Reins or coattails?

The haunted house event is official in its countdown to opening day — volunteers have started receiving their instructions, lists of jobs printed off and the layout finalized. The students are buzzing with excitement and my amazing team of adult supervisors has everything well in hand.

So the question is: am I holding the reins, or doing my best to keep up with everyone else?

Going to be one heck of a ride! I’m reminded of my daughter getting pulled off her feet by our dog on her leash, or of being swept along in the crowd of enthusiastic fans, amazed and slightly stunned at the phenomenon. And I’m full of anticipation for this year, because with the addition of more people to help, we have so many new ideas to try and resources on which to rely. Donations of costuming and fabric and set pieces have started coming in, thanks to our team, and our advertising is going to be on point (again, thanks to the team). So it feels, too, that last year was really about establishing the footing for the event and now, it really gets to shine.

The purposes of the whole endeavour are to raise funds to help fix up the old theatre, as well as put monies in the Drama Club bank account for future productions and trips, but it’s also about involving young people in local theatre, contributing to community togetherness, and providing entertainment for our citizens.

One thing is for certain: I don’t think the event would be at this stage if it were me trying to pull it together alone, like last year. I’m extremely grateful to my friends. And crazy as it sounds, I’ve started to experience that odd phenomena that happens to theatre folk — thinking ahead to the next project, even before this one is finished. I do that with the writing, too. Have to rein myself in and remember to get the one underway completely before my attention moves on!

I put together a trailer to whet our appetites, using pictures from last year’s event, and I’ll do another as soon as our opening night is complete and I have shots of our fresh displays and jump scares. Hoping to do another walk-through, as well.

Send us your positive thoughts! And if you happen to be in my neck of the Canadian woods later this October, stop by the theatre for a refreshing fright . . .

The catharsis of building a Haunted House

Not a real haunted house — the fun Hallowe’en event. Just so we’re clear! 😜

There are a couple of new elements to this year’s experience, and I’m finding that they are having a positive impact on my mood: 

1) I’ve got reams of help, in the form of three — THREE! — other adults sharing the tasks of design, tracking, and development, and over sixty (OH MY GOD) students who have signed up to participate. I’m fully aware that we may only end up with 30 or 40 regular volunteers, but that’s away and beyond what we had last year. 

2) I get to be crafty, and not just in planning messed up ways to make people scream (and possibly pee a little) — I get to make messed-up crafts. This afternoon, for example, I experimented with zombifying a stuffy. Observe the prototype below!

 

I wonder what the custodian thought about this?

 
I think I will experiment further with adding green and yellow blobs for protruding guts and bones, maybe using papier mache. It was so fun making it, though! As I told one of my partners in crime, I felt both bad and giddy at the same time. Found myself actually apologizing to the thing while I was cutting it open and pulling its stuffing out. 

And then laughing crazily as I daubed it with red paint and glued on the fangs. 

Pure, delicious, consuming evil. 

And this is just the start. We have pages of plans and notes to share with the rest of the volunteers, teams within the larger group that will work together to make the second haunted house even more creepy and frightening than the first. 

I will admit, it’s taken me a little while to get my momentum up on this. Coffee helps, but even more so is the excitement of the others, their push to do it well and get the jobs done — that’s lighting my fire, even in my exhaustion. I cannot wait to see it pulling together over the next two weeks. And as soon as I have footage, making the trailer for social media, too! (I’ve got one ready, using pictures from last year, which will go live on Oct 1 — I’ll post the link for you to enjoy as well. 😬)

I worry, too. I’m anxious about trusting the kids to get their jobs done, and to be there when they say they will be. I worry about the lists of things to be obtained by borrowing, buying (damn, still haven’t asked about my budget!), and making by hand. But knowing I’ve got a team around me and (potentially) a small army of teenagers who are eager to make their friends and family shiver and shriek makes all the difference. 

Stay tuned for updates and photos as the project takes shape. Hallowe’en’s a-coming!

Feels like poetry tonight . . .

A glass of wine to ease the way

A cup of red scented sweetly as bruised roses

Warming the flesh and humming along bones

Alive with memories of days long past.

The storm came and drenched the road,

Ragged clouds harried before by mighty wind gusts

emptying torrents of rain on the blanching grasses

and jewelled leaves still clinging to the trees.

There is a waiting about the air,

A pause in the atmosphere,

A stillness in the movement of time and tide

while the planet hurls itself through space.

The season changed, but the earth resists,

delaying the fall into barren branch and frozen earth

as a woman plucks her silver hairs

as a man fights the aches of age.

Memories of Fan Expo 2015!

Egad! It occurred to me tonight that I hadn’t yet shared with you all the awesome pics we took at FanExpo this year! I’m so sorry for the delay. We’ve got shots of amazing cosplay, fun events, celebrities, and our loot. So much fun — hard to believe it was only three weeks ago.

Enjoy!

Teaching the Two-Step through (Pre)Teen Emotions

First middle / junior school dance* of the year, tonight. Bridget was so excited to learn about it yesterday, she was practically vibrating. She had her outfit put together last night, and repeatedly squealed how nervous she was. Jack was more laid back, nearly waiting until the last minute before deciding to go. 

*younger kids went from 6-7:45, older kids/young teens went from 8-10

Bridget didn’t even look back, once I paid her ticket. She drifted forward, Cinderella at the ball, found her friends and there were happy hugs all around. When I picked her up, she didn’t want to leave, of course. Her crush wasn’t there, but she wasn’t too disappointed. She’d chased a different boy down and made him slow dance with her. 

We had another chat about consent on the way home. 9 and a half, folks.

Jack didn’t have quite as good a time as he’d hoped. I won’t go into the details here, but suffice it to say that he finds himself wishing life were scripted. Doing my best to help him figure things out.

This is the part where I concentrate on remembering the roller coasters of fresh hormones at 14. And at almost 10. It’s been getting harder, though. Maybe that’s why some writers focus on youth fiction — it might become easier to reconnect with those memories and be able to empathise with the kids. 

Sweet Lust Affair, with Photo Proof (Flash Fiction True Story)

It was most definitely lust at first sight. 

I couldn’t look away. She was round and firm, dressed in simple but elegant style in fall colours, awaiting an invitation for a party for two And all the signs were there that she wanted me to take her home: the seductive brown eye catching mine, the smooth roundness of her body, laid back and relaxed behind a clear window deliberately designed to frame the object of my desire, to make my hands clench in anticipation, to have my mouth watering in need. 

I tried to walk away. I knew it was wrong. 

I didn’t need it.

But oh, I wanted it. 

I wanted the satisfaction. I’d never had this before, not completely. Selfishly, I wanted the taste. I had only had a sample of it before, dampening my lips, a hint of it on my tongue, and I wanted more.

I tried to walk away, but my feet took me in a circle — right back to the window, to the temptation, and my will crumbled. 

In my hands, we almost lost control. I couldn’t stop looking at her. She popped her top open on our way to the door, and her sweet fragrance overwhelmed my senses. “Just wait,” I murmured tenderly, uncaring of the state of the people nearby. I covered her back up, carefully. “Our time is coming.”

But not yet, I thought on the way to the car. No, I want the anticipation to build. I want the first moments to curl my toes. 

So I brought her home, and I made supper. Was it the suspense of the wait, the delight of certainty of the decadent pleasure that made my dinner so good? I held myself back from rushing, savouring every mouthful in practice and preparation for my . . . dessert. 

And at the same time, while she waited in the kitchen, perched coyly on my table, I thanked my lucky stars that my son had to be driven to karate as soon as I was done eating. That my daughter was having dinner at a friend’s house. I prayed that my husband would stay asleep where he was napping in the bedroom, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand the thought of us being interrupted. 

I wasn’t in the mood to share. 

Took the teen to his class. 

Went into the kitchen.

And she was mine. 

I had her fully in my hands, now, and oh, Gods, I wanted to just open my mouth and lick her clean, bury my face in her depths, consuming her coolness with the heat of my lips. I hungered like a vampire, baring my teeth, hovering over her curves with only a hair’s breadth of will keeping us apart. But it was too coarse, too quick. Our consummation had to be leisurely, slow, and entirely centered. A marathon, not a sprint. I wanted the pleasure to linger, rising and falling, rather than a burst of sensation over too soon.

So I brought her to the love seat, the better to support my feet as I stretched my legs beneath her. I took my time, choosing the perfect crevice into which to sink my tool. She gave gracefully, bending and breaking under the touch of my outstretched silver, opening to me in a delicate burst of fragrance and pale flesh. 

When I finally had her in my mouth, smooth and velvety, she tasted just as I’d imagined, just as I’d hoped. I closed my eyes to appreciate her flavour, rolling it on my tongue. 

And then I did it again. And again.

She’s in the kitchen, even now. Waiting for me to come back to her. I’m waiting for the others to go to bed, to have privacy once more. 

Like I said, I’m not going to share.

Want proof? It’s in our photos. Go ahead and look! I don’t care who knows about it, so long as you don’t come between us. 

Me, and my sweet lust affair.