Yes, friends: it's that time of year again. Go ritually sacrifice some vegetable matter. Get out the decorations and buy plenty of candy. Put some spooky music on, or play some on your organ, heavy on the Leslie. (It's even better if you do it wearing your 'Zombie Patrol' t-shirt.) And while you're waiting for the kids to show up, think about what you're going to write for November's NaJoPoMo challenge.
Yes, the frost is on the pumpkin (we actually tell you where that phrase comes from in this very issue!) and that means you need to remember where you put that journal. Instructions below. We've also left the October challenge up, because if you haven't exhausted your inner child yet, we'd welcome your contributions throughout the month of November, possibly as a distraction from the journals.
Additional NaJo Note: The h2g2 Post will be running a proper journal this month, called Pics from a Small Planet. We're featuring a photo a day. If you have one to share with us, send it to postteamhg-at-gmail-dot-com. And bookmark that link, so you can enjoy the daily photos.
This year, the Post is celebrating Halloween in high style. I believe this is the fullest, most bumper-iest issue we've ever had. The contents are, frankly, amazing – and scary in places. So we've included the statutory Halloween safety warning. Beware of the following contents:
- Awix's movie review. We didn't dare put a label on, as the cinema critic's pages are sacrosanct, but you should be wary of a film with that much weather in. And somebody named, according to Awix, 'GERARD!BUTLER!'
- The solar pics. Awix's review is not the only weather report in this issue. There's been a lot of weather this autumn, and most of us are heartily sick of it. A couple of weeks ago, Hurricane Ophelia managed to cause havoc in the British Isles. There was even a funny-looking sun. This caused some anxiety, no doubt. It also caused photo art. See below. Basically, Cactuscafé lent us her moody building shot – that's her pic on this page – and the rest of us took liberties with it. We all march to the beat of different drummers, with or without Leslies.
- The scary, scary fiction. No lie, you couldn't make this stuff up. So we didn't. We just, er, embellished a tiny bit. All of these stories are fictionalised, but they are all 'based on a true story'. And one of these days, FWR is going to get a photo of Betty. I feel it in my bones. She can't disappoint her fans forever. And the ghostly car chase? He swears it's true. I can vouch for the authenticity of my folktales: I got them from local sources. We know our readers are always curious about these things, and we try to be upfront about where we're getting the material. (Unlike some media outlets we can see on Twitter.)
- The photos. We have some really hair-raising photos. You will be shocked. Be sure to keep the lights on. Some of the images are historical. Others have been collected by our elite team of Post photographers, who work tirelessly on all continents and isles of our planet to bring us the latest in the news- and snarkworthy. You'll enjoy this week's offerings.
- The quizzes. They're mostly on spooky topics – even the Caption Challenge is scary – although Bluebottle's Isle of Wight quiz is more esoteric, being about the letter Q. Don't quibble.
- The humour. Okay, most of that isn't really scary, but you have to be cautious with our humour in the best of times. Handle with care.
One thing you don't have to be scared of is Willem's Suni. It's, well, adorable. Go visit it whenever you feel stressed out by all the Halloween this week.
Dive right into this issue. You might want to take a snorkel. Be sure to come up for air, reality checks, and some cider. If you want some background music, Freewayriding recommends this, while Your Editor suggests you try some bluegrass pipe organ. Enjoy the week, hug a tiny goblin, and don't forget to write!