I’m That Kind of Ghoul

Happy Halloween

I know I’ve said it more than once and in more than one place, but I adore Halloween. The movie and the holiday. I like to spend the whole month of October indulging in it. This is why I spent most of the day on October 1st customizing my phone to a full-on Halloween theme.

Yes. I’m one of those people.

I don’t do it for every holiday. Hell, I don’t do it for any holiday. I’m usually rocking a Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett wallpaper, Power Rangers message tone for my texts, Mr. T telling fools to shut up to alert me to Twitter mentions, Crow giving his email address for my emails, Peanut Butter Jelly time as an alarm, and the radio tone from Emergency! to let me know about impending appointments.

But come October, I feel the urge to shelve my geekery for 31 days and go over to the dark side.

First thing I do is change my default ringtone to the Halloween theme. I also have a live Halloween wallpaper that includes lightning, flashing lights in windows, and Michael Myers popping up randomly. It also features blood that runs down the screen when I get texts and emails.

Speaking of those…

My text messages are now signaled by a werewolf howl. The suspense note from Halloween signals my emails.

Little Carol Anne from Poltergeist tells me “They’re here” when I get a mention on Twitter.

The Jaws theme is my wake-up call and Jason’s ki-ki-ki lets me know I have an appointment.

Okay, yes, this is all still very geeky. But it’s the dark side of geeky.

I love this time of year and this month.

I go all in for spooky.

The Night Before Grinchmas

Grinchmas 2012When I first started doing the Grinchmas thing a couple of years ago, I didn’t realize it would become an actual thing. At the time it was a reaction to all of the Christians demanding that I say “Merry Christmas” and then telling me I wasn’t allowed to celebrate their holiday because I didn’t belong to their religion (note: I have never had a Jew do this to me; apparently it’s a Jesus related thing). So I started telling people Rob Whoville! instead because I wanted them to embrace the meaning behind the month of December, let their hearts grow three sizes, and stop being dicks.

Yeah, that effort has pretty much been ignored as I ended up shaming a bunch of people on Facebook for crying persecution and saying they’re not allowed to say “Merry Christmas” DURING HANUKKAH. Seriously. It’s things like this that just aggravate my spiteful spirit. The more you say I have to, the more I do the opposite.

Anyway, that’s not what I meant about Grinchmas becoming a thing. It’s become a thing FOR ME.

Without much intention, I’ve found myself attaching behaviors and beliefs to the concept and forming traditions in regards to my made up holiday. Giving of myself is a big part of it. It comes from being broke. I can’t buy wonderful, awe-inspiring gifts and frankly, I shouldn’t have to. Instead, I give little things that I think someone will like and/or use. I want to give useful things. I want to make things for people.

This year, if I didn’t make the gift, then I bought it with Amazon gift cards I’ve been hoarding. Or I spent as little as possible on ready made items to assemble into a gift. That’s right. I tried to not spend any actual money on anyone. I wanted to give as much from myself as I could without coming across as stingy or cheap or in general an asshole.

Now, I probably will anyway. People are so conditioned in this day and age to go broke proving their love for friends and family by buying them as much as possible. Because I didn’t, I’m going to look like a dick. The exception might be my nieces because I’ve been giving them various handmade items for Christmas most of their lives. They’re used to Aunt Kiki not spending money on them, but spending time and creativity on them instead. (Besides, those kids are spoiled anyway; they don’t need me spending any more money on them.)

I’m not knocking anyone else’s holiday celebrations. If it makes you feel good by going into debt for your loved ones, then hey, rock on. I don’t pay your bills. Everyone should get to celebrate the way they want to. I’m just saying that with Grinchmas solidifying into a real holiday practice for me, I’m going up against what is considered normal and proper for the holidays. It’s not going to be understood by most people.

I’m going to be labeled a cheap asshole for celebrating this way. That’s what I’m saying.

And I’m kind of “Oh well” about it. Because it means something to me.

Grinchmas is just as made up as any other holiday. I’m just the only one practicing on it.

The moral of the story is December holidays are about more than free stuff, but in the end, we all like free stuff, so just be happy if you get free stuff from me. It means I care.

Halloween Costume Mania!

I dress up for Halloween every year. Usually it’s just to hand out candy, but even if I did nothing, I’d probably still dress up. It’s my thing. As a Halloween purist, I find it to be a fun challenge to attempt to make a costume without spending more than twenty dollars. That means I try to use as much as I already have. I’ve been quite successful at it.

Here are the costumes I put together for the last five years (also photographic evidence of my weight fluctuation over the last five years if you’re into judging me for that sort of thing). Three of them cost me nothing. The other two cost me less than twenty bucks. I’m pretty proud of all of them.

Halloween 2006: Mercenary
Halloween 2007: A Teenager
Halloween 2008: Belly Dancer
Halloween 2009: Madeline Westen from Burn Notice
Halloween 2010: The Perfect Housewife
Halloween 2011: Patient Zero

Happy Halloween!

Writing–October Projects

Jack-o'-lanterns

I’ve really only got two projects in mind for October.

The first is a freebie project. To celebrate my favorite holiday, Halloween, I’m going to post a new freebie horror story every Wednesday, the last coming out on Halloween and being directly related to my favorite movie related to the holiday (like “How the Night Haunts”). So check the freebie page every Wednesday for a new fix. I’m still in the process of selecting the other three stories.

And I have to write the fourth.

No worries. It’ll be fine.

The second project is self-publishing my novella “Gone Missing”. Five people on Twitter said they’d read it and that sealed it for me. Okay, maybe not. Maybe it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but was on the fence because I thought I should give traditional publishing a shot at it first. And then I took a look at the market and went, “Yeah, okay, I’ll just do this myself.” My “not a fit” monster rises again.

I’m thinking it will be all digital unless there’s a sudden demand for print copies (I don’t think there will be). I just have to decide what venue to use.

The short story submitting continues. Battling my own insecurities about whether or not I should submit a story some place is rather tiresome, but it’s a very real obstacle that I’m dealing with. The finished stories are piling up.

It’s time to just bite the bullet and submit.

Happy Vincent Price Day!

While couples are celebrating love through jewelry extortion and single women are bitterly cursing their lack of a mate and single men are happy to be off the hook for forgetting the date, I am once again dedicating this hearts and flowers day to the one and only Vincent Price.

He's the arsenic in my champagne.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day dates, this man never lets me down.