What Was Your Favorite Halloween Costume?

To the cast of my work-in-progress:

Lindsay: “I really love vampire books, so last year my mom and I made this elaborate dress and cape for a Halloween party some of my friends were throwing. We did everything to the max: hair, make-up, nails, and of course, teeth. I totally won the award for best costume.”

Evan: Halloween? I think my mom threw a sheet over me one year and took me to a couple houses on the block. We went home when she got tired, and then she ate all my candy.

Jax: Last year my friend James got some of his dad’s military stuff, and we put on full jungle camo, combat boots, and helmets. We even painted our faces green and black. They wouldn’t let us bring the water rifles into school, but they didn’t make us go home and change. All day everyone stared, but I don’t think most people had any clue who we were.

Spriggy: Until I was 18 I would dress as a hobo to get candy. It was easy–I just had to get a stick and a bandanna, wear yesterday’s clothes, and not shower for a few days. Most people still gave me candy–they just gave me lots of disgusted looks, though as I got older some of them thought I was a real hobo. I’d still go if I could get away with it–I mean, who in their right mind would turn down free candy?

Abbey: When I was 7 my sister and I went as Smurfs. Neither of us wanted to be Smurfette, so my sister put on glasses and went as Brainy. My mom dyed my hat and pants red, and I put on a false beard and went as Papa Smurf. Everyone thought I was a boy, and I thought it was pretty funny at the time, but my sister was offended.

Feel free to add your own responses to the comments!

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Animals

I am a big animal lover, and so animals appear in all of my works in one way or another. Sometimes I throw them in on the side as a loyal pet or, like in The Hollywood Effect, kind of a device to make a harsh character (Gwen) a little more sympathetic, such as when she shows sympathy to a spider. Sometimes, like in The Partial Garden, they are featured more prominently.

When I was little all my stories had animals as the main characters, and books about people seemed so boring. We had an interesting discussion in my Montessori training course about children’s books that star animals. We wondered if children could sympathize more with animals because they were drawn to them in the first place (such as when my preschoolers all flock to the window every time a person walks a dog by). Young children have a hard enough time just identifying and expressing their own emotions that when they see them in other peers and adults they can be confusing and downright scary. Maybe children actually relate more to animals when they act like people than they would if people act like people…or it could just be that animals are cuter and funnier than people. Who knows?

Anyway, even in my adult targeted books, animals still jump in. They make the books more interesting for me to write.