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Best Halloween Costumes for Writers

October 31, 2014 Best of BTM, Humor No Comments


By Kathy Crowley and her Ghost Writer, Chris Abouzeid

It’s Halloween, a holiday especially close to the heart of most fiction writers. Why? Because it’s all about pretending to be someone (or something) else. No doubt, many of you will be celebrating this special day by dressing up, going door to door with pillowcase in hand, and pigging out on the obscene amounts of candy you’ll gather. But what to wear? That’s the big question.

To help you decide, we at Beyond the Margins have compiled a list of the Top Ten Best Costumes for Writers. Not only do these costumes promise to maximize your candy-to-dress-up-effort return, but they may also help your neighbors finally understand what it is you do all day. Happy trick or treating!

Top Ten Best Costumes for Writers

10.  Rejection Letters – Don’t be proud – go straight for the pity vote. That’s right, sew those dozens of rejection letters into a costume that screams personal pain and misery. What you lose in self-respect, you’ll gain in extra candy. (Who knows? Maybe someone will even slip some Prozac into your bag.)

9. Giant Self-Published Book Pez Dispenser – Perfect for the newly self-published author. Dress as a giant Pez book-dispenser! Just throw your head back, push out a freshly-bound copy of your book, and plop it into the hands of any unsuspecting goblin or witch passing by. Better yet, trade your books for candy! Not only will you be spreading the joy, but you’ll have achieved the most perfect promotion model known to man.

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The Reluctant Public Reader: Tales from the Front Lines


By Kim Triedman

Ok, let’s start here: I have a very small voice.

Or here: I have a very small voice with an ample side of social anxiety.

Or even here: On the spectrum of distasteful events, speaking in front of an audience falls somewhere between eating bull testicles and walking barefoot through a snake pit.

For years, being a writer has played to both my strengths and my instincts. It is a mostly solitary and it is quiet, both of which I require in great measure. It is also emotionally engaging, often cathartic, and it brings joy and beauty into my life. Most important of all, it is a way of being — of remaining open and receptive to the full and shape-shifting universe around me. It is a way of hearing that which is often lost in the great, cacophonous noise of life.

So it never occurred to me when I first started writing that “being a writer” could also mean courting disaster. But it has, and it can, and I’m here to tell those of you who don’t crave the center stage: it’s a wild ride. Below, just a few random anecdotes from life on the road.


#1: The Reading Virgin

Okay. 2008. My very first public reading. Ever. A small chapbook of my poems has been published, and against every fiber of my being I’ve scheduled a small group reading at a local center for the arts. One tiny, last minute-hiccup: we find out after invitations have gone out that there’s actually a ballet class scheduled in the room we’re using. The only other space available is the 300-seat auditorium.

Now never having done a reading before, I don’t automatically see this as a bad thing: there are three of us reading, after all, and each of us has invited a lot of people. I’m actually kind of excited: it’s a much more elegant place to do a reading. Moreover, it’s Arts Weekend at the center; there’ll be tons of people coming through, right past the main stage. We put a big sign outside the door, welcoming them all in. … Continue Reading


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