Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: halloween

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King: New Read

I’ve succumbed to PEER PRESSURE and decided to read ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King in the spirit of the season!

'Salem's Lot

Another new read, Michelle? Really?

Hey, I’m only reporting on what’s going on around here. Don’t blame the messenger!

What can I say? I read a lot.

It irritates me when I become a follower, but so many book bloggers and “bookstagrammers” on Instagram were posting about Halloween reads that I decided to go with the flow and pick up “‘Salem’s Lot” off my TBR shelf. I bought it several months ago but was pretty burned out on Stephen King at the time, so I had set it aside for other (shorter and less terrifying) things.

The time has come to crack open this gargantuan paperback and peek inside. I’ve never read it before, and I know there was an old tv miniseries based on the book but I’ve never seen it. Now it looks like there will be a new movie coming out next year. Looks like a recurring theme, doesn’t it? Didn’t we just go through this with “The Stand?”

“‘Salem’s Lot” was first published in 1975, only three years after yours truly was born, and his second novel. I didn’t know this until I picked the book up off my shelf, (Yes, I bought it without really knowing what it was about. It’s Stephen King and one of his first. I need no other enticement.) but this book is about VAMPIRES! I love vampire stories! Why have I not read this before? Weird.

As you can probably tell, I’m excited to dive into this novel. Yesterday’s read brought me 94 pages in and I’m making very few notes. I usually read with pencil in hand to mark passages that I feel are particularly enlightening, but King writes differently. It’s not a stand-alone sentence or paragraph that makes you go, “Hmm…” It’s his timing and build-up. He creeps in there over pages and pages of words that you might think are extra. I mean, please, do we need to describe everything?!

Apparently, yes, we do, because you’re reading along and then you get a chill, you realize you haven’t taken a breath in a page, maybe two, your heart starts to speed up, and then he backs away again, only to creep up on the horror a few pages later and catch you by surprise. This is going to be so much fun.

My Analog Reading Log

I think I’ve mentioned it before in one of my annual reading summary posts that I keep a log of what I’m reading and when. It’s a paper book (because I’m all about analog) and each January I make up a statistics report about how many books I’ve read, what kind, how much time I spent, and how many pages. I know you’re wondering, “Why?!” Because I have a very strange sense of fun and this pleases me immensely!

Bookly App Screenshot

This past week I decided to try using the Bookly app to track because I heard that it makes pretty reports. These are the things that bring me joy! This is what I have so far, but when I finish the book, it will make a sweet little graphic of all the details and I can share it here and be proud of myself. I’m THAT kind of crazy.

For the time being, I’m logging in my paper book AND on the app. It remains to be seen whether I will keep using both. I’ll probably go back to the analog way eventually. Pencil and paper also please my little heart. Technology can lure me for a while, but I typically end up returning to my old ways. I like the tactile feel of it all. And seeing the physical reading journals lined up at the end of my bookshelf makes me happy.

The last book I read by Stephen King was The Stand, but there are others. Click over to my Autobibliography page to find them!

For more thoughts inspired by this book, read:
Hunger or Want: Achieving Maturity
An Unexpected Classic Vampire Novel Has Been Discovered!

Halloween Hangover

Halloween has come and gone this year, and I hardly noticed. Has that which used to be my favorite holiday, lost its charm for me? I didn’t even buy a bag of trick-or-treat candy to eat like I have the last couple of years. What has changed? Has the spirit of Halloween deserted me forever?

I loved Halloween as a kid because I got to dress up, it was a chance to be someone else for a day. It also gave me a reason to invite people over for a party. My mom worked hard on costume parties and they were always fun.

As a young adult, I worked the Haunt at Knott’s Berry Farm. I was a part of a “world famous event” and looked forward to the creativity I got to use in my lighting, planning, and leading my crew, not to mention the money for all that overtime!

As a parent, it was a chance to share my childhood rituals with my young family and create some new ones. Every year, a few days before Halloween, we’d scour the thrift stores for ideas and grab up a few things to craft the perfect crazy costumes.

There were years that I’d decorate my house to show it off in all its glory, using my creative mind and acquired Haunt skills. There were parties to host, trick-or-treating, and fun adventures with other families.

When we moved to the rural desert, decorating took a backseat. I didn’t see the point of doing all that work if no one but us sees it. I didn’t miss it. I had other things to do. For a few years in a row, we’d gather up a costume and drive to my Grandpa’s house, picking up pumpkins to carve on the way. We’d spend the whole day decorating the front of his house with him, carving pumpkins, and trying to save some candy for trick-or-treaters. When the sun set, they’d wander the streets door to door to get all the candy they could. I loved hearing people’s comments about their crazy costumes, my kids laughing and playing, and the groans about “paying their taxes” at the end of the night. For those that don’t know, your kids owe you a couple pieces of that candy! I mean, I drove you here and helped with the costume! Where’s my peanut butter cup?!

This year was the quietest Halloween yet. There is only one kid home these days and he worked that night. My husband was brewing beer way into the evening. And me? I spent some time with a book and my journal, among other things. It wasn’t sad, nothing lacking, just peaceful.

If you had told me that some day I’d be home doing “nothing” on Halloween, I’d have been sad to imagine it, but experiencing it was something altogether different. Everything comes in cycles and that’s why I get up in the morning, because I’m aware that I’m on the peaceful side of the Halloween experience cycle and that the busy and wild side will come back around someday. There will be Halloween parties with new friends, my kids will have kids to take trick-or-treating.

I was proud of myself this week. Instead of feeling a twinge of sad and jerking back to avoid it, I leaned in to get a closer look at what was bothering me. I reminisced about the past instead of resenting my present, and I looked forward to the future instead of worrying about uncertainty.

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