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Newsletter: 17/10/29: Shiver your way to the Write Group on Friday

On howling night
when bitter the wind,
do not go out;
instead stay in.

Wrap yourself up
around a good book,
or better yet
come take a look.

For creatures are
creeping in from out.
Tales they’re trading,
and writing out.

Better than one,
stories are shared:
laughter, worlds and
souls are bared.

Hi everyone,

I hope you are preparing yourself for a ghoulish Halloween. Halloween often feels so surreal, with supernatural beings, personalities, settings and dreams. It is my favorite holiday of the year. Not for the trick-or-treaters, though they are fun. Not for the decorations, rivaled only by Christmas, though those are horrific. Not even for the movies meant to scare you, particularly not the unimaginative slashers. But for the tone and atmosphere, and the mood they put me in.

Halloween reminds me about howling nights, when wind blasts and huffs and rubs across the house, or the trailer, like the tin ones I lived in when I was a child. It reminds me of my gardens, the silhouettes of nets and stakes and plant skeletons that one October night ago reminded me of props for Halloween movies and stories. You know the ones, the clutter of unkempt yards surrounding haunted houses, the skeletons of the Thanksgiving harvest. Halloween reminds me of the everyday things when seen in new light, or darkness, take on suspense and lives of their own.

It is not the surreal that makes a great Halloween story, but the real re-envisioned, veiled and re-imagined. And so it has come. Halloween is in three nights and our next Write Group meeting is in six, on Friday, November 3, as always in the Council Chamber of the Tofield Town Office at 7:00 PM. Bring your haunts, your poems, your stories and non-fictions and join us for a spooky night to cast off the Halloween season. (If you don’t have a suspenseful story or poem, don’t worry. We always have room for other genres. And works in progress are also welcome.)

To get you in the mood for both Halloween and our meeting, we have prompts and observances that might inspire you. You can catch these in our October Roundup. Visit our October prompts, Halloween prompts and Autumn Tic-tac-writes for Halloween-specific inspiration. And don’t forget the October Writing Observances and our curated and meeting prompts which might provide more inspiration. Or try these visual prompts. By the way, our blog celebrates its third anniversary this week; our first post, the Welcome, was published October 31, 2014. Now that’s scary.

Remember also that November is National Novel Writing, Digital Writing, Blog Posting, Life Writing, Academic Writing, Family Stories, Picture Book and Non-fiction November Month. I know one of us, who will be attending our meeting on Friday, is planning to take on NaNoWriMo, and several of us are bloggers who may be interested in BloPoWriMo. (Remembrance Day is also coming and might be an inspiration for November writing.)

Mike Gulyas, a formal member, plans also to participate. He has a writing opportunity that might excite you and of course he will share in our trading of tales. Mike sees a need for senior biographies. He hopes to recruit one or more of us to ghostwrite for seniors as they pass on their life stories. This would be a precious gift for these seniors and their families and may provide a keen research and writing opportunity to any who are interested in writing family and regional history. I know we have a few members who enjoy this. Mike has more details and you can ask him about his proposal at our meeting on Friday.

Beside NaNoWriMo, BloPoWriMo and similar challenges, November, unlike October, is a quiet month with no scheduled local events. It is a great time to dedicate to a little writing every day. Just ten minutes a day – either writing, planning or editing – can carry you toward a finished project.

Until Friday, keep writing and have a great Halloween,
Shawn

Aside: 17/10/21: Last night! Haunted Hike tonight.

Hi everyone,

I am still working on the welcome invitation to our November 3 Write Group meeting, and you know it will have some Halloween content in it.

But tonight I would like to let you know about a hike put on by the Grade 12 students to fund their 2018 graduation this school year. I went on this hike with my Dad around this time last night. It is well worth the $5 to dare the trail. And being a teacher of the Grade 12 students, I can unbiasedly (cough) say your money will go to a good cause.

Prepare to be scared.

Need to get into the Halloween mood? Have nothing to do tonight?

The Tofield Graduating-class Haunted Hike is a 1.3 km hike through rough bushes along a private, mixed terrain trail. It will be dark. It will be spooky. There will be hills and dirt and scary trees. The hike is created to really, really, REALLY scare teens and adults. Loud and terrifying sounds, strobe lighting, mixed terrain, and shock factors loom. Alarming creatures and zombies wait throughout the trails to keep you moving … in the right direction, or to a feast of your brains.

This is a fundraiser for the Tofield Graduating Class 2018. The students and volunteers have designed the hike and all of its horrifying features to scare the socks off of you. They will give you an experience with creepy surroundings, disturbing images, frightening interactions and fear. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete if your pace is due to extreme fear and approximately 30 minutes if your fear is only moderate.

This event is not for children or the faint of heart. The Graduating Class will not be responsible for any loss of family and friends, or possessions; injury; dirty shoes; soiled pants; shaking; or sore throat from screaming.

Actors are getting ready right now to make you run, scream, howl and cry for your mother. Are you getting ready? Extra scary actors roam the trail between 10:00pm and 11:00pm!

Please dress for the weather and wear some good (not fancy) shoes. There are shallow puddles (in ruts) and mud along the path.

**There are no age restrictions but please note that this is NOT a “Family Pumpkin Festival.”**

So be scared. Get scared. Take in the last night of the Haunted Hike.

Spook with you later,
Shawn

Boo!

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