We had a very slow night here. Only 5 groups of trick or treaters. The smallest was in a Superman costume and blew me a kiss instead of saying thank you. His mom tried to convince him to speak, to say "Trick or Treat" and then "Thank you"--he was too overwhelmed, so she said, "Can you blow the nice lady a kiss?" and he did! Too cute! We had a group of heavily costumed teenagers--at least I think they were teenagers; who can tell any more, with elementary school kids so huge these days, both tall and fat--too many hormones in the milk! Anyway, I gave them candy because at least they put on costumes.
Very few elementary school kids out. Is it because it was so hot? I thought that since Halloween was on a Saturday we might see more kids, but that was not the case.
Oh well, At least I got decent candy--although I don't like Milk Duds and Rollos as much as I did when I was in 7th grade. I have more upscale chocolate tastes now!
But the last week has got me thinking about Halloween and creativity. I think that in some cities, more adults celebrate Halloween than the kids. At my school on Friday, I saw more adults in elaborate costumes than the college age students (who are, in fact, technically adults, come to think). I have friends who decorate elaborately--and some of them refuse to decorate for Christmas, but they'll decorate for Halloween.
So, here's my question: why will we, as adults, be creative during this time of the year, but not other times? Or is it just a matter of having the opportunity?
Last year, the Employee Engagement Committee at my workplace had a cookie decorating day for Valentine's Day. People put elaborate amounts of effort into decorating cookie hearts. Maybe we just need more times where creativity is encouraged--encouraged and not judged.
I envision workplaces with creativity posts, where people can gather and do a different creative project each week. If we can have smoking breaks, why not creativity breaks? I'd also like nap rooms, because a 30 minute nap can be so rejuvenating. I understand why napping on the job is problematic--who would wash the sheets? What if people used those nap rooms for other, more nefarious purposes?
But creativity stations . . . hmm, let me think more about that.
It's November 1, which means I should return to my October goals. Here are the goals I recorded in this post on Oct. 1, 2009, and below each, I'll write what I actually accomplished:
--Submit book-length manuscript to at least 2 publishers.
I did this--two copies of my book-length manuscript to two publishers, and one entry of one of my chapbook manuscripts to a contest.
--Get handwritten poems for next book-length manuscript typed into the computer. I've already chosen them from my poetry notebooks. This task will be good for the days when my creative energy is low and also good for the days when my organizational energy is low (I need lots of organizational energy to send poetry packets to journals).
I have most of them done--I may still need to type in one or two.
--Get back to writing poems; I last wrote a poem on Sept. 1. Let's set this bar low. I'd be happy if I could write a poem or two a week.
I did not do this during the first two weeks of October. I did this during the last two weeks of October.
--Make submissions to journals and periodicals.
I failed miserably. I only submitted to three places. In some years, by this time, I'd have made 75 submissions.
Now, to turn my attention to November. Actually, let's make it November and December:
--keep writing a poem or two a week.
--organize next book-length manuscript and chapbook manuscript. The book-length manuscript will be my Jesus/God in the world poems and the chapbook manuscript will be the modern working women poems.
--submit to the journals that stop taking submissions at the end of December.
--submit older book manuscript to 2-4 publishers.
On Jan. 1, I'll check in again to see how I did. Knowing that I would make a report to this blog on Nov. 1 was a surprising motivator on some days in October.
Happy November everyone. Down here in south Florida, we're still dealing with record breaking heat, but I know that some of you struggle with the dying of the light and the cold this time of year. January O'Neil has posted a great November poem by Tony Hoagland on her blog here. For those of you liturgical folks who celebrate All Saints' and All Souls' Day today and tomorrow, there are great resources (poems, pictures, memories) on John Guzlowski's blog here. For those of you who want some ideas for how to celebrate, even if you're not church-based, you might enjoy my post on my theology blog. Shefali's post on the sacred and the profane seems particularly profound to me this morning, as we've passed through one of the "thin spaces" between this world and the next, that thin space celebrated by ancients and moderns alike.