I blogged for the entire month of November. I started off strong. I usually do, and I had some blogs lined up and ready to go. But as the month went on it did become more difficult to post regularly. However, I made it work, just like I did for BLOGMAS!
Having done that last year definitely made me more sure of myself going into this year’s month long blog adventure.
Sure, there were a few times that I lacked the inspiration, and some posts were fillers. Sometimes I had to search for prompts online to help stir up an idea. It happens to the best of us. Sure, there were times that I was rushing to post something before midnight. I didn’t always get my social media posts up on time either, but they did go up regardless. But each blog post went up on time! All 31 of them. And I am super proud. I also was consistent in posting to my blog social accounts, which is always grueling, but I had a bit of a system and made it work.
For the most part this challenge made me stronger. It made me create a bit of a writing routine, it made me more in touch with needing to make time for my writing and learning to be sure to make it a priority. It’s definitely a balancing act, but I am working on it.
There were various times I was visiting family and had to excuse myself to get a post up, or I had something going on and had to jot down a post on my phone notes for later. It was crazy. But I did it. I knew I wanted to, and that I would make it to my 31 day mark. I had much more faith and certainty in myself this time, than I did last year during BLOGMAS.
So with that being said, I am onto my next writing venture- NaNoWriMo [See: BLOGTOBER DAY 31] I definitely believe I have more confidence in taking on this journey because I just gained all this writing motivation and routine building from BLOGTOBER. Day 1 was actually really good! Stay Tuned for updates on that.
See you Monday- MLW has now returned to it’s regular Monday/Thursday schedule.
And if you missed any of BLOGTOBER…check out the recap below!
Day 31. I made it! I can’t believe I blogged everyday for a month! I feel so accomplished. I was due for this challenge, since I basically went on a 2 month hiatus over the summer.
For today I intended on posting a Halloween themed short story. But I’m still in the mist of writing it, and it’s not super Halloween related so I figured rather than stress myself out all night trying to rush to finish it, I will just finish it when I can and post when it’s ready. My stories always end up being longer, than I ever anticipate.
However, as I mentioned in my Fall Bucket List- I will be participating in NaNoWriMo. What, you ask? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.
It’s basically the month where writers challenge themselves to write about 2,000 words everyday for the entire month of November- clocking in at 50,000 words. Resulting in the idea that you will then have written the first draft of a novel in a month.
There is a whole community of writers who have been doing this for years. I am a newbie. I never even knew this was a thing. I’m not much of a reader, so I’m a bit reserved about writing a book.
But I figured why the hell not? I love all different types of forms of writing and I’ve dabbled in many. Why not try a book? So often I doubt myself without actually giving myself the chance to fail or to learn something knew about myself. When you really break it down, I just love to tell stories.
I wasn’t sure I could do BLOGMAS (Blog everyday for the entire month of December) last year, but I did it. Which gave me the courage to then conquer BLOGTOBER this year! And I was committed and here we are at Day 31! I learned about NaNoWriMo a few months ago, so I started to jot down a few ideas for a book. I have a pretty decent notebook full of charcters and plot points, dialogue lines, some research. I know I have along way to go, there is still some things I don’t know, but I just didn’t have time to really dive into planning, what with doing BLOGTOBER too.
In hindsight, doing that is a bit of a bitter sweet notion at this point. Today, I am so relieved to be done, but I know tomorrow, I’m starting a whole new venture of writing everyday. However, BLOGTOBER was really good practice for that. I kind of started my own little writing routine, and now I’m excited to get into my new story for this book idea.
Granted I have my reservations, I know there are already a bunch of days that it will be difficult to write but, I’m just going to really give it my best go. I always identify with being a writer, but I don’t write as often as I should. So by accepting these challenges, I am willing myself to write. To be the writer, I want to be. To let people know, that, that is what I am. And to accept that as a part of my life.
So often I let my writing slide, because I have other obligations. But I’m learning when to choose myself and my writing. I’m learning when I can let it slide and when I know I have to say no. I wrestle with the balance, but I will never be a writer if I don’t try.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to officially sign up with the NaNoWriMo site, so I decided I was going to just to this thing on my own, just for the first time. Then if I find I want to try again next year, then I will register and join the online community.
So here’s the plan- Tomorrow is Day 1. I plan to get up early and write for two hours, and hopefully clock my first 2,000 words in. I don’t really plan/plot out too much, when I write. I guess I’m a pantser in that sense, or a mix of both a plotter and a pantser.
I just started following this Author/YouTuber when I was doing some NaNoWriMo research, she explains the whole Pantser/Plotter thing really well in her How To Outline Your Book video.
I will plan and construct a timeline, when I feel like things aren’t adding, up, time frames, and flashbacks. Things like that. That’s when I know I need to sus out some logistics and plan ahead. Other than I that I just go with the flow and see where the story takes me.
So that’s what I’m going to do. NaNoWriMo here we come!
I’m coming for you November!
DISCLAIMER: Michelle Leigh Writes will return to it’s regular Monday & Thursday posting schedule.
Happy Halloween Folks!
And Cheers to a new writing adventure! Wish me luck!
*NaNoWriMo images from the official site.
I do not take credit for those or for the video used.*
As a huge Michael Jackson fan, I know that all of his videos are very detailed and tell a story. But the true leader of the pact has to be the iconic, nearly 14 minute long, short film- Thriller.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller- A Film Muse
Although I was not born until the 90’s, this video was always a big deal around Halloween, I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. And I try to make sure to watch and listen to Thriller every Halloween season. It just puts you in the spirit.
MJ’s message at the beginning-
I read that Michael had said this video offended people, which he never intended to, and that he would never want to do something like it again. But even so, the legacy of it lives on and on!
Color theme is pretty instant upon the reveal of the title- black and red- just like his iconic leather jacket.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller is a music video for the Michael Jackson song “Thriller” released on December 2, 1983. It was directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Jackson. It was MTV’s first world premiere video. Voted as the most influential pop music video of all time, Thriller proved to have a profound effect on popular culture, and was named “a watershed moment for the [music] industry” for its unprecedented merging of filmmaking and music. Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the “most successful music video”, selling over nine million copies. In 2009, the video was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the first music video to ever receive this honor, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The track was also listed at number one on “The Top 10 Halloween Songs” by Billboard.
Co-starring with Jackson was former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video was choreographed by Michael Peters (who had worked with the singer on his prior hit “Beat It”), and Jackson. Jackson contacted Landis after seeing his film An American Werewolf in London; make-up artist Rick Baker and composer Elmer Bernstein (who composed incidental music for the video) were also brought from the film to work on the video. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price. “Thriller” was the third and final video for the Thriller album. The red jacket that Jackson wore was designed by Landis’ wife Deborah Landis to make him appear more “virile”. – All info Via Wikipedia.
Summary[If you live under a rock and have never seen this masterpiece…Watch Before Reading the spoilers below!]
In the 1950s, Michael Jackson and a young woman (Ola Ray) run out of gas while driving in a wooded area. They walk into the forest and Michael asks her to be his girlfriend. She accepts. Jackson warns her that he is “not like other guys”, transforms into a werewolf, and attacks her. In a modern-day movie theater, Michael and his girlfriend are watching the previous scene as part of horror film, Thriller. She leaves early, disturbed by the violence. As they walk in the street, Michael teases her by performing the verses of “Thriller”. In a graveyard, undead rise from their graves as Vincent Price narrates. The couple are surrounded and Michael becomes a zombie. He and the zombies dance to “Thriller”. Michael and the zombies chase his girlfriend into an abandoned house. She screams and wakes up, realizing it was a nightmare. Michael embraces her, but turns to the camera and grins, revealing his werewolf eyes. – Via Wikipedia
This video has everything. It has great music (that chorus! how can you NOT sing along), a killer dance break, a cool concept with a movie within a movie, dancing zombies, a werewolf transformation, young love, and that Vincent Price epic cackle at the end that will always give me chills…I mean what more can you ask for?
I love how they got the 50’s charcters to dress the part- the poodle skirt/letterman jacket/ and him asking her to go steady by giving her his ring. Then we see the 80’s inspired fashion in the current timeline. I love the red and blue hues in Jackson and Ray’s wardrobe. Blue hues are often used in horror. They match the spooky night sky and rolling fog, as they walk through the dewy streets while he serenades her. That whole sequence is probably my favorite because it’s cute and playful like something you’d see in a romantic comedy, and then shit gets real in a minute. Excuse the language. 😉 Jackson’s character is funny and a jokester, but when he turns, he turns! And instantly you feel like your worst nightmares are coming true…like your starring in a horror movie yourself.
USA : Michael Jackson dans “Thriller”- USA-1984/0906262022 (Newscom TagID: null) [Photo via Newscom]
It has all the markings of a horror film, the carefully placed “scary movie” suspense music/sound effects, creatures closing in creating that claustrophobic feeling (those closeup shots are so good- they make you feel like you are right there in the film). And let’s not forget the overly dramatic actress, screaming. Ah- a true ode to horror. It is mentioned in the wiki research that they had specific horror films they used as inspiration through the creation of the short film- naming films like Phantom of the Opera, Night of the Living Night, and I Was A Teenage Werewolf.
I love how you have to suspend reality and just trust the storyline. There is a bit of a confusion, because we are basically watching a movie within a movie. The way that this is set up is brilliant. You get a mini intro, a fake out, then cue the song’s intro as we pan onto the theatre sign, as the story continues. That shot of the movie theatre was done with a crane, I saw in the behind the scenes. Epic!
So in the beginning we see a young couple walking through the woods and then the guy turns into a werewolf, but it ends up being a movie Michael and his girl are watching. Are we to believe that the whole rest of the short film is the real deal? When Michael turns into a zombie and busts a move, only to later chase his girlfriend into an old house and be revealed as his regular self again, telling her, “What’s the problem? Come on, I’ll take you home,” like everything is fine. Did you see that lighting change/setting change though? #MovieMagic Making us think that the movie scared the wits out of her and is making her think all of these creepy creatures are real and chasing her. But then we get that turn back of Michael revealing his werewolf eyes accompanied by Vincent Price’s Laugh and you see that suspending reality is a beautiful thing and you just watched a masterpiece.
I love that ending, even if it confuses me. Haha. I guess it wasn’t all in her head.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some cheesy moments here and there. But like I teach my kids in my film class, these graphics were groundbreaking for that time in film and video. We grow and we get better. And effects improve through the years, but you have to start somewhere. And this was an EPIC start! Paved the way.
This video is iconic and still to this day inspires other artists to push the boundaries of music television and storytelling.
Behind the Scenes of Michael’s Werewolf & Zombie transformations, etc.
Cue the shot of the moon…so good!
For more BTS information watch the hour long Documentary-
FYI Jackson did venture into horror again, in his 1996 musical short film-GHOSTS (running 39 minutes). This too was granted a documentary- The Making Of. Although I can’t find concrete info as to how it was released in the US, I remember watching this on tv with my family when I was a kid. I feel like it was a big Halloween special. It is so creepy, but so damn good. I can’t find the full version on YouTube but I linked a shorter version. This is a whole other Film Muse in the making, maybe next Halloween. 😀
I’ll never understand how he could make a dance break scary?
Hats off, Michael. May you rest in peace.
*I do not take credit for any images/gifs/music/lyrics/videos/BTS footage used.*
This year is my niece’s first time Trick -or- Treating so I am going to be going with her. So naturally, me always down for a reason to dress up- after many laps around Spirit Halloween I walked out with a witch hat and a spider ring.
I figured I just needed a few accent pieces, because I knew I had enough black clothing at home, and I knew I could make something creative with fun makeup and nail art.
So the creative wheels started and I decided on a Purple/Green/Black color theme. When I think of witches I think of those three colors. Their tights are usually purple and green stripped, their faces green. So I figured why not make it a funky witch theme.
Let’s start with the basics…
The Black Base- I wanted this to be more of a Rocker Chic Witch Look
So we have to have the leather jacket, the black pants, and the combat boots. These two clothing pieces have been so well worn! I feel like I go for them ALL THE TIME. Every girl has those one pair of black pants that she feels like she can conquer the world in. #BootyLookGoodPants 😉
I will probably just wear a black long sleeve or black t-shirt. Depending on the weather. If I had more time I would have searched for a purple & green stripped tee. But all black with color accents is always super cool, if you ask me. So that’s the way I’m choosing to rock this glam rocker witch look.
The trusty old combat boots, I’ve had for years.
The Witch Hat & Spider Ring [Sprit Halloween]
^ I tried to link these items for you guys, in case you wanted to pick them up for your own witch look for next year, but I couldn’t find them on the site. But they had a bunch others, click and browse the site!
They had a huge witch section- makeup, jewelry, brooms, costumes. I’m not a fan of costume Halloween makeup. I have sensitive skin, so I know it’ll probably mess with my face. Besides, everything was so expensive. As it is I walked out spending about $25 just for a hat and a ring!
But I really do like this hat, its got these really cool black feathers that glisten a green/purple hue, and it has a veil that hangs over the face with a bunch of spiders all over it. The spider ring was an impulse buy near the register. I was looking for an extravagant spider ring but I didn’t see any in the witch section, then I found this one on the way out and loved it.
So with these two pieces in mind, I set out to researching the fun stuff Makeup & Nail Ideas. I wanted a really fun glam witch look. No full green face for me! 😉
Makeup & Nail polish I bought to complete this look-
NICKAK NEW YORK lipsticks in Violet & Lime BRUCCI Nail polish in Sylvia’s Pretty In Purple & Stephanie Go Lime
Accessories I had, that I plan to use to spruce up this witch look-
I have some lace gloves, some various bracelet and choker necklace options. Some Silver hoops, some black sunglasses. I also have a silver bracelet/ring piece with a moon on it which I thought was kinda witchy so we’ll see if I want to rock that. And not sure yet if I want to throw on this spider web scarf too.
This ring has the colors in it, but I may not want to wear any other rings, because that spider ring can be a stand alone piece! LOL. We shall see how it all gets pulled together. I usually end up making something work! 😀
I was also going to curl my hair and add in some purple and green hair extensions, but I couldn’t find the right color shades, and I didn’t really want to buy any sprays. So I decided that I’m going to just use the eyeshadow I have and just dust some on like hair chalk. Or if that doesn’t work, I can just use real sidewalk chalk. Its basically the same crap. HAHA. I’ll throw some hairspray to hold the color and boom!
So what I usually end up doing is gathering inspiration and then I put my own spin on things and make up my own look.
I’m sure if you didn’t want to rock a full witch hat you can also find a cute little hat clip, hat headband, or create a paper hat on your own. YouTube is full of tons of tutorials.
I chose pants, because I wanted to be comfortable, but you could totally do a black skirt or dress and find the striped tights, or a pair of fishnets. It’s totally customizable. Do your thang!
Honestly you can be really creative with a witch costume, you can even do all black, or red and black, or orange and black. Basically as long as you have a witch “hat” on, everyone will know what you are!
So I know that almost everyone in the world has carved or decorated a pumpkin. But just in case you haven’t, I got you covered. 😉
Every year, I carve/design a pumpkin character. See my other character creations in BLOGTOBER Day 9 !
As always I have my Fall Bucket List, and I have been slowly making my way through it. And so I’ve been wanting to find time to carve my pumpkin and last night I made sure to do just that.
BEFORE & AFTER
The Making Of: Meeting Aquafina
STEP ONE: Set your Pumpkin out on a steady working area. You may want to lay out a garbage bag, because things are going to get messy! And Gather all your decorative pieces…(hence the mess in the background all over my table!)
STEP TWO: Cut off the top of the pumpkin; I drew a circle around the stem and carved it out with a regular kitchen knife. I didn’t have any fancy pumpkin carving knives, but a regular knife worked just fine.
STEP THREE: The fun part! Get Messy and remove all the guts and the seeds!
STEP FOUR: Go in with a spoon to scrap and remove any excess pumpkin guts.
RESESARCH DESIGN INSPIRATION: I wanted to do a mermaid character, so I just needed an image to use as a reference when I drew it.
STEP FIVE: Free hand the design onto the pumpkin, with a pen.
I messed up the nose a bit… 😦
STEP SIX: Carve out the facial features you want to. I chose to carve out some and outline others. Just to show a little light in when I put the candle in. Be sure to clear out any extra pumpkin that may fall through inside again.
STEP SEVEN: MERMAID MAKEUP. Here are some supplies I used to create my mermaid’s makeup. I basically used the blue pen to draw on the face. Then I mixed the blue crayon and the green glitter to create the glittery eye shadow, eye liner, and lipstick, using the blue paint brush to apply it. I used the black crayon for the eyelashes.
STEP EIGHT: CREATE THE LOOK. Then for the design portion I added two battery operated, no flame tea lights into my pumpkin. And added my mermaid touches (believe it or not, I had all of these things)- a Hawaiian lei, blue hair extensions (I wrapped them around the stem to create a bun style and used bobby bins to pin them in place), my DIY starfish hair pin, and a plastic fork because you know that’s how mermaids comb their hair. #THELITTLEMERMAID
STEP NINE: Give her a name! MEET Aquafina!She’s a sassy mermaid.
TIP: Sometimes after cutting the stem, it ends up becoming too small and then falling into the pumpkin. My mom suggested adding a tooth pick on either side of the cover to keep it from falling in. You can’t tell here, because I strategically placed the Lei, but it worked like a charm. And it makes it easy to lift my pumpkin cover to turn the candles on and off.
STEP TEN: Shut the lights off, pop in a Halloween movie, grab a snack and a glass of wine (or if your underage some cider, Lol) and ENJOY!
This was a bit time consuming, but I love all this fall themed stuff.
When all was said and done, I really liked the way she came out.
She looks so cute and sassy!
*All images are my own, except for the black & white mermaid face design.*
This was a short horror script I wrote back in 2015. Unfortunately like many of my scripts, it was never filmed. However, being that it is Halloween and I am a writer, I thought it’d be fun to at least share the script with you. You can read it in full form in yesterday’s BLOGTOBER post HERE
*I do not take credit for any images/gifs/movie posters/movie trailers used.*
ALSO FAN GIRL REPORT SIDENOTE: Due to bruised vocal chords Justin Timberlake has had to postpone a few of his tour dates. My Wednesday night show, sadly was one of them. I was all set, rushed home from work, was going to eat, change and head out, when I got an email and voicemail from Ticketmaster. And then I saw J.T.’s instagram post. I missed it earlier, because I was working. But what can you do, at least I saw it before I got ready to leave my house. I have to admit, I was bummed. I was so pumped to see him live. It’s been a while!
I had a show rescheduled, back when he first toured for the Justified album. My first time ever seeing him live, solo. There was a crazy stage accident and people were injured and equipment was damaged and they had to cancel it. I was so upset. I was probably about 12 and I was hysterical crying when I saw it on the news.
My older cousin was supposed to take me, so she was like I will take you wherever you want to go, we can do whatever you want that day and you can bring whoever you want. She’s the best! So I wanted to go to Build-a-bear (Is 12 too old for that? Probably but whatever, til this day that is the only Build-a-bear I have. This coming from a girl who played with Barbies til she was like 14, Lol #DONTJUDGE!) I brought my best friend and we all went to the mall, and it was a great day!
Needless to say, we made it to the concert…and it was freakin’ AMAZING!
And this one will be too. Being that ya know I am having to #ADULT these days, I totally understood the need for JT to have to postpone. He needs to take care of himself first. Health and Safety first always. The new date is going to be on his 38th Birthday- January 31st, so I am super stoked for that! Rest Up JT, see you in January! I just can’t wait! Ah #FANGIRLIFE!
So Stay Tuned my fellow fangirls, full concert outfit and concert review COMING IN THE NEXT YEAR, haha. Book Review too! 😀
Justin Timberlake’s style for his MAN OF THE WOODS show is very laid back. So for my concert look tonight, I wanted to mirror that same vibe. Comfortable, yet stylish.
As you can see he wears a lot of , flannel, leather, denim, black. There are some earthy tones and outdoorsy pieces, so camouflage is a pattern that pops up a lot too. And I’ve seen he mostly rocks sneakers or boots. He also mixes patterns at times too. But the usual basis for the outfit is a graphic tee.
In fact he has a clothing collection with the brand Levi, called Fresh Leaves
And a sneaker deal with Air Jordan…these are sold in limited locations.
Because I wasn’t a fan of any of the few t-shirts left on his website, I opted to find my own shirt and to put together my own outfit using simple pieces I already had in my closet. #GOTTASAVEMONEY #ADULTING I am hoping they are selling some concert tees there though. I really wanted one online, but it’s no longer up. 😦
I found a JT shirt with the album graphic on it in Targetfor cheap and ordered one each for me and my best friend.
So the concert tee is the main focus of the outfit.
I painted my nails- black, white and orange- the colors of the album cover, which is the graphic featured on the t-shirt.
IGNORE MY MESSY NAILS IN THE FOLLOWING SHOTS…I took all of this before I cleaned them up. 😉
Currently I am torn between two outfit ideas. Either some black pants or jeans, a red/yellow/white flannel, and a leather jacket or oversized denim jacket over top the tee and the flannel. I opted to rock either my combat boots or my white & black Michael Jackson boots. Depending which outfit I end up choosing.
I’m also keeping my jewelry pretty simple- some gold hoops (not sure which size I’m rocking just yet), two gold chains for a layered affect, 4 plain gold rings, and a cuff like bracelet. With a yellow purse too, to tie in the colors of the flannel.
For my makeup I’m planning to do a mix of fall colors, a lot of golds/oranges/reds.
Similar to this makeup/hair look…
Except I’m planning to swap out the red lip color for something in the more brown/bronze/peach family. Either I will pick one of the lip colors below, or do some type of mix of colors.
And as for my hair, I’m going to be adding some random loose waves with a curling wand, using products like mousse, dry shampoo, and hairspray.
There you have it, my JT MAN OF THE WOODS outfit inspo. I am ready to dance and sing my ass off! I will reveal the full look I chose tomorrow!
Tonight. Fangirl mode. ON.
Stay Tuned for a full Concert Review! COMING SOON!
*I do not take credit for any Justin Timberlake images or videos used.*
With all these Halloween vibes around, I thought this prompt was pretty fun. So I will channel my inner witchcraft vibes this Halloween season and create a fictional magic potion.
Prompt: Write a recipe for a magic potion. Next, explain what the potion would do if someone drank it.
FALL IN LOVE POTION
7 red rose petals
A splash of red wine
A pinch of gold glitter
3 drops of Lavender essential oil
A feather from a Dove
Rose quartz stone talisman
Large paper place matt for under your cauldron
Light some candles and place them around your working station.
Mix all ingredients into your cauldron. (Hold the glitter for later.)
Knot the red string around the Rose Quartz stone, creating a talisman.
Place a heart outline on your placemat, around your cauldron using your red lipstick. (doesn’t hurt to throw a little on your lips too!) 😉
Swing the talisman above the mixture in quick small circles.
Say the spell as you do so.
Throw the glitter in as you chant the last line of the spell.
Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble
wish you were part of a couple
Passion, Presence, placed in your heart
A work of art
If you do this right, your liquid will light up a bright pink, and the bubbles will turn into hearts., filling the air around you. Pour it into a heart shaped vessel and drink it, on the rocks with a cherry on top! Once you drink this you will lock eyes with the love of your life within the next few days, and your journey to forever will begin.
DISCLAIMER:Obviously I do not actually practice witchcraft, and this is not an actual spell, LOL. It was just a fun little Halloween spell inspired by this romantic heart of mine.
*I used my Ninja Bullet, but you can use any blender really.
This was a nice blend of fall flavors. I enjoyed it. However, I kind of just threw this together with what I had. So next time I might add some creamy peanut butter and use real canned pumpkin, maybe a little maple syrup, you can get really creative! That might make it more filling. This was more of a smoothie shot than a full filling cup. I didn’t really use specific measurements, I never do for my smoothies. I just kind of eye ball it. I would add liquids with caution, depending on how thick or thin you want your smoothie. The more milk/ice the thinner it gets. The more oats and things like peanut butter can thicken it up. I like a nice balance. If it passes the straw test, I think your good to go. In other words if you can sip it through the straw without intense struggle, than you got it right! 😉
I know it may look kind of gross, lol, but it’s actually really good. With a few adjustments, it would probably be way better.