Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!! What's Scaring You Today?

It's Halloween!!! Time for spooks and kooks, candy and dandy, fun and sun...ok, no sun here. We're expecting temps in the low 40's and rain with possible snow. Teeth will be chattering from more than fright, I can tell you that.

Since it's time for all things scary, let's talk phobias. A phobia is a severe fear of something. It can be milder for some people--perhaps they can be near what fears them, but won't touch it, use it, or participate in it. In other, phobias can be absolutely debilitating to the point of needing medication or therapy. Here's a list of phobias you may not have heard of (from :

Achluophobia - Fear of darkness. 
Bibliophobia - Fear of books. (WHAT??? I'd have to take medication for that one. I love me some books)
Cyberphobia - Fear of computers. 
Ephebiphobia - Fear of teenagers. (Now this one, I understand!)
Genuphobia - Fear of knees.  
Iatrophobia - Fear of doctors. 
Leukophobia - Fear of the color white. 
Mageirocophobia - Fear of cooking. (I should pretend to suffer from this. Hubby's a great cook!)
Nosocomephobia - Fear of hospitals. 
Ombrophobia - Fear of rain. 
Phobophobia - Fear of phobias. (How the heck do you get around this one?)
Somniphobia - Fear of sleep. 
Tonitrophobia - Fear of thunder.
Venustraphobia - Fear of beautiful women. (I wonder how many people I've scared...)
Wiccaphobia - Fear of witches and witchcraft. 
Xenophobia - Fear of strangers or foreigners. 
Zoophobia - Fear of animals. 

Now, for me, it's no secret I'm scared of dolls. Even the not-so-freaky looking ones can scare me at times. I have literally had to put some of my kids dolls out of sight or leave a store or shop if I see one that scares me. This phobia is called pediophobia, and you can read Lisa Binion's great article on it here, where she asked me and others how our fear of dolls began: 

Being a ghosty show lover, I watch programs like Ghost Adventures each week. They actually went to the Island of the Dolls in last week's episode. This place is what I imagine hell must be like. You couldn't pay me enough to go there. It took a great deal of willpower for me to actually watch the whole show. Click here to see some clips:

Now, the question is...what scares YOU? Let's talk about it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Be Specific, Not Pacific!

Hiya peeps! I've neglected my poor blog for long enough, so I wanted to post a quick writing tip today. This is a tip I shared with my wonderful students in this fall's session of the creative (and very economical) writing course, F2K. (There's another one starting up in January--sign up now!)

When you're writing, you want to be as specific as you can so that your reader can visualize the scene and stay interested.

Replace those words that are as generic as the ocean is big. 

Be on the lookout for these commonly used "Pacific" words (and many more):


Now, let's think about how we can make a couple of these more specific and less Pacific:

tree --> oak, pine, cedar, sapling, redwood, birch
shoes -->heels, sandals, sneakers, boots, flip-flops, wedges
man --> doctor, taxi driver, chef, waiter, wrestler

Often, you can add even another layer to shrink those Pacific words into specific puddles. Take "shoes" for example:

shoes -->heels --> stilettos -->Jimmy Choos 

Being more specific in your descriptions helps readers immediately identify whatever you're describing. They won't have to slow down and fill in every detail in their minds. They're more likely to keep reading AND remembering the story long afterwards. We do have to be careful in not detailing our readers to death, but I'll talk about that in another post. Now, are you ready to write?

Oh well, you can't please 'em all! ~Mysti

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Party in the House Tomorrow Night--The Roche Hotel Release Party

RELEASE PARTY tomorrow night for my new romantic comedy, The Roche Hotel! Fun, games, and prizes including a hotel-themed prize basket with:

*Ultra-soft robe
*Ghirardelli chocolates
*Hotel soaps, shampoo, and shower gel
*Signed postcards...all packed in a...
*Green canvas storage cube from Target!