This post is for my regular readers, who may be wondering what the hell is going on with me. It is, after all, less than nine weeks until Halloween, and –after a rather anemic start — my normal Halloween Countdown posts have stopped appearing on schedule.
Two things have happened:
Thing 1 (good):
I have been making excellent progress on my current novel project AND incorporating my brand-spanking-new copy of Scrivener into my process. (For those of you who don’t know, that’s a piece of software that simplifies the organizational aspects of a novel writing project.) I’m thrilled with the tool, but it’s got a steep learning curve. I’ve been refusing to let the time needed to familiarize myself with the program reduce my word count progress, thus, I am spending A LOT of time working on my fiction. The blog has suffered.
Thing 2 (insane):
I’ve realized that many of my original Halloween posts have grown unwieldy as I’ve updated them over the last couple of years. Getting some of them updated has made me realize that my system isn’t sustainable. The whole concept of my Halloween section needs an overhaul. I believe the countdown needs to be separated from the articles that have always accompanied them. Consequently, the countdown images themselves need to be redone. (I was getting tired of them anyway.) I expect to have a new series of images to share soon, but the countdown will be shorter than usual this year.
In the meantime, the Halloween-centric content that already exists needs to be repackaged.
Here’s a peek at the bones of the future Halloween index:
So I’m gonna do as much as I can manage this week, in an attempt to salvage the season before we get much closer to The Big Day. It will actually be less time-consuming than forcing the current system into an even more Gordian state. (My alternative is to completely strip Halloween out of the blog this year, and we all know that would kill me.) The project is underway, but I’ve got a lot to do before I’ll feel like I’m managing things well. Posts may go up at wonky intervals and/or be backdated. They may not yet fit neatly into a framework. For short periods of time, photos may be placeholders for planned shots. In short, it’s gonna be a mess before it gets better.
Adult Coloring Pages
Recently, my husband and I went to the bookstore where we saw dozens of themed coloring books prominently displayed, all of them intended for adults.
I couldn’t help but think the retailer has a brilliant sense of timing.
In late August and early September, I am always struck by back-to-school nostalgia. For me, that nostalgia manifests as an almost primal urge to hunt for and gather fresh creative supplies.
In the early autumn, when I shop for things I actually need, I keep accidentally wandering into the office and school supply section, where I linger over new academic planners and fondle new journals. I am prone to searching for a familiar green and yellow box just so I can open it and breathe in that new Crayola smell. (Is it stealing if all you do is snort up all the scent your sinuses can handle?)
I don’t really need any new art supplies. I’ve got plenty of crayons, markers and colors around the house. What I really need is a reason to use them. I am pretty sure there is a new coloring book in my near future, but I don’t yet know what theme I want to purchase. Until I figure it out, though, I can content myself with a few coloring pages.
I’ve offered a couple of links to free, printable coloring pages here at The Paranormalist in years past, as a sort of Halloween treat. This year, I’ve double-checked that those designs are still readily available AND I’ve found some new ones to share.
NOTE: I discovered that finding free coloring pages on the web is more complicated that one would think–there are A LOT of badly formatted sites out there.
All of the links I provide below will lead you to a PDF version of the image which will print on one standard size sheet of paper … you DO NOT have to download the document to special PDF viewers that so many of these pages aggressively advertise. (You do need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC — but you probably already do.) All of the following links have specific information about what to click. In general, clicking the correct link will open a new window with a larger version of the printable image. When the full-sized image opens, drop your cursor into the lower right corner of your window so the control panel opens.
TIP: Printing the designs on white card stock will give you an even better coloring experience, especially if you want to use colored pens or markers, rather than crayons or colored pencils.
Adult Coloring Pages for the Halloween Season:
NEW 5 Designs From Secret Garden:
Back in 2013, Johanna Basford published Secret Garden a vanguard title in the adult coloring book trend. Since then, she’s drawn at least two more books which can be ordered from Amazon, and found in many bookstores and gift shops. She is the rock star of adult coloring book artists. I’ve found five of her designs from Secret Garden available for free at The Guardian.
Please click this link to view the list of designs, then click each text link on that page to open each PDF. Forgive me for not posting thumbnails; the potential layers of copyright protection (between the book & the newspaper article) make me nervous about posting the images here. Here’s an image of the coloring book:
For the lead-up to Halloween, I especially love:
- #1 (a garden scene that could be colored to reflect late summer)
- #2 (a Mandela-style owl that begs to be colored in autumnal tones)
NEW Seven Sugar Skulls:
Choose from 3 difficulty levels, or a blank skull on which you can make your own decorative design.
At the above page, click the text link directly beneath the design.
At the above page, click the blue PRINT button beneath the design.
NEW Two Intricate Horror Designs from Coloring Life:
- Slasher Movie – at print screen: change layout to landscape and change margins to minimum (Default margins will make it over-run a tiny bit onto a second page.)
- Graveyard Celebration – at print screen: change layout to landscape and change margins to minimum, which makes it slightly larger
At the above links, look for the SMALL gray box that says “Print.” It’s above the random ad, which is above the image.
3 Halloween-themed coloring pages at Activity Village.
At the above links, click the text link directly above the design.
At the above link, follow for the instructions under the image.
Photo credit: the coloring link image is by Helen Penjam
I do NOT need a new hobby. That said, I am lusting after a monster model kit or two. A fellow blogger hooked me on this idea a while back, with a post titled: Aurora Monster Models and Prehistoric Scenes Kits. Ever since I read his piece, I’ve been resisting the pull of these beauties. What saves me is the fact that I really just want to HAVE the models, not so much spend the time MAKING them. (I did ask Ogre last night if he missed model making. Perhaps there is a trip to a hobby store in my near future.)
NOTE: It appears that any given model might be available from any number of sources. I’ve linked to the ones I found, but if the suggested site goes out of stock, just google the proper name of the creature and see what comes up. Click around a little to find your favorite monster – many different designs are available. Be careful, though. Some listings are for reproduction boxes only. Others are for more expensive models in vinyl or resin. Some models might be available at your local hobby store. I’ve gathered a selection that shows a cross-section of the available plastic (styrene) model kits.
MONSTER SCENES SNAP-TOGETHER MODELS
If even the level 2 kits I’ve spotlighted above are a little too intimidating, there is another option. Monster Scenes models are snap-together, rather than glue-dependent. The scale of these models is 1/13, and each kit is intended to work with all the other kits in the collection.
SEX & SADISM IN A KIT
Yes. That does mean “The Victim” fits inside “The Hanging Cage” … and in every other torture and restraint device in the dungeon diorama pieces.
The Monster Scenes line was created by Aurora, who had enjoyed massive success in the 60s, with classic Universal Monsters models. In the early 70s, they introduced this set, which quickly attracted the ire of religious and feminist groups. (And probably most parents.) Remember, the suggested age on these “toys” was 10 and up.
You can see how the pieces can be used to create multiple scenes in the following video, and get a glimpse of some additional pieces that may be available if you’re good with a search engine.
Get The Victim, The Hanging Cage & Gruesome Goodies at Moebius Models. ($25 – $30 each.) Try MegaHobby for: The Feral Cat, Sabre Tooth Rabbit, The Skeleton. Amazon is another resource which currently stocks The Pendulum, and Dr. Deadly himself.
Having never been a model builder, I had to do some poking around to even begin to understand what to do.
I found this:
A beginner’s guide to making plastic models. (This is a general site, that talks about model vehicles,)
How to Make (Plastic) Monster Models by Dex Robinson. Where Dex shows various stages in the process resulting in this masterpiece:
— just to get an idea of how expensive (outside of the cost of the models themselves) this hobby is.
Megahobby Modelers Pack Set 4
“Great for getting started in Modeling”
You get the Testors Hobby Knife, Liquid cement with applicator, Special Value paint set and Testors sandpaper.
Approximate Price: $19.79
Megahobby Tool Pack
This set includes Testors liquid cement, a three-pack of fine sable paint brushes, a Model Expo sprue cutter, a Testors assorted sand paper pack with three different grits, and a Testors standard hobby knife.
Approximate price: $22.99 0r, if you want a Mega Hobby tee, $29.99.
I know, of course, that the actual supplies to complete a model would be far higher.
Especially because, of course, I want to do this:
Photo credit: Wolfman link image by Parlor of Horror
I’ve felt incredibly welcomed into the PostAWeek community from the very start, and now I’m half-convinced they are making prompts just for me. This week’s theme is, of course, ‘creepy’ and I’m all over that :)
Now seems like a good time to announce that I am in the process of creating a section of the blog which is dedicated entirely to photos and photo projects (like The Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt, and The Haunting Photos Gallery.) The section can be accessed anytime by clicking on the ‘haunting photos’ link in the blog header area. (And by clicking HERE.)
I could post a number of photographs in response to this week’s prompt, but I’ll limit myself to one that I don’t think has ever appeared at the blog before:
THE CREEPY HAUNTED HOUSE
The above photo was taken when we walked the Ghosts of Anoka Tour, in Anoka, Minnesota.
This particular house’s ghost manifests as a prankster who likes to turn lights on and off and ring the doorbell. This activity is more impressive than you might image, because the doorbell in question is not electrical. Instead, it rings mechanically, when it is twisted. It looks something like this:
After our group had moved past the house, we actually heard the bell ring. I’m sure someone (living) inside the house was deliberately making the tour more exciting for us, but when we looked back there was no one visible in the well-lit porch. Creepy.
PS: I have no idea WHAT the two dark, straight, lines in the yard are. I don’t remember seeing any pipes or signs or trellises there when I took the shot, and they don’t look natural to me. I did not add them to the photograph.
Here are some of my favorite entries for the ‘creepy’ prompt from others:
(I’ll add more as I have time to browse, so feel free to check back. For this prompt, I plan to go through ALL the submissions.)
PS: If I’ve linked to you below, I would love to include one or more of your shots in my Haunting Photo Gallery. Check it out, and drop me a line in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested :)
| tarantula | jackdaws dining | special indeed | Her Majesty | Backyard Buddy | 4 for 4 (perfectly creepy shots) | Cedlec Ossuary | Frosty in August | WE’RE WATCHING YOU! | Pointy Hoods and Long Cloaks | Mummies of Guanajuato | What Waits in the Fog? | broken bone | Comic-Con little piggie | Trinity Churchyard, New York City | Afraid of the Dark | 18 shots, all good, bit I love the cave and the blood fountain | Buddhist hell | a Lovecraftian story, inspired by random creepy pictures |
With eleven weeks still left until Halloween, we’re in the early part of the journey. I’ve shared a list of Halloween-themed movies to rent, and I’ve provided you with a printable checklist of season-appropriate activities to remind you to enjoy the time between now and then. This week, I’m encouraging you to explore your local graveyard(s).
August 15th ~ 21st UPDATED
With 11 weeks to go, I’ve assembled some information that will give you a reason to have an outing (or several) to your local burial grounds.
To see more Halloween Countdown content, visit the homepage: