What A Weird Fuckin’ Year, Man

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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.

“Never the Ghost You Want” was a fluke, I think. That I finished anything after the summer of 2020 is probably a bit of a miracle. I just… wasn’t there. And so, having that single piece of new work, coupled with the fact that it does mean quite a bit to me, personally, I set out and did something I have never really done for any of my previously published pieces: I campaigned for it.

I shared “Never the Ghost You Want” quite a few times on social media (mainly Twitter) since Halloween 2021. And, thankfully, some very nice people saw fit to share it, too. I’ve had, as of this writing, 411 sets of eyes on the non-fiction story. I’d reckon that’s not half bad. So, if you did happen to share, then much love to you. And I mean that, truly. The writing world is filled to bursting with material clamoring for attention, and I appreciate every reader.

Time will tell if all the campaigning has gotten “Never the Ghost You Want” in front of enough eyes. I’ve stated many times that I would like to see it nominated for a Stoker. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t? I’ve made the preliminary ballot, previously, for GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST but I’ve yet to snag a nomination. Godspeed, little story.

In the meantime, I keep myself busy prepping THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS. The entirety of the manuscript is, as of now, confined to handwritten bits in one of the many notebooks littering my office. But, this notebook belongs solely to GHOSTS and it is where the bulk of the narrative and the characters will really take shape. Much goes into these notebooks when a manuscript is still early days, and it is anyone’s guess how much of it makes it into the final draft. That said, I am awfully fond of the following sentence:

“If you want to make a ghost from scratch, to paraphrase the late Carl Sagan, you must first invent the person.”

Indeed!

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And, of course, I am digging into the latter half of OCTOBER ANIMALS. Cutting time between the master document and handwriting in a notebook, similarly to BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS. The novella ought to be done this winter, assembled shortly after, and see limited publication by (hopefully) the spring. Summer at the latest.

Working on new short stories, too. And taking on no new projects as an editor in 2022. As a matter of fact, I likely won’t take on anything new in that capacity until I have finished at least one or two new novels. I’m getting old, you know.

The grave looms large on the horizon, and I am trying to fill it with books.

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