What’s Scarier than Halloween? Never Experiencing It.

As an editorial intern, I get to work with amazing coworkers and get a real hands-on experience developing manuscripts, proofreading, and reviewing acquisitions submissions. But here’s a little secret about me: I’ve never been trick-or-treating, yet I’m a pumpkin-carving mastermind. At the Fulcrum office, Marit, my cubicle buddy and editorial intern partner in crime, and Dani, of marketing and sales, are busily organizing their Halloween plans, filled with parties, costumes, cute puppy getups, pumpkin-carving designs, and candy treats for trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately for me, I’m currently 40,044 feet in the air flying to Atlanta, and for the twenty-fifth year in a row, I’m missing out on all of the Halloween festivities.

Yes, I’m twenty-five years old, today to be exact, and I’ve never had an official Halloween of sugar, scares, and Goodwill-assembled costumes. It all started when I was born. My mom is a Halloween hater, no way around it. (I’d love to say that she is just a disliker, but no, it’s an all-out abhorrence, and I have never gotten to the bottom of this mystery.) Mom discouraged Halloween joy from my very beginning. When I was brought home from the hospital, friends and family were asking what my little baby Halloween costume would be. Oh, no. Not happening. No daisy-petaled headband or orange pumpkin onesie; not even a baby jumper that says BOO in felt lettering. As I got older, trick-or-treating was out of the question—with the exception of a nice evening drive to the nursing home, and if Grandma and Grandpa were up for it, we’d drive half an hour to their house for watery pumpkin pie or stale sugar cookies in the shape of ghosts. Yes, I was deprived. When I headed off to college, I was certain I’d finally get to experience all my Halloween dreams.


This is my next project... maybe (credit:rockingfacts.com)

But when Halloween arrived that first year, my friends were busy dressing up and putting on loads of black eyeliner, and I, instead, was putting on my tuxedo/penguin suit, decked out with my bowtie and nonslip shoes. I drove off to work the annual Halloween banquet put on by Mayor Schmitt. (Sigh). The mayor had the same party every year, and I worked it every year. No haunted houses, no crazy costumes, no giant bags of candy, not even a single cavity…

But I did do my best to participate in the festivities that weren’t forbidden. Mom couldn’t find a reason to hate pumpkins, so, with desperate creative juices flowing, I became obsessed with all things pumpkin: homemade pumpkin pie, brownies, cookies, crispy-baked pumpkin seeds, pumpkin-patch hunting, and of course good ol’ pumpkin carving (my favorite). One year, I won the high school pumpkin-carving design contest, and today I proudly display my numerous creepy, crazy, overly detailed, dilapidated pumpkins on each step of my front porch. Yes, having five pumpkins glowing out into the street might seem slightly fanatical, but I gotta do something to make up for years of sugar deprivation!

When I heard that Fulcrum is putting on a Favorite Ways to Enjoy a Pumpkin contest, I was so excited—my time to shine! So although I’ll be on a plane, missing Halloween yet again, I’m thinking up my next big idea. The girl who has never experienced Halloween (and who’s only had a few lousy Tootsie Rolls and expired Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum from the nursing home) is looking for a challenge. I’ve had plenty of fun-filled pumpkin experiences, so all you competitors, look out! I may even send a photo of my next carved masterpiece all the way from Georgia.

Jessica Engman is the editorial intern at Fulcrum Publishing. She moved from Green Bay, Wisconsin (yes, she’s a Packer fan) to sunny Denver, Colorado in July 2011. Jess loves Disney movies, mornings, and spends way too much time at coffee shops. She is working to build a career in book publishing.

Tweet us @FulcrumBooks, tag Fulcrum Publishing on Facebook, or reply to this entry with your favorite ways to enjoy a pumpkin to enter for a chance to win a copy of In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin by Gloria Evangelista. The giveaway ends on October 31.

About fulcrumpublishing
Founded in 1984, Fulcrum Publishing is one of the largest independent publishers in the country, with more than 450 active titles. The company maintains a high standard of quality and pride in its books, with the objective of encouraging readers to live life to the fullest and learn something new each day. Fulcrum Publishing specializes in general-interest nonfiction titles with focuses in public policy, education, Native American culture and history, travel and outdoor recreation, environmentalism, and gardening. Fulcrum is headquartered in Golden, Colorado. The Fulcrum Publishing blog is run and updated by Dani Perea. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions, comments, or ideas by e-mailing her at Dani[at]fulcrumbooks[dot com].

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