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Monday, October 24, 2016

Halloween Memories and October's Featured Follower

I went back into my archives to see what I'd posted on this holiday in the past. The first Halloween post was this one! 

Halloween 2007


It just ain't the same. I mean tonight it will still be light when the tiny ghosts trek to my door. How can a ghost be spooky in daylight? And my witchy costume is so shabby from years of use that I rely on nightfall to conceal all of the patched pieces and cider stains. Sigh.

Well, no matter what, we are having Halloween. It is my absolutely favorite holiday. I don't have to plan a family gathering, I don't have to be sure to seat Uncle Pete away from Cousin Sadie, I don't have to make a vegetarian side dish for Leah Ann who is sixteen and turning Zen on me. All I have to do is buy a few trinkets and candy and have fun. My kind of holiday.


2008 and 2009 Westside Books had me out and about launching my first book, Sliding on the Edge, and I didn't have time to post about Halloween.  But then 2010 produced this.
 

Halloween 2010
 
Happy Ghostly Halloween


It's the time of year to pull those pumpkin vines, bundle the corn stalks and put away the outdoor furniture. Fall is for coming to the hearth with a good book and a hot cup of cocoa-a time to look inward and reminisce about spring and summer days that warmed the garden and brought forth the crops for harvest. 

The sudden shift of light, the clouds with hints of a storm bundled inside, the night that comes more quickly . . . all of these are October, and there's a slight charge in the air as the old myths stir within our memory.

Persephone once again returns to Hades as she was bound to do. Demeter bemoans the loss of her daughter and the earth goes silent and infertile for the months they are separated. 

Now is the time for ghosts to walk among us, while our minds grow quiet in the long chilled nights.

I haven't written a ghost story in a few years, but I had a couple published a while ago in Crow Toes Quarterly, so I thought to celebrate the season, I'd share this one. It's written for middle grade readers, so I hope you'll print it and read it or give it to a young reader who would like to be a tad scared by the THE GHOSTLY DOUBLE





This has been fun going back to see what I thinking and writing. Now let's come up to date.

Some of you know I've started Email Connect as one way to organize my support for authors and give 12 of them extra promo during the year. I can't believe I'm almost ready to announce my Featured Follower for November! But before I do, here's one more bit about October's Yvonne Ventresca and her new book, Black Flowers, White Lies. 



FUN FACT:  Near the end of the Black Flowers, White Lies, Ella meets a friend at Sybil’s Cave. As mentioned earlier in the novel, the real-life murder of Mary Rogers near that spot in 1841 inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s 1842 story, “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt.” 


To buy Black Flowers, White Lies: Indiebound | Amazon | B&N | AmazonUK | BAM
Bio: Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, Black Flowers, White Lies was recently published by Sky Pony Press (October, 2016). BuzzFeed included it at the top of their new “must read” books: 23 YA Books That, Without a Doubt, You’ll Want to Read This Fall. Her debut YA novel, Pandemic, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for the Atlantic region. 





My Quote of the Week: "Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories--and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories." Alice Munro, short story writer and Nobel Prize winner.
 


66 comments:

  1. Congratulations to Yvonne.
    Good point about Halloween - no uncomfortable family gathering.

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    1. Thanksgiving and Christmas expectations are killers.

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    2. Thanks Alex. And Lee, Halloween is one of my favorites!

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  2. Congrats to Yvonne! It's my favorite holiday too, and the no family gathering thing is part of it. :)

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    1. I think Halloween allows us some freedom to be whoever or whatever we want to be for a few hours.

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    2. Thanks, Christine. And so true, Lee!

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  3. I love all of those pumpkins. We still need to get one. My memories of Halloween as a kid always include rain. It always seemed to rain that night.

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    1. It must be a curse by some ancient witch, Diane.

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  4. haha that is a good reason to like Halloween the most, no muss no fuss, and no dealing with extended family. Win win.

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    1. Absolutely! Then, of course, there's T'day!

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  5. that is one massive pumpkin patch!

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    1. A feast for the eye if you like orange. Fortunately, I do.

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  6. Haven't *done* Halloween in years. Used to have lots of fun dressing up, but any more... Well, we don't live in a place conducive for trick or treaters.

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    1. Nobody comes to our house. The forest is dark and scary and. . .hey, this is a perfect place. I should see if I can convince some kids to venture out here.

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  7. My parents adored Halloween and always made it so fun. I'm thankful that now that I'm a parent, I live in a neighborhood where many really make it fun for the kids, decorating and being very generous to the trick-or-treaters. It really brings the community together.

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    1. It used to be an all night event for us. Parties and trick-or-tweeting, then the candy hangover the next morning.

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  8. I do love Halloween and decorate the house up still and even dress up...as a witch of course. I am thankful that I havce a small family:)

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    1. I have to repair my witch hat. Thanks for reminding me.

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  9. Hi, Cheryl Lee!

    I enjoyed these glimpses of Halloweens past. I agree it is a relief not to have to plan a family gathering and to be sure to seat Uncle Donald away from Cousin Hillary. :) That vast field of pumpkins in 2010 was spectacular. I hope everybody takes time to enlarge the image. Here in Florida we have a different experience of October and the Halloween season. We don't see many colorful leaf displays and the most we can hope for are a few brief, welcome cool spells that give us a break from the heat.

    Thanks, Cheryl Lee, and have a great week!

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    1. The week has started well. We can only hope the rest of it will follow Monday's lead. Thanks, Shady.

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  10. Congrats Yvonne! We will be carving pumpkins for the boys this Halloween and the new house is in an area that has lots of kids, so probably will have treat a treaters for the first time in a long time.

    Happy Halloween
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. That should be so much fun! Get pictures for us.

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    2. Thank you, Juneta!

      I love getting lots of trick or treaters, too.

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  11. Congrats to Yvonne - that's a great title!

    Halloween is getting bigger in the UK, but still not as huge as the US. I'll be working, anyway.

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    1. I was wondering if they dressed up and went out on All Hallows Eve in the UK

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    2. Thanks, Annalisa! I hope you have a fun Halloween either way. :)

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  12. I hate admitting it, but Halloween is not my favourite. I always hated trying to create costumes for my kids - I'm NOT a crafty person!! Don't mind handing out the treats though! :)

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    1. Then part of the holiday works for you. That's enough.

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  13. I love the step down memory lane with your previous Halloween posts. And the pictures. :D

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    1. I'm amazed at what i find when I troll through past posts.

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  14. October is my favorite month. And I've always liked the story about Persephone.

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    1. That was a perfect story for the season. Great way to explain the sudden darkness after summer.

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  15. I seldom even think about Halloween now that my kids are grown. I guess trick or treat is on Thursday.

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    1. It should be an early night for the school kids!

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  16. My father-in-law loved holidays, especially Halloween. Thanks for the memories.

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  17. Huge congratulations to Yvonne.
    We don't do Halloween over here, though the stores are pushing a tacky, mass prorduced plastic version at us. A holiday without the family minefield sounds good though. Very good.

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    1. LOL Family minefield is a great image.

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    2. Thank you for the congrats! Halloween is one of my favorites and Lee has a good point about no family gathering. :)

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  18. Congratulations to Yvonne!

    Halloween is my favoritest holiday, together with Yom Kippur. I don't see anything wrong with wearing my Halloween jewelry when it's not October, or painting my nails orange and black at other times of year either. I haven't had a tablecloth on my table in ages, but I have an orange and black plaid one, bordered by black lace, which I had on the table long after Halloween. I also have Halloween placemats I've used past the holiday. One of the main reasons I'll never be 100% Orthodox is because I refuse to give up Halloween.

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    1. I like incorporating any holiday into my life if it makes me happy. Good for you.

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    2. Carrie-Anne -- Thank you! And I love your idea of Halloween-ness in other months! maybe I won't put my ghost fruit bowl away in November. :)

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  19. How fun - it's nice to look back on older posts!

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  20. Congrats Yvonne and Happy Halloween when it comes Lee.

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  21. You know, I don't think I've ever written a post specifically about Halloween. Congrats to Yvonne.

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    1. Thanks again, Liz. Maybe a school-Halloween post?

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  22. Lee, thanks for featuring me! And I love your trip down Halloween memory lane.

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  23. Congrats to Yvonne.

    When I think of Halloween I always remember it usually turned cold, rainy, or windy on Halloween when I was a kid. No fun having to wear a coat over your costume.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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  24. Your memories of Halloween brought back my memories of the parties, trick-or-treating and fun we had. I saved your story to read. Congratulations, Yvonne.

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  25. Wonderful memories! I miss my girls being so young that dressing up and running through a neighborhood with one of their cousins was a highlight, even in rainy weather.
    Thanks for sharing your memories of your writing and life!

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  26. Halloween is a big deal around here because both of my daughters are still interested in trick-or-treating. Unfortunately for me, they are also interested in homemade costumes that are technically difficult to construct. (Wolf and the newer version of the Cheshire Cat) So the fake fur will be flying this week. Plus they expect us to carve our pumpkins in elaborate designs and decorate the front yard with lots of cool/scary stuff. Honestly, I'm looking forward to Nov. 1 at this point. Whew!

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  27. Congratulations, Yvonne. I love October, too. The colours, the cozy fireplace, the swans and geese gathering out front. It was a huge fun time for us when our 5 boys were young. Now we live too far away and none of the children come to our door. Well, actually, there are few children out here. I'm left, as Alice Munro says, re-telling myself my memories.

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  28. Congratulations to Yvonne. October is my birth month and I love the smells and childhood memories. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. What does say about me? :-)

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  29. Congrats Yvonne. (Love the fun fact)
    I love that pumpkin field! How amazing. It's so wonderful to look back on great memories.

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  30. Congrats to my namesake Yvonne, most enjoyable post Lee.
    Yvonne.

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  31. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays as well! Fun memories you shared. I used to host a big rager every year and we'd party all night long!

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  32. That's a beautiful pumpkin patch! i love Halloween too. It's just a straight up fun holiday.

    Congrats Yvonne.

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  33. Uncomplicated fun is always the best.

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  34. What a fun walk through the past! This is usually my holiday for sharing a piece of free fiction. In fact, the only time during the year that I post a piece of flash fiction for free on my blog.

    Yay for Yvonne, and Lee, I'm wishing you a fun Halloween!

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  35. Lee - What wicked and wonderful flashes from the past! I'm also impressed with the pumpkin field! I miss trick-or- treating with my boys and watching them parade around in their costumes at school! Congrats to Yvonne and love her book title!

    Julie

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  36. I've already read Black Flowers, White Lies. Loved it!!

    This is the first year my family has really gotten into Halloween in several years. It got harder to "feel the scares" as our kids got older and started spending Halloween with their friends instead of us. But our exchange student from Germany has made the holiday new for the whole family.

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