Archive for 'costumes'

Costumes & candy: A holiday to sink your teeth into
by Jessa Slade on October 26th, 2009

Currently working on: Book 3 of The Marked Souls
Mood: Eager

I’m not sure my household can top last Halloweens high point.  We always decorate the front porch for trick-or-treaters.  I put out luminaria along the driveway plus a couple hollowed gourds or a pumpkin on the porch railing.  We have a strobe light kicking, and a nice severed arm pointing to the door bell.

We also have a 3-foot plaster voodoo mask that I don for answering the door, and the chorus girl scream from “The Phantom of the Opera” soundtrack is cued up on the stereo with my XY’s finger on the play button.

pumpkinLast year, about midway through the evening, the bell rang, I picked up the mask and opened the door, XY hit play… and the seven-year-old boy on the porch dropped his plastic pumpkin full of candy and ran as if all the demons of hell were after him — and could be bought off by a fairly impressive haul of Hershey’s products.

Well, I chased him down to return his candy (probably could have caught him quicker if I’d taken off the mask) and gave him a big double handful of Twix, Milky Ways, Pixie Stix, Smarties, and Reese’s PB cups (no off-brand candy bars from me) to make up for my burst of cruel delighted laughter.

In our defense, I think we taught him a valuable lesson about thinking even free candy comes without potential risk.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because, honestly, it’s low prep and high payout.  I can recycle a costume from a previous year, and nobody expects a freakin’ turkey with multiple side dishes and baked goods, yet I get a monster truckload of candy at the end of the night.  (Admittedly, this is because I over-purchase for the children who for some reason don’t come to our house anymore.)

But pragmatic reasons aside, I love Halloween because of the costumes.  I wish more days of the year involved pretending to be something we’re not — and somehow, through that disguise, revealing something deeper about ourselves. 

(I always wondered what it revealed about the studly jocks in high school that they seemed to gravitate to costumes involving pantyhose and high heels.)

I’ve been a princess, an alien, an overdosed starlet, a peacock, the planet Saturn, the last-minute ghost (who hasn’t?).  So often, it seems like we’re hiding who we are anyway.  At the day job, in front of the in-laws, around the neighbors.  Wouldn’t it just be more fun if we were always wearing costumes?

My boss:  Jessa, can I see you in my office?
Me:  Argh, sorry, matey.  A pirate can’t be constrained by four walls.  I’m off to plunder the treasures in the office supply room!

With enough candy bars, we’d all have the high fructose courage to be ourselves — or anyway, be the ourselves we were meant to be.

If you were picking a costume to reveal the real you, who would you be?

Shopping, Sightseeing & House Hunting on the Web
by Our Guest on May 21st, 2009

Sorry to be posting so late today! I was all ready to post early this morning only to discover that our phones and internet were out, dead, nada, zip…and stayed that way all day. I love when the phone company says, “Yes, we’re aware of the problem. We should have it fixed by 6pm.”

Excuse me, 6pm??? Um, what am I supposed to do in the meantime??? Not their problem, apparently.

Problem finally fixed, so in between driving my daughter to work, picking her up, then driving her to the event she performed at with her chamber quartet, I finally managed to post.

I don’t do tons of web surfing these days, I just don’t. Between email, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and actual writing, who has time to surf?

But when I do play, one thing I truly love are costume sites. I’m addicted to historical fashion, and since I never really outgrew wanting to play dress up, I have to satisfy my obsession by perusing all the amazing gowns and things I would own if I just had a place to wear them.
The Fashion Era
A Visual Dictionary of Fashion
The History of Costume
or for the Ren Faire nerd in me, there are “shopping” sites:
Sophie’s Stitches
The Tudor Shoppe
The Renaissance Store

You’ll also catch me playing around various castle and historical sites, even when they don’t fit into any of my current research categories. The Castles of Wales is a particularly nice one. No, I’m not setting anything in Wales or the Middle Ages. I just want to live in a castle someday, so I tend to think of these as real estate sites.

I may be slow, but I only realized the value of this one a few months ago. In Google Maps, you can click on satellite and get aerial views of just about anywhere in the world. My current WIP is set in Bath, England, which I’ve never visited, so imagine my wild delight at being able to zoom in on places like the Royal Crescent, the Circus, Pump Room, etc. Holy crap! (Sorry, but stuff like this really excites me.)

Along those lines, England 360 is a fun site featuring panoramic views of various, absolutely gorgeous in England. Good for research, even better for dreaming.

Speaking of dreaming, here’s a great movie site: The Young Victoria. I would like to incorporate myself into this site – is that technologically possible yet? I also wish I could find this movie playing somewhere. Anybody heard anything about it?

As you can see, there’s a theme here. Even with modern technology, I tend to live in the past. Healthy? Probably not. But that’s me.