"Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble."
–Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 1
Halloween has become many countries' most popular occasion to dress up and become, for one night, somebody else. Why do you think a pagan harvest festival turned first into a festival celebrating all Christian saints and then into an occasion to play trick or treat?
Last week, Red Room asked bloggers to write about Halloween. Some shared great memories of Halloween from their childhoods like Marilyn Kallet and Wendy A. McNally, or wrote, like Catherine Nagle, “Halloween was not an occasion that I looked forward to as a child. I didn’t know 'how' to set my imagination still enough to dress up with what I wanted to meet in the mirror.” Others revealed they still liked to dress up as grown ups, while some, like Irma Gabriela Tijerina and Dale Estey, shared expert information about the ancient observations of All Hallows or Samhain, or stories about how their families and communities celebrate el Día de los Muertos.
This week, we're featuring three bloggers whose posts particularly caught our attention. Each will receive a copy of Red Room author Loren Rhoads's new collection of first-person confessional essays, Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues. The book collects Loren's favorite pieces from her ten years editing the cult nonfiction magazine Morbid Curiosity, and includes essays by Loren and by Red Room's Simon Wood and Gary Feierbach.
J. Marc Schmidt writes deliciously about his childhood in Australia and shares a recipe for pumpkin scones. Read "Pumpkins Are Yummy."
Regina R. Patton looks at her writing through the lens of Halloween, offering a stirring and convincing defense of incorporating what lurks in your mind's dark side into your creativity. Read "Writing Your Demons."
In her first Red Room blog post, Lisa Marie Basile evokes the sites, sounds, and smells of Día de los Muertos, incorporating the past, present, and future in "Dancing With the Dead: New York to New Mexico."
Here are some other blog entries that Red Room's editors also enjoyed:
- Jane Hammons shared two ghost poems, one of which is the first poem she ever published (in 1975). Read "La Llorona y Los Algodones."
- Amid the sweet experience of her grandchildren's first Halloween, first-time Red Room blogger Cheryle Champagne senses the passage of time in "Tick or Treat! (Passing the Torch)."
- How can someone who loves horror fiction hate Halloween? Find out in Thomas Burchfield's "The Grinch Who Dissed Halloween."
- The violent persecution of women and men as witches (yes, it's still happening today) informs another Red Room author blogging here for the first time. Read Erika Mailman's "Halloween Isn't So Thoughtless For Me Anymore."
- Rhoda Curtis brings the perspective of her more than ninety years to her "Hallowe'en" reflections on what today's young people are saying as they play dress-up every day.
Please check out all the Halloween blog posts here, and thanks for blogging!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Editor, Red Room