A week of books, art, and music. Being 42 is okay, so far. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes.
Yes, after many years away from conventions and events of any kind, I will be appearing at AuthorCon in 2023. Looking into (really, truly) attending StokerCon in 2023, as well. After all, I will have a new novella (OCTOBER ANIMALS) out in the world. But that’s not all! It seems I have gone and done a thing! And now I am gonna talk about that thing.
Until very recently, I had several active titles in print. No longer. After some internal deliberation, I have reacquired the rights and interests in all my solo work. There may be a few copies floating around out there on various retail platforms, but the books are very much out of print. Every single title.
Hard to believe it, but those are two pics of the same skull. Now, I have used resin in the past, but never on a project quite this big, and certainly not with pigment powders. But I quite like the marbled effect I managed to get out of my first time. And, hopefully, this is the first of many times.
Not having any manuscript acquisitions on my plate (from either Rooster/Strangehouse or Bizarro Pulp Press) gives me something I’ve been sorely lacking lately: time. I plan on spending a lot of time on personal projects, this year and next, and one of those projects is sculpture and mold making. I mean, I did just buy 4.5lbs of Monster Clay, and I fully intend on making something ghastly/gorgeous.
Weird couple weeks. Family member had emergency surgery (all good, no worries), so I traveled 4 hours away to help care for them. No computer access, really. On the plus side, without the computer, I was basically social-media free for almost two weeks.
I didn’t fucking miss it at all. After being off social media for a stretch, and breezing through various news stories, I had almost zero interest in returning to “internet life.” And that’s fine, because it’s mostly selfish terrorists doling out brain rot, 24/7.
Almost a year ago, I wrote an entry on this site titled “Being Inaccessible Is OK, Actually; And An Untitled Poem” and you can read that HERE. In that article I wrote:
“…being online is just depressing. People are depressing. Culture is disappointing. I try to, as much as it is possible to do so, exist outside whatever everyone else is doing. I’m happy with what I do. Validation is uninteresting to me.
I once noted that my ultimate goal was to become a ghost. What better way to do that than by fucking off and thriving on being left alone? I’ve taken one release out of print (Necrosaurus Rex) and you had better believe I am waiting patiently to run out the contract on the next book. When that happens, I’ll be having that taken out of print, too.“
Anyway, I did sign out of Twitter. And, no, I won’t be signing back in. This site will remain, as will the newsletter (for now). These things will link to my Twitter account, but I will not be there. Good riddance, I say. Honestly, it’s not far removed from the liberation of dumping Facebook, so many years ago. Ultimately, all that shit is just a distraction from the work.
CHROMOPHOBIA is all but finished, at this point. We’ve taken a look at a proof of the print file, and we are making some interior adjustments. We’ll finish those over the next day or two. Then, it’ll be time to order physical proofs. Hardcovers are still shipping in July, as long as nothing too disruptive happens to supply chains in the next few months.
And, now that CHROMOPHOBIA is done, I can turn my attention back to OCTOBER ANIMALS. That novella will be finished soon enough, though some aspects of its production are still up in the air. It’ll be out this year, though, that’s for certain. OCTOBER ANIMALS is a weird book for weird kids. Here’s hoping you are a weird kid.
Once OCTOBER ANIMALS wraps, I am turning my attention to a trio of novels, and short fiction that will be a part of a newsletter-exclusive ‘zine. If that sounds like something of interest, here’s a link to sign up:
I will keep this short and sweet. Once Covid became a giant clusterfuck, I started homeschooling my kid. I helped her wrap up Kindergarten. First grade was all online. Some of second grade was, but I have taken teaching over completely since moving last fall. It isn’t hard, but it is time intensive. And, happily, the kiddo seems sharp as a tack.
But, that means every week is non-stop. And, you know, I love writing and all that, but it takes a backseat to my kid’s education. Nothing here is happening fast, that’s for sure.
2022 will be a year of transition, and it’ll be a challenge, for sure. I am trying to tackle so many different things. But, this is because I’ve put so much of myself on the back burner, so to speak. Now, I find myself wrapping up previous commitments. And, personal projects, some long dormant, are finally getting a chance to breathe.
One of these projects, a zine, is coming along. Honestly, and if I am being really honest, figuring out the formatting was the big obstacle (I am not, by trade, one who formats), but I finally set aside a week and got it done. I chose a story and laid it all out and arranged and rearranged and, finally, I had something printed that is starting to look like what I’d been imagining. Sometime soon (likely, very soon) I will do some proofs of this zine, sending it out to a handful of people to see what they think.
I found myself re-reading Jim Thompson’s SAVAGE NIGHT, this week. May be my third time, but it is a slim volume and it never fails to pack a punch. I mean, you are set up from the get-go for violence and you wait and wait and when it finally hits… holy hell. The last handful of chapters are a goddamned ride, man. Straight to Hell.
Jim Thompson is a beast. I see other books of his recommended more often, but SAVAGE NIGHT is the one I always come back to. Lyrical and, at times, surreal. And violence that just punches off the page.
And then, that got me thinking how much I probably owe noir, like SAVAGE NIGHT, for its inspirations throughout GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST. I always jokingly referred to GRIND as “Magic Nihilism” but I think, in hindsight, you could just as easily call it a “Horror Noir” and not be too far off the mark. Continue reading “Little Revelations While Reading Jim Thompson’s SAVAGE NIGHT (and a bit about how The Iliad Bookshop is the best place on Earth)”
I, for one, am certainly not going to miss 2021. There were bright and shining moments through that year, but the overall feeling was oppressive. I wasn’t hitting a wall anymore. No, in fact, I had hit the wall so hard that I actually fused to it.
But, after much scrambling, several cross-country trips, and a move from Oregon to Illinois… the dust has settled and suddenly it’s a new year. And here I am, in 2022, writing new material and finishing long-gestating projects. Hard not to feel positive about it all after a year and a half of personal sludge.
In accordance with the Bram Stoker Awards® Etiquette Rules, for the Non-Fiction Category, I am offering this free version of “Never The Ghost You Want” (originally published in the 2021 anthology PARANORMAL CONTACT: A QUIET HORROR CONFESSIONAL, via Cemetery Gates Media) for Bram Stoker Award® consideration.
Title of Work: Never The Ghost You Want
Publisher: Cemetery Gates Media
Publication Date: 14 March 2021
Never the Ghost You Want
by Nicholas Day
I do not believe in ghosts but lived in a haunted house, years ago, and it fucking sucked. People just think you’re telling stories, for starters. They imagine you’re going a bit crackers. And maybe you are, but why wouldn’t you be? After all, your house is haunted, goddammit.
Now, I’ve had roommates before, sure, but they could be reasoned with, even possessed material form. Conversations may not have always been ideal, but they weren’t out of the question, nor did they require the aid of a medium or the clumsy fingering of a ouija board. These roommates were, best to my knowledge, alive. And, at the very least, they chipped in for bills, rent, and the occasional pizza. Motivations weren’t mysterious, and most of them didn’t slam doors.
In my experience, ghosts don’t give a fuck about you. In that way, they are actually quite a lot like living, breathing people, roommates or otherwise. Ghosts are busy doing their own thing. What you are doing is of little concern to them, or their need of wandering the hallways or marching up and down the stairwell, invading your dreams, what have you.
That’s how it started, for me, through dreams.