Dana Martin Writing

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A [mostly amusing] blog about travel, life, and TSA pat-downs
Dana Martin Writing

“O” is for October

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

I am O-ficially dragging now in this challenge. Even coffee isn’t helping. But here’s why: I am editing two incredible novels, one of which has been requested by NINE (and my writing friends will understand how BIG this is) different agents. Most of us are delighted when just One agent wants to read more, but nine?? Her novel is a hot potato in my hands: I have to toss it back to her as fast as I can because we don’t want to keep the agents waiting.

Isn’t that the case with life? When we have nothing to do, we literally have nothing to do, so I decided to join this April blogging challenge. And as soon as I committed to writing every…. single…. day, POOF! I’m inundated with work.

For those of you just getting to know me, editing is what I do: I take a finished novel draft and I polish it up and make it squeaky clean so the writer is presenting his/her best STUFF when they mail their baby to an agent or publisher.

I do this for about nine months of the year. After July, however, I am officially off the clock with editing, which brings me to my letter “O.”


Enjoying the fall air at my haunt.

I am just like most people when it comes to fall – I love the smell and the feel of the morning air as it begins to chill. I love the idea of hayrides, pumpkins, warm sweaters, hot coffee steaming from my cup, boots, and the county fair. I love that I have to put on a sweatshirt at night. I love the way the sun’s path falls gently on the horizon so that its rays shine unobtrusively at an angle rather than drilling us from above like the unrelenting, fiery jackhammer sunshine of summer.

But I am grateful for October for another reason, too—Halloween. For some people, it’s just another holiday, but some of us prepare for and look forward to October beginning as early as the previous November. We are called haunters.

Haunters think of Halloween as football fans do Super Bowl Sunday; in fact, haunters treat the entire month of October as basketball players do March Madness.  For us, though, it’s October Awesomeness, and we train all year for it.

At a convention 2012

We have our own conventions. Our convention season is now (April-June) where we gather with other Halloween enthusiasts from all over the world to socialize, take classes, and tour other haunted houses.  I’m grateful for the friends I get to see again and for the ideas we get to share.

We take our October jobs seriously. We take time off from our “real jobs” in order to make Halloween and the business of scaring people a priority during October. Some of us are lucky enough to claim haunting as a yearly profession. Big or small, part time or full time, though, haunters are alike in one very special way: passion.

So think of us this October. When you’re enjoying festivities of the fall, remember to visit a haunted attraction, too. They are full of people like me. Believe it or not, we’re just like you—except that we like scaring you.

Very. Very. Much.


  • Annis Cassells

    What I love is your enthusiasm and passion for your haunting events. When you're lucky enough to recognize your passion and are able to act on it, you are pretty darn lucky. Happy Halloween. xoA

  • Empty Nest Insider

    Being a "haunter" sounds like fun, though I do scare easily. Glad to meet you through A to Z, and good luck with all of your editing!


  • Jer

    What you didn't mention is what fantastic haunted back stories you write for your haunted attractions. I'm not sure "enjoyed" is a word I'd apply to having the bejeezus scared out of me at Talledega Frights, but reading the back stories while waiting in line was great. You have a gift. A scary, twisted gift, but a gift nonetheless.

  • Mark Means

    Sounds like you're a busy bee so I think you have a good excuse for dragging 🙂

    I know how you feel!

    Thank you for stopping by, and commenting, I totally understand everyone being hit by time crunches, so don't worry 🙂

  • Empty Nester

    We love October and Halloween around our house too. DD3 is a Halloween fanatic! I always loved trying to scare the kids at Halloween parties but now the things that scare them, scare me too much. LOL You should come over here to Charleston, SC and take the ghost tours!

  • Kathy Wiechman

    My birthday is in October, too. And at my age that can be even scarier than Halloween.

  • Robin

    You, my dear, are a dichotomy. I really like you now.

  • Vicki Paulus

    Wow, 9 agents interested in the same book is pretty special. Must be exciting for you and the author! First time I've visited your blog and really enjoyed it so now I'm a member:)

  • Judy

    Ok, you are my new idol! I Love love love Halloween, but more for the hauntedness of it!! I want to be a haunter!!!!!!!!!!

  • Yolanda Renee

    Love Halloween too, but have never heard of a haunter. AWESOME!

    Admire your ability. I love my editor, she makes me look good!

  • Kym Showers

    I LOvE October&CandyCorn&Littles all dressed-up&Trick-or-Treating&Pumpkins&Football…..I don't LOve being scared…I'm a chicken, really….but I LOVe YOu & your FUn HAUNT PaSSiOn & the way you WrITE about it!!! (To be honest…I've never even heard of being a haunter:) you keep teaching me new things. Thank You.

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Dana Martin Writing

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