Halloween Pics

Just a few, but fun stuff. I really had a great time with the pumpkins, and I thank FGB for twisting my arm and buying me some at the last minute. (Speaking of arms, carving two-and-a-half pumpkins is QUITE the triceps workout. Ow!)

Also, I forget how gorgeous the fall is further north. I’m so glad I came back to live here a while in it. I am once again reminded why this is my favorite season. The beauty takes my breath away sometimes.

Click here to see my Halloween 2010 album.

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Happy Halloween!

The Alphabet Players wish you all a safe & happy Halloween.

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I love sunsets. And Halloween.

Here’s the best of both worlds. Enjoy!

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Ready, Set, SCARF!

Does this say “SCARF TACTICS” to anyone else?

Silly newspaper layout people.

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Just in case you’ve somehow magically missed it being posted by Kevin Lucia, Rio Youers, Kelli Owen, Bob Ford, or anyone else connected with this pretty amazing special Halloween issue, here it is in all its glory — the cover for Shroud issue #10.

As always, hats off to the fabulous and infamous Steven C. Gilberts. Because seriously….CLOCKWORK PUMPKIN MEN. Need I say more?

I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on a copy. Click here to preorder your very own issue directly from Shroud.

And remember, it’s almost Christmas… Click here to browse through the Peculiar Art Shoppe of Steven C. Gilberts.

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Shroud Issue #10 ToC

Danny Evarts just posted the Shroud #10 Table of Contents — the special Halloween Issue guest edited by Kevin Lucia. The cover art (and sidebar) are by the always-fabulous Stephen Gilberts. Contributors include: Bob Ford, Kelli Owen, Maurice Broaddus, Rio Youers, Brian J. Hatcher, and MOI. Woooooohooooo! (I mean that in both the excited and spooky way.)

As the comic book geeks have probably noticed: yes, my story really is called “Red Lantern.”  There’s a great origin behind this one that I’ll post a little closer to publication date. But I promise…once you know what the story’s about, you’ll realize that there could not be a more perfect title.

Happy [early] Halloween!

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Spoiler Reviews

I love reviewers. Love them. Especially when they  1.) are nice to me and 2.) spell my name correctly.

Like this review in particular, from the Pittsburgh Tribune (warning: spoilers!). “A raucous Halloween production,” they say — which I appreciate simply for the use of the word “raucous.” They praise my clever idea and Bob’s exuberant art, and list it among four other books “ideally suited for Halloween.” I couldn’t be more pleased.

But — and if you’ve read AlphaOops: H is for Halloween you’ll know it immediately — they put a spoiler in the review (thus the warning). Come on, guys. I know you’re going to have to read it to your kids 200 times and the magic’s just not going to be there sometime after the 186th…but do you have any idea how DIFFICULT it is to build suspense in a 40-page book with only slightly more words than are in your review?

Let me just tell you: it’s difficult.

I know it probably seems silly to you, since you’re all grown up and stuff, but I don’t want to know (for example) who or what The Monster at the End of this Book is. The first time I read it, I want to have that little thrill of surprise. My gift, after that, is watching that same thrill in all the children I read it to. Don’t ruin that.

Or, at least, please put a spoiler warning in your header like the rest of us.

Happy Halloween!

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Happy October!

It’s here! And it finally feels like fall outside! I am glad this month has finally arrived, even if it means losing the leaves on the gorgeous oak tree outside my bedroom window.

To welcome in this spooktacular month (yeah, I went there), I thought I’d share with you this awesomely creepy tree I found planted right outside our local Outback Steakhouse. No Halloween ornaments needed for this guy!

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Princess Star

We’re back from the weekend and I’m tired and achy again, and the post office still isn’t delivering our mail and the Internet is down again (what is the matter with you, FIOS? You’re usually so awesome! This is madness!).

But I don’t care, cause I got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. I’ll post a copy of it when I’m not blogging from my phone. It runs this week, so look it up if you can get your hands on a copy.

I have wanted a starred review my whole life. I came so close with the first Alphaoops…and here I am! Squeeeee!

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A Princess for All Seasons

I worked as a book buyer for nine years. We typically bought books at least 6 months ahead of publication date. Titles that were specific to a holiday or theme (SAT prep, summer reading) we called “seasonal titles.” So for nine years, I effectively celebrated Christmas in June. In September or October I’d bulk up our inventory for the winter holiday purchasing season…and then before midwinter, I’d send all the excess back.

One of the reasons I started making my famous annual holiday CD was to remind myself that December was still a time of celebration, and that the holidays weren’t really over and done with. It got myself–and others in my situation–in the spirit. A tougher job than one might imagine, or so I realized when I discovered how many of my friends had come to depend on it.

This year, the tables are turned and I’m the author on the other end with the seasonal Halloween title. Like the four other titles before this, I marked the release date on the calendar. I made plans to dress up and take a posse of my friends on a progressive bookstore run so that we could dance around tables and make pretty signatures and sell beaucoups of books.

Oooooor not. The only thing we discovered was the street date for Suzanne Collins’ new book, and that the air conditioner in Books-A-Million was broken. There was not an AlphaOops in sight.

My inner ex-buyer patted my depressed inner author on the back and told her not to be surprised. It’s July. Kids are still basking in the glow of summertime and picking up firework detritus off the lawn. And we can’t have Halloween until we have Back-to-School — it’s just a fact of life. Sooner than later — probably right after I come back from Dragon*Con — my book will be all over those shelves, awesomely front and center, and I’ll be the most-demanded author in the English-speaking world.

Until then, I need to cool my jets, keep my nose to the grindstone, and rest easy in the knowledge that all the fans who pre-ordered it and all the librarians who need to process it get first dibs. I kind of prefer it that way. For all of you in the know it’s waiting for you, wherever you want, whenever your little heart desires.

Buy AlphaOops early. Buy often. Be prepared, because when October comes around, H is for Halloween is going to smash through the walls like the Kool-Aid Man.

Oh, yeah.

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