Do you ever wonder if the candy you pass out on Halloween is a popular treat or a dismal trick? Since today is Halloween, I thought it would be fun to see what candy we are all buying to pass out this year.
The first surprising thing I learned is that there are several versions of the map, each with different results. I chose to use one from CandyStore.com, in part because they included a list by state below the graphic, in case you are from one of the tinier states and can’t see it too well on the map. Also, they have been tracking candy sales for twelve years, so I think that makes them a bit of an expert.
According to the map, Skittles (my favorite!) is the most popular candy in the US, followed by two more goodies, Reese’s Cups and M&Ms. In Iowa, the center of corn production, they not-surprisingly picked candy corn as their favorite candy. Regardless of the type, Americans will spend a total of approximately 2.6 Billion – with a “B” – dollars on Halloween candy this year. That’s a lot of candy!
And that’s enough stats about candy. Without further ado (or so you know what to rush out and buy before the trick-or-treaters arrive), here is the map of most popular Halloween candy by state.
Book releases are an exciting time, from what I have observed. Exciting, but not easy. (I am hoping to experience a book launch with one of my historical romances someday, but until then, I’ll base this on watching other writers.)
A good friend just had her latest book released last Friday. This isn’t her first book, but that doesn’t seem to make the process any easier. What with asking people for reviews, and doing blog tours, and anything other promotion which might help, it doesn’t seem to be for the faint of heart.
But I suspect most authors don’t mind doing at least some of this work, even though authors are required to do more of their own promotion now than ever before. After all, the alternative is to never publish a book. And I think most writers live for the day they can share their creation with other people.
This makes me think about a conversation I had with a friend recently about opportunities for writers. On one hand, with the proliferation of books available now, whether traditionally or self-pubbed, it is much harder to make one book out of thousands get noticed. And as I said earlier, much of this work to get a book noticed falls on the author now. This is why, in some ways, I personally think it may have been easier to be a successful writer 20 or 30 years ago.
But on the other hand, there are “publishing” opportunities now which no one dreamed of years ago. For example, there are many digital platforms online for sharing creative works, audio books are increasingly popular, and the many viewing options on TV now have led to increased demand for stories which can be turned into a new movie or series. Perhaps it all balances out.
Regardless of the format, though, I don’t think authors will ever lose the thrill they feel when they sell a story they sweated over. Writing a good story takes months of hard work, and I can only imagine the satisfaction gained by having that hard work recognized by others.
So, congratulations to my friend and all of the other authors working hard to have their stories noticed. Well done!
My husband and I finally put up some decorations for Halloween today. We didn’t do much in our rental house last year, so this year we decided to put in a little more effort.
But first, we had to get some decorations. We didn’t have much to begin with, and left most of it in Wisconsin when we moved last year. So the other day, I was in a hobby store looking at their choices and trying to decide what to get. It was harder than you might think. My granddaughters are only 1 and 3 years old, so while I wanted something fun, I didn’t want anything too scary. I don’t want to be responsible for traumatizing my own granddaughters!
We settled on a few friendly-looking ghosts and a scarecrow. My husband also got a string of pumpkin lights, but we are hoping the store might have another string to purchase. One just doesn’t look like enough. However, as I write this, I am realizing one thing we are still missing. Real pumpkins! Is it even officially Halloween if we don’t have a jack-o-lantern? We better get a few, just to be on the safe side.
Though after reading an online article this morning, I am glad we didn’t purchase any fake spider webs. I learned that each October, there is an increase in birds with damaged wings or claws after getting tangled in the fake webs people use to decorate their front lawns. Small animals such as chipmunks can also get caught in them if the webs are low to the ground. Even deer can get their antlers tangles in webs, light strings, etc., so given the number of deer in our neighborhood, I am glad our one string of pumpkin lights is up high near the edge of the porch roof.
I guess we have a couple weeks to complete our decorating. Our granddaughters are coming over this weekend, so they may have some input for us. Though, if the 3-year-old tells us we should have some skunks (she recently decided they are her favorite animals, after petting some baby skunks at a wildlife exhibit) I will definitely have to draw the line. No skunks -- that would traumatize me!
Have fun with your own Halloween decorating. And don’t forget to buy candy for the little trick-or-treaters. Our neighbor warned us he usually gets two big bags of candy (though he did admit some of it is for him.) Happy Halloween, and if you have any ideas for appropriate decorations for small children, I’d like to hear them.
In the course of writing my current novel, which takes place shortly after the start of Prohibition, I came across some fun and surprising facts about that time period. (The 18th Amendment took effect on January 1, 1920 and was repealed in 1933.)
Below are ten pieces of Prohibition trivia you can use to astound and amaze your friends:
I am taking a departure from talking about writing romances or my personal life this week. The last few days haven’t been a lot of fun (dealing with insurance, and I think my computer is about to die) so I decided this week’s blog should make up for that.
Have you ever heard of Fat Bear Week? I hadn’t either. But as I just learned, Katmai National Park in Alaska runs an annual online contest every October for people to vote on their favorite fat brown bear. This time of year, the brown bears in Alaska are shoveling in food and bulking up to prepare for up to six months of hibernation. They eat up to 90 pounds of food a day, and end up with huge bellies full of fat which they’ll live while in their dens over the long winter. (This is one instance when being the fattest is a good thing, because it indicates good health – for a bear – and a better chance of survival.)
The contest started yesterday, and the first round of eliminations is nearly complete, so get your votes in now!
Here is a link to a press release from the National Park Service with more information:
And here is a link to the voting on Facebook:
If you want to choose based on more than just a name, you can even watch the parks bear cams to help you decide. The winner of “Fattest Bear 2019” will be announced on Tuesday, October 8th.
I freely admit this is a bit of a departure from my more typical blog topics, but I will also freely admit that for those of us who have had a long week, this might be just the sort of fun diversion we need, at least for a few minutes. So get your vote in. Somewhere in Alaska, a brown bear is waiting to be crowned.
I write historical romances, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.