Some months ago, I had the following conversation with my friend, Tom, who had asked a very simple question whilst we were scrolling through the Netflix.
"Did you see The Avengers?"
"Yeah... it was okay."
"Eh. I've never really been into the whole cape-thing."
"What's 'the cape-thing?'"
"You know, the superhero-thing - I mean, okay, there's Batman-"
"And Zorro - well, I guess Zorro had a cape..."
For a moment I considered throwing the Rocketeer out there, but quickly realized that the Cirrus X3 jetpack could easily be dismissed as a fire-cape.
"Robin Hood - did Robin Hood wear a cape?"
"His name is 'Robin Hood.'"
"I guess he did, huh? Or at least, like, a half-cape."
"It sounds like you're actually really into capes."
And with that, the issue was resolved: I loved capes more than I ever knew.
Which leads me to my next topic: Halloween. Most of us love Halloween, correct? I feel like we're culturally on the same page with this, and I am delighted that we, as a people, take it seriously. It is ritual, it is sacred, and we all dig it like crazy. Especially me, for while it is little remembered, having been lost in the debris field that is the internet, this time of year brings something else to mind:
This one time, I wrote a book.
And it's a Halloween book, you see, so if it's not to be brought to mind now, then when? It's called The Creeps (Chapter 1 is called "The Girl In The Cape" - I am so into capes, how did I not see this??) and it's out there in a big way, baby. You can find it for your Kindle, where Amazon will presumably drone-deliver it directly into your device, and it's also now available for Nook, a reading platform that just can't help but sound adorable. Options for you, the beloved reader, so you can go get that thing.
But that is not all. Oh no, no, no.
As a modern writer, I am well-aware of the monumental task being set for the world when organizing words into sentences to be read at one's leisure. Even the above-stated sentence can seem like a slog when acknowledging how difficult it can be to get a few moments to oneself. Go ahead and ask me how long I've been staring down the barrel of Donna Tartt's Pulitzer-winning The Goldfinch - and I fucking love Donna Tartt! (Side note: Anyone out there know Donna Tartt? Please shoot me her email, I'd like to ask her how the The Goldfinch ends.)
As The Penguin said in that episode of The Twilight Zone (I believe he is in all of them), we readers desire a state where there is "time enough at last." And while that will most likely never happen, we can at least paint more layers of media on the time we do have at our disposal. As a modern human, I am sensitive to this, and have taken the liberty of removing the guesswork. And you know what that means... that's right: Audiobook.
I have read it so you don't have to. Just let me spin you a yarn! And hell yeah, I did the voices! Some of them even have accents that meander all over the British Isles, often within the same sentence! It is one Sean Connery-impression away from taxing my entire bag of vocal tricks, but I leave it to you to decide if it was worth it. Listen in the car, at your job, during your workout, while your loved ones are sharing their deepest fears and desires with you - they won't even notice. Because they're already texting. All I ask in return is that you buy 900 copies and tell everyone you know about it, constantly. #ImATotalCreep
So. The files have been uploaded, the damage has been done, and The Creeps audiobook adventure will be "dropping" on Audible in a week or two - they're kind of vague about it, but quality control is as quality control does, so whatever. Should we refer to it as a countdown to some thing? VA-Day? As in "Victory over Audio Day" (hearing being the most sonic of all the six senses)? Rest assured, when I know, you will know.
In celebration of this momentous occasion, and while we wait for Audible to do whatever it is it's doing, Team Creeps is rolling out some hot time-wasters.
They are as follows:
1.) First thing's first (hence the number): If you've not already done so, please go to my Author page and "Like" it, even if you really don't. While it's been holding steady at around 60 people who have offered their tacit approval by clicking that button and then immediately forgetting about it, Facebook keeps promising me incredible things if it breaks 100. They treat it as though it will magically open a portal to Spain, and with all the urgency of an old-timey chain-letter. So let's definitely get in on that - data regarding your intimate browsing preferences are not going to exploit themselves!
2.) There is a website now, if you'd like to see what goes on with my projects. www.justinzeppa.com - go figure.
3.) Because Team Creeps celebrates Halloween harder than any Team ever (I have no proof of this), and to spare you from being constantly reminded about everything I'm currently reminding you about, I'm just going to hammer you with some stupid blogs. You lucky ducks.
That's right, everyone put on your domino masks - we're off on a trick-or-treating adventure of our own. We'll be stalking the streets and knocking on the doors of families we all know and love and loathe, time-traveling our way through 50+ years of Halloween-themed television shows. KaBOOM!
Look, I love me some TV, let's make no bones about it. As a kid, I watched tons, in lieu of cultivating adequate social skills (we now live in a world that communicates almost exclusively through pop-culture references, so who's laughing now, I ask you!), and as an adult, it's exactly the same. The point being, every day in October, I shall use this lifetime of watching-experience to pilot you through a fantastical, fictional neighborhood of TV family homes. We shall knock on their doors and look past them, into the living rooms of decades gone by to see how they celebrate Halloween.
As our guide, we will be using Wikipedia's outstanding List Of Halloween Television Specials, as complete a resource on the subject as you will ever find, and one I have been seeking out for at least 15 years. I'll try to take you through as many eras and genres as possible, and try to keep a healthy balance of the familiar and the exotic. Mind you, we'll be focusing on Halloween episodes (hereafter known as "eps"), not specials, so you'll need to get your Great Pumpkin fix elsewhere. For we have bigger Miller-Boyett fish to fry.
In conclusion, yes, you've read this correctly: I'm watching television, and you're going to read about it. You're welcome, and Happy October to one and all. See you tomorrow.