Archive for October 2020

NVDT #63 – Let’s Eat Children   Leave a comment

Not Very Deep Thoughts

PART OF OPEN LINK BLOG HOP

The Prompt – Halloween/Fall is coming, do you celebrate? What does that look like? Is it different this year?

Mondays. Ordinarily, I’d post something related to the writer’s blog hop. This week it’s more Social Media than anything to do with improving craft. A good thing, probably. As me being me, I’ve already pissed off everybody in there twice. Once for “Let’s stop marketing to each other and discuss/show and tell something we might use for craft development” and last week for the whole dialogue issue that involved some “If you’re really paying an editor for semi-colons to string this much superfluous and roundabout content you need to ask for a refund”. Because I want to get better, not sign off on bunk with my name on it, and want everyone else to come along. 

That activity also brought out a week’s worth of…

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Posted October 26, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – 26th October   1 comment

Stevie Turner

Welcome to this week’s blog hop. This week the topic is:

Halloween/Autumn is coming, do you celebrate? What does that look like? Is it different this year?

When our boys were younger they used to dress up in ghost or wizard costumes. Sam and I would then traipse around after them and their friends, as the little group would knock on neighbours’ doors and shout out ‘Trick or Treat‘. People would shove sweets at them probably in an effort to get rid of them a bit quicker, and then with carrier bags filling up we’d go on to the next house.

This novelty wore off when they were older teenagers and had discovered girls. We would then buy sweets and keep them for any trick or treaters from the next generation down who might knock on the door.

This year I don’t suppose we are going to get…

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Posted October 26, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Let It Snow! Fires and Halloween #OpenBook Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Source: Let It Snow! Fires and Halloween #OpenBook Blog Hop

Posted October 26, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Samhain Revisited   27 comments

Halloween/Fall is coming, do you celebrate? What does that look like? Is it different this year?

Rules:
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4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Separating Celebrations

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I love fall. It’s my favorite time of year and I decorate for it. Alaska only has a couple of weeks of fall in early September, so I would get gypped if I didn’t hang fall floral swag in my living room. I generally take them down when I decorate for Christmas on Black Friday. When we had dogs, we’d stack their winter bedding bales on the porch for an impromptu autumn display and our daughter would usually provide a friendly scarecrow and a couple of happy jack-o-lanterns.

Halloween

Halloween started as Samhain – a Celtic high holiday when, it was believed, the veil between the living world and the underworld thinned and the spirits of the dead could walk the earth. The Catholic Church tried to turn it into All Souls Day followed by All Saint’s Day on November 1, but they weren’t wholly successful because the Hispanic countries still celebrate it as Dia de la Morte – a holiday honoring the dead. In most of the Western World, the 20th century saw a marketing blitz that morphed these holidays in a fun kids holiday we call Halloween, although in recent decades, the pagan movement has revived Samhain celebrations.

Winter fell on Fairbanks this past weekend and we already have about four inches of snow, so by Halloween, it will truly be winter and might be 20 below zero on that day. Needless to say, that affects Halloween celebrations. Yes, we still have tricks and treats at the door, but our kids can’t really dress for it because they need to wear outerwear. And you don’t linger at the door giving out candy because that’s heating oil fogging out into the air trying to heat the planet. I always remember Halloween as an exercise in flirting with frostbite. We thoroughly enjoyed one Halloween when we visited in New Hampshire. No snow, incredible leaves, our daughter could wear her costume. But most years, Halloween is kind of painful here.

I also don’t particularly care for the holiday since we lived next-door to practicing pagans who would host Samhain bonfires complete with invocations to various underworld gods, including Satan.

Yes, I know it’s morphed into a fun holiday for children and adults looking for an excuse to party. I used to celebrate it myself. It was my husband’s favorite holiday for many years and he always took the kids around. Our daughter is a total actress and Halloween was a holiday made for thespians. But that experience with those former neighbors reminds me that it’s not all fun and games and there’s some people who remember the “old ways” and believe that modern society celebrating it feeds the power of worship to their preferred gods. As a Christian, I hesitate to encourage them with my own celebration.

In 1st Corinthians Christians are told that the rituals of this world have no meaning or power over those who don’t believe them (like Christians), but the apostle Paul also warns that when we participate in the world’s rituals and it causes others to stumble, we’re responsible for the harm that stumbling causes. I can’t comfortably celebrate Halloween knowing that there are pagans who think there is deeper significance than candy apples and the latest Disney character costume. I couldn’t escape the feeling that participating made me a hypocrite, so I stopped.

If you’re still celebrating Halloween, enjoy! I absolutely have no problem with people other than me celebrating it as a fun celebration. This is just a personal choice I made.

Instead of manning the door and the candy bowl at home, I now often volunteer at our church’s Fall Festival, which is an (indoors!) Halloween alternative. It’s got the candy, the games and the fun costumes (no ghouls or witches) without the Samhain/Dia de le Morte connotations. Brad might still make an effort if winter arrives late and we have near-freezing temperatures (that’s comfortable for us and with polypropylene underwear, you can actually wear costumes), but most years he locks the gates and keeps the lights low.

I guess that makes us Halloween grinches (though the kids seem to really enjoy the Fall Festival). Halloween is a fun time for kids, but when I look at it reasonable, it’s got this whole dark side that most people prefer to ignore and which our former neighbors made sure we were fully aware.

Covid19 Differences

I don’t know if it will be different this year. Our neighbors who celebrate it decorated their lawns again this year. The church hasn’t mentioned the Fall Festival, but I missed last weekend to go out to a cabin in the woods with my husband and friends (conveniently located near a hot springs resort) so I might have just missed the invitation and will learn of it on Sunday — or if I’d bother to read my email. I have noticed a lack of advertisements for indoor Halloween (the malls often host something, but there’s been a rash of store closures in the CVD19 pandemic, so maybe the malls can’t afford it this year) and I know for certain the Halloween Horror House won’t happen this year. Our daughter used to be a participant, so we got the notice that they wouldn’t need her acting skills this year. She was a truly scary mental patient one year.

Alaska hardly closed for CVD19. Our church was closed two months (two weeks of that voluntarily before the State mandated it) and the State of Alaska lifted restrictions in late-May. Mask-wearing is voluntary here except a few businesses have made rules that people more or less ignore. We are currently experiencing a spike in positive tests (in keeping with the start of cold and flu season here), but hospitalizations and deaths remain low (0.1% and 0.06% respectively), so I suspect door-to-door will still happen. After all, if you believe masks protect us all from CVD19, Halloween is a perfect holiday to show it.

Posted October 26, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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What’s chatter got to do with it?   Leave a comment

Magical World Web

October 19,2020
Do you embrace dialog or narrate your way around it? Why?

Dialog is one of those topics in literature that I don’t hear a lot of dialog about. The amount used in a novel varies widely, as does how it’s handled. I’ve read books that seemed like they were nearly all dialog, and I’ve read books where nobody seemed to want to talk to anybody else unless it was behind closed doors. Both extremes are exhausting and limiting to me as a reader. In books with too much yakking, there is a lack of detail to set the stage and keep the reader engaged in the presented world. When there isn’t much communication, characters are flatter and duller, and that spreads to the story in general.

So yes, I embrace dialog in my books. Communication, or lack thereof, makes the world go round in real life, so it…

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Posted October 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

NVDT #62 – To Speak, or Not to Speak   3 comments

Phil is disagreeing with me again. Oh, well. Still worth the read.

Not Very Deep Thoughts

PART OF OPEN LINK BLOG HOP

The Prompt – Do you embrace dialog or narrate your way around it? Why?

Dialogue. Every time. I write dialog first and fill in around it, because it’s better from the characters than us. You can do so much with a little dialog. Dialog is our tone palette. Major, minor, happy, sad. Where rhythm and word choice from characters exposes them in ways narration never could.* Where they are allowed to breathe without tags and adverbs. I would open a forum for nothing but the discussion of dialogue if I could get participation. I dropped my example because of AW’s post, wherein I disagree that narration can fill in where dialog can’t. Even for time collapse, backstory, forward motion. Which was the example. I’d rather read 1,200 words of mostly dialog than “and then he did this, and she did that” and particularly any…

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Posted October 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – 19th October   1 comment

Stevie Turner

Today’s topic is:

‘Do you embrace dialogue or narrate your way around it?’

One of the first books I wrote was ‘Alys in Hunger-land’, a clean coming-of-age story about an unhappy and overweight teenager. For some strange reason I was terrified of writing any dialogue, and so ended up narrating the whole story, convinced that this would be okay (dear old Alys features in a free book/sample promotion at the moment until the end of October https://books.bookfunnel.com/yacomingofage/eijp91vyzl)

Anyway, after a steep learning curve and many months later, I realised that I’d been telling and not showing. I had to re-write the whole thing and add some dialogue. I started off genuinely alarmed at the task ahead, but by the end of the re-write felt more confident. Here below is a little snippet of dialogue that I added. The book hasn’t got as much dialogue as my later efforts…

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Posted October 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

He Said, She Said: Embracing Dialogue #OpenBook Blog Hop   Leave a comment

October 19, 2020 Do you embrace dialog or narrate your way around it? Why? “Evening, Ms. Duprie,” he said, as he took the brim of his hat between his thumb and index finger for the briefest of mo…

Source: He Said, She Said: Embracing Dialogue #OpenBook Blog Hop

Posted October 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Talking your way out of trouble   Leave a comment

Richard Dee’s blog article.

Posted October 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Get “Dumpster Fire” Today!   Leave a comment

Peter’s sorry he screwed up and is trying to make amends, but surviving his dumpster fire life may take more than remorse.

Posted October 20, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

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