Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Memories and Good News

The other day while at the library, I learned Halloween is much different now than when I was a kid, or a teen, or young adult. More than a week before Halloween and pint-sized kids were dressed in costumes for a party—Disney princesses, vampires, and something indefinable, at least by me. On a side note: why didn't I see any Disney princes?

At the library checkout, staff gave out Halloween-colored balloons with candy tied to the strings. But it's not Halloween yet.

When I was a kid—yeah, that was a long time ago—you could get a big candy bar for ten cents. We didn't decorate until the weekend before the big day. On goosey night—mischief night—the wild kids went out and soaped windows and draped toilet paper in trees or threw water balloons at unsuspecting passersby. On Halloween afternoon, we rushed home from school to change into our costumes (always homemade), gobble down dinner (also homemade), and hit the streets with our pillowcases (preferably after dark), which our neighbors felt inclined to fill with loads of candy and apples and spare change.

We'd bring our loot home and mom sorted through it. We never worried about the apples being poisoned; although we did cut them up to ensure there were no razor blades inside. Even though things seemed safer then, there were always rumors.

My favorite Halloween treat was a goldfish I received from the local pet store.

During college, costumes became more elaborate. Party's more wild. I had a romantic impulse even then and often dressed as a French maid. At one party I attended, the guys kept removing the hair pins from my bun to pop the balloons attached to the bodysuits of several gals who showed up as bunches of grapes. One especially interesting costume was worn by an engineering student who came to the party as a cardboard school bus authentically painted and equipped with flashing lights. His sidekick was dressed as a young schoolgirl carrying her books in one of those elastic thingys used way before kids started carrying backpacks.

Dressing up in costumes allows us to escape for a while as someone else, perhaps as a fantasy character.

What is your favorite Halloween costume?

Talking about dressing up in costumes: What do you think of all those hunky guys who don kilts and attend Scottish Highland games and gatherings? Especially the guys carrying big swords?

Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, the second novel in my Highland Gardens series has finalled in the paranormal category of The Golden Gateway Contest sponsored by From the Heart Romance Writers.

Blurb for Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon:

What happens when fate expects a twenty-first century business executive to fulfill the prophecy given at the birth of a sixteenth century seer? He must raise his sword in her defense, of course.

Believing women only want him for his wealth, Scottish historical reenactor, Finn MacIntyre, doesn't trust any woman to love him. When unusual events send him back in time to avenge the brutal abduction of his time-traveling cousin, he learns he's the subject of a fae prophecy.

Elspeth MacLachlan, seer of her clan, is betrothed to a man she dislikes and dreams of the man prophesized at her birth, only to find the love of her heart in the most unexpected place—face down in the mud at the edge of a stream. With the help of their fae allies, Finn and Elspeth must overcome the treachery that seeks to destroy them in order to discover that love transcends time.

Wish me luck in the final round.

Click here for a full list of finalists.

~Dawn Marie


  1. Halloween was always fun as a kid. Your story sounds interesting, Dawn. Good luck on it.