Classic trick or treat loot: nostalgic candy & prizes from Halloweens past.


halloween countdown 3 final filtered

I’ve eaten THREE full-sized candy bars today, and I’m going to go prowl the seasonal aisle of the local drugstore as soon as I get done with this post so I can buy more. You see, I’ve spent the last too-many hours thinking of nothing but candy. For you. Always for you.

Perhaps because I’m hopped up on sugar and caffeine, (more than usual) today’s post comes to you in the form of loosely related list items … think of it as my way of tossing treats into your loot bag.

I’ve gathered most of my information and inspiration (and photographs) from the following vendors:

Candy Favorites * Nostalgic Candy * Candy Warehouse * Old Time Candy * Candy Crate


candy pack a bag

This is fun. At Old Time Candy, you can pack a personalized bag of candy, piece by piece, for yourself or for a friend.


Retro Candy Timeline – Some snippets of candy history. ‘Found this commercial (which settles a debate between Ogre and me) over there too.


Remember Brach’s Dem Bones? They were in a little coffin shaped box that you could get at Halloween. They were simply bits of bone-shaped, smarties-tasting candy. You could fit the pieces together to make a whole skeleton. (Sometimes you had to nibble away little spurs of candy to help them fit together better.) They’re gone now, but another company has stepped in to to fill the void. You can buy a case of the new Scary Skeletons at Candy Warehouse. (I’m hoping to find some for sale at the drugstore so I’m not forced to buy a whole case.)

candy scary skeleton


National Confectioners Association has a done a little piece about Trick or Treating statistics. Plus this:



Many online candy stores sell decade-themed gift boxes of candies. Each company’s selection varies, of course, and all the companies offer multiple decades. For more detail of any given decade, try these links:

Candy Crate


Candy Favorites


( NOTE: Nostalgic Candy appears to be out of business as of 10/2014. All linked shops have by-decade candy selections.)


Candy Warehouse


Old Time Candy



candy halloween loot

Now that I’ve got you remembering all the goodies you used to get when you were a kid, why not pop over to

The Paranormalist Portal to 


UPDATE: No really. Go vote – the fab folks at are participating on thier own …

and right now they have red licorice, fancy gum and a sucker ranked 1- 3.

Who will champion Nik L Nips, wax vampire fangs and Chuckles?


Photo note: The photo of a candy haul, which appears above, and on the Ranker list itself, is by Vu Nguyen who shared it via Creative Commons.


NOTE: If you’re going to have a Halloween party, you should issue invitations now.


2014’s Countdown-to-Halloween Ideas & Checklist

Join The Paranormalist’s 1st Annual Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt from here

Print your 6-week planning calendar from here


halloween countdown main fridays



Rising from the sickbed.

It’s alive!

In the last week,  my life has been very, very simple. I have worked at the hotel, come home and watched some TV (until my brain relaxed enough to allow me to drift off,) slept for many hours, awakened, tended to basic needs (like eating food I couldn’t taste and taking long, hot baths that my husband had to supervise so that I would neither scald myself nor drown,) then headed back to work.

It was nothing serious, just a cold from hell (stacked on top of a down-swing in my mood.) I still don’t feel 100%, but I can breathe again. I  am fully dressed. And, for the first time in a few weeks, I am getting started on a full two-day weekend that does not include working.

My plan is to aggressively re-engage with Halloween, the blog and life in these last few days of October.

Hunting Halloween:
This weekend, my son and I plan to go to Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming, MN. It’s a petting zoo and pumpkin farm we have been visiting faithfully for more than ten years. They also have a Dead End Hayride in the evenings. Right now we’re thinking we’ll go to that on Monday. As for Halloween night itself, we were pleased to find out that our building allows trick-or-treating. Our intention is to create a haunted treat station – complete with fog machine and spooky music – just inside our door. I’m tempted to buy a cheap set of basic makeup too, so that we can cobble together some spooky characters for handing out treats. Beyond that, I have a couple of pumpkins to carve and some traditional movies to watch.

One of the Pinehaven goats.

Here at the blog:
Getting back on the blogging horse always feels awkward, but I have the advantage of (too) many planned topics to choose from. The Courting Creepy movie lists have been popular and I have a couple that I really want to get up before Halloween. Tonight or tomorrow I will pick up where I left off – with zombies. My daughter’s beau agreed to construct the list, because I just had to concede that I am no zombie expert. Jason, on the other hand, is a connoisseur. All I have to do is format his work, which will be an easy task. It makes for a smooth transition into getting my head back in the game. (Thanks, Jason.)

When it comes to ghost stories, I feel fully qualified to make recommendations, so expect that list soon too – and it will be escorted by the long-delayed telling of what I saw in room 217, at the old hotel.

Obviously, I failed NaBloPoMo miserably. (Literally.) Still, I feel good about what I achieved, and I’m eager to continue a consistent – if less demanding – posting schedule.

And for those that worry about my bipolarity:
As the mad month of October winds down, I know I have to turn my attention to surviving the winter. Even though things haven’t settled as much as I’d hoped, and nothing big has been resolved, I have to establish some healthier routines. I need regular sleep, decent food, sunlight, exercise, social time and music. (Right now I’m listening to an old playlist. Yes, I’ve caught myself dancing in the chair as I write. It feels good. How dated – and ridiculously appropriate – is it that the current song is Wheel in the Sky by Journey?)

Perhaps more important than all those things, though, is writing – especially returning to writing fiction. I am contemplating a run at NaNoWriMo. Considering the experiences I’ve had at the hotels, I think that getting 50,000 words down, of an entirely new story, might be possible. Lately, while folding sheets, I’ve been putting together a straight-forward story in my head. Historically I’ve worked best with a detailed outline, but maybe something crazy like this would be an invigorating change. Or maybe it’s just insane. I’ve got a few days to think about it.

Who amoung you are thinking about plunging in? Are any of you veterans with advice to share?

New and improved pages & an invitation to track your writer’s resolutions.

During Christmas vacation, I succumbed to a New Year-driven frenzy of tidying and fussing over my blog.

I tweaked my backstory (about) page, and created a sidebar graphic that links to it. Notice that it prominently features my name. The name I’m planning to publish under. The name that potential readers will need to remember when they want to buy my book. Thank you, Kristin Lamb – author of We Are Not Alone – for making me realize that my platform needs to be branded with my name. (Yep, I did some reading over vacation too.)

Click here for updated information about this blog and me — including a sampler list of my favorite posts.


If you tour my freshly scrubbed blog, you’ll see all sorts of small changes. For example, thanks to more of Kristen’s advice, I took a deep breath and joined Twitter. Which I really don’t get yet. But I will. Let me know if you’re already out there, so I can follow you. You can find me @RRudeParanormal.

I also have a YouTube channel all to myself. Go to to view a little video snippet of me talking to a tree, which you haven’t seen. (Unless you followed the link I posted at The Paranormalist on Facebook – where I’m resolved to posting some little “bit ‘o creepiness” most every day from now on.)

Probably the most exciting thing I did during vacation is this:

WriMoProg Challenge 600 X 300

I made a sidebar link for this too —>


Part of the process was determining the rough equivalent of  NaNoWriMo when one is trying to develop an ongoing writing career, (as opposed to to simply getting 50,000 words written.) Looking at those numbers sobered me. The following chunk of text comes at the end of the WrMoProg Homepage, but I thought I’d share it here too.


If you look at the WrMoProg Challenge button/badge, you will see I worked up some numbers that might be equivalent to a successful NaNoWriMo stint. Because writing speed varies so much, I made my best guess as to the amount of time writing a manuscript page takes.

My numbers are otherwise based on this equation:
Word count: based on 25 lines per page in Courier New 12 pt. averages approximately 250 words per page. 20 pages, an average chapter,=25,000 (sic); 200 pages=50,000. Most books are between 50 and 100,000 words long. Publishers estimate by pages, including the white space. A computer count of 50,000 words may be 65,000 in publishers’ terms.
–Daphne Clair/Laurey Bright

So, here are some additional factoids to help you set your writing goals:

  • Full time writer = 40 hours per week / 160 hours per month
  • Half-time writer = 20 hours per week / 80 hours per month
  • Average non-fiction book = 50,000 – 85,000 words = 200 – 340 hours
  • Average novel = 50,000 – 110,000 words = 200 – 440 hours
  • Ideal FIRST novel = 80,000 – 100,000 = 320 – 400 hours
  • Average Novella (good for e-books) = 20,000 – 50,000 = 80 – 200 hours
  • Average short story = 1000 – 7500 words = 4 – 30 hours
And don’t underestimate the time you spend doing everything else – from researching to blogging to reading within your genre. Suddenly setting some realistic writing goals seems pretty darn important, doesn’t it?


I followed my own instructions and set up a page to track my progress. If you want to see my plan develop – and how I’m doing on meeting my goals – check in at The Paranormalist’s WriMoProg Page once in a while.

Next post: back to paranormal stuff, I promise. Thank you for your patience.


Secret WriMoProg note: 0 + 7 = 7/200