Hint of Retail Halloween and Poor Captain Whinypants

Mushu Avatar

Am currently in retail heaven, as the stores are full of Halloween delights. I have successfully restocked our treat bags and give-a-ways to friends, and have made a pledge that any new decorations need to be made. I’m already plotting to try my hand at making fancy chocolates this year, along with other concoctions that I probably shouldn’t. This is also a good time of year to get some fascinating tablecloths, of the cloth-and-vinyl variety, and I now have spider webs, sugar skulls, and obnoxious grinning pumpkins in my possession. Oh, but this is my favorite magical time of year. Fireball cinnamon whiskey and hot apple cider, chipotle-and-cinnamon roasted pumpkin seeds, old-fashioned ghost stories… I’m in heaven.(1) Should you not understand my sheer joy for this time of year, look no further than a piece I wrote last year titled Dear Humans.

This year, half of Halloween has been consumed not by Christmas, but by another retail occasion: the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As an adult(2), I remember having that excited feeling when the original movies were re-released in the theatres, and again when Star Wars: A New Hope debuted. Of course, my happiness has never been more abundant than when I got to shoot Gungans in the face as a droid in Battlefront 2… Anyway, I digress. There is nothing more exciting than that first moment when the opening credits roll, and I can’t wait to hear how the kids in my life enjoy this new movie premiere. I haven’t made plans yet to see the film, partially because I am crowd-adverse, which means I’ll likely go to the Sundance theatre that I love dearly. I can deal (and have) with the throng if I have to, but it is infinitely easier to be up on stage or hiding in the back than being swallowed up by massive amounts of people.(3)

On that note: I have much to do this week, but I’m planning on popping back in from time-to-time. Today, I leave you with Captain Whinypants in his new Halloween costume. You can see how excited he is. Clearly.

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I’m not sure if I like this one better or not. The loose straps reminded me of a helmet. Or a murderous disguise. See also: my revenge for that 4:00 a.m. wake up call the other day.

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That’s all for today. May you survive the prickly caltrops Monday is no doubt throwing at you, and live to see another day.

(1) Halloween often gets the short shrift in terms of holidays, for Christmas cannot come soon enough for many. I feel a strong aversion, however, to Christmas trees in July. Clearly, we need more monthly holidays like they had in medieval times. Which, admittedly, were subsumed into religious activities from their pagan origins, but the roots remain.

(2) Adult. Bah! Brain does not track age as well as the body does. Some days I’m eight years old wandering through a forest, bewildered by the height of the trees. Other days I’m ninety-five thousand years of age, wondering why the hell back pain wasn’t put into the manual.

(3) A visual from What Dreams May Come (1998).

    Mood: Truth in the smallest things.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Balanced with water! I think…
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: A walk. In the park, even!
    In My Ears: A Beethoven trio with a name so long, Tolkien would be proud.
    Game Last Played: Sonic: All Stars Racing Transformed
    Book Last Read: Research for work.
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Fringe
    Latest Artistic Project: Skull. It’s a cross-stitch thing.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Gods, Memes, and Monsters
    Latest Game Release: Dread Names, Red List for Vampire: the Masquerade and Ghosts in the Black for the Firefly RPG.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update and My Departure from the Conan RPG.

7-Link Salad for This Week’s Squees

Black and Tan Cats

Good morning! Well, I suppose it might not be morning where you are, but the sentiment is there. As you may recall I started the 365 Days of Squee over a month ago, and I have to admit that some days are more challenging than others–especially when reading the news. News poisoning is especially problematic, in my mind, to writers like myself who take inspiration from words that come into our brains. If it’s all tonally negative? Yeah, it can get depressing super-quick.

Though it initially took a concerted amount of effort for me to focus on what’s positive, I feel that I’m starting to train myself to look for those things now. That doesn’t mean I prefer every topic or work to be sanitized; I do feel that we should need to address problematic issues. It’s just that there’s so many problems–humans are very good at bitching about everything, even the small stuff–that I want to focus and pick my battles more carefully. When I don’t “battle” persay, I would rather be on the ground and doing what I believe instead of simply saying it (if that makes any sense).

On to the squees!

1) Applewood Books recently made over their website. I was poking around a bit when I saw a book written by the Stowe sisters called American Woman’s Home Or, Principles Of Domestic Science: Being A Guide To the Formation and Maintenance Of Economical, Healthful, Beautiful, and Christian Homes. If you’re into history, being able to read books written by people from the time period is a great way to get a hands on feel for what went on. This is pretty cool!

2) Unbelievably talented, I love the figurines designed by Virginie Ropars. Her dolls are fantastic! Be sure to check out her website!

3) If you’re looking for women writers to read in science fiction, I found a monthly column by A.C. Wise called “Women to Read on SF Signal.” It’s a great way to build a list and find new writers you haven’t heard of before.

4) Mouthwatering recipe for apple crisp in the crockpot. Need I say more?

5) Cartoonist Roman Jones is offering a printable version of the insightful How to Live with Introverts comic. It’s spot on!

6) 30 Second Films with Bunnies is a site that basically sums up films with… erm… bunnies. In 30 seconds. Anyway, it makes me giggle and they’ve got a huge variety of movies on there, like The Cabin in the Woods (With Bunnies) and The Princess Bride (With Bunnies).

7) These pumpkin earrings from Beadaholique are really cute! The wirework at the top really nails it for me. They have a ton of other instructional videos on their website, too.

44/365 through 51/365

    Mood: I think I’m finding my zen.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Lower than normal.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Yesterday was my day off.
    In My Ears: Dance with Wolves by Inca
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: Work-related.
    Movie Last Viewed: Constantine
    Latest Artistic Project: An origami crane
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.

Day 8: Retail (Ouija) Therapy

Sleepy Cat... So cute...
I couldn’t, for the life of me, come up with a squee today–so I turned to my friends on Facebook.

This room-sized, handmade Ouija board rug wins the day. Gah. It’s just so awesome. 🙂


    Mood: Sniffly. UGH.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: A paltry amount.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Emptied out a tissue box.
    In My Ears: Nada. Cats are whining.
    Game Last Played: Age of Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur
    Book Last Read: The Crimson Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
    Movie Last Viewed: Labyrinth
    Latest Artistic Project: I bought MOAR Halloween decorations.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing. See also: need to write more flipping comics and exercise my art skillz again. Feh.
    Latest Game Release: Hunter the Vigil: Mortal Remains
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.

Day 5? The Halloween Countdown Begins!

Don’t have a ton of time today, but I am dedicated to this 365 Days of Squee! So, for today’s post, the fact that Halloween is LESS THAN TWO MONTHS AWAY! is the reason why I’m giddy. ‘Course, every day is Halloween in my book. Ah well, what can I say… Life is spooktastic.


    Mood: Waiting for the caffeine to kick in.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I’ve had half a cup. BARELY A SPECK!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: There was lots of thinking about it. That’s for sure…
    In My Ears: The A/C (Not to be confused with A/C D/C electricity or band.)
    Game Last Played: Age of Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur
    Book Last Read: The Crimson Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
    Movie Last Viewed: V: The Final Battle
    Latest Artistic Project: Um…
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing. See also: need to write more flipping comics and exercise my art skillz again. Feh.
    Latest Game Release: Hunter the Vigil: Mortal Remains
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.

Happy Halloween! A Spooky Buffet of Links and Treats!

Halloween Night Ghost Avatar

Happy Halloween! I wish all of you the finest and spookiest of days. May your spine tingle, your ghosts haunt, and your day be full of portents and ominous signs. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo!

And now for a few necessary announcements.

  • Don’t forget to sneak over to FlamesRising.com this week, for the site will fill you up with scary blog posts perfect for this time of year, like my review of Frankenweenie.
  • If you applied to become one of The Thirteen, check your e-mail. Today, you will find out whether or not I accepted your application.
  • NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. Yes, that’s TOMORROW! Ack!
  • Want excellent chocolates? http://www.infusionchocolates.com/
  • Need something new, but you’re strapped for cash? Free spooky radio dramas from the Golden Age of sound. Visit RadioRelic.com and listen to a-mazingly scary tales!
  • Traditional? Believe Halloween is perfect for divinatory exploration of the tarot-reading kind? Free tarot readings are available at Facade.com.

And now for a witchy manicure demonstration. (The silver version is what nailpolish I’m wearing this week over orange-and-black polish!)

And now, to leave you with a curious look from one of my cats, Rimmon. (Appropriately named the god of storms. . .)

    Mood: I vant to suck vour blood.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Come to think of it, my victim’s blood did taste a little like Starbucks.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Practiced my swoops and creeps!
    In My Ears: Dark Desire by Nox Arcana from Dark Tower
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Origins
    Movie Last Viewed: The Raven
    Latest Artistic Project: In progress!
    Latest Release: “Fangs and Formaldehyde” from the New Hero anthology through Stone Skin Press
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Monica Valentinelli >

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