I’m not sure what it is; something in the air maybe. It’s not yet cool here in PA, nor have the leaves begun to change. It’s something though; something that lets me know that fall is coming, and coming fast. Actually I’ve had this feeling for a few weeks now. Usually I begin celebrating Fall and the Halloween season about the first week of September, but this year that feeling came early, around the first week of August.
My wife and I decorated the house for Fall around then. Not Halloween mind you, Fall. Keeping the spooky décor away until mid-September allows us to celebrate the season and still keep something special waiting for us as we get closer to Halloween. In recent years I’ve adopted a kind of thinking that September through October is a celebration of all things wonderful about the season and Halloween night is the big festival at the end; a big send-off to the season, if you will.
I try to do something, even if it is small, everyday to get myself in that Halloween spirit (not that I need to, I pretty much live my life that way). I’ve been reading the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft, that Old Gent that is Providence. I had read a good number of them already in years past, but now I’m reading everything, and in the order they were written. A lot of the early stuff is new to me, and I’m greatly enjoying it. I have the complete fiction volume that Barnes and Noble put out a few years ago, and I would really recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in old H.P. It’s inexpensive and looks really handsome on a shelf. Check it out:
The early stories are really great. Most of them are only a few pages, so you can get one or two read in a sitting with no problems. The writing is great (if a little too flowery at times for my liking) and really conveys a wonderful sense of mood and atmosphere. A couple my personal favorites from the early period are The Picture in the House, The Cats of Uluthar, Dagon, and The Tomb. Hey, bonus: All of Lovecraft’s stories are in the public domain and you can find and read them online. Read one today, and feel the unearthly chill.
I thought it would be fun to do a little pencil drawing for each story after I read it, something simple to convey the mood or theme. Here are a few, enjoy!