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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rhonda Parrish - Sister Margaret

The meaning of Halloween has changed for me throughout my life, and I'm not sure that I'm alone in that. When I was younger it was all about candy and freedom. It was the only time of the year my brother and I could go door-to-door all over town with our pillowcases in hand and collect goodies. I was all about the popcorn balls (this was back in the days when you could actually give away popcorn balls) and my brother loved chocolate bars. We were forbidden from eating anything until we got home so my mom could "check" it. Checking really took the form of inventory more than anything. There was always an aura of vague threat as you had to be careful that the 'big kids' didn't catch you alone or in a dark corner because they would take your candy away. That added to the atmosphere and the excitement. It was an adventure with a candy reward for bravery!

When I was a teenager my personal style was a bit…shall we say rebellious? Halloween then was a chance to dress up (in something revealing no doubt) and go to a school dance or party. It was also a great opportunity for me to stock up on fishnet stockings, colored hair spray, black nail polish and lipstick. Some of the people in the small town I lived in would say I made everyday Halloween. They would say this like it was a bad thing. Silly people.

It was also about fun and pranks. I was never one of the big kids who stole children's candy, but I've thrown a raw egg or two in my life (mostly at other similarly-armed people). I remember one time it was like a scene out of a musical with two groups of egg and shaving cream armed teenagers facing each other across main street. There was a moment of silence that would have benefited from a tumble weed blowing between us, and then? Pure chaos. It was awesome.

Nowadays I'm told I'm a grown up but my fascination for and adoration of Halloween hasn't wavered. Not in the least. One of the most frequent genres I write is horror. Did Halloween influence my love of horror, or was it the other way around? In the end, does it really matter?

A few years ago I married my soulmate – on Halloween. It was a small ceremony in our living room with everyone in costume. After we said our vows, ate and had some cake we ushered our daughter over to the neighbour's and then took her out trick or treating after. Who needs a honeymoon if you've got Halloween?

What does Halloween mean to you? Has its meaning changed for you over time?

All comments to this blog entry will be entered into a draw to win a copy of my story, Sister Margaret. It's not Halloween-themed but it does deal with vampires. I will make the tomorrow. Good luck!

Rhonda Parrish


Carol L. said...

Hi Rhonda,
Yes I love Halloween. It was also my Mom's birthday. So every Halloween was a party. I loved the parties and dances as a teenager, getting dressed so sexy (or thought so ) loved the egg fights, shaving cream and let's not forget the rolls of toilet paper all over town. Good memories. And then after I married and had 7 kids it became a Halloween marathon for us. lol Thanks for sharing your memories Rhonda.
Carol L.

Rhonda Parrish said...

Hi Carol,

I've always sort of envied people who's birthday is on Halloween or Devil's Night :)

Tabitha Shay said...

i Rhonda,
What wonderful ways to celebrate my favorite holiday. I've always loved Halloween. Who can resist ghosties, goblins and things that go bump in the night? Of course you know my all time favorite...witches!!....Tabs

Rhonda Parrish said...

Really? Do you like witches, Tabs?


I've noticed recently that creative people all seem to like Halloween. I wonder if there's an actual connection or if it's just that most people like Halloween LOL

Thanks for stopping by Tabs :)

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Rhonda, wow, I would have loved to be a part of that egg/shaving cream battle... we used to have superstring fights on the bus, yeah, we had a cool busdriver in Junior High.

Rhonda Parrish said...

Superstring fights on the bus would have been awesome.

Does Superstring even exist anymore?

We used to have water fights on the bus. Well, actually off the bus. The bus driver would take us to an empty field by the school and let us go to it.

...not at Halloween though. In Alberta (where I live) there is usually snow on the ground by then LOL

Anonymous said...

I think it was more about the candy when I was younger. And now it's more about the costumes and a weekend party with friends. :)

Rhonda Parrish said...

Thanks for coming by Amber :)

It's interesting how things change as we grow older, isn't it? :)

Rhonda Parrish said...

I'm happy to announce that the random number generator tells me Carol L is the winner of the copy of Sister Margaret.

Carol, since you already provided your email address I will send you a copy right away :)

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting :)

Caffey said...

I love vamps!! Going to be checking out your site when done here.

I actually don't do anything special for Halloween except take in more reads and new reads on these Halloween theme books in October! So that's my celebration of it! LOL.

When we were first married, we did go to some parties and competitions for dressing up as the best couple and we had to make ourselves, not one you buy and put together themes. It was a blast. Then we had children and they had children too and our focus was on them for the Halloween so I always got back into it as they got older with enjoying the reads!

Rhonda Parrish said...

Hi Caffey :)

Please do pop by my site and say Hi, I love getting comments and visitors there :)

I think reading halloween-themed stories is a great way to celebrate the holiday...all year round ;)