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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

794 Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even as a child, it seemed the world was awash in magic and mystery on October 31. Here’s a hodge-podge of Halloweenie treats for my readers to enjoy:

The link to a FREE Day of the Dead story.

A link to an article about creepy (and probably haunted) homes.

A link to some witch costume update ideas.

A link to an article about ghost towns.

IMG_2395 And last, but not least, a marvelous Edgar Allan Poe quote: “Dim vales- and shadowy floods-/ And cloudy-looking woods,/ Whose forms we can’t discover/ For the tears that drip all over!/ Huge moons there wax and wane-/ Again- again- again-/ Every moment of the night-/ Forever changing places-/ And they put out the star-light/ With the breath from their pale faces…”

Have a marvoulous, magical, mysterious Halloween – Vonnie

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Costumes for Halloween, a masquarade party, Rennaisance Fair, or fairy festival are fun to wear. But not all of us have runway model looks. We need to remember not all princesses are petite. Not all princesses have blond hair.

As a fantasy writer, I try to make my characters diverse. Some are tall, some robust, some short, some dark-skinned, some scrawny, some curly-haired, some bald… In other words, I try to include the mix of people who surround me in this world.

I believe every girl has the right to be a princess – to see herself as lovely and special. Just like every young person has the right to see themselves as a hero. This post about a young woman who couldn’t find a princess dress to fit, reminds me that beauty comes in many sizes.

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Bats are wonderful creatures. Excellent insect-eaters and plant-polinators, the worrld is a better place because bats are in it. Halloween bats and Dracula are usually portrayed as frightening, but these 3 videos featuring an orphaned bat called Lil’ Drac will melt your heart.

Lil’ Drac Part 1

Lil ‘Drac Part 2

Lil’ Drac’s Treat

Hooray for bats! And hooray for Halloween!

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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IMG_1803 On this dreary October day, what better quote than this ghost, spirit, and zombie friendly one from the master of the macabre: “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” – Edgar Allan Poe

Though there will always be doubting Thomases and Thomasinas, ghostly sightings, unexplained occurrences, and haunted places are a part of our culture. Cemeteries in particular can feel rather spooky. I came across two sites which list haunted cemeteries: America’s Most Haunted Cemeteries and Most Haunted Cemeteries. (And it’s no surprise to find Poe’s gravesite on one of the lists).

Though I personally find cemeteries quite comforting, and have picniced with family members amongst the tombstones, this is not the case for many people. And it should not be the case for visitors to the graveyard in my Halloween story, “Bad Moon Rising,” from my science fiction/ fantasy/ ghost tale collection, Owl Light. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the story. (FYI, it gets spookier by the end – including murder and ghosts).

Bad Moon Rising

‘Darleen glanced at the clock hanging over the cash register. It was four minutes after eleven, and the last customer of the evening was still perched on a swivel stool at the luncheon counter eating a slice of pumpkin pie. She finished sopping up the coffee, cider, and cola puddles from the tabletop of the diner booth nearest the door and pulled down the window shades hiding from view the jack-o-lantern, bat, black cat, and owl cut-outs stuck on the storefront glass. Then, she walked in back of the luncheon counter, and slid her pencil and order pad onto the top shelf beside the bins containing extra sugar and artificial sweetener packets. Her feet hurt.

“Thanks,” said the elderly customer as he pushed the empty plate towards her. “That was real good.”

“You’re welcome, Mr. Sudduth. See you tomorrow night.”

“Right, tomorrow night,” the old man replied as he buttoned up his sweater, shuffled out the front door of Raleigh’s Delight.

Darleen took off her apron and hung it up on a peg. She checked her make-up in the shiny chrome of the carbonated beverage dispenser. She liked to look at herself in the chrome – the faint crows-feet around her eyes weren’t visible. The mirrors in the ladies’ room made her look thirty. But why shouldn’t they? She was thirty-six.

She pushed open the swinging door to the kitchen, hollered, “Stan. Everybody’s out. I’m leaving.”

She spotted the diner’s owner, Stan Raleigh, scrubbing the griddle. Darleen liked the fact he didn’t just hire school kids to do all the dirty work. He pitched in, did some of the messy chores, too.

Stan looked up from the greasy slab of steel. “Register closed down?”

“Yeah. I closed it before Mr. Suddamendala left. Tape’s in the drawer.”

“Thanks. Have a good night,” called Stan from the sink as he sudsed up a scrub brush. “Don’t forget to lock the door on the way out, especially tonight.”

“No problem. But there shouldn’t be any trouble, by now the trick-or-treaters are all in bed,” Darleen responded as she reached under the luncheon counter and grabbed her pocketbook.

Darleen walked out of Raleigh’s Delight, slammed the front door. Slamming wasn’t optional. The door never locked if you closed it gentle-like. She jiggled the handle, just to double-check. It was locked. She nodded at the cardboard skeleton jitterbugging on the other side of the door’s glass pane, then, turned and tugged the rubberband out of her hair. She wore her hair tied back when waitressing, but when not at work, she loved the silky way it felt against her neck.

Darleen hurried down the sidewalk, smiling at the full moon that hung like a dinner plate on the wall of night. The 11:20 bus should be by any minute, and she was eager to get home. She popped a piece of chewing gum in her mouth and looked at her watch: 11:21 pm. She wondered where the bus was.

Tonight, she needed to be home on time – she was expecting company. Plus, she’d forgotten to refill her ferret’s bowl of dried kibbles. Not that the ferret was thin. Darleen suspected she had one of the few fat ferrets in the world. Still, she worried that Claude might get into more trouble than usual if she was late coming home.

She heard the grinding of gears as the bus driver down-sifted at the stop before hers. She spit out her gum, wrapped it in a tissue, tossed it into a nearby trashcan, unwrapped a second piece, put the new gum in her mouth, and slid its wrapper into her uniform’s pocket. Two pieces of gum would normally be excessive, but minty-fresh breath was extra important tonight…’ (I’m sure you can guess – her “company” will be of the undead sort!)

HallowRead 2014 poster2 Looking for something fun and spooky to do this weekend? Attend HallowRead. Make sure to stop by and say, “Hi,” to me on Sat. October 25th. I’ll sign my books, plus have a few to sell. Cant’ make it but you’d like to read more of my fiction? Here’s my Amazon author page.

And for fellow Walking Dead fans, I couldn’t resist adding another zombie link. Based on this article, living in the Baltimore area, I’m “up-the-creek-without-a-paddle” when the Zombie Apocalypse comes.

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HallowRead 2014 Poster Many of us have been to “Haunted Houses” at fairs, carnivals or Disney World. For those of you who like Disney’s Haunted Manison, here’s a link to some cool facts about the ride.

And here’s a link to a few real haunted houses.

Better yet, visit this year’s HallowRead and visit some haunts on the ghost tour. I’ll be there on Sat., Oct. 25th on panels, etc.

I couldn’t resist adding a bit of haunt to the home at the center of “Bells,” the final story in Owl Light, my collection of dark speculative stories. In truth, some of the haunted bits included in the tale are taken from my personal experiences. Here’s the beginning of “Bells” for your reading pleasure:

Bells

‘The hundred and fifty-year-old Crosby family farmhouse on the corner of Park and Millstone Streets was cluttered with the dead. What should have been gray-toned or sepia photos of Melinda’s ancestors peered from shelves, tabletops, curio cabinets, and almost every available inch of wall space. But the pictures of the deceased had not been left in their original neutral tones — in an attempt to add life to the images, her Great-Aunt Vivian had garishly tinted the people’s faces, clothing, and surroundings with photographic oil paints. But by blessing men, women, and children with red lips, rosy cheeks, and brilliant irises, Aunt Viv had given everyone in the pictures the same unnatural appearance that was found on corpses at an open-casket viewing.

The room in the house on the corner of Park and Millstone where Melinda always stayed when she came to visit, had belonged to Aunt Vivian’s mother, Isabelle Worthington. Mel glanced at her Great-Grandmother Belle’s augmented photo on the marble dresser top. She shuddered. If she braided her waist-length coppery hair and pinned it to the top of her head in a bun, Mel would have been a dead-ringer for the long-gone Isabelle.

She touched the elaborately filigreed frame. Mel could almost hear her great aunt promising in her most wishful voice, “The dead are only separated from us by the sheerest gauze.”

Mel pressed her lips together, lifted her gaze from her great-grandmother’s picture, leaned forward, and checked her mascara for smudging in the wavy glass mirror. Standing behind her and just to the left, Mel thought she glimpsed the blurred image of Isabelle Worthington. She gasped, turned around. There was no one there but the bed draped in a shooting star quilt made by Belle, golden oak furniture laden with Belle’s carefully preserved belongings, the ever-present photographs, and a profusion of evergreen branchlets tucked here and there around the room.

Melinda stepped over to the window, watched the snowflakes sail down to the sea of white that covered the lawn, the sidewalks, and the cemetery across the street. Considering the weather, it was lucky most of her mother’s family still resided in the same town where their parents and their parents’ parents had lived, died, and were buried. Other than Mel and her sister and parents, everyone coming tonight for Christmas dinner could walk home if need be. She pulled the lace curtains together as far as possible trying to shut out the wintry scene below. But there was a bundle of greens tied together with red ribbon and bells dangling from the center of the rod, so not only didn’t the curtains close all the way, but her effort at privacy set off a metallic jingling.

 small owl light Shaking her head, Mel crossed the room to the bed, closed her suitcase, then strolled into the hallway. After a quick turn to the right, she descended the winding stairs to the main floor. The ghosts seemed to press less closely there, or so she thought, until a chill brushed past her on its way downstairs…’

Like what you’re reading? You can check out Owl Light and my other books on Amazon.

Last, but certainly not least, an update to yesterday’s Zombie post for you Walking Dead fans — I found a link to a zombie-proof cabin.which just might get you through the Zombie Apocalypse.

Only a few more days til HallowRead, then less than a week until Halloween — it’s my favorite time of the year!

 

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794 Always a fan of Halloween, I’ve dressed-up in creepy-style some years. That said, I don’t think I was ever as disturbing as a few of the photos in this odd little gallery of  vintage Halloween costumes. Perhaps the black and white images render the costumes creepier, but there are a couple where it wouldn’t matter if the picture was in color or black and white.

Number 15 is especially creepy to me. Which one creeps you out the most? Here’s the vintage costumes link.

And don’t forget to stop by the signing table at this year’s HallowRead to be held in Ellicott City, Maryland on Saturday, October 25.  (Hope you enjoy my pumpkin photo taken several days after Halloween 2013). For more info, check out HallowRead’s blog, or Facebook page, or other  Facebook page

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794 Here at Wood’s Edge, the night is dark and rainy – a most fitting evening for ghosts and spirits to wander. “It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but having fallen, it was blood.” — Edgar Allan Poe [Silence – A Fable]

There was a scrap of sun this afternoon, and stars winked in the sky earlier in the evening, but it seems the moon and stars have vanished on this All Hallow’s Eve. “And they put out the star-light/ With the breath from their pale faces.” — E. A. Poe [Fairy-Land]

This past weekend, I participated in HallowRead, a delightfully ghoulish celebration of dark fantasy, horror, and paranormal romance writing. Each of the Ellicott City locations for writers’ panels were supposedly haunted – and talk of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other paranormal creatures (contemporary or ancient) certainly added to the spooky vibe. “Horror and fatality have been stalking abroad in all ages. Why then give a date to the story I have to tell?” — E. A. Poe [Metzengerstein]

Plus, I’ve been participating since October 23rd in a Halloween blog tour with other members of Broad Universe – a wonderful organization which supports women who write speculative poetry and prose. “And then, hour after hour would I linger by her side, and dwell upon the music of her voice – until, at length, its melody was tainted with terror…” — E. A. Poe [Morella]

So I encourage you to read all the posts (some here on my blog) and especially to check out my guest blogs on the other sites. See what day dreams (or nightmares) I write about – for “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — E.A. Poe [Eleonora]

Check out: Ogerhunches and Other Goblins at TJ Wooldridge’s A Novel Friend, Hedge Witches at Elizabeth Black’s blog, Were-Beasties at LC Hu’s blog, and Ravens at Justine Graykin’s blog.

IMG_2395 And as the witching hour draws closer, the rain raps on my window pane like a lost soul, and I wonder where the murder of crows which visits my yard daily are roosting tonight – I wish a Happy Halloween to all, and to all a haunted night!

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