Check the date. Yeah. Today is Wednesday, November 4. Uh huh. Perhaps you don’t recall, but my book was due November 1. I may have mentioned that a couple of times.
About now you’ve clicked away or else are glued to your screen wondering what happened.
Did she do it? Was she like Awesome Amanda (who actually turned her book in early? Or was she Merely Mortal Carolyn, turning her book in on time?
Or did something terrible happen involving tearful crying over the phone to her agent?
Oh, and did you-all remember the time change? Because most of the U.S. had to Fall Back at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday November 1, the day my book was due. To be honest, I didn’t stay up for the big event. No, at 2:00 a.m., I was fast asleep in a sugary dream fueled by a great deal of Halloween candy.
Because, as you must know, the day before November 1 (the day my book was due) is October 31, which is Halloween. Any parent knows that this is one of the Three Big Non-Birthday Occasions no parent dares mess up. Two of the days involve bunnies and reindeer, respectively. Which means, in case you still need coffee, that the day before my book was due, my evening was previously engaged.
Yes, the tension is certainly mounting.
We go to my brother’s house for Halloween because we live in the boonies and he lives in an area known for its holiday extravagance. My brother does this awesome haunted house that at key portions of the evening has a line out to the sidewalk.
Anyway, some fool put me in charge of handing out candy. It’s a complicated job involving taste testing, admiring costumes, directing haunted house traffic, advising young kids and teen boys (to mess with their minds) that there is a No Scare version of the Haunted House. There’s a lot of standing involved since we set up a table and a cauldron in front of the house, which means, I’m sure you’ve guessed, that the person handing out the candy (me!) has to keep her strength up by searching out the Whoppers, Baby Ruths and Junior Mints to make sure they taste good.
They did. With every batch. There is also a great deal of skill involved in making it look like you’re giving out gobs of bad-for-your-teeth-sweetie candy while not actually dropping the whole handful into the waiting bag. This is necessary because the kids often come by in batches of 20 or more. And the Haunted House draws them to us like flies. Over 500 kids served!
Here is an actual conversation that took place the night before my book was due.
Me: No, the Haunted House line is over there (pointing boy in correct direction)
Boy dressed as um, something: (He is 8 or 9) Is this where you come out?
Me: No. Nobody comes out of the Haunted House.
BDAUS: Why not?
Me: It’s haunted. A few make it out. Most don’t. (Pointing to large glass jar next to cauldren, which contains floating fingers, eyeballs and shrunken heads) We put the left over bits in here.
Me: Well, yeah. Were do you think we got all this?
BDAUS: (Eyes get really big)
Me: No. Not really. The line’s over there (pointing). Have some candy and ask for the No Scare version if you’re worried.
As you can see, I am completely perfect for this job.
And I was very relaxed because my book was done.