Thursday, October 23, 2008


Before I made writing a priority in my life, I had a lot of terrible, chilling nightmares whose underlying message was that I was forgetting to do something that was very important. And it's telling that the image in many of those dreams was me, at 6 o'clock on Halloween night, with no costume.

Because, you know, I get excited about Halloween. Which isn't to say I'm a serious afficionado. I don't collect memorabilia like my very talented friend Diane Plumley, who uses them to make yummy Halloween (and otherwise-themed) pins. I don't do parties, either.

What I do is the front lawn. I turn leaf bags into monsters marching across it, and stuff a pair of overalls into some intimidating position that involves a pumpkin head that may or may not be on its body, and do a creepy pumpkin tableau. The new landscaping gives me a lot more scope for fiendishness, and I'm hatching ideas now for making the neighbourhood kids laugh.

That's the key, for me: the element of surprise for kids who come to the door. That's why I leave it to the last day to assemble everything and put it out there. Nothing to do with procrastination, I assure you.

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