When I was younger, I was obsessed with Colonial America. OBSESSED. Like fall-into-a-deep-10-yr-old-depression-because-I-never-
got-the-chance-to-live-in-Colonial-Williamsburg obsessed. Every single story I wrote during this period of my life was set in Colonial America, and I devoured books on the subject. Even more extreme, I had a garbage bag full of random odds and ends that I used as Colonial garb -- bonnets my grandmother made for me, aprons, blankets that I tied around my waist for skirts. I would dive into this bag after particularly inspiring stories and clothe myself in what I saw as the most regal of all wardrobes, and march proudly around in my blanket-skirts and cockeyed bonnets and long for the ability to dress like this IN PUBLIC.
And then Halloween would come. Oh, Halloween. The one time a year where I could proudly adorn myself with puffy floral shirts and old aprons and stained headpieces and waltz around in the illusion that, for that day, I was some adventurous little girl living in a simpler time that I saw as a far more romantic existence. I could skip around with my friends and not be eyed strangely for wearing a bonnet. I could curtsy and polish my black buckle shoes and then keep right on going with my family as we made our way around the neighborhood, in full view of Batmans and Princesses.
Eventually, I grew up. My garbage bag of odds and ends now sits in a closet, and my excitement about Halloween dimmed. A lot. Whether because of the convenient season change that just so happens to be smack on top of Halloween (DAMN YOU, SEASONAL ALLERGIES) or the hecticness of college/post-college life, I have taken a involuntary hiatus from Halloween. And when this year came around, and I was confronted with both 1) health and 2) the ability to dress up not once, but TWICE, for two different Halloween events, I pondered what I could be, and I remembered my original reason for loving to play "dress-up" -- my stories.
So this Halloween, I made a bold decision. This year has been -- rough. Book-speaking. It has seen the rise and fall of two books that I love, as well as a huge shift in my representation. It has seen the reincarnation of a book that is every ounce of who I am, and now waits in trepidation for its turn in the horrifying world of submissions. And so, as one can only do when faced with a hell of a book year, I decided to regress to my roots.
This Halloween, I will be dressing as a character from my fantasy book, SNOW LIKE ASHES. A costume that means absolutely nothing to anyone who isn't me. A chance to parade around in a frilly black dress and ridiculous make-up and a feathery mask, and clothe myself in what I see as the most regal of all wardrobes: something I created. Because no matter what this year has done or what 2013 might do too, I will still find joy in my obsessions.
What are you going to be for Halloween?