Halloween is scary. There are kids everywhere, running into the street, hopped-up on sugar. Mad-faced jack-o-lanterns haunting doorsteps, wait till the wee hours of the morning to be brutally mutilated. The juvenile delinquents take care of that. But this Halloween will be . . . well . . . it will be exactly the same as it has been for quite some time. And that's okay. It is Americana at its finest--the Midwest revelry in an ancient custom it doesn’t understand. Most people, if they took a few minutes to look at the shady past of the holiday, probably wouldn’t let their little cherubs celebrate. But I digress. For Halloween this year, despite its similarity with all the Halloweens of my past, will be a bit different. I am just returned home from the John R. Milton Writers' Conference in Vermillion, SD at the University of South Dakota. And I am flying high off the fumes of a two-day party of writers. Now, it wasn't a party in the sense that you're thinking--there wasn't a lot of drunken debauchery (though I am sure there was some, because when writers get together there is always some). Rather, it was a celebration of the craft. Writers and poets from all over the country paid a visit to the quaint little college town and let loose their magic--and make no mistake, good writing is magic. So, to the great poet, Lee Ann Roripaugh, I say thank you for inviting me. Now, as I walk through the streets of my neighborhood I won’t be so tense when I keep an eye out for any sugared up kid maniacally popping into the street (so I can save him/her and become a hero). And as I am waiting in the wee hours of the morning for the teenagers to steal my jack-o-lanterns so I can jump from the bushes and (literally) scare the shit out of them, I won't be so ready to call it a night and hide under the covers. The magic of great words given greatly will keep me pumped for the duration of the holiday. I just hope I can make it to something else before Christmas, because damn do I need a lot of help at Christmas . . . .
Causes Aaron Stueve Supports
All the good ones.