Happy Halloween! Also, Zombies!


I’m having a Halloween party tonight, and I forgot all about it until people started texting me on Monday. I never even sent out invitations, but I did talk about it at the end of September. So that’s what I’m doing today. Running around, trying to make it look like I didn’t just slap some decorations up at the last minute. It’s going to be a small, simple party. Basically, we’re inviting friends and family from school over for an early dinner. After that, we’re going trick-or-treating en mass. The neighbors will love us!

I thought the above image of a Halloween Party from 1950s was a sweet look at a time when our underage daughters didn’t dress up like they are auditioning for an adult movie. I had a different picture of a child’s Halloween party up earlier, but it wasn’t until after I uploaded it and started writing that I noticed the culturally and ethnically offensive costumes outweighed the princesses and pirates 2 to 1. Good grief.

Wish me luck on the party. I’m a little nervous.

In other news, I have a free book for Kindle owners, and it’s perfect for a Halloween night after you’ve turned off the lights and kicked to the curb the pimply-faced teenager dressed as himself wearing a skull pin. Kristen emailed me two years ago when I debated doing NaNoWriMo. Her husband Carl was doing it, and she was providing encouragement for me to do it, too. I completely chickened out, but it was nice she had faith in me. (Wrongly placed, obviously.) Carl ended up completing NaNoWriMo and later had his book professionally edited, typeset, and designed. Mad About Undead You is free today only as a Halloween treat. It’s about zombies, so it’s fitting.

Carl Plumer did it. He had a goal, he sat down, and he wrote–even when he had no idea what he would write. (He really had no idea. He just wrote everyday and hoped something would eventually come out.) I find that inspiring and motivating. I’m a little jealous! I want that kind of courage. I can tackle a dirty drawer, but a blank page seems to be my undoing. I need to think about why that is, and see if I can change that attitude. I feel a naval-gazing epiphany coming on.

Way to go, Carl. I wish you all the best and lots and lots of sales…after you’re done giving the book away for free.

[image source]

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    Thank goodness that is an old photo. My eyes went straight to the girl in black face. Completely horrifying.
    P.S. Have a great party and “Boo.”

    • says

      I didn’t! I completely missed her the the “Spaniards” until after I started writing the post. I was focused on the two princesses at the front. Totally, totally missed it. I guess because such a thing isn’t even on my radar as a possibility? I was ticked, regardless. I got up early to see if I could find a different picture.

      • jeanne says

        I actually have a doll from childhood that you could turn upside down and there was another doll underneath–one side, black face aunt jemima looking doll/other side-plantation blonde in a pretty pnk dress with bloomers!!!! I am not THAT old , and did not have a racist family. still shocking!

        Jules, you nailed it on the free candy people. When my daughter was a toddler, we WALKED to about five houses to see neighbors we new well and she carried a little pplastic pumpkin for candy. Then we went back home to pass out candy to the kids, and to some parents PULLING THEIR TODDLERS IN A WAGON AND PROCURING AN OBSCENE AMOUNT OF CANDY AND WITH THE AUDACITY TO SAY “OH I LOVE REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUPS. SHAMELESS!! It’s my Bugaboo–OBNOXIOUS! Glad you share it.

  2. says

    Love reminders that things DO change over time. The Slutty Whatever trend is not one I embrace, but I guess I’ll take it over blackface.

    But what I really want to say is: Congrats on making it through your month of William Morris! Have been watching with awe. Truly. Inspiring in more ways than one.

    • says

      I actually just changed the picture. I woke up at 5:45am and immediately thought of it, so I knew I had to find something else. I can’t have that on my blog, even if it was 60s years ago.

  3. says

    Oh funny! You changed the picture after I read it, but before I commented. :)
    The first one was charming, in that old fashioned way, but not PC for sure.

    Good luck on the party. I took my boys trick or treating tonight. I was worried that it wouldn’t go over well when they had to fork over all the candy at the end (they follow a restricted diet for health reasons) but they were totally fine with it. For them, it was all about the experience of running around after dark in costume and seeing friends.
    I do hate the slutty costumes… why do they make them for little girls? And why do parents let them wear them? Gross!

  4. Missie says

    Happy Halloween! I have “dark & scary” music playing while I work. Love this day! Helps that it’s a beautiful, sunny fall day here in MN. Thanks for book tip, it’s downloaded and ready to read! You open my eyes to so many new things. I might just give NaNoWriMo a shot, who knows?!

  5. Kathy says

    There was a fire in the house in back of us last night – no one was hurt, the house is empty while they renovate. At one point we thought we might have to evacuate. I always wondered what I’d feel like I would need to grab at times like that. Turns out I just needed my kids and my husband. Watching the fire burn, the firefighters work, I was just so thankful and grateful for my family. Still am as I have my morning coffee and watch them board up the house across the way.

    Thank you for this series. It really has changed how I live my life – in small, gentle ways. Ways I truly appreciate.

  6. says

    NaNoWriMo is more frightening that Halloween. Doing it is great though, and you’ve obviously got the focus (31 days of WM proves it). I don’t know about going at it without an outline at the ready, or an idea in your head. Sure it can turn into something excellent, or even be a starting point to work from, but if you’re like me, it just becomes one rambling stream of consciousness mess of a project that never really went anywhere and eventually was erased from my computer because I couldn’t bare to look at it any longer…just the thought of it and I start spewing comma splice tantrums. Shudder.
    Anyhow, uhm….have a spooky-fun Halloween. 😉

  7. says

    I love that photo. I went for old school photo on my blog as well–but kinda old school slutty. Because it made me laugh. That probably explains a lot.

    It’s also a tad ironic–because I cannot stand the slutty trend. And it’s not just relegated to Halloween. My friends have been sending around homecoming photos and I’m appalled at the dresses. How do they even sit down?

    But I digress. Best wishes on the party! The good thing is you don’t need much on Halloween. Growing up we always met at my grandma’s for chili, cornbread, and pumpkin pie before heading out trick-or-treating. No decorations or anything. But it’s still one of my fondest memories . . .


  8. says

    Oh Jules, thank you so very much for your kind words about my husband and his book. It’s not often that he receives acknowledgement of his accomplishments from anyone else besides me – and when I read this post to him he had a big smile on his face! :) I should point out that for anyone who thought, “yuck, zombies” (don’t worry, I did too!) the book, while is does have some yuckiness (it IS about zombies, after all), it’s really a character-driven story with a good bit of mystery and romance. I hope everyone enjoys and Happy Halloween! :)

  9. says

    Hi Jules,

    Kristen talks about how well you write, and it’s so true! Tackle NaNo; no one could have been more scare than I was.

    You don’t have to write a novel, you know. Write a memoir! It’s basically an autobiography that reads like a novel (and where you can fudge the facts a bit, like the movies do when it’s “based on a true story”). You have an amazing writing talent and I believe anything you write would be a success.

    Carl, author of the novel in question 😉

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