Spooktacular Blog Hop

Happy Halloweeen! Thanks a million to writer pals Julie Lynn Hayes and M.A. Church for organizing the 2014 Spooktacular Blog Hop and Giveaway. I’m excited about the opportunity to meet new readers and honored to be associated with so many wonderful writers.

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Everyone is doing their own giveaway. CLICK HERE to visit all the participating blogs to enter. You’ve got nothing to lose, and you might even win! I’m giving away an e-copy of one of my three novels (Until Thanksgiving, After Christmas Eve, or Happy Independence Day) to three lucky winners. To enter, leave a comment below.

As a kid, I really got into Halloween. Mom wasn’t terribly creative, so my costumes were always one of those highly flammable store bought pajama-like get-ups. The horrible one-size-fits-all masks made breathing difficult. Seeing through the eye holes was just about impossible.

Given my early experience, Halloween has never been about winning the best costume contest. Nope, for me the focus was on getting as much candy as possible out of my trick or treating experience. The Halloween after a big apartment complex opened nearby was my best take, offset by the trouble I got into for ignoring orders to stay in the neighborhood.

I was thirteen or fourteen the last year I went trick or treating — in drag, no less. At the time, I had no idea I was gay. #SlowLearner  A classmate’s father refused to give me any candy, saying I was too old for trick or treating. At first, I thought he was kidding. But he meant it. He gave everyone in our group candy but me. Wah!

Until I came out in 1979 at the tender age of 21, Halloween had become mostly a nonevent. Being gay changed everything. The annual Halloween party at the local gay bar was a MUST attend event. Folks who cared about such things went all out for their costumes. The rest of us did variations on butch — construction workers, cops, firemen, and for those who had the body for a loin cloth, Tarzan or maybe an Indian chief. #VillagePeople.

The last time I dressed up for Halloween was in the late 1990s. My partner and I made plans to go out in drag (my second Halloween in a dress) with another couple — our best friends, one of whom my partner had been having an affair with for several months — all of which came out that fateful night.  Woo hoo! Party!

For several years, I carved my Jack O’Lantern and stocked up on candy — the good stuff. We only had twenty or so kids in our neighborhood, but hundreds of Trick or Treaters came to my door. A significant percentage were at least fourteen and hadn’t bothered to dress up. Who am I to judge?

After a while, I quit buying candy and pumpkins. Except for a few I yelled at to stay off my lawn, I didn’t know any of the neighborhood kids anyway. So now I sit in my dark house the night Trick or Treaters walk the streets, ignoring rings and knocks from kids who don’t care if the porch light is on or off. I’m sure they call me…

The Crotchety Old Man

Winners (Alaina, Sula, and Angeles G.) were notified via email on November 4.

17 responses to “Spooktacular Blog Hop”

  1. Oh but don’t you miss seeing the faces of the young ones? I love watching them get over their fear and the smile that brings their whole face to life when they see the candy. Have a wonderful night, at least watch a scary movie.

    jasdarts at hotmail dot com

  2. I have never really been a big fan of Halloween either though the candy was the of course the best part! Thanks for joining in on the blog hop and the chance at the giveaway!

  3. Thank you for sharing your Halloween childhood experiences, especially the horrors of a shop bought outfit! We did not really celebrate Halloween as children, although it has become more common now, we celebrate Bonfire Night on the 5th November, a tradition going back to 1605 where it was an enforced day of celebration against the failed gun powder plot. No dressing up involved, but often an effigy of one of the plotters (Guy Fawkes) was thrown on the bonfire and then fireworks set off. I think it is now more of a gathering around the same day or the weekend, with a bonfire, fireworks and barbecue/buffet type foods.

    So sadly I missed out the sugar rush of trick or treat and collecting candies dressed up, although I was not allowed to eat candies as I am allergic to many of the additives/colours/etc.

    Thank you for being part of this spooky blog hop & for a chance to win one of your books slholland22 (at) hotmail (dot) com