Yes, I know – Halloween is over. But it does feel like this Halloween was even more of a needed treat than usual, doesn’t it?
As a member of the Spooky Middle Grade authors group, I believe that kids love spooky books for good reason: learning how to be scared of things when you can control them (like knowing that this scary thing is inside a story inside a book) helps kids deal with the scary things they can’t control. Golly, we all need that. (Invisible virus, anyone?)
As a part of this group, we recently recorded a group-written short story for Halloween, which you can listen to here, on the Reading with Your Kids podcast.
A Writing Exercise for All Ages
This brought up the point, made by the podcast host, Jed Doherty, that group-written stories are a super fun writing exercise for all adults as well as kids. Here’s how ours worked:
Jed suggested we write about a kid who was “having problems with AI” (artificial intelligence). Each author was to write one page and pass it along to the next author to write the next page, and so on. The eight of us had a ton of fun coming up with the weird ideas that developed in the story.
Other Spooky Treats
I’ve recently been reading about the origins of Halloween, or as the Celts called it, Samhain. The festival of Samhain was held at the cusp of the year when the veil thinned between the living and the dead – and between light (summer) and darkness (winter). Dead ancestors were invited to partake in gifts of food.
Since I’ve written about so-called “thin places” before, I find this mythology fascinating – you can bet I’ll use it in a future book.
Finally, one of my favorite things to do when I taught was to take a few days of class to read aloud to my students. And yes – this was the 8th grade, but everyone loves to be read to, right? The year I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was one I’ll never forget.
What are your favorite things about Halloween?