Author: Vanessa

To Read Tuesday – Ghostland by Colin Dickey

To Read Tuesday – Ghostland by Colin Dickey

I’m a sucker for ghost stories and legends, and this just seems like it would provide some really awesome ideas. 
An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country’s most infamously haunted places–and deep into the dark side of our history.

Colin Dickey is on the trail of America’s ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and “zombie homes,” Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as “the most haunted mansion in America,” or “the most haunted prison”; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget.     
       With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living–how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made–and why those changes are made–Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, Ghostland discovers the past we’re most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark.

Writing Inspiration #13

Writing Inspiration #13

I have another video for you. Mainly because I love this piece of music. Ignore the movie it came from (if you can) and just listen. Then freewrite for about 5 minutes. See what happens! This one is totally on my playlist for my newest WIP. 

I’m putting together an art/writing journal set of prompts, one for each day in April, with an intro. Please, let me know if you’re interested! Even if you have no artistic ability, it will be fun and (hopefully) inspiring! 

To Read Tuesday – Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

To Read Tuesday – Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

As one of those kids who loved Labyrinth, this book is a no-brainer. I mean, its a retelling (sort of) of that idea. What’s not to love? And reading the description it sounds like its being taken to a whole new level. Yes, yes, I will be reading this. For serious.
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

To Read Tuesday – Haunted by Lynn Carthage

To Read Tuesday – Haunted by Lynn Carthage

I’m in the mood for some creepy reads, and this one looks like it will fit the bill….
Moving to my stepfather’s English country mansion sounded so promising. But the Arnaud Manor is neglected and unwelcoming, and I get the feeling it isn’t exactly uninhabited. Something wants to hurt us—especially my litter sister, Tabby.

Okay, so I might be a little sensitive lately. My parents act oblivious to me, my old life is far away in San Francisco, and the gorgeous guy I just met tells me terrible stories about the infamous Madame Arnaud who lived here long ago, and about missing children and vengeful spirits. The kind of stories that are impossible to believe—until you’re living in one of them, fighting to protect everyone you love… 

Bookish Ornament Tutorial

Bookish Ornament Tutorial


I’m actually cross posting this from my little hobby business page so I apologize if you’ve seen it before, but it fit both places, and I really think its such a cute idea!

​If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea, these book page ornaments are a great way to give new life to a damaged book, or just something fun to make! If you have questions about anything, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.

I can’t take credit for coming up with this idea. I found a tutorial a couple years ago online for these, and then modified what I did to suit myself, but I’ve lost the link to the original tutorial I learned from, but there are several for these types of ornaments out there!


  • old book
  • paper cutter, scissors, craft knife, or other cutting tool
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • glue stick
  • stapler
  • white glue (optional)
  • glitter (optional)
  • ribbon or string to hang the ornament!

Step 1

Okay, so the first step is made REALLY easy if you have a paper cutter or rotary cutter of some kind. If not, use a craft knife, ruler, and a lot of patience!

You’ll need to cut your book pages into strips. I made mine 1 inch wide, but I’ve made them 1/2 inch wide and they work well too. Whatever you do, make sure the pages of your book aren’t too flimsy. This was an old dictionary. I also cut up part of another old book, but the pages were extremely thin and a pain to work with.

Once you have your strips cut (I used between 18-22 per ornament), stack them together.

Step 2

Even up your edges, and then fold your stack in half. Unfold it, and staple it along the crease. 

You can do a variation of this where you have smaller and bigger loops. If you want to do that version, fold each strip in half, and use the crease to line them up together, since the edges won’t line up neatly.

Step 3

Now, get out your glue stick! I prefer the purple ones that dry clear because I can see where I’ve glued – but that’s just me. You’re welcome to use regular white glue, but it is harder to handle.

You need to apply glue to the top third of the strip, and then glue it to itself. Make sure the tip is glued near the crease line, as close as you can get. 

Continue gluing in the same direction all the way around.  It’ll look like this when you get about halfway:

Step 4

Done! You can leave it like this, or I like to dip the edges in white glue and then in gold or white glitter. It looks pretty (who doesn’t love sparkles?) but it also helps stiffen it a little more, which I also like.

If you wanted another variation, this is what it looks like with only 11 strips, and alternating shorter and longer strips:

This is the same thing, with more strips (I believe it was 22) and dipped in glitter. I’ll post a better picture soon – this one was taken after the camera died!

To Read Tuesday – Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

To Read Tuesday – Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

I have a soft spot for things about Egypt. It has always fascinated me, and I love movies like The Mummy and The Mummy Returns (though not number three. That was a mistake. For serious.) – there was a time when I could recite most of the lines. This book, with the story line and historical time period, just looks like it should be a really fun read!
An adventurous debutante refuses to settle for society’s expectations—and unleashes international intrigue (and possibly an ancient curse) along the way.

Agnes Wilkins is standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, about to make the first cut into the wrappings—about to unlock ancient (and not-so-ancient) history. She sees herself wearing a pith helmet with antique dust swirling around her. She sees herself as a young Egyptologist who has arrived in Cairo on camelback.
     She sees herself dreaming. Because reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust even. No, Agnes’s encounter with a mummy is happening on Lord Showalter’s verdant green lawn, where butlers abound and strolling sitar players strain to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.
     And a beginning. Not just of Agnes’s debut season and the ever-shrinking scope of her future—home, husband, and high society. No, something else begins as well, because the mummy Agnes unwraps is more than a mummy: It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing a mystery, an international intrigue—and possibly a curse.

Writing Inspiration #10

Writing Inspiration #10

I have a thing for doors…. I mean, look at this one? What kinds of things does it protect? Is it designed to keep them out…or in? 

Have fun with today’s inspiration post! Next one will be another youtube based/music based inspiration!

To Read Tuesday – The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer

To Read Tuesday – The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer

I feel like this book is a comedy of errors waiting to happen, and I really want to read it. A girl who’s not a girly-girl having to be a debutante? What could possibly go wrong?
She can score a goal, do sixty box jumps in a row, bench press a hundred and fifty pounds…but can she learn to curtsey?

Megan McKnight is a soccer star with Olympic dreams, but she’s not a girly girl. So when her Southern belle mother secretly enters her in the 2016 Dallas debutante season, she’s furious—and has no idea what she’s in for. When Megan’s attitude gets her on probation with the mother hen of the debs, she’s got a month to prove she can ballroom dance, display impeccable manners, and curtsey like a proper Texas lady or she’ll get the boot and disgrace her family. The perk of being a debutante, of course, is going to parties, and it’s at one of these lavish affairs where Megan gets swept off her feet by the debonair and down-to-earth Hank Waterhouse. If only she didn’t have to contend with a backstabbing blonde and her handsome but surly billionaire boyfriend, Megan thinks, being a deb might not be so bad after all. But that’s before she humiliates herself in front of a room full of ten-year-olds, becomes embroiled in a media-frenzy scandal, and gets punched in the face by another girl.

The season has officially begun…but the drama is just getting started.