The Joys of the Dark


batsWe are entering the season of pumpkin-spiced everything, and Halloween superstores popping up like mushrooms after a week of rain. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have so much gloomy weather this time of year, that Halloween almost feels like a season unto itself. Or maybe I am just a Halloween superfan. The Seattle Seahawks may have their 12th Man (ask a sports fan), but the holiday of Halloween has me.

When I was five years old, my mother had to institute a rule in our home that I could not begin making decorations or decorating the house until October 1st every year. This should give you some idea about the levels of candy anticipating enthusiasm that I approached the end of October. It also happened to be my birthday month, so much the better. October has always meant crisp apples, fall leaves, and prowling the night in a costume.

With this in mind, I can safely say that no matter how gloomy the weather or how dark my interior landscape, there can always be some small light to write from. No matter how scary the material, or fearful I become, I know that once I write toward and through the dark woods, I will emerge on the other side. Yes, maybe a bit scared, but I will emerge like the hero at the end of the horror movie, worse for wear, but still alive as that zombie hand that crawls off in the corner of the screen promising a sequel in the future…

What I want to tell you amid the skeletons, bright autumn leaves, and very skimpy Halloween costumes, is that you have what it takes to keep on writing. No matter how scary the material looms ahead, no matter how lost you become in the dark and gloomy manuscript, you can do it. I believe in you.

Keep writing. No matter what. You will make it out the other side so long as you keep going forward.

I promise. Black cats and all.


Jory Mickelson, 5×5 Poetry Editor

Comments are closed.