Tag Archive for: arts and crafts

The Parts of a Book


By Bethany Maines


Recently, we’ve added Harry Potter to our daughter’s bedtime
story reading.  Once we’ve completed a
book, we watch the movie version.  But then,
of course, she wanted a wand and an owl. There’s not much I can do about the
owl, but a kindly auntie did provide a wand for Christmas and a potions “class”
with dry ice and tea that turns blue.  (Butterfly Pea Blossom
if you’re interested, but be forewarned, don’t google the Latin name if
you’re at all prone to laughing at dirty jokes.)  But now, she wants the fancy potions bottles.  So after some quick youtubing around and going
Dr. Frankenstein on a recycling bin test subject, I’m prepared to have an
afternoon of magic potion bottle making.

None of which has anything to do with writing, except that
plotting out how to turn something random into magic is pretty a good
definition of what it a writer does.
There was even the “oh shit” part where I was pretty sure I screwed it
up and it was going to be a disaster.  I
believe that every book I’ve ever written has featured that part. 

In fact, there are many parts to writing a book that don’t
get discussed in English classes.  For
instance, the “Oh Shit” part is sometimes followed by the Drinking part. Which
is often then followed by either the Dawn of Inspiration or the Damned Recycling
Bin of I Hate You.  And my next
paranormal romance featured the three week long Hiatus of Indecision.  My personal favorite part is the Shining Hope
of a New Project.  Sadly, it’s frequently
followed by the Hopeless Disillusionment phase.  But if you’re lucky you can make it through
the Weary Slog to the End part and end up with a book full of characters that
you love and a feeling of accomplishment that the story got told. 

If you’re interested in seeing how the Hiatus of Indecision
resulted in a story about vampires that don’t glitter and a shifter wolf who
got a little more than he bargained for on his way to rob a bank, you can check
it out below.


Lacasse, shifter wolf, bank robber and rebel didn’t mean to take Deya Jasper
with him on his way out of Littleton Texas, but fate had other plans. But as
the two flee for California, vampires dog their every step, and both Deya and
Maverick find themselves questioning if the unexpected bond they feel can
withstand the dangers they face.


Maverick takes place in the Supernatural world of the
3 Colors Trilogy, but is a stand-alone novel.


Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San
Juan Islands Mysteries
, The Deveraux
Legacy Series
, and numerous novellas and short stories. When she’s not
traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in
karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working
on her next novel.
You can also catch up with
her on
Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.


The Art of Being Crafty

Where did November go? As I write this, we have just crossed over the half-way point of the month, which means next week is Thanksgiving and after that, it’s all over. As in, the downhill slide toward Christmas begins.

Every year, sometime in mid-summer (you know, when all those clever shop keepers begin their “Christmas in July” promotions) I make a vow that this is the Christmas in which I will finally have my act together. My house will be spotlessly clean, closets organized, pantry shelves will be stocked (and labeled!), Yuletide decorations will be abundant (yet tasteful). Although this seems like enough to keep anyone busy, this Pioneer Woman fantasy of mine is not complete without my annual Christmas Holiday craft.

I don’t know when (or why or even how) this tradition started because my own mother is not particularly crafty. With the exception of the one lone holiday season she decided to make homemade candles as gifts and turned our family den into a candle factory. No joke. I remember she used all sorts of everyday household items as “molds” like milk cartons, and empty soup cans, stuff like that. I also remember a lot of glitter being involved and this was great fun for my sister and I who were probably about 9 or 10 at the time.

After the Big Candle Christmas (as I lovingly refer to that year) Mom gave up on being crafty around the holidays. “Too much stress,” she said. That obviously didn’t sink in because every year around this time I start to plan my big “craft” and while a part of me knows that starting the Big Craft in mid-November is probably too late, I still do it anyway.

In previous years, my Big Craft have included: making hand sewn Angels for the top of the Christmas tree (got this idea from a woman’s magazine), jingle bell necklaces, hand made Christmas Cards (none got sent out because I couldn’t finish them in time and February seemed a tad too late) and personalized gift baskets (that ended up costing me a fortune). So, while a part of me knows that the Big Craft is in some ways, doomed, I can’t help myself from starting one each year.

This year the Big Craft is personalized painted cloth canvas rugs also known as floorcloths. I drool over these every time I see them in a store and vow that I will start making them myself. I mean, if Martha can do it, then why can’t I?

How about you? Any big craft plans this holiday?