While I’m usually a pretty chipper person, I always look forward to October since it gives me a reason to celebrate the macabre: I use it as an excuse to go out occasionally with black lipstick, read spooky books, watch horror films, decorate my house and classroom with bats, and seek out any other appropriately scary/dark things.
On the first day of October, I took my first trip to Disney since moving into my new home. I hadn’t realized that Hollywood Studios was only about 8 minutes away from my place, so upon discovering that, I headed straight there for a nice little walk. I like to park at Hollywood and then walk along the path to the Epcot resorts (Swan and Dolphin, Yacht and Beach, and Boardwalk) on my way to Epcot’s World Showcase.
I made a few other visits to Epcot throughout the month, but the crowds of the Food and Wine Festival typically scared me away, so my trips didn’t usually last much longer than an hour or so.
When school shut down on a Thursday and Friday because of the impending hurricane, I took the opportunity to drive up to Alabama for an extended weekend. It was nice to spend the time with my siblings and also not have to worry about the storm–it didn’t have much impact in my area of central Florida, but better safe than sorry!
A little thing that brought me a lot of joy was that the weather this month has been PERFECT for keeping my windows open. My old place didn’t have screens on the window, so I always kept them closed in order to keep out the Florida wildlife. I have reveled in the fact that this place has screens and I am free to open my windows wide and let in the fresh air.
I’ve enjoyed spending time in the lovely little town of Celebration, which held an Oktoberfest weekend this month–I dropped by for a quick look at all the little vendor tents and to experience the falling leaves. A few times each night, they shot colorful tissue paper leaves out onto the main little shopping street, and it was so much fun to watch them fall from the sky. (Picture at the top of this post is from Oktoberfest.)
Other notable things include a visit from my grandparents and from my dad. It had been a few months since I’d seen them all during my summer trip up north, so it was good to see them again!
At the end of the month, I celebrated what I refer to as Baturday–the Saturday of or just before Halloween.
What I’ve Been Reading
The Thief of Always by Clive Barker: I remember being really spooked when I read this book in middle school, and I thought it was a good month to reread this haunted house book.
What I’ve Been Listening To
Most of the month involved continuing to unpack/organize/deep-clean my apartment and work on DIY projects, so I had a lot of time to listen to audiobooks.
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly: Loooooooved this YA novel about a girl who leaves her New York finishing school to try to solve the murder of her father and also navigate the struggle of becoming a female journalist.
Act of God by Jill Ciment: Full of interesting characters, this unique horror/comedy chronicles the tales of what happens to a handful of people in Brooklyn when a luminescent mold sweeps through the neighborhood and changes their lives forever.
The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle: I wasn’t super impressed with this YA book about a family that has an “accident season” every October, in which the members always experience injuries ranging from mild to fatal, but it was an interesting concept.
The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo: Taking its name from the cultural practice of ghost marriages (an official union in which one/both members of the marriage is dead–usually performed to carry on the family name), this book imagines that a young girl is haunted by a ghost husband.
Zone One by Colson Whitehead: How could I not read a zombie novel in October?! While waiting for my library copy of Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, I dove into one of his past works that laid out an interesting scenario in which society is clearing the “infected” and rebuilding their world, but some people still suffer from post-apocalyptic stress disorder.
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke: I think I would have felt lukewarm had I read the print copy of this YA mystery (with touches of magical realism), but I loved the audiobook recording. The story is narrated by 3 different characters, and the audio version had a different voice for each of those 3 narrators, which really brought the story to life.
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older: Some kids from Brooklyn use Caribbean magic to bring their street paintings to life and fight the bad guy. This got rave reviews from every other person in the book world, but I’m picky about fantasy, and this wasn’t for me.
Slade House by David Mitchell: Very intersting take on the haunted house. Set in London and spanning 5 decades, this book felt very disjointed in a way that worked brilliantly. Super spooky and an excellent Halloween read!
Everything’s Eventual: 5 Dark Tales by Stephen King: I don’t usually like short stories but thought this might be a good time to try out some spookier ones from Stephen King. Didn’t end up liking these at all.
Blood and Smoke by Stephen King: Another collection of short stories, because I didn’t learn my lesson the first time. I wanted to read 1408 since the movie adaptation is on my watch list, but it was very underwhelming. Hopefully the movie is better!
The Stand by Stephen King: At 40 hours, this post-apocalyptic book consumed the better part of a week. I still don’t know if I actually enjoyed it, but I spent so much time listening to it that eventually I just got used to it being in my life and was a little sad when the journey was over.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: For some reason, this book absolutely horrified me when I read it in middle school, to the point where I wouldn’t go outside at night. Since there’s a movie adaptation coming soon, it was worth revisitng. Much less scary this time around!
The Witches by Roald Dahl: If you need an escape that requires little to no thinking, go download a Dahl audiobook. This was an adorable story that was made even better by the audio effects that were added.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson: This gothic mystery has been recommended on so many book blogs, but I didn’t get the hype. The twist was predictable, the characters weren’t very interesting, and the plot felt very bare.
What I’ve Been Watching
One Friday night, I stopped by Redbox and saw a new-ish movie that had John Cusack in it, which was an instant sell. So without even reading the description, I took it home to christen my new DVD player. I soon discovered that Cell was a Stephen King adaptation and was definitely the scariest movie I’ve ever watched on my own. Even though I had nightmares for days, I really did like the idea of humans becoming zombies because of being infected by a corrupted phone signal.
Another spooky movie I watched was We Need to Talk about Kevin, and holy cow, was that chilling. If you have young kids or are considering having children, I’d skip this one.
On the Blog
Nothing! After an intense start to the school year, I’m trying to get back into writing regularly. More posts to come soon!