Free Reads: “Never The Ghost You Want”

“Never The Ghost You Want” appeared earlier this year as a part of Cemetery Gates’s anthology, PARANORMAL CONTACT (which you can buy HERE). It is a non-fiction piece, and the only story I have finished, thus far, since wrapping GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST. I would very much like to share it with you!

Total transparency: I would love to see the piece get nominated in the Stoker Award “Non-Fiction” category. Now, that’s a long shot, but the story means an awful lot to me. And, Cemetery Gates has given me permission to offer “Never The Ghost You Want” FOR FREE as a part of my next newsletter (Sept. 27th).

All you have to do is sign up!

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Social Media Marketing Is A Buffet; Take What You Want And Leave The Rest

Firstly, if you’re reading this, then thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate it.

Secondly, I’m (mostly) migrating from social media and utilizing this site AND a newsletter. I long ago dumped Facebook. However, I will keep the Twitter account running, as long as it does what I need it to do: move books.

I will be 100% honest: I am only on social media because it is a free and easy marketing tool. I do not have representation and, thus far, the presses I have worked with do not have marketing departments or marketing budgets. So, social media is where that proverbial buck stops.

“Now I am become Marketing, the destroyer of disposable income.”

And, there’s a lot of “cult of personality” types on various social media platforms. I am not one of those. Now, I certainly do not begrudge one’s interest in flexing their cult-building skills. If that’s your bag, then go out and drop those hot takes! There’s a whole load of folks who love hot takes. Hot takes, I’m sure, have even nabbed a sale or two. In general, I don’t give a single shit for hot takes.

But, I will tell you what I like about hot takes, even if they aren’t my particular bag. I like hot takes because I like reading people as much if not more than I like reading books. Hot takes, more often than not, are an open door into someone’s head. Enough hot takes, and you can start piecing together the inner workings of a person. I don’t mind taking a walk through your head, and I will do so if you open that door enough times.

Now, I get that a lot of shit on social media is, at best, performative… but so are interactions in the real world. Any single person is a multitude. You are getting to know someone, whether it is the subjective “real” or the projection. The distinction is awfully ethereal outside of true performance art. And, I am not picky. I’ll take whatever you’re giving.

Finally, if you’ve made it this far, I thank you for a second time. I’d be thrilled if you signed up for my newsletter, and it will be the only way to get my upcoming novella, OCTOBER ANIMALS.


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You know, GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST is closing in on its 2-year anniversary. If you told me it came out yesterday, I don’t think I’d have the strength to argue. The last year and change has been challenging, to say the least. I mean, I look like a wizard now. You don’t just end up looking like a wizard because you’re doing great.


But, the dry spell is about to end. OCTOBER ANIMALS will be the first of these to see publication (in early 2022). THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS and my “Untitled Werewolf Noir” will be written in tandem. However, I suspect that “Untitled Werewolf Noir” will likely wrap first. The narrative is much more straightforward than THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS, which not only juggles multiple narratives but also drifts in and out of various timelines and realities. When will they come out? Who can say? But, I will be shopping both of these around, as I have no intention of publishing them myself.

So, here’s the pitch: OCTOBER ANIMALS will, indeed, come out in early 2022, though it will only be a limited release, available exclusively to people who have subscribed to my newsletter. I have no plans to shop the novella around for further publication, and I do not anticipate reprinting OCTOBER ANIMALS in any capacity in the immediate future. If you want OCTOBER ANIMALS, the first step is signing up…

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Two subscribers have already secured their copies of OCTOBER ANIMALS. I will outline how you can get your copy in my upcoming Thanksgiving newsletter. Sign up! Let me entertain you somewhere besides Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or whatever hellsite is in fashion.

And, about that “Untitled Werewolf Noir” I am working on. Turns out . . . it actually does have a title. If you subscribe, you’ll find out exactly what it’s called in my next newsletter (due the last week of September). Maybe, just maybe, I’ll even tell you what it’s about (hint: I will tell you).

Thanks for reading!

A Newsletter? A Newsletter! Praise be!

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Look at that! I have gone and done a newsletter. Courtesy of some fine folks over at popular garbage fire, Twitter, I decided to sign up for Mailchimp, so as to better court You, my audience. I don’t know all the ins and outs and I will be learning as I go along (this sentence is also a primer on how one lives their life BTW).

So, sign up. I’ll ramble to you! I am to understand that people generally enjoy a decent rambler. At least once a month, you will receive: my idle thoughts; messy philosophies/metaphors; my questionable opinions about, well, everything; the occasional fiction and non-fiction; general news about what I am up to, writing-wise and artistically. These emails will be different from my regular website posts, though some overlap will be inevitable, methinks.

So, go ahead and enter that email of yours in that there box up at the top and I’ll go shimmy into my most comfortable rambler’s outfit.

Thanks for reading, and (hopefully) thanks for signing up.


Man observes snow

Trying to Get People to Give A Fuck, and Other Wastes of Time

Oh, soulless internet, you take so much but you give me occasional funny memes. What am I to do with you?

I can see a vast difference in Twitter’s algorithms since first joining a couple years ago. The feed is getting choked, the ads are marching in, and constant interaction all but dictates one’s own personal presence. And, look, I am almost always busy, so I don’t have a whole lot of time to fucking scroll through that mess and like and comment enough to boost my own hot garbage. The decision, then, is to dump my personal account. Besides, that Twitter shit is just depressing. People are depressing. I’ll stick to writing in solitude. Solitude suits me just fine.

I can’t say I give a damn what some future entity thinks about my “social media reach” even though I get why some people care. It’s because jokers have fooled themselves into thinking a personal page with thousands or so followers will translate to sales. Oh boy, oh wow. It definitely doesn’t. It might help move some stuff to dedicated followers, but guess what? You’d get those sales anyway, if the followers are indeed dedicated.

And I like to be a bit of a gas bag. 250 characters? Not enough, I say. Gimme thousands. I have no time for artificial scarcity. Break open the dam and let me tread water until I am fucking bored, thank you.

Anyway, I think it is inevitable, now. But, Don Noble and I will still be running the Rooster Republic/Strangehouse Books Twitter account. I’ll keep posting more and more to this site, which will link to my personal Twitter account for the time being.

Now, it is time to write and to paint and draw and read and forget about the internet. But feel free to share funny memes.

Drawing Nonsense Helps Wash The Ol’ Brain

I had an opportunity to sit and sketch, which is kind of a rarity, these days. But, I am going to try to draw at least one thing every day, going forward. nothing fancy, just whatever happens to spill out of the pen and pencil. Had to put OCTOBER ANIMALS aside for about two weeks, and hoping to get back into that this week, too.

We shall see, I suppose. Life usually has other plans. Until then, here’s some goofy drawings. Enjoy!

Bendy Devil

Spooky grinner

Bodies Making Ghosts, Untitled Werewolves, and I Get To Read A New Hailey Piper Novel

I don’t normally lift content from the Rooster Republic Press site, but their newest post has quite a bit to do with me and what I have going on, personally, so here we are. And I wrote the original post anyway, so apologies to, uh, me, I guess. Apologies to you, too, if you already saw the post over at the Rooster site. I don’t steal very much, though, and I will elaborate here in ways I did not over there.

First thing, yes, there is a new Hailey Piper manuscript chilling out on my desktop. I began digging into this one, yesterday, and I am already liking what I am seeing. Methinks it’s nearly time to warm up the ol’ publishing contract. If all goes smoothly, then this book will be coming out from Rooster/Strangehouse in 2023. “More books” is always exciting. More books from Hailey Piper is . . . *EXPLOSION*

2023 title

Continue reading “Bodies Making Ghosts, Untitled Werewolves, and I Get To Read A New Hailey Piper Novel”


I’m trying something new with this post. I promised audio, and… here we go. Nothing too wild, today, just a short excerpt from my long-gestating novella, OCTOBER ANIMALS. The following is from the beginning of the second chapter. Hope you enjoy!

Reading father’s book had been forbidden. Maybe when you’re older, he had told her. Maybe never, said her mother, and she meant what she said.

Lizzie Bat waited all the same, waited for the day she would be old enough, bold enough, waited for her mother to forget about the book, waited to revel in the reveal of father’s secrets, waited in that way like many others who have waited, waited for a meaning or a purpose to appear, waited for revelation, clarity and clear, waited for her chance, but in the end she simply waited.

And then, Daniel Batson disappeared. 

Father had been gone a year when the storage shed, which contained all the copies of the book he had written, father’s forbidden book, caught fire during the night. Two-thousand books reduced to ash, Lizzie Bat cried at the sight, her father’s second death. Never would she be old enough to see secrets in this smoke and the rest of life yawned out before her, an unfathomable reechy darkness where secrets stretched their skeletal remains across a graveyard with no end. Lizzie Bat, in that moment, wished to never wait, never wait again.

She ran a hand through his carbonized dreams and searched in vain for a single page or a surviving word. Mother shed not a tear. Maybe never, said her mother, and she meant what she said.

“Forget about the book,” said mother. “Only witches can read dust, and you’re no witch.”

“You would know,” said Lizzie Bat.

Mother struck her for that. An open palm across the face. The woman may as well have cast a spell; form and features changed from that of mother to a nameless stranger. Lizzie Bat did not know this doppelgänger before her, as if shadow and skin had swapped places.

“He never should’ve written that damned book,” this Shadow Mother had said on more than one occasion.

OK, folks, that’s good enough for now! I’ll be plugging away at OCTOBER ANIMALS when I can, but lots and lots going on lately and not much of it conducive to writing a book. C’est la vie!

Thanks for reading (or listening).

Read and Re-read Get On A Boat

Life looks like it’s about to get topsy-turvy for a bit. I won’t be able to get to my computer for awhile, so I’m back to the old fashioned “pen & paper” technique. Happy to report I’m just as slow writing on a notepad as I am on a keyboard. Sometimes, though, words are a little different on a page than in a file. I don’t erase as much as strike through, or simply let the words pile upon themselves like my thoughts have just been in a terrible accident.

What definitely remains the same is my tendency to read aloud, and very often re-read. I find reading aloud akin to sharpening a tool. I listen to the sentences, and many times the cadence will come to define the way I write. I am this way with just about all the stories I work on, but especially OCTOBER ANIMALS, which concerns itself with language, with influence, and a type of vocalized spell. It is a musical book, I think, and it is very much designed to be that way.

Last week, I started writing a sestina in a rural hotel and today I may finish that work in a guest bedroom, elsewhere. This particular piece serves as a bridge between the previous reality and the reality to come, and it is composed of the many recurring phrases and details contained in earlier chapters.


OCTOBER ANIMALS borrows quite a bit from poetry, though the sestina is (I believe) the only time I employ formal poetry in the manuscript.

Funny to think OCTOBER ANIMALS may find itself finished some 2,000-odd miles from where it started. These stories have their own lives, much like we do, and they go through emotional and physical turmoil and they, too, have memories buried inside of them, and everything seems so immediate in the moment.

I don’t know if I will record the entire book as audio, but I am thinking of select pieces from the manuscript.

But, first, I must finish the work and read and re-read to myself. Then, I can read it to you.

I also have to find a place to live.

No Clear Way Home

20210710_152136I am not home. But, I will soon be tasked with making it back there. Only, everything is on fire. Either highway I’d normally take is closed, because of fire. Still, I need to get home. Looks like I’ll have to figure something out, take roads less traveled, you know, metaphor shit.

And, damn, doesn’t that just seem like a proper metaphor? It’s the type of obvious shit you’d be afraid to throw down in a manuscript because it is so on the nose. But, here I am, with a journey to take, complete with obstacles and side stories and things I want and flaws and I ought to change in some way, surely, but… the getting there is now a struggle, and it’ll be linked to everything I do and every decision I make until the task is complete.

Similarly, I want to finish this book, OCTOBER ANIMALS, but life keeps throwing obstacles in my direction. I write when I can, in little bits, little chunks of scenes, notes, poetry. And now, when I thought I’d have the most time, it turns out I may actually have the least. Funny how that works out.

I’m not particularly angry or upset. Mostly, I’m amused. This is how life always seems to be, at least on my end.

Here we go. Onwards and upwards. Until I’m faced with the next thing.