Okay, so I skipped a week. I’ll try to make these weekly, but you all know how life gets in the way sometimes. In any case, today’s pick is one of my favorite songs from Tool’s album “Ænima,” a little six-minute gem called “Forty-Six & 2.”
I discovered Tool’s music in high school, a few years after this album was released and right around the same time I discovered Nine Inch Nails. Both were huge influences on me, and now, almost twenty years later, I still go back to one when I’m tired of the other. “Ænima” was my first Tool album. I’d heard a couple of the singles for “Stinkfist” and “Ænema,” but nothing else. This song was one of those first eye-openers that blew me away. I’ve been working on edits of ULT #5, a little story called THE OTHER LAND EXPRESS, and this song was one of two that I listened to heavily during its composition.
If you like what you hear, I strongly encourage you to purchase the album. You’ll thank me.
UGLY LITTLE THINGS: VOLUME ONE hits Kindles today. Did you pre-order? If so, you’ll find this small collection of stories is already corrupting the other books in your library.
And if you didn’t pre-order, well, allow me to point you toward this lovely book cover below. Clicking on it will take you to the Amazon page where you can purchase the book for a mere $3.99. Sales are greatly appreciated–and so are reviews! Feel free to leave an Amazon review, or maybe even one on Goodreads–or both!
I have no words, so I’ll let this HNR Review for ULT: VOLUME ONE speak for itself:
Ugly little Things: Volume One single-handedly restored my faith for horror: not only as a genre, but as a literary vehicle of exploration. There is substance in each of these tales that clings to your skin in sticky clumps. It knows what disturbs you and compels you to press on anyway.
And despite its shortcomings, which are really too insubstantial to name, (and really more relative to each story’s plot anyway) Todd Keisling has crafted a gem I’d gladly place in the pantheon of masterpieces. This is no longer literature but heart-wrenching and impressionistic art.
. . . until this beautifully ugly little package is unleashed on Kindles. UGLY LITTLE THINGS: VOLUME ONE is currently available for pre-order, and officially goes on sale next Tuesday, February 3rd. Go on and click the image. You know you want to.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you already know that music is an integral part of my creative process. I have eclectic tastes, and when I find something I like, I usually try to share it whenever possible. Hence this post. “Sunday Soundtrack” is something I hope to do, well, every Sunday. I’ll post a song (or a playlist) here for your enjoyment. Feel free to discuss it in the comments, or simply kick back and let it be the soundtrack to your day. And before anyone asks: No, I’m not getting any sort of referral fee for posting these links. I’m doing it because I want to spread the word.
First up: Tweaker‘s third album, Call the Time Eternity.
I was a huge Tweaker fan in college, even going so far as to write a novella about the album 2 AM Wake-Up Call, but in recent years I lost track of Mr. Vrenna’s exploits. Fast forward to last weekend. I discovered they’d released a third album three years ago. It was like Christmas.
If you like what you hear, I strongly encourage you to purchase the album: Direct | Amazon | iTunes
I woke up this morning and found a new review for the forthcoming ULT collection that’s too good not to share. Here’s an excerpt:
This is a delectable collection of short horror stories all in one fantastic bundle.
I took my time to read each and every one of the stories and it stood out to me how different each one was. I liked this, sometimes in short story collections you find all the stories a bit the same, a bit bland. Not here, Todd delivers up a mixed bag of horror fantastically.
It’s hard to rate a collection book as often you like some stories over others, but overall this book is easily a 4 star review for me. And I highly recommend it to horror lovers and those who are keen to delve in to horror for their first time. This is a good place to start.
About 15 months ago, I wrote a post titled “S.O.S.” in which I detailed just how poorly my books were selling. A lot of writers chimed in, both publicly and privately, to offer suggestions and feedback. The aftermath of that post led to my decision to release the stories I’d been working on as individual titles in an attempt to grow my catalog and reach more readers.
The first story went on sale on January 3rd, 2014. This post will discuss the year of sales data that followed that first on-sale date. In other words, this is a “business” post. If you’re just here for the fiction, my feelings won’t be hurt if you skip over this.
Gef Fox, curator of the dark fiction review blog Wag the Fox, cornered me a few weeks ago for an interview of sorts. He asked me all sorts of things, including my favorite dirty limerick (which I’m sure he now regrets). Here’s an excerpt:
Gef: Along with your short fiction, there are the novels in your Monochrome Trilogy. How much of a gear shift is it for you to go from one to the other?
Todd: There’s a drastic difference between my novels and short fiction. The Monochrome novels are way more complex than the stories in the ULT series. Conceptually, the Monochrome novels are more “literary” in scope. The things a typical horror fan looks for—the gore, suspense, dread, et al.—are in there, but with a bigger subtext. The ULT stories are more direct, and so far have proven to be far more gory, disturbing, and violent.
Shifting between the two has proven challenging. After completing my last novel, I feared that every “short” idea I had would balloon into another novel; now that I’m gearing up to work on the last Monochrome novel, I’m having a more difficult time piecing together the smaller facets of the plot because I’ve spent the last year thinking in the confines of shorter fiction.
Going from one to the other requires a completely change of approach. It’s kind of like looking at one of those “Magic Eye” images. You have to stare at it for a long time before the full picture comes into focus, and the way you do it once isn’t necessarily the way you’ll do it for subsequent viewings.
We’re only twelve days into the year and I’m already behind on things. I guess I was behind on things before today, but whatever—the point is that I’m behind schedule on so many things, it’s not even funny.
Last year I wrote so much and yet accomplished so little in terms of new fiction. I currently have seven WIPs that are destined for release as ULT stories at some point. Every single one of them has stalled out somewhere in the process, either from my own malaise or complete lack of interest. There are days when the words are there; there are other days when you have to go digging for them. Lately it seems like all the words are buried—or worse, the stories themselves are buried, and I haven’t the desire to break out my shovel and pickax.
As my pal Mercedes says from time to time, “Suck it up, buttercup.”
I now dub 2015 the “Year of Getting Shit Done.”
Goals vs. Resolutions
Maybe it’s just semantics, but the word “resolution” carries with it an eye-rolling quality that I want to avoid. I need to be as positive as possible right now, so instead of “resolution,” I’m going to say I have “Goals.”
To demonstrate that I’m serious, I’ve written these goals on the Whiteboard of Woe:
Definitely. I don’t know how possible some of these are—10k down on NONENTITY seems insane to me right now—but goddammit, I have to try. I’m tired of being stagnant, and the only way I know to keep myself motivated is to set deadlines.
So . . . I’m setting a deadline of March 31st for everything listed above, and I intend to provide monthly updates on where things stand—starting with the 2014 sales recap this Friday.
SO IT IS WRITTEN!
P.S. Yes, the website looks different. We ran into some issues yesterday with the old theme, so I’ll be tweaking things in the coming days. If something looks weird or isn’t displaying properly, that’s probably why. I’ll write more about it later. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the new format!