Sunday, November 02, 2008


A Personal Message From The Mad Doctor

And so it ends. For now, anyway.

This is the first time we have ever attempted to blog for an entire month straight, and we are proud to say that we did it. Every day we found something new to talk about, and we even found unexpected support and made new friends.

In the future, we're going to try to post more often on the Harbinger, not just to tell you our stuff but also to give you more news on some of the horror and monster-related stuff that we enjoy. Bethany is shutting down her Pitiless Observations column to give more straightforward reviews, and she has graciously allowed the other Grrls to join her permanently, because all of them really enjoyed writing to you this month. (Especially Punkin.) And what are we gonna do next year? Well, to quote Bethany, that would be telling. But there will be a new post here soon.

We also have some others we would like to thank, who made our 31 Days Of Halloween so special:

And special thanks go to all of my family, friends and ardent supporters, including Claudia and Charlie White, the West Family (Greg, Kay, Zephyr and Katie-Brooke) Sandi and Seth Wheatley, Chris Brown, Charla Miley, Bob Collins, the Missisippi Writers' Guild (both state and local) and the whole of our Facebook FANG CLUB Members, and all other FANG CLUB Members everywhere!

And as Harriet would say, that's all for that... but just wait until next year!



Today is the last celebration day of Day Of The Dead, or Dia De Los Muertos. This is an annual Mexican holiday in which friends and family gather to celebrate the memories of those who have died, and it usually occurs after Halloween, taking up the first and second days of November. Families will gather at cemeteries with homemade altars that have sweets (usually sugar skulls), marigolds, and favorite foods and beverages of the departed. They believe that during this time, it's easier for the dead to hear the prayers of the living, and hope to encourage visits by the departed, in order that they may hear the prayers and remembrances of their loved ones.

We of European descent celebrate these as well. They are called All Saints Day and All Souls Day, and it's not unusual for some of us to take off work and go to the cemetery with candles and flowers for those we remember. Some even give their children gifts and sweets on this day.

I suppose that for the past few weeks now, I've been doing some of this myself. A friend of mine died recently, and some other friends and I have been cleaning out her house for her brother, who lives in Philadelphia. During that time as we sorted things and cleaned and straightened, we remembered her and talked about things she did and enjoyed. We didn't build an altar or anything, but we remembered our friend.

I look at these things that others do to remember their dead, and I think of all the times we've seen people speak out against Halloween, showing us its pagan origins, telling us it's a demon's holiday, and so on. I can't deny that the season has a shadowed past, but I also can't deny that sometimes we need to have wonder and mystery in our lives. We need a taste, if only a taste, of ghosts and monsters, of horror and death, to remind us that life is fleeting and that it can be done with before we know it, to remind us of what true evil is. Sometimes evil happens not because someone makes a deal with the devil or because someone builds a monster in a castle laboratory, but because people don't remember.

My departed friend sent me cards with a message every year for most major holidays, including Halloween. She also sent me a message in her death, which was to try to remember. Not just the bad things, but the good things too. I hope that in the future, I can do a better job of this. I will try.

In pace requiescat.

For the memory of Barbara Miles. Memento mori.