When I was fifteen and a half, I wrote an article entitled "Our House Is A Haunted House". It was around a thousand words long and was the first article I had written with the intention of finding a magazine to publish it in. And the first one I sent it to - the now long-defunct Fate & Horoscope Magazine - not only accepted it, they asked for another article. My first commission at barely sixteen! That first article detailed some of the strange goings-on my family had experienced in our modest council house in Carshalton. Strange knocks and noises - people singing, whistling, talking, the way the dog would sit at the foot of the stairs and bark at something at the top when all the family were downstairs, things disappearing and reappearing, the apparition of a cat etc etc etc. Hardly Exorcist material (thank goodness) - but somewhat alarming to experience when you are young and there are no logical explanations to be found. Anyway Fate liked it enough to publish it - much to my ecstatic delight - and ask for something else to be submitted, so it must have struck a chord somewhere.
I have always had an interest in folklore, myths and legends and my mother always told everyone I was sensitive to all things psychical. I suppose that is true. My diaries and journals over the years have been littered with experiences I've had. In fact it occurred so often that it was as natural to write about as say - bacon and eggs. I'd say something like - "good day at work, weather appalling, the dog's claws need cutting, I saw this old woman on the bus today who disappeared in front of my eyes. Baked beans for tea.".
When I was around eleven - long before it became popular to Trick or Treat - one of my little friends and I dressed up as witches and went around the local streets jumping out on people and howling about The Ides Of March. No doubt about it, I'd love to be a child nowadays on Halloween Night. Not only must it be tremendous fun, I should think it feels quite adventurous being out after dark dressed as a Hogwarts student or a vampire.
At Halloween I always remember that first article for some reason and the other day at the Young Writer group the assignment I set was an exercise in research. I asked the Young Writers to find out what they could about Halloween and write it down as a report in time for the next session. Be interesting to see how they get on. It is the first time I have set them something like this.
Anyway - just thought I'd reflect a little. Next time I write a Post it will be more Writing related.