Happy Birthday to the Magical Jolene Haley!

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Did you see the will o’ wisp dancing outside your door this morning?  She fluttered for just a moment, then careened off. There are forces moving on the wind, darting between shadows, luring you off to where the spirits are celebrating today.

Jolene Haley, writer and founder of the The Midnight Society horror writer collective, is having a birthday today!

 

An adorable night hag, haunting the dreams of her victims, Jolene writes terrifying slasher YA stories and witchy romance.  Her beast minions, the dog and the occasional cat, serve her on the night roads.  She grows stronger from eating the food of the gods, pizza.  She cannot be stopped.

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Jolene’s greatest magic is the warmth and support she gives to everyone around her.  She brightens dark days, dispels dark spirits of the heart, and feeds the creative fire in her friends and acolytes.

Blow out those birthday candles, Jolene! Hope you special day is amazing!

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The Midnight Society is celebrating our creepiest member all around the internet.  Check out all the other Jolene celebrations!

Jenna LehneKathy PalmAmy GiuffridaMary RajotteBrian LeTendre

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Running Through The Swamp – Halloween At Last

Happy, happy Halloween!  It’s the finale of my celebration of October and the spooky things that emerge at this time of year.  My Halloween morning was perfect: I spent it running through the woods from zombies and a swamp monster.

mudwalk-swamp witchThe MudWalk is a tradition for elementary school kids in our area.  They visit the Environmental Studies Center and then hike through a mucky swamp.  Someone always loses a shoe, and they have to pull each other across (or out) of the muck.  The Support the MudWalk Spooky 5K started several years ago as a fundraiser.  The route is paved and on a trail, and the trail run is through a haunted forest.

The trail was lined with gravestones and cautionary signs. Ghosts and bats flew overhead.  Creatures emerged from the bushes and zombies swiped at passersby.

mudwalk-spiderwebThe jump scares were pretty mild, and the monsters seemed to like that I was running by them and beaming, just wildly happy that there were so many spooky things on the trail with us.

Tonight will be clear here in Florida.  The ghouls and princesses will be in short-sleeves as they trick or treat.  I’ll be dressed as a bat to fly around the gravestones in the front yard and give out candy.  I hope you have an amazing celebration of your own.  Thank you for spending the Countdown to Halloween with me.

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!  Come join in and find me on the NaNoWriMo site at Leaves and Cobwebs.mudwalk-tombstone

Halloween In Florida – 29 Days Until Halloween

I saw a surf shop mannequin in a wet suit and witch hat this weekend.  Someone had drawn eyes on paper and taped them in place.  They weren’t particularly witchy eyes, but they transformed her blank visage to a face.  She was a winsome, sporty witch.

It was a short-sleeved, short-legged wetsuit.  Because it’s still bathing suit weather here.  That’s Halloween time in Florida.

I’m a native Floridian, and I’ve missed the heavy, humid summers when I’ve lived other places.  I get antsy this time of year, though.  Sometime in October, we’ll get nights in the 60’s F, and then nights in the 50’s F.  The air will start to dry out, and the sky will become blue again.

My backyard jungle is growing so fast that vines are crawling across the yard and porch.  It feels like you can see them grow as you watch them.  Then, it feels like they may wrap around your ankles if you stop watching them.

IMG_9515We’ll be hanging Halloween decorations from green-leafed trees.  If you go into the woods, though, you’ll see the subtle signs of fall.  The red and yellow leaves look especially bright against the black forest floor.