Archive for the ‘Halloween’ Tag

Hallowe’en

This blog has been neglected of late. There’s been a lot of life stuff getting in the way of the writing, which I hope to talk about at a later date.

Today, though, is Hallowe’en. As a horror writer I feel I can’t let the day go by without comment.

The irony is that for the first ten years of my life, Hallowe’en completely passed me by. Living in the North of England in the 1970s, we didn’t really celebrate Hallowe’en – possibly because we have Bonfire Night five days later, which was a much bigger deal – when the whole neighbourhood would throw their scrap wood in a pile on a vacant lot all year, and then on 5 November it would be lit to create a big bonfire, and everyone on the street would gather to watch fireworks and light sparklers and eat Parkin and black peas. And if none of these things mean anything to you, you’re probably not British.

Anyway, in January 1980 we moved to Canada, and in October of that year I experienced Trick or Treating for the first time. I was a week past my eleventh birthday. I dressed up as a princess. My sister and I went out with my mother and stepfather and a couple of friends, and we hit three or four of the neighbourhood streets. I came back with a haul of candy so large it lasted me pretty much until the following Hallowe’en.

I didn’t get many trick or treating years in, as two years later – a week past my thirteenth birthday and in Grade 7 – I decided I was too old for trick or treating and volunteered to sit at the front door handing out the candy. I ended up serving it up to quite a lot of my classmates that year. Which they seemed to find quite embarrassing.

What I’ve always loved about Hallowe’en, though, is the concept of dressing up – of being somebody I’m not, just for a day. In high school everyone was allowed to turn up for school in costumes for Hallowe’en. One year I decided to go as a punk. This was so far removed from what I usually looked like at school that most people didn’t recognise me. Which was the idea, of course. And it was quite liberating, to shed my usual goody-two-shoes image and pretend to be a bad-ass. Even if it was for just a few hours, and it was entirely theoretical because I was way too timid to be a bad-ass for real.

Nowadays I’m in the UK again and although Hallowe’en is more of a thing than it was when I was a kid, it’s still not as big a deal as Bonfire Night. Trick or treating happens, but not everyone buys into it and for stores it’s pretty much nothing more than another retail opportunity. Some kids may get to go to school in costume, and some retail outlets let their staff dress up in spooky costumes for Hallowe’en, but I don’t know any offices that will let you do so, and as I sit here typing this at my desk at the day job (I am officially on my lunch break, so even now I’m not breaking any rules), it’s just business as usual.

But in spite of that, I still want to acknowledge the occasion.

Happy Hallowe’en!

halloween2

Friday Fears: Two-sentence Horror #9

Tomorrow is Hallowe’en – traditionally the time for spooks and ghouls and things that go bump in the night. So I am offering a couple of new two-sentence horror stories to give you chills.

 

I went to tuck my son in and found him standing outside his bedroom door, completely translucent. “I just wanted to say goodbye, Daddy,” he said, before fading from view.

 

My wife never says thank you when I take her breakfast in bed every morning. She really ought to, after I went to all the trouble of digging her out of her grave and all.

 

Happy Hallowe’en!

halloween2

Friday Fears: Two Sentence Horror #6

It’s Hallowe’en, and it’s Friday! Seems a good time to post some more two sentence horror.

 

Here is a contribution from Jim King:

It’s always so hard to pick a dress for the party. The blue is so pretty but black hides the blood better.

 

And here is one from me:

This morning I woke up with the sound of the alarm, like I always do, and began my usual routine. It was a perfectly ordinary day until I looked in my shaving mirror and realised I had no reflection.

 

Anyone else want to write a scary two-sentence stories for Hallowe’en?  Leave yours in the comments, and I’ll put it up on the blog next week!

Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy-Halloween-Vector

Monday’s Friend: Raven McAllen

Today I am pleased to welcome Raven McAllen to the blog. She’s talking about the anthology of erotica in which she has two short stories.

Freaky Flashes
By Raven McAllen

Writing a blog isn’t always easy.

When you write a book, you put your heart into it.  It’s a bit like giving birth, letting other people coo or sigh over the baby and then telling you how lovely, brilliant (or horrible) your child is. Giving you a pat on the back or (as they say here in Scotland) a skelp over the heid.

Writing a blog and you open your heart for everyone to see inside. It’s much more intense. You really do bare your

Blogging is showing your all. The raw, nitty gritty, this is me and my baby, legs up, sweating, panting swearing at your partner, how did I get to this stage time. (I’m speaking metaphorically of course)

Then it’s the panic time. The ohh help, what do I know about writing a blog. Like a new baby, and you’re scared you’ll do something wrong… When you’ve worked it out, and you have to share, even more panic steps in. That’s my baby going out into the world with everything about it on show. (almost that scary dream when you think you’re naked and everyone is pointing and laughing)

So I have a book and a blog about it…Does it make sense? Is it interesting? Do people like it? Is it relevant

freaky flashesThe relevant bit is a strange one. You see FREAKY FLASHES is a book designed to be read at Halloween. Okay you might think, so why are we talking about it half a year away?

Well think about it. Love stories. Just because they are set in June or October, doesn’t mean that’s the only time to read them. And lets face it winter in half of the world is the opposite time of the year to the other half. So cold, snow, dreich (another good Scottish world for dampness and drizzle), sun whatever… it doesn’t matter. Christmas in Scotland is cold, Christmas in Melbourne is spent on the beach…Same date, different settings. Now yes I know Halloween also is not a moveable date, but love is. If you get my drift.

So I wrote two flashes in here, and they are love stories. Love is timeless, so that means you can read them at any time. As we can and do fall in love at anytime of the year, so we can read about it whenever we want.

Happy Reading

Love Raven x

Book Links:

FREAKY FLASHES can be found at the following links.

Breathless Press

All Romance eBooks

Amazon

Bookstrand

About Raven McAllen

I live in Scotland, the land of mists, mountains and midges. The first two I can cope with, the last is well named as the scourge of Scotland.

Living on the edge of a forest, with wild life and tourists always about, life is never dull, especially when someone stops you on our lane and asks if it is the main road to Glasgow. (er no)

I share my life with my DH, and two cats. Our children have flown the nest, great to go visiting them!

Monday’s Friend: L. K. Below

This week’s Monday’s Friend comes to you a day late, as yesterday my blog was playing host to the virtual launch party for DEATH SCENE.

Yesterday was also the the release date of NEVER A PRINCESS, ALWAYS A FROG by fellow Lyrical Press author L.K. Below. I am delighted to welcome her to my blog today, to talk about her latest release.

Halloween Fever
By L.K. Below

Yes, I know Halloween is still a far cry away, but the “fever” bit is appropriate, wouldn’t you say? I don’t know about you, but in Ontario (Canada), it is hot. I’m daydreaming of colder times, let me tell you.

How fortunate that my latest release, NEVER A PRINCESS, ALWAYS A FROG takes place in October. Specifically, Halloween.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of dressing up. At home, I’ve got an authentic Chinese fan and kimono (the latter which I still can’t recall how to tie right). I’ve dressed up as Scarlet O’Hara and the Paper Bag Princess. But, I have to admit, I’ve never done what my heroine, Colleen, does and dress up like a frog.

Or, as her friend Hannah puts it, as “the blue chick from the X-Men movies. Except you’ll be green.” Colleen is definitely more daring in that respect. Or, truth be told, her sense of daring probably matches my own – Hannah’s the daring one, and pushy, too. Poor bookish Colleen has little choice but to go along with it – it’s for her own good, after all!

Personally, I’ve always wanted to host or attend a masquerade. To be able to be yourself, completely, but no one else knowing who you are? That holds definite appeal.

Even if Colleen doesn’t have a mask in this book, she’s in much the same scenario. Hannah sends her to a stranger’s party. Colleen’s left to her own devices… but fortunately, she meets a prince willing to rescue her from the leering party-goers.

Who else shares my love of dressing up? What’s your favorite Halloween costume? Have you ever done something half as daring as Colleen?


Here’s the blurb for Never a Princess, Always a Frog:

Has this frog finally found her prince?

From the moment Colleen confesses her deepest desire – to experience the same passion she’s read about in books – she is swept away on the most daring escapade she’s ever experienced. Dressed in nothing but green paint, she attends a Halloween party searching for the man of her dreams. She finds him, but then fears she won’t be able to give him up.

Since the death of his wife five years ago, Dan’s life has been on auto-pilot. But from the moment he meets Colleen, he starts to feel alive again. And he knows he can’t let this would-be princess stride out of his life…

Buy the book or learn more at http://bit.ly/NeverAPrincess.

Want to win this book? Be sure to visit L.K. Below’s blog for her Week-After-Release Party on Monday, July 11th 2011. One lucky commenter will win this book! Visit http://lbelow.blogspot.com and leave a comment on her party post on Monday to enter.

L.K. Below writes romance and speculative fiction. Under her full name, Lindsay Below, she pens young adult novels. Visit her online at www.lbelow.net.