Your October HORRORSCOPES
Aries (March 21-April 19)
October will be a social month for Aries. Look forward to making lots of new friends, many of whom already live within the walls of your own house.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Careful, Taurus! The call is coming from inside Venus’ Twelfth House, so make sure to change all the locks and keep your kitchen knives sharpened. An inauspicious month to take on any new babysitting clients.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
The movement of the planets into the houses of family this October makes this an ideal time to revisit your birth records, old family albums, or call your creepy Aunt Agnes to catch up and reflect on the past. Probably the circumstances of your birth and childhood were all normal and regular and average, and you almost certainly don’t have an evil twin.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
There is nothing spooky about crabs. Enjoy a relaxing month!
Leo (July 23-August 22)
This month is the perfect time for bonding with a loved one you’ve been neglecting. Take your totally normal son out for a pleasant outing to church or the zoo, so he can meet God and all His creations and be warmly welcomed by them, like the regular human boy he definitely is.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
If you’ve been thinking about taking it to the next level in a relationship, there could not be a better time to postpone it! Speaking of postponing, maybe wait on the road trip to the cabin/lake house/remote B&B that you and your promiscuous friends have been planning. In the meantime, focus your energies on knitting, homework, rescuing animals, and anything else that establishes you to the audience as a model citizen.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
A transformative month. You may be struggling to keep two sides of yourself in balance, whether it’s work and family, patience and ambition, good and evil, or human and wolfbeast. It’s a good time for self-reflection, a bad time to experiment with taking a new medication. Maybe try a fun new hairstyle.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
You will be covered in scorpions, ugh, so gross. Take your vitamins, and avoid making any major financial decisions.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
A past mistake will come back to haunt you. Beware of anyone you may have stabbed in the back, literally or metaphorically, because the wheel is about to turn. Plan a vacation around the 14th.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
It’s been a tough year for you, Capricorn, but don’t worry—October will provide plenty of opportunities for you to turn your luck around, provided you are willing to take initiative and make the necessary sacrifices. *wink* Talk to that eccentric, old couple who live down the hall from you in your pre-war apartment building about how! No need to keep your spouse informed. Hail Satan.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
Who knows what lurks in the depths of…your imagination! That’s right, Aquarius, October is a month for you to spread your creative wings. The 25th is a spiritually advantageous day for experimentation, whether with a bold new look, a redesigned kitchen, or a scientific discovery that has the potential to challenge THE FORCES OF NATURE ITSELF, LAUGHING MANIACALLY IN THE FACE OF GOD. You’ll have to iron out a miscommunication with a loved one around the 12th. Be the bigger person, and take full responsibility.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
You’ll be full of energy this month, so do something that challenges you, like exploring an Antarctic ice mountain or a black lagoon or a mysterious cave or your city’s very own sewer system, or really anywhere you might find
monsters or other horrifying mutants adventure! Take a flashlight!
Confessions of a Non-Contributor
It’s the one-year anniversary of my writer’s block.
October 2011 I watched A Bucket of Blood for the first time, and I loved it. I felt both so comforted and so called out by that goofy little horror comedy. I loved if for addressing the way ambition can exceed talent, the way you can feel desperate for the approval of people you don’t even respect, the way validation can, ironically, shut you down.
And so I tried to write about all that. And for some reason, I found that I couldn’t.
It took me years to even think of myself as a writer. I had wanted to be an actor since the age of ten, and I bought into that bullshit line that anyone who works in any artistic field will try to feed you to make themselves feel important: “If you can imagine yourself doing anything else, do that.” As a result, I spent roughly ten years of my life taking the compliment “You’re a good writer” as a dismissive insult on par with “You have a face for radio,” which frankly, I do.*
And then I started not to, out of necessity more than anything. The thing about acting is that you can’t do it alone. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Somebody has to give you permission. Somebody has to select you or join with you or say yes to you. So I needed something to do with myself in between rejections, and given how easily it came to me, writing seemed as good a stopgap as any.
Somewhere along the line stopgap became habit, and habit became passion. I found myself caring about what I wrote, actively trying to make it better. Acting receded into the background, became something I enjoyed and was okay at, but no longer felt the drive to do. I wrote every day, and over time, people started reading it. People I knew, then people I didn’t know, then people I didn’t know but whose work I had read and enjoyed. I was getting emails from actual writers, people who made a living at it, telling me they liked my work. It was a heady fucking feeling. My confidence in my work was at an all-time high, and I felt ready to start pitching and submitting to publications.
It was around this time that the well dried up. I can’t point to a specific incident that triggered it, but something had changed. My ideas started to seem hackneyed and boring, my sentences clunky and overwrought. I found myself hitting “save as draft” rather than “publish.”
My mom had warned me when I was younger “never [to] date an artist who doesn’t practice his art,” no doubt worrying I’d take up with some schmuck who had a guitar leaning against one wall of his bedroom, more as an objet d’art than an actual tool for creating. Heeding her advice, I didn’t date said schmuck, I just sort of became one.
I used the phrase “writer’s block” at the beginning of this essay for lack of a better term. “Writer’s block” has always sounded to me like the provenance of alcoholic male novelists well into middle age, not so much unpublished young women. And yet here I am, and the words that used to come so easily just aren’t anymore.
What I’ve just written here isn’t what I’d call compelling. It isn’t thought-provoking or important or even funny. It is, however, the best I can do right now. It is written with the faintest of hopes that by exposing my inane, embarrassing struggle to light I can gain some kind of an edge on it. Because I’m tired of writing one sentence and then praying for rain.
I’m trying here. I’m trying so goddamn hard.
*I don’t say this to be self-loathing. I like my face (not that it didn’t take a journey to get to that point), but one thing it ain’t (barring some kind of female character actor renaissance) is marketable. I’ve made my peace with that.