Thursday, November 1, 2018

Endings and Beginnings

This title could apply to so many things, but in this case, I'm thinking of the end of October and the beginning of November and all that is symbolized within.

To quote Anne from Anne of Green Gables
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it?"

I love Anne just for that quote.
There's so much to appreciate in October. The month (at least here in the northeast) just sort of reaches out and grabs you with all its colorful splendor.

I was thinking today about how much joy I feel just looking at the brilliant foliage in my neighborhood.

But October also brings color of a different sort. It's still October as I type this, so Halloween is still the holiday of the month. In my neighborhood, Halloween is a huge thing. My husband used to say that Halloween was celebrated more enthusiastically than Christmas. That's certainly true of the decorations.

This is just a sampling of what you'd see if you'd wandered through my neighborhood any time in the last month (because YES, it's a monthlong celebration).

There are lots of houses that celebrate with autumn-themed colors and decorations.

Some houses go for color.

Miles and miles of this stuff.

Some are just all about the lights. Since when did Halloween become a light show?

I happen to love the creativity of this one.

I stumbled across this front yard a few weeks ago before my mind was into thinking of Halloween. My writer's imagination was the first thing that kicked in.

Just a random couple hanging on the stoop.

A graveyard or two.

I was walking past this one when I heard a little girl whisper to her mother than someone was buried there!

A lonely ghost.

And another.

Or a lively trio.
A plethora of pumpkins.

Some decorations don't seem sure what season they belong to.

The night ends with a huge parade. We loved to do this when the kids were little. Everyone dresses up and parades down the main avenues for a couple of miles. Tonight my favorites were a father who was the snowman to his daughter's Elsa and a family from the sea: mom was a jellyfish, dad was a shark, and the little girl was a lobster/mermaid.

Such fun times!

And some political pumpkins.

By the time you read this, October 2018 will be a thing of the past, and we'll be on to November.

What does November say to you?

Darkness falling earlier?

End to Daylight Savings time?


A time to be grateful?


What does your November look like?

Do you bring your imagination to lighting up the darker days?

Do you NaNoWriMo?

I'd really like to hear from people who do it. I've never participated. I was tempted this year, but I have no business starting a new book when I have one I need to finish first. I think I'll follow along informally, using the motivation to keep me going.

If October is known for color and Halloween, then November is the month of giving thanks. It would probably be a good month for starting a gratitude journal like the one Dana wrote about last week.

As we begin the month of November today, tell me something you are grateful for. I'll start off by saying that I'm grateful to have this place to visit with all of you. I'm extremely grateful for all the wonderful friends that writing has brought into my life.

How about you? Any fun Halloween stories to share or something for which you are grateful?


  1. We normally go treat or treating with our oldest granddaughter, but this year, due to the wet weather we stayed home. She finally got to go after the rain slowed. Her costume...a outhouse. It was adorable.

    I love November because of the trees really begin to change here. Looking forward to cooler temperatures as well as doing NANO. It's my first year to do it in a long time. I plan on using it to finish my next LIS.

  2. Such fun photos, Cate--thanks for posting these! We don't "do" Halloween at our house since our kids grew up and there are no trick-or-treating grandchildren nearby. Besides, the constantly ringing doorbell would drive our dogs (and therefore US) crazy!

    As for NaNo, I have never done it either. As you said, it doesn't make much sense when I have other projects in the works and need to focus on those at whatever stage they're in.

    1. Hi, Myra. I understand completely about the dogs. Walking Fenway was a "treat" all its own last night with all the mobs. He gets totally spooked.

  3. Can you do that, Mary? I mean can you work that in with the official rules or do you have to modify? That’s what I was hoping to find out from someone who has done it. I’ve got a lot of scattered words/scenes written, but it’s more writing than revision that I have to do.

  4. Hi Cate. I love Halloween in your neighborhood. It looks fun and festive. New York really does it up! I have never done Nano and I'm probably not doing it this year either. I have a LI deadline on December 14th so it would help me, but I'm just not sure I would be good at working that way. I love Halloween so much and actually felt a bit down the other day when a friend posted about it and so many people were saying it was a demonic holiday. I've always loved Halloween and growing up Catholic it was always attached to All Saints Day and we would have a Halloween parade and dress up as saints for our church parade. I've always looked it through a child like lens so it's hard to see people attach other things to it.

    1. That's the thing, Belle. I could do it for inspiration, but since I need a final version, not a draft, I think I wouldn't really be in the spirit of the rules.

      We had an All Saints Parade today. I teach in a very Italian area so a lot of the children chose St. Anthony. :)

  5. Fun photos. I miss New York. I have tried to do NaNoWriMo but it never falls in line with where I am in my projects. I’m starting a new book but I’m not ready to put words on the page yet because I’m still in the planning stage which is super important for me to do. I’m a heavy plotter.

    1. I'm working on being a better plotter, so I can totally see how this would be a problem if you're not ready to begin. If I write before I'm ready, I just end with a lot of confusing, useless story.


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