Soul Food Project

Halloween

Over the years The Soul Food Cafe has hosted Halloween Blogs where writers, poets and artists have contributed wonderful Halloween Tales that added a slight chill to one of the most delightful nights of the year.

This year we invite you to visit The Disturbing Playground - where on a daily basis your will find prompts and stories, artwork and resources to add a seasonal touch to your work. So come one, come all- we'll have a haunting good time.

And for inspiration take a moment and check Halloween blogs over previous years 

Eventide At The Chamber of Horrors
Halloween At The Chamber of Horrors
Mrs Parsons House
The Late Show
Once Upon A Midnight

To become a member of The Disturbing Playground collaborative blog and to post your material for Halloween contact Anita Marie Moscoso gargoyle642001 at yahoo dot com or heatherblakey at fastmail dot fm

Finally: Because this blog caters for all ages we reserve the right to restrict work with 'adult' content.

Blogging Mentor and Guide

Heather Blakey has had over ten years experience building online communities using web based technologies. She first began to blog in 1999 when she was a columnist for Cathy Atherton's Prairie Den and went on to demonstrate the potential of blogging. She wrote articles such as Zen and the Art of Team Blogging and worked in schools across Victoria, Australia, promoting the use of blogs to engage students and enable them to meet and be heard by people with similar interests.

The Wild Garden Advent Calendar, created in 2007, explored the use of web based technology and amazingly, much of it is very current. The creative work of women who Heather Blakey has mentored and guided reveals just what can be birthed in this environment.

Perhaps you still don't know what a blog is. Maybe you don't know a tweet from a widget or how to link to others. It could be that you simply need the hand of a creative midwife to help you realize your creative potentiality.

It so happens that Heather is offering private mentoring for those who want to use blogging for educational, artistic or business purposes. You can work with Heather and become familiar with all those tools people are using. You can learn about

  • Basic blog construction using WordPress

  • Creating digital portfolios

  • Discover diverse, imaginative blog applications to meet individual needs

  • Monetizing Your Blog and promoting business

  • News-gathering and Research Methodology

  • Building niche communities and online groups

  • Link-building Strategies

  • Social Media Optimization

  • And much more...
    Contact heatherblakey at fastmail dot fm for more information

Newsletters 2003 -4

June - July 2003
August - September 2003
October - November 2003
January - February 2004
April - May 2004
June - July 2004
August - September 2004
October Nonsense 2004

Newsletters 2011...

August 2011
September 2011

September 2011 Newsletter

Halloween

Halloween 2011

Halloween as it is celebrated these days is but a pale representation of its rich and multicultural history. It is not, as some would call it, a celebration of the Devil or of Hell or of the Damned, but rather a blending of the celebrations marking the end of the growing season, a heralding of the coming of the winter months and folk traditions that told of the day when the veil between the living and the dead, ever a transparent, gossamer veil at that, would lift and ghosts and ghouls would walk among the living. From those many traditions, coming to us from the Celts, the Roman rituals and even Catholic tradition, we get the stirrings of what would eventually become Halloween.

In n the old days, or once upon a time, in the tradition of fairy tales, there were the Celtic people and their Druid priests. The Druids were believed to have the ability, among other skills, to commune with the dead. Their powers, it was rumored, were much more powerful on the day of Samhain (pronounced sow-en), which was the last day of the year in the Celtic calendar. But, before believing that the Halloween celebration came directly from Samhain, a day mistakenly attributed directly to the Wiccans rather than to the Celts, you must understand that it is a blend of Hallowmas, a celebration of Catholic origins, as well as the Roman festival called Feralia.

On the day of Samhain, the Celtic people would all extinguish their home’s hearth fire. They would gather in front of a blessed bonfire and would sing, dance and listen to the stories that were told during the celebration. At the end of the evening, each person would take some of the bonfire home to relight their heart fire in hopes of ensuring good fortune to their home and family for the coming year. It is said that if your hearth fire would not light from the sacred bonfire, misfortune, even death, would befall someone in the house that very year. By the 19th century, most of the religious aspects of the Halloween celebration had dwindled away and it was mostly a secular holiday, a gathering of community with only some of the remnants of the past clinging to it like the cobwebs of a haunted house. People would still dress up in costume, but less for the original reason of confusing the dead and more for just plain entertainment and fun.

from Halloween Dot Com

Featured Halloween Writing Exercise

Alien

The movie ” Alien ” is considered to be one of the best Science Fiction movies- if not of it’s time…but ever. I say so because John Hurt is one of my favorite actors…but I digress.

Despite the fact that ” Alien ” takes place on a spaceship and one of the crew members is an android the movie “Alien”, at the center of its deep dark heart, is actually your basic old fashioned haunted house story complete with a monster that comes up out of the basement and nearly eats everyone alive.

” Alien ” right there in plain sight, told a story with a basic structure anyone who tells or read ghosts stories understands but in ” Alien ” the writers told that story outside the box.

Want to give it a try? ::::PROMPT::::

Magnetars are believed to be the most powerful magnets in the galaxy. Today I heard that they are so powerful they could suck the iron right out of your blood from thousands of miles away. So…will your magnetar appear as a Vampire? A jealous schoolgirl? An abandoned house? Tell your story, have fun and of course… Ghoul Luck! 

More Halloween Activities

You will find more Halloween activities at The Disturbing Playground. Aside from these you might try a few of the following activities.

1. Pack a picnic basket and head off to an old, remote cemetary. Spread out your rug by a grave that seems to call you. Note down the details of who lies here and chat to them about the meaning of life.

2. Design a coffin for yourself, making sure to have, like the ancient Eygptians, all the things you may need in the after life. Personally I will need a well stocked pantry to ensure that I have something sustaining to offer when guests arrive. I might also install a periscope so I can check out what everyone is doing up there.

3. Funny Bones is one example of a children's book based on a family of skeletons who lived in a dark dark cellar. Make some skeletons and then write a story in which they feature.

4. Try making some spooky Raven Origami to add decorations.

5. Go back in time and enjoy working with Werewolves.

From Way Back

Red Death

THE “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal–the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour… Use the passage from Edgar Allen Poe’s story to write about the coming of Red Death. 

Original Red Death Project - 2002
Halloween Red Death
Salon du Moscoso