A #HappyHalloween in #Wisconsin! Let’s move from #October’s Hollow #Haunts to #November’s #NaNoWriMo #writers and #kidlit #legendsinthemaking.

Welcome to All Hallow’s Eve, my friends! ‘Tis a day for scary stories and magical pumpkin patches, eerie streets and spooooooky music.

It’s the perfect sort of day to explore a place hollow and forgotten, one where ghosts maybe, just maybe, linger in our world. That place is The Alexian Brothers Novitiate.

I learned of this peculiar estate while reading Wisconsin’s Most Haunted Volume II. What started as a loving father’s home for his wife and disabled daughter turned into a home of sadness: both the father and daughter died before the home was completed in the 1930s. The widow donated the home to the Alexian Brothers in the late 1940s, since her late husband had befriended them in Chicago years before. Novices and monks lived there for only a few decades when, without warning, the Menominee Warrior Society took the Brothers hostage and demanded the estate be turned over to the Menominee tribe. It took two months, but the Brothers and Tribe finally reached an agreement for the tribe to purchase the land from them. A few months later, a fire ran through the estate, and the tribe could not finance rebuilding any of the structures. The Menominee returned the estate to the Brothers, but they no longer had use for it either, so….here it sits.

I had hoped Bo and I could road-trip it up to the small town of Gresham, the closest community to the Novitiate, and see if we could take a look around. But finding time and an all-day sitter were impossible during Bo’s hellish work schedule this past summer, so we managed a visit to the House on the Rock instead. (Considering I didn’t know if we’d have even access to the grounds, I think we came out ahead. x)

Ghost hunters still visit the site sometimes, but I’m not sure what they’ll find. The history of the Novitiate isn’t bloody, like these creepy locations in the Dairy State. It’s tragic, not bloody.

But one doesn’t need a bloody past to imagine a magical future, one perhaps where shapeshifters make their home, where teens foolish to run where angels fear to tread discover a race mankind has all but forgotten…

Oh yes, you bet your boots I’m bainstorming a story about this place! And this isn’t even the novella I’m working on for NaNoWriMo.

Do I think I can write 50,000 words in 30 days? Heeeeeeell no, I’m not delusional. But I DO need to step up and start writing every day. My family needs me to be a working mom, so my hours for writing are now in tatters. That’s not going to change any time soon.

I need those tatters to make something for the sake of my own sanity.

If I can just do 500 words a day, I’d be ECSTATIC. So that’s what I’m going to do, and you’re going to have to watch!

Yup, I’m going to make myself post my draft here on WordPress. That means it’ll be rough’n’raw, probably not coherent. But it’ll be me writing, dammit, and that’s what counts. I’ll be happy to read your comments, or just know you’re reading. That, to me, is more of a “winner” badge than anything NaNoWriMo can give me. πŸ™‚

I’m not the only one burning the creative oil around here, either. Biff, Bash, and Blondie are all digging their own unique storytelling grooves here, from nonfiction to comics and back again. I had them talk about their stories with you…so I could share their Halloween costumes, too. They’re all homemade this year, which I just LOVE!

My three Bs had a blast roaming my mother’s neighborhood for Tricks or Treats. Some towns are content with a few ghosts or pumpkins out in the yards, but not my mom’s neighborhood. Not by a LONG shot.

Some houses filled their front yard with beach balls and balloons for kids to play in. Homeowners handed out candy and popcorn to kids while parents got adult “treats” like chili and beer. One owner we talked to had been working on his decorations since July.

A few houses freaked the kiddos out, and I couldn’t blame them. One man was dressed in a bloody doctor’s outfit running around his yard with a chainsaw–not a fake one, a REAL one, revved and ready. Dude, simmer down! Others showed just as much love for the day without, you know, potential loss of limb.

These are all painted wood cutouts. Aren’t they amazing?

We had a magical evening together, banding about in the misty rain while the Monster Mash echoed up and down the streets. Eventually Robot Biff was ready to go back–“Beep boop, too many people!”–and helped his grandma hand out candy while Bash, Blondie, and I continued on until twilight’s end. From my little wonders to yours…

…may you have a safe and happy Halloween, and a most fantastical National Novel Writing Month!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

33 thoughts on “A #HappyHalloween in #Wisconsin! Let’s move from #October’s Hollow #Haunts to #November’s #NaNoWriMo #writers and #kidlit #legendsinthemaking.

  1. That building looks like it’s haunted and it’s perfect for story creation. Our old castles are similar when the darkness falls.

    We hate Broccoli to….. These are so cute. Impossible not to smile. Really hope your writing flies and it makes you so happy. Fingers crossed for you. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fantastic interviews! I love the enthusiasm. Broccoli-hating Biff had me laughing out loud, and I’m still smiling πŸ™‚ It’s like we’ve been invited into your home. What a privilege!
    Some of those yards would give me the shivers, but what a fun idea! Not something that happens here (yet).
    And shapeshifters and magic…wonderful! It’s a really good idea to post what you’ve written: extra discipline! I’ll have to save them up and read them in December, ‘cos you know what I’ll be doing next month…
    All of the best to us… and all the other ‘NaNos’ out there πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, let us toast all NaNoers! It’s a lovely creative celebration to inspire us to do what we love. xxxxx
      And thank you! I’m so glad you dug the kiddos’ fun. I’m so proud of how they’re creative in their own unique ways that I can’t NOT share what they do. And I’m glad you dug the decorations, because today, Halloween Day, it’s SNOWING. A lot. Like, one is compelled to bust out Christmas decorations.
      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tonight the lights go off front, indoors and at the back. Curtains drawn. This night, for the first time ever the little blighters won’t be knocking on my door. Should one attempt to gain entry, my dear wife waits inside, with a plate of custard pies longing to be thrown in a snottlings face!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good for you, Jean, doing Nano. I’m 80% through the novel I’m working on and it’s just not conducive, at least for me, for the kind of speed writing you need to do for Nano. But I am going to try and write every day this month and maybe finish this puppy.
    Kids look great. Hope you had a fun Halloween. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: #NaNoWriMo2019 #WritingLog: #writing a #fairytale sort of #prologue, part 1 | Jean Lee's World

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