Welcome to Halloween and my first seasonal episode. Here’s a bit of micro history.  I have had, since the beginning of September, enough episodes for publishing every other week all the way up to the end of this year.  Yes, 2018 is in the bag.  I considered doing more episodes and maybe even putting out an episode every week, but like my book reading project.  I want to start at a pace I can maintain.  So, I kept it to one episode every two weeks but I just felt like I could push myself to maybe do a couple more episodes and then with all the holidays coming up.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and I thought, why not do a few special episodes.

So, here I am with my first special ghoulishly scary episode dedicated to Halloween.  OK.  Maybe not ghoulishly scary.  Maybe not scary at all.  If you know anything about me, I’ll just state for disclosure than I’m the biggest chicken there is.  I am terrified of scary anything.  I cannot do scary movies because it freaks me out and I won’t get sleep.  I’m especially terrified of supernatural ghost stories.  I feel a ghost is something you do not have control over.  You can’t hit it over the head with a baseball bat, you can’t shoot it, you can’t kill it.  So, if a ghost came at me, I’m done.  It’s my control freak personality.  So, no supernatural horror for me.

I personally have not even read any horror books.  Harry Potter and Percy Jackson was scary enough for me.  So, for this episode I thought I would keep it ghoulishly lighthearted.  How scary that an episode for Halloween could be chill?  But that’s the theme for today.  Scary sarcasm and scary things that could or could not happen to you through reading.

I consider this episode as nightmares in the adventure of reading.  You are the main character in this episode and you are sitting on the most comfortable spot reading your favorite book on your Kindle and the power goes out.  Oh no. But it’s OK.  You still have power on your Kindle.  But what if you didn’t?  As you read, the unthinkable happens.  You are in the climax of your book and your Kindle goes blank. Noooooooooo!  And then you wake up sweating from your reading nightmare and realize that you have not left your bed from the night before and the power is still on but you still do not know how that book was resolved because you don’t even know what book it was that you were reading.  Were you just woken out of a nightmare or was your nightmare just beginning?

That’s nightmare number one. The next nightmare is really a sad state of affairs.  I’m a pediatric dentist and I see teenagers also.  I get the eye roll and the I don’t know why I’m in school talk.  A lot of the teens bring up homework and book reports.  They talk about the nightmare of not just reading a book but writing a report on it.  I think about it.  Sure, it’s a nightmare to them, but is it truly their nightmare or is it the nightmare society is going to face with kids who do not like to read.

“Whose nightmare will it be if we have our children grow up without smart phones or social media?  Wanna do something truly scary for Halloween.  Take away their cell phones and have them read a book.”

I visited with a pediatrician the other day.  We were just chatting, and I told her about this podcast and she listened.  She then talked about her daughter who used to read a lot and now does not read at all and is instead on Facebook constantly. The nightmare of her daughter becoming a Facebook zombie has become, a sad reality.  I know the feeling.  I told her that I am still (not completely) but am still a partial Facebook zombie.

When I was leaving her office, she wanted me to do an episode on motivating children to read. She felt it was greatly needed. We don’t need Halloween to be in a nightmarish society where children are addicted to their phones rather than their books.  As I was thinking of material for this episode, I pondered our real nightmares in society.  Here’s the ultimate question.  Whose nightmare will it be if we have our children grow up without smartphones or social media?  Wanna do something truly scary for Halloween?  Take away their cell phones and have them read a book.

So let’s shift gears into some silly nightmares in reading.  Here’s one that has happened and also, one that was mentioned in an episode of Cheers.  Yes, I’m that old, but anyway.  A friend of mine returned a book she had borrowed but the pages were wonky.  She had accidentally dropped the book in the bath where she was reading it.  In Cheers, Sam took Diane’s special collector’s item signed copy of a classic and accidentally dropped it in the bath and the nightmarish comedy starts there. So, yes, dropping a book in the bath would be freaky.  Now I understand why manufacturers go back and forth on making water proof e-readers.

I was telling My husband about this episode and he wants me to talk about the scary story of sitting in an airplane and a gremlin is chewing the wing?  What? I don’t get the reference, maybe you do. Then again, my husband is full of obscure references that I roll my eyes at, but I considered the nightmare of reading about a gremlin chewing the wing of an airplane while you are in an airplane and then you see the gremlin and the book becomes real.  Nevermind.

A scary book coming to life would be a nightmarish ordeal indeed.  I remember listening to some of the interviews on 9/11.  An author was being interviewed.  Apparently he had written a book similar to it, except only one building was affected and did not fully collapse?  I do not remember the book or the author on television but I remember it was a 9/11 interview.  The scary part of this story is that when you talk about truth being stranger than fiction, this author wrote fiction and the truth came back in full force.  That is truly scary.  Scarier than Halloween really.  To see a book come to life that way.

In my attempt to find scary and anecdotal stories, I realized that the scary story is really a podcast episode on Halloween without much content.  And that’s my current real nightmare.  Perhaps I’ll wake out of it, like the first nightmare with the dying Kindle or maybe I’ll drag this episode on for a bit.

Actually I do have some scary news.  I have a Facebook page.  Look me up on Living a Life through Books.  Please feel free to reach me and comment on Facebook.  Would love to hear from you.   OH.  I’m also working on my website.  It most likely will not be up by the time of this podcast, but I will keep you all up to date about that.

Also, if you love this podcast, before you tell me and thank me, please tell the world.  I would greatly appreciate a review on Apple Podcasts. I’m told that the more reviews I get, the more I will be found and relevant.  So, I’m thanking all of you for your reviews, in advance.  Every bit counts.

Last bit of news before I go.  I’m told by several people that they love my logo.  The scary truth is that I had it professionally designed by Aalia Rahman. She’s a St. Louis based graphic designer and a surreal artist.  Contact her at aaliarahman.com.

And now for the final bit of Halloweeny news.  This is the scary end of the episode.  I hope you had a frightfully great time.  Until next time, this is Dr. Shahnaz Ahmed with Living a Life Through Books signing off. Have a safe Halloween.  And Remember to water the seeds within you. It’s time.

Please note that this episode aired on Oct 31, 2108.  There will be links to the books and/products (if any) that I mention.  It will take you to an Amazon link to purchase that book or product.  Disclaimer: I get a few pennies out of your use of my link, so I appreciate it.  Thank you.


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