I will be the first one to admit that I am freezing my butt off right now. Granted it's because it just seems like it is still too early to turn on the furnace, but that's more me than anything else. The cooler weather is one sign that my favorite time of year is finally upon us. Although it is sometimes a stressful time, given the various demands on my time which arise once autumn is upon us, it is important to remember that just about all of these demands lead to things which are fun.

In order to help keep this happy feeling* I have composed the following list.

  1. Halloween is right around the corner. This will be a reoccurring theme, but further items will pertain to specifics. This is just the joy that the anticipation of my favorite holiday brings.
  2. The cool weather. Yeah, I just complained about being cold, but there is something wonderful about that crisp feeling on the wind.
  3. Sleeping. Seriously, who doesn't love sleeping with the windows open when it's cool outside?
  4. Snuggling. Cool weather + open windows = dog pile on the bed.
  5. The end of that dreadful summer heat and humidity.
  6. Fall colors. Sure, it's a little trite but that doesn't make it any less beautiful.
  7. Crunching leaves underfoot.
  8. Kicking a big pile of leaves into the air like a kid.
  9. The smell of woodsmoke in the air. I'm never sure where it comes from, but it makes me smile.
  10. Bonfires. I mean the huge ones where you feel the heat on your face from yards away. Not a whole lot of them in the near-the-city suburbs. That's part of what makes them special.
  11. Apple cider. Especially warmed with a cinnamon stick..
  12. The cider mill. The greasy bag of donuts you would never eat any other time of the year and fighting the bees for your cider. Fun stuff no child should miss.
  13. Long sleeved shirts and flannel I can finally pull out of the closet.
  14. Wearing hoodies in the house.
  15. Feeling slightly less ridiculous curled up on the couch under my slanket*
  16. Putting up Halloween decorations indoors. It's fun to see my old friends hanging around when I first get up on the morning.
  17. Putting up Halloween decorations outside. This is a little more stressful, but the payoff is bigger because I get all the comments from everyone else.
  18. Horror movies on TV. It's nice to take a break from the glut of usual crap and once again be happy that we pay for satellite.
  19. Halloween stores. Even if I don't buy anything before Halloween, it's always fun to look.
  20. Craft stores. Especially the ones that discount their Halloween merchandise in September.
  21. Haunted houses. Getting a group together to go and be creeped out together.
  22. Hay rides.
  23. Haunted hay rides. Yes, there is a big difference.
  24. Midnight showings of your favorite horror movies. Sure, I could stay home and watch the DVD, but it's fun to sit in the audience with a group of people who love the show as much as I do.
  25. Halloween parties. Finally getting to reveal that costume I have been working on for months.
  26. Preparing for Halloween parties. Not only getting the costume together, but also the prep work for the ones you are throwing.
  27. The GLAHW Halloween party. Yes, specifically. Good fun for a good cause.
  28. Pumpkins. Pumpkins are cool.
  29. Mulled wine.
  30. Boots. Sure, barefoot season is nice, but it feels nice to get back into a sturdy pair of boots.
  31. NaNoWriMo. The National Novel Writing Month. 30 days. 50,000 words. It's a fun challenge. Even in those years I do not participate, it is nice to know that there are a bunch of crazy would be authors making the attempt.
  32. Public appearance. An added benefit of belonging to a group of horror writers is that come Halloween, everyone wants us around. We're giving seminars in libraries, performing public readings, speaking at conventions, and selling merchandise at movie showings.
  33. Hanging out after public appearances with some of the coolest people I know.
  34. Really crappy B movies. Yes, it is great to be able to pick and choose between showings of your favorite movies. There is something even more fun about sitting down to a movie that you know is going to be just awful.
  35. The return of network programming after the summer hiatus. Yeah, I know this is not the kind of thing someone is supposed to admit to, but it is something we each secretly look forward to.***/****
  36. Costumes. The chance to play at being someone else, even if only for a night.
  37. Ghost stories. They are just creepier in the fall.
  38. Halloween candy. Suuuuuuure all of that is for the kids.
  39. Seeing the little kids IN their Halloween costumes.
  40. Halloween!

That's all for now. I am sure that I will return to this theme again before the snow falls. For now, hopefully this is enough.

*and in a desperate attempt to keep warm.

**Like a Snuggie, but mine is black with skulls on it.

***Even though the summer shows on basic cable are usually more entertaining than the regular network stuff.

****Note I did not mention the new television shows. That's too risky. Most of the ones that I end up liking will end up on the scrap heap after only a few episodes.