Let the holidays begin!

The spirit’s in the air. It starts with opening the garage cabinets labeled Holidays–the Halloween box safeguards our treasures. Three resin pumpkins, a black-ribboned wreath, a modestly glittered witch and warlock, and a miniature red wagon bearing a skeleton.

The first Halloween in our new home here in Tucson, I purchased two robust live pumpkins and artfully decorated them – Smiley and Creepy. They gave off the message that yes, someone lives in this house that had been on the market.

Two days later, they were gone. Vanished. My New York City attitude kicked in. “Oh man, somebody took our pumpkins.”

“Ah probably not,” a new neighbor advised with a bit of a twinkle in his eye. “Javalinas love pumpkins”


“Or could have been a bobcat or coyote,” he added as he sauntered off up the street. “…And they were here first.”

Now our Halloween decorations include three pumpkins, courtesy of Michaels.

Our community has very few children as I found out that first Halloween. I had stocked up on candy, planning ahead by buying my favorites to munch on during the trick or treat wait, and for post-Halloween. Mini-Mounds for me and Reese’s Pieces for my sweetheart. November 1 we had mounds of Mounds left over, which I enjoyed until I couldn’t even think of chocolate without pain, and found a local dentist who takes leftovers for 1¢ a pound. What do they do with all that sugar? Give to their clients in a forced economic plot? Send to third-world countries perpetuating the myth of helpful aid?

Now I buy one small bag of mini-bars, knowing I have more of a chance of seeing costumes at Safeway (see my stand of costuming in “Halloween Takeover”) or over at my sister’s house (scene of “Be a Kid Again”).

Halloween is the kickoff of the holiday season for me. Now I can wear my Halloween jewels, then don the colors of the season and wish everyone a merry, happy, whatever the holiday may be.

For those of you who like to have some exact dates: Halloween (10/31).

Then November comes: National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo (I know, I know, you can really knock out some great stuff but I just can’t get into this), Peanut Butter Lovers Month (which I can get into), Dia de los Muertos (11/3-5) Tucson’s 28th Annual All Souls Procession & Finale Ceremony (11/5 4:00 PM), Thanksgiving (23), Election Day (7), Veteran’s Day (11), Take a Hike Day (17), French Toast Day (28), Stay at Home Because You are Well Day (30)

And in the 2017 home stretch–December: World Aids Awareness Day (1), Letter Writing Day (7), Winter Solstice (21), Chanukah begins (12), Ice Cream Day (13), National Chocolate Day (24), Christmas (25), Kwanza begins (26), National Fruitcake Day (27), New Years Eve (31).

Source for National Days https://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/november.htm

It matters not that I do not seriously celebrate each of these special days. They’re special for some folks and make them happy. More ways to greet people. Seems like a few more friendly greetings to each other might just be a good idea. Even the Grinches, non-believers, and Scrooges seem slightly friendlier whether indulging my fierceness of spirit, or maybe the spirit really does catch on.

All this celebrating sure is fertile ground for harvesting anecdotes, vignettes and stories. Check my posts on Halloween.

And there’s a host of great events being harvested in Southern Arizona.

If you’re in the Tucson area, here’s a sample of the November harvest:

Every Tuesday: The Eastside Writing Room: Our very special weekly meeting. Indulge your creative spirit every Tuesday in a quiet supportive environment on Tucson’s eastside with other talented writers. Contact Ethel.

November 2Odyssey Storytelling. Stories about “Chemistry” 7:00 pm. YWCA of Southern AZ. Tucson AZ 85745. So will this collection of true stories bring about the perfect recipe or the perfect storm? Curated by Jen Nowicki Clark. Storytellers include: Jon Wirtis, Ana Gaskin, Sharon Schneiderman, Terry Gallegos, Adam Hostetter, John Barnes

November 4: Tellers of Tales monthly meeting 9:30 am – Unscrewed Theater, 3244 E Speedway. Storyteller Jack Lasseter -“Historic Storytelling.” Contact: https://tellersoftalestucson.com

Nov. 11-12 Jeff Harris and Christy Snow lead a multi-faceted workshop “Our Stories of the Day” We all have a story and that story has impact on our lives and the lives of others. Stories might be spiritual, moral, true (?), humorous, uplifting, outrageous, long or short. There’s no need to be a writer or artist. Workshop, art, meditation, lunch and light refreshments. At the DesArt Studio in the Picture Rocks area of Tucson. Sounds pretty good to me. Contact (520) 682-8488 or send an email to de­sartstudio2@gmail.com.

November 14: I’ll be sharing a new “Seedlings” story at Tellers of Tales’ WOW Story Circle. For members only.

See the ELM events page here for full event descriptions.

Enjoy your own special harvest of writing, celebrating and sharing your gifts. Let me know how you’ll be celebrating.

When you’re ready for more, ELM Events 2018 will be up in December.   (S.P.E.A.K.; MEMOIR and SOCIAL MEDIA (really); my colleague Mary Havens at TFOB, and Penelope Starr storytelling in HAWAII ! )