Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Characters Who Blog

Well, it's December and time for one of my favorite activities, watching holiday movies! The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Home Alone, and my personal favorite . . . DIE HARD! (And yes, it absolutely does count as a Christmas movie). So I thought we might like to see what John McClane would blog about during the A to Z Challenge. Let's take a look, shall we? 

And there you have it, the A to Z series of a major action hero. I personally like his letter "K" the best! I hope you all have started thinking about what themes you might feature on your blogs next April. Have a wonderful Wednesday and happy blogging! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Road Trip Themes for Blogging from A-Z Challenge Participants

The April A-Z Challenge is a big undertaking for bloggers of all levels. There's always the question of whether you will choose a theme or wing it when delivering on your commitment to post something on your blog every day for 26 days.

The real fun begins as you attempt to make your way in and around all 2,000 (give or take) places listed on the visiting map for this annual alphabet party town. While the insanely fast and wildly diligent men and women of our community manage to get it done, the A-Z Challenge Road Trip is for the rest of us. It brings remaining survivors together for an extended trip to cover additional ground leftover from April, but on cruise control.

So, here are two A-Z Road Trip inspired theme ideas that may help you with some of the toughest tasks in the challenge -- picking topics to blog about and visiting everyone on the list.

Blogs of the Day - List five favorite blog posts you read, for each letter of the alphabet. This theme involves visiting blogs on the A-Z signup list to find links that are worth sharing with your readers. In turn, those who visit to find out what your top picks are for the day will learn about blogs that might interest them. Everyone wins.

Of course, there is an alternative route to consider if you're the scheduling type of person who wants to enjoy the fun parts of this theme without the spontaneity of hitting "publish" every day. Since signups open up a few months in advance, you can start visiting blogs and go through their regular content to find something you like. Once you've found five different blogs for each letter of the alphabet, schedule your posts as usual and title them according to the traits they have in common. Or, just make up your own.

A-Z Social - Step it up a notch and be the go-to spot for all things related to what's happening within the A-Z community. Do a roundup of activities such as blog posts that are being shared (commented on, etc.) the most, tweets worth highlighting and/or blog comments that standout. As a surveyor of social activity related to the A-Z Challenge, your blog might become a cool watering hole for this community, in April.

Joining fellow bloggers on the A-Z Challenge Road Trip is an opportunity to visit undiscovered places and meet new faces you missed. However, making the Road Trip a part of your April blogging activities can be a way to make sure that you don't miss out on much!

Will you be taking any road trips during this holiday season?

The A-to-Z Challenge Road Trip is hosted by Nicole Ayers and C. Lee McKenzie who’s well-traveled  dashboard buddy Mario is gearing up for a great 2016!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Goodbye 2015. Hello Christmas.

It has been quite a year on the road this 2015. Here's a recap of some things that have made this year full and fabulous.

New Books Galore. Every time I visited a blog there were new books from the writers I've been connecting with for a few years. 

We had a great AtoZ Challenge with so many amazing bloggers entering to provide interesting and entertaining posts throughout April.

The Team put together a year long tribute to Tina who organized so well for the AtoZ Challenge. She was greatly missed, and hugely valued by her friends.

Some new Hops filled up the Summer Days and linked us with other bloggers we might have missed otherwise!

Unfortunately, a lot of the bloggers we enjoyed retired or took long breaks, but they left with grace and for good reasons.

Jeremy Hawkins designed a super T-shirt for the AtoZ Challenge Survivors. 

The Insecure Writers Group continued to be a huge success each first Wednesday of the month with so many excellent and supportive posts.

There's a lot more, but these were the highlights for me. Now I'm fastening my seatbelt and getting ready for 2016. This is my last AtoZ Challenge post of 2015, so I leave you now to hunt down the tree and find the egg nog.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Themes That Rocked the Challenge - Lady Monsters!

Diana Gordon at Part Time Monster went with the theme of lady monsters!

Your theme was Lady Monsters – was it an obvious choice given that your blog is called Part Time Monster?

Writing about female monsters seemed like the obvious choice once I thought of the idea to use Lady Monsters as the A to Z theme, yes. I actually hadn't written much monster-themed content before the challenge. But I do focus a lot of my writing on girls and women. I decided to marry that with my interest in monsters. There are a lot of female monsters who don't get much press time, and it seemed worthwhile to start talking about them, and to talk about them not just as monsters but as women, too.

Which Lady Monster was your favorite?

I think my favorite to write about was Queen Grimhilde, the Evil Queen from Disney's Snow White. She's iconic. It was quite an experience to write about a villain that has terrified me since childhood.

Which letter was the most difficult?

I didn't have a difficult time with any of them, oddly enough---but I suppose that the problem with this theme was that there were so very many possibilities to choose from, and only 26 could make the cut. There are a lot of fascinating monsters out there. I didn't really set parameters for where I'd pull from---so there are movie, TV, and comics characters plus mythological monsters from several different cosmologies just in those 26 posts. There are so many lady monsters that now, almost a year later, we're still writing about them. After A to Z, I started Monster Mondays, a weekly feature focusing on female monsters with several contributors. We're already planning our 2016 run.

Did you have a favorite monster you had to leave out?

I've since had a chance to write about her, but I really wanted to include Dragon from the Shrek franchise in the original run. Dzunukwa, a Native American mythological figure, made the list instead.

Irena Dubrovna Reed was the main character in The Cat People. Which version of the film do you like better, 1942 or 1980, and why?

I definitely prefer the 1942 version of Cat People to the remake. There's a sense of something about the first one--what I can only describe as impending doom. Irena knows about her curse, is steeped in the legends of her Serbian ancestors and afraid of her own sexuality because of what might happen. There's so much meaning in that, so many layers to pull apart as her lover and her psychiatrist try to puzzle all of this out. The 1980 version is almost devoid of that sense because Irena has been raised by a foster family and knows nothing of her ancestry.

That said, the 1980 film is a fascinating contrast with the 1942 original, and both tell us a lot about the sorts of women we fear, how those fears morph over time.

Why is the Chimera considered a hybrid and symbolizes wickedness?

The Chimera is, herself, a hybrid--though Greek sources vary a bit on her description, they seem to agree that she has parts of a dragon, of a lion, and of a goat. The Chimera was a great monster---she flew about burning the land and eating lots of cattle until she was killed in battle.

In the medieval ages, the Malleus Maleficarium, a famous treatise against witches, described women as a chimera, made of three corrupted parts. It is this work that aligned the Chimera with general wickedness and the female sex.

Why does the Red Queen have such a big head?

The Red Queen's power went straight to her head, enlarging it to 3 times its normal size. It is an outward manifestation of her inward condition, an inflated sense of self that overwhelms everything she does. It also infantalizes her---baby's heads are proportionally much larger than adults.

What theme are you considering for next year’s Challenge?

While I'd love to say that I have that all figured out, it would be so far from the truth! I generally start planning for A to Z in February. The one thing I can definitively say is that I plan to continue my pattern of focusing on girls and women---in 2014, my first year in the challenge, my theme was Girls in Children's Literature, and 2015 was, of course, Lady Monsters. 2016 will continue the thread.

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, and his blog can be found HERE

Friday, December 11, 2015

45 days until sign-ups begin!! #atozchallenge #atozchat

45 days doesn't sound quite as far away as 'next year' does it?

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge sign-up date for 2016 will be on January 25.

It is now officially time to get excited!

Party Time!

Other events to look forward to are the very popular Twitter Chats and, of course, the super-secret awesome Theme Reveal!

Take a knee!

Let's get motivated! Let's get out some paper and a pencil and start brainstorming what we want to do this coming April.

Theme or No theme.
Do I need to start reading books/watching movies/visiting restaurants to review?
What's my hook?
Should I start taking photographs?
Do I want to pre-schedule my posts?
What will make my posts so amazing and interesting that I get readers to come back each day of the month?

If you start answering these questions now, you'll be that much further ahead when it's time to sign-up.

Okay, people...

Heather M. Gardner

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Give a Little Thought to A to Z this Holiday Season

Wow. It's the holiday season! It seems as if 2015 just started and now here we are near the end of the year; amazing isn't it? With the holidays in full swing now is the perfect time to spend a moment thinking about the A to Z Challenge in 2016!

It's true, it's true! To be sure you'll be bustling about having lots of fun and shopping and whatnot but you'll probably have a spare moment here or there that is perfect for thinking.  Say you're shopping and you're standing in a very long line. Look around you for inspiration for the blogging challenge.

For example, while standing in line, what if you see an outrageous hat? Why not blog the A to Z of crazy hats? How about the A to Z of your grandma's clothes? Can you name the A to Z of Professor Snape sayings? Or what if you blogged the A to Z of movies you've seen in your lifetime? You could always go back and look at your old A to Z Challenge posts and see what posts worked and revamp those into something new. What about the A to Z of bad challenges? Bad blog posts? Bad dogs?

But seriously, the holidays provide you with plenty more time to think about the A to Z than you realize. When I'm standing in line or looking at a row of books I try to get inspired by the things that I'm looking at. Sometimes my ideas are genius and sometimes they're not. But you know what? Waiting til the last minute stinks. I've learned to use snippets of downtime each day to brainstorm: Sitting at a stop light? Thinking. Standing in line to buy presents? Pondering. 

You won't know if your idea is good or not until you think it through. So instead of playing Candy Crush with friends on your phone, consider that idea that is floating near the surface of your brain. The A to Z of lollipops? Possibly. How many flavors can you name? 10? 3? 60?  You won't know until you think it all the way through.  Isn't it better to discover NOW that your idea is no good rather than on April 5th when you've run out of flavors? 

Just like some gifts are better left on the shelf, some ideas are better left in your brain.

Make 2016 the best A to Z Challenge ever and start thinking about possible topics now! So tell me, what are some bad topics you've already tossed out for next year's challenge? Here's one of mine: The A to Z of dog books. I mean, seriously, how many could there be? 

Too many to choose from.

So, be prepared future A to Zers!

The A to Z Challenge is coming! 

Give a little thought to A to Z this holiday season. You'll be glad you did.

Many thanks to Pinterest and Buzzfeed for all the funny pics.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas stories to discover

Had enough of The Gift of the Magi for a lifetime, and always found The Fir Tree and The Little Match Girl sort of depressing? (Our teacher used to read them to us every Christmas in class, and I don't think I'll ever recover from it)
Here is a list of books you can explore for funny, heartwarming, less well-known, and lovable Christmas tales - most of them traditional.

Midwinter Folk Tales
Written by legendary storyteller Taffy Thomas, published in 2015. A collection full of winter tales from Taffy's own repertoire - free to tell for anyone who takes a fancy to them. He does not only include the best of his stories for the season; he also tells little anecdotes about how each story came into his possession, and what hidden importance they might have. It is an entertaining, lovely collection, written in Taffy's original voice and sense of humor.

Joy to the World: Christmas stories from around the globe
Okay, so not a recent edition, but one of my newly discovered favorites. Beautifully illustrated book, with well selected stories. I am including it with an extra recommendation because it features one of my favorite Christmas legends, the story of the Little Camel from Syria. In Syria, children who celebrate Christmas believe that their gifts are brought by the little camel that traveled with the Three Wise Men. It's one of the cutest stories ever.

Tell Me a Story for Christmas: Traveller Tales
A seasonal collection by another legendary storyteller, Scottish Traveller Duncan Williamson. Once again, not a recent edition, but many copies are still available from online stores and libraries. I highly recommend reading other books from Duncan Williamson as well; he is a huge name in the storytelling world, and did incredible work to preserve the oral traditions he grew up with.

The Other Wise Man 
Okay, so this is a more well known one, but also one of my favorites, so I will include it, in case it's new for some people. Written by Henry van Dyke in 1895, it is an original Christmas tale about Artaban, the fourth Wise Man that somehow got left behind. I love telling this story, and audiences respond to it really well. Also, there is a famous sapphire named after it. In case you like shiny things like I do.

May your days be merry, and full of books!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

'Tis The Season

'Tis the Season to Hit the Road. . .

and buy those presents!

Photo Credit

My family knows what they’re going to receive from me each Christmas. The only surprise for them is what book is hidden inside the glittery wrapping. And each season I search for both the classics and something new. I thought that since some of you might be on the hunt for book gifts I’d share what I’m considering putting under the tree. Family: DO NOT PEEK!

The Classics for young readers’ libraries

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Accord Publishing
The Elf on the Shelf by Carol Aebersold
Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Dream Snow by Eric Carle
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
The Nutcracker by Alison Jay
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Reindeer Christmas by Mark Kimball Moulton
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Random House

Christmas Activity Books for the really young ones

My Very Merry Christmas Coloring and Activity Book 
Christmas Carol Activity Book, Book 2
A Very Krabby Christmas
The Berenstein Bears' Christmas Coloring and Activity Book
Christmas Is Coming
The 12 Days of Christmas: The Story behind a Favorite Christmas Song
Christmas Jigsaw Book

Some not so Christmasy ones, but great gifts for mature readers in the family

The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Book Thief
Women of the Silk and The Language of Threads (Series)
Bel Canto
The Suspect
Boy Toy
Marcelo in the Real World
The Kite Runner

Photo Credit

Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Writing Through the Holidaze

Even the Cat Can Go Bonkers with Holidaze Stress

Nothing's busier than a person who writes, unless it's a person who writes during the Thanksgiving holiday. I prefer to call it "holidaze" for the obvious reason. The only way I get through this time and still remain sane is to have a schedule. I schedule everything during November, even when to take out the garbage. If I didn't, the garbage just might be ignored and that would be very bad indeed.



  • 4:00 open eyes, create mental list for the day
  • 4:30 find coffee maker in dark--don't risk waking family with bright lights
  • 4:40 boot computer, sip coffee, wait for computer to wake up, sip more coffee, nudge computer, cuss
  • 5:00 answer emails
  • 5:40 check blogs and respond to all comments, visit at least 15 blogs before break
  • 6:15 BREAK, coffee maker now clearly visible in dawn light, so make another cup, listen for footsteps upstairs
  • 6:20 fb, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+
  • 7:00 greet first family member with smile, but silence. They are very cranky in the morning.
  • 7:30 find food, eat, talk about the day's plan, do dishes
  • 8:15 return to computer, more emails and blogs
  • 9:00 shut down social media, pull up WIP, cry, then rewrite
  • 10:00 check garden, clean up after raccoons, cuss
  • 11:00 eat lunch, take a walk down to the creek
  • 12:00 call friends and family re: Thanksgiving plans to firm up menu and make sure they're bringing stuff
  • 1:00 Take out garbage (See, I was serious.)
  • 1:15 Make Turkey Stuffing, boil Sweet Potatoes, look for wine.
  • 3:00 Set table for T'day
  • 4:00 Call in and order Pizza for pick up.
  • 4:45 Drive to town, pick up Pizza, return home (MY ROAD TRIP FOR THE DAY)
  • 5:15 Drink wine, make salad
  • 5:30 Eat Pizza, drink more wine--use counter because table's set
  • 6:30 Stack dishes in sink and call Elves
  • 6:40 Find happy 30 minute sit-com on Netflix
  • 7:15 Shower (if we have water--drought year)
  • 8:00 Open Kindle and read
  • 9:00 Face in pillow
Repeat with adjustments for after the T'day celebration. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 20, 2015

#atozchallenge -- Let the Challenge inspire you!

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is more than just a bunch of letters.

It's a community.

Not just for writers, but for any number of creative people all around the world. 

Doing this Challenge brings bloggers together that might never have found each other.

It unites like-minded bloggers and yet it also introduces us to brand new ideas, categories, and people.

The Challenge gives us all something to look forward to and something to strive for.

Meeting our own expectations, and cheering on our fellow bloggers, is not only exciting, but also inspiring!


Monday, November 16, 2015

The A to Z of Harry Potter Names

If you're a book lover, you probably love Harry Potter as much as the next reader. Harry Potter blogs abound on the internet and it's easy to get your Harry Potter fix. Sometimes we even get Harry Potter themed posts for the A to Z Challenge.

Recently I hosted a Harry Potter Tea Party; it was an all ages affair and I was impressed at the level of knowledge the adults had! One of the games we played was a Harry Potter Who's Who where everyone had a note taped to their back with a character's name on it. The object was to give clues to your partner and they had to guess who their character was.

Harry Potter Party table display

This game made me wonder if it was possible to do an A to Z of  Harry Potter names?

Let's see:

A - Hanna Abbott (part of Dumbledore's Army)

B - Katie Bell,  Sirius Black, and Lavender Brown (that's who I was dressed as for the party).

C - Cho Chang, Vincent Crabbe, and Barty Crouch (Jr & Sr).

D - Fleur Delacour and Cedric Diggory (way before Twilight)

E - Marietta Edgecomb (I know, who?)

F - Nicholas Flamel, and Mundungus Fletcher (I love that name)

G - Hermione Granger (of course) and Godric Gryffindor

H - Rubeus Hagrid and Helga Hufflepuff

I - Ivanova. An obscure Bulgarian Quidditch player

J - Angelina Johnson

K - Viktor Krum

L - Bellatrix LeStrange (try explaining who that is to a 9 year old), Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Remus Lupin

M - Malfoy (yuck) and Professor Minerva McGonagall

N - Theodore Nott (he sees Thestrals)

O - Garrick Ollivander

P - Harry Potter!

Q - Quirinus Quirrell

R - Helena Ravenclaw

S - Rita Skeeter (and her pen)

T - Nymphadora Tonks (Tonks!)

U - Dolores Jane Umbridge (kittens & pink do not make her a nice person)

V - Voldemort, duh.

W - Ron Weasley (or any of them really)

Y - Yaxley, a Death Eater

Z - Blase Zabini, friend of Malfoy

Well, how'd you do? Were you able to name that many?

Pam Margolis
A to Z co host and Unconventional Librarian

Many thanks to these websites for the odd bit of help:,

Monday, November 9, 2015

Themes That Rocked the Challenge - Mark Twain's Boyhood Town

Today we welcome Jennifer Hawes!

If you've struggled with your A to Z theme, it might be right there under your feet. Jennifer chose her hometown of Hannibal, MO, which also happens to be the boyhood town of a certain author named Mark Twain…

What made you choose Hannibal, MO as your theme? (Besides the fact you live there!)

I love the natural beauty of this town nestled on the Mississippi River. Photography was a big part of why I chose to feature Hannibal for the challenge.

Which topic was your favorite?

My posts on "Trains" and "Meet Me in St. Louis" were fun to feature because of the recent trip I took with my family exploring the train yards in St. Louis. Urban exploration and photography remain my favorite activities besides writing ,of course!

Which letter was the most challenging?

Toward the end I was getting burned out. Y was a bit of a challenge so I changed my post to "whY you should visit Hannibal" and featured football and my oldest teenage son. This town worships football. This year my son's team, the Hannibal Pirates, went 10-0 are in the playoffs! He was also chosen for first team all conference in Northeast Missouri High Schools two years in a row. I'm one proud mom!

What should first time visitors absolutely not miss?

Mark Twain's dream was to be a riverboat captain. He adored the Big River. You will get a wonderful tour aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. And don't forget to visit the famous cave!

How many places are named after Mark Twain?

I've lost count.

Just what is the Tom and Becky contest?

Every summer five Tom and Becky couples are chosen right before their eighth grade year. One couple is the main Tom and Becky and the rest stay busy hosting the numerous festivals in town. Tom and Becky are fictional characters created by Mark Twain in his book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. They had a major crush on each other. They hid inside the cave to escape Injun Joe who was after them. Mark Twain really did have a crush on his next door neighbor Laura Hawkins aka Becky Thatcher.

Did you find it odd there was a lighthouse in town?

Not really. With all the hills, rocky terrain, and endless fog, I'm sure the town built the lighthouse to help navigate the boats safely down the river.

What theme are you considering for the Challenge next year?

Oh boy. I'm glad I have some time to think about it! I've debated whether or not to write about the writer's journey to publication. Or something to do with writing. My theme last time featured Mark Twain, one of the greatest fiction writers of all time, and his boyhood home town. Maybe I'll feature more great writers. Writing is my life and passion!

Thanks, Alex, for featuring my blog from AtoZ!

Thanks for doing the interview, Jennifer! I want to visit now.

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, and his blog can be found HERE

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

5 tips for authors who work with folktales

Fairy tale adaptations are all the rage these days. Some of them are stellar, some of them are decent, and some of them are... boring, I guess. But whatever the case, here is something that not many people talk about: Adapting fairy tales (especially if they are also folktales - not all of them are!) is a tricky issue. Many people just automatically assume that folktales are in the public domain - therefore there is no copyright to consider, or intellectual property to tread on. However, when working with traditional stories - especially if they are from a culture other than your own - is a lot more complicated than it sounds.

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind if you work with fairy tales:

Make sure it is actually a folktale 
Not all fairy tales are folklore. Some of them are literary. These might look like a folktale, but they still fall under copyright and intellectual property rules. This becomes especially tricky when some authors write "fakelore" - publish their own work under the title "folktale" (or, ironically, "original folktale"). In other cases they might publish folktales that are real, but publish them in their own version, re-written, re-told or adapted.
This is not only important because you might get in trouble for copyright infringement. You might also be unwittingly propagating false information on the traditions and culture of a certain group of people.
How to avoid: It is useful to look for the same story in other sources. Sometimes you have to approach the author to ask. Good thing we have social media.

Check on a culture's actual stories before you make up new ones
Attributing a fake "folktale" or "legend" to a foreign culture is a huge literary faux pas - especially in the case of indigenous and marginalized groups. This was one of the main problems people brought up about the Twilight series - the author took an indigenous nation, and made up legends that don't actually exist in their tradition. Since most people had never heard about the Quileute before the books/movies came out, they automatically believed that those stories were real "Indian folklore."
How to avoid: If you are featuring an existing culture in your work, do your homework. Go the extra mile. Read their stories. Maybe you'll find more useful things than you thought.

With that said...

Make sure you are not committing cultural appropriation
Not all folktales are up for grabs. They might not be protected by copyright law, but that doesn't mean you are not being offensive, inconsiderate, or hurtful towards the community that claims them and keeps them alive. Don't assume that finding an indigenous folktale in a written collection automatically means they wanted it to be out there.
How to avoid: Be respectful. Educate yourself about cultural appropriation. Ask.

Make sure you are not promoting stereotypes
Even if certain folktales are okay to use and adapt - make sure you are using them the right way. Selecting certain stories to represent certain cultures (especially if those cultures are not generally well known) puts you in danger of upholding a Single Story.
How to avoid: Read more stories from the same tradition. See if you can present a more diverse picture.

Note your sources
This is more of a courtesy than a necessity: I personally love reading about the original sources of folktales and fairy tales people use. I will be eternally grateful if you note them in your Introduction, or Afterwords, or... wherever. In addition, if you are working with less well known tales from other cultural groups, is is courteous to point people in the direction of your sources, in case they want to find out more, and educate themselves about the oral traditions of the world.

Do you like fairy tale adaptations? Do you write them? Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Road Trip

It's Halloween season and here I am on a Road Trip? 

Photo Credit

You've got to be kidding. I can't be out here when the spirits walk the earth and need stuff, like, bodies to inhabit or candy to eat. Terrifying. 

Photo Credit

But, because I'm an AtoZer to the core, I'm out and about. *Play spooky music here.* Mario's looking for a smaller hat. If you have one, could you please send it over?

So let's make this an "informative" drive tonight. 

1. What are the most sought after treats? 

Top Ten Favorite Halloween Candies
Reese's - 43% of respondents rank it among their top five favorites
Snickers - 38% rank among favorites
M&Ms - 37% rank among favorites
Kit Kat - 36% rank among favorites
Twix - 29% rank among favorites
Milky Way - 22% rank among favorites
Butterfinger - 22% rank among favorites
Candy Corn - 18% rank among favorites
3 Musketeers - 18% rank among favorites
Skittles - 17% rank among favorites

2. What are the most popular Halloween costumes besides Donald Trump?

Zombies Are Hot, But Clowns Are Not

Top-Ranked Halloween Costumes For Adults, 2009-2013

Hover or tap on each costume to see how its rankings change over time.

20092010201120122013200920102011201220131st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th11th12th13thWitchVampirePirateClownVixenCatDevilAthletePolicePumpkinGhostNurseZombieWitchVampirePirateNurseVixenCatZombieFairyAthleteBatmanDraculaGhostClownWitchPirateVampireZombieBatmanCatVixenGhostNurseCowboyDevilClownFairyWitchVampirePirateBatmanZombieVixenPrincessGhostNurseCatSupermanPoliticalDevilWitchBatmanVampireZombiePirateSuperheroSupermanDraculaCatAthleteClownGhostRock Star

I'm thinking I'm more in the Witch-Superman-Princess group. The problem with the witch is getting into the car with that pointy hat. Here's to your Halloween on the Road.