Sunday, September 21, 2014

Permanent Oink Hits the Road

Permanent Oink is planning an adventure. October 10-12 Jilly and I will be attending Creatures, Crime and Creativity Con in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The three day conference is jam packed with learning and networking opportunities. The event is sponsored by Intrigue Publishing, a local publisher.

The C3 Con is a hybrid of a writer’s and fan conference. There are “Master’s Classes” for writer to be taught by John Gilstrap, Rebecca York and other bestselling authors.

John Gilstrap is the author of the Jonathan Graves series set in the Virginia area. Saturday he’ll be teaching the Master’s class for crime fiction writers on the technical “stuff” we often get wrong. He’ll also be the keynote speaker on Saturday night. Rebecca York will be teaching the class on world building. And Brad Parks will be teaching us how to hold the reader’s attention.

If you’re interested you can register just for Saturday at a cost of $135.  The one day registration include three meals and the choice between 20 panels for readers and writers. And you get to hear John Gilstrap speak at dinner.

On Friday at 4 pm I'll be on a panel discussion of
Social media – Can you survive as an author without it? Also on the panel is Weldon Burge, and Bags Hightower.
On Saturday I will moderating the discussion of  Characters: How to keep them fresh and exciting. Authors on the panel are Brad Parks, Kathryn Johnson, and Brandon Patterson.
Jilly will be sitting on the panel discussing, What do Fans want? Also on the panel will be Tom and Marie O'Day. Moderator is Sandra Bowman.
And Oinkwell and Oinkpen (though Oinkpen has rough year) will be there, too, trying to get their photos taken with all the writers and teachers. They’re such hams.
For more about the conference visit


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Literary Beauty: Sweet Minerals Make-up

Writing is a solitary pursuit but at least put on some lip gloss.

Read all the way to the bottom of the post to find out how you can win a Sweet Mineral lip gloss of your very own.
With Sweet Minerals
I’ve flirted with using mineral make-ups over the years. I’ve tried various brands from drug store brand, department stores, on-line, and artisan blends but usually end up gravitating back to liquid  make-up. The liquids invariable cause break outs. I’ve even gone to department store counters only to come home with instructions (and a face chart) so complicated I give up.
I tried a new line of mineral make-up called Sweet Minerals.  My niece Jennifer is a true believer in the line and recently, became a consultant. She assured me that makeup didn’t irate her skin and was fool proof. She invited me over to her house to give Sweet Minerals a whirl. Saying I was a skeptic would be putting it mildly; I went over prepared not to like Sweet Minerals.

Jen started out by asking me what I liked.  I told her I would be happy if I could just match my skin tone with a foundation and do a simple neutral face.
In a strange reversal of roles, Jennifer applied make to my clean moisturized skin. (I remember applying her make-up for special event.) We both wear the fairest shade Sweet Minerals offers. She showed me how to quickly apply concealer and the powdered base. Next came Sweet Mineral’s 3 step eye makeup with one try I was able to look competent in applying.

Then came bronzer and blush. The bronzer is dusted in the hollow of the cheek, the hairline, under the jaw and nasal fold. Then the blush is applied to the apple of the cheek. Whatever else the makeup has or doesn’t have—it definitely has that slimming voodoo that made me look thinner and gives the high cheek bones I always wanted. The entire face was lightly brushed with mineral veil. The procedure was simple enough and would only take me about 10 minutes to get the fresh, light, neutral look I liked and could apply.
But what about the makeup itself. Sweet Minerals was found by 3 local Baltimore moms Candace Maurer, Christine Marriner and Heather Lins who wanted a pure mineral makeup that didn’t contain the irritating ingredients of liquid and, some, mineral makeups that will give a flawless, lasting finish.  Two of them. Candace, and Heather are professional makeup artists; Marriner formulated the makeup. The result is that Sweet Minerals doesn’t contain parabens, bismuth, fragrances or filler.

Before. Too scary for me.
So why does the absence of those ingredients matter? Parabens are simply a preservative and the FDA regulates the use in cosmetics. It isn’t associated with causing cancer or anything like that but it has estrogen like qualities that could be a problem for some women and cause break outs. My philosophy is why put chemicals on your skin when you don’t have to. Bismuth is a common coloring ingredient in makeup (and used in some over the counter stomach medications like Pepto-Bismol.) And while the FDA says it is safe to use in cosmetics, if your makeup is giving you black heads and clogged pores bismuth is the most likely culprit. The irritating effects of fragrance, I think is self-evident. Perfume sensitivity seem to have become so common that many work places are becoming fragrance free environments. As to filler—talc comes to mind. Not something that I want to put on my face daily.

So what is in Sweet Minerals. According to their website, “mica, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, iron oxides, silk, ultramarine blue. May contain kaolin, magnesium myristate, boron, silica.” Zinc oxide is a physical sun block. Kaolin clay is a common ingredient in facial masks and noted for drawing impurities from the skin. None of these ingredients are known irritants according to the FDA
I ended up buying the full face kit and haven’t regretted it a day since. I seem to get more competent at using methods taught to me by my niece every time I apply my make-up. My skin just keeps looking better and better. I have had no break outs or blemishes. Even though the FDA says that using mineral make-up will not shrink your pores or improve your skin. And after using Sweet Minerals for 2 months I think they are wrong. My skin looks better even without make-up.
The only negative about the product is that it can be a little drying on skin of a “certain age.” Making certain that I apply a light weight moisturizer over my whole face along with a nourishing eye cream helps. I haven’t had the problem of the powder emphasizing fine lines though powder make-ups often have that tendency. In fact in my before and after photos I can see that a couple of lines I have between my brows have disappear.
The real selling feature for me is that Sweet minerals really does last all day.  The proof came for me on a rainy Saturday when I had to go to outdoor picnic. The rain poured down, breaking only long enough for us to come out from under the tent to grab some barbeque. Yet, when I got home my make-up looked just as fresh and, well, perfect as when I put it on. (I wish I could say the same for my hair.)

My Sweet Minerals representative is my niece Jennifer Hawkins Waltemire but I purchased the make-up I have been using. You can reach Jennifer at or 410-449-2373

My colors:
Foundation:Fair C1 
Concealed: Light
Eye Primer: Soft Focus
Blush: Naked Caramel
Bronze: Island Tan
Eyes: Champagne Fluff, Brownie Nut, Bakers Chocolate
Eye Liner: Espresso
Lips: Naked Caramel Blush with clear lip gloss
Mineral Veil: Original

Jennifer has generously offered to give a  Sweet Mineral lip gloss to one lucky person . To be entered in the drawing  complete ALL THREE TASKS.
1. Like her Facebook page at
2. Follow the Permanent Oink Blog.

3. Leave a comment on the blog post about which lip gloss you would like to win from the selections on
The lip gloss is a $22 dollar value! Winner will be chosen at random on Saturday September 19, 2014