There’s a strong storytelling tradition linked to Halloween – and Christmas, too, for that matter. In the ancient world of the northern hemisphere, October must have been the start of the storytelling season. The crops were all in, daylight hours were getting shorter and shorter, and it was the most plentiful time of the year. Good food and time to relax put people in the mood to create as well as listen.
October is definitely a creepy season as well. There’s a chill in the air. The spiders are frantically spinning webs and escaping into warm houses. Killing frosts fall upon all the vegetation, and change the landscape into something dull and brown. Little mice (and big rats) come indoors, looking for food and warmth, and their random scritchings and scratchings must have added a certain eerie quality to evening story sessions.
Halloween was a time for remembering the people who died over the past year, and people of old must have spent many hours around a hearth or fire, telling stories of relatives who had passed on – stories of love, romance, fighting, revenge; stories of the loved ones who had left the earth as the storytellers knew it.
It’s a good time of year to write. What are you writing right now, today? And is the season influencing you?
(To get you in the mood, here are a couple of sites featuring Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” A link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcqPQXqQXzI) to hear James Earl Jones recite the poem, and here‘s the text with some extra analysis.)