I have to get better at organizing these guest posts if I plan to keep the subject “Halloween,” as I noticed that, in my “struggle” to get over a hundred authors involved, that I missed out on a few of these guest posts that I should have posted before Halloween. This is one of them. He talks about the struggle of choosing a costume as an adult, a struggle that I go through as well. Now you have… what? 341 days… to decide.
Embrace Your Weirdness
When I was young I was not allowed to celebrate Halloween. The idea of ghosts, witches and spirits returned from the dead was considered, I kid you not – Satanic. My parents were believers in a very conservative and ancient form of Christianity.
Now as an adult (at least in body) I see Halloween for what it is – a harmless opportunity to take on the alter ego of a favorite character, dead or alive. Outside of Comic Con and Furry Con there is very little opportunity for an adult to embrace their other selves. Halloween gives us the perfect opportunity to not only embrace our weirdness but to fit right in with everyone else.
Last Halloween I dressed as a Day of the Dead character – complete with face paint, top hat and walking cane. There is something oddly liberating in being masked, giving us the illusion of freedom from how we see ourselves and our own limitations.
This year I am yet undecided on how I may dress. The bummer is I have a doctor’s appointment that day so I will be limited as to what I can wear. I will have to reach within myself and pull out a realization of what my inner self wants to be.
Will I be an alien? Maybe, I like aliens but what is the psychology behind wanting to be something as alien as an alien? Will I go Goth? I could, after all, all the books I write are dark – dark humor, dark fiction… or I could transform myself into a monster – a Vampyre, a Zombie, a Werewolf. But am I, inside, any of those things? Pirates, Ninjas and Princesses – to me all those characters are too trite. I’m not any of those either.
Maybe I should stop and take an inventory of myself. I am anxiety-ridden. I am sarcastic. I am funny. I am tired. I am fueled by coffee, doughnuts and cats (I don’t eat the cats). I worry about where I’m going to park. I drink margaritas, when I drink. I count the number of things. I don’t kill bugs. I still do math on my fingers.
Of course, I’ve got it. I will just dress as myself, after all what could be weirder than that?
Whatever or whomever you decide to dress as this year, have a Happy Halloween!
Matthew grew up in upstate New York surrounded by books (and snow). After founding what became the most widely distributed alternative arts and entertainment magazine in upstate NY (based in Albany), Matthew moved to Greenville, FL where he accepted a position on staff at the University of Florida.
His first book, 26 Absurdities of Tragic Proportions, was inspired by his love of the macabre illustrations by artists like Edward Gorey. Selected as a finalist in the American Fiction Awards, 26 Absurdities may be the most unique collection of short stories ever written.
Matthew’s second book, Tales from the Aether, continues in the Dark Humor/Dark Fiction genre and is scheduled to be released November 1, 2019.
Awarded Finalist Prize in the 2019 American Fiction Awards ‘Short Stories’ Category by American Book Fest.
An utterly fascinating collection of short tales inspired by Edward Gorey’s alphabetical illustrations in “The Gashlycrumb Tinies.” These tales capture the essence of dark humor and satire with one tale for each child depicted in Gorey’s most famous illustrations. These tales are all about human behavior, characteristics, chance and choice, and life and death. From mystery to sci-fi from drama to fairy tale and from adventure to gothic, this book has something for everyone.
In this extraordinary collection of ‘dark’ short stories, Matthew C. Woodruff explores the timeless questions of Joy, Fear, Love, Loss, Foreboding and Incomprehension. All set around particular holidays, the characters in these twelve stories experience things we can only imagine. These stories will make the reader stop to wonder if anyone ever really knows those closest to them or even the world around them.