Posted in Halloween

Pieces of My October

Once again, I blinked and October slipped away, like a monster that was there one minute and gone the next, leaving me whirling in circles wondering where it might be hiding.

Once again, my favorite month is coming to a close, and I’m sitting here wondering, What did I do the past 31 days? Was I even awake? Did I even experience it?

The truth is, I always expect October to be BIG, when really it is small. It is one small moment followed by another and another and another. That’s the way it should be. I like the fact that I can fit October in my pocket. How else am I to carry it with me all year?

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* Pieces of My October *

Tomorrow begins November, which is a fine month too, a month of crackling leaves and woodsmoke and cold noses warmed by hot tea. But while I’m watching the trees turn red, I’ll be looking around for the monster that slipped away so silently, the one I know still watches from the shadows. When I take down my Halloween decorations, I’ll slip a spider in my pocket. During the long year ahead, I’ll keep an eye out for small moments that smell of pumpkin seeds and hint of mischief.

And I’ll wait, impatiently, for October to return.

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Tomorrow I will announce the winners of my October giveaway. You have until midnight tonight to enter!
Posted in Halloween, Poetry

Someone

This little horror poem isn’t for the squeamish.

The idea came to me when I was thinking about the notes my friends and I used to leave in each other’s lockers in middle school. I miss those notes. But I’m happy no one ever left any of these items in my locker.

“Someone” was first published in Grievous Angel in February 2016. Read it, if you dare.

Someone

Someone left a cat whisker in my locker.10577154_666054503472531_8425137506506987518_n
I once heard whiskers bring good luck,
but I wish it wasn’t the exact color
of Snickers,
who ran away last week.

Someone left a flower petal in my locker.
At least I think it’s a flower petal—
it’s thin and pink and silky
and smells a little like the potpourri
my big sister keeps in her underwear drawer.

Someone left a tooth in my locker,
which is weird because my little brother
just lost his first tooth this weekend,
and the tooth fairy took it from underneath his pillow
but forgot to leave any money.

Someone left a picture of me in my locker.
I actually look really pretty in it
with the moonlight shining on my sleeping face,
but the angle suggests it was taken
from my closet.

Someone left a finger in my locker.
It’s wearing a ring that looks like my mom’s.
She left yesterday for a business trip.
And this morning when I thanked my dad
for tucking me in last night,
he said he didn’t know
what I was talking about.

© Carie Juettner, 2016

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Don’t forget about this month’s giveaway! If you want to be entered for a chance to win, just comment on one of my October blog posts OR share one of the posts on social media, and use my contact form to send me a link to it. Each person can enter up to five times, so feel free to share on multiple platforms. Here are the prizes:

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  • A copy of The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (the first book in my favorite series: Lockwood & Co.)
  • A copy of Susan Rooke’s debut fantasy novel, The Space Between (Susan is a friend of mine and I’m so excited about her new book!)
  • Your choice of one of the journals from my Etsy shop.

Good luck!

Posted in Halloween, Writing

Let’s Investigate That Strange Sound! (And Other Bad Choices During the Month of October)

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October is here, and that means one thing: neck aches. Why? Because if you’re smart, you’ll constantly be looking over your shoulder.

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This particular creepy crawly got started a little early this year. It decided to hide IN MY BED last weekend. Not funny, Ms. Scorpion. Not funny at all.

October is the month of Halloween. It is the month when spirits roam the earth, and the dead play tricks on the living, and creepy crawlies have their fun.

October is also the month of poor choices. It is the month when people decide to watch slasher movies at midnight during thunderstorms, and hunt vampires at sundown, and say things like, “Let’s split up!” when there’s a madman on the loose and their cell phone battery has just died.

In other words, October is the month for horror. It is my favorite month.

Every year, I spend October scaring my loved ones and scaring my neighbors and (ultimately) scaring myself. Despite my knowledge of October’s wiles and my propensity for carrying flashlights into the dark and peering out windows before opening doors and always, always, always checking behind shower curtains, I too make poor choices during this month of spooks and specters. I often spend so much time looking behind me that I run face first into a spider’s web. Or I wander into the yard at night to bring the dog inside, only to realize that our dog is in the house and isn’t the thing making that snuffling sound in the bushes. Or, sometimes, I get distracted and accidentally trick myself with my own traps. (A hazard of haunting.)

This year, though, I’m taking my October foolishness to a whole new level.

This time tomorrow, I’ll be flying (alone) to Pennsylvania to spend five days in a remote cabin in the mountains with ten strangers who write horror. Oh, and there’s limited cell phone service.

Why would I do such a thing? Because I’ve been given the incredible opportunity to attend the Books With Bite workshop at the Highlights Foundation. There, I will study with authors Nova Ren Suma and Micol Ostow, and that is worth sleeping with one eye open while cuddling a baseball bat.

Still, if you haven’t heard from me in week, send help. Just make sure the person comes alone, at night, in a car that’s low on gas, and doesn’t tell anyone where they’re going first.

After all, it’s October.

Ghostie

 

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October is also my birthday month, and I love giving gifts almost as much as I love getting them, so I’m hosting a giveaway. On November 1st, I’ll be selecting three winners to receive one of the following prizes:

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  • A copy of The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (the first book in my favorite series: Lockwood & Co.)
  • A copy of Susan Rooke’s debut fantasy novel, The Space Between (Susan is a friend of mine and I’m so excited about her new book!)
  • Your choice of one of the journals from my Etsy shop.

To enter, just comment on one of my October blog posts OR share one of the posts on social media, and use my contact form to send me a link to it. Each person can enter up to five times, so feel free to share on multiple platforms. Good luck!