I’ve noticed something that I suspect you may have noticed as well: I don’t post entries here as much as I used to. There are a million reasons for this but it occurred to me that while I will always be likely to go on at length, my entries have become very bloated over the years. For the love of sanity, I wrote a multi-part analysis of a shallow biography about a woman who pretended to be black. I enjoyed doing it and I love dissecting books down to their atoms, but it is inescapable that when one writes so much about everything, it can be daunting to post regular blog content.
So I wondered if I could manage to trim back my writing style enough that I could post interesting content every weekday in October. October is the kindest month for OTC because, you know, Halloween, general creepiness, the weird is sought out more. So I challenged myself: I want to post 22 content entries in October.
But then I stumbled across a problem – what exactly would I write about? Would it be all book content? Would I try to hit up some of my favorite cemeteries or weird places to photograph? Movies? Music? Only content that is related directly to Halloween? What creepy movies are coming out in time for Halloween? Will I ever be able to get to the Columbus City cemetery and photograph it without fire or floods making a trip dangerous? I attempted to drive just up I-35 to photograph a cemetery supposedly haunted by a mother and her children who died in a flood a hundred years ago but the runs on gas after Hurricane Harvey caused us to give up when we hit a traffic jam and none of the nearby gas stations had gas. What creepy books are on the best-seller list? Would I have enough time to crank through the latest Stephen King doorstop?
Then it occurred to me that I could very neatly order this challenge in a way that limits the scope while simultaneously ensuring I could tackle a number of creepy, weird, odd, gross, scary, and freakish topics: I must limit my topics to content found within books I already have on my shelves and all photography excursions must occur within my county. If a book mentions a fabulous Texas ghost story that’s inside Travis County, I can investigate it. If a book mentions a very interesting film, I can discuss it. Between Mr OTC and me, we have a house full of creepy books (as of right now we enough sufficiently horrible and strange books in the house that I could write a new entry for a year and a half before I ran out of weirdness to discuss). All kinds of horrible things have happened very close to where I live, mostly involving Comanches and Germans, Czechs and other Eastern Europeans who didn’t heed fair warning about the original inhabitants in this section of Hell’s Half-Acre I call home. Beautiful and old cemeteries (well, old for Texas) are around every corner if you know where to look.
So I’m making it easy on myself. It’s going to be hard enough to rein in my desire to go on at length. Searching out and consuming entirely new content AND not writing 5000-word entries about each piece of media would be very difficult.
While I don’t think in the long run I will ever be a concise writer, I hope this exercise establishes some blog discipline for me. Hopefully I will get back in the habit of writing often, and hopefully my love of the fringe and unsettling will be reinvigorated as I refamiliarize myself with all the weirdness I have within my house and just outside my backdoor.
First Halloween 2017 entry will be up shortly – comment early and often!