It’s the story of my life, folks: every year, since about the age of fourteen, when July/August rolls around, I begin to ritually ignore some important stuff (such as my birthday in September) because I am preparing for October. Why, you ask? Halloween has been the main reason, from the start. Then when I turned sixteen, the Texas Renaissance Festival was added to the mix, and finally, more recently, the blow-out “end of the season” convention, Spooky Empire (formerly known as Screamfest).
The Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF) is a massive eight weekends event. It is largely (for me) an excuse to dress up in costumes. Sort of an extension of Halloween all month long that also leaks into November. It’s also a family reunion, since my large extended family consists of all of my wonderful “Rennie” friends. We come from all over Texas, and Texas is BIG, so TRF is often the only time we see each other. We all camp, too, so for a smattering of weekends a year we’re all neighbors; add in the drum circle jams, chainmail fashion shows, and sampling of homemade liquid goodies, and it shapes up to be not a bad sort of family reunion at all.
I used to try to attend every single one, back when there were only six of them. This year, I may only get to four of them. Spooky Empire will take up the weekend of October 17 – 19, and the Zombie Walk in Houston and the big Ellington Field Airshow will take up October 25 & 26 (any excuse to dress up like zombie is not to be missed, and I never miss an opportunity to walk through a C5 or gawk at WW2 warbirds, either).
Some of those weekends not at TRF will have to be reserved for working on my other projects; namely, the zine, Arrhythmic Souls, and the radio show, Fiends Radio with Auntie Maim. Oh, and sleep. Sleep helps.
I still love to go trick or treating now and then, too, when I have kids around to make it look legit. My friends in the Heights have their twins, who are five now, and when I attend their Halloween party, we go around the block with the wee ones. I have to switch out my serious costumes for that, though, as the wee ones would faint if I showed up in the outfits I wear to conventions or a Zombie Walk. For their sakes, I usually go in my pirate costume, which, thanks to the shops at TRF, has gotten pretty cool these days.
For this year’s Zombie Walks (now that I’ll be involved in two of them, Orlando & Houston) I’m stealing my vampire bride idea and turning her into “zombie bride”. The dress can pull double duty later once I get new vamp custom fangs made and new perscription vamp contacts again (my current vamp contacts are about ten years old, and make me a blind vampire). I also acquired a new dress (no more need to take an hour suiting up into the corsetry of the former) and I will be destroying it over the next few weeks in preparation for Spooky Empire. (For the curious, you find a wedding dress in a resale shop to make it a more affordable costume. I found my new one on sale and it ended up costing me $21.95). It is also HEAVY, so I will be suffering for my art, as usual; nothing new there!
Needless to say, October is my busiest month, seconded by November. It’s frantic, balls-to-the-wall insanity to get it all ready and then get it all done, but I love every hectic minute of it. Viva October!