Archive | October, 2012

Happy Halloween

31 Oct

Happy Halloween! I got a lot of great emails from yesterday’s post, so I will surely be posting answers to questions soon. But—for today—I thought I’d share all of my favorite Halloween treats! (And tricks)

 

Kids Movie: Hocus Pocus (Or The Little Vampire)

Scary Movie: Anything on TV that I haven’t seen before. (That way, I may actually get scared)

TV Show: American Horror Story (Which comes on tonight!)

Classic Novel: Frankenstein

YA Novel: The Party Room

Food: Pumpkin Pie…especially right now, at Perkins, they have Pumpkin cream pie. So delicious.

Candy: Branch’s Strawberries!

 

I’m dressed up like the Pink Power Ranger. I suppose my name is now Kimberly.

 

Happy Halloween! Here’s our pumpkins!

 

~SAT

Shannon Summary: Ask Me Anything

30 Oct

As I closed my Wattpad.com account down today, I found myself struggling, knowing that I was letting go of a website I felt very connected with, along with all of the fellow writers and readers that I have learned so much from. (If you haven’t checked out Wattpad.com, click here to read my previous information on the topic).

So I got to thinking:

What causes us to connect with one another as writers and readers (or bloggers, in this case.)? We may have a lot in common. We may be in the same genre or had similar life experiences. Or we might not.

I have found that there are a variety of people, connecting for very similar along with different reasons.

So today—other than my encouragement to connect with your own readers or writers—I want to connect with you, my readers.

What would you like to see more of on my site? Are there any questions you have for me (about anything!)? Want to know why I started writing? Want to know my experience in publishing? Want to know my favorite color? Want my to ask you a question?

Leave me a message or send me an email via my contact page, and I’ll post more of what you all want to see! Basically, meet me–beyond the information already provided. Let me know if you want your question credited if you email me, or it will be anonymous when I post the interview questions in a soon-to-be future posting.

After all, readers allow us writers to fully function in our passion!

Happy Tuesday! I hope anyone on the east coast (or with family) is okay from Hurricane Sandy!

P.S. Here’s another picture of Bogart and I, because I just can’t help myself.

Bogart

~SAT

Hurricane Sandy

29 Oct

Because I have family in Pennsylvania (I was also born there) here’s links on information over Hurricane Sandy, so you can track it like I am!

I hope everyone is safe!

Watch Live Coverage here. (There is some amazing–but terrifying–footage on this site)

Track the storm on interactive map here.

~SAT

Movie Mention: Insidious

29 Oct

Sorry for the lack of posts! I’ve been busy with school and Halloween. BUT—speaking of Halloween—I watched a scary movie recently that I think is a great Halloween flick: Insidious.

After moving into a new house, a family starts having strange occurrences. Once one of the children falls into a coma, the family decides to move, thinking the house is haunted. But it may not be the house. And it may not be a haunting. It’s definitely not what they think—and I was completely wrong the entire time I was guessing. Insidious is not only a different kind of a scary movie, but the plot is unique, and I actually was into it (because, let’s be real, most scary movies today aren’t that good or scary—but I liked this one).

So, if you’re looking for a scary movie, but a different kind of scary—get Insidious. (It’s also PG-13.)

Watch the trailer here.

If you don’t like scary, you could always stick with Hocus Pocus or The Little Vampire. (Those are my favorite).

~SAT

Relax & Read: The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am

25 Oct

If you’re an avid reader, chances are you spend A LOT of your free time in bookstores (or on your Kindle, buying novels), and if you go to the bookstore A LOT, you probably have that one favorite section you always find yourself drawn to.

New Authors is the first section I go to.

Maybe it’s because I’m an author myself, hoping to debut in a bookstore one day in the future, or maybe it’s because I feel like that’s a great place to find the latest treasure, waiting to be found. Debut novels challenge me, forcing me to read outside of my normal spectrum and surprising me with new writing techniques. For whatever reason, reading debut novels never disappoints me, and today is the anniversary of one of my favorites:

Kjersti A. Skomsvold’s first novel, The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am, was gifted to me one year ago today, and I still remember it.

Mathea Marthinsen, an elderly woman living only for her longevity, wakes up one morning and realizes she may die without ever having lived. In this realistic debut, Mathea will force readers to face the inevitable death and the meaning of mortality.

I definitely suggest this novel, because it’s an example of difference in every day literature and today’s world, along with culture (this novel is Norwegian) and writing styles. However, I can understand that the topic of death isn’t for everyone. If that is the case, then I HIGHLY encourage you to go to the New Author section in your local bookstore and find another novel to read.

Just try it. Really. You might learn something AND walk away loving a brand-new author.

Read more about Skomsvold’s novel here.

~SAT

Music Muse: DeLord

24 Oct

After I posted my interview “How Do I Write?” I received a few emails regarding my answer about music. Some of you were surprised to find out I don’t write with a soundtrack (as many think of music while writing as the soundtrack during a movie), and others asked me what kind of music I listen to where the lyrics aren’t distracting (because they’ve had the same problem), so I thought I’d explain more in depth. Plus, I realized I’ve only posted one other “Music Muse,” so where could I go wrong?

I LOVE classical music—which I know isn’t for everyone. To be honest, I’ve been listening to classical music since I spied on my grandfather in what I remember to be the “gold room” in his house (the room was decorated nicely, and us little kids weren’t allowed in it without an adult).

When it comes to classical music, of course I listen to the classics (ha. Beethoven. Mozart. Etc.) But, my recent favorite is DeLord. There’s something very haunting and mesmerizing about his sound that I can’t get enough of.

So, without further explanation, I’ll let his instruments explain:

Click here to listen to my absolute favorite: Inseguirsi by DeLord

~SAT

Movie Mention: Magic Mike

23 Oct

Okay. Okay. I know. This isn’t exactly my classiest post (or my longest), but I couldn’t help myself.

I saw Magic Mike in theatres, and it’s the perfect Girls-Night-Out (Or Girls-Night-In with wine and chocolate) movie!

Today Magic Mike was released on DVD, and of course it is an adult movie (Rated R), and it’s completely directed at women, and some people have complained that it’s downgrading, and it’s not for everyone. I get that.

That being said, if you’re open-minded towards strippers (Cough, Cough, CHANNING TATUM), then go rent this for the weekend, invite some girlfriends over, and have a great time!

~SAT

Website Wonders: PostSecret

21 Oct

Since you’re on the World Wide Web right now, I think it’s safe to assume that you spend some (if not A LOT) of your downtime on the internet. (I know I do.)

I always like suggestions of great websites to visit, whether it’s socializing, reading, inspiration, or learning in general.

Because it’s Sunday, I’d like to share my Sunday ritual websites.

PostSecret.com

Basically, the concept began when one man—Frank—laid out a bunch of postcards, and he told everyone to anonymously send in their secrets. The surprising results were nothing what he expected.

Instead of plan secrets, artistic postcards full of pictures, words, and heartbreaking revelations arrived—and every Sunday, Frank uploads an array of anonymous secrets people have mailed to him.

Everything from heartbreak, to loving proposals, to confessional habits can be read. Secrets that people have never shared with anyone may break you or make you.

In fact, you may even come across a secret that is actually yours.

Visit PostSecret.com here.

Look up his books here.

And I hope you join me every Sunday to check in with Frank and all of the secrets of this world.

One of the most shocking and emotional secrets I’ve ever seen on this website.

~SAT

Shannon Summary: How Do I Write?

20 Oct

Okay, so a week back, fellow blogger, WineCountryMom, suggested that I answer some questions about writing as she had done (which I thought was REALLY informing and interesting from one writer to another). So here’s my “How Do I Write?” interview:

How long do you spend writing each day? 

How long I spend on writing depends on if I’m writing that day and what I’m writing. I’ve gone days where all I did was write. As a teenager, my father actually had to steal my laptop to remind me to eat and sleep, because I will continuously write once I lose myself to my fantasies. However, if I’m not writing creatively that day, I—at least—spend thirty minutes blogging and thirty minutes journaling. (I’m a huge advocate of journaling!)

What time of day do you prefer to write?

Nighttime! I’m a night owl. If I could, I would sleep all day long, and write from sunset to sunrise every day.

Do you set yourself a time limit or a word limit? No limits?

I generally don’t do either, but I have done a word-limit before. November Snow is 125,978 words (600 pages), but most publishers won’t risk a first-time author with a novel over 80,000 words, so I’ve set that limit before.

Do you write with music on? If so, what music do you like to write to?

Yes and no. It depends on my concentration. Sometimes, I find even music can be distracting, but I initially use it every time—I generally listen to classical (but very dramatic) music. Something mellow with very few words, so I don’t get distracted by lyrics.

How often do you check the Internet? Do you fall into Internet black holes? Or turn off your WiFi completely?

I’m on the internet constantly. I try REALLY hard to ignore it, but, even as I’m writing, I find myself needing to research or look for inspiration.

Are you a basher or a swooper? Kurt Vonnegut characterized writers into these two camps: “Tellers of stories with ink on paper, not that they matter any more, have been either swoopers or bashers. Swoopers write a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then they go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work. Bashers go one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before they go on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done.”

I’m more of a swooper. Although I try very hard to be a basher, it’s hard for me to continue to write when I don’t just lose myself to the words and story—coming back to fix mistakes later.

Do you eat when you’re writing? What snacks/drinks do you go to?

Hardly ever. If anything, maybe a coffee. But my hands are too busy typing to eat. Plus, I’m very clumsy, and I don’t want to spill something all over my laptop (because I surely will).

What’s your biggest procrastination tool? Or are you a freak who never procrastinates?

I like to believe I never procrastinate when it comes to writing. If anything, my writing becomes my procrastination towards my every-day life.

How do the people (roommates/partners/children) who live with you fit into or around your writing schedule? 

I fit them in or I fit writing in as my schedule changes. If I feel like socializing, I socialize. If I feel like writing, that’s what I’m doing. I don’t let those schedules effect one another unless it’s a special event.

Do you find yourself tied to the place you’ve grown accustomed to writing? Or can you just pick up and go?

I’m actually a pick up and go person. I find my every-day desk distracting, because I do homework, journaling, blogging, and writing there. I prefer to go to a nice coffee shop (cliché, I know) or a hookah house or anywhere with WiFi where I can put in headphones and not get kicked out after a couple of hours.

I hope this was interesting to fellow writers, and maybe you can relate or have found things we have in common! I think these are great questions to consider when thinking about yourself as an author, and I encourage others to take a moment to contemplate answers (or maybe even post about them!)

Happy Saturday! Here’s a picture of my cat, Bogart, because you can never have enough pictures of your pets, friends, and family!

Bogart

~SAT

Relax & Read: History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life

19 Oct

Yesterday, after posting on my website, I returned to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites where I was swarmed with this name:

Amanda Todd.

If you’ve been on the Internet recently, then you know exactly what I’m about to talk about.

This 15-year-old Canadian, posted a video to YouTube about bullies, and—five weeks later—she committed suicide because of her personal experiences. However, I am not posting about my personal take on this tragedy, as I do not know this young person or the details of her death, but I’m really here, instead, to discuss suicide.

Whenever an event like this happens, sadly enough, I am taken back to every tragedy I have personally witnessed. Even then, I am struck by other tragedies I have seen my loved ones suffer with.

So how should we cope? What do we do to understand? To accept? To continue to live while loving their memory?

I, as an avid reader and writer, seem to submerge myself in both reading and writing to understand. When I was struck with grief, for whatever reason, I have found that one novel in particular sticks out of my memory in regards to suicide:

History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life by Jill Bialosky. 

A memoir of Bialosky’s life before and after her 21-year-old sister committed suicide. Bialosky goes through every grieving phase, contemplating all possibilities, and ultimately studies suicideology. This touching memoir is both dark and comforting, sweet yet saddening, endearing but questioning. And I truly believe History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life can help others, not only cope with suicide, but understand the repercussions of said actions and the love that everyone deserves.

Whatever your opinion on Amanda Todd may be, I am not interested. What I am interested in, however, is the possible prevention of suicide and comforting the victims of suicide (the survivors—the loved ones—the family and friends) who have lost a dear one.

Click here for Amanda Todd’s official website.

Click here to read more about the novel.

 Click here for suicidal help. Or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 

Remember: “I suppose no one is truly dead when we go on loving them” (Bialosky, 31).

~SAT

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