Preparing for a Halloween Reading

By , October 26, 2014

With Halloween in the air, I’m thinking about fear again.

This year, I have to think about it in an organized fashion, as I’m going to be presenting on it at the Haines Public Library this Thursday evening at 5:00 p.m..

While ironing out the details of my participation in the library’s Alaska Authors Roundtable earlier this month, the library’s event coordinator proposed a Halloween presentation. I jumped at the chance, grateful for a way to promote my first book, Shy Ghosts Dancing: Dark Tales from Southeast Alaska. This and the Authors Roundable offer the first chance to share my work publicly here in Haines since the Northern Lights Showcase almost 4 years ago (see The Sound of Silence).hauntingsandthehaunter

Offered the opportunity to shape the program myself, I opted for an intimate, casual circle in which to share a few of my stories and talk about what scares us and why. I explored this topic here on the blog when I released Shy Ghosts (see What Is Scary?, or The Noise in the Forest for examples) and will likely build on these ideas for the presentation.

I don’t intend to get into the technicality of fear, the scientific side. I hope to talk a bit about non-rational fear—an important differentiation in my life these days. I find plenty to fear in the real world, particularly our family’s semi-secluded life in the forest on the ocean’s edge. But, it’s Halloween—I want to talk about the classic scary stuff. You know, ghosts, goblins, witches . . . circus clowns!

So, with a bracing, autumnal mug of Russian tea at my elbow, I’m sorting through my stories, choosing a few to read at the event. I have an hour and a half to fill, so I also plan to tell the story of my own true ghostly experience, which I presented here 5 years ago at Halloween (see A True Ghost Story for Halloween). If you’re local, please come hear the story even if you follow the link and read it. Aloud, in front of the audience, with room to act out certain portions of it, it’ll no doubt be a very different version of that story.

Yes, we’ll talk about fear . . . what scares me is that the event might be poorly attended! It can’t be worse than my first reading in Haines (see Under the “Wolf Moon”), can it? I’m planning for a small crowd, but would, of course, be pleased to have to scramble to accommodate a larger attendance.

Besides, I hear that there will be snacks!

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