It may be no secret at this point that Halloween is one of my favorite times of year, and my son has gotten into the spirit with me. We love to do Halloween crafts, so I wanted to share a couple of decor ideas I've crafted with him, and my favorite repurposing from last year.
This fun project is as easy as they come, and they make for fun crafts and sparkly decorations. All you need is a standard birthday party hat, paper plate, tape, scissors, glue, paint (black or any color you prefer), glitter, stickers, or confetti. I used star confetti to decorate mine and my son used spooky Halloween stickers. The cool thing about these is the little ones can actually wear them since the elastic band from the party hat can go right under their chin. We elected to make them a part of our Halloween decor and they now sit in glittery witchiness upon a table and bookshelf. Source: https://www.parentmap.com/article/15-halloween-crafts-for-kids?page=3
A Glittery, Black Decoupage Vase.
Next we took some black streamers, which I had laying around the house from previous Halloween parties, and cut glue with a little bit of water in a bowl. I took a wine bottle that I'd cleaned of labels and sticky paper, and we laid pieces of streamer on the bottle one by one and painted over it with the glue. I love using the sparkly Elmer's glue because it makes the decoupage all sparkly and much more festive. I let it dry and then voila, a spooky Halloween vase was ready for some black roses. I made my wine rack into an alter with a black tablecloth, and added the vase, and it's one of my favorite Halloween locations in the house.
Ouija Board Decor
When I was a teenager I loved horror books and movies, and I loved anything having to do with the paranormal and supernatural so I've had my old Ouija Board sitting in a closet out of pure nostalgia. Last year I decided to put it to good use and repurposed it as a Halloween decoration. All I did was super-glue the planket to the board and then buy velcro wall adhesive strips from Michael's, and it worked like a charm.
If anyone has Halloween decorating ideas or pictures to share, post them below because I'd love to see them. <3
Starting today, The Reaper's Daughter is on sale for 99 cents until Sept. 30. Get it while it's hot. <3
"I feel like teen stories have exhausted every original paranormal thought ... until this one. KM Randall takes the concept of the Grim Reaper and adds a really interesting and energetic teen flair to it. The result is quite clever, and I enjoyed reading further into the story to see how Blake grows and responds to her new-found abilities."
Here's a the synopsis:
The Reaper needs her and the dead want her ...
I’ve always felt like an average girl ... except for my strange relationship with death. You could say I like to court it. Whether I’m soaring through the air as a flyer for Specter University’s cheer squad, or speeding down the steepest mountain with only grace and balance keeping me from an icy end, I’ve always needed to feel a rush. But now Death is courting me―in more ways than one. First, there’s Rishi, a rogue death deity who has a penchant for annoying me nearly to my grave and whose intense gaze has the power to see right through me. Then there’s Hades, who I’d rather had stayed just a myth. Now that he knows I exist, he’s not going to leave me alone until I meet the same end as my mother.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention her? I spent my whole life thinking she had died when I was a baby, but now I’ve found out she’s much more than dead. Fifty years ago, Hades banished my mother from the underworld and took away her ability to cross over souls―souls that have wandered lost through the world ever since. Now she wants me to clean up the mess. You may have heard of her before ...
They call her the Grim Reaper.
Since my latest book, The Reaper's Daughter, was released, I've noticed a theme among reviewers who enjoyed it. They seem to like the friendship between the main character, Blake, and her best friend, Shelby. I noticed this in Fractured Dream as well. Many reviewers and readers have commented that they wished they had those amazing friends, or they really just enjoyed the healthy relationships between the characters. It's made me pause at times as somewhat ironically, since I've come to an age in my life when friendships have begun to fade or wear out, while making truly deep connections is harder for some reason.
I first noticed the fading after I gave birth to my son. A couple of friends of mine without children no longer seemed as interested in me as I was in them. I'd become a mom, a worrier, a helicopter buzzing around my baby. Perhaps because my free spirit was now connected to the precious life of my child, my soul's anchor, I was no longer as fun, I worried. As a singleton, I'd been accessible, as a married woman with a child, not as much. I was hurt. So I grieved for the dear friends who suddenly became acquaintances. There were others, of course, those who faded because of time away, years spent missing calls or not having time to make them, on both sides. Carrying on the friendships once had in youth no longer seems possible, and it isn't, because dynamics have changed.
Friendships change and warp, sometimes we lose those we loved, sometimes we're brought together again years later, maybe sometimes never. There's many reasons why, and sometimes I think there's no reason at all except time and growth. And I've come to accept this. I saw a quote on Facebook the other day that was rather poignant: "If you have to force it. Leave it. Relationships. Friendships. Yoga Poses. Perfect Pony Tails. Let That Shit Go." We can't hold onto them all for forever, nor do we always want to, I've learned.
It's the friendships that have braved the test of time, the ones who show up to your book signing on a rainy day with kids in tow, the one you can sit and have as much fun over a cup of coffee with as over a bottle of wine. And I have that. And I'm thankful.
So perhaps those friendships my readers love so much in my books is reminiscent of my youth, I do write YA/NA after all, so my characters are young, but I think it's also a reflection of what I've learned being a good friend truly means in the years since. Mutual respect, love, and laughter, and a willingness and desire to keep room in your heart and life for that person. <3
“Growing apart doesn't change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I'm glad for that.”
― Ally Condie, Matched
I'm participating in a couple of really cool online book events this fall. The first is the 2015 October Frights Blog Hop, which is happening Oct. 1-10. I'll be running a series of posts during those days and at the end of it all, I'll be giving stuff away! There will also be a list at the end of the post directing readers to all the other authors taking part in the hop. It should be some fangtastic fun. Honestly, Halloween is a delicious time of year for me, so bear with me. I love decorating, I love the spooky atmosphere, the crisp air and hint of something powerful in the air.
Then November 1-8, I'll be an author at the first ever Virtual Fantasy-Con. Each day will have a theme such as Epic Wednesday, Fairytale Thursday, and YA Fantasy Sunday, which are the events I'll be a part of. This event takes place on Facebook, and the link is posted above. I'll give further details, but I'll definitely be giving away some books then too. If you any questions, feel free to post in the comments below.
Facebook will soon be launching a "dislike" button, at least according to CNN Money, which reported that Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in a Town Hall meeting earlier today:
"The company had hesitated to launch a dislike button, but it has realized that people want to 'express empathy' on posts about unpleasant news. 'Not every moment is a good moment,' he [Zuckerberg] added."
I totally, totally get that. Who wants to "like" a post when a friend on Facebook posts about a death, an illness, or catastrophe. I've run into this issue many times myself. It's hard to know what to do since sometimes you might want to offer support such as a virtual hand on the shoulder, but "liking" such a dark, grief-stricken post just doesn't seem right, you know? So I get it. That all said, I think this button is going to set the proverbial shit flying. Because people will use and abuse it, I have no doubt.
If we're going to be honest about what we don't like or what's annoying, we might as well give an array of buttons. My friend and I had a little text message fun with it today, so I thought I would make some of you laugh (while some will probably grind their teeth at me) and share some of the new buttons we came up with.
You're Bragging Again Button
Passive-Aggressive Alert Button
Vague-Booking Alert Button
I'm Sorry You Feel the Need to Paint a Brighter Picture Button
I Don't Give a Shit About Your Culinary Skills Button
I Can Grocery Shop, Do Dishes, Fold Laundry, Cook a Gourmet
Dinner, Bathe the Kids, Walk the Dog in One Day Too Button
Please Show Me Another Picture of a Road Sign on Your Amazing Vacation, I Always Wanted to See One of Those Button
It's a Pyramid Scheme Button
Awesome, You Sweated While Working Out, Didn't Know That Happened Button
The Stop Posting Wine Pics, All Kids Drive Their Parents Crazy Button
The I Can't Deal With Your Politics So I'm Unfollowing You, At Least Until the End of Election Season Button
We're sarcastic often, but it's all in good fun, since I am definitely guilty of the Posting Quite a "Few Pics of Your Kid, Huh? Button."
I do know one thing, it would have been nice to have a dislike button the other day when someone's bigotry and hate-comments entered my stream, making me unfollow a certain narrow-minded individual I went to school with.
Love, peace, and snark, but never hate.
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.