Disneybounding at Walt Disney World

We just returned from a week in Walt Disney World in Florida. Of course we had an awesome time. This year, we tried something new. We decide to Disney Bound.

Once upon a time, visitors could wear costumes to visit the Magic Kingdom. But in order to avoid confusion between the workers at Disney who were supposed to be dressed up and the guests who went all out with their costumes, WDW banned costumes for anyone over the age of 12.

This means your little princess or Jedi can dress up but adults only can dress up when they attend Mickey’s Not So Very Scary Halloween party which happens on select days in September and October.

Many people still like the idea of dressing up and to get around the prohibition, they do what is called Disney Bounding. This is where guests fashion outfits that are inspired by a character.

As any of you who regularly follow my blog, my husband and I are all about dressing up for comic con so why not expand that to Disney?

Princess Leia and Han Solo

2016-11-28-08-16-57My husband is a major Star Wars fan so if we are going to Disney Bound, it was a certainty that one of them would have to be a Star Wars theme. My husband has dressed up as Han Solo before so it wasn’t hard to get him to do a toned-down version.

His Disney Bound outfit consisted of black boots, dark blue jeans, a white Henley and his Han Solo vest that I bought him many, many years ago. He fashioned a leather pouch that he could strap to his leg to simulate Han’s gun holster.

For Princess Leia, I wore a white dress which I got on a clearance sale for $7. I did my hair up in mini buns and wore white sandals. Because we were unsure of the weather, I also bought a white sweater for $10 for the cooler mornings. I also took a pair of white tennis shoes in case my feet hurt too much from the sandals. (Carrying all the supplies in a white bag of course to go with my outfit.)

Ariel and Prince Eric

2016-11-30-08-16-09-hdrWe did this one on our Epcot day. I guess it could have gone for any of the parks but I wanted to wear this outfit when Lexie and I went for our princess breakfast.

I had seen a picture of a couple Disney Bounding as Ariel and Prince Eric and knew my husband and I could pull that off. Many of the items used for Han Solo also worked for Prince Eric. My husband was able to reuse the boots, dark blue jeans and white Henley. All we needed to do was add a red sash to his waist.

For my Ariel Disney Bound outfit, I found a flowing dark teal skirt at Goodwill and paired it with a purple top I found on Ebay. I put starfish clips in my hair and wore a seashell necklace, anklet and earrings. I also carried a pink bag like Ariel.

We got a few comments on both outfits but for the most part I am not sure most other visitors knew what we were doing, but I still enjoyed doing it. However, wearing heeled sandals with the amount of walking we were planning to do probably wasn’t the best idea.

 

Today’s Featured Author – Natasja Rose

Please welcome Natasja Rose to my blog. Her latest release, The Temporarily Misplaced Collection, is a collection of poems but don’t miss her books of ghostly travels or twisted fairy tales either. (All of which can be found on Amazon.)

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a disability carer who writes and does historical re-enactment in my limited free time. I live and work in Sydney, Australia, and like to travel whenever I have time off and can afford it.

What or who inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved to write and tell stories, especially ones that didn’t follow a conventional storyline. I think my first one was shortly after I learned to write, about a beautiful princess who escaped into the woods and was eaten by cannibals. For some reason, my teacher was less than appreciative.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
I usually have two or three projects in the works at once, so that if I have writer’s block with one, I can work on another one. Currently, I’m working on a third (currently untitled) poetry/short-story/monologue collection, “Chillon’s Prisoner” (a supernatural adventure with romantic undertones inspired by Lord Byron’s epic poem. third in the ‘Ghostly Travels’ series) and “Red Riding Hood and the Stalker”, the last in my twisted fairytale trilogy ‘Timeless Tales, Modern Morals’. There will also be at least two spin-off novellas in the series, but those are still in draft form.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
As mentioned, I work in Disabled Care. This basically means working with people who are unable to care for themselves, for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, there are lull periods and meal breaks, where I’ll whip out a pocket-sized notebook and scribble down whatever pops into my head.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

Mostly, I feel that there are still stories that need to be told, especially when mainstream fiction seems to be all about plucky teenage love-triangles based around people’s inability to talk about their problems. Sometimes, I think that there need to be more stories around characters of colour, or women in their late twenties, or sexual minorities, or stories that don’t centre around romance and/or miscommunication. If I can’t find those stories in a bookstore, I’ll write them myself.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?
Often through random conversations or events that spark an idea. “Cinderella Grows a Spine” was born when some friends and I were complaining that it was nearly impossible to find a twisted fairytale that really changed the events of the story, rather than just fleshing it out or changing the setting. I put together “The Temporarily-Misplaced Collection” when I realized that I had a bunch of ideas that wouldn’t really stretch or develop into a book of their own, but would make an excellent short story. I decided to write “Chillon’s Prisoner” when I visited the castle itself and read Lord Byron’s poem.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I’ll do a very basic outline (beginning, end, major events) but for the most part, I’ll just write. Often I’ll get an idea for something that happens in the middle or near the end before I’ve written the second chapter, and write that down. For every book I write, there’s usually an entire word document full of nothing but random scenes that may or may not make it into the final draft.

Please tell us about your current release.
I just finished “The Temporarily-Misplaced Collection”, a collection of Short-Stories, Monologues and Poetry, and before that was “Eternity’s Invitation”, a supernatural ghost story and the sequel to my first book, “The Highwayman’s Legacy”.

How did you come up with the title?
Originally, I had only planned to write “The Lost Collection”, which was mostly poetry, and I needed a catchy title in the theme of the first one. The Ghostly Travels series is inspired by a series of 19th Century poems, and the titles reflect that. “Eternity’s Invitation” was inspired by John Clare’s “An Invite, to Eternity”.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

For “The Temporarily-Misplaced Collection” I researched mermaids, dementia, various sea-life, medieval con-artists and Dante’s Inferno. For “Eternity’s Invitation”, I had to research Regency-era asylums, mythology and folklore of the UK, as well as the history of certain places. I also spent hours researching details that weren’t really important to the storyline, but I wanted to get right. This included various ways and travel times to get from point A to point B, local Motels in a certain area, and the surprisingly long list of things that could get you sent to an asylum in 1800’s England.

That was comparatively mild. For some of my other books, I am very sure that my browsing history in the internet and local libraries could easily have put me on the suspect list of a police investigation.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
In the house, I like to relax on either the couch or my bed while I’m writing. Outside the house, there are a few cafes that I frequent, though I nearly got kicked out of one when I started cackling while writing a comedic short story and apparently scared a few of the other patrons.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I’m an Asexual who reads erotica as a sleeping aide. My partner finds this hilarious, and sends me links when I’m on Facebook at 2 am, adorable enabler that they are.

Book Blurb

poems-natasja-roseMore Short Stories, interspaced here and there with the occasional monologue and poem, that didn’t quite make it into novels of their own. Some of them might at a later date, but for now, you can read them here.

Read about the Adventures of Codename Granny, the origins of mermaids, space exploration that doesn’t quite go as planned, and reincarnated soulmates that don’t always end in Happily Ever After.

A sequel, of sorts, to ‘The Lost Collection’.

About the Author

Natasja has been writing since a very young age, though those notebooks have been lost in the Old Schoolbooks Cupboard and (hopefully) will never see the light of day. Most of her stories, published or otherwise, began life as conversations with friends that sparked an idea that grew into a story or poem.

Her publishing adventures started with poems and short stories in focus newsletters like ABA and AMBA, and online sites like Readwave, before finally taking a chance with self-publishing.

Natasja Rose lives and works in Sydney, Australia, but travels whenever she can afford it and has the time. Her greatest wish is to visit all the places in the world that inspired her writing as a child, and create new stories for new inspirations.

You can connect with Natasja on Facebook or Twitter.

You can purchase The Temporarily Misplaced Collection on Amazon.

Tightening Dialogue in your story

I have written several times about dialogue, including why it is important and how to craft the dialogue in your story.

Dialogue can be great at bringing the reader into the story and sharing information about a character. We can learn a lot about a character in how they speak and what they say. It can help set the mood for the story. But most of all you need to make sure that the dialogue advances the story.

You do not want to fill your pages with meaningless drivel. Such as two characters greeting each other.

“Hi, Bob. How are you doing?”

“OK. I guess.”

“Nice weather, huh?”

This exchange could easily be deleted from the scene and replaced with Sally greeted Bob. Now if you want this scene to share something about the characters, you would need to make some changes.

“Hi, Bobby. How are you doing?”

Bob continued to stare at his shoes. When he spoke it was more to them than her. “Ok. I guess.”

“Nice weather, huh?”

All she got in response was a nod. Sally shot a glance at the doctor. She didn’t know what to do. All she knew is she wanted her brother back and the boy who stood before her wasn’t him.

In this case, the dialogue is being used to show the strained relationship between Bob and Sally, which is better than just telling the reader. (Sally worried about her strained relationship with Bob. He rarely said more than a word or two to her when they saw each other.) Actually both ways (a summary or a short dialogue) would work in the story depending on how you want to portray it.

cut-wordsThough people actually talk with a lot of fillers (ums and pauses), most often you will want your dialogue to be crisp and filled with tension. You want to compress your dialogue, cutting fluffy words or whole lines from the exchange.

Here is an example from another website.

Original:

“Mary, are you angry with me?” John asked.

“You’re damn straight I’m mad at you,” Mary said.

“But why? You’ve got absolutely no reason to be!”

“Oh but I do, I do. And you can see it in my face, can’t you?”

Alternative:

“You angry with me?” John asked.

“Damn straight,” Mary said.

“You got no reason to be!”

Mary felt her hands curling into fists.

As you can see the second rendition is much tighter and increases the conflict. So go through your dialogue and compress it as much as you can. Take out the adverbs. Use sentence fragments. Cut words out ruthlessly. The dialogue will improve as will your story.

Our trip to Disney World starts this week

As you read this, I am off at Disney World in Orlando, Florida for the week. Who-hoo! I am so excited!!!

Now planning a Disney World trip is always a big production – if you want to hit the good attractions, shows and restaurants.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge

I am a big planner (as you might of guessed when I posted that we have the next 3 vacations planned out back in August). This trip came about on what I would consider short notice. We decided in April to rent Disney Vacation Club points and stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge during the holidays. (This is big for me as it means taking the kids out of school for a week – something I have never done before.)

DSCN2988But anyone who has been to Disney World in Florida (which consists of 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a mini golf-course, 4 regular golf courses, a sports complex, a mega-shopping/entertainment center in addition to fishing, sailboats, canoes and a whole bunch of other activities offered at their 20 on-property resorts) knows you need to have some semblance of planning on this vacation.

In the past I have shared some planning posts. I am going to link back to those posts here for any of you planning a trip. But because they were written in 2013/2014, they may contain information that is no longer accurate. I will try to note here any changes from the posts but when in doubt double check all info. I suggest either a good guide book or to visit the Disboards (a message board full of Disney enthusiasts including some employees who can give you the inside scoop).

Planning Post #1 – Includes suggestions for buying a guide book, a link to AllEars.net and the Disboards, as well as suggestions to make your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) at the 180 day mark if you want some of the more popular eateries. Everything in the post seems pretty up-to-date though Star Wars Weekends no longer happen.

Planning Post #2 – Covers staying on Disney property and buying a package that includes hotel, dining plan and theme park tickets. Again, it looks like this is all good info. We didn’t go with a package this year as we rented DVC points from David’s Vacation Club Rentals and bought our theme park tickets from Parksavers at a substantial discount.

Planning Post #3 – This one covers FastPass+ which allows you to skip the standby line on 3 attractions by booking an hour window which you plan to ride/view that attraction. Most of this information on Fastpasses is accurate but I would suggest checking out the FAQ on the Disboards for the most up-to-date info. Also, ignore what I wrote about Star Wars Weekends as they have discontinued that event.

Next week I will address Disney Bounding which is wearing clothing inspired by a Disney character without actually wearing a costume. Intrigued? Then be sure to check back in next Monday.

 

Today’s Featured Author – Jarvis T. Cleveland

Today I welcome author Jarvis T. Cleveland to my blog. The first two parts of a five part novella series on witchcraft have already been released and are already available on Amazon.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Jarvis T. Cleveland and I am 25, a single parent-person, and current college senior. My “kid” is my 14-year-old sister who is a beautiful mess and the light of my life. I’m currently a theatre major and looking to apply to the Masters of Social Work program for further study. I love all things supernatural especially witchcraft.

How much of yourself, your personality, or your experiences is in your book?

Those who know me well would be able to spot me in a character or two but I won’t say which ones! As for my experiences they too permeate the story of Salem.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

I love stories. I love the nuances of personal relationships. The beauty of characters, people. As long as those things exist I will always have fuel to continue writing.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Oh I definitely just start writing. I am a very instinct/emotion-driven person. Planning and rationalizing is not in my nature when it comes to certain things. When I try to outline with my writing the story and characters always, ALWAYS, shift into a different direction. So I’ve learned to just let them do what they do.

Please tell us about your current release.

My current release is entitled Salem. It is a five-part novella series of which two are already available on Amazon. Salem focuses on witch brothers Jamie and Mike Corbett and their experiences as a witch from their past threatens to tear their family apart.

What inspired you to write this book?

Like I mentioned earlier, I love witchcraft. I think it’s a beautiful thing to wake up each day feeling empowered and like you can direct the path of your life. That’s what I believe it’s like to possess magic. So I decided to create a story filled with people who have this empowered state of mind. But at the end of the day: they’re still people. So magic or not their lives are filled with obstacles, trials, and heartache. But it’s not all bleak there are highs as well, same as life. Hopefully Salem depicts this as I planned.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I like all my characters! (Sunday school answer) No, I think Jamie develops the most as a character over the five parts of Salem so I love that. Also Abbey is funny and a breath of fresh air in this dismal town. Mike also has some powerful challenges to overcome and seeing that is amazing. Nora is precious. Lucas is a sweetheart. Ugh, see? I love all my characters!

Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?

The story most certainly did not turn out the way I planned from the beginning. There are so many things I did not see coming that happens in the first two parts alone. And now that they have I have to sit back and watch how these characters are going to work their way out of these situations. I don’t want to give any major spoilers but I certainly never saw Jamie moving back to Salem. He hates the place. Also, I knew from the start that the brothers would sort of have their own stories within the whole of the one story but I never thought Mike’s would go in the direction that it does. If I’m sounding vague, that’s on purpose. Check out the series!

Book Blurbs

salem-1

salem-2
Salem – Part One: Ties that Bind

Salem is the story of Jamie and Mike Corbett, witches born in a town with a history steeped in death. But in the town of Salem death is hardly the end…

Salem – Part Two: The Centennial

In part two Jamie and Mike Corbett’s witchy story continues. The town of Salem is gearing up for its big Centennial anniversary which may be less of a celebration than a catastrophe. Old faces bring new secrets and not everyone is exactly what they seem.

You can buy both Salem – Part One and Salem – Part Two on Amazon.

A moment to thanks some very important people

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Since today is Thanksgiving and I figure many people (at least those in the United States) are gathered around the table giving thanks and eating good food, I thought I would take a moment to thank some very important people.

Thank you…

to those who have read my stories…I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have loved writing them.

Thank you…

to those who have written reviews, hosted me on their websites or supported me on Twitter, Tribber, or Facebook, I appreciate everyone of you!

Thank you…

to those who follow or read my blog. I hope you have found some interesting or helpful information here.

Thank you...

to my family for the love and support in my writing career. I would not be able to do any of this without you!

Now get off the computer (or your phone) and get back to your Thanksgiving Day activities….