On Being 33, Job Hunting, and Publishing

AUTHOR OF NIGHTMARES

So . . . today’s my birthday. Thirty-three trips around the sun so far, with at least thirty-five more in my future before things get sketchy. As with my other birthdays in recent years, I find I’m reflecting on the past, where I’ve been, how I got here, where I am, where I want to go.

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. Now seems as good a time as any. So . . .

I’ve been busy on a project with Anthony J. Rapino. It’s going to be announced at the end of this month. We’re both pretty excited about it, as we’ve put a lot of hard work and long hours into this thing. I can’t say more than that, but I think you will all be surprised in a good way.

That said, where I am is a scary place. I don’t talk about my day job much, mainly because I don’t want there to be a public association between Todd the Writer and Todd the Employee of a Nameless Corporation. And lately, talking about my day job is the last thing I’ve wanted to do because, well, things aren’t great there. I’ve been passively looking for another job since January, and actively (e.g. multiple resumes out into the world) for the last several weeks. This is a job I’ve held since 2007. I’ve grown up here. My coworkers are like family to me. Leaving them, leaving my comfort zone, scares me.

But . . . when I think back on where I was ten years ago, and where I am now, it’s disheartening to find that not much has changed on the job front. Sure, the place of employment has changed, but the overall feeling of dread and unhappiness has risen again. I used to like this job, but now I find I loathe it.

The problem is, I’ve built my financial life around it. I can’t leave without finding something to take its place. As I said, I’m actively seeking employment elsewhere. It sucks. I’d rather have my toenails ripped off. Slowly.

So that’s where I am. Let’s talk about where I want to go.

That project I’ve been working on could lead to something bigger. It’s the start of something that could potentially be a career. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately, and I’ve realized that I will never truly be happy unless I’m doing what I want to do, and that’s work in publishing. All facets of it. Not just writing.

Don’t get me wrong—I still love writing, and I still intend to finish book #3, but this is bigger than that. For me, anyway.

Again, I’m being vague because I have to be. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

For now I’m going to ask for two things:

1 –  Good vibes. I’m going to need lots of luck if I’m going to succeed at finding something else in the job market.

2 – Support the project that’s coming up, in any way you can.

I think that’s all for now. Thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes. They mean the world to me.

I’ll see you all again in three weeks. Stay tuned.

TK

Let’s talk about Gamut Magazine.

Just dropping in to provide a quick FYI about a new Kickstarter project hosted by author Richard Thomas. It’s called Gamut Magazine, and it promises to be a hell of a thing. Here are the details:

Richard does great work as an editor and as a writer. For examples, check out AFTER THE PEOPLE LIGHTS HAVE GONE OFF by Stephen Graham Jones (Richard edited that one) and Richard’s own novel, DISINTEGRATION. I don’t back many projects these days, but every once in a while I’ll spot one that’s a sure thing. This is one such project. I backed it on day one, and I admit that my sharing it here is partially selfish because, well, it’s a potential venue to which I intend to sub my own fiction somewhere down the line. Paid writing gigs are hard to come by these days, and Richard’s looking to make a honest go of it.

Selfishness aside, it’s hard to pass up simply because of the magazine’s initial lineup. Just look at this:

To date, here are the authors that have given me a verbal commitment to publish original and/or reprint fiction at Gamut:

Stephen Graham Jones, Laird Barron, Brian Evenson, Usman T. Malik, Matt Bell, Damien Angelica Walters, Letitia Trent, Mercedes M. Yardley, Alyssa Wong, Benjamin Percy, Lindsay Hunter, Axel Taiari, Amanda Gowin, Laura Benedict, Nathan Ballingrud, Dino Parenti, Ted E. Grau, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Sarah Read, Paula Bomer, Kelly Luce, Livia Llewelyn, Josh Malerman, Carmen Machado, Peter Tieryas, Kevin Catalano, Paul Tremblay, John Langan, Nina McConigley, Nik Korpon, Craig Wallwork, Steve Himmer, Antonia Crane, Steve Rasnic Tem, Kristi DeMeester, Tara Ison, David James Keaton, Cassandra Khaw, Nikki Guerlain, Lucy A. Snyder, JS Breukelaar, Helen Marshall, Amelia Gray, H. L. Nelson, Craig Davidson, Jacklyn Dre Marceau, and Lincoln Michel.

Poets will include:

Jeffrey Skinner, Nickole Brown, Cate Marvin, Paul Guest, Blas Falconer, Carrie Jerrell, Gary Jackson, Erica Dawson, Laura Van Prooyen, Simone Muench, Charles Jensen, Ace Boggess, and Jeannine Hall Gailey.

Each and every one of these authors is a voice that moves me, innovates, and takes risks on the page.

Yeah. I’m not kidding, folks. If you have any interest in neo-noir, horror, or weird fiction, you want this thing to succeed. As I write this, the project is at $16,293 of its $52,000 goal, with 23 days left to go. Let’s make it happen.

TK

I haven’t forgotten about you.

I Appear Missing

I’m just busy. Offline matters have claimed most of my free time, but I am writing here and there when I can. No, it’s not Monochrome, and no, it’s probably not ULT, either. It’s something different. It’s something weird. Really weird. Weirder than anything else I’ve done, and slightly experimental for me. Tony Rapino is partially to blame. So is my day job. Mostly my day job.

It’s a short story I’m calling “We Have Always Worked for the Company.” I’ve got about 2k words on it so far, and I expect another 2k before completion. It expands on the ideas presented in my flash story “Human Resources” which was published in Journals of Horror: Found Fiction a couple of Octobers ago.

I didn’t plan for this. It just sort of fell into my lap. It’s rare that something like this does, so when it happens, I have to see where it leads me. I’ll know more in a couple of weeks, once the dust has settled and I have a clearer picture of what it is. For now it’s a short story, possibly part of a bigger concept, and it pays homage to the works of Ligotti, Lovecraft, and Barron, with a tip of the hat to Jackson as well.

That’s all I’m willing to say for now. More soon.

TK