Friday, November 30, 2012

Today's Unleashed Creativity & A Bigfoot Sighting

Doodle from my walk
Nature has a way of unleashing my creative beast. Every time I'm out, in the elements, my creativity soars to unlimited heights. It's amazing.

This morning, I went for a walk in our woods, and allowed my inner-kid's imagination to run wild!

Visions of the elusive Bigfoot peeking out from behind trees played in my mind. I even attempted a Cliff Barackman Bigfoot call-out. No, I didn't get a response, but I was hopeful. :)

It was a hoot, and it provided tons of inspiration for my wip. Of course, the story I'm crafting is for kids, so my Bigfoot is more of a fuzzy woodland creature. Think Harry from Harry and the Henderson's. 

As a child, I was obsessed with Bigfoot. I grew up in the 70's and I was a huge fan of the famous Patterson-Grimlin video. I'm still fascinated with watching shows like Finding Bigfoot. But proving Bigfoot is real or not isn't what's important.

For me, it's believing in the mystery of the unknown. I don't need (nor want) the mystery solved. Keeping the magic alive is an important tool when writing for children. I have to delve into my memories, and harness my childhood beliefs if I want to grab my readers. I have to believe. I have to be the child. If not, disbelief will reflect in my writing, and trust me, kiddos can spot a liar-liar-pants-on-fire from a mile away.

Happy writing, y'all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The 3 Keeps

This past week, I had a moment-we-all-wait-for opportunity. I have to keep it under wraps for now (Good gosh, I wouldn't want to jinx myself). BUT for those of you out there, submitting until your fingers bleed, don't give up. I'm telling y'all, stick with it. It's an up and down process, sometimes more downs than ups. I know. 

I read a post this morning from someone I respect in the kidlit writing world. This person is feeling down at the moment. With today's publishing, it's natural for writers to feel this way once in a while. But there comes the time when you have to lift yourself up (and others). Like the little engine who thought he could. And he did. Simple as that. 

Remember to pat yourself on the back for the smaller accomplishments, too. A kind rejection letter, a request for additional pages, tweaks / changes. They're all successes. Smile. :)

Whatever the outcome is (for my big moment), I'll keep going. It's what what I do. It's what all writers do.

Right about now, to say I have mixed emotions would be an understatement. (Maybe by the IWSG post time, I'll be able to share.) 

So folks, remember the 3 Keeps: Keep your chins up. Keep querying / submitting. Keep writing.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Had Enough Spam Yet?

Sorry for the un-writerly related post, but anyone else recently hit with spam on their blogs (blam)? I've noticed an increase in the past two weeks and it's driving me crazy. I get ridiculous messages such as: "I appreciate, leaԁ tο i discovered just what ӏ used to be looking for. you havе endeԁ my four day long hunt! Bless you man. Have а grеаt day. Βye"

REALLY? First, I'm not a man, and my gosh, learn some grammar.

Last week, I had a comment that outsmarted Blogger that said, "I really like what you had to say here. My daughter picked up a conch shell and said daddy I can hear the ocean in it. If you liked my story visit my website." 

Spam isn't an acronym. But it could be if they added an extra "m". (Seriously pathetic attempt @ making money)

The word spam is named for the Hormel mysterious canned meat and a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch. In the sketch, the cafe's menu is filled with Spam, driving a customer bonkers. Wikipedia: Monty Python Spam

Did you know, during WWII, those who served in the war sometimes ate Spam up to three times daily? The pink canned meat was everywhere; there was no escaping it. Spam in WWII.

Internet spam facts: Wikipedia: Spam 

How do you protect yourself? Easy. Don't fall for it. Don't open it. Don't respond to it. Don't click on it. 

As for our blogs, I really wish Captcha wasn't so darn obnoxious. I'm sure most of you know, on Blogger you have to manually go in and switch it off captcha. But should we?

What about y'all? Too many spam messages lately? What are your thoughts on captcha? Can spam be harmful if you just ignore it? Anyone have advice on how to protect your blog from spammers? Be honest, do you eat the mysterious spiced ham? We won't judge. Feel free to share how you like it best. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Goatman of Greer Island - Story 3 - Done

Yesterday, I wrapped up the third story for my Middle Grade creeptacular collection. This one features the wild legend of the Lake Worth Monster, aka the Goatman of Greer Island. I first read about this story in the Weird Texas book. Here's a link to their site and the story: Weird Texas - Goatman.  Here's a sketch I did of the Goatman.

My story blurb:

The Beast Under the Bridge

Fourteen-year-old Charlie Sutter never walks across Goatman bridge; he runs. But there comes a time when a boy must conquer his childhood fears. While out fishing, Charlie decides to cast his line from the center of the bridge, even though he's secretly freaked. And for good reason. There, lurking behind him is the infamous Goatman. When Charlie whirls around and discovers the creature, he realizes he's trapped and there's nowhere to run. 

I had a blast researching this Texas legend. I discovered a half-man, half-goat creature is also known to roam in a couple other states. I was disappointed to learn I missed attending the Lake Worth Monster Bash hosted by the Fort Worth (Texas) Nature Center and Refuge by a few weeks.

The late Sallie Anne Clarke, a well-known researcher of the Lake Worth Goatman self-published a book The Lake Worth Monster of Greer Island in 1969. She claims to have seen the creature three times over her years of research. Southern Fried Bigfoot, which aired on the Documentary Channel, features an interview with Sallie Anne Clarke about the encounters.

Nick Redfern, a ufologist, cryptozoologist, and author wrote a great blog post here about the Goatman.

Stephanie Erb, a local Texas author wrote a picture book, Cam the Man Hunts the Spooky Goatman .

I have two additional stories to craft for this collection, which is yet to be titled. My goal? To self-publish and travel Texas sharing the stories with middle grade readers, especially boys, about the wild legends living right here in their own state.

And next year for the Lake Worth Monster Bash, I'm so there. I wonder if Ms. Erb would mind sharing her author space. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sealy Dixon Here--Hijacking Candilynn's Blog

The name's Sealy Dixon, and I'm from the small town of Cuero, TX. While Candilynn's out reading IWSG posts, and working on her latest picture book, I'm hijacking her blog. (Don't tell her, but I wish she'd finally get enough of basking in the bright lights of publishing Little Acorn and get back to my story.) I'm ready. Just waiting on some final edits. 

Here's a tidbit of my story: Summers are generally borrrriiing at Gram's ranch, but not this one. Did you hear about the recent creature sightings in Cuero? Well then, let me be the first to tell you about the Chupa-freaking-cabra. Okay, so it's really called the Chupacabra; I was going for a dramatic effect.

Gram refuses to kill it even though the thing has eaten six of her baby calves. Yep, sucked the blood right out of them. I think she's flipped her lid, but she claims everything needs to eat. Blah, blah, blah. So anyways, the Sheriff over in DeWitt County videoed one running in front of his patrol car. I saw the tape. Creeeepppy! The thing looked completely bald, had a gigantic head, protruding fangs, and it had skin like an elephant. When it turned back and glared at the camera before scampering off the road, I thought, sheesh-louise! I would not want to stumble upon that critter in the woods.

Since I'm so amazingly techie, here's a video of the beast running from the patrol car. (No, that's not me squealing in the background.)

Some say it's a hairless coyote or a cross of a Mexican Wolf and a coyote. But whatever it is, it's freaky. I've seen what it does to livestock, and it ain't pretty.

As if this wasn't enough excitement for one summer, the neighbor boy, my old tree-climbing buddy, had to go all gorgeous on me over the past school year. I'm talking, drool-all-over-him cute. Stutter-when-I-speak, slam-dunk, hot.

Candilynn might want to change the title of my story from Chasing the Chupacabras to Chasing a Boy & the Chupacabras.

So, if you see my author lurking around your blog, tell her Sealy Dixon's looking for her. 

Thanks. ~Sealy D.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November IWSG & Plans for Little Acorn

It's time once again for Alex Cavanaugh's  Insecure Writers Support Group post. I can't begin to explain the overwhelming support this group has been for me over the past year. I've met so many fantastic writers and made tons of friends. Feeling insecure about your writing? Have a little enthusiasm to share? Either way, we'd love to have you join us!

November brings around (turkey!) one of my favorite holidays, (pie!) family gatherings, (casseroles!) and (more pie!) a time of reflection and being thankful. (Can you tell I love to eat?) In honor of November's insecure writers post, I'm thankful for all of you, my blogger buddies and IWSG members, and most of all, Alex for hosting such a terrific group! 

I'm also thankful for Caroline Lee, my fabulous illustrator for Little A. Without her and her beautiful illustrations, Little A. would still be merely words. Together, the words and images are magic.

For now, I'm still walking around in my blissful, I-recently-published-a-children's-ebook state. Plans for getting Little Acorn's Big Fall (Do you underline titles of ebooks?) uploaded onto Createspace and into printed form are next on my agenda. 

I'm quite positive we all have different views on self-publishing, but it's the route I'm taking for the printed version of Little A. Ebooks are great and serve a specific purpose, but I want to hold our book in my hands, smell the pages (I know, quirky.). 

And don't get me started on all of the library / school visits, public talks, book signings, I'm dreaming of scheduling next year! I could ramble on and on about how thrilled I am! I'm also envisioning my acorn hat I want to design. I can see it now, me sitting there, reading to kiddos, showing them my collection of acorns, with an acorn perched on my head. Then, I'll surely be known as a real nut-job. :P

I hope all of you are enjoying your writing and / or revising. Share with us in the comments, what you're thankful for in your writing life.

Happy Turkey Day Y'all...gobble, gobble!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Houston's Supernatural Batman Mystery

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! No, it's a plane! No, it's Houston's very own Batman! Imagine my shock while watching the ten o'clock news last night, when they reported about a Houston supernatural legend from the 1950's, the Batman. You can read the article HERE. Spooktacular stuff. Of course, I wasn't born until 1971, so I don't have any recollection of this story.

But now, I'm intrigued! Ah, I feel another story brewing.

The incident occurred on July 18, 1953 at 2:30 in the morning, downtown Houston area. Mrs. Hilda Walker and two other females were talking on her front porch, when they spotted an odd figure flying toward them. The creature landed in Mrs. Walker's pecan tree. The creature was described as, "... a man with wings like a bat". The figure was about six and a half feet tall and remained perched in the tree for about thirty seconds. A glowing light seemed to radiate about it. The glow faded, reported the witnesses, and then, the  batman vanished into thin air. (Author's Note: What were these women doing out at 2:30 a.m.? Just asking.)

Could the Batman be similar or possibly the same as the legendary Mothman? A fun website Unknown Creatures says that flying humanoids have been spotted since 1877 to present day. This video is from the series Monsterquest on the History Channel.

In the news segment, which you can also watch the video from the link below, KTRK had a graphic designer sketch what he believes the creature may look like. I do agree with one thing he had to say. This supernatural legend gives the city of Houston "flavor". It most definitely keeps it interesting!