This is the time of year we call Summerween. Ghosts are visiting empty pools. Witches are gathering their brewing tools, and insects…well, they’re doing whatever icky thing insects do. Yes, it’s sticky outside and if heat doesn’t kill us, or Covid, the nighttime creeps on the prowl surely will. Our theme this month is Summerween.
dirty leaf-filled pool even ghosts like to swim summerween
Happy first day of summer! While Covid-19 is here to stay, the pandemic is winding down. Things are opening up and wearing masks is optional, but please stay safe and be smart. This summer, nobody has a boo-kini body. We can all breathe a little sigh of relief over the fact that nobody cares if we didn’t get in shape. We’re all just doing the best we can and don’t let anyone make you feel bad, especially yourself. It’s gonna be a hot ghoul summer! Rather than groan about the insufferable heat and humidity, let’s exert our energies in more positive ways until September. Here’s a few good ideas to try and events to go to this summer:
SPOOKTACULAR SUMMERWEEN WEEKEND In what I hope will be the first of many, Spooky Weekend brings together an online shopping event for Halloween lovers, featuring over 100 vendors. This weekend only, Halloween enthusiasts will have access to exclusive sales, discounts, and deals, along with chances to win amazing giveaway items. It’s never too early to start planning Halloween or get the jump on your holiday shopping. The best part, getting the chance to support independent owned businesses and artists across the globe. http://www.spookyweekend.co.uk/
THROW A GOTH POOL PARTY Why should Hollywood celebrities and pop stars have all the fun? Go buy some black pool floats and summer gear from Blackcraft Cult and take your chubby self to the beach, or the lake, or the pool. Now, relax. We deserve it!
SUMMER READING Looking for a nice, safe, entertaining place with air conditioning? Then, head on over to your local library! Libraries are full of ghosts. The ghosts of thousands of books that have been sitting untouched on the shelves for over a year, maybe longer. There might even be some real ghosts, test your side vision. Beside that, you can learn new things, like tarot or costume-making, read spine-tingling tales of horror or mystery, and immerse yourself in fantastical worlds. Libraries are great places to find new passions. As long as you’re quiet and respectful of others, you too can haunt the library all day long.
SUMMER PUMPKINS Watermelons are the second cousins to pumpkins. Whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable, is debatable, nonetheless, you can hollow them out like a gourd and carve a jack-o’-lantern face on the rind all the same. Have fun by using your Halloween cookie cutters to make spooky shapes of delicious, juicy melon. Decorate the outside and practice your carving skills all summer long. By October, you’ll be a pro!
TO COSPLAY OR NOT TO COSPLAY Hot ghoul summer dictates that we be ourselves. There’s no judgement or bullying allowed. Walk or run away from all monsters. Have fun. Do your thing. Wear spandex and a cape. Don platform shoes. Dye your hair blue.
San Diego Comic-Con will be held as online event only this July 23-25, 2021, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still dress up. If anyone says anything rude, just tell ’em you’re trying on your Halloween costume. They can’t fault you for being an excellent planner, right? Go ahead, wear the costume.
SCREAMING ROOM The pandemic dampened the spirits of Midsummer Scream creators for a second summer, but restless souls do not go quietly into the night, thus, the Screaming Room Film Festival 2021 was born. Curated and presented by HorrorBuzz.com, this unique short film festival will feature two years worth of the submissions of the best horror and Halloween shorts, originally planned for Midsummer Scream conventions 2020 and 2021, respectivefully. This spooktacular event will take place the weekend of July 10-11 at the Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, CA.
AWAKEN THE SPIRITS Proving there is indeed no rest for the wicked, the Midsummer Scream creators found themselves a second location to summon all the other spooky spirits into a grand mini celebration and preview of what’s to come this Halloween season 2021.
Awaken the Spirits will held in the Pasadena Convention Center this August 14-15, 2021. It’ll be a smaller venue and missing a few elements from Midsummer Scream, namely the Hall of Shadows and the Black Cat Lounge, but the Halloween vibe will be strong enough to rattle the bones and bring the dead back to life.
One starry night, I saw a black cat looking up at the moon.
Do you think animals wonder about the moon? We certainly know lunar cycles have an affect on animal behaviors, but I can’t seem to find the answer to whether they admire the moon and star gaze like people.
World renowned artist Aja Trier picks up where van Gogh left off, by painting animals, landscapes, famous cities, and more under the infamous starry night. With titles like ‘The Haunting of van Gogh’ and ‘van Gogh Never Saw Las Vegas’, Ms. Trier is clearly inspired by the doomed Impressionist and her works are more tribute than imitation.
I announce the return of the monthly blog! Random musings and kitsch movie lists for my fellow horror lovers, that’s what I’ll offer at the end of every month. Can you believe it’s already the end of May? We are well past the halfway point to Halloween. This is a crucial time of year for many Halloween fans because it’s been 8 months since we’ve seen a jack-o’-lantern, Summer, the most dreaded season, is right around the corner, and we desperately need something that will satisfy our cravings until October. We’re hunting down springtime scares and often finding comfort in horror nostalglia. Halloween lovers might be a little prickly right now.
Most of us still have Covid anxiety and after a year of living in and out of lockdowns, nobody knows how to act. Mass shootings have returned and vaccination lotteries are all the rage. Human beings have to be bribed to take care of our health. How the hell did we get this far? Anyways, it’s suggested that we ease back into society, gingerly, like curious cute kittens, ready to explore, adorably pounce on butterflies we can’t catch, and slash the hell out of anyone who messes with us. This is why I predict a cautious summer with steady routines and subtle day trips to our favorite local hangouts, where we can get used to being around people again, wearing clothes that don’t stretch, and obeying traffic laws. By Fall, however, we should be ready to party. I’m really looking forward to that.
Halloween season is the perfect time to get adventurous, try new things, and travel the world, or maybe just to the next city over, if you can’t afford a plane ticket. Trust me, it all counts. Visually, one half of the world will be stunning, so get those cameras ready. I’m hoping climate change hasn’t doomed our favorite autumn landscapes just yet. Another reason why we should take plenty of photos this fall. In fifty years, no one will believe we had bountiful harvests, tall trees, and grass this green. But, let’s table the rest of this discussion for later this year.
Halloween is a holiday that can be shared by communities and we’ll be needing to build up the goodwill and learn to trust society all over again. Trust each other again. What better way to do it over a shared love of pumpkin spiced lattes and creepy yard haunts, plus, there’s extra incentive in finding the beautiful abandonment of a pre-covid world. Abandoned places. Restless spirits. Scary monsters. Haunted people. Only time will tell how much we’ve changed after this pandemic. The anger. The fears. The death. We’re gonna need to channel these dark energies, and the arts, the culture, music, movies, comics, gaming, literature… it’s where we’ll go to bear our souls. Fear not my friends, I feel a spooky renaissance may be on the horizon.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section or hit me up on social media.
Recently, Halloween Haiku celebrated its 3rd anniversary. It’s been a quiet and subdued year, partly due to the pandemic, partly due to the fact that I’ve been unemployed since January. The job hunt takes up most of my energy, focus, and time these days. I had even toyed with the idea of shutting down, but decided to simplify instead. I post haiku every week. We’re not the biggest or the most exciting web blog, but who doesn’t need a little quiet contemplation every now and then?
I tried many times to hold events and do contests, but the truth is, I simply don’t have a big enough following to justify the costs. Given my current situation, I’m not going to try and rectify that anytime soon. We’ll see what the Halloween 2021 season brings.
Haiku is hard. I’m not even sure how good I am at it. It’s more than coming up with three lines. It’s about conveying emotion, feelings, and memories. Trying to conjure up connections through seventeen syllable poem and imagery is not a simple task either. True haiku is about nature. Senryu is less about nature and more about people. It’s often times witty or humorous. Most of my poems falls under the category of zappai, a seventeen syllable poem that does not match the format or characteristics of either haiku or senryu. I like writing halloween haiku, horror haiku, or dark haiku. I like writing in third person, say, from the witch’s point-of-view:
burning straw escape the witch hunters a magical broom
Maybe it’s no Matsuo Basho, but it’s not a haiku failure either. It’s just different. If you’re interested, you can learn more about zappai and other haiku styles here.
I want to thank my supporters, readers, and anyone who stops by to take a look at my little blog. I appreciate your time and energy. Here’s to another great year of Halloween Haiku.🎃