Halloween Night and Nano Eve

Two year ago today, I posted my thoughts on how introverts could actually gain a great deal from a full-on Halloween celebration. Though I did end up using that face paint the other day, (it wasn’t great quality), I still have not done much on Halloween over the years, and certainly not much since posting that entry. Last year I don’t think I did anything at all, other than carve the pumpkin.

Still, I remain fascinated by it. It is not my favorite holiday, as it is for several of my friends. I can, however, understand why it might be. You’d think as a child I’d agree with them. A night dedicated to putting on costumes and getting a bunch of candy. And it was fun, but even then, when I heard people say it was their favorite holiday I remember thinking, “it’s just candy and dressing up.”

Which of course, it is, in a way. But ironically, as I have gotten older, I see more promise and potential depth to All Hallow’s Eve than I did even as a child. As I mentioned in that post two years ago, it’s a time to allow some people to explore something they are not with their costumes. It allows others to be perhaps more genuine to what they really are on the inside. The whole gamut of human personality, (and indeed, personality other than humanity) is explored on Halloween. It’s an exercise in both imagination and in a sense, empathy.

Even if kids don’t know it, that’s what they are doing. They are firing up their imaginations by being the pirate, but they are also putting themselves in a position to think like a pirate. Or they at least ask themselves how a pirate would act in this situation when walking up to this house for candy. They are, for all intents and purposes, showing a degree of affinity for a character. Even one that they would not really want to be like themselves. New perspectives for a young mind. And for older folks too.

That’s one reason I think it’s particularly fun that Nanowrimo always starts the day right after Halloween. Many people even begin their Nano book at the stroke of midnight, as October 31 expires. I often wonder how many people over the years have sat at their computer just after midnight, still adorned with remnants of their Halloween costume, and start creating the world and people of their November novel.

Makes sense, right? A day like Halloween, dedicated to exploring, imagining, and relating to some aspect of those we dress up to resemble, leading directly into the first day of basically doing the very same thing, except from the other side of the table. A writer imagines, visualizes, creates and presents in some fashion a scenario. A life form. An adventure with whom they, (and hopefully future readers) can relate.

I’ve done more Nanowrimo than I have Halloween over the last few years, but hopefully tomorrow I can still make use of the power of modern Halloween to give life to something that is lifeless without my creative participation. I don’t often get to do that by way of costume on October 31, but come November 1, I’m going to try to make up for it by writing another novel. Even if it is an “unofficial” one that few people will be reading.

I still hope to one day wear an expensive and complicated Halloween costume to a party, though. One of these years it has to happen, right?

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