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Less Than Pulp, Issue 29
Supportive Partners, Growing Readership, and Other Updates
I’ve had a nice influx of editing work this week, which helped ease some of last week’s anxiety. While I will still keep my eyes open for new job opportunities, I feel much less on edge about it. Jean told me that anything I find should be part-time so I could focus on writing. That was nice to hear. Creative work can often feel like a colossal waste of time. It’s isolating, often brings in very little money, and bears a sometimes-alarming resemblance to neurotic behavior. Having a partner remind you that what you’re doing is important is always helpful.
This week, I worked on the ghostwriting project. It’s not in my usual genre, so there’s been a learning curve, but I think I’m hitting my stride with it. I also finalized my pitch for The Uncanny Chronicle and got great feedback on “The Bleak Season.” I may get it done before Christmas after all! If I do, I’ll release it here for free. Doing these monthly short stories has been a fun challenge, and it’s done wonders for growing my readership.
Hey, that’s you! Thanks for that.
Speaking of readership, Christina Pfieffer (one half of the Mothers of Mayhem podcast) did a buddy read of Pandemonium with a group of others on Facebook this past week. She graciously put together a group chat with Ryan Harding and I so everyone could ask us questions. I genuinely enjoyed interacting with readers in real-time as they were experiencing one of my books. Next up, she’s doing a group read of Mania, my book about a cursed screenplay and Hollywood death cults.
I haven’t built an audience as quickly or one as large as some of my peers. The truth of the matter is this: I’ve never been fully comfortable with the social media thing. Oftentimes, those sites seem like hotbeds for computer viruses, but for your mind. You catch these strands, and it’s all you can think about or talk about or see for days or weeks. You get manipulated into thinking all these hills are worth dying on, even though you can only die once. It’s not healthy for me, but your mileage may vary.
Doing this newsletter has been much more rewarding, and it’s easier on the brain. I’m playing the long game with it and my books. If you’re reading this, please know that I’m glad you’re here.
I have four (4) signed copies of Earth vs the Star Mummy left, so if you want one, send $10 to me on PayPal [at] LucasMangum and put your shipping details in the note. It’s getting some nice reviews, including this one by Mort Stone at Uncomfortably Dark.
For an upcoming episode of Make Your Own Damn Podcast, I caught Krampus. It was a first-time watch for me after putting it off for years. Despite loving director Mike Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat, I thought his Christmas horror outing looked a little too gimmicky. Also, the fact that it was made by a major studio only increased my skepticism. I’m glad to say, though, it’s a fun time. It’s an old school monster movie in the vein of Gremlins and Critters, and it exceeded expectations. Had it come out in the 1980s, people would be lauding it as a stone-cold classic. Unfortunately, it came out in 2015, so only horror fans took note. Check it out if you haven’t.
Speaking of 80s movies, I also watched Scrooged, a favorite of mine while growing up that I haven’t seen in a decade or so. Though it’s very much a comedy, some of the ghosts definitely drift into horror territory. Somehow my youngest—she’s not quite two—sat still long enough to watch it with me all the way through. She liked Carol Kane’s Ghost of Christmas Present and kept asking for more of her.
Have you heard of Frutiger Aero? Maybe you have but didn't know the art style had a name? That was me until I saw the video below. Thoughts?
I’m fascinated by aesthetics. Specifically, I’m interested in what function they have (if any), why they catch on, and the types of people who embrace them. Frutiger Aero perfectly encapsulates why our society so easily embraced a more digital world. It doesn't have the nostalgic appeal of liminal space photos or dreamcore imagery, but I do find it interesting from a sociological perspective.
On this week’s Make Your Own Damn Podcast, we covered the 1980 American horror movie The Children. You can check it out at the video below or wherever you get your podcasts.
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