Happy Halloween! After preparing three pumpkins for carving, I’ve started to call it hollow-it-out-ween and are-you-happy-you-stabbed-yourself-again, duffus-ween. Anyway, here we are again at my favorite time of year. I look forward to seeing frost on the pumpkins, viewing colorful autumnal leaves, and handing out fistfuls of miniature candies to future dental patients and members of Jenny Craig. No healthy food for Halloween or placid toddler-friendly decorations here. In my neck of the woods, the houses are decked out with balls of light, skulls a plenty, a few dozen ghouls clawing their way out of the ground, and the supervising parents walking around with questionable beverages in their hands.
Halloween also brings out great new offerings from a lot of different authors. Genre jumping is a common practice. What other time of the year can we see zombies dancing hand in hand with the denizens of classic literature? I say, the more the merrier. I launched Mind Fray, my 12th full length novel, just in time for the festive eve. I also put my first book The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow on Kindle Countdown as my treat to new readers.
Halloween gives me another opportunity to dress up. My costume this year was supposed to be Maleficent, but I heard that particular costume was going to be as common place as caramels stuck to dental-work. So, instead I will go as an author. I will be dressed in a ratty sweater over my Batman pajamas. Moccasins will adorn my size nines, and I will be sporting a spectacular rat’s nest in my uncombed hair. Pretty scary. My daughter dared me to go into the bank dressed this way. I told her I wasn’t too sure I hadn’t already done that? The occasion? It was a Thursday.
Every year we set out the family mummy.
We call him Graham Greene, partly because he’s green and partly to honor the writer and subject of my daughter’s PhD thesis. I wish I could tell you that we put him away after the last sugar-hyped trick-or-treater has gone home. It would also be nice to say that he hangs around in my office in the basement for inspiration. But that too would be a lie. Graham stands in the corner of my formal dining room, across from a papyrus painting of King Tut, 364 days a year. He is guarded by an Egyptian cat carved from Aswan quarry stone. Sometimes I forget that this isn’t normal Midwestern décor. Without explanation, I have invited in the door-to-door religious only to see them back out quickly and run back down the walk. I just assumed it was the odor of my ratty sweater.
Passing out treats can be a time consuming activity. One year I edited a manuscript while I waited for the joyful sounds of Trick-or-Treat ! I suspect that is where page 232 of Homecoming was lost. Some little child probably mistook it for a Kleenex, and well, we won’t go there…
This year I’ll be dealing with the sugar shakes while I continue to work on my next Haunted Series novel, The Siege. Graham will guard the porch while Murphy greets the over twelve set with a CRACK or two.