It’s October! Do you know what happens to my heart in October?
My heart races, it pounds, it screams out – well it would if it had a mouth, but you get the point.
October, as I was saying causes my heart to go a flutter, it skips beats if it wore pearls it would be clutching them and it would say – you know, if it had a mouth,
“Lord, I am just beside myself. There’s so much to do. Lord take me now because there’s no way I’m going to be ready for Halloween.”
That’s what my heart does in October.
It goes wild.
Sometimes I think it’s going to blow up and then what will I do, you may be wondering.
Well, let me tell you.
I’ll have to go out and get a new one, which is not exactly an easy job and then I” ll have to wash the jar out that I kept the old one in (yuck) and stick it in there.
Finding a new heart is no small task, but you do what you have to do.
Even though I am strapped for time that’s the way I roll.
So. Be still my heart. I mean it. I do not have time for you.
Our free-write is back by popular demand: today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less
I was reading one of those articles that they aim at people who are either just choosing a career path or maybe they’re looking to go on a new one.
My day job is great- there isn’t a lot of money involved, but I like the company, my co-workers awesome and and I like what I do.
At night I write.
Life is good.
But that article made me think outside the box. The thing of it is when I think outside the box I end up far afield. I might not learn a lot and I’m sure I’m not using the information provided as it was intended but at least I can say I enjoyed the heck of the article.
So here it is, if I could chose a dream job- if I could be anything in the world…get ready for it…
I’d be the Headless Horseman
I’m not particularly enchanted with the idea of getting my head cut off, but in the past I’ve worked at jobs that broke my spirit and made me feel small and stupid so how does a little decapitation compare to that?
In addition I like to be out at night- the darker the better, cold enough to rattle your bones? I’m good with it. Big plus here- I’d get to ride a wicked horse and that takes me right back to the days when I rode motorcycles – wow- be still my heart- I’d probably get to wear leather again too.
And of course the fun part- chasing people around who like to tempt fate and pooh-pooh what they don’t understand,
I tempt fate now and then, but I don’t wait for it to turn it’s back and then sucker punch it in the back of the head. People who act like that manage to hurt everyone around them so I think it wouldn’t hurt them to get chased across a bridge on a dark, foggy night by a demonic horse and someone who really and truly loves her job.
And as for the Pooh-Poohers?
They’re the one’s who think they know it all because they are so enlightend of heart and intellect that they can tell themselves in all honesty that they’re not ramming their view point down your throat because they’re actually the most vicious and intolerant human beings to walk the face of the earth and are only listening to you talk long enough so yes…they can pooh pooh what you say..
I’d like to introduce you to my not so little friend who was created to chop off limbs and is not known for making surgical style incisions.
Of course I’m sure there are great benefits like-
I am sure you get to travel or maybe fill in for other Headless Horseman on other Bridges or Roads. Or maybe you get to chose. That would be great.
Halloween must be awesome. I’ll bet you could arrange a take your kid to work day. Of course my kids are grown up but I do have a few cats who would probably love the ride along experience because who wouldn’t?
You get to set your own hours. From what I understand the Headless Horseman pretty much show up when they want to. Awesome.
I’ll bet the Headless Horseman get to meet some cool monsters like Werewolves and Mummies and Ghosts. My guess is that they hang out in cemeteries which is fine with me because I actually used to work in one.
This could be the perfect job for me.
I’ve heard a bunch of different legends for how The Headless Horseman came to be.
I think ( at least I hope ) that somewhere there’s a piece of paper nailed to an old tree and written in dark brown ink ( because that’s what happens to blood when it turns old ) that says:
Do you have dedication, skill, flexability and determination to complete your task at hand? Are you a self starter and self motivated?
Do you like horses and are you willing to work late hours?
Then wait here.
We’ll be along shortly.
I think there’s a new Dracula movie coming out.
I think I’d be more into Vampire movies if they wouldn’t have and continue to riff shamelessly off of Lugosi.
The only exception I can think of
is Christopher Lee in the Hammer films ( list HERE ).
This is an older clip that Bela’s son did about his Dad, it was a touching tribute so I’m going to share it here:
I also found this great interview with Lugosi Jr by Armand Vaquer HERE.
Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?
What’s there not to love about a dark and dreary night?
How could you not love a bitterly cold foggy morning? Or better yet a foggy night with dead dry leaves crunching under foot as you make your way home to a fire, something warm to drink and your favorite novel, ( or in my case for sure ) a little something by Mozart.
I do love the Spring, I love the green and the fresh cool air. It’s full of promise. It’s open and free.
But Autumn is secret and sly. It’s the bad boy in the leather jacket who plays the guitar or rides the motorcycle- the one you’re Mom warned you about because guess what. She probably met the bad boy’s acquaintance before too.
When the Fall shows up those flowers you planted seem to just disappear one night, the leaves on the trees turn slowly from gold to red and fall off one by one until boom! They’re on the ground and being carried away to wherever it is winter lives.
This is the time of year when take out our dark clothing and we put on our hats and scarves and cover our faces. We make our way, wrapped in our shadow friendly clothing, through a world covered by low dark clouds, full of snow or rain. Now is the time we blend easily almost naturally into the shadows and doesn’t that just make you feel…just a little wicked?
People are alive during the Spring and Summer.
But I believe during the Fall and into the Winter
Everyone wakes up.
Halloween is my favorite time of the year.
Not the holiday itself exactly.
I love Autumn, I love the Winter. I love the crunchy leaves. The cold dark mornings and the biting cold evenings.
I love considering the possiblity of those things that can happen when Spring comes.
But in the mean time.
I read the classics during the winter. Dickens mostly. This year I’m going to read start off with David Copperfield. Last year it was Great Expectations, but then I moved on to Through The Looking Glass, A Journal of The Plague Year and Turn Of The Screw.
On Monday I’m going to my favorite bookstore in Pioneer Square ( it’s a small independant store and the owner actually talks about books and writers with you) and pick up my Winter reading.
And then later this week I’m going Halloween Shopping.
I like to get that done before October.
Because once October hits, I want to celebrate and enjoy each and everday leading up to the night itself.
I want to enjoy scary movies and take in some not so scary ones.
That’s the thing about the holidays and life in general. It will sneak up on you and be down the road before you know it.
So make it count. Every moment.
When I was little my family told story about a girl who used to live in my Great Grandmother’s House.
She disappeared one day, the story goes, and the neighbors were sure her Mother had something to do with that and that her Father was the one who buried her in their basement.
That’s why my Great Grandmother got the house so cheap, that story apparently drove the price down.
In addition to the neighbors who insisted that there the story was true didn’t mind sharing it with anyone who was thinking about buying the house did as much as put a toe on the property.
Here’s the thing about my Great Grandmother- should put her toes wherever the heck she wanted and so my Great Grandmother bought the house- for next to nothing despite the story – and as the years went on my family would talk about how they should really dig around down there to find out once and for all if that story was true.
My six year old self used questions about the girl.
What was her name? What grade was she in and did she like cats? Did she like McDonald’s french fries and of course…
” Is she a ghost?” I used to ask hopefully.
” No. ” I was told
” But she could be buried down there, right?”
” Could be.” I was informed.
Just before she unexpectedly died I was over at my Great Grandmother’s house. I was in her sitting room playing these little glass animals you used to get for free in boxes of Red Rose Tea when I had a great idea.
Why don’t I just put the little animals back on their shelf and go dig that girl up? I’d never seen a real human skeleton before and I figured this was my last chance to see one- it was an odd feeling but I remember just knowing I wouldnt’ be back again.
So I put one of the little animals ( it was a dog ) in my pocket for company and headed to the pantry where the door to the basement was.
I went into the kitchen and opened the basement door and was halfway down the dark stairway to the basement when I remembered to turn the light on.
So I ran back up the stairs and straight into my Great Grandmother.
” What are you doing down there? ” she asked.
” Nothing. ” I said with disappointment.
” You were going down there after that body, weren’t you.”
” Your going to break your neck running up and down those stairs in the dark. I don’t want you going down there again. Am I making myself clear? Those stairs are dangerous. You could get yourself killed running on them like that.”
I stared back at her and didn’t answer.
My Great Grandmother’s eyes, which were green and I swear to God they glowed like a cats, took in the look on my face.
She walked to her kitchen table, pulled out a chair and carried it to the kitchen window that overlooked her backyard.
” Come here. “
I walked over to the chair and she lifted me up and stood me on it. Then she pointed to a small group of her favorite rose bushes that she had planted years ago just after she moved into her house.
I looked up into her face.
” Now stay out of the basement. Mind me. Those stairs are dangerous.”
I hopped off of the chair and before I could ask she said, ” Yes. It took a long time.”
My Great Grandmother died a little while later. I still have that little glass dog. And her house was actually moved years later. I guess it was some kind of architectural wonder. I can’t remember if it was because of who built it but it had something to do with it being built to look like a ship inside- which was true.
The basement I assume was filled in when they redeveloped the property and put two new single story homes where her beautiful Victorian styled home used to be.
But the Rose garden is still there.
If you want to write about Monsters you have to understand people.
So if you’re into death and darkness and strolling through cemeteries deep in thought ALL BY YOURSELF then in my opinion, the scariest thing you’ll pull out of head is a booger from your nose.
If you’re lucky.
I get the entire I’m a writer and I need to be alone with my thoughts, all I know is that it doesn’t work for me.
When I write I know I’m going into solitary confinement- so I spend as much of my time when I’m not writing out there in the world- checking out art, the symphony, consuming huge quantities of Gelato ( bless you inventor of Gelato, bless your dear sweet soul ) and just hanging around with my friends and family.
I love the process of writing, I love putting words on a page and telling a story or sharing my thoughts and what I really enjoy is that this is the one thing in my life I do and have done because I love to- I never asked permission ( am I a writer, do you think I’m any good? etc etc etc ).
So if you want to write I’d say try to do what I do- jump on in, don’t worry about what other people think and enjoy your life.
Then set aside some time to write and send as many characters as you want to the Morgue or Hell or into a creepy abandoned house.
And the Gelato thing.
Do that too.
I spent some time yesterday at a Halloween store checking out some amazing electronic props.
I see no reason to box them up after Halloween and put them in storage.
Who wouldn’t want demonic looking little girl sitting on a swing and singing a little song in the darkest corner of your livingroom… Especially if the little creature sort of looks like you as a child?
I knew you would understand.
Future Zombie Girl In Batman Car
Giant Mutant Spider Dog!
Other films by
Of all the paintings I have ever seen American Gothic scares me the most.
If you take a look at those two faces, you know somebody is going to die- her, him, YOU. Doesn’t matter. But heads up the end is near for someone.
The thing of it is, you wish someone would do something because something happened to create that expression and I never had the feeling that something could be good. I mean, I get that the painting captured a moment on the models faces and that they didn’t walk around looking like that all of the time…but they did some of the time.
Personally, I thought those two were a sort of Bonnie and Clyde aged 104- their glory years gone, the money gone, but that doesn’t matter because that ‘someone is going to buy the farm’ look is still there and they were- at age 104 -still capable of mowing you down in a shower of lead.
Ah but reality rears it’s head and I found this quote about the painting
Iowans were furious at their depiction as “pinched, grim-faced, puritanical Bible-thumpers”. Wood protested that he had not painted a caricature of Iowans but a depiction of his appreciation, stating “I had to go to France to appreciate Iowa.”
I get what the artist means- I’ve been to Iowa a few times- that’s where my husband is from and I must say I felt the same way- I appreciated Iowa when I got back to Washington…and that time I was in New Orleans and during a couple of trips to Las Vegas.
Ok that sounds snarky, but look one of my honest to goodness favorite painting is this one:
There is something wicked there, something brutal and fierce. It has it’s own sort of beauty and tell it’s own story whether or not you’re paying attention.
The original is my second favorite painting.
For the same reasons.
Every year it’s the same question: Anita, what are you going to be for Halloween?
And every year I do the same thing- I don’t wear a costume. I don’t try them on I don’t shop for them. The last time I wore a costume I was a teenager. I think I slapped on a pair of devil’s horns and called it good.
I know. I know. I love all things Halloween, I write scary stories I have a (replica) of a human skeleton that I kept in my livingroom.
So, when I thought about it isn’t dressing up for Halloween about freeing that inner monster inside of you? Freeing the Pirate or Princess or Sexy Blood Stained Nurse that you see when you look in the mirror but no one else can?
So you’re me…I worked in a funeral home, I write scary stories, I collect embalming tools. Whatever inner monster or dark yet somewhat cute creature that I see myself as … well it’s far from being suppressed.
Dressing up seems sort of pointless, but if I could I think I’d dress up as a Ballerina.
A full on Ballerina in a Tutu (pink) with a duck ( or is it a swan?) on my head. Oh and I’d wear hair in a little bun and walk around with my nose in the air like someone just rammed a meat hook under my chin and yanked the chain it was connected too straight up.
And why oh why would I do it?
Because the sight of me in that get- up would horrify people and quite possibly give them nightmares if not some sort of trauma requiring help from both pharmaceuticals and a psychiatrist or two or four possibly an entire staff at a sizeable mental hospital.
Halloween is in my blood and it runs as free and easy as a vulture circling a fat bloated corpse under a blazing hot noonday Sun .
All of the time.