Halloween Traditions in the Millerverse

One of the most endearing things about my girlfriend, Elizabeth, is how deep into her family’s Eastern European roots she is. In fact, her father taught a class on Slavic Cultures in my high school. Perhaps it’s seeing someone I hold in such high regard being so involved in their own family’s histories, but I’ve been inspired to delve more deeply into mine. 

As luck would have it, I’ve come across some information about how the first seeds of my family tree celebrated their All Hallow’s Eve. While my family is primarily of German descent, our Miller lineage isn’t defined by the political makeup of European borders. Some of these traditions won’t make sense, considering contemporary European Halloween customs.

From my fingers to your eyes, the celebratory customs of the Miller family, as practiced in the Old Country:

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We

Such a powerful word, “We.” Two letters, one syllable, and yet it has one of the most powerful context usages in the English language. We, while visually innocuous, speaks volumes when used in the correct sentence. Perhaps it’s because I wield language as both a sword and a shield, but I think a lot about the words we use, and how they too can be used as a sword and a shield. No word is as much of a Swiss Army Knife as “we.”

“We” is the defeat of solitude. Saying “we” conjures strength in numbers. “We” is the stark absence of loneliness. “We” is a first-world army against the militia forces of “I.” “We” could be as simple as two, or be as vast as a cast of thousands. “We” is Nirvana to those who dwell in “I.”

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A Steamy Satire: No Receipt, No Surrender

I don’t know if I’ve told you all this yet or not, but I’m kind of an idiot. Not an idiot as in stupid, but I don’t take much of anything seriously, and I can usually find something to laugh at in just about anything. You want proof? I laughed during my own mother’s funeral …in my defense, the CD player broke before it could play my mom’s favorite song, and her black cloud was legendary. 

I was recently watching episodes of “Big Mouth” on Netflix and there was an episode when two guys were going to write a screenplay for an adult film based on their occupation. Idiot mode engaged. I decided to take my favorite art form, satire, and apply it to a work situation. Mama always taught me to laugh at tough situations and sometimes people are tough to deal with. For your reading enjoyment: a short story about a workplace encounter.

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Final Exam: 80’s & 90’s Cultures

Before wanting to be a writer, I wanted to be many things. At one point, I wanted to be a teacher – not because I was excited about educating children – mostly because I wanted to watch them suffer. I always wanted to be that wiseass teacher that had tests that were complete mindf***s.

As an observer of society at current, I have seen things that have made my hair grow, then curl, then fall out all over again. I saw a video of someone referring to the band N*Sync as “N S Y N C.” I’m not going to lie: I tried to pickle my brain to get rid of that realization.

To cleanse my brain of such atrocities, I have decided that if I ever did become a teacher, or professor, I’d teach 80’s and 90’s cultures. For this week’s blog, I decided to share my final exam with you all. Please post your test results in the comments and share with your friends to see if they’d pass Mr. Miller’s class.

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How it Almost Happened: Broken Promise Records

I’ve been on a big documentary binge as of late and it’s been a good source of topics for blogs! One of my favorite documentary devices is “what would have been different?” Essentially, if the catalyst hadn’t happened, how different would the world have been? Someday I hope my books, and my work, is the subject of documentaries — until then, I’m going to spill my own tea on the topics.

For this week’s blog, I wanted to share with you some of the early concepts of “Broken Promise Records,” and reflect on how different the book could have been from its current existence.

[SPOILER ALERT]: If you haven’t read “Broken Promise Records: Remastered,” spoilers are ahead!

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