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31 Days of Halloween - Introduction

Published Friday, October 01, 2021

"October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup.
 October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins.
 O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!"
              —Rainbow Rowell
Remember when I used to do this? No?

Ten years ago I started what I hoped would be some kind of tradition; watch a horror movie every night through the month of October and blog about it. I kept it up, too, for five years.

And then I had two kids. The first was born in November 2016, and a month before there simply didn't seem to be time enough for a nightly movie, so the project fell by the wayside. I always intended to continue it, but inertia is a very strong force. It didn't help that Livejournal, my blogging platform of choice, has been on its last legs for more than a decade. I tried Wordpress instead, tried to use it, hated it, abandoned it.

But (as recently discussed) I've completely reworked my website, implemented A Very Complicated Bash Script to publish it, and am feeling good about starting over or again or whatever. So, here we are.

I love October. I love Halloween. And I'm optimistic this year because 1) I feel like we all really need it considering that there's no end in sight to the pandemic, and 2) I've never had an October like this before. My parents always talk about how their childhood Octobers were temperate and pleasant, and what a shame it is that my sister and I got cold, rainy Octobers. This October dawned warm and bright, and the temperature didn't drop during the first third of September as it usually does in southern Wisconsin. I'm taking that as a good sign. It's not, of course; the world is burning and we're running out of resources and my nice October is only the subtlest sign that climate change is happening no matter how hard we deny it. But I'm hopingmdash;fingers crossed—that my family and I get one of those Ray Bradbury Octobers we usually only wish for.

Anyway, I'm gonna try it again: a movie a day. We'll see how it goes, and I might cheat with half-hour TV specials if I need to; I'm already planning on exploring some shorter subjects just because I'm on a schedule and there's not a lot of time left after the kids get to sleep. But as I said, I'm optimistic.

Here goes nothin'.

October 1: Trilogy of Terror II
October 2: A Photograph
October 3: Cool Air
October 4: Murders in the Rue Morgue
October 5: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
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