It’s many years ago, it's Fall, and I’m having lunch with agent Irene Goodman, and I’m asking about her kids and we get into the Halloween costume discussion.
I hadn’t really thought about how important costume selection is to a child. It is who you are that year. Who you want to be. Who you want to try on—to stand out. To blend in. To connect. To explore.
So I asked, “So what is your daughter going to be for Halloween this year?” and I get an earful! She was thinking about this, she was thinking about that, she couldn’t decide. I can’t remember now all the options and alternatives, but there were many. Finally it all boiled down to one heartfelt cry, which her mother shared with me—which I have never forgotten:
“I want to be powerful! But still…pretty.”
I nodded. Wisely. Don’t we all?
And isn’t that what is so wonderful, so seductive about reading? About stories? That we slip into each character’s skin for a time and become powerful, pretty, everything beyond and in between.
We can indulge the many faces of our complex selves, we can balance any opposing fantasy within a story, assuming any sex, ethnicity, age, orientation, experience, social status. Indeed we can lose our human-ness entirely and run with the wolves, swim with the dolphins, soar with the birds.
We can find ways to be powerful…and recognize that we may also still want to be pretty. Or just pretty powerful. Or whatever.
So what should you be reading to get you in the Hallowe'en mood? Check out
Girl's Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky, out this October from Red Dress Ink. Mindy sends these adorable eVites to her signings. She also has a blog. I haven't inspected them closely enough to understand the Cocktail motif. Shaken, not stirred?
I've just finished Girl's Guide after getting hooked on the first few chapters in the acquisition meeting when Mary Theresa presented it. It was delightful then, and after grabbing a copy of the book (the last on the shelf!) I indulged myself in this irresistible fantasy.
Is it a book of unpredictable tricks filled with interesting treats or a intriguing treat filled with unexpected tricks? It was a total treat! I really enjoyed it, loved the heroine, loved her familiar, enjoyed exploring a half-real half-created Washington, D.C. (my sort-of home town) through the author's eyes.