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Did you have a merry Halloween, lovelings?

Did you all hail to the pumpkin song?

Did you recall youth in the cinnamon scents and the sticky sweat/saliva seal of a rubber mask?

Did you look at a Jack O’ Lantern and contemplate metaphors for inner light and the power of a wicked grin?

Did you find the that fine line between a joyous sugar comma and acute diabetes?

I had a night of it, here in Oslo, dressed as a mad-goggled Jack the Ripper. But I still miss Halloween back at home, with friends, in Ray Bradbury’s October Country. Perhaps there will be pics to come. I did manage to snap a few, not in full costume, before I collapsed at about 5 am.

All Saints Day
Right. Back to work.

Today is All Saints Day.

Today is Day of the Dead.

Today was the first day of serious work on polishing my horror novel, Strangeness in the Proportion. The Prologue of the novel begins on the Day of the Dead. So this all seems fitting.

What’s funny is going back and doing research after the fact. I know of the Day of the Dead and have a pretty good general idea of it (one class trip, in junior high involved heading to Chicago during the holiday and checking out a Latin culture art exhibit on the Day of the Dead…it was a memorable trip). But I’m not an expert. In said Prologue, I have some children eating sugar-spun skulls as a bit of imagery (seems like something to do during the Day of the Dead). I’ve since looked it up and found out that…not only are such skulls plausible…they exist.

It’s all connected!

Today was mostly more organization and shoving this freaking book back into my head space. I’ll start racking up a real word count either tomorrow or Tuesday. I have about 100,000 odd words to sift through. My strategy is to sprint through the novel in the first 3 weeks, make the corrections that come to me (or that I’ve noted in the meantime) without dwelling and then taking a week to look at the book as a whole and make further adjustments from there.

Stay tuned for more hints on the misadventures of Simon Meeks, my absinthe addicted, Buster Keaton-stepping, hyper-eccentric forensic pathologist.

I preach death to self-doubt…but that’s not because I’ve purged myself of that insidious demon. To the contrary. Earlier today I felt very small and useless. That’s an ongoing battle. And so….

…the self-doubt kill of the day: I covered the monster in honey and buried it in a fire ant hill. Self-Doubt screamed and begged for mercy. I put in my earbuds and drowned it out with some Danny Elfman and "Thriller", and got to work. Before it died, Self-Doubt mouthed, “I’ll be back.” I told it that’s ok, I’ve got a prodigious and wicked imagination.

*The Belated Demon Doll of Key West*
I promised to retell the story of how I met Robert, the reputedly possessed doll of Key West. Sorry I couldn’t get to it for Halloween, but I’ll do my best to properly tell the anecdote by this coming weekend.