Happy Halloween!

Here are some pictures I took that are inspiring to me, especially for Halloween!


Fall is here again

It is my favorite time of year again.  If you have been following my blog for a while now, you are undoubtedly aware that I absolutely love autumn.  It is when the leaves turn beautiful colors, the temperature drops (I hate hot weather), and we celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Not to mention the mosquitos are finally gone, which is a big deal here in Minnesota.  Not one of these single aspects are what makes fall wonderful to me, not even all of them combined.

For me, fall has a certain feel to it.  It is a spiritually refreshing time of year.  Sure, everything I listed contributes to that feeling, but there is something deeper to autumn.  I see it as the annual climax in God’s creation before everything becomes white and brown.

Then there is Halloween.  Oddly, I used to hate that holiday as a child, a time in most people’s lives when they were actually excited for it.  I was easily scared as a child, and it didn’t take much to keep me awake at night worried something was going to get me.  Aside from that, Halloween was simply creepy and felt like it left a stain on my being.  Once I became an adult, things changed.  I began to enjoy dressing up and going to costume parties with my wife.  After some experiences in college, I also became fascinated by the Celtic origins of Halloween.  When I became a father, Halloween became even more fun.

As a writer, autumn is a very inspirational time of year, and it is difficult to pinpoint why exactly that is.  Perhaps it is the absolute freshness of nature, or the fleeting beauty that trees display only for a few weeks out of the year.  Fall is truly a beautiful time of year and so fleeting.  Take time out of your day to enjoy the marvel of nature before it is gone for yet another year, especially if you are a writer.  Your soul will thank you.

Fall is here!

It is that time of year again: a time for yellows, reds, and oranges. A time for pumpkins, fields ready for the harvest, and cooler weather. For me, autumn is a special time of year, my favorite time of year that marks a transition from summer to winter with a spectacle of colors.

As a southern Minnesotan I have grown accustomed to long, cold winters and hot, muggy summers. The transition periods of spring and fall are the most fleeting, and ultimately the most special. I am not a fan of frigid cold weather, like most, but I like heat even less. Fall brings that happy medium of 40s-60s weather.

With autumn, cloudy days and a backdrop of mist and colors creates a mystical feeling. I am an odd one that prefers clouds over abundant sunshine. I feel that the colors of nature are bolder when there are clouds.  Even as a kid, I remember fall invoking such awe and wonder because of its beauty. Of course as a kid, fall was more bittersweet because that meant school was around the corner.

Fall is the time of year that nature works a masterpiece of colors and breathtaking beauty. What is your favorite season? Do you share my love for autumn?

Halloween is Near!

At the writing of this blog, Halloween is a little less than a month away. Unless you are a hermit, you know what it is all about, and even if you are a hermit, I’m guessing you are still familiar with the holiday. Most of its imagery and themes are lined up with the Horror genre. However, witches, ghosts, and demons all find their place in Fantasy as well.

In my last blog post, I stated that there is a clear boundary between Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. I still stand by that statement and defend it, but that isn’t to say that I cannot appreciate the overlaps as well. Often things such as ghosts are presented in a much different way in Fantasy than in Horror. In Horror, ghosts are generally horrific and killers. In fantasy, spiritual beings may not necessarily be villainous, and they sometimes offer guidance or serve as a metaphor. They also appear in the form of The Army of the Dead that helps to deliver the people of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings films.

Horror may not be the genre I write, but that does not mean I cannot appreciate the imagination at Halloween. Witches and sorcerers, main Halloween staples, appear in fantasy stories such as Harry Potter or The Once and Future King.

Halloween reminds me of the power of imagination and can be very inspiring for me. What people choose to dress up as, what characters inspire them, and how people carve their jack-o-lanterns are all things that show the creativity of the human spirit. It is that creativity mixed with reality that forges Fantasy, and brings with it the question, “How much of this is really fantasy?”