Tis the season for things that go bump in the night. Before we know it, Halloween will be here and we will be shelling out Snickers to cute little ones in decorative garb. Making a call to my favorite snugglers yesterday, I got quite the warm reception when it was announced with pride, “Aunt Keri I am going to be a cat! And actually we will be dressing Willie Nelson up like a bumble bee!” Smiling with the image of Willie Nelson trick or treating (a terrier puppy that has gotten quite tall and sports a fuzzy face, not unlike the actual singer, although both possibilities are fun) I successfully made it through a jam packed weekend of grading, planning and writing.
It is these little moments that count. They get us through the hard stuff don’t they?
As my conversation continued, I asked, “What will your sister be?” Her sister is my four year old god-daughter and both she and my original snuggle-buddy who is somehow eight now are becoming quite the sweet young ladies. “Oh, she’s gonna be a … umm…” (insert cute mumble here because I missed it as she was distracted by Willie Nelson—in person this time!) “ So Willie is going to be a bumble bee! Isn’t that so funny? I mean literally a bee!”
Collapses into giggle fit and so do I.
Did she just say both actually and literally in a span of…wow we have been on the phone for fifteen minutes! Where does the time go? Indeed, as they grow like little blooming flowers…but faster, where did that time go?
Thinking I was going to decorate my house for upcoming pumpkin festivities (pumpkins are picked and waiting to be carved scary) I embarked on mid-week, evening, cleaning sprees and even swept and Swiffered around my horrified pups in hopes that by Sunday I’d be ready to hang up more leaves and place candles in ghost holders. And where did that time go? No clue, but I’m looking at two huge bins of Halloween ammo still packed up but ready to… wait all week while I work… and two pups who are eyeing said bins as if they know there may be some decorations for their little bodies in there (definitely)
This is my favorite time of year. It’s a shame it has decided to move so freakin’ quickly.
Perfectly aware that there was a limit on my phone time, I told my little buddy that I had to go so that I could get some work done and she replied, “Oh okay, I’ll tell Mom to call you. I actually have to go do my homework too. But I love you and I’ll see you soon…right?”
When did kids begin talking like adults? Are they really growing up this fast?
Kids are like the holiday season I suppose. They start out all slow and sleepy and make you want to hang around with comfy blankets, don a hoodie and watch the leaves fall. You enjoy Charlie Brown’s holidays together like you did when you were the one in footsie PJs…OK we still maybe have footsie PJs but they are bigger, just like the kids. Then all of a sudden they are walking and talking, and it’s Thanksgiving and only one month till presents… uh oh… better hit the mall because they have grown out of their coats and December waits for no one of any age. See what I mean? Time is flying…literally according to my favorite sage of eight wise years.
As Halloween careens toward us, I anticipate handing out candy in the evening while watching slasher films from the time I get in from work till I go to bed with Stephen King (his book people—that would just be too creepy so stop giving me imagery… no really stop I’m going to sleep soon). And I know that there will be a variation in the order in which I view the Halloween films because they run all day and I’ll probably miss the first one, but I just can’t wait. It’s like time goes backwards and I become the one who seeks the treats plays some tricks. Our inner kids are permitted to get sugar high and hide behind our hands and peek at Michael Myers through cracked fingers even though we have seen it a hundred times. It’s the best escape besides vacation.
So as time flies I have some suggestions to go along with the onslaught of holidays in a row: read horror before bed, leave the phone off while working so you don’t have as much weekend spillover, leave the laptops and iPads in the other room when you think you are ready to sleep. Oh! Almost forgot, most important thing: do not under any circumstances count the calories you consume on October 31st. Just go running in the morning, or anticipate and start now. It will just make you sad; I promise you it will, so just enjoy your chocolate for a day.
Seriously, don’t read those labels.
Now that the week starts anew, I look forward to teaching writing, learning yoga, writing stories, reading creepy tales (like Band of Demons by Rob Blackwell—can’t put it down right now!) and that brings me to the ultimate thrill: being scared! Is it just me? I love to be scared. It’s a total guilty pleasure—fully admitting it. Creepy is my thing. My heart races and I screech on a rare occasion when my sneaky dude pops up from behind a couch while I enter a room deep in thought. Of course we dissolve into laughter afterwards, but I adore being frightened… don’t you?
Speaking of Stephen King, I read an essay of his (randomly in a textbook I use for teaching ENG 101—go figure) not too long ago. It was called “Why We Crave Horror Movies” and I thought upon seeing the title, “This is appropriate,” but was excited and disturbed a little (love those moments) when King said that there reason we love being scared is because we are all just a little mentally ill. Hmm…
I can’t say I disagree with that one.
Of course, there is the dividing line that resides between the raving lunatic with mask and 18 inch blade kind of crazy, and the, I get sweaty in crowded places kind of mental glitch. But sometimes it seems that there is a wavering happening in that line. It lives in a state of flux I think. There is scary like “Crap that bus almost took my passenger mirror off” and then there is “Why did that picture just fly off the wall” scary that causes seven adults to run screaming out of the house… story for another day. But in my humble opinion, the NYC subway does tend to frighten me more than any of the ghosts that have lived in our walls. They never gave me the flu, grazed my boob as they passed by and made me want to shower immediately, had a track fire, or kept me trapped under a river in a dark tunnel with no A/C due to a sick passenger. Just saying.
The line is a fine one, and it gets blurry at times. Halloween is the best of those times. Am I freaking you out? Oh good because I enjoy being scared with others as well! Delightful treat!
So what will you be reading this Halloween? I will be delving into the rest of Band of Demons because I loved Soul to Steal (which is where you should start too) and then I may mainstream it with Mile 81 because I downloaded it to my Nook and have neglected it like a bad story mom. Then I’m on a mission for indie terror. From now till Oct 31st I will be digging in the crates for the creepiest indie tales of unspeakable fright. I love the words that go with this season by the way. How often do I unearth the word unspeakable? It’s absolutely gory to devour a frightful tome of terror as a wraith would savor the blood of a young unsuspecting damsel in a house of ill repute. See what I mean? I love it!
So if you are looking for creepy reads, we will have them for you this week so stay tuned. In the meantime, start with Blackwell, or maybe some vampire lore; Blood Harvest kept me awake a few nights, and you simply can’t go wrong with the haunting plantation tale of One Blood. All indies, all ready for your downloading pleasure. All scary all month—just for you.
On that note—sleep well, write down those dreams as the nights get longer and make sure you cover your feet tonight… just don’t sleep in socks! Okay my dad trained me way too young and I will stop being creepy, but really—enjoy the season of things that go bump in the night and I promise you another scary story in the next Paper Weights you find on your desktop. Who put that there!