Hallowe’en Extravaganza!


We only have to wait a week now! Next week I will post the first contest. Get ready for some crazy halloween fun!


Yea. So what if I start preparing for Hallowe’en in August. I still have a bride and groom skeleton set hanging from my window from last year. In my world, everyday is Hallowe’en.

We won’t start any of the festivities until Oct. 1st (whimper heard around the world). But I wanted everyone to be aware that there WILL be festivities. I had to take last year off, but I’ll more than make up for it this year!

I already have some amazing books from extremely generous publishers like Little, Brown, Walker, Quirk Books, and Abrams, lined up for giveaways. Ghosts, skeletons, murderers, maniacs, and good old spooky fun haunt these pages.

There will be contests to win books. And they are difficult contests. They involve writing, and reminiscing, maybe some old Hallowe’en pictures?! There will be plenty of books, thus plenty of creepy contests.

Get ready…


Wait a month and a half…


Three VERY important things…

One: Princess Prep: Fashion & Words Contest. Ends October 10th. (https://www.facebook.com/princessprep)

Two: Guys Read Thriller Contest. Ends October 13th.

Three: October Issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree!

This is such a fun time of the year, get into the spirit of the season by dressing up princess dolls, writing thrilling tales, and reading spooktacular stories!

What Do You Have In Your Pocketses Challenge!

Over at Underneath The Juniper Tree, they are hosting a new weekly challenge. The What Do You Have in You Pocketses Challenge? I thought since I am always encouraging you all to take part in these challenges, I would give it a go. Make sure you challenge yourself with this one. It is such an entertaining writing exercise.

Blood for Ridicule

by Bree Ogden

The ridicule was expected.

I can handle this. Just let me out!

When you talk to the slight opening in your blouse pocket. The ridicule is expected. Expected, yes.

The little voice continues to berate and it’s almost as unbearable as the mockery coming from those around me.

“Sissy Loy has not a friend.

So Sissy Loy talks to her blouse.

Sissy Loy won’t even pretend.

So Sissy Loy isn’t even welcome in her own house!

Sissy Loy has not a friend.

And Sissy Loy won’t even pretend.

The children chant as they follow me, Sissy Loy, around the playground.

I feverishly try to ignore the voice coming from my blouse pocket.

I’ll slither so fast no one will see me. I’ll slice the cords that utter such vile words.

The thought of such an act sent me into a tizzy.

Panicked, I slapped my hand over my blouse pocket with such vehemence that it attracted the scornful looks of those around me who had not yet joined in on the chant.

And it started again.

“Sissy Loy has not a friend.

So Sissy Loy talks to her blouse.

Sissy Loy won’t even pretend.

So Sissy Loy isn’t even welcome in her own house!

Sissy Loy has not a friend.

And Sissy Loy won’t even pretend.

I’ll gladly slip inside their skin and create slits that will make them think twice about whom they scorn.

Lost in the grotesque thought of my schoolmates bleeding from the inside out, choking on their own words, I failed to notice that the contents of my pocket had sneakily disappeared.

So small. There was no way to find him. I could only track him by his damage.

The blood he left in his wake.

“Sissy Loy has not ::cough cough::”

Amelia started to choke as she began the familiar hurtful chant for the third time.

Blood began to slowly ooze out of her mouth and as the dark red liquid reached the tip of her chin, her nose became a peculiar sight.

Under the skin on the bridge of her nose—if one knew what one was looking for—slithered a long, skinny shape, making her nose look like a miniature version of a bed sheet with a snake underneath.

Before I could even check my pocket, Amelia started to bleed from her eye sockets. Her friends cowered in the corner of the playground by a cluster of trees; watching their ringleader come undone.

Amelia tried to scream but with each mouth movement, more blood spurted from her mouth. Showers of blood hit the ground and mixed with the dirty playground floor.

She looked at me in terror. I snapped my fingers and within moments my blouse pocket was again occupied and Amelia was curled up on the bloody, dusty ground with lunch aides running to her assistance.

I quickly spun around, for my blouse pocket was beginning to turn dark red from Amelia’s blood.

I leaned down to whisper into my pocket.

“A bit overboard with the eyes, don’t you think?”

He snuggled into a ball and whispered quietly.

Amelia had no heart with which to pump the blood, I truly did not think the damage would be so dramatic.

And he fell asleep with a smirk on his tiny little face and a snigger escaping out of his dreadful little mouth.

Challenge-a writer’s refiner’s fire

I love a good challenge. Especially as a writer. A writing challenge is such a fantastic way to keep the creative side of your brain vibrating with ideas and your heart pumping alive with innovation and artistry. And love. Because you have to love to write. #laboroflove

I’ve heard that feisty Marjorie and testy little Tex over at Underneath The Juniper Tree (see post below) know just how to challenge a great writer as yourself. Be sure to check out the ridiculously bizarre and fun weekly challenges as well as the larger contest going on right now, the Sinister Summer Stories Contest.

Also remember that this IS NOT JUST FOR WRITERS. Underneath The Juniper Tree wants artists. And everything I said above about challenging yourself goes for an artist as well. And I heard Tex goes a bit easier on artists because he really truly loves to eat words…and toes, but that’s for another conversation.

Challenge Yourself. 


A Taste of Travel and Twitter

On April 15 and 16, my client, JoAnna Haugen, will be presenting two workshops at the Las Vegas Writers Conference. One will focus on travel writing, while the other will provide a primer on social media usage for writers. Intrigued? Here’s a teaser from JoAnna regarding what participants will learn during her sessions:

Travel the World, Tell the Story

Many people dream of living the travel writing life. After all, travel writers jet around in first class to exotic destinations all over the globe. They sip mai tais on deserted beaches, chase wildlife across the savannah, go deep sea diving with great white sharks, stay in the most expensive hotels, have seen every famous work of art … and get paid a healthy chunk of change to say they’ve been there, done that.

Or is that the case?

Travel writing certainly has its perks. Yes, writers do get to stay in some super swanky digs (though I’ve never gone deep sea diving with sharks), but being a travel writer is still a job … and not a high-paying one at that. When I travel, my days are filled with tours, activities, interviews and research. I eat rich food and once had eight glasses of eight different types of wine sitting in front of my dinner plate so that I could understand the intricacies of pairing. I go snorkeling, and then I hop out of the water to ask questions of the person who runs the excursion company. I take showers in huge marble bathrooms, but I take note of how hot the water is and if the pressure is any good. After all, I have to share this information with my readers.

I work long hours with (often) sketchy internet access from the road. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with stories; other times I struggle to scrape something together.

Admittedly, though, I have a stellar job, and many people aspire to have the same. During Travel the World, Tell the Story, I’ll be sharing details not on the travel writing life, but on what makes a successful piece of travel writing. Some of my key points include:

  • Research what you can before you travel.
  • Avoid clichés.
  • Bring your writing alive with characters, dialogue and action.

Social Media for Writers

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re savvy enough to know that an online presence and real time communication via social media is important for writers. But what, exactly, is social media, and how can you as a writer best make use of the tools available to you?

I’ve discovered that many writers know they should be engaged in social media, but the big bad world of the internet can be a fairly intimidating place. From Twitter and YouTube to blogs and forums, how are writers supposed to know where to use their precious time and energy? Because there is a lot to understand when it comes to social media, many writers simply avoid it, and, as a result, they may be missing out on precious opportunities to network with industry movers and shakers (like Bree!), promote their work, engage in new writing opportunities and learn about new trends in writing.

Social media includes the various forms of user-generated content and the collection of websites and applications that allow people to interact and share information with each other in an online atmosphere. This means that social media not only includes those social networking sites with which you might be most familiar such as Facebook and Twitter, but also video sharing sites, blogs and online forum spaces. Yes, that’s a lot of content, but don’t let it freak you out!

Social Media for Writers is an introductory session that breaks down the various components of social media and highlights those that are most helpful for writers as they create and develop their promotional platforms. In addition, participants will learn:

  • How specific social media tools can be utilized by writers.
  • Why social media is important for writers.
  • How writers can engage in social media in a way that best benefits them.

-JoAnna Haugen

A few matters of business…

First: here are my literary What the WHATs? of last couple of days:

1. Phoenix Books closes its doors.

2. John Grisham to write for kids.

3. The Host by Stephenie Meyer, film adaptation.

Second: A Graphic Novel based off the music of Neil Young. Glorious.

(From Publishers Weekly)


Eighth Annual Free Comic Book Day Comes May 1st