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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, y’all! It’s been a bit tough to get into the Halloween spirit today – not only is it 78 degrees outside, but I’m still dumbfounded that October has already come and gone. Plus, I already celebrated it at a fun party last week. 
 
Our friends at Genesis Studios (they helped us make Saying Goodbye) always throw awesome Halloween parties. And this year the shindig was extra special because it was also the premiere of their new project called The Trunk. Cliff Springs (who directed SG) is a huge advocate for building the film industry in SC – he even built a fabulously fun film studio in Columbia – and The Trunk is a series of webisodes he and his team are creating to show off what they can do.
 
They screened the first episode at the party, and it was so exciting to see their vision come to life. The series will be similar to The Twilight Zone, in that it will feature different stories every episode; however, the common thread will be a mysterious trunk where you can hide your deepest, darkest secrets . . . just don’t ever open it again. 
 
You can find out more about the project at the website. Cliff recommends that you read The Lore page and the About page before watching the episode. Enjoy!
 
Genesis parties require creative costumes, but this year I was really struggling. I wandered around Party City, becoming more and more depressed because I didn’t want to dress up as a slutty anything. Then I saw some peacock feathers that mesmerized me with their pretty colors. I decided I’d just stick them in my hair and call myself a peacock – boring, but simple. But then it hit me – don’t be a peacock, be Mrs. Peacock! And since my brother didn’t have an idea yet, I told him he should be one of the dudes from Clue. He decided on Professor Plum. And so, here we are:
 
TRICK?
Jocelyn and Brian at Halloween
or TREAT?
Jocelyn and Brian at Halloween
I think it’s one of my favorite simple-but-fun costumes. 
 
I hope everyone has a fun (and safe) Halloween!
 
Did you dress up this year? What’s your favorite last minute costume?

Winner + Creativity Recharge

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win Kathleen Fox’s A Book Is Just Like You! It was interesting to see what books people choose to be – plus I learned about some new books I need to read now. And the lucky winner of the signed copy is . . . drumroll . . . Carol! Congratulations! I’ll send you an email to get your address.
 
In other news, I had a creatively energizing last two days at a mini writers’ confab. A few weeks ago I was invited to join the Sisukas, an amazing writing group made up of Kathleen Fox, Rebecca Petruck, and Debra Rook. They’ve been together a while now accomplishing wonderful things together, and when a spot opened up, I was honored and thrilled when they asked me to fill it.
 
Kathleen and I road-tripped it up to Wilmington, NC, where the four of us met for an intensive 24 hours of plotting and talking writing in general. And of course eating. Lots and lot of eating. Can’t have a gathering of writers without lots of yummy food (and wine!).

Sisukas

Not only was it a ton of fun, it was very productive, since we hashed out plotlines for several different novels. At the start of the trip, I only had the basics of a shiny new idea (not much more than a title), and with their help in brainstorming, I now have characters and plot points and a better handle on what this thing could look like. Now I just need to finish revising my current WIP so I can move on to the new and shiny!
 
The picture is Rebecca, Debra, Kathleen, and me on the steps of the courthouse where the opening of Matlock was filmed. 
 
Do you brainstorm your ideas with others or keep them close until you’re done writing? Do you get away with other writers to recharge your creative batteries? What would be the ideal place for a writers’ retreat?

Zero Zs

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Freya with the letter ZWe made it! We've reached the end of the A to Z Challenge! Unfortunately, I'll be finishing up not with a bang but a whimper because I could not find any contronyms for the letter Z on any of the lists I've collected. Zero. Zilch. Instead, I decided take the same approach I did with the letter K and pick a contronym with the letter Z in it somewhere. So I searched all my lists again, and it turns out there is only one contronym that contains the letter Z. Making it a slightly less pathetic pick, it actually has two Zs: puzzle.
 
Puzzle - to perplex, confuse, mystify (to pose a problem)
 
~ or ~
 
Puzzle - to solve by careful study or effort (to solve a problem)
 
My first year I was completely puzzled about why people would participate in something as time-consuming and draining as the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, but after meeting so many wonderful fellow bloggers, I have puzzled out why people come back year after year.
A to Z Challenge Puzzle
 
I hope you've had fun with the A to Z challenge. I had a blast learning about all the crazy contronyms out there. Thank you to all the people who stopped by for a visit! I've enjoyed getting to know all of you through your blogs, and I hope you'll stay in touch going forward.
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of a ‘Z’ contronym the lists might have missed? How Zonked is Freya with her letter Z (just like I feel!)?
 
Added after some bloghopping: I was over at the very funny Kern’s blog where she talked about how many people post about zombies for Z because they are awesome. I did post about a zombie movie last year, but it got me thinking . . . could I have used them again this year? Is a zombie the ultimate contronym? I mean, they are the living dead. It’s probably more of an oxymoron than a contronym, but I thought I’d throw it out there. 
 

Yummy Yield

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Bailey with the letter YThere was only one option for the letter Y on my lists of contronyms, but now that we've reached the difficult end of the alphabet, I'm just grateful to have a contronym to talk about no matter what it is. And this one is pretty decent: yield. The meanings are not as obviously opposite as some of the contronyms I've presented, but it doesn't require as much stretching and twisting as some of the others I've seen.
 
Yield - to produce, give forth, or furnish

~ or ~

Yield - to give up, relinquish, surrender

The villagers are kind-hearted souls who tend their farms with love, which yields crops that are the envy of the kingdom.

Crops raised with love

Beans tomatoes Corn

But they are not fighters, so when the soldiers of the jealous king come calling, they must yield and allow all their food to be taken.

Martyrdom of Peter of Verona

Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of another ‘Y’ contronym the lists might have missed? How Youthful is Bailey with her letter Y?

Crops images courtesy of novapageserikdungan twicewjs7652

Painting is Depiction of the assasination of Peter the Martyr by the Cathari, by Giovanni Bellini courtesy of The National Gallery

X Marks the Spot

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms, which is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Chloe with the letter XAs I'm sure was the case for many of my fellow A to Z participants, the letter X proved to be a bit tricky. I consulted several different lists of contronyms and there was nary a X contronym to be found. I was starting to feel anxious (oh look, it's a contronym with an X in it, should I reuse it?), but then I found one more list, and lo and behold, it held the treasure I sought. And in this case, X really did mark the spot because the contronym is the letter X itself. Now I know it's technically not a word, but when that difficult-end-of-the-alphabet desperation kicks in, I'll take what I can get.
 
X - to indicate choice, as on a ballot or exam (select)
 
~ or ~
 
X - to cross out (deselect)
 
When I get my ballot, I'm so disgusted by the candidates who are such idiots they never even should have been listed that I X out their names. It only makes me feel slightly better. Then after weighing the overwhelming number of cons and very few pros of the remaining names, I pick the lesser of all the evils and X 'my choice' in this farce of an election.
 
X the ballot
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of an example of a ‘X’ contronym the lists might have missed? How eXceptional is Chloe with her letter X?
 
Image courtesy of bredmaker

Wacky Weather

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Molly with the letter WThe end is so close I can taste it. And it’s a good thing because as much fun as I’ve had with these contronyms, I’m plum tuckered out. Fortunately, the W section of the contronym list had a nice array of choices. Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from here – the last three letters will be no fun at all. But for today, the contronym is weather.
 
Weather - To discolor, disintegrate, wear, or otherwise affect adversely by exposure; to show the effects of exposure to the elements
 
~ or ~
 
Weather - To come through (something) safely; to withstand the effects of weather
 
This poor creature lost his spirit and allowed the elements to weather him . . .
Weathered Lion
 
. . . while this fierce beast roars at wind, rain, and time as he weathers anything they throw at him.
Sandstone Lion
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any other ‘W’ contronyms? How Wonderful does Molly look with her letter W?
 
Weathered lion image courtesy of Sailko
Clean lion image courtesy of Senapa
 

Very Vital

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Lily with the letter VThe letter V was much more accommodating than the letter U. There were four solid contronyms to choose from, and weirdly two of them (vegetative and vital) had one definition about being full of life and then another definition from the sad end of the spectrum. For the featured contronym, I’ve decided to go with vital.
 
Vital - Full of life; animated
 
~ or ~
 
Vital - Destructive to life; fatal
 
Since April is National Poetry Month, I figured that even though I lack poetry writing prowess, I should make at least one of my examples a poem.
 
A vital young woman
Her energy overflows
A string of lovesick men
Follow wherever she goes
Happy woman
But from the other women
A jealousy arose
They do their best to shame her
Their words are vital blows
Sad woman
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any other ‘V’ contronyms? How Vivacious is Lily with her letter V?
 
Vivacious woman image courtesy of juliaf 
Depressed woman image courtesy of glendali

Unqualified Unbending

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Freya with the letter UAfter having a bunch of letters in a row with lots of contronyms to choose from, I was sad to see there were only two choices for the letter U: unbending and unqualified. Even worse, I’m not excited about either one. I think they both fall into that category where you have to do some twisting and stretching to see the definitions as opposites. But unbending is the more contronym-y of the two choices, so I’m going with that one.
 
Unbending – not bending; rigid or inflexible
 
~ or ~
 
Unbending - to relax (the mind) or (of the mind) to become relaxed
 
Tiger was unbending in his views about the dangers of recreational catnip, so his buddies Socks and Smokey thought it would be hilarious to lace his food with it. Now Tiger’s unbending in the normally terrifying bathtub.
Smiling Cat
Image courtesy of SineadL
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any ‘U’ contronyms that didn’t make the list? How Upside-down is Freya with her U?

Temper Tantrum

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Bailey with the letter TSimimlar to buckle, the contronym I'm featuring today has so many definitions that there actually ends up being two pairs of opposing definitions. So what is this über-contronym? Temper.
 
Temper - calmness of mind; composure [calm]
 
~ or ~
 
Temper - heat of mind or emotion; proneness to anger [angry]
 
-- and --
 
Temper - to dilute, qualify, or soften by the addition or influence of something else [to soften]
 
~ or ~
 
Temper - to harden (as steel) by reheating and cooling in oil [to harden]
 
In the short clip below, you could say the man needs to temper his temper because the tempered metal making up the computer has a temper than will not be ruffled by him.
 
Okay, that was a pretty bad example, but I was trying to fit all variations in one sentence. Hope you are having better day than this gentleman:
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of examples of other ‘T’ contronyms? How Tuckered out is Bailey with her letter T?

Special Screening

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
 
Chloe with the letter SHere we are at the start of week four and letter S of the A to Z challenge. Not surprisingly, the letter S has a large selection of contronyms to choose from, probably the most so far. So which contronym did I decide to feature? It's a word I use fairly often: screen.
 
Screen - show; project on a screen
 
~ or ~
 
Screen - hide; conceal from view
 
Since I make short films, I often use the word screen in the showing context, as in screening a movie for an audience. Here's a non-fiction example: My short film High Heels & Hoodoo will screen at the Reel Shorts Film Festival in Canada on May 4th. Whoo hoo - we're so excited! Click here for more information.
 
As for the hiding context, here's another non-fiction example: During the Q&A session after a screening of my short film Saying Goodbye, I got emotional talking about my grandmother and used a program to screen my crying face from the audience.
 
Since Saying Goodbye also starts with the letter S, I'd like to screen it for you now. It's only sixteen minutes long and has won several awards at film festivals. If you enjoy it, please pass it along to family and friends. We'd be most appreciative - thank you!
 

If a cat predicted your death, how would it change your life?

 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of examples of other ‘S’ contronyms? How Sleepy is Chloe with her letter S?