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Newsletter 13 October
Or Samhain. Or whatever you might celebrate. October is one of my favorite months. I love the fall in general, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve just enjoyed it more and more. I know I am not alone in that sentiment. But it’s been a great month of just STUFFING myself full of spooky books and movies and TV! And has there ever been an absolute avalanche of it! I’m writing this right after making Chili and prepping for Trick R’ Treaters. I’m guessing the newsletter won’t go out until later tonight. But that’s okay. A Halloween newsletter (lucky 13!) going out at night seems appropriate. I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about all the spooky things I’ve enjoyed this October. And there’s been plenty.
Edit: Handing out candy this year was a blast! We haven’t done it in a long while. We had a pretty spooky set-up for our neighborhood especially. And I say that as someone who has been a part of the low effort in the past. It was a great night for it. The rain stopped just in time, and it wasn’t too cold.
One Whole Year
First, very quickly, I want to thank everyone who has purchased, read, and reviewed In the Dark of the Grove. Can you believe it’s been a year? I can and I can’t. If you’ve read it and not left a review on Amazon or Goodreads, it’s a huge help. Especially on Amazon where the number of reviews influences how much presence it has.
Things I’ve Greatly Enjoyed: Spooky Edition
I’m going to cheat a little here and just direct you to the write-ups I did elsewhere. But there’s just a LOT to cover because I enjoyed so much.
Movies & TV:
I made a stack of October reads. There were a couple I didn’t get to yet, but they’re in progress or will be shortly. It was fun putting together a specific reading pile for the month. I might do that again. Here’s my GoodReads review of a few selected favorites:
Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom
Dark Archives was absolutely fascinating. As a lover of books as physical objects and odd history I couldn’t resist. As is expected, this wasn’t a creepy read. Other than the central concept, of course. It’s a deftly told series of examinations of the way history, ethics, science, and human fascination have all intersected around the stories of these books. The reality of skin-covered books is both more mundane and, in some cases, more horrific than expected. The horrors are not of the gothic spell-summoning type that might be conjured when the topic is brought up. Rather, it’s more horror at the casual, class and race-driven disregard that “reputable” men operated in. And all of this wasn’t that long ago.
The House on the Borderland by William Hodgson Hope
Ah this was fantastic. An intriguing tale of cosmic horror that feels weirdly intimate and epic at the same time. My hats off to Swan River Press for a beautifully produced book. Now I kind of want to track down the hardcover. This was first published in 1908 so, yes, some of the style is archaic at this point but still very readable. In some ways it really only lends to the “found manuscript” feel of the piece.
Motherthing by Ainsle Hogarth
Highly recommended. Hogarth brought the characters to rich, dark, and often hilarious life. Seriously impressive. (This one didn’t appear in the image above because it came out / I found out about it / I bought it after I’d made my stack. Motherthing snuck in there.
I’ve participated in some kind of illustration-related challenge (at first it was Inktober, but more recently I’ve been doing Drawtober) and each year it’s always fun to think of new illustrations. Here are my entries for this year, along with the original prompt calendar.
I hope you had a fun October and/or a fun Halloween! I’ll be back next month (probably not to far into it, actually) with another newsletter. Which will include my thoughts about the future of the newsletter after the one-year mark as well as some other stuff. See you then!