Title: Halloween in January
Sometimes I get very desperate to write things. It usually happens when...
- I read things by people that I wish I had written
- I get asked an innocent question by a person such as my wife: "Hey, why don't you write something for Salon?"
One of my pitches started like this:
"Unlike many subcultures, Goth has a birthday: February 27, 1981, when an article headlined "The Face of Punk Gothique" ran in the UK music journal Sounds. Since then, Goth has gone global, reaching its greatest cultural penetration with Twilight; 30 years on it looks more solid than punk. This year, goth will be re-examined in Goths: A Guide to an American Subculture."
To try and sell that pitch, I went to a Goth party at the start of 2011. It was the first Goth party I had ever been to. I was invited by my friend La Carmina, who's one of these people who has found an amazing niche in life: she's a Goth and Harajuku fashion and Japanese pop culture expert.
Studies show this is the second-best expert you can be:
It turns out that these Goth parties happen frequently in Los Angeles. The one I went to was at Bar Sinister, but they also happen at this place called the Mayan that's like a Central American temple:
There's this whole community of Goths that come out for them. I thought that Goths had faded out but when I met La Carmina, I was astounded at the amount of leather-clad people around her. Not everyone was dressed in leather though. Some, like La Carmina's friend Sebastiano Serafini, opted for sumptuous vests and horns.
[l to r: Sebastiano Serafini, La Carmina, friends]
Some, like me, wore jeans. But I had to change my look a little bit to fit in.
I remember the feel of my wife's makeup. I remember the mascara most of all. It felt like my eyes were a thousand feet tall. As I walked around Bar Sinister looking at everyone dressed up, I felt the freedom of distance. It was sort of like I was wearing glasses, as if I had a slight barrier between me and the world. I wasn't Ned anymore, I was Goth Ned -- or maybe it was better for me to go back to my birth name for one night? "Edison?" I took some pictures --
-- and I ended up having Halloween in January. I never did write about the Goth party for the Daily Beast, but I wrote some different pieces for them. And now I've written this. Happy Haunted Halloween!
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (September 25th, 2012)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Given the chance, fifteen-year-old Peregrine “Perry” Eckert would dedicate every waking moment to Creatures & Caverns, an epic role-playing game rich with magical creatures, spell casting, and deadly weapons. The world of C&C is where he feels most comfortable in his own skin, so when his parents ship him off to summer camp Perry is sure he’s in for the worst summer of his life.
Everything changes, however, when Perry gets to camp and stumbles into the World of the Other Normals. Perry’s new otherworldly friends need his help to save their princess and prevent mass violence. As they embark on their quest together, Perry realizes that his nerdy childhood has uniquely prepared him to be a great warrior in this world, and maybe even a hero.
Bestselling author Ned Vizzini delivers a compulsively readable and wildly original story about the winding and often hilarious path to manhood.
Be More Chill
It's Kind of a Funny Story
- 1 winner will receive a SIGNED copy of The Other Normals, Be More Chill, and It's Kind of a Funny Story.
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