Dear Whoever…, #44

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Dear Whoever Wants To Win A Spooky Book,                                 10/30/2011

     Well before I get to the contest of this month, I have to tell you- Novemeber is the next month. NaNo. National Novel Writing Month on www.nanowrimo.org . This is my first year doing both the adult site and the YWP site so I’ll be hella busy writing this month. Bottom line: I’ll do my best to post as much as I can this upcoming month but don’t be too let down or read too much into it if I post two days in a row. I’ll try to type up some posts so I’ll have them nice and ready to publish for November.

     Now for this end of the month’s competition, a random drawing, well a random-ish drawing. Here’s what you do: 1)figure out the right answer to this super cheesy riddle I happen to like, WHY DIDN’T DRACULA HAVE ANY FRIENDS? 2)post a comment on this post including your email address and the answer to the riddle. 3)be entered by November 5th, 11:00am PST. 4)hope the random god of randomness chooses your entry. *NOTE: you will not be entered into the drawing if you have the wrong answer. Winner will be chosen on November 6th. Winner will recieve this book: Eight Tales Of Terror by Edgar Allan Poe. Open to current US citizens only.

     I’d love it if a bunch of people entered. It make things a lot more intresting wouldn’t it? Yep, so enter enter!

P.S. Since this is published on the 30th and Halloween is the 31st, and I won’t be posting again till November 6th, I wish you a Happy Halloween. Collect a lot of candy. And have a crazy good time.   

                                                                                                                                   please enter, eshy,

P.P.S. ENTER ENTER ENTER! The riddle is ridiculously easy and super cheesy. Cheesy like how that last sentence rhymed. Now go and enter and have a nice week!

Dear Whoever…, #43

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Dear Whoever Has Been Throwing Away the Pumpkin Innards,                                 10/29/2011

     We all know that nasty muck that accumulates as we scrape it out by the handfuls as we carve those ridiculous faces into our pumpkins. That nasty gooey stuff kids are so squeamish to pull out of the pumpkin.

Those seeds and pulp we always throw away are useless, right? Right? WRONG! You can roast them(the seeds anyway) and make a yummy snack and it tastes pretty good and they’re actually good for you.

                                   ~~~ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS~~~ 

  1. Rinse pumpkin seeds and separate them from pulp and strings(easier to do before pulp dries)
  2. Place seeds, a single layer, on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pop into the oven at 325 degrees F. until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes
  4. Add whatever spices you want or leave them plain and salty(my preference)
  5. Let cool and store in an air-tight container 

 

 Pretty simple, right? Right? Right. Then try it. It’s okay, I promise if you don’t like them you could always go back to throwing them away along with that nasty pulp. By the way the pulp is useful for something too……turtle food! Turtles and tortoises LOVE veggies of all sorts and their nasty innards most of us don’t eat. But before you go feeding them to the neighbor’s turtle check around and see if it’s poisonous to the turtles. Cause I like turtles and I know that apple seeds are deadly to turtles but turtles love apples.

So try something new and bake some pumpkin seeds and be nice to the turtles! -eshy

Dear Whoever…, #42

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Dear Whoever Has Wanted To Know the History of Halloween,        10/26/11

     Halloween to us now is dressing up in costumes, going to parties, or going out and to other peoples’ doorsteps and getting candy, or staying home while people come to your doorsteps and you dish out candy. Right? But how’d it start? Who started it? When? Why? Why was the person responsible for it think we needed this crazy fun holiday? Was it always this way or did it evolve like everything else over time? Let’s answer some of these questions, shall we?

     Halloween is believed to come from the Celtic festival, Samhain. The Celtics lived about 2,000 years ago. Then back in the 18th century, Pope Gregory III made November 1st into a holiday to honor all the saints and martyrs, this holiday was called All Saints’ Day. It included some traditions of Samhain. The evening before(October 31st) was called Hallows’ Eve, the name was changed to Halloween, and hence from there do we get the nickname for our holiday- Halloween.

     Samhain was the day before the new year for the Celtics in what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. The new year was November 1st and Samhain was celebrated on October 31st. Not only to honor priests nd martyrs, but it also marked the end of summer and harvest and marked the beginning of the winter and what was considered to be the season for human death. The Celtics also believed that the night before the new year(10/31), was when the boundry between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead was the most blurred, resulting in the ghosts of the dead coming back to earth, possibly damamging crops and causing trouble. Also on the Samhain, the Celtics believed that it was easier for the Celitic priests, Druids, to make predictions about the future because those spirits were there. On the Samhain the Druids would make huge bonfires for Celtic people to sacrifice crops and animals to the Celtic deities. During this celebration and giving of the sacrifices, the people wore costumes, usually made of animal skins, and tried to predict one another’s future.

     When Halloween came to America it was not usually celebrated in the New England colonies because of their strict Protestantism. The southern colonies and Maryland were more likely to celebrate. Some of the first celebrations were “play parties” that were to celebrate the harvest. Activities of these “play parties” included: sharing stories of the dead, telling fortunes, dancing, singing, trouble-making, and telling of ghost stories. Halloween really started to kick up in the United States in the first half of the 1800s, mostly due to a bunch of immigrants, mixing the English Halloween and the Irish Halloween they made a whole new breed of Halloween. The immigrants I mentioned were mostly Irish coming to America to escape the potato famine of 1848. This new breed of Halloween was when Americans started dressing up in costumes and going from door to door asking for food or money, not candy yet.

     It was in the later half of the 1800s when many wanted to make Halloween into a community thing. Parties were the mosty common way to celebrate, parties included what almost every party has: food and games. And in this case, costumes. In the early 1900s it became a secular and community-based holiday. Then the holiday was just limited to children after a lot of vandalism and such.  Many activites happened in the the civic centers and such but during that era all the kids from the baby boom the civic centers couldn’t hold them all and the celebrations were moved into more of the homes and classrooms. We’re in the ’50s now and trick-or-treating has been changed from asking for food or money into a community thing for candy. Plus families of this era could help prevent tricks being played on them by providing small treats to the neighborhood kids. It was very cost effective too.

     Today’s Halloween is a mixture of everything, from the English we get the trick-or-treating practice. We get the costume-bit from Europeans and Celtics alike. We do the fun stuff and mostly for us kids, it’s all about the candy anyway. Most of us aren’t out there trying to please spirits or keep them away. And nobody, atleast nobody I’ve ever known, has told me that they dress up to trick the ghosts. 

Now enjoy these random and intresting, fun facts relating to Halloween:

 1/4 of all the candy sold anually in the U.S. is bought for Halloween.

The first jack ‘o’ lanterns were made from turnips, not pumpkins.

Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

Boston, Massachusetts has the record for the most jack o’ lanterns lit at once(30,128).

Here’s an awesome Halloween quote: “If human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween.” -Doug Coupland

     I hope this post was lengthy enough to make up for my crappy short posts lately, like for the past month or so. Good news is I’m getting my laptop back, nice and fixed up, tomorrow so I should be able to post more, better, stuff. But don’t quote me on that. What did you think of this post?

P.S. I LOVE the first picture I used.    -hope you’re now informed, eshy,

Dear Whoever…, #41

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Dear Whoever Wants A Quick Halloween Treat Recipe,    10/24/11

We’re in the season of the eating holidays, as I call them. I mean think about it, between October and December. 3 months, 3 holidays, 1 per month. You get Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas in December. Which means we typically eat candy and sweets in October, turkey and mashed potatoes in November, and ham and all it’s fixings in Decemeber. Keep in mind I said “typically”. Now here’s a little treat reciepe for Halloween for you to make for your class, your parents, your family, your co-workers, me…..or just yourself. Enjoy!

                                                               Popcorn Balls!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. margarine
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • 2 ; 5/8 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 c. marshmellows
  • 5 quarts plain popped popcorn

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, margarine, cold water, confectioners’ sugar, and marshmellows. Heat and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Carefully combine the hot mixture with the popcorn, coating each kernel.
  2. Grease hands with vegetable shortening and quickly shape the coated popcorn into balls before it cools. Wrap with cellophane or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

   I’m so making some this weekend.                                                   eshy,

Dear Whoever…, #40

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Dear Whoever Has Failed To See the Difference One Measly Comma Can Make,  10/23/2011

     I never thought about the difference one simple, little mark of punctuation can make. I mean, nobody really does, if we forget one nobody besides out grammar teachers are gonna get on our case, right? I noticed this a few times this week. So I took it as a sign and here I am. Check out these examples and see if, you can tell the difference of a comma or a period, the little things that “don’t” matter:

ex. #1) “Let’s eat Grandpa!”      OR

       #2) “Let’s eat, Grandpa!”

     Do you see the difference? In the first it’s saying let’s go cannibalistic and eat poor Grandpa over there. In the second, the speaker is telling their Grandpa that it’s time to eat ; their meal more than likely food.  See? One comma can be the difference between being a cannibal and being a good grandchild. Here’s the last stanza of a poem:

But soon your life goes on,

without another thought,

of the teary-eyed lady and her torn apart teenage daughter,

buying applesauce,

soon on their way home,

to care for a dying man, with undying love,

Focus on the last line: to care for a dying man, with undying love, 

Now see there’s 2 commas in this line. If you removed the first comma it’d look like this: to care for a man with undying love,

The remaining comma would mark the end of the line and that’d be it. Without the first comma, the meaning of the last line and the whole feel of the poem would be changed. It would make the line mean that they were caring for the man and the man had undying love.

With  both commas in it’d make the line have yet have another meaning the one the writer chose to go with and that from the way the whole poem is, makes a lot more sense. With both commas it’s saying that the lady and the daughter are going home to care for the dying man with THEIR undying love. See the difference? Did I explain that good enough? The man is on the receiving end of the undying love instead of the one having it and dishing it out.  So now I have to ask, do you see the difference a comma can make?

     Some grammar professionals want to get  rid of punctuation all together! Can you believe that? Our world would be filled with guessing, nothing 100% certain. It would be a gigantic guessing game. Already books are being banned, most schools aren’t being required to teach cursive writing, people watch the movies before reading the books (if they even read the books at all, which most don’t anymore), text talk is all over, while new words are being added to the dictionary all the time, words are also falling out of people’s vocabularies and being forgotten, and the grammar people of the world are trying to abolish punctuation. What’s next to be taken out of our literary world?

     How are we, as writers and in my case future writers, going to create worlds without our precious words? Think about it, it’s like a sketch artist without their pencil, a cook without it’s kitchen, or it’s a photographer without their camera. Kinda hard to do their jobs, yes?

     Here’s a dare to prove what I’m saying is true, I encourage you to try it: Find the physically closest person to you and ask them to tell you a story. Any story. Let them start to, then say something along the lines of “Ooops! I forgot to tell you- you can’t use words.” Watch their reaction. Bafflement? Confusion? Is it hard? Yes? Yes.

     So remember your commas! Dot your i’s and cross your t’s! Also please check out these awesome websites:

This one is to excersise your grammar skills and keep you sharp as you have fun: http://www.kwarp.com/portfolio/grammarninja.html

This one is where you can adopt words for free after you search through words that have been dropped from most people’s vocabularies and that nobody has probably heard: www.savethewords.org

                                                -the one who has had a grammar lesson or two, eshy,

 

 

Dear Whoever…, #39

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Dear Whoever Likes a Mad Lib Every Once In Awhile,    10/21/11

“Halloween wraps fear in innocence,
As though it were a slightly sour sweet.
Let terror, then, be turned into a treat…” -Nicholas Gordon

“Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night.”  -Steve Almond 

“A celebrity is a person who works hard all of their life to become well known, and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.”    -Fred A. Allen

“Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face. As soon as one is aware of being ”somebody,” to be watched and listened to with extra interest, input ceases, and the performer goes blind and deaf in his over-animation. One can either see or be seen.”      -John Updike

Here’s a Halloween one. I’d love for you guys to fill it out in the comments of this post so I can read it. Or you could always print or write this out so you can do it with family or freinds. Here it is, entitled Interview With A Celevrity Vampire:

Recently I, __________(FIRST NAME) Walters, sat down with ________(NOUN)-famous actor and vampire, __________(MALE PERSON IN ROOM), to discuss his most recent work, his run-in with the law, and how he met his _________(ADJECTIVE) fiancee.

Q: How does it feel to have recently won the Motion Picture Academy ________(NOUN) for your performance in the coming-of-_________(NOUN) movie, “The __________(PERSON IN ROOM) Story”?

A: It was a/an ___________(ADJECTIVE) honor just to be nominated.

Q: Last month you were __________(ADVERB) arrested by the Hollywoos police for allegedly trying to turn someone into a/an __________(ADJECTIVE) vampire. Can you comment on that?

A: My friend ___________(CELEBRITY<MALE>) wanted to become a vampire. It was all a/an __________(ADJECTIVE) misunderstanding.

Q: Tell us about your romance with the ________(ADJECTIVE) actress, _____________(CELEBRITY <FEMAILE>).

A: Let’s just say I like to keep my private __________(NOUN) private.

 

     It’s me, eshy, again! I had to choose a vampire one because vampires are my favorite halloween thingy. And my favorite in general. I’m sorry I haven’t post much this month, like I said I would. But I have a post planned and typed waiting to be published, one a day, for this week.

                                                                              -the vampire and Mad Libs lover, eshy,

 

Dear Whoever…, #38

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Dear Whoever Has Ever Heard The Name Edgar Allan Poe: The Man That Is A Mystery,                                                                                        10/10/11

     eccentrickid95 aka La Stranezza(http://ofmyinsanity.wordpress.com/)  is our September/October contest winner. I’ll PM you with the details of the shipping and stuff. Also for our winner I’m offering you a guest post on top of your Complete Sherlock Holmes kit. Congratulations, Kid!!! 

“Depend upon it, after all, Thomas, Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path.” -Edgar Allan Poe, taken from a letter he wrote to Frederick W. Thomas on February 14th, 1844

     Many of Poe’s works were contained some   tragedy or another. Before we take a short dive(not even a dive, really more of a shallow slap into an inch of water) into Poe’s writing and his profession, here’s some back round on him.

     Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19th, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. For the next eleven years of his life would be schooling in various stages all over the world. Some places he went to school in included: Scotland, London, England, and Virginia. At twenty-one years of age he was not craving his 1st beer, well he could’ve. But at 21 he was appointed into the US Military Academy at West Point. A year later he was “dismissed because od disobedience and neglect of his duties as a cadet.” During the same year, his guardian, John Allan of Richmond, Virginia, refused to have anything to do with Edgar at the age of twenty-two.

     When Poe was twenty-six he started working for magazines. He was the editor for 4 different magazines over a total of 6 years. The next 12 years of his life were full of aiding an ailing wife.

     Poe was an unusual man: he never had money or hobbies, he had been called an alcoholic, a dope addict, and a-soon-to-be-suicide. Mr. Edgar wrote for money. It’s simple. He sometimes attacked other writers or people of his time in his writing. Poe didn’t only write for money, he wrote for his readers. As Poe turned 30, he realized his ability to write short fiction stories.

     Now for the short slap into the writing  of Poe. He typically wrote mystery or “depressing” stuff. To me his most famous work is his poem “The Raven”. It;s been rewritten and presented in many ways. In the poem,  the character’s wife died and he’s haunted by her ghost, it’s my understanding that the raven is there and the only thing it says is “Nevermore.” and the raven is the wife’s ghost or something. I like it cause it has that creepy feel to it. Especially now as we’re approaching Halloween.

     I hope you enjoyed my overview of Poe’s life and hopefully it gave you a bit of insight on the man who we’ll still be hearing about for decades to come. He was quite a mysterious man. But he was a writer. And through his writing one was able to see into many different worlds. Thank you, Edgar Allan Poe, for giving us the opportunity to see into these worlds that you wrote over 200 years ago.                                                       

     To see the poem, The Raven, follow this link: http://www.heise.de/ix/raven/Literature/Lore/TheRaven.html

Dear readers, I’d also like to inform you that I’m going to try and fill a category a month, that’s 20 posts each month for me. So expect a lot more than you’ve been getting ‘kay? Also you can see all of my categories by Letter #s to the right. There’s a list of them, they each go by 20s and also on the right is a ‘category cloud’. These’ll come in handy if you wanna read some of my older posts or just scroll through them for some inspiration or critiquing. Also expect A LOT of this month’s posts to be Halloween-scare factor- related which includes vampires, werewolves, Sci-fi/Young Adult books, hopefully a Madlimb, perhaps a song, and anything else I’ll be scrounging up. Be sure to check back every new post to see what I’ve got going.

                                                                              Forevermore sincerely, eshy,

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