Tricks & Treats


Pumpkin Grin

Halloween is Sunday and sometime this weekend most cities and burgs in the US and elsewhere have designated hours for our little ones to gather up their treats. When I was young we always had 3 places in the neighborhood we made sure to visit. One place handed out home-made taffy apples to all the neighborhood kids.  We always made sure to help this woman with yard work, winter shoveling etc.  Tricks were never going to happen at that place. The two others always gave on the very best candy and the owners had the best costumes on when they greeted us.

It was much the same when I took out my sons. However, now we rarely have children seeking treats. Instead parents take them to schools for parties or just to family and friends and that’s done in the family car.

Because tricks and terrors happen these days. Times have changed. But Halloween will always be associated with that practice though it’s gone through many a metamorphosis through the centuries.

I’ve encountered some tricks and treats this week and I never needed to dress up or go out in search of them. They just arrived.  One had to do with weather and another with writing.

Weather Trick

Weather was quite a prankster this week.  It treated us first with incredibly warm temperatures. But we paid with extremely high winds, a tornado touch down just a few miles from us, more days of sustained winds of 30 + miles and wind gusts even higher.  The lake threw a major temper tantrum with waves bludgeoning the shoreline constantly; the noise sounded like those automatic jackhammers that break up roadways. After 3 days like that, our temps plummeted to the lowest we’ve had since May. The past two mornings I’ve awakened to see my neighbors who’ve left cars out overnight, scraping off frost from their windshields, another Halloween trick.

With writing, my muse treated me quite a bit. I’ve been working on a revision of an earlier manuscript and I knew I had to add a few new and critical scenes.  Each time I came to the place where I figured those scenes were needed, the words flowed from my fingers.  My characters were happy with what I was doing and they responded perfectly. However, nothing is perfect and in a section I thought would take very little time, I found myself wondering what tricks had made me write that in the first place.  I spent a whole day undoing that trick, sort of like a homeowner spending extra time in cleaning up the mess left from toilet papering hooligans.  My characters had literally TP-ed those pages.

My final point about tricks and treating has to do with my daily life and maybe yours also. Just this past week I’ve had some lovely treats: a special email from my son, a short note from a grandson, some words of praise about my writing from a few people, a compliment from my hubby about my pumpkin bread.  I realized as I was organizing my thoughts to put this together that these little items are treasures and we must hold them close for the times when life tricks us, sometimes so hard life skirts psychic vandalism.

While the two tricks I “endured” this past week may not qualify as psychic vandalism, they left me stressed and with a stomach ache. I realized as I was organizing this post I wasted more time cleaning up the messes those two tricks left me than I’d taken to treasure the treats I’d been given. Stupid of me.

So my message this week is enjoy the treats in your life, whether they’re Halloween-related or not. Walk away from the tricks but clean them up as fast as you can. While you’re doing that, allow the sweetness of the treats give the clean-up a faster beat. 🙂

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Explore posts in the same categories: Life Lessons, Light bulb moments

8 Comments on “Tricks & Treats”


  1. Lovely post. What a brilliant way to think about the tricks and treats of Halloween, and indeed life. Thanks so much.

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    Thank you, for stopping by. I hope you stop again.

  3. Edie Ramer Says:

    Ditto what Kate said. I’d rather concentrate on the treats than the tricks, too.

    I just formatted a short story for Smashwords. Now I’m onto Kindle. Gulp.

  4. caseyclifford Says:

    I read on your blog you’d formatted a short story for Smashwords. You’re so adventurous. 🙂 And I’m so proud of you.

  5. Sandy Says:

    Casey, you definitely have the right idea. We just can’t let those tricks get us down. Wink!

    Thanks for a great post.


  6. Awesome picture of the lake, Casey! I’m with you on the revision process right now. Took me a week to rewrite one scene my editor suggested to take out, but I felt revealed real character growth for my hero. I’m hoping I was able to really make it work. If not, I guess it’ll hit the chopping block. 🙂 Then I moved on to the love scene. Aren’t they supposed to be treats, not tricks???

  7. caseyclifford Says:

    Sandy,

    Right, don’t let the tricks get us down. Today was only treats. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  8. caseyclifford Says:

    Stacey,

    Thanks regarding the photo. Storms over the lake are awesome and scary.

    As for those love scenes? Well, love sometimes plays lots of tricks, but the treats are so worth it. Like that old saying, you kiss a lot of frogs before you get the prince. Sometimes we get more froggy tricks with a love scene before the prince finally gets things right. 🙂


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