It’s spooky season!

I’ve always loved fall in general, and Halloween in particular. I love the costumes. I love the silly ‘spooky sounds’ soundtracks. I love some of the classic scary movies, although I’m not much for gore-for-gore’s-sake. (Evil Dead, though. I am unreasonably fond of the Evil Dead movies.) I am stupidly fond of jack-o-lanterns, both in the carving of them (not that I do it well, mind you), and in the challenge of keeping them lit once Halloween itself arrives. And I’m rather nostalgically fond of handing out candy to costumed kids on Halloween night, too, although that happens more at work than at home these days.

I have my own Halloween tradition, too. Every October 31st, if I’m home, I set myself the task of writing some kind of story while waiting for the trick-or-treaters and keeping the jack-o-lanterns alight. Sometimes the stories are spooky; sometimes they’re atmospheric; sometimes they’re downright silly, but I always write something. I’ve started thinking about what I might write this year, but you never know what inspiration will actually strike when the sun sets on the 31st.

What about you? Anyone else out there inclined to write stories on particular days?

Like sending your child off to the first day of school with a lottery ticket stapled to her chest

Oh my. I sent Bowling Ball off to an open-submissions call this week. On the one hand, I’m very excited. On the other hand, I’m well aware of how much of a cattle-call an open submissions is. Editors will be swamped with manuscripts. Your book’s chance of catching someone’s eye depends a lot on luck, how good you are at writing blurbs/synopses/cover-letters (in my case, probably not very), and just how undercaffeinated/overstresed/compatible-with-your-aesthetic that particular editor happens to be on that given day.

So yes. Rather like sending a child off for their first day of school, with a lottery ticket, and telling her “Good luck, kid. I hope you manage to find your way to class, have a good day, and get home again.”

Let’s hope Bowling Ball is clever and lucky.