Funny how I forgot about that.  I've worked second shift for years and started developing what I suspected was winter depression.  Lethargic, bored, sleeping long hours, never wanting to get up.  Somehow, I thought that would be fixed by moving to a first shift schedule.  After all, I'm actually seeing daylight in the winter now, right?

Not so much.  It didn't even occur to me what was happening.  Just got more and more reclusive.  Procrastinated more and more.  Stopped reading.  The works.  Mainly I've been watching TV.  Bought a new 47" and set up a new speaker system (some new, some old).  I've watched I don't know how many DVDs, BluRays, downloads, you name it.  Finally got caught up on Doctor Who.  Then, I got upset because the next episode doesn't come out until the end of March.  I love that show.  Factually inaccurate in a lot of ways, but very creative, very different.

And one thing I don't get.  In the first episode of the series Torchwood, Captain Jack Harkness (an American character), played by a British-American actor who lived his formative years in the US, pronounces estrogen in a way I can only guess as being a British pronunciation.  Weird.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get on track again.  Starting today.
 
I miss Halloween.  There was a time when it was the only holiday.  I never really cared that much about my birthday.  After all, something always went wrong.  Like the time we made chocolate chocolate chip muffins for my birthday, went out to do a night time easter egg hunt (my birthday is the 27th of March), lost a Maglite flashlight and came back to find that our dog had eaten all the tops off the muffins.  Some of the muffins had been eaten whole, paper included (yeah, he was known for that trick).  The twenty pound terrier had to jump at least three feet straight up into the air onto a slick metal surface without sliding off to accomplish that feat.  Brava, Trooper.  But that's just one example.  There are many more.  Suffice it to say, my lucky number is 13 (another testament to my weirdness, but that's another story), my unlucky number is 27.

In a child's life, I feel like there are only really three holidays: Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.  Maybe this is because each of these holidays involved the receipt of candy.  And, boy, do I love chocolate.  Even when I used to love Christmas, the other two holidays were easily out shined by Halloween (even if I got more gifts at Christmas).  I loved dressing up in costume (and still do thanks to Renaissance festivals) and I've had an obsession with things like vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, and et cetera since I could remember.  Maybe I watched Gremlins one too many times when I was little.  Maybe INXS mutated my brains.  For all I know, it was The Little Mermaid that twisted me so.

But there is one thing for certain, if my brother and I loved Halloween with a passion (and all related topics), my dad would become just as adamantly frustrated with it.  Not that I blame him.  I think just about anyone would eventually tire of hearing about vampires, blood, monsters, ghosts, and what not for half the year.  Growing up, I think my Halloween spirit lasted for about nine months out of the year, beginning months before Halloween started and only ending when I was threatened by my dad.

But in recent years, I have stopped celebrating that most favored of holidays.  Last year I didn't dress up at all because my family went to the beach for a pirate thing and I couldn't go.  This year, my brother's wedding was two days before and I just didn't have time to make plans.  I'm not sure what to do about this stagnation of my Halloween spirit.  Maybe I need only perpetuate it throughout the year as I did as a child?  Maybe, I already do.  Maybe, by choosing to write about vampires and werewolves, mermaids, faeries, ghosts, and what not, I am keeping that spirit alive on a day to day basis.

Or maybe I just need to throw convention aside and dress in costume on a regular basis.  Do you think anyone at the university would care if I dressed as a faerie?
 
So, I am about 81% finished reading Rebecca Hamilton's The Forever Girl.  I just read a scene where she passes by a woman reading tarot for a customer.  And, of course, the death card comes up.  I wonder what it is that makes us, as writers, drawn to this card.  Sure, both Becca and I know that the death card is indicative of change (symbolic of the death of one series of events and the necessary beginning of the next), but why does it seem that this cards always shows up when tarot readings are done in media.

The last time I remember a card other than one of the "face" cards coming up was The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks.  In that instance, all of the cards drawn were associated with swords and the "customer" was world renowned for his skills with a sword.  Not really the point of the suit of swords.  In fact, the suit of swords is representative of the cerebral side of life, as opposed to the material for pentacles, emotional for cups or creative for wands.  These designations mostly make sense if you think about them symbolically.  Sword fighting (specifically with a foil and related) is more akin to a game of chess than an act of war.  Wands (and with association magic) is all about creativity and openness of mind to the possibilities of the universe.  I never really understood the symbolism behind cups and pentacles and I think I tend to get them backwards because I always think cups seem more symbolic of the material.

But really, I wish people would move beyond the clear symbolism of the Death card.  Though, I am thoroughly enjoying Becca's book and will be giving it rave reviews later tonight, I wish writers would put a little more thought into their tarot, especially when they can use a character's knowledge to explain the significance easily.

And, by the way, booyah!  I've told myself I was going to write in my blog at least daily.  I made it just under the line with fifteen minutes to spare.  Sweet, huh?