Monday, October 31, 2011

My November with NaNoWriMo

I know you were probably expecting a post about Halloween. A couple of weeks ago, I would have thought the same thing, but then I learned about NaNoWriMo and my life changed in an instant.

What is NaNoWriMo??

Simply put NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It takes place from November 1st - November 30th of each year and is open to anyone who wants to take the leap. The leap being that in that space of time you write 50,000 words of a novel.

I was sitting in my doctor's office waiting room when I read all about it. I was just sitting there... I was just waiting and when I saw the description I thought, "This is EXACTLY what I've been waiting for!"

I signed up right then and there using my iPhone and felt an excitement in my bones I haven't felt in a long, long time.

That was eleven days ago.

24 hours from now I will be feverishly typing away just like I am now, except not for this blog.
I hope my hands can take it!!
OH NO! What Does This Mean for Rivera Runs Through It?!

Readers, you should not worry! Rivera Runs Through It is going to flow along just like normal (except that I might be light on posts during Thanksgiving week). Tomorrow you will get your What if prompt (one that I'm pretty excited about, in fact), Wednesday will give you yet another excerpt from my Reading Journals and by the end of this week you will know all my secrets about how to see Broadway shows for next to nothing!

The week after that will continue with our regular bloggy goodness as usual! The only thing that I think I might be a little light on this month will be my participation in the Write on Edge writing prompts for the obvious reason that I will be devoting all types of creative writing juices to my novel (OK... that sounds crazy to me! Awesome, but completely nuts!).

If Everything Is Going to Be Fine, Why Mention It At All?

Two days ago I received my first official e-mail from the NaNoWriMo group which laid out a sketch of what the month of November will look like. Here's what they had on the agenda for this week:
Warn your friends, family, neighbors, and pets about the upcoming challenge. The more people who know what you're working on, the more accountable you'll feel and the likelier you are to hit the 50,000-word goal. (And the family hamster will be a lot more understanding when you don't refresh his chlorophyll chips as regularly.)
So I'm warning you and I'm asking for your support.

Are There Any Cheerleaders Out There?
I am going to have to write 1,667 words per day for every single day of November if I want to make it. While I am all amped to do this right now, I am quite certain I will be hitting all types of walls during the month, so any words of encouragement either through e-mail, twitter, or on Facebook would be greatly appreciated. I'm pretty sure I can do this, but I'm not sure I can do it alone!

The Burning Question: What I'm Writing About
I really love my Sasquatch notebooks :)

In the last eleven days of planning I went through a number of outlines, characters, story ideas and scenarios until one finally stuck. It was funny, I thought it would be a struggle all the way through, but once I found the right idea for me right now things just started flowing - no, flooding - into my brain. The characters came to life, the story began to unravel itself into major plot points in my Sasquatch notebook.

I've had a really hard time writing a synopsis (mostly because I haven't written the novel yet!!!), but let's give it a go again...

I'm writing a YA (Young Adult) novel. This should come of no surprise to those of you who remember I am recently home from a 12 year stint as a high school Math Teacher. I know YA. I lived YA. I also happen to love reading YA novels myself.

In high school I always kept a diary. I also always used to write notes to my friends. I just wondered what if I wrote notes to someone I didn't even know... The working title for this novel is is Dear 302 inspired by the fact that a girl, Rachel, with locker number 302, keeps getting mysterious notes addressed in such a manner by the end of each day from an enigmatic character named "B." B doesn't know Rachel and Rachel, who just wants to fit in in her first year of high school, has no idea what's going on!

I don't want to say much more for fear of telling you the whole story before the details are even hashed out, but that's your teaser for the day! I hope it's enough to intrigue you for now!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year?
If so, are you a newbie like me?
Do you have questions about Dear 302? Post them! They may inspire me to take a new plot turn, or be something that is already addressed!
What other types of Internet Challenges have you participated in?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Do You Run?

The following was written in response to this week's Red Writing Hood writing prompt from the Write on Edge blog. It is also inspired by one of the characters in what I THINK is going to be the novel I am working on for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month aka NOVEMBER). Here's the prompt:
Some people consider themselves athletes. Others do not.  Write a piece of fiction or creative non-fiction in which athleticism features prominently... Let’s try 400 words or less, please.

Have you ever run before? I mean, I hope as a kid you did, I think as kids we all ran all over the place for no reason, but I mean now... now that we're old enough that we have to have a reason? Have you run since then?

I hope so.

As far as I'm concerned it's just about the only place I feel truly free. I feel the wind on my face, the ground beneath my feet and I hear... nothing. I'm not saying that I go deaf or anything crazy like that, I just mean that the sounds don't really count, they don't sink in. There are no distractions.

That's why I joined track. It was a no-brainer for me, really. I'm a runner. I'll join track. Duh.

But not everyone's there for the same reason. Some are all about scholarship money, some are doing whatever their parents tell them to do, and others are on the team because it's what's hot right now. (We've kind of been kicking ass for the last couple of years, if you didn't already know!) There's one other kid on the team who I would consider a runner, like me, but we never talk.

I think I know him pretty well without even talking . He's quiet, but he's got a lot to say. He's not "cool," but that stuff doesn't matter to him. He looks like he's always relaxing, but he's not lazy.

I know these things because he's a runner. He runs, so he thinks. Since he is a serious runner (I've seen him running before school even on days we have practice!) he is confident. A lazy person doesn't run like him.

I didn't mean to write so much about him, but I just get mad that he doesn't get the respect he deserves on the team. I get mad that some of the kids think they're better than him. I hate the judgement...

Anyway, the point is running, as in running for real, is not easy, but it is AWESOME. I hope you run. If you need a reason (which I guess we do now that we're teenagers), let it be that running can make you happy. Don't do it for your parents, for a scholarship, or just because I said so - remember running, remember the fun of it. It's still that awesome!

Got to go run! :)


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Sigh by Marjane Satrapi [Book Review & Giveaway]

When I first got hold of The Sighby Marjane Satrapi, I was immediately drawn in by its overall look and feel. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but some books make me want to break the rules. As a small hard covered graphic novel, The Sighplays out more like a fairytale and had me longing for the storybooks of my childhood.

As soon as the tale unfolds with the beautifully woven first line,
Whether this tale be true or false, none can tell, for none were there to witness it themselves.
I felt it necessary to cozy up, shut off my phone and sit a spell in the safe comfort of Satrapi's creation. It begins simply enough with a man wanting to keep his three daughter's happy while having to leave them constantly on his business travels. He promises each a gift of their choice, from the far reaches of the Earth. He grants all wishes but one: his daughter Rose wanted a blue bean.

In this magical world, when Rose emits a sigh of disappointment, The Sigh, an enigmatic character, arrives to grant her wish. Everyone is so happy they nearly miss the deal struck leading to the eventual price to be paid. Throughout the tale Rose and The Sigh journey to find something far more precious than a blue bean and, as readers, we learn some important lessons about promises, loss, mourning, deceit and, of course, love.

Satrapi's artwork is bold, colorful and expressive. Her characters are mysterious, ugly, dangerous and human. In the end, the story was reminiscent of some stories in Greek mythology - there was a combination of tragedy, magic and hard lessons learned by those who had done wrong. When I read the book a second time, I did so aloud, to my husband, and felt as though this was, perhaps, how the book was originally meant to be read - shared just like the storybooks of our childhood and as the Greek myths were shared before them.

I truly enjoyed this book and feel it is also one of those books that simply looks pretty on a bookshelf. Kudos to Marjane Satrapi, the English translator Edward Gauvin and the designer Fawn Lau!

Here is a preview of the book provided by the book's publisher, Archaia:

Are you wishing you had your very own copy of The Sigh to read and share now? If so, enter the Giveaway below using the Raffelcopter widget. HURRY you only have until November 3, 2011 at 12:01 AM (EST)!!
Please read the Terms & Conditions carefully. You have five different ways to enter the giveaway. The fifth entry type "Tweet About the Giveaway" is the only entry that you can do more than once (you can do it once each day!!), thereby increasing your chance to win!


Not to be ignored, check into these LIVESTREAMs


Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingslover

The following post is taken directly from my hand-printed Reader's Journal. I will be sharing these reflections each week on the Rivera Runs Through It blog. The date at the end of each post is the date of the original writing, which is typically the date I completed the book. The reflections are short, but represent my initial reactions to a book, a brief summary of the book or the questions it raised for me at the time. I hope you enjoy this segment in my blog and feel free to comment on what you read here.

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingslover

Another book from my students' reading list, however, it had quite a different tone. The story took place in the 80s. It is a story of a girl, Marietta (who changes her name to Taylor) who gets out of high school and literally drives out of Kentucky to begin her own life. I liked the story even though I found it difficult to relate to the lives of the people in this story. The book takes an unique angle of looking at the life of an un-expectant parent.

Dated: 07/08/02

Do you tend to read more books where you can relate to the characters, or do you reach for the stories that are out of your own comfort zone?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What if #13 [Writing Prompt]

Each week the Rivera Runs Through It blog presents a different "What If...?" question for you to explore.
 At the bottom of this post is a place for you to link up your own post about this week's question. If you have arrived at this post and the inlinkz tool is closed, or you don't have a blog, then please leave your response (or link) in the comment section below using DISQUS.

Happy pondering to everyone...

What IF #13:
What if you could talk/write a letter to your ten year old self?

"If I only knew then what I know now..." how many times have you uttered this phrase? I think we've all said it once, or at least thought it as we've grown older, wiser and more experienced. Well this week's What if prompt gives you the opportunity to impart some of that knowledge. What if you could write a letter to your ten year old self?
  • What would you say?
  • What would you hold back?
 What if you could talk to your ten year old self?
  • What would you ask?
  • How would you introduce yourself?
This prompt can be dealt with in a number of ways - you could answer some or all of these questions, or you can even take your virtual space to actually compose that letter to yourself.

Perhaps you don't believe in messing with the past, if that's the case, flip it around - what do you think would your ten year old self say/write to you if (s)he met you today?

For a list of all of the What if questions asked so far, 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Comments, ConCrit and Conversations

Hi! (That's me!)
I blog.
You read.
Together, we meet through these words.


Sometimes we stretch beyond the bounds of the post. You may be one of the few I know without this screen between us. Chances are, however, that you are not. For most of you, it is through these words and these words alone that we know each other.

That can be a lot, if we use our words wisely.

I love that you are here. I appreciate that you are reading, but I so desperately want to hear (read) from you too! In fact, that's why I started blogging in the first place.

I was trapped in this house. I was sick and found one tiny window to the world through my keyboard and this screen. I found you here. And you found me.

I was looking for conversations. I have rejoiced over comments. Now that I am focusing on my writing, I crave concrit. YOU hold the keys to these three Cs in your hands, but rather than hope that you read my mind, understand my wishes and somehow decide to partake in this dialogue without invitation, I have decided to take the time to say let's chat!


If you are a fellow blogger I don't have to tell you how precious your comments are. I will be honest and say, in the last month or more I have held back on commenting myself based on a comment I read "out there" that made me feel just a bit self-conscious. I'm over it. I had a great chat last night on twitter during #blogchat that reminded me why (1) I love commenting on other people's blogs and (2) how happy that makes my fellow bloggers. I'm back, baby!

If you are not a blogger, but you are a reader of blogs, please know that YOU ARE INVITED TO CONTRIBUTE. If you are worried about privacy issues, then sign in as a "guest" or just e-mail me ( Your comments, thoughts, ideas and questions are important too. Spelling doesn't count! There are no points off for messed up grammar! And everyone is entitled to their opinion - even if it is different than mine!!


I have only been doing this whole thing for about a year now. I crave constructive criticism. I can take it, I promise you (remember, I was a high school mathematics teacher for 12 years!). I am constantly striving to improve my blogging and, especially my writing. In fact when it comes to my writing, there are at least two things I know I need help with that I am SURE you can help me with:
  1. My crazy type-Os Everyone makes type-Os every now and again, but in my case they happen just a little bit more frequently. You see, mixed in with the normal human-error stuff there's the fact that my "e" key is wonky. You may have already noticed missing "e"s in some of my writings! I try to catch them all, but I'm sure some slip by. Let me know! Drop it in a comment, I don't care if everyone sees it. 
  2. Punctuation pointers I have already admitted this in my comments in the past - I am not a friend of the semicolon. That's not all. I am fairly certain I abuse the hyphen. I'm not sure. If you see something, say something! (Now I feel like we are on the subway or in an airport terminal!)
There's so much more embedded in constructive criticism - length of posts, layout, content - if you have something to say that I can learn from (and, in turn, so can all of the readers here), then please share. I will be eternally grateful!

Conversations & Community

Finally, I think this last part will grow naturally, but I will leave nothing unsaid here today - please comment to each other! Part of the reason I switch over to the DISQUS platform for commenting was because it allowed for interaction between my readers in a way that the Blogger commenting system did not. You can reply directly to another's comment. You can give that person a "thumbs up" letting them know you LIKE their comment.

Have fun. Get to know each other. There are some pretty cool people here and I feel like I'm the only one that knows about them!

This whole post reminds me of my classroom. Almost everyone's shy until the teacher creates community. I have to say, if nothing else, I think I was pretty good at that each semester. The question is - Can I expand my skills to the virtual world?

Only time will tell. And, just like in the classroom, at this point, it is out of my hands and in yours. All I can do is make you feel comfortable while you're here.

So I'm here.
And so are you.
I'm glad you came.
How do you feel about it?

It's Never Too Late...

There are some days where I'm on top of things.

Today is not one of those days.

Today is one of those days where it kind of feels like the world is on top of me. (Here's why.)

But that's OK, this too shall pass.

And it's never too late to start the day over :)

I'm hoping to start the day over soon, but if I don't, I'll just check in with you tomorrow!

Thanks so much for stopping by, though. You rock!

Friday, October 21, 2011


This post was written in response to this week's Red Writing Hood writing prompt from Write on Edge. Here is the prompt:
For this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt, we’re inviting you to truly scare us.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Compose a post in the form of a text160 characters.
Your text must elicit or express fear.

Not sure how anyone else would respond to this text, but if I woke up to it I'm not sure I'd be able to move!

Go ahead... laugh at me. Everyone does.

Here's a link to a story about one of my REAL-LIFE 
encounters of the spidery kind: BLACK WIDOW!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Classroom Connections

"Hey Miss, I didn't know you wanted to write," this echoes in my head in the voices of a thousand students in my memory.

Why would they?

Why would anyone?

For over a decade there were no clues, no signs, no thoughts cast in the direction of my writing. I was creative, I couldn't help myself there, but the journals lay dormant and the "Writing" files on my floppy discs and hard drives stayed closed. I had stopped writing.

Over the last year I have truly wondered why this was the case. Now that I have released my words and allowed them to walk the world again, they (and I) keep asking, "Why were we stifled for so long?"

I imagined it was the teaching, but felt, in the depths of my soul that must've been some sorry excuse to cover up something else I could not fully comprehend. Last night, while reading Stephen King's On Writing for the Write on Edge book club, Read on Edge, I found my answer. It seems that one of my greatest writing heroes had exactly the same problem as I did. In his own words,

...for the first time in my life, writing was hard. The problem was the teaching. I liked my coworkers and loved the kids -- even the Beavis and Butt-Head types in Living with English could be interesting -- but by most Friday afternoons I felt as if I'd spent the week with jumper cables clamped to my brain. If I ever came close to despairing about my future as a writer, it was then. [Stephen King, On Writing, page 73]
The one distinct difference between Mr. King and myself is that I did not despair about my future as a writer, I simply gave it up. I chose teaching - heart, body and soul.

No regrets there.

Never a one.

However, life has taken me down a very strange path in recent years and teaching is off the table. Leave this girl alone long enough and her words will surely surface. I've decided there's no use in denying it, just like there's no use in trying to hide my cowlicks. I roll with it instead -- spiky haircut is back and, while I have to acclimate myself to these waters I abandoned so long ago, I'm writing again.

I don't know what will come of it, but I promised Stephen King as I continued to read his book today that I would "not come lightly to the blank page."

I'm here, Mr. King, and I hope you are enjoying your Friday afternoons however they find you these days because, whether you intended to or not, you're still teaching me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NYCC 2011 Rundown & Giveaway!

The New York ComicCon has come and gone this year, but not without leaving me with tons to share with you over the next couple of weeks. I will give you a sneak peek and to give you a run down of all (or at least most of) what I was exposed to...

The Panels

No matter what kind of convention I am going to, I always plan my excursion by panels first, then figuring out how to fit everything else in between. Here are some of the juicy topics covered in my panel education this weekend:

  • Comic Books in Education - Whether you are looking for your own children, you have a classroom of your own, or you are interested in pursuing comic books in your own intellectual quest, I've got a lot to share. I met people from Reading With Pictures, the Comic Book Project, the Comic Book Classroom and even participated in a comic scholars discussion. From what I gathered through these panel discussions and others there appears to be a big move to bring comic books and schools together for the mutual benefit of the students and the comic book industry. It is very exciting.
  • Arcades - Remember them? Maybe you are lucky enough to even have one still open near you. I went to one panel "Meet Me At the Arcade" where panelists discussed the subculture of the arcades, the social aspect of it and why they believe arcades are needed in gaming even today. It was an incredibly interesting talk which gave me a deeper insight about the dynamics of social gaming and the shortcomings of online play.
  • Wand Dueling - It happened. Of course I was there to watch it all! I even got video. So if you are interested in how to effectively wand duel just like the witches and wizards in Harry Potter, then stay tuned - the video is on its way!
  • The Creative Process - There are so many different panels I wet to where this theme played a prominent role - "The Comics History of the World," "Food and Comics with Wylie Dufresne," "Writing: Story Structure," "Girls Kick Butt: Strong Female Heroines in YA Fantasy," as well as most of the panels relating to comics in education discussed above. In short, it is nearly impossible to get creative professionals in a room together and not discuss the creative process!! There's oodles to talk about here!
  • Jeff Smith's BONE - Any other super-fans out there? Did you know that it is the 20th Anniversary of Jeff Smith's BONE? It is and there was a panel dedicated to the celebration, looking back on the last 20 years (plus, we learned!) and discussing what is coming up in the future. Very exciting and fun stuff for my fellow fans out there - I can't wait to share it with you!
  • Screen Future - How about a sneak peek into what some of the big-wigs think the future of gaming, comics and TV is going to look like all around the world in five years? This was another engaging discussion drawing in the use of social media, online streaming, accessibility and the relevance of Nielsen ratings as we move forward. I was sad when this particular talk ended because I could tell each and every one of the panelists had more to say!

Well, it would be kind of ridiculous to go to a comic BOOK convention and not come back with at least some book discussion, no? I think so! I've got a pile of books here that I am going through as we speak so I can share my perspective on each and every one of them with you. I have comic books, graphic novels, YA novels and even some nonfiction. Lots going on in the book world - I'm taking them one at a time and enjoying every page!


Finally, I ran into some pretty cool people on the exhibitor floor. There were publishing companies with great book deals going on this month and next month that are wanting you to gobble up their discounts, nonprofits looking for some caring souls, museums with cool calendars of events, websites designed for aspiring and published writers and super-cool stores with some super-cool geek stuff that you just have to check out! It's a lot, but it is all coming! I'm looking forward to sharing it with you!

However, before all of that... there seems to be another matter at hand here. Did the title of this blog post mention something about a GIVEAWAY??? That's a pretty big deal. There has never been a giveaway here on Rivera Runs Through It before! Well, if the title says it, then it MUST be true!


Gee... I wonder what I could possibly have to give away?


How about a 2011 New York ComicCon SWAG ("stuff we all get") BAG filled with NYCC goodies?!
So what do you think? Interested? If so, jump on in. There are five different ways to enter. You may do more than one to increase your chances (each one counts as an entry) and the fifth option - tweeting about the giveaway - can be done once a day every day of the giveaway!

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

The following post is taken directly from my hand-printed Reader's Journal. I will be sharing these reflections each week on the Rivera Runs Through It blog. The date at the end of each post is the date of the original writing, which is typically the date I completed the book. The reflections are short, but represent my initial reactions to a book, a brief summary of the book or the questions it raised for me at the time. I hope you enjoy this segment in my blog and feel free to comment on what you read here.

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

A very good story of the times of apartheid in South Africa. I found the actual writing of this story annoying - instead of using quotation marks for dialogue, Paton uses dashes - . It becomes quite confusing. While it seems to be a tragedy, the story ends with an upturn and a view of the possible equality of blacks and whites in the future yet to come. In 1948, when this book was first published, it must have been controversial. (Third book down on the reading list!)

Dated: 07/02/02

Is there a writing technique a particular author uses that irks you? 
Have you read or can recommend any other books on apartheid in South Africa?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What if #12 [Writing Prompt]

Each week the Rivera Runs Through It blog presents a different "What If...?" question for you to explore. Some will be serious, some will be silly, some might be political, religious or historical.

 At the bottom of this post is a place for you to link up your own post about this week's question. If you have arrived at this post and the inlinkz tool is closed, or you don't have a blog, then please leave your response (or link) in the comment section below using DISQUS.

Happy pondering to everyone...

What IF #12:
What if you came face to face with your idol?

Tonight my best friend is at a Smashing Pumpkins concert. It is in a small venue, she pulled in all kinds of babysitting favors and went through various ticketing agencies to ensure she got tickets. She worried over her outfit of choice and was getting increasingly nervous as the day went on.  You see, she absolutely adores Billy Corgan, and this has been going on for about twenty years.

About two years ago, she arranged a trip up here to New York (she lives in Maryland these days) so that the both of us could go to an exhibition at the Rubin Museum of Art just because Billy Corgan was going to be there. It was a truly fascinating day, but what has stuck with the two of us more than anything what what happened when she was standing practically shoulder to shoulder with Billy Corgan himself in the exhibit after his talk: absolutely NOTHING!

I stepped out of the way so she would have a clear shot at him and then... nothing. She completely froze. She was star struck in a way I had never seen her before! While I argued that he was just another human being with whom she, a competent communicator who worked in marketing, advertising and promotion in New York City long before taking on another social role of mother of two very active children, could easily speak to, it seemed my message was lost. He was not human, at least not to her; he was Billy Corgan.

Most of us have someone who fits that role in some way - perhaps they're a rock star, an athlete, an actor, an author, a world leader or a religious one. Perhaps you think you will have a cooler head. Perhaps this is a meeting you have been planning for and have a script already written. Or, perhaps, like my friend Dawn, you know that you have built your someone up so high that your words will get lost on your chance meeting! Whatever the case may be - write about it!

Let us know who your idol is, maybe even why you regard him/her so highly, and then share your tale with us! What if YOU came face to face with your idol?

I can't wait to read the responses to this week's question (I know many people at New York Comic Con this weekend had this exact experience!).

P.S. - Hey Dawn!! If you are less than two feet from Billy Corgan tonight, I had better be getting some GOOD story tomorrow morning!!!

For a list of all of the What if questions asked so far, 

Monday, October 17, 2011

DIY Halloween Crafts

I just got this book yesterday, but honestly I couldn't wait to share it with all of my readers! If you are the crafty kind and you are looking for some fun ideas for this Halloween, then you need to check out Witch Craft: Wicked Accessories, Creepy-Cute Toys, Magical Treats, and More!from Quirk Books. The moment I saw the cover of this book I was already under its spell!

This collection of crafts, recipes and creations compiled by Margaret McGuire and Alicia Kachmar has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for something to share at a Halloween party, make with your kids or just use for yourself (did you catch a glimpse of those ruby slippers on the cover?!) this book has got Halloween fun spilled all through its pages! While I still have a-ways to go until I get the whole sewing thing down, there's enough of the foodie-fun to keep me distracted and family and friends impressed while I learn using the tips and resources laid out in the "Witchy Stitches" section of the book (thank you so much for thinking of us newbie seamstresses!).
Simple and yummy!
There are house decorations like the fuzzy bats, crystal balls, spell jars and trick or treat garlands. There are accessories like the ruby slippers, spider earrings or the spider web hat (complete with spider!). There are toys like the good witch doll, creepy crocheted bones or the plushy poison apples. And, of course, there are the treats like the chocolate marshmallow skulls, the witches brew, or the cupcake graveyard. All together, this book contains 27 different Witch Crafts to keep you busy this season!

If your creative juices are flowing and you're looking for some new and fun crafts to try out this season, I highly recommend you check out this book. The pictures are bright and colorful. The directions are clear along with a little "EEEK bat" whenever a helpful hint is necessary. There are even references to a website which includes helpful hints associated with some of the crafts within the book.

If you are particularly impressed by one or more of the creations in the book, the final section of the book, called "About the Witch Crafters" gives you a first-person account of inspiration from each of the contributors and where they can be found in both the virtual and global world. Each of the contributors has either a website or an online shop where you can continue to connect with them as I am sure they continue to create.

Well, crafters, this one is a no-brainer: you need to go check out Witch Craft and share it with your crafty friends! I, on the other hand, need to get my hands on some supplies so I can try some of these crafts out and share my endeavors with you!

Do you have a favorite Halloween craft or craft book?

I met the cool people from Quirk Books at 
the New York Comic Con. Their website
is worth checking out, as they call themselves 
"Seekers of all things AWESOME."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Power to Heal

Flying sounds cool. Invisibility seems sneaky, yet tempting. Some sort of power over time and space is one of the most intriguing of all for me. However, when it comes to the "super-power" I would like to have most of all, I finally discovered one (while reading The Power of Six) that I think is the one I would choose over all others: the power to heal.

I'm not really sure why this never occurred to me before, or why I never truly comprehended the magnitude of this power, but better late than never, right?

Four Ways Having the Power to Heal Could Change my Life:
  1. I would be healthy again (I'm not even sure how amazing that could feel)!
  2. I would regain my sense of adventure. Since I would no longer fear getting hurt permanently doing cool things like skydiving, mountain climbing, adventure running or even trapeze-ing (I should have done so much better at that!!), I would go for the gusto in all of my life endeavours!
  3. I would be able to really help others. Imagine visiting the ICU in any hospital and being able to help very single person there - That would be INCREDIBLE! Or imagine heading out to St. Jude's Children's Hospital to do the same! The good that could be done, the help that could be shared is absolutely immeasurable.
  4. I would have a green thumb. I would be able to heal the plants in my yard - oh! It would be so beautiful!
 The Great Responsibility versus The Great Numbers

As with any super power, the power to heal carries with it a great responsibility. I worry that I would require a sidekick, wise adviser or  some other grounded individual to remind me of this fact. It would be very easy to take my power and just live out all of my wildest dreams, or, on the other hand, become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the number of people who need to be healed. I hope that I could find someone to give me guidance and to help me strike the right balance between helping the world and having a fulfilled life.

A Mild Mannered Nicole Rivera?

It seems clear through this line of thought that a secret identity or alter-ego would be necessary in this type of livelihood. I already sport the glasses, which, I suppose I wouldn't really need anymore after gaining my healing powers. I am already set up for the simplest of disguises using the Clark Kent/Superman Model. This is fantastic! Believe it or not, I already have a cape, so I am on my way!

Unfortunately, that super-catchy name "the happy healer" has already been taken in a number of places, so I'll have to continue to work on my alter-ego, but, since I don't even have my powers yet, I guess this isn't something I have to worry about too much yet!

What do you think I should use as my "super" name?
What super-power would you like to have and how would you use it?


This post was written in response to What if #11: What if you had a superpower? Link up, share your response and check in to Rivera Runs Through It Every Tuesday to see what the new "What if" question is!

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    A Weekend Away...

    This morning's view of the Javits Center.
    No truer words have been written. Since it started here in New York City there has been nothing quite like the New York Comic Con. This is where I have been spending my weekend. One more day left. One more day of Rivera running through the Con. Then I can come home and run through it all for you right here on the Rivera Runs Through It blog! I can't wait to share it with you!

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    5 Promo Codes from New York Comic Con 2011

    It's finally here! While there is going to be tons of stuff to share with you as I get the opportunity to explore the Exhibitor Floor, Artist Alley, Panels and Screenings throughout the weekend, right now I can quickly share some of the great deals found here at the Con just in case you didn't have the chance to swing on by!

     20% Off At Midtown Comics Of course, there has to be some fantastic comic book deals at a ComicCon! Midtown Comics is a pretty famous comic book store found here in New York City (there are actually three now!), but they also have a great online store and presence. Head over to and use CODEWORD: NYCC before October 23, 2011 for 20% off any purchase (excluding gift cards and pre-orders).

    10% Off at Toys and comic books seem to go hand in hand. It is no surprise that Hasbro has a strong presence at the New York Comic Con, or that they are happy to share a nice discount opportunity with a large portion of their fan base. Check out and enter promo code: NYCC2011 before November 6, 2011 to receive 10% off your online order. (This offer can not be used on gift cards, Exclusives, Hasbro Ultimate Gifts or PLAYATHON Fundraising Kits. The discount applies to pre-tax and pre-shipping amount.)

    Free Movie Rental from FlixFling Need a movie night? (Who doesn't??!!) Flix Fling is a website that provides unlimited streaming movies online. You can sign up by visiting and get a free rental (excluding "Premium" Titles) using the promo code: NYCOMICCON . If you are already a subscriber to FlixFling, then you can use this promo code toward any purchase!

    $5 Off CSI: The Experience at Discovery Times Square Discovery Times Square, located on 44th Street right in between 7th and 8th Avenue, provides great experiences for fans. In promoting this most recent experience, Discovery says we can "Play the role of a crime scene investigator in CSI: The Experience... Complete with 3 Crime Scenes, 15 Forensic Lab Stations and dazzling special effects." To take advantage of this discount, use the promo code: CSICON when ordering tickets at CSIEXHIBIT.COM. This offer expires on March 2, 2012.

    20% Off T-SHIRTS and FUN Apparel!!!! Every single Comic Con I go to, I come home with at least two brand new t-shirts and longing for about 15 more! is offering all of us 20% our next online order (so I can save on this year's take-home wish list!) simply by using coupon code: CON2011. So go check them out for easy Halloween ideas, fun and cool t-shirts for yourself or as gifts, or even some  super onesies for the little cuties in your life!

    So I hope you can make use of at least one of these deals before they expire! Stay tuned for more goodies from the Con and (who knows?) maybe even more cool deals!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Occupy Wall Street

    This past Saturday, I took my first trip to Liberty Plaza in Manhattan to check out the scene at the, now world famous, Occupy Wall Street gathering sight.

    There is much to be shared about that first visit, but with this first post, I will share the visuals. I will let the pictures tell the first story...

    First thing I was handed when I got there. Brilliant!
    The rules of the plaza.
    A dated map of the plaza.
    Everyone stood quietly around and read these words as he (she?) spun for us...
    the message was clear,
    There were A LOT of people
    There is a comfort station set up for everyone to use.
    And as mainstream media has advertised, the youth is empowered and is raising their voice!
    This view from Trinity Place, shows the park was filled throughout.
    But no matter how crowded, the occupiers weren't leaving...
    because this is no time to clown around.
    GreenPeace even parked their super-cool solar truck next to the park.
    Occupiers gathered to make music together.
    Another occupier set up a canvas to paint.
    The view from the center of the park, (the kitchen was behind me).
    Here you can catch a glimpse of the kitchen (look for the BBQ) and some media.
    I finally found some foodies!!
    Lobbying and trading from the youth's perspective.
    And some new math from an occupier who knows this isn't just the nation's youth's fight!
    On Wall Street where money is everything, this sign claims it is THE problem.
    One last view from Broadway, as I set off, but I know I'll be back!