Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas Cheats

As my mania is well documented here on the blog, it's not very surprising that I'm already biting at the bit for Christmas movies. I try to keep myself on a strict schedule - no holiday movies or music until Thanksgiving. I do this more for other people than myself...well, it's a little bit for myself, seeing as I'd like to keep my friends.

But once Santa comes riding down the street in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, all bets are off. 

I'm generally able to hold off until the aforementioned acceptable start time, but sometimes the insanity stirs early. Especially when I'm in the process of planning the RAINN Down Hope fundraiser. I don't know that anything puts me in the right frame of mind for the holidays as quickly or completely as dealing with all the generous and kind people involved in the dinner - whether they attendees, donors or supporters. 

Seriously, every email, text or tweet I get makes my heart grow three sizes. At this point, it's about 89,613 times larger than it should be, but them's the breaks. The real issue is that now I want to watch a Christmas movie. 

As there's only a week left until I can do and feel no guilt for rushing the season, I'm going to be breaking in to my cheat movies:

1. The Shop Around the Corner
2. When Harry Met Sally
3. While You Were Sleeping
4. Michael
5. You've Got Mail

All movies with Christmas scenes and themes, that give me the fix I need without actually being Christmas movies. 

Another great outlet for my crazy?

Making up this year's Christmas movie calendar! (I exercised great restraint in putting only one exclamation point there. You're welcome.)

Let me know if you'll be "joining" me for any of the movies. We can tweet-chat during. 

Now, all that's left is the countdown until next Thursday when I officially start to see the world through my Christmas eyes. Spoiler alert: they turn you all into claymation. It's awesome. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fundraiser Update: The November Edition

Happy end of the week, all! The time has come for our monthly donation update. Let me say, the baskets this year are going to be hands down amazing.  Especially now that these lovely folks have been added to those mentioned in September and October.

This is not even mentioning the deluge of auction donations that I’ve received from auction attendees this year. Tickets to sporting events, Broadway plays, restaurant gift certificates, electronics, beautiful baskets full of thoughtful items….this list could go on for a while.  There are baskets for every age group. It’s going to be a perfect way to start any holiday shopping.

Still interested in donating? You’ve got time!

If there’s something you’d like to give as an auction item, just shoot me an email or leave a message in the comments.

If you want to donate directly to RAINN, you can do so at my RAINNmakers page!

Finally, if you’re interested in getting a fun t-shirt, which supports this event and RAINN, there are ONLY FIVE DAYS LEFT in that campaign, so make sure that you get over to T-Fund soon!

As I frequently find myself, I am just plain flabbergasted by the extraordinary generosity of people.  Even having first hand knowledge of how wonderful people are, the swell of support for each of these events still is somewhat astounding. Every day I get more emails of support and there are still more donations coming in. If there was ever anything to put me in the right frame of mind for the coming holidays, it’s getting to interact with all of you as we work to make the world a better, safer place.

So, for the millionth time (which is still nowhere near enough), thank you.

Have a truly wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Folklore Friday

The time has come, my good friends, for some more delving into North American folklore. I'm simultaneously polishing one book and plotting the next. Keeping these creatures fresh in my mind is pretty much a must. We've already taken a look at A through J, so let's move on down the alphabet, shall we?


These creatures are also known as Koko, depending on what tribal lore you're looking into. They're spirits who apparently take the form of ducks and bring rain to the people. Some say this is done by their changing the souls of the dead into rain clouds - which, let's face it, really makes me want to invest in a heavy-duty umbrella. Something about have the dead rained on me is a bit unsettling. The Kachina also love both entertaining and disciplining children. If you happen to be in the market for a mythical babysitter, look no further.


If I'm being quite honest, one of the main reasons I'm including these fellows is because I enjoy saying their name. Come on, try it. Luferlang is just fun to say and, I imagine, quite interesting to see. These guys are fairly distinctive, with both a large blue stripe down enormous backs that sport tails right smack dab in their centers. Being bitten by one is certain death. Luckily for everybody, the Luferlang only bites once a year and lumberjack lore is bizarrely specific on when this "biting season" occurs. July 12. From what I've found, that's it. The biting season is one day. Biggest piece of advice, don't wear green. Drives the Luferlang crazy. If you do happen to have the misfortune of running across one on that ill-fated summer's day, don't worry. Hope is not lost. Clearly displaying an orange colored handkerchief will protect you, as will holding a mirror up so that the Luferlang sees its own reflection. There seem to be some deep-seated body issues here, as looking at its own reflection causes the Luferlang to run off in disgust. Makes me want to give it a big least it does 364 days a year.


This is one of those take-the-bad-with-the-good creatures. A gigantic sea serpent, this guy is well respected by the Algonquins for keeping the waters of many different lakes around North America clean. For the most part, it seems that the misiganabic keeps its own counsel and is not looking for any trouble. Unfortunately, trouble is exactly what a person gets if they look at the misiganabic. One glance at the serpentine body that leads up to the head of a horse and you're either looking at crippling misfortune or death - which really makes it hard to enjoy those crystal clear lakes.

Nalusa Falaya

These swamp dwellers come out of Choctaw mythology and are quite the little devils. They're humanoid and pretty much covered head to toe in hair, but this doesn't exactly hide the fact that their backs are covered in sharp spines. Far more upsetting that imagining how much shampoo these guys would blow through is the fact that those spines serve a practical purpose. Once the Nalusa Falaya children shed their skin and turn into glowing spirits that attract travelers to the swamps - you know, as children are wont to do - the adults scare the humans into unconsciousness and then stab them with their spines. Considering the spines are on their backs, I guess that means that they trust fall on to a pile of fainted folks and roll around in a bloody mess. The worst part? This doesn't kill the people. Instead it brainwashes them to wake up, return to their friends and then randomly attack them. Talk about a camp ground buzzkill.


Out of Iroquois lore, the Ohdows are one of the three tribes of Yogah - the other two being the Gahonga (Stone Throwers) and the Gandayah (responsible for the earth's fertility). Of these three, I can say, hands down the Ohdows are the one's I'd want to tag along with on Take-A-Mortal-To-Work-Day. After all, they're responsible for controlling the monsters that live in the underworld and making sure that they don't make a break for the surface. Just show me where to sign and I'm in.

But until I get the necessary permission slip for such work, it's time to focus on the ol' manuscripts. Have a great weekend and don't follow any glowing spirits toward the swamps. If for no other reason, avoid it for your friends' sakes.