(Edited from my first newsletter which contains even more goodies-write me if you want to get in on it!)
Good morning/afternoon/evening for whenever you get to read this!
A source for Matt Henshaw's creative work
(Edited from my first newsletter which contains even more goodies-write me if you want to get in on it!)
Good morning/afternoon/evening for whenever you get to read this!
Notes and Acknowledgments for the Nafallen University Course Catalog
I would not have thought a year ago that my idea for an evil college course catalog would have been anything more than another weird idea I had that would at most be a writing project for myself. Somehow though, this book is now a real thing, and I couldn’t be more excited to have others read it and hopefully get some enjoyment out of it. Even better, it’s been wonderful to work with a bevy of talented people to have this come into fruition.
I have not seen acknowledgments really done in an anthology before, probably because it would get very long to have all the contributors share their thoughts and thanks. But I would be remiss not to account for everyone that had a hand, seen and unseen, in making this project happen. This on its own will be a little lengthy but I hope you’ll give it some time and attention, and give attention and support to all of those mentioned. When one wins we all win, and this is most certainly a win I want to see ripple forward. I apologize if I’ve excluded anyone from this list, there are truly a lot of people to thank-and please know your support and encouragement means a lot to me, and I wish you all success, peace, health, and love.
Thanks to my wife Jennifer, and our cat Rumi, who help me stay grounded and give me a loving base to be able to work from.
Thanks to my parents, who probably won’t read this, but raised me to embrace my imagination and to be creative and silly.
The idea for this project was born from a walk where I was listening to an interview with Matthew M. Bartlett talking about his phenomenal chapbook series, the WXXT Program Guide. I started thinking about what kind of universe I could create that might mimic what he is doing with that series (and his writing in general is a large inspiration to me). Matt was an enthusiastic supporter of the idea, and over the months has proven time and again how wonderful people in the independent horror community are to one another. I am proud to call Matt a friend, and even prouder to have done a little playing in the WXXT-verse myself.
John Baltisberger is the head of Madness Heart Press which put this book out. In the midst of his own prodigious and excellent output, and running a small press, and just life in general, John has been a joy to work with and is committed to supporting his writers. He took a risk on an unknown weirdo with a crazy idea, and I hope this reinforces his belief that there is a necessary place in this world for weird horror stuff. I can’t believe how fast he made all of this happen-I’m still pretty blown away by it! I look forward to working more with John in the future.
A critical part of Madness Heart Press is Charles Bernard, who has been a great supporter of mine and a hell of a writer in his own right. Thank you for all you do for the Press and for your friendship!!
The entire roster of Madness Heart Press is so supportive of one another and are all doing phenomenal work deserving your attention. Christine Morgan, Susan Snyder, Jay Wilburn, Lucas Mangum, Ben Arzate, Maxwell Bauman, and many more. Do yourself a favor and pick up ANYTHING from madnessheart.press and you’ll have a fantastic reading experience.
Madness Heart Press is one of several small presses out there putting phenomenal work out. Had I gone through the usual channels for pitching something, two I definitely would have gotten a hold of were Silent Motorist Media and Nightscape Press, run by two of the kindest folks I have met in the community. Justin Burnett runs Silent Motorist Media, and has been incredibly generous with his time and thoughts. Dream Wilson runs Nightscape Press, and has also been a really wonderful person to talk to and get to know. Please consider supporting them and their work!
Jon Padgett is a writer of formidable talent, another strong influence on my writing, a very nice guy who also runs Grimscribe Press. His passion for putting quality work into the world of the weird and the horrible has been an influence on my editing for this project.
Mike Davis runs Lovecraft E-Zine (the press and podcast) and has introduced me to many writers I hadn’t known previously. He is a very nice man who does great work championing the indie horror community.
An anthology would be naught without the talent contributing to it. For every author who wrote something for this, THANK YOU for making it more awesome than I could have hoped for. I encourage you, reader, to seek out other work by these amazing authors and give them your support and encouragement.
One of my creative partners going back to the school bus is Michael Cavagnaro. In addition to being my longest and one of my best friends, this guy has writing talent to stun and shock you. I am hopeful to introduce you to his work in the near future.
Another more recent creative partner here in Illinois is Nick Vasi. His encouragement for this idea has truly made me feel like this earns a spot on your bookshelf. He is also quite the writer, and I’ll be excited to give him a platform for his creative output in the near future.
I met Mat Fitzsimmons through Matt Bartlett, and together we have created something truly awesome with Olde Wyathscope’s Quarterly Concern-a very strange, horrible, and weird almanac. His creativity and support fuel me, and if you like the Course Catalog, I think you’ll really like what we have cooked up. We also have a few other irons in the fire that we’ll look forward to revealing to you in the months to come.
Farah Rose and Michael Cisco are two awesome people who have also influenced me as well as being supportive of my work. I am grateful to count you among my friends.
Through Farah, I met Leah Bond who graciously interviewed me (with Matt Bartlett!) for her podcast. Thank you for boosting my signal and being a wonderful host.
Daniel Braum ran several very entertaining weird reading events last year over Zoom which featured several of my favorite writers as well as authors new to me. He is a terrific guy and writer. Check him out.
Brian Evenson is another writer who influenced me greatly, especially with his talent for the super short and disturbing writing as well as injections of the surreal and absurd.
Drew Stepek, Christina Pfeiffer, Marian Elaine, and all the authors and talent associated with Godless.com have been phenomenal to me and supportive in my creative endeavors. Truly too many to name, but my thanks is deep and wide to you.
I have several friends who I incorporated into the catalog – you’ll know who you are and please consider it a little tribute to what you mean to me and my unending gratitude for being in my life.
If you have given me a creative platform in the last couple of years, you don’t know how much it means to me to have my creative output validated and shared. Thank you very much!
If you’re an author who has even said thank you to a message from me, your time, effort, and talent mean a lot to me and have helped fuel my own creativity. Thank you very much!
If you’ve listened to my music and dug it and shared it, or we’ve collaborated on something together, you mean a lot to me, and thank you very much!
If you’ve read my writing, thank you very much!!
If this lengthy document doesn’t call you out by name, but you’re reading it, you mean a lot to me! Thank you very much!
If you are a creative person, and want to work together, if you don’t ask you don’t get, and I would love to connect and talk about ideas for things to do together. Together, when one wins, we all win. Let’s put something awesome out in the world that we can be proud of.
I love you.
Established in 1613 by academic and occult pioneer, as well as failed vintner, Fenrick Oglebutt, through trans-chronological phallacies and a lust for knowledge, Nafallen University has become one of the foremost centers of learning on all matters from the mundane to the mythic.
Located in beautifully desiccated Crisp, Texas, Nafallen University is dedicated to bringing its students the best in education, career opportunities, and fulfilling student lives from any university in current existence.
Nafallen University offers a hands-on and practical approach to education, with in-person, virtual, and astral courses offered at all levels of degree tracks.
Within this tome, enterprising students who wish to expand their minds and power will find courses offered for the current semester. Course descriptions are provided by the professors themselves, ensuring and honest appraisal of the material.
My micro-fiction piece "The Creak of Sunrise" is slated to appear in Cosmic Horror Monthly next month!! Very excited to be a part of this publication and will share more info when the TOC is revealed!
I am also hoping to submit again to Grimscribe Press - there is an idea I have but I need to determine how feasible it is for me to accomplish it...
Lastly, I am excited to share that I have some content included in the Devil's Radio issues for April and May (and possibly beyond!) - head over to matthewmbartlett.com for info on subscribing to the chapbook series - well worth it!!
I'll put some links at the end of the post for all the places you can find my writing!
Ideas for future releases continue to percolate. Stay tuned!
Music: Best place is pentamethdemon.bandcamp.com
Three Family Portraits (extreme horror):
Merry and Bright (extreme horror-not just for the holidays!)
Trigger Warning: Speaking Ill (extreme horror-contains my story 'Khilljoy Memorial Home')
Contact me for a hard copy, signed or Hartfield Books in Monticello for hard copies!!
www.cosmichorrormonthly.com for Cosmic Horror Monthly (consider becoming a Patreon or funding their Kickstarter!_
www.dandtpubslishing.com D&T Publishing
www.madnessheart.press Madness Heart Press
oldewyathscope.blogspot.com Olde Wyathscope's Quarterly Concern
I recently did a podcast with Matthew M. Bartlett for the Legends of Tabletop, and it was a lot of fun! I talked about the Nafallen University Course Catalog and Olde Wyathscope's Quarterly Concern. Listen to the podcast here or in your favorite podcast app!
Still holding on some other music release news for a couple of other projects-again, stay tuned.
In the meantime, The Dark Prairie Atmospheric Collective Vol 1. - MIDATLANTIC LUSTSET is available from last month, and I have gotten some very kind feedback on it! Pick it up here, along with my other work: https://pentamethdemon.bandcamp.com
Nafallen University Course Catalog: The catalog is on its way to layout! Thank you so much to all who have contributed to this becoming a reality. I think it is really something special, and I am proud to have my name associated with it! I think a little over half of the content is mine, but it wouldn't be as strong without all of the other authors who contributed to it. When I have a drop date from the publisher you will be sure to hear about it!
Olde Wyathscope's Quarterly Concern: You can see your old pal up at the top of this post, and I am delighted to report Issues 1 and 2 are back from the printer, and they look pretty damn awesome! Issue 3 is being printed now, and issue 4 will likely be wrapped by May 1. This is way ahead of my schedule, which means that I will shortly be able to announce sales for issues and subscriptions! There is another blog for that at https://oldewyathscope.blogspot.com which right now has very little, but will have much more in the weeks to come!
What is Olde Wyathscope's Quarterly Concern? It is an almanac of the weird, surreal, silly, and horrifying by myself and Mat Fitzsimmons (WXXT Program Guide). There are weather reports, horoscopes, advice, fiction, and much more! Four issues per year, each anywhere from 38-44 pages, festooned with art!
Other projects: These, for now, are mere hints at what is to come. There are some submissions I have outstanding, with one potential sale looming. There are a couple of projects with Mat Fitzsimmons that are brewing but probably won't come to completion this year. And other drips and drabs here and there. I am also going to be on a Zoom call to become a YouTube clip in conversation with one of my favorite authors - I will post that link when it becomes available!
Now for the Personal:
I mention these things because they are personal accomplishments I have a little pride about, and that I want to share with you reading this. It is not meant as a brag; rather, as hopefully inspirational for you (as in, if Henshaw can do this, maybe I can too about something I want to attempt). In that spirit:
I am proud today because it has been one month since I have eaten any meat. My wife is a vegetarian, and while she has never pushed me towards it, it has always been something I admire about her. It is not easy to be vegetarian when we have options for all kinds of food, and especially raised as an omnivore. There have been brief spurts of Meatless weeks and days over the last 13 years or so, but nothing has stuck for as long as this one. It turns out today there are actually a lot of great non-meat options out there to substitute for, and all it took me was a little discipline to stick to it. To be honest, I had one bad day last month (the 8th of March) where I did eat a chicken tender breakfast sandwich. I didn't feel good about that after the fact, especially since part of my impetus for choosing a vegetarian diet is the animal cruelty thing. I feel great and actually have lost some good weight as a result. I am going to try to stick with it, and give myself grace when I will inevitably not make "the best choice" in alignment with my philosophical stances. And this is not to say I still don't eat like crap sometimes, I definitely do. But I am trying to be mindful, and for now that feels like a win for me.
I am also proud today because for the first time in over 2 years I went to the gym. Before the pandemic, I went to the gym at least 5-6 times a week for an hour at least. I was also on WW and seeing incredible results, down to my lowest weight since I was in college. The pandemic and stress around that and other circumstances had me returning to bad eating habits and a reduction in physical activity. I know I feel better when I do regularly exercise, and after weighing the risks, I decided to re-up my gym membership. Today I did 5 miles on the bike and a 30 minute circuit. I'm exhausted, but I know this is what happens when you don't go to the gym on a regular basis. I am looking to change that, and between this and the vegetarian diet (along with smaller dinners for the most part), I feel like I can reset my health goals and get to where I was going a couple years ago (out of obesity, under 200 lbs). I have rewards set for myself when I hit them that I would be excited to "cash in" on but it will take more discipline and work.
Lastly, this is something I wrote when prepping the sales launch of Olde Wyathscope that I think wouldn't necessarily be appropriate to put on that site, but I will put it here because I want to be transparent when it comes to selling my wares-the same generally applies to all my creative output, so here it goes:
Transparent Miscellany of Potential Interest
Hi, I’m Matt Henshaw, and this post is where I tell you a little more about the genesis of this project [Olde Wyathscope's Quarterly Concern] and what has been involved with getting it off the ground!
My association with Mat (Fitz) Fitzsimmons came after a letter I wrote to Matthew M. Bartlett’s “WXXT Program Guide” got a wonderful illustration by Fitz. Matthew Bartlett gave me Fitz’s email and we hit it off well-this is why Matt Bartlett will be thanked in every issue. Fitz suggested we work on a project at some point, and in February 2022 I came up with the idea of doing a quarterly, limited run chapbook that would take the form of what I thought might be in an almanac. I quickly wrote a few sections and sent them to Fitz, who began firing back amazing illustrations. By the middle of March, four issues were written and almost all illustrated. I am currently on issue 6 as I write this in early April. It was my intention to start selling these when I had a year completely printed and ready to go (even though I will be sending them out on the schedule listed above). Everything has come together much more quickly than I expected it to, and exceeded my expectations in almost every way. As we worked through the “basic” issues, we also have been developing bonus content-namely, four shorter chapbooks printed by Fitz featuring our pseudonymous contributors. The issues, as well as these shorter super limited chapbooks, are not just full of silly, horrific, and weird written content, but they are works of bespoke art that I am proud to put my name to.
It has been an intense and rewarding exercise and lesson(s) in self-publishing, and I have been fortunate to have the help not just of Fitz, but a couple of other creative persons in terms of how to execute this (Nick Vasi and Mike Cavagnaro). Nick put me in touch with Dixon Printing here in Central IL who have produced limited runs of 60 for each issue. Both Nick and Mike have helped review the issues (and will have more contributions in Year 2!) for content. I’ve also sent issue 1 to some of the writers and friends I have made since starting this writing thing in earnest in 2021. My wife Jenny has also been incredibly patient and supportive throughout this process.
I am also very lucky to have a full-time job which allows me to work from home and to devote a reasonable amount of outside-of-work time and money to this endeavor. Throughout, I have struggled with a fair price to charge for this that will allow me to at least make back the investment, and have extra left over for expenses and compensation for contributors. Here is roughly how it breaks down:
A run of 60 print issues runs me about $210-$230, depending on the length of the issue, so about $900 for the year.
First class shipping of an issue is $1.71 – this will be a little more for the bonus issues and other ephemera.
Then I’ve also spent about $40 on an embosser, stamps, and pads and other items like test prints.
All of this to say, if we end up with sales of $1000 off of this in a year, we’ll have broken even! And that would frankly be amazing to me, since I am new (and admittedly not excellent) at marketing and “the business” of publishing.
What I can commit to is this though; anything above and beyond breaking even goes back into the Concern, in the form of enhanced artwork in Year 2, paying a fair rate to contributors in Year 2, and having this go into Year 3, 4, and possibly 5. Fitz and I have already been talking as well about compiled versions of the years as print-on-demand paperbacks and e-books, and if it proves somewhat popular, there are some small presses I would be delighted to have publish these as well.
So, big plans, but they all start with a small step, and sincerely, thank you so much for giving this your time and attention, and I am very excited for you to check this work out and enjoy it for the foreseeable future!
If this project is entertaining to you, the best thing you can do is share it in your social media feeds and with other friends you meet out in the world. Word of mouth is how this will really gain traction and get attention! One thing I have learned in the weird/horror community is when one of succeeds, we ALL succeed, and that means supporting one another and boosting signals within and outside of our circles.
Out Friday 3/4 - Pre-order now on https://pentamethdemon.bandcamp.com/album/volume-1-midatlantic-lustset
This collaborative release is the first of, I hope, several this year under the Dark Prairie Atmospheric Collective handle. It was a lot of fun putting this together, and contains a couple of startling vocal elements by myself.
From the Bandcamp Page:
About Dark Prairie Atmospheric Collective
The Dark Prairie Atmospheric Collective serves to bring together musicians operating in experimental modes to collaborate and create sums greater than the whole of their parts. Please contact the artist whom you have found this release under for more information and potential collaborative opportunities. WE ARE ALL IN THE DARK PRAIRIE.
About Vol. 1 - Midatlantic Lustset
This inaugaral entry in the series sees two artists from Urbana, IL in collaboration for the first time-Professor Ping and Matt Henshaw. Drones, noise, silence, spoken word, harsh vokills, and more are at play in these pieces. Suitable for writing strange words, dance rituals with fellow ghouls, or accompanying meditative practices during insomnia.
Purchase of a download includes an exclusive bonus track from the artist you are purchasing from.
Please visit my collaborator at https://zekeithmcfisto.bandcamp.com/ for more excellent music.
During the month of March 2022, all artist proceeds of sales of Midatlantic Lustset will be donated to a GoFundMe fundraiser in support of surgery recovery for a local creative talent. If you choose to stream this release for free, please consider donating directly to the GoFundMe here: https://gofund.me/f93ef7d8
Special thanks to ZeKeith for his involvement, support, and excellent work on this effort.
Thanks to J. Henshaw and M. Cavagnaro as always for their support and encouragement.
The Bandcamp site where you can get my most recent (2020-present) music releases. I am always glad to see little bumps from folks checking it out! The latest release is Dewfall Opulence. Bandcamp Friday is 3/4 where they are waiving their fee-a great day to purchase some of my work (always free to stream though!)
Trigger Warning 3: Speaking Ill (Madness Heart Press), containing my story "Khilljoy Memorial Home" is available now from the link above! Signed and stamped copies are available at Hartfield Book Co. in Monticello, IL. You can also write to me and we can arrange for you to get a signed & stamped copy as well.
My two Godless exclusive stories, "Merry and Bright" and "Three Family Portraits" are still available for 50 cents a piece on Godless.com. The link above sends you to my author page where you can buy both or link to me on other social media.
Nafallen University Course Catalog
I'm pleased to say that work on the catalog is continuing to move along! All accepted courses are being edited, and I am really happy with what we got! Madness Heart Press is still slated to release this in 2022, but at this time I don't have a firm timeline to share. We are working with an artist for some illustrations, and filling out some additional course content. I am very excited to get more eyes on this, and will share updates as they are available, including some of the creative folks who have contributed content.
Untitled Music Release #1
I'm working with a local musician on a joint release in the spirit of my previous post about collaborating on creative projects in 2022. So far, I think we have something pretty great in the works. Definitely look for more on this in the next month or so.
Untitled Music Release #2
There is another project I just embarked on with an unnamed but highly talented author to combine some dark ambient with spoken word. More to come on this, probably a Q2 or Q3 release.
Black Ribbon and Other Perturbed Textiles
The collection is *basically* ready! I still need to write some Notes and Acknowledgments, and I am still waiting to confirm the pieces which are out for submissions so I can give proper credit and include/exclude as needed. There may also be some illustrations (I already have one GREAT one for a poem from Mar Garcia!)
I have submitted the basic manuscript to one small publisher for review, and have some other feelers out. I am envisioning a couple of different release tactics:
An e-book release bundled with an accompanying soundtrack on Godless.com
A limited run physical release bundled with a download of an accompanying soundtrack or possibly a physical CD-R
A limited run physical edition through a small publisher with special content exclusive to that publisher (may be the soundtrack, may be special art for the cover/interior), followed by a more basic release via conventional
An entirely self-published release with a print-on-demand option
More to come on this, and still committed to this coming out in 2022.
Letters to WXXT
A series of Letters to the Program Director have been submitted for inclusion in upcoming issues of the WXXT Program Guide chapbook series. I am delighted that at least 2 of these have been given the green light, and I hope the others will also see release. Please explore subscription options here! https://wxxt-gare-occult.square.site/the-wxxt-program-guide
Other potential writing projects/collaborations
I have been starting talks with an artist on a possible writing collaboration which could be very interesting! I've also had some submissions that are outstanding which I hope to hear about in the next few months. The response so far has been extremely positive from people who have looked at them, and I hope some of these come to fruition.
Thanks for reading all of this, and thank you for the support!!
Two stories on Godless.com - 50 Cents each! Merry and Bright and Three Family Portraits
Several releases on Bandcamp, newest is Dewfall Opulence - free to stream, inexpensive to purchase!
2021 has proven to be one of the most creatively productive years I have had in quite some time. In spite of the pandemic and limitations around meeting in person and travel, there has not been a lack of ideas that have come to materialize this year. I have put out four albums on Bandcamp and have two successful short stories up for sale on the Godless platform. The responses I have gotten from all of these projects has surprised me with their positivity and encouragement, and continue to motivate me to create. I won’t use this space to get into why I create, except to say that I have found myself this year especially to be “tapped in” to something which not only has given me ideas, but also the energy, will, and skill to execute those ideas into something I feel ok about sharing with others, and not just that, but attaching a dollar figure to that output. It has been incredibly gratifying to see people engaging with the work and getting something out of it, let alone sharing those engagements with others.
I consider most of these works “loss leaders” in the sense that they were produced with the intention of my name getting “out there”/recognized and associated with the genres and mediums in which they work, and not so much with making money for myself. The music is available to stream for free and download for a small amount which immediately gets donated to charity. The two Godless stories are at 50 cents apiece and again, any proceeds I see from those will immediately get donated to charity. I have always felt that my creative output has value, but I also do not work creatively as my “main job”. I do not bristle at being called a “hobbyist” in either music or writing because money made off of those (and to be transparent, it is not a lot of money-in total between the two, maybe under a hundred dollars) doesn’t dwell in my pocket or go towards anything but charitable causes. Up to now, this has been an acceptable compromise I have made-I can charge money for what I do, but I can’t keep the money-it has to go to someone who needs it more than me, especially during these interesting times we live in. The “loss” portion of this means that I have invested my own money into these ventures (that money, again to be transparent, more than a couple hundred dollars) – that goes towards advertising, elements that I am not skilled enough to do on my own (e-book cover art, for instance), and time and energy spent boosting my own signal in admittedly limited social media outlets. To stress, this is *not* a complaint, but it is a reality I believe is shared by independent creatives in all realms, and especially for those with little to no name recognition or large corporate entities doing that kind of work for them.
So, now we look ahead to 2022, and it is time for some changes. These changes are good, for you and for me, and I hope the good will I have established with my current creative output practices will carry forward any fans of my work up to now. I promise for you, it will not only be transparent in terms of the output, but I think you will see the quality of that output step up on all fronts. The only thing you may see is a reduction in quantity-but we’ll get to that shortly.
Ok, so getting money out of the way, starting 1/1/2022, I plan to retain profits from all sales of work first published in 2000-2021, with the exception of The Supper on Bandcamp, which will continue to be a strict fund-raiser for the animal shelter in RI per my agreement with the author/translator and their agent. As I work with other entities (publishers, platforms, labels, etc.) they will (and I will) certainly adhere to their own existing systems in terms of charitable donation-I am speaking here exclusively about keeping profits/royalties I make off of my work. That is not to say that there may be times where periodically I “self-promote” with one of the aims being donating a portion of those profits to a worthy charitable cause. I will always strive to be clear with the audience which charity is benefitting and what percentage of profits I will donate, as well as the duration of the promotion. Especially since some of my work is of a “darker/negative” nature, it is important for me to try to balance that out with some “lighter/positive” impact, and making sure that “lighter” output is something positively impactful in the real world. That consideration will also apply to the means by which my work goes out to people (publishers, etc.)
Secondly will be some changes to how I boost my signal for my projects. I now have Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok accounts (and possibly other platforms to come) which would act as strictly promotional entities. It is likely these will be promoting content that may be non-family friendly (the promotion will most likely be SFW but not for kids, the content itself probably NSFW and definitely for mature audiences). I will take care about who I connect with there and mainly connect with other creators. While I want to get eyes and ears on my stuff as widely as possible, and to grow my audience, I am fully aware that what I do is not for everyone and I would hate for someone to be “harmed” by reading or listening to work which is designed in part to shock. It’s a tricky thing to navigate, and I expect I won’t get it perfect at the outset, but I ask for your forgiveness as I learn how to do this most effectively. I will also likely begin some kind of regular communication which will go out to people interested in following my work-probably via email. If you are interested in getting emails about once a month with news about upcoming projects, please send an email to matthew.m.henshaw at gmail dot com and I will add you to that list.
Thirdly is the work itself (also known as THE FUN STUFF). Here are a few items I can talk about:
I have one album which is in holding with a possible distributor which I can say is a kind of “soundtrack”. If it doesn’t pan out for that purpose, I may put it out in quarter 1 of 2022.
There is another very different noise project which I am still plotting out, which will either be a quarter 1 or quarter 2 release. A potential collaborative release with a musician local to me is also in the nebulous “talking about ideas” stage.
A story of mine is appearing in the anthology “Trigger Warning: Speaking Ill” coming out from Madness Heart Press in 2022. I am sharing a Table of Contents with several authors I admire and enjoy, and I can’t wait to see how mine sits among their work. You will hopefully see more about that as the ToC is cleared for release and a release date is set
My idea from May of this year of an evil college course catalog is also coming out from Madness Heart Press in 2022. The name is currently “The Nafallen University College Course Catalog” though that may change. The submission period ended in August, and over 40 submissions have been marked to move forward. I am really excited to see what others have come up with, and who exactly I will be sharing credits with on the project. I will be getting the initial course load in the next couple of weeks which I will review and edit, passing back to the publishing editor for a second round of back and forth, then to the main editor. I can promise this will end up being like nothing you have read before, and depending on its success, may see other work fallout from it.
I am nearly ready to begin the editing process on my next collection of poetry and short fiction called ‘Black Ribbon and Other Perturbed Textiles’. There may be a few more pieces to add, and then there will be the assembly and editing process. Then there is the question of how to put it out. I have what I think is some good cover art, but I also want to work with a small press on releasing it. There are a few I have in mind, but if those don’t go anywhere, I may self-publish. There is also the chance of working with an illustrator which I would be very excited to collaborate with, but nothing is agreed on at this point.
I have three other writing drafts that are currently works in progress that do not strictly fall within the horror genres my current output has been in. One is a bizarro story which I expect to complete before the end of 2021 and I have an eye on who I will submit that to first. Another is in the hard-boiled private detective genre with weird overtones. The third could potentially be a novella or even a novel idea which would fall into a dark police procedural/thriller/revenge genre with little to no extreme content. As these are completed, I will be sure to share more about them.
In both of these arenas, it is important to note that when inspiration hits, it hits fast, and so other work is sure to crop up on both fronts “suddenly”, as in, not pre-planned or in progress.
***Call for Collaboration***:
This will be probably the biggest change to how I work in 2022, and that is to seek out and accept offers of collaboration. With the writing projects in particular, I have found that collaboration is a great thing for keeping my skills sharpened. Collaboration here can mean all manner of things. I have spoken with a local musician about collaborating on music projects, and we may also do something for the release of ‘Black Ribbon…’. But since we live in times where meeting people online is feasible, there are opportunities to collaborate which before the pandemic might have not been as easy. I am pretty awkward and introverted in real life, and it is hard for me to work up the courage to ask people I admire to help bring something creative to materialization. I am going to work on that this year though, and hopefully either co-produce or co-write output with some of the wonderfully kind and talented people I have become acquainted with over the last couple of years. Let this also be an invitation to you reading this that I am interested in collaborating with you-be it with music, writing, interviews, whatever you think I can add creative value to. Let’s create some art together. Let’s boost one another’s signals. Let’s make something awesome and unique that people will enjoy.
Thank you so much for reading this lengthy post, and for supporting my creative endeavors over the years. It really means a lot to me and has helped me in ways you can’t imagine. I am really excited for the changes and new work coming soon.
Take care, stay safe and healthy, and I love you-
New music to end your year - thank you for your support over the last year+ and for listening!
Almost 40 minutes of new music for your ears.
Stream for free and purchase here: https://pentamethdemon.bandcamp.com/album/dewfall-opulence
5 bucks on Bandcamp (or you can write to me at thebizzle76 .at. yahoodotcom and I can hook you up.
More writing news soon!
Very excited to be sharing a couple of new releases with you!
First, exclusively on Godless.com, my debut story on the platform, "Three Family Portraits"!
The Supper is currently available on my Bandcamp as a pay-what-you-want download (free to stream). Purchases include a bonus track of the instrumental bed used for the reading. This is a short story by Alfonso Reyes and translated by Michael Cisco. All artist proceeds will be donated to Community Cat Center in RI.
"The Hut" is a piece I wrote last year in response to a short story by Joseph S. Pulver (RIP) and which I recorded for his widow, Kat. I learned about an upcoming Halloween Sound Effects Cassette release from Death is The Dream that was soliciting for content.I added some atmospherics to the piece, and was delighted that it was accepted! There are a lot of really interesting/cool musicians and artists who contributed to this, and it is seeing a physical cassette release in the near future. The best place for info on this is @deathisthedream on Instagram.
Dewfall Opulence is the last planned release for 2021-I currently have sent the files to a distributor for release (State51 Conspiracy in the UK). If they accept it, it will mean better distribution across the internet than my current means have allowed. If they don't get back to me by December, it will go to the usual Bandcamp location. (http://pentamethdemon.bandcamp.com)
There is another "secret" album I have ready for release, but more on that to come (hopefully) soon...
The Nafallen University Course Catalog (title TBD) submission period closed at the end of August, and the publisher is currently working through the over 50 submissions received-thank you if you are reading this and contributed, and I can't wait to see what you sent in! I have seen a few entries, and I am beyond stoked for people to see what is going to prove to be a very unique collection. I will share more when I am able to...
A flash fiction of piece of mine was submitted for an upcoming anthology-again, I will share more when I am able to...
I submitted a couple of poems that may make an October newsletter-once again, I will share more when I am able to...
Other writing news: I am delighted and honored to be included in a couple of upcoming issues of the WXXT Program Guide from Matthew M. Bartlett! I have a lengthy letter to the program director in the October issue, and a shorter letter in the December issue. Subscriptions are available from ((http://tiny.cc/WXXT) now), and 2022 subscriptions go on sale at the end of October. I am beyond grateful to Matthew's support and encouragement with my writing, and could not have imagined at the beginning of 2021 I would be contributing content in the same publication as an author that inspires me.
Release date 10/1/2021
New spoken word release on Bandcamp
Pay-What-You-Like - all artist proceeds will be donated to charity
A performance of a piece by Mexican Fantasist Alfonso Reyes, translated to English by Michael Cisco.
Bonus track with download purchase of the instrumental portion of the reading
Check it out now-and thank you for listening https://pentamethdemon.bandcamp.com/album/the-supper
Thanks for checking this post (and other posts) out. We are already about halfway through the year, and I figured this would be a good time to recap what has been happening the first part of the year in terms of creative output, and what is (hopefully) coming in the second half of the year.
Music: Two new releases, both available on my Bandcamp page http://pentamethdemon.bandcamp.com. I am quite pleased with how my “faux”-riginal soundtrack for “Il Burattino Di Velluto Del Diavolo” (The Devil’s Velvet Puppet) came out, as well as Xargropthist, which contains my first original written/spoken work with the music. Both have been positively received by those who have listened to them (more people than I expected!) which has encouraged me to continue to work in the music realm for the near future.
Coming later this year is “Dewfall Opulence” for which I have 4 of 10 tracks complete. This will be more of a combination of Hexicene Level and Scorches style work. I am contemplating releasing the music via The State51 Conspiracy, which is a digital distributor used by several artists on the Ghost Box label whose work strongly influences mine.
There is also a forthcoming release from The Red Tower Collective, which is a collaboration with Justin Burnett of Silent Motorist Media where weird authors are mashed up with dark ambient and metal textures/atmospherics. I am pretty excited about my musical contributions as well as another spoken word piece. More to come on this as it nears release-info here https://redtowercollective.wordpress.com/
Writing: This has been the most productive recently. Work continues on “Black Ribbon and Other Perturbed Textiles” and the hope to release it in early 2022. This will depend on how many more pieces I can write for it, and I also need to consider how to release this (independently, a small press?) I have been submitting pieces to various journals and magazines, a few of these are marked as “In Progress”.
There is one piece I wrote for an author I am heavily influenced by-I will know for sure in October whether it will make it into the project, and share more details as they come.
I also have a submission for an anthology which I will know more about after July. Lastly, the biggest undertaking is the Nafallen University Course Catalog. I have about 50 pages written, with submissions open to those who want to write courses/departments. I have seen a handful of rough draft submissions, and I am beyond excited with how this may come out.
If you are reading this and it sounds interesting to you, please consider submitting; the link for info is here: https://madnessheart.press/submissions/nafallen-university-college-catalog-submissions-call/ A special shout-out to John Baltisberger at Madness Heart Press for his efforts in helping to bring this to fruition.
Lastly, I will have a post on the excellent Metal Heads Forever Magazine site in the Goblet of Shock section speaking a little about the projects I am working on, and what I hope it will lead to over time. I will post that link when it is live, but do check out the other posts here: https://mhf-mag.com/goblet-of-shock/
I am very excited to see what the rest of 2021 brings, and I am grateful to have you along for the ride.