Decorated to Death by Amy Mata

Decorated to Death by Amy Mata

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

The first entry in the Halloween writing prompt is from Amy Mata.

“So what did you think about Celia’s costume?” I asked George as we took a shortcut across our neighbor’s yard. “She made it herself when she couldn’t find a transparent nun’s habit at Target.”

“I just think there’s a time in everyone’s life when they need to cover up more than they show, and Celia hit that time about twenty years ago,” he answered. “I drank twice as much as I should have just so my vision would be out of focus.”

“Since I couldn’t wear my contacts with this wacky eye makeup, I haven’t been able to see clearly either. I guess it’s for the best.” I grabbed his arm as I nearly tripped over the plastic pumpkin at the edge of Celia’s elaborate Halloween presentation. The night was black as a Halloween cat in our rural housing development, the only illumination coming from the orange lights trained on the display. “Look at these decorations. She goes all out.”

We stopped and turned our blurry gazes on the tableau. “She keeps adding more. I swear there were only two mummies out here when we walked over,” George said, pausing and looking above us. “Wow, would you listen to that owl. He must be out hunting mice tonight.”

“There were only two. That’s odd. How did the third one get here, and why did she put it on the damp ground?” The owl took that moment to swoop low above my head, and I was so startled that I tripped and fell on top of the mummy.

“George,” I gulped, my heart pounding. “I don’t think this one is stuffed with crumpled newspaper. I think it’s stuffed with a body!”

Halloween Flash Fiction Writing Fun–Too Scared To Play?!

Witches cackle. Monsters stalk. Vampires skulk. Werewolves snuffle. Cauldrons bubble.

Writers look for inspiration.Halloween Flash Fiction Writing Fun–Too Scared To Play?!

Here’s some from Linda Reilly. Check out her writing prompt.

You and your significant other are leaving a Halloween party held at a neighbor’s house. You have a bit of a buzz on, so when you see the mummy sprawled on your neighbor’s lawn,  you’re sure it’s a Halloween gag. Giggling, you stumble toward the mummy, only to find . . .

Take it from there, and have fun !!

Send me your flash fiction story of 1000 words (to or less and I’ll publish it here on the blog. I’ll publish one a day until they have all been shared.

Have some bloody fun!

Review: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Review: The Girl On The Train by Paula HawkinsI loved The Girl On The Train. Seriously loved it. I loved it so much I had to take a reading break when I finished to let it soak into my psyche.

Rachel rides the train back and forth to London every day, becoming obsessed with a certain house. In her mind, she has a fantasy created about the perfect couple dwelling within. They are gorgeous, well-off, and adore each other.

Eventually we find out that Rachel is intimately acquainted with the neighborhood because she once lived there, just a few doors down from her fantasy house. She lived there until her husband divorced her and replaced her with his pregnant mistress–now his new wife.

Rachel is an active alcoholic, drinking on the train, drinking in the station, drinking in the streets. She’s a hot-mess. At first glance, you want to shake her and tell her to get her shit together. Then she starts to grow on you. You see a little more humanity in her. A little more you…

Rachel’s life takes a turn when she wakes one Sunday on the far side of a blackout. She’s bruised and aching. Flashes of what might have happened scare her. The front page of the morning paper terrifies her. Her fantasy woman is missing and the husband is the prime suspect in her disappearance.

But Rachel knows something about the missing woman…something she saw on one of her trips…there was another man…

I came across this book by accident. I read it because it was compared to Gone Girl (which I reviewed here), which I liked but couldn’t relate to the characters much. I thought it might be the same with The Girl On The Train. That wasn’t the case. But I will share that there are pathological characters in this book.

This is a book that begs to be re-read. It needs to be savored, but you want to read as fast as possible to get through the story.

The moral of the story: things are never as they seem.

Aaron’s Socks Are Done!

Aaron socks 4I finished Aaron’s socks! He’s been asking for black and red socks for quite awhile and I’ve been stalling. I didn’t want to knit socks for growing feet. That’s senseless!

I have knit him socks before: tube socks knit from Red Heart Super Saver yarn. As you can imagine, they are indestructible. I swear I still see him wearing them once in awhile. They will grow old with him. They will survive a nuclear disaster!

Aaron socks 3Once I found black and red sock yarn at The Fold in Marengo, I got his socks started. There were a few false starts. It had been awhile since I had knit a pair of socks so I was a bit rusty. Luckily it all came back to me!

I knit socks toe up, two at a time on one circular needle. I used Opal sock yarn for this pair. I started with 12 stitches, cast on with Judy’s Magic Cast On. I leave a long tail and knit the first round with the working yarn and the tail. Then I knit each double stitch separately in the next round to get a nice rounded toe.

Since learning Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel, I do nothing else. It looks great. It’s easy. You don’t need a hundred stitch markers. There’s no flap. If you haven’t tried this heel, get her book and learn how. Trust me, you will love it!

These are just plain socks. I knit plain until the heel is complete, then knit a 2×2 rib. Aaron only wanted 4″ ribbing and that’s what I did.

I have enough yarn to make Jim a pair. I’ll be whipping those up soon. I used 2 skeins so I could pull from the center of each as I knit. The Opal wasn’t very cooperative though. Every time I went to pull, there was yarn barf. I manage enough yarn snarls on my own without the yarn contributing to my mess! Plus the yarn doesn’t have a nice feel to me.

But Aaron loves them and that’s what matters! I’m off to work on the summer vest/cardigan I’m knitting for a knit-a-long!

My First Tablet/Card Weaving Project

I started weaving earlier this year when I got a rigid heddle loom. I’ve made several things and really love doing it. But, I heard a rumor that looms reproduce. Like all other crafts, you cannot have just one. Isn’t it funny how that works? (And if it doesn’t work that way for you, you need to tell me–and all the crafters like me–how you have such discipline.)

1 card weaving bThere are a million different ways to weave, of course. And the next kind to grab my interest was card (it is sometimes called tablet) weaving. You thread your fiber through the four corners of your cards and turn them to create a pattern.

Thankfully the internet is full of resources and I was able to get up and started quickly. I got my inkle loom at The Fold in Marengo, Illinois. An inkle loom isn’t a necessity; you could use a rigid heddle loom or a backstrap loom. Even c-clamps and a table will work in a pinch as long as you get proper tension.

1 card weaving aI went with the inkle loom because I like the idea of having two projects going at once. I’m worried about getting proper tension on the inkle loom because my hands are pretty weak from rheumatoid arthritis and you need to really pull on the peg to get it tight. I seem to be doing ok. I won’t know how it really looks until the band is done and off the loom.

The hardest thing about the card weaving is it’s a different movement than with rigid heddle weaving. So I keep getting messed up! I forget to pass the thread through. I forget to beat the thread. It’s a mind game!

But I love it. I can’t wait to get better at this!

Wednesday Writing Prompt: May 27th Edition

wednesday writing prompt copyWant to try a writing exercise with me?

I’m randomly opening my dictionary-yes, an actual paper one I have right by my desk!–and picking five words. Take these five words and write a sentence dictionaryor two using all of them.

Genre? Any. Rating? Nothing more than R. No erotica or super violence, please.

Post your entry in the comments. Let’s have fun!

This week’s words…






Have fun!

Review: Don’t Go Home by Carolyn Hart

In the latest Death on Demand offering, Don’t Go Home, Carolyn Hart has Annie Darling flying solo.

Carolyn Hart Dont Go HomeHer beloved Max is off on a fishing trip, completely cut off from communication. Annie is certain she will stay out of trouble tending shop, selling mysteries in the heat of the summer. Keeping her promise to stay out of the sleuthing business should be no trouble at all, especially since Max has shut down Confidential Commissions after Annie’s near brush with death a few weeks earlier.

Except things always have a way of getting sticky in the hot island weather on Broward’s Rock. Like the best-selling author who returns to reveal all the real-life people behind the characters in his best-selling novel. Only, before he gets a chance, he ends up dead.

When Annie sees her friend Marian arguing with him earlier in the day of his death, she knows she’ll be a suspect. Surely Max would be helping Marian out if he were on the island. He wouldn’t stop Annie from helping Marian if he were right there, would he? So Annie jumps right into the sleuthing business once again to help her friend. Because someone has a secret to hide and they are willing to keep killing to never let it come to light.

Carolyn Hart was ready to retire the Death on Demand series and I would have mourned it. My heart would have ached like I had lost actual real-life friends! Sure, Max and Annie are borderline too perfect. They’re wealthy and beautiful people who have the world at their feet. But they are too likeable to begrudge them their perfection.

Plus they will do anything to help out their friends who seem to need a lot of it because they get accused of murder quite often. Broward’s Rock might sound idyllic, but it’s a hot bed of crime!

Hart’s books would be perfect reading for my Kindle app, but I always get them from the library. She constantly challenges my vocabulary. I need to keep a dictionary nearby so I stop poking the book, trying to get the definition of these obscure words to pop up for me!

This was a great read. I’m glad Annie and Max are hanging around for awhile longer. I also have a craving for a rum collins…


Bloody Candles! How To Make Them!

Boo! Who doesn’t need a set of bloody candles to celebrate Halloween properly?! Especially when they are super easy to make.

You need white pillar candles and some red candles. I used tapers–and almost used them entirely.

All you have to do it light the red candles and drip them down the sides of the white candles. Very little effort for a cool effect!


  • Place foil underneath or be prepared to scrape candle wax off the table top.
  • If you drop to much “blood” in one spot it starts rolling pretty fast and doesn’t land where you expect it to. You can get burned so be aware!
  • This should be a supervised activity if done with children and never ever leave candles burning unattended!

Isn’t my helper handsome? Aaron loved doing this.

I was burning the pillar candles at the same time that we were dripping because I wanted to create a crater in the top of the candle.

Dollar Store Candle Holders

I saw this video and was inspired! My Dollar Store didn’t have jars big enough to do apothecary jars, but I did do some candle holders.

The pieces for the candle holders came from the dollar store, as well as the bottle of alcohol to wipe them down to help the glue stick better.

I got the E6000 from a local craft store. The battery operated candles also came from there.

This was super easy! I washed the pieces to remove the stickers. Then I applied glue to the candle holder and placed on the bottom of the jar. Voila! Dollar Store craft complete!



Are you going to do this? I’d love to see what you do! Next up…bloody candles for Halloween!