A Guising We Will Go

a-lumberjack-walkedHave you ever heard of guising? I was researching some Halloween history as part of my October challenge and learned about the history of trick or treating. The History Channel has a great video (see it here) that explains lots of  Halloween traditions, including guising.

Long before kids walked from door to door dressed as stormtroopers, Elsa, or Donald Trump hoping for full-sized candy bars, adults walked door to door and entertained people with songs, poetry, and jokes hoping for fine wine and good cheese. This was called “guising”.

I like the idea of guising. What if instead of saying “Trick or Treat!” we had to tell a joke in order to get candy. I think Halloween would be much more fun with a little more give and take. A child would only need to know one joke so it wouldn’t be hard, even for young children.

As an example, my darling nephew, who is three, told me this joke that he learned from his Leapfrog tablet.

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

Cow go.

Cow go who?

No. Cow go moo!

I’d give any child a full-sized candy bar if they told me that joke. Too funny! The internet is full of good jokes, bad jokes, Halloween jokes, and classic jokes. Here’s another example.

Q. Why do demons and ghouls hang out together?

A. Because demons are a ghouls best friend! (I got that great joke from a great Halloween website. They had dozens for Halloween jokes.)

Let’s go guising this Halloween. Laughter is the best treat there is.

Usually I put a quote here, but I am supposed to do a call to action for my platform challenge that I mentioned in the last post. So I’m calling you to act. Leave a comment explaining which Halloween traditions you like, or wish would be brought back. Or why not guise me with a great joke.

It’s October – time for challenges and streaks. Spooky!

cliparti1_free-halloween-clip-art_03I love October. It contains both my birthday and Halloween. It’s also a beautiful time of year when fall arrives, but you can still enjoy being outside and seeing nature’s splendor (unless you are dealing with tropical storms.) And did I mention it has by favorite holiday in it? (No, I don’t mean my birthday.) I love Halloween. It is a spooky holiday that anyone can celebrate because it can be as scary as you want it to be. I like my spooky on the light side, but filled with pumpkins, ghosts, and flying witches. Plus it has a fun history (but that’s another post.)

Since it is my birthday month I always feel the need to improve myself, so I have started a few challenges.

  1. I am do a mini running streak. In 2012, I did a year-long running streak, meaning I ran everyday for 366 days. I like the idea of streaking, but I find I run more when the streak is shorter. I was afraid of hurting myself during my year-long streak so I only did a mile most days. I decided to earn the Run the Edge 50 mile buckle, so I am running at least 2 miles every day in October. I am eager to run each day because I know that I can stop on November 1. If Runner’s World does their winter streak challenge again from Thanksgiving to New Year’s I’ll probably do that, too. For now my challenge is at least two miles every day in October.
  2. I like doing online challenges and Robert Lee Brewer, who writes for Writer’s Digest, is organizing a month-long Platform Challenge that I have joined. I have learned a lot and it is only day four. Day three’s challenge was to create a blog. I already have a blog, but I have not added any posts recently so this is my post for day three of the challenge. I did a Robert’s social media challenge several years ago and found it helped a lot, so I look forward to completing this challenge.
  3. I have started a fun story project. I don’t want to say to much about it here since I am not releasing it into the world until December, but I am writing a lot and bringing it to one of my critique groups.  However, I want to keep track of how much I write and when I write. I’d like to write every day but I don’t seem to do that, so I want to have a weekly goal. My goal would be five thousand words a week. So far I am on track.
  4. My last challenge is a Halloween challenge. I made a list of thirty-one fun Halloween and autumn things to do. Some of them are short,  like read a Halloween poem. Others are longer, like create a new costume. I tried to do something like this before because I like Halloween, but I forgot about my list. This time I added it to the charts I created to keep track of my challenges so I won’t forget.

So there are my challenges for October. As I said above, I have created a spreadsheet to record my daily progress. I think these challenges will make my favorite month that much more memorable. November is Nanowrimo, so I need to get all the fun I can get in October before I sink into a new writing project.

May Jack-o-lanterns burning bright
Of soft and golden hue
Pierce through the future’s veil and show
What fate now holds for you.
~Author Unknown