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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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

Being Inaccessible Is OK, Actually; And An Untitled Poem

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I would argue that I am not a “very online” person. I have been more online in the past, but become increasingly less so as time goes on. Simply, I don’t give a fuck about all that. At my core, I am an artist, and that moniker stretches across multiple disciplines. I create this or that and sometimes it is for me and sometimes I try to put it out in the world for people to adopt as their own. But I am not concerned with being accessible. I, myself, am not the art, though it surely comes from me. I have no love for “cult of personality” types. I figure it’s hard enough to convince people to buy art, let alone have to sell my goddamned self.

Approachable? Sure. I’m not interested in being mean to anyone. Being mean is exhausting.

Continue reading “Being Inaccessible Is OK, Actually; And An Untitled Poem”

Memory Is Palimpsest

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I am taking a (short) break from OCTOBER ANIMALS, but then it is back to work. It feels like I have taken a lifetime to work on a book so short. I even had a (for myself) pretty detailed outline to work from. But the narrative started mutating right out of the gate and anytime I tried to force the outline it simply wasn’t working. The narrative wanted something else, and I have stopped fighting. Instead, I am giving the narrative what it wants and letting it go.

“If you love something, let it go” says the old adage. Except, i don’t expect this thing I love to “come back” and be mine “forever” or what have you. I intend to let it go, piece by piece, word by word. Every sentence, this story grows nearer to completion, and further away from me. As it should be. Someday, soon, I will let OCTOBER ANIMALS go and it will be yours, not mine.

And then, over time, my perception of the book will become foggy, as it has with works I’ve previously written. Narratives are like memories, in that way. An experience so utterly involving that shatters apart with passing time, to become hardly more than idle thoughts, half-remembered details.

Memory is palimpsest.

So are books.

I write a story to be half-remembered by myself and you read said story and you bring your own life and experiences and this perception of yours is grafted onto to certain words and passages, and so the story conjures thoughts and feelings and narratives within the reader, all of which is beyond my control. And that, is a kind of magic. I may put down the words, but it is the reader who gives life to the story. In their own way, every book is a spell.

And now, I must return to OCTOBER ANIMALS. I have spells to cast and creatures to conjure.

Thanks for reading.

Stopping by a Body in the Barn Out Back: a poem

Whose body this is I once knew

His rotten stench the scavengers drew

And I recall the tenor of his screams

Rack and ruin a rare privilege to view

He swings on breeze from highest beams

Little wonder if God allows the dead their dreams

I visit this man every day

Death is but a deeper sleep it seems

Oft I wonder what my mother would say

To see father hanged in our barn this way

Would she give thanks or think of me insane

But where he has buried her I cannot say

Our bodies like our love cannot remain

Parables of kindness are profane

And all I have to give to you is pain

And all I have to give to you is pain.

Continue reading “Stopping by a Body in the Barn Out Back: a poem”

Recent Reads and Trying to Reconnect With Leaisure

I dearly love to read. Always have, and always will. But, since taking over editing and acquisitions for Rooster Republic Press (and more recently for Journalstone’s imprint, Bizarro Pulp Press), I find myself reading far less than I have been accustomed. For most of 2021, my spare time has been dedicated to Hailey Piper’s QUEEN OF TEETH, as well as chipping away at my novella, OCTOBER ANIMALS. In fact, the only book I’ve managed to sandwich between these projects was a lovely/harrowing little novella called WATCH THE WHOLE GODDAMNED THING BURN (by Doungjai Gam). It’s a limited release via Nightscape Press, and one I’d heartily recommend. You can grab a copy HERE.

Before that, I spent most of the last few months in 2020 working on various other titles seeing publication in 2021. And the last title I read for leisure was during Spring 2020, THE SILMARILLION (which I loved). Hoping to change that, however, in the next few weeks, especially as work on OCTOBER ANIMALS draws to a close.

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Making up for Lost Time is literally impossible. It’s just gone, forever.

My last post was on June 30th, and three days later my father died, just short of his birthday. He would have been 67. I tried making it out to Illinois every year, but because of the pandemic, I had yet to make it in 2020. My brother and my mother were with him when he died, and I find some solace in that. Turns out, the last time I would ever see my father was the morning of August 6th, 2019. The last picture I took of him was in 2018. He was playing with a dog at an animal shelter. He loved dogs.

Continue reading “Making up for Lost Time is literally impossible. It’s just gone, forever.”

“Life During Quarantime”

“This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling arooooound…”

Well, there’s been a bit of fooling around, if I’m being honest. Which I am. There’s been birthdays (mine, included) and cake and presents and those are all lovely things. There hasn’t been much disco, though, that part is true. There’s been loads of work, though, that’s for sure.

Fun, however, that’s the real important shit. And, sometimes, fun is delicious.

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“Hello, I Am Very Tired and Here’s A Blog About That” (plus a look at art for Andrew James Stone’s latest book)

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I’m not one to normally share correspondence, but I received back-to-back inquiries that are closely related, and in the spirit of artistic transparency, I decided to turn both of my answers, slightly edited from their original form, into a post. This type of thing keeps me accountable to not only my work, but the work of others. And there’s the likely event that others, especially indie press publishers, feel the same way that I do, and I believe a little solidarity goes a long way.

So, to the first question(s) I received: “How are you? How’s the biz?”

Continue reading ““Hello, I Am Very Tired and Here’s A Blog About That” (plus a look at art for Andrew James Stone’s latest book)”