Calan Gaeaf Hapus, Tachwedd Bendigedig

Kage Baker loved Halloween. So do I. So does my entire family, which is why Mike and Kimberly are taking turns manning the front door at my house as the hordes of small, sugar-intoxicated demons come calling for their annual due. I am not allowed to sit in the door, as I have a dreadful cold and it is damned chilly out there.

A week ago, the temperature was in the 90’s. Then we  caught on fire all over the state; now, half the place has freeze warnings in place. Ah, California!

It’s a slow year, probably for lots of reasons. It’s like rain – you can make a guess what any one year will bring, based on past years. But it’s only a guess, and sometimes the rains do not come. Sometimes the kids don’t, either. They are coming, but the crowds are small. We have one of those neighborhoods which attracts Trick or Treaters from far afield: Atwater is flat, family-friendly, well-lit and enthusiastic. And, of course, this year we have the added advantage of not being actively on fire. I fear some kids may be staying home this year, though, because so much of the LA area is smouldering – there are fires, and full shelters, everywhere.

Hard to trick or treat when you’re using your pillow case to carry all your clothes. And you can smell smoke in the air, which means the air quality is not stellar. Some parents may have decided that home-grown chocolate is better than bronchitis.

Nonetheless, we are fulfilling our end of the holiday bargain. No one who makes it out to quest for sweeties will go unsated here!

It’s also the Celtic New Year, which is still of interest to some people. The greeting that heads this blog is therefore Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain. In Welsh. I know that it is fashionable to attribute Halloween to the Irish at the moment, but lots of Celts celebrated the New Year over the two-day festival of Samhain. Those of our ancestors who were Welsh just pronounced it differently.

In my opinion, though, there are few traditions scarier than that of being Welsh: an entire people whose name for themselves has been almost forgotten, except for what their invaders called them. Welsh means stranger. What they called themselves was probably Cymraeg; other than tribal or family names, which probably took pride of place. Not the most organized people, really.

Anyway. On the subject of disorganization (see how I managed that segue?) I realize I have neglected this blog for some time – so sorry, Dear Readers, but the year has not yet settled down into productive peace for me. I am rather counting on tonight to do that … in the meantime, beginning at midnight tonight, I shall embark on yet another year of NaNoWriMo – National Write a Novel in a Month. Fifty thousand words in 30 days! A minimum of 1,700 a day!

And, tonight at least, happy predation on the left-over Tootsie Rolls while I write. We all have our little rituals … mine involve beginning the exercise with a serious candy overdose.

I shall be a lot more steadfast in the next 30 days, Dear Readers. I promise. It’s a new year.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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