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LM Horror, Issue 1
I’ve been keeping it under my hat, but it’s time to come out with it. In December, I will officially be a college graduate. My apprehension toward being open about this milestone comes from me taking twenty-one years to do what most college students do in four. I saw this as a failure or a weakness, a source of shame. After all, the proof was there. Sometimes I left school because I wanted to take a gamble with a creative endeavor (i.e., that time I started a band). Other times, my mental health crashed and burned, making the idea of attending school a source of dread and panic. And then there were big geographical changes or stuff on the family front that forced me to shift my priorities away from education.
Mentally, it always came down to the same thing: I couldn’t hold it together long enough to do what needed to be done. It was a stupid belief—of course I was holding it together, just attending to what I deemed more important—but these lies we tell ourselves are never rational.
It wasn’t until the other Friday (the 13th) that I really realized this success for what it is. Jean got emotional telling some of our friends in the neighborhood about this recent achievement. She said that I never gave up, despite the things that nearly derailed me (and believe me, friends, I’ve had some low points). I knew then that she was right. It didn’t take me over two decades to finish college because I was broken. I finished college after twenty-one years because I refused to stay down. I kept getting up because even during times when I tried convincing myself that it didn’t matter or I was doing okay without my degree, I knew in the back of my mind that finishing my higher education was something I just wanted to do. Now, just a few months away from turning forty, I can officially say that I’m a college grad.
Happy Monday, this is Fiction for the Cosmically Disturbed, a newsletter for family, friends, and fans of my work. You can catch up on previous issues right here.
The other week, I sent out a survey to you asking what you’d like from this newsletter, how often you’d like it, and what format you’d prefer. 65% of you said I should continue sending these out once a week as opposed to twice a week or once a month. 63% of you said I should stick to a text-based newsletter instead of videos or podcasts. And lastly, we had nearly a three-way tie for the type of content I should post here. Family/mental health updates and book/movie reviews each got 34%, while short fiction got 31%. With that in mind, I’ll continue to do these posts weekly in a written format, and they will consist of family/mental heath updates and book/movie/TV reviews. I may still occasionally include short fiction because 1. it was so close in the poll to the other two categories, and 2. I just want to flex that muscle again.
If you want to support this newsletter, now is a good time to do it! I’m not sure how long it will be going on, but Amazon has all my audiobooks on sale for less than $6. They are listed below, along with descriptions for each.
Extinction Peak is a post-apocalyptic novella with dinosaurs, evil politicians, and a few other surprises.
Engines of Ruin is a collection, a nice sampling of the writer I was before I fully grasped what I was doing. It has some stories I still think are strong, namely “Ghost Music,” “Video Inferno,” and “Waters of Ruin.”
The Final Gate (co-written with Wesley Southard) is a supernatural horror about an orphanage built atop one of the seven doorways to hell. It’s a tribute to the films of Lucio Fulci, but you don’t need to see those films to appreciate the book.
Gods of the Dark Web is an extreme cosmic horror based on the darkest corners of the internet. It follows a true crime writer looking for his missing brother and finding a seemingly abandoned town where a cosmic entity has taken over and is spreading its evil through the dark web.
Mania is about a director who gets his hands on a cursed screenplay and learns the truth about who really writes reality. I often tell people that this book is a good place to start with my work because it’s straightforward, not too extreme, and can be read in one sitting.
Pandemonium (co-written with Ryan Harding) is a bloody horror novel about a wrestling event beset by demons/the undead. Like my other collaboration, this one’s a tribute to Italian horror—this time showing some love to Lamberto Bava’s Demons films.
Saint Sadist is a book about a teenage girl who undergoes horrific abuse at the hands of her father, finally leaving after becoming pregnant, but winding up in the clutches of a cult. It’s probably my darkest book so far, but it’s not entirely without hope.
Currently Reading: A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, and Rabbit Hunt by Wrath James White.
Currently Watching: Renfield (directed by Chris McKay), Mask of the Devil (directed by Richard Rowntree), and Killer Klowns from Outer Space (directed by Stephen Chiodo).
Piccirilli was a poet, and you can tell by how the sentences in A Choir of Ill Children are constructed and the images they evoke. I still have about 30% left of the e-book to read, as it’s not something I can just blow through in a few sittings.
Rabbit Hunt is going to press some buttons.
Mask of the Devil is pure psychedelic sleaze. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought it came out in the 1970s—from me, that’s a compliment. I want to watch it again when I’m more awake, though.