Coffee and Plotting

Hello Lovelies! 

Well, NaNoWriMo kicks off in just a few days, and I’m making my first ever attempt at completing the first draft of a novel.  I’m very excited to get started, and I’m also very keen to make sure that I don’t turn into some growling, howling swamp monster.  Taking care of myself is important, even as I’m taking on the task of writing approximately 2000 words a day.  On this end of it, I’m thinking “Of course I can keep work, writing, friends, and self-care balanced!”  I’ll let you know how that goes, but I foresee a need for red velvet rope worthy time management.  And coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  


If I’ve learned anything at all in my 30+ years, it has to be that there’s truly no such thing as being 100% ready.  All I can do is dive in and keep swimming. 

Seriously, just go ahead and do it, don’t waste your precious time thinking about the scary stuff.  Hesitation is the death of adventure, robbing you of the opportunity to learn and grow.  Even if all you learn is how you’d do it differently if you had your chance again, you still learned.  That’s a win, my friend. 

Last week I talked about doing that photoshoot.  At this point, I still don’t know if I landed the gig (please keep a good thought!) but here’s what I discovered:  Just going for it felt so good, so right, that even if I don’t get into the ambassador program, I’m brave enough to go out and try again and again.  In fact, I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be to pursue styling as a career.  Have I got lots to learn?  Oh heck yes!  But I’m still going for it.  When I read about the brand ambassador program, I just knew I had to give it a shot, that it was the right thing to do.  I’m so glad I listened to that instinct, no matter the outcome.  It’s the same with taking on this writing challenge.  Yes, it’ll be a lot to fit into my days on top of work, social commitments, getting ready for our family Christmas, and oh yeah, planning for my UK adventure, but I want to write.  So I’m following that curiosity, too.  I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to do my best.  My best will keep getting better. 

On to the fun stuff!

Halloween is just a couple of days away, and I’m hoping that you’re dressing up and getting into the spirit of things.  If you’re taking the kiddos out, make sure everyone is safe.  If you’re on candy duty, enjoy the giving.  Oh, and a little tip:  Speaking as someone who lives outside of town, it’s rare to get a lot of trick or treaters, so the swag is bountiful!  Plus, some folks love to get a little more traditional with the popcorn balls and candy apple making.  Get to know your neighbours and join in the fun, have a cup of steaming witches brew, and let the kids hear a scary story or two.  Make memories, not just cavities.  Remember how much fun it is to make believe, be a pirate on the high seas, a wizard, a superhero, let your inner child enjoy a little Halloween magic.  Who says grown ups have to be in the age of not believing? 

If you’re doing some last minute decorating, ghosts and gravestones are super simple to make.  


Styrofoam sheeting (not super thick, because you’ll be cutting it)

Black Spray Paint

Sturdy box cutter

White paint and a paint brush

Felt pen

Wire or garden stakes

Draw your grave stones on one side of your Styrofoam.  Cut out the shapes -you may have to score and break here, but a chipped gravestone still looks really good.  Spray black, remember the foam will absorb the paint, so it’ll take a few passes to get a good coverage.  Again, it needn’t look perfect, in fact, the more beat up the better!  Once dry, paint on the lettering and dates, “Cousin Creeper, 1895-???”  “Edgar Allan Crow, 1913-1966”  Get creative!  Attach to your garden stakes and stick up in your yard.  Extra points if you add some eerie spotlighting. 


Styrofoam balls, 6″ or 8″, one for each ghost

Squares of fine mesh, at least 2′ x 2′, again, one for each ghost  

Black marker

Eye hooks and fishing line 

Draw your ghost face onto the balls, two black eyes and an open mouth, basically.  Centre the ghost’s head on a square of mesh, secure at the “neck.”  Screw the eye hook into the top of the head, and hang it up with fishing line.  Again, extra points for using spooky spotlighting or giving a little extra glow with phosphorescent paint.  

Most importantly, have fun.

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