Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Monday, August 31, 2015

Welcome September! A Ghostly Book and a Bit of Ghost Hunting

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Fall is a fun time to have kids and it's a fun time for kids.

But it's also a fun time for moms.

I love to read dark and shivery books during this time of year. I also like spooky crafts, and the occasional horror movie.

The book I am just starting with my Poison Pen Book Club is called Shutter. Although it is a YA, it is about Micheline Helsing, one of last descendants of the great vampire hunter Van Helsing. She is a tetrachromat, a girl who sees auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum, and came with a glowing review. So we can possibly kill two birds with one stone here--find something we like and then maybe pass it on the our teens. 

Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film.

The book club just started reading last night. After a brief set up in the first chapter, the not so subtle ghostly actions starts. These ghosts are NOT of the Casper variety. Missing teeth, and other body parts, kick right in as soon as we know who the main characters are.

This is another book recommended by an agent, so I have high hopes.

Reading Shutter will also be fun because after we finish, the Poison Pen members will be meeting at the Hotel Somerset, a supposedly haunted hotel in Somerville, New Jersey. Although we are not experienced ghosts hunters, we will be bringing cameras in honor of the Shutter theme, and hopefully catch some orbs or other ghostly manifestations on film, like Micheline does.

Several years ago there was a horror film called Shutter, not to be confused with
Shutter Island that starred Leonardo DiCaprio. The main character had her own personal issues with cameras and evil spirits, but the story is not the same.

Although I have not finished the book yet, I just wanted to write this blog because the trilogy of the book Shutter, the movie Shutter, and the amateur camera ghost hunting might set off an idea for your own spooky autumn book/movie/ghost hunting fest.

Have fun!! And tell me what you end up doing.


P.S. I'll review Shutter when I'm done. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Artsy Back to School Stained Glass Bookmark for Teacher

Summer went by too fast!

Bring a tiny bit of artsy fun into the classroom with a back to school bookmark for the teacher.

For this craft you will need:

Elmer's (or similar) glue

Colored Sharpies

Thick paper or cardboard in color of your choice

Clear plastic sheet

First cut out a long book mark shape from the paper.

It can be any shape you like, curvy, swervy, a flower, a lightning bolt, or a rectangle. Just use your imagination and have fun.

Cut a window in the paper.

Using the paper bookmark as a guide, cut the clear plastic slightly smaller than the bookmark.

Now make any type of stained glass design with the Sharpies that you choose. Flowers, shapes, even just one or two colors looks great. 

If you are using white paper or cardboard you can color it with the Sharpies too.

Take the glue and put a thin line around the clear plastic when you have finished coloring, and glue it on the window.

Viola! You have a beautiful stained glass bookmark lovely enough to grace any book.

Have so much fun and please show me the bookmark that you and your kids create.

Email to dealenihan @gmail.com.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Quicky Book Review--Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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In June I attended a writer's conference and met many lovely writers and rubbed elbows with some savvy agents.

I asked each agent that I had the pleasure of meeting to please tell me an excellent book to read--especially in the spooky/shivery genre. Not quite horror, but something atmospheric and delightful.

The first one I read was Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Tucholke.

This YA book not only grabbed me from the first page (not for the squeamish) but held my attention through the whole delish and eerie tale.

A charming boy named River shows up in a sleepy, seaside town and turns bored Violet's life upside-down...to say the least.

This book has a bit of it all--the supernatural, romance, evil, and redemption. 

So hang on to yer hats pardners, it is one exciting ride.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

You Love 'Em But You Need a Break!

We love our kids.

We love 'em when they are tiny and helpless and rely on us for everything. Then they get a bit bigger and we think we are going to get a bit more time to ourselves because someone said that kids can "play on their own" more as they get older. Their attention spans expand and they can entertain themselves.


When they start to talk and that brain fires left, right and sideways with all the rapid growing they are doing, their favorite thing to say will be MOM.

Or Ma, Momma, Mommy, or Mum.

The first time you hear Mama out of those teeny bow lips will be one of the most memorable days in your life. 

Fast forward a year. 

They will use it hundreds of times a day.

And it will still be wonderful to be a mom. But there will also be times you want to pull your hair out of your head. 

You are the first person that means everything to them--but that does not mean that you should let yourself go insane.

You will feel like no one can care for your child as well as you can--and you are right. No one will have that incredible connection. And that is FINE. 

They need to get out in the world a bit, experience new things, and have some fun--just like you do. 

It does not have to be every day, but often enough that you have something to look forward to every week. Get a manicure--or get together with a friend and give each other mani/pedis. Stop at Starbucks on the way home for a treat, and have a probably much needed free girlfriend therapy session. Or simply go somewhere and read--ALONE.

It does not really matter what you do, as long as you fill your tank when the fuel gets low.

They tell you on a plane if (GOD FORBID) the oxygen masks fall that you should take care of yourself before any children.

It's the same thing--you are no good for anyone--including yourself--if you have nothing to give.

So go out and fill your tank. Have some fun. Then spread that sunshine around.

Come back on Wednesday--I will have a craft for the kids for these last few days of summer.