-6 books at a time. I try to go into each book’s story with the idea that I will find something about it I will like. I try to look at it all in a positive light. I read one book series that was very frustrating to me, but I read all 10 books of the series, and while I didn’t care for the ending, I searched for and found aspects of the story that I loved. Furthermore, this writer has finished and published her book is much more than what I have accomplished so far.

The worst, of course, are obscure published authors bashing a well-known writer, which to me, is just sour grapes and a sign of jealousy.

I think as both writers and readers, and we need to go into a book with an open mind and a sense of wonder and a willingness to learn and experience something that might be brand new to us, without judgment or criticism and certainly not bashing it, just because the storyline is not our cup of tea. Your opinion is only for and about yourself; when you judge someone else’s work, it says more about your narrow mindedness than it does about the book. I wish book (and movie) critics could understand that.

Halloween Fun In The Time Of Covid-19

First of all, I want to thank Mrs Wolfie for tagging me in this fun Halloween post. Please visit her blog and subscribe, she has some wonderful posts. I never get tired of reading them. I also snagged her image for this meme.

Alright, let’s get started.

In order to take part in this tag:

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you and link their post
  • Put the rules after an introduction, then answer the 13 questions
  • Tag 13 more bloggers to participate in the game
  • Use these same Halloween questions, or create new ones of your own

Now time for the questions.

What’s your favorite thing about October or Halloween?

Everything…. crafts, food, parties, decoration, music, movies, books… you name it. I think it’s now my favorite holiday, maybe after Christmas, or maybe tied with Christmas.

How much do you spend on Halloween?

I use to spend several hundred dollars of Halloween decorations and even gifts for the kids. Things have changed drastically. I live in the sticks so I have very few trick or treaters, if any, and I don’t decorate like I use to. But I still love to plan like I do.

What do you think the average person spends on Halloween goodies & does it match what you spend?

I’m sure it’s much more than what I use to spend. If I had the ability, I could easily spend a thousand dollars… per week.

Does social media influence how much you decorate for Halloween, causing you to spend more?

Nope, it’s all on me. Unless you count YouTube.

Do you buy or create your Halloween costumes and what was your favorite costume so far?

I don’t think I’ve ever bought a Halloween costume. We have always made them, often using second hand clothes or what we had lying around. My favorite is still my old witch costume. Now I just wear my normal daily stuff and that’s scary enough.

Share a trick you have played on someone at Halloween.

When I had my daycare, I spent the afternoon decorating the playroom for Halloween. Everything I owned, which was a lot. We had already carved jack o’lanterns so I put them all down there with candles inside and then I turned off the lights and turned on the video camera. When the door opened and all they saw was darkness and pumpkin faces glowing they stopped dead in their tracks. Finally, they walked all the way in and started laughing. We had a Halloween party that afternoon and that night they all came back with their parents for the planned Halloween party. It was a great day. I miss those kids.

Do you have a favorite Halloween treat?

Only one?? I love pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Candy corn… I usually fill a clear glass pumpkin shaped candy dish full of it. Sweet and sour wings that we called bat wings. Any kind of pasta like mac and cheese (it’s orange) or spaghetti or this one (but I would use tomato juice instead of beets).

BLOODY RED WINE PASTA WITH MOZZARELLA BATS

  • Combine water, red wine and beet juice (around 3/4 cup) in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add linguine and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta. Set aside.
  • Add beets, remaining 1/4 cup red wine, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 cup parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper to a blender. Pulse until smooth.
  • Pour the beet mixture into a saucepan. Add the reserved cooking liquid and heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add the sugar, remaining parmesan and a pinch of salt. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh mozzarella bats and parsley.

What is something you can do with a pumpkin once Halloween is over?

You’re suppose to do something else with the pumpkin? I imagine you could put in the compost. If you have a compost pile.

Do you consider pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable?

I haven’t a clue. I’ve never thought about it before.

What is the scariest food you’ve ever eaten?

Beets!! See above.

Do you have a favorite Halloween drink?

Hot spiced wine or Halloween eggnog (commercial eggnog with a scoop of orange sherbet and a splash of 7up.

People usually spend money on Halloween, but have you ever made money related to this holiday?

I wish. So far nothing. I don’t think that’s bound to change.

What’s your favourite scary book or movie?

I’m not into scary or horror, although my kids got me use to watching Scream. They watched it so often that it finally became funny and I could recite all of the dialogue. Yeah, not a good thing. I’m with Mrs. Wolfie…. The Addams Family, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beetlejuice Dracula: Dead And Loving It. My two favorites are Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic (reading the brand new book, third of the series that this movie is based on). I also love Bell Book and Candle and Nightmare Before Christmas.

Okie dokie… let’s tag some fellow bloggers:

https://gleesparkle.com/

https://ciphersfromcindi.wordpress.com/

https://jupiterslair.com/

https://huedspirit.wordpress.com/

https://janontheblog.com/

https://collaredmichaelcom.blog

https://deviantsuccubus.com/

https://mrsfever.com/

https://smithasbakelove.com/

https://shimonafollowingherpassion.home.blog/

https://ladyjabberwocky.com/

https://madebybernadine.com/

Double, double, toil and trouble

“Three times the brinded cat has mewed,” said the first witch. “Thrice plus one the hedgehog whined,” said the second. “Harpier cries: it’s time, it’s time!” the third said. The first witch moved closer to the boiling cauldron.

“Round about the cauldron go: In the poisoned entrails throw.

Toad that under cold stone Days and nights, thirty-one Vicious venom its sleeping got, Boil it first in this charmed pot!”

Then in unison the witches chanted into the cauldron: “Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

The second witch came to the cauldron for her contribution to the spell. “Fillet of a marsh snake, In the cauldron boil and bake: Eye of newt and toes of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting, Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

The witches then chanted together. “Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble!”

Then the third of the Weird Sisters came forward to the cauldron to say her piece of the spell. “Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Witch’s mummy, guts and gullet Of the fed salt-sea shark, Root of hemlock, dug in the dark,

Liver of blaspheming Jew, Gall of goat and slips of yew Felled in the moon’s eclipse, Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips, Finger of birth-strangled babe Ditch-delivered by a slag:

Last, a tiger’s entrails. Our pot will create what entails.”

Again they said in unison: “Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

The second witch then finalised the spell: “Cool it with baboon’s blood, Then the charm is firm and good.”

The completion of the spell summoned Hecate “Oh, well done! I commend your pains And everyone shall share in the gains.

And now about the cauldron sing, Like elves and fairies in a ring, Enchanting all that you put in.”

Hecate Exits. – By William Shakespeare, MacBeth

Recipe of the Day: Halloween Mice Cheese Balls

Halloween Mice Cheese Balls

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 C (8 oz) pepper jack cheese, softened-or use whatever cheese you like
1 1/4 C finely chopped smoked almonds
julienne carrots for tails
32 sliced almonds, toasted, for ears
hot pepper jelly for serving, if desired
crackers for serving
Mix the two cheeses.
For each mouse: Shape 2 Tblsp into a mouse-ish body.
Roll in chopped nuts.
Add tail and ears.
Cover and chill at least two hours.
Serve with crackers and hot pepper jelly.

Labyrinth: Costume for Sarah

One of my favorite movies to watch during the month of October is Labyrinth. Between the music and watching David Bowie in those tights, what’s not to like? But mostly it’s Sarah’s dress for the masquerade.

Here is the music from that scene:

And here is some details and focus on THE dress: http://ariacouture.com/sarahs-labyrinth-ball-gown-a-costume-study including this video of the dress:

Here is how one amazing seamstress put together the dress by sewing it herself. I was blown away. https://weallsew.com/the-sarah-williams-dress-from-the-movie-the-labyrinth-an-inspiration-for-cosplay/

On Costumet, they showed a much easier way to replicate the gown: https://www.costumet.com/labyrinth/sarah-williams/

This version was designed and created by Firefly Path on DeviantArt

And on Etsy, they have a gorgeous version of the headpiece: https://www.etsy.com/listing/202559686/labyrinth-ball-crown-labyrinth-ballroom

And with that you will need to have the proper hair style:

And to finish off this post here are 9 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Labyrinth! (and I didn’t know these things)

Recipe of the Day: Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie with Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie with Caramel Pecan Sauce https://recipeland.com/recipe/v/pumpkin-ice-cream-pie-caramel-p-56748

PUMPKIN ICE CREAM PIE WITH CARAMEL SAUCE

Crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed Gingersnaps (approximately 30 cookies))
1/4 cup butter, melted

Filling:
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 pint Vanilla ice cream, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream — whipped

SAUCE
1 cup Caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup chopped Pecans

In small bowl, combine crushed gingersnaps and butter; blend well. Press firmly in bottom and up sides of 9″ pie plate. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into ice cream. Spoon into crust. Freeze. In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin; blend well. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon over ice cream in crust. Freeze 3 hours until firm. Let stand at room temperature 15-20 minutes before serving. In small saucepan, combine caramel topping and nuts. Stir constantly until heated through. Serve warm over pie.

Divination Fears

I posted this one my October Magic post but I wanted to repost it in its own post. I may do several this way.

Samhain is the best time for divination; do a tarot reading, rune reading, use the pendulum, scrying, palm reading, tea reading, ouija board.

I just need to say a few words about divination. People have told me that the devil resided in tarot cards. That crystals turned girls into witches. And that demons lived in Ouija boards and that demons will possess them. This is all ridiculous. Ouija boards and tarot cards are all pieces of cardboard. They only have the power you give it. If you believe they are evil, that’s what you will find. Please read this article: https://www.vox.com/2016/10/29/13301590/how-ouija-boards-work-debunked-ideomotor-effect

My grandmother used to read tea leaves, I’ve done palm reading. I’ve done mirror scrying and crystal ball scrying. I have runes, an ouija board, several pendulums, and a dozen different tarot decks and a huge collection of crystals. None of these things tell the future (I wish they did), they help you understand yourself and your options. I am not evil, despite the Trump supporters who say otherwise. I am a normal, well-read, long studied grandma type who cares about others. I’m not afraid of cardboard and rocks that are taken out of the earth. I’m more afraid of people who walk around Walmart with guns. Which is why I don’t go to Walmart.

Don’t be swayed by superstition. Educate yourself.

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