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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thank you to all who entered STJ's 'Memoirs of Halloween Haunts' Short Story Contest.  There were so many fantastic submissions; it was difficult to select our favorite story!  The winning author of our contest is Sophie Anne Roberts.  We hope you enjoy her story as much as we did! 

~Halloween Month~

by Sophie Anne Roberts
In rural Pennsylvania there is never a shortage of corn stalks, pumpkins, beautiful leaves and candy on Halloween.  This is the setting where my best childhood Halloween memories took place.

October was a month long celebration in my family that started with the tradition of decorating.  Every room was anointed with black and orange.  Paper accordion pumpkins hung on doors and windows, our traditional cardboard life-size jointed skeleton was placed in a new spot every year and the “Readers Digest” black cat was a staple at our house.  His body was made from a folded Readers Digest that was spray-painted black with a round Styrofoam head, whiskers made of pipe cleaners and a tail of braided yarn.

As the month progressed we carved our pumpkins.  This was quite an event as my mom planned ahead for the mess, my dad planned ahead with a sharp knife, and my brother and I planned not only to create a masterpiece, but to feast on roasted pumpkins after the carving was complete.

The weekend before Halloween my parents would have a big party for our friends and neighbors.  We would roast hot dogs, make ‘smores and hang out by the fire enjoying the brisk fall air.  This was the highlight of my year.  Several weeks before the big “weenie” roast my dad would start saving the hard wood from his shop.  This would burn hot and slowly.   He would also do the fall clean up on our property and pile it over on the burn pile. This would burn fast and get the fire going quickly.  I remember always being anxious for the coals to be just right so we could being the “roast.”

Then the BIG day – Halloween!  We always went out on Halloween night, dressed VERY warmly with our closets friends.  Of course we had to start at my grandparents who just lived down the hill from us.  That was the dress rehearsal.  If you could walk down the hill in your costume and back you were going to make it Trick-or-Treating.  We would hit all the neighbors and friends, but never went to a home we didn’t know.  We made a haul!  We would come home and our parents would sort through the candy and discard anything that looked not right or was unwrapped.  Then my dad would take the candy he knew we wouldn’t like, you know he was “saving us”.  The rest was stored always and we were allowed a few pieces a day.

Halloween was truly a special time for my family as it was the one holiday everyone was really into. To this day It is still my favorite holiday!

Halloween Social

Written by Denise Young
Denise Young Photography & Design, Halloween baby and enthusiast!

Today most people keep in touch and share their lives through a social outlet like Facebook, Twitter, email or text.  Why not extend your love for Halloween and other favorite holidays to social media outlets?  The best example is Facebook.  The “timeline” creation has caused quite a stir on Facebook with a considerable amount of negative feedback.  But why not embrace it?  Use it as another outlet for your Halloween enthusiasm, fascination, and creativity!

The timeline allows you to put pictures and creations on your page.  As long as what you would like to share is imported as a jpeg file, Facebook will load it.  A jpeg file is a very commonly used file.  All cameras take pictures in jpeg and it can be created from everyday programs such as Microsoft Publisher and Photoshop. If digital design is not your specialty or is too challenging, you can buy one.  The Internet offers many outlets to find one, such as Etsy.  Many shops are carrying Facebook timelines now at very reasonable rates and most shop owners will create one for you for an additional cost.

The graphic image below is one example of a Halloween themed timeline.  Adding this festive holiday to your Facebook timeline is fun and creates interest for friends who view your page.  If you have a business page, this is a great way to incorporate your love for Halloween and generate chatter on your Facebook page.  Creations can range from a single picture, to a mass produced design purchased, to a privately created masterpiece or even a montage of favorite Halloween pictures.  The opportunities are endless with social media.

Keep Halloween alive in your homes, your offices and on your social media outlets.  Create, upload, share and repeat!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September Preview

Take a sneak peek at what STJ's spooktacular artists 
have brewed for the update...

Want to know what else has been cookin' in the cauldron?  We welcome you join us on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:00 am EST at SpookyTime Jingles to discover what else the wickedly talented artists of STJ have in store just for you!
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