Over at Kate Hart’s blog, there is a fabulous set of templates for book cover pumpkins you can carve for a literary Halloween celebration this year. I learned of this via a Facebook post by J. Anderson Coats, a friend-I’ve-never-met and author of the amazing novel “The Wicked and the Just,” a historical novel set in 13th century Wales. Her book’s cover was one of the lucky few chosen to be immortalized in silhouette and, hopefully, to be pumpkinized all over the country.
What the heck? I’m all for literary pumpkins!
Here’s my happy pumpkin, all ready to be poked and prodded.
Next, having already printed out the template from Kate Hart’s blog, I attached it to the pumpkin with pushpins.
As I began to poke the outline of the shapes with another pushpin, I observed that it is not easy to transfer a flat picture onto a round surface. I also observed that my fingers began to cramp about half-way through the process, which took something like twenty minutes. You know that I’m a perfectionist, right? There were about a million tiny punctures in that pumpkin. Well, here, I’ll show you:
So then the carving began. After reading J’s blog about how difficult it was to carve the crenellations of the castle towers, I decided to attempt the technique where you don’t actually cut through the pumpkin but just peel away the skin and a bit of the flesh underneath (wow, that sounds sadistic, doesn’t it?). Turns out, the best tools for this were a small, sharp knife; a curved, pointed cheese knife; and a grapefruit knife with its curved, serrated tip. Unfortunately, about 3/4 of the way through the job, that small, sharp knife slipped and sliced into my left middle finger and that sucker bled like crazy. For a half an hour. And then some.
Not one to be deterred, I completed the carving. Sadly, however, my plan to scoop that puppy out and put a candle inside had to be abandoned.
Nevertheless, I think it looks very nice and I hope I’ll get lots of comments so I can talk about J’s wonderful book all night while I’m handing out candy to the monsters on my street.
And, just for comparison, here’s the actual book cover:
Happy Halloween, everybody!