While this is not strictly a Halloween story, it’s certainly in the spirits of the season, both macabre and prankster, so I’m going to share it.
In the early 2000s, we purchased an estate property and eventually built a house, where we now live. The property needed a lot of work, from the many piles of trash which needed to be cleared (so large that they photographed from the air as buildings in our property tax assessment and we were being charged for them) to the old farmhouse where I lived mostly alone for a year, which had ancient and damaged wiring so that I had very limited choices regarding electricity, which couldn’t be heated above 56 degrees in the winter with a furnace which could snuff a light at two feet, and which turned out to be a structural death trap the local fire department refused to enter. Also possibly haunted, but that’s another story.
It’s a challenging task, since I got into the habit of making some literary reference, usually related to a project published that year (first found out by Google Maps in 2015), and since I’m working without much of a plan in vegetation taller than my eye level, just working with spatial awareness and distance guess-timates to produce my pattern. But I have to say, I’m pretty proud of how 2018’s trail came out:
It’s been a while since I started my walking desk experiment and I have finally worked it out. I have a sit/stand desk from Ikea and an elevated monitor, which has really helped my back and neck pain since I no longer look down. (Sorry, laptop in bed and on the couch. I love you, but you’re not good for me.) I had still been using my original treadmill, however, which technically did the job and was undoubtedly cheap. It had a timeout “feature” though and would stop the belt suddenly, which could be quite disorienting if I were in the zone.
I write about Robin Archer, a fae in our world charged by the Fairy Queen to protect human children from human predators. The second installment, released in October 2015, was called “Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night” and was set in Irvington, where someone had created a haunted house secretly based on the deplorable acts of H. H. Holmes.
In 2016, a new haunted house opened in Irvington, overtly based on the deplorable acts of H. H. Holmes.
No word yet on whether the Hotel Holmes will be back for 2017; the website has not been updated since last year. We can hope that’s not due to actual crimes committed during the haunted house’s run last year.
So first off, let me apologize for the state of the site over the last week and a half. We got hacked, and everything went merrily into a handbasket. Things should be all fine and safe again. I’ll catch up with the writing in Ireland posts and things shortly, I hope.
On a brighter note, I’m playing along this month with the #WIPjoy collective sharing project, authors sharing about their work in progress. I’m trying to post most days about some part of one work in progress — in particular, The Lamp and the Lie. (That’s a working title, very subject to change — as it’s already the second working title….)
Okay, okay, I know this is the third time I’ve mentioned Star Wars in the last two months. But it’s been kinda everywhere, y’know? And I just wanted to do a round-up of some of my favorite cultural references, from music to electric cars to party food.
The New London School explosion has gotten relatively little coverage over the decades, in part because the traumatized community did not want to be put on display — and this was before exploitative news camps hounding victims to supply 24-7 coverage, so they were better able to refuse. Rather, it’s reported that rescue organizers told journalists helpers were needed more than news reports and recruited their aid. But it’s one of the most significant disasters you’ve never heard of.
So in Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night, Robin reflects upon the real and imagined dangers of Halloween, including the popular fear of tainted candy. However, Robin says, the risks are actually quite low, as there has never been a confirmed case of Halloween candy poisoning.
Every year, parents are lashed into a panic by hyberbolic warnings of trick or treating dangers. Alternative candy-grab events are promoted, at shopping malls or store parking lots. (I’m really not sure how accepting candy from a stranger at a shopping mall is significantly safer than accepting candy from a neighbor on your street, but whatever makes you happy.) But the risks are somewhat overstated. Let’s look back on this last Halloween and see how we did.