Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and get the following ebooks free: Things Slip Through,
Hiram Grange & The Chosen One, and Devourer of Souls

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coffin Hop 2011, Day Three: Best NON-Halloween, Autumnal Memory. And Win Brian Keene..

Welcome to Day Three of Coffin Hop 2011.  For a chance at Nate Southard's novella, He Stepped Through, visit Monday's blog. For a chance to win an ARC of Chris Golden's Cemetery Dance short story collection, The Secret Backs of Things, visit yesterday's blog.

My memories of fall as a kid aren't all wrapped up in Halloween.  Actually, I've lots of memories that center more on autumn itself, which always served as precursors to Halloween, harbingers that the best dark and spooky time of the year was well on its way.   

Wooly-bear caterpillars.   Brilliant colors in the trees.   Raking said leaves into huge piles.  And, best of all...our basketball court-sized garden dying, because that provided PLENTY of amusement.  Old gourds no good for cooking, now rotten and ready to burst, which made GREAT bombs to chuck around the garden.  Lots of fun, watching them things burst apart.

Probably the best memory I have of tearing down the garden after harvest is reaping all the old corn stalks.  My dad always grew ROWS and ROWS of corn, and when all the ears had been picked, those stalks made GREAT "planks" for anything from lean-to's, tee-pees and forts of all kinds.  

Sure, they were a little dusty, got damp and a little moldy after awhile, and, yeah...buggy, too.  But for a kid, they offered limitless possibilities when it came to building stuff.  Nothing like having a fort or a secret place to hide in that YOU built, with your very own hands.

And that's when we knew Halloween lurked around the corner.  When wooly-bear caterpillars were out, leaves were turning color, and we were building forts and tee-pees with all the cornstalks pulled up from the garden.    We were ALWAYS hiding in those things.  I remember once getting yelled at in the morning before school, because I'd been in the backyard, playing in mine, lost track of time, while the school bus sat idling out by the driveway.

So.  Autumn isn't just about Halloween.  Lots of great other memories about Fall, too.  Share 'em if you got em, and up for the offering today: a Brian Keene  two-fer, The Cage, (Cemetery Dance), his sold-out novella, and an unopened, unread, first issue of his comic series through Anarctic Press, The Last Zombie.   Descriptions below.

For the employees of Big Bill's Home Electronics, it's just the end of another workday - until a gunman bursts into the store and begins shooting. Now, with some of their co-workers dead, the hostages are being slaughtered one-by-one, and if they want to survive the night, they'll have to escape... The Cage. 

 Follow the frantic journey of Doctor Ian Scott, a man seeking his one ray of hope in a post-apocalyptic nightmare United States. The zombies have come and (mostly) gone, but the disease is still out there, threatening the survivors. The country swarms with roving packs of wild animals—and worse, desperate humans—ready to do whatever it takes to survive. Through it all, one man must drive from Colorado to New York to reunite with the woman he loves...before it's too late for either of them!

Hey-up....hit me up with those crisp, apple-cider spiced autumn memories...


  1. all of my fall memories revolve around playing with my cousins in leaf piles

  2. Yep, leaf piles were huge. Still are, with my kids today. Thanks for posting!

  3. Taking the cushions off my aunt's dech furniture, putting it on the lawn in a long row and doing flips and tumbles and ending in a big pile of leaves! Great fun.

  4. I always think of the start of school when I think of autumn. As a kid we lived in a kind of rural town in Northern California and we'd go each year to Reno (biggest town around and just over the border) to go school shopping. It was always weird to see the landscape change from mountainous to such a try, tumbleweed country. We'd usually pick up our Halloween costumes in Reno too :)

  5. Fall. Going to the Catskills and watching leaves change color. Taking a million pictures. Skipping rocks on a pond. Driving up the mountains and feeling the weather change, switching from warm to cold.

    And then celebrating Halloween in a pink party bus while drinking bad vodka and listening to 70s music... LOL

    Johanna aka the Manicheans

  6. *Generic comment about dandelion wine, referencing Ray Bradbury's novel*

  7. Julie - as a teen, high school was definitely a harbinger...especially as the football season got rolling...

    JKP - the Catskills are beautiful any time of year, but I can't imagine what they're like during fall....Halloween in a pink party bus. Sounds like college...

    G. Lao - you just referenced one of my favorite novels EVER...

  8. Around here we have Ciderfest to kick off the fall season. It's a small town--getting smaller every year it seems--and a couple years ago marked a really creepy scene.

    Main Street gets cordoned off after supper for a concert. You can hear the music echoing off the brick buildings all through town. I was home alone in town one night, in no mood to listen to poorly sung country tunes, when the music seemed to stop rather suddenly. I got a little curious and went out to check. When I got to Main Street, the place was deserted. I mean no one.

    Turned out I wasn't listening to an actual concert for the last while, but a speaker system just playing a CD. The revelers had moved on elsewhere and left the system going or something.

    Uneventful, but creeped me out for a good five minutes.

  9. Stepping out onto the porch first thing in the morning and seeing frost on the neighbour's roof. This is Southern Ontario. There are colder places, but frost comes early here. I'm here via the coffin hop. Good to meet you, Kevin!

  10. "When I got to Main Street, the place was deserted. I mean no one."

    WOW. Ever read one of Charles Grant's Oxrun novellas? That's like a scene right from one of those....

    Elizabeth - this is something I notice more and more every year, that I don't remember as a kid - snow coming right before Halloween. In fact, we had our first snowfall tonight....

    Thanks for posting, and good to meet you, also!

  11. I grew up in this house that had two huge trees that turned bright gold in autumn. Gorgeous! I recall one fall where I cut out ninja stars from cardboard boxes, colored them to match the trees, then climbed the limbs to throw the stars at cars passing by. Thinking back, that probably wasn't very nice, but hey... I was a ninja!

  12. And if it's one thing ninja's ain't it's nice....

    And I so remember making throwing stars in school...

  13. Fall is my favorite season, growing up as soon as it started to cool down I knew the fair was on it's way. Plus it was so nice to not have to sweat to death all day and night. Gotta love that cooler weather!

    Thanks for the chance to win (at)

  14. The fair - even if it comes in August, fairs and Halloween always seem linked, in my mind. Thanks forever to Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, for that!

    Thanks, Jennifer!

  15. We lived outside the city so there were a lot of trees along the highway. In the fall, we got in the car and just drove around to look at the colourful trees. Nature really paints some pretty trees in the fall.
    lindahl at rogers dot com

  16. Jeanette - fall trees are the best. Hands down. Thanks for posting!

  17. Haven't read Charles Grant, so I'll have to look out for that.