Happy Halloween 2021

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Pumpkins with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating jack-o’-lanterns originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as early canvasses. In fact, the name, jack-o’-lantern, comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.

The Legend of “Stingy Jack”

People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. 

Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack-o’-lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

(Source: https://www.history.com/news/history-of-the-jack-o-lantern-irish-origins)


Thank you for your support of ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ and my writing.

I wish you and your loved ones

Picture courtesy of Google.com

The Real Witches – Written By Nicholas Rossis

I found a phenomenal article written by Nicholas Rossis, where he writes about witches, in a very unique and still sensitive way, combining myth and history, as he usually does. Thank you for a fascinating post, Nicholas.


I kick off the new year with a matter close to anyone who’s ever flirted with fantasy writing: witches. I mean, what’s fantasy without witchcraft? Probably a rather boring Medieval existence, that’s what.

Of course, there’s a big difference between fantasy and reality. Witchcraft has been a topic for discussion since forever and witches have been surrounded by countless myths through the centuries.

This guest post by John Dickinson, a writer from SuperiorPapers, discusses the myth and reality of witches.

The Real Witches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witches were traditionally pictured as ugly hags with warts on their faces, a pointy hat with a wide brim, stirring a huge cauldron with a green liquid or cackling through the sky. However, modern pop culture has portrayed them as a kind, nose-twitching suburban housewife; an awkward teenager learning to control her powers, and a trio of charmed sisters battling the forces of evil.

A similar confusion seems to surround their punishment. We believe that witches were burnt for their sin of practicing witchcraft. But this, along with other myths, was an unusual punishment that probably became popular because of Jean d’Arc.

Here are some more interesting facts about witches I hope you will find at least as interesting as I did!

CONTINUE READING HERE

7 Myths of Using Press Releases to Promote Your Books – Written By Joan Stewart

Joan Stewart of “The Book Designer” blog provides us with a great blog post about 7 myths of using press releases to promote our books. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us!


When an author plans a book launch and hires me to write the press release, I often learn fairly quickly that she has no clue about the kinds of results to expect.

That’s because she asks questions like these:

– “How many books do you think I’ll sell from the press release?”
– “How many TV and radio shows will schedule me to appear as a guest?”
– “How many newspapers and magazine do you think will print the release?”

Most authors believe the press release will result in phone calls from eager journalists and an onslaught of orders. Nothing could be further from the truth.

By itself, the press release lacks the power to skyrocket sales.

But combine it with other marketing tactics like a compelling email or phone pitch, and you can help journalists learn about your book and take the next step: schedule an interview with you or invite you to be a guest on their show or podcast.

To continue reading the entire blog post go to:

7 Myths of Using Press Releases to Promote Your Books

 

Me, My Cellphone And A Gas Station

It’s been a surprisingly warm day early February when I realized I needed gas. My car was gasping for fuel, and I stopped at the gas station, doing what I always do. Stuffing my cell phone into my pocket, getting out of the car and getting ready to pump gas.

I got a bit of water and that really ugly ragged thing that’s parked at gas stations for people to clean their windshields and ran around my car to make sure I would have a clear vision as soon as I was back in my car. And I tried to be careful since that day we had important guests at the office, and I was dressed in a business suit and high heels.

That moment I realized two senior women leaning on a car two gas pumps further away, whispering and provocatively looking at me. There was no doubt; they were talking about me.

I knew I was looking quite decent, my car wasn’t as dirty as it normally is and I was doing good, so what was there to whisper about?

That moment my phone rang. I was waiting for a call and pulled my cell out of my pocket to answer the call.

While I started talking, smiling, talking some more, the gas pump ‘told me’ my tank was full. I removed the nozzle from my car, closed everything up and finished when the two ladies ran over to me, screaming and crying, their hair standing up.

My call was only short, and I smiled, said goodbye and hung up. Then I turned to the ladies. “Don’t you think it would be appropriate to keep your volume down when you see other people being on the phone? They were breathless in shock and pointed to that famous sign on the pillar next to the gas pump:

Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

 

“How DARE you?” one of the ladies panted, only to burst out into visible indignation when I had a laughing fit. After recovering halfway, I finally managed to ask the ladies: “You aren’t dumb enough to still believe that fairy tale, are you?”

They could barely believe what they heard, and I finally told them: “I’m sorry, ladies. I don’t have time for the long version. But believe me: That’s crap. It’s a myth, and nobody knows where it came from. No smoking while pumping gas makes sense. But not using a cell phone? It’s a myth. I wish you a wonderful day.”

Then I took off.

And really, it IS a myth.

I’ve done my research. Years ago already the “Mythbusters” have proven that cell phones cannot produce sparks strong enough to cause a fire, not even if one was holding a cell phone right into the gas vapor.

AMTA, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, launched a study by the Oklahoma EMC Center about this subject. The study was sponsored by the London Institue of Petroleum which published the results at a seminar:

 

(Source: http://www.amta.org.au/articles/amta/Cellphones.do.not.cause.petrol.station.fires)

 

There was another study, carried out between 1994 and 2005 at gas stations around the world which confirmed the myth:

(Source: https://www.scienceabc.com/humans/can-using-a-cellphone-at-a-gas-station-petrol-pump-cause-an-explosion.html)

 

Many more studies around the world show the same result:

(Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/cell-phones-don-pump-fires-experts-article-1.1123228)

 

But make no mistake! Using cell phones on gas stations is NOT completely harmless!

Further studies and expertise have clearly stated, it’s most likely the static electricity that’s the danger!

It’s not the cellphone, but static sparks created when drivers rub themselves on the car that cause most of these fires. A lot of times, the drivers talk on their phones when the spark happens, so it just looks as if the cellphone is the cause of the fire, when it’s actually irrelevant.
When you’re moving in and out of your car, you’re generating static electricity. If you feel a spark, that’s usually between 10 and 20,000 volts of static electricity—and that’s plenty strong enough to make gas fume. (Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2014/10/03/cellphones_at_gas_stations_mythbusters_debunk_one_of_the_biggest_myths_in.html)

And now you might ask: What in the world does that have to do with writing? And I’ll reply: The call I got was from my new copyright lawyer. 😀

4 Legal Myths for Authors, Debunked…

On The Story Reading Ape’s blog I found a very important and informative article, written by Emmanuel Nataf, CEO and founder of Reedsy. He writes and informs about legal copyright myths for us authors. I think we should never underestimate the problems myths and wrong information can do to us writers and our work. That’s why I re-blogged this. Thank you, Chris and Emmanuel.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Emmanuel Nataf  (Founder and CEO of Reedsy) 

on Write To Done site:

Think you know what to do to protect your intellectual property?

Think again.

The Internet’s spawned more than a couple of myths about copyright, creating widespread misunderstanding of author rights.

As authors, we care about our ideas and characters — and we want to protect them outside of our pages. That’s when copyright laws step in.

Here are four questions about copyright to which you want to know the answers right now, so that they don’t trip you up, even after you’ve written “The End.” (A/N: the below information applies only to the U.S. copyright system.)

Ready?

What is poor man’s copyright?

Poor man’s copyright is the ghost that just will not go away.

To wit, the idea is this: instead of registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, you can prove your copyright by mailing…

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