Happy Hauntings

Happy Hauntings

Twas the fright before daymare and all through the house not a dead man was stirring not Johann nor Strauss. The bones were piled high all alongside my lair in hopes that the next victim soon would appear… The haunted houses are gearing up for a spooky season of gore and mayhem. Halloween shops are sprouting up everywhere with masks, magic and goblins aplenty. Perhaps best of all are the mountains of candy! Yet eating isn’t always a sugary affair. With zombies and cannibals, you’d best beware. The horrors and chills you’ll find in our book are available in print, Kindle and Nook. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Bronies, Writing and You

Bronies, Writing and You

Today’s topic is the magic of friendship. Alright, maybe not, but as many corners of the internet can attest there has been a rising resurgence of ponies. In fact, fans of both genders worldwide have gone diligently to work reproducing and remixing pony art, pony sites and pony videos. This massive herd has everypony *ahem* I mean, everybody doing something that is both wonderful and ‘illegal,’ However, Lauren Faust, the creator of the most recent generation of ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ embraces the borrowing and retooling of her work. The result has been a creative outburst of epic proportions. Collaboration. Respect. Creativity. Imagination. In today’s artistic world there has been a heated debate over who owns the content that many of us are generating by the billions each day. Few are able to articulate this better than Harvard professor Larry Lessig: [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q25-S7jzgs] Teamwork is a beautiful thing and can have extraordinary, far-reaching results. Be respectful of artists of all kinds; always point back to the source once you’ve gained permission to use something. Perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to make original work of your own that others can mishmash to their hearts’ content.   Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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But wait, there’s more!

I have fantastic news for those of you dreading a return to the doldrums of every day life as this holiday season comes to a close. The twelfth day of Christmas isn’t until January 6th. That is when a very special (and in some countries, a quite epic) celebration called El Dia de Los Reyes takes place. Known in English as Three Kings’ Day or The Feast of the Epiphany, this is a holiday steeped in traditions, stories, music, culture and presents. Did I mention presents? In honor of El Dia de Los Reyes, Spectacle is offering a very special bilingual children’s book called “La Caja Basia/ The Empty Box.” This book features hand-drawn illustrations by Freddy Sanchez with a Spanish storyline by Maria Goretti Sanchez, translated into English by me. A labor of love, come see what Manuel and Maria are up to this Dia de Los Reyes and join in the magic from my family to yours. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Gifts for Writers Part III

by Eric Staggs Every year it hits like a tidal wave – a rush of panic – what will you buy for the writer on your list? If you’re anything like me, the very idea of Black Friday sends chills through your bones. Here’s a handy guide to help select the perfect gift for writers (a notoriously difficult group to buy for) and most item can be ordered online. The best part is most of these things can be ordered online, allowing you to get some serious shopping done without the battle scars of yet another Black Friday Shopping nightmare! Like any profession, writers need tools to do their job effectively. These tools vary widely and depend greatly on personal preference, but there a few gadgets that every writer shouldn’t be without.   Books Reference books are a must for any writer. My top five desktop reference books are: A Dictionary of Theories, Dictionary of Astronomy, Medical Dictionary, Latin-English Dictionary and a Dictionary of World Mythology. That covers most of the basics for day-to-day writing.   Voice recorder Micro-voice recorders are an excellent gift for any writer. It takes some time to get over the self-consciousness of talking your ideas out to a little machine, but after a while not only do you get used to it, but you feel like you’re in a sci-fi movie, making secret plans in case you’re captured by some galactic nemesis. The only “must haves” on these mini-voice recorders are USB output and a mini-jack for earphones. The slew of other features are just bells and whistles.   eReader This little piece of technology is about the slickest thing next to pop-rocks we’ve come up with. There’s about a thousand flavors of them now. The Nook, the Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad offers apps for all .epub and .mobi files. many publishers are offering their own version of what I refer to as the miracle bookshelf. Do you research, make sure the titles your Giftee wants on available on the platform you chose. As well, some folks like the e-ink display better than the backlit LCD. You can’t go wrong with this gift.   Anthologies Writers must read! This is necessary to stay inspired, to keep up with evolutionary changes to their favorite genre and to see how techniques and methods are working for other authors. However, often the selection of fiction piece can be random and a big commitment, for someone who wrestles with time management anyway. Anthologies on the other hand, are filled with dozens of short stories, already filtered and of top quality, in easily digestible, bite size chapters.   iPad2 Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve got a Kindle and an iPad2...

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Make a Spectacle of yourself!

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