Six Hundred Sixty Six Bottles of Blood on the Wall: Things I’m Thankful For (And a few I’m not)
I volunteered to write a Thanksgiving post for HorrorTree because I’ve been promising the HT overlord a new post for about 4 months now. I don’t post here much anymore, not because my “career” has taken off or because I don’t like to write these (I do) but because I’ve got my fingers in several pies. I think that is an expression. If it isn’t it should be.
To be perfectly honest, these days it’s hard for me to keep up with what I’ve got submitted, when stories are coming out, social media interactions, what markets I’m trying to hit, where I owe edits, what contracts I’ve forgotten to sign, trying to read anthologies I’m in, or help offer feedback to friends etc.
That might sound arrogant, but it’s not, I started this shit at square one just like everyone else. I started with no friends and outside of a couple fiction classes in college, no experience with either writing or the business end. But I’ve been grinding it out for going on three years now, and I could not be more thankful for the problems I mentioned above.
You all got turkey to eat and pies to put your own fingers in and if you’re reading this after you’ve already eaten then I’ll try even harder to be brief. Can’t have KGSL putting you to sleep now can we?
So I’ve put together a quick list of writing related things that I’m thankful for. I hope many of you enjoy and appreciate the same things and if you haven’t yet, that someday you will.
- I’m single: Even with a face like mine and heart to match… It’s true. And while it’s often a struggle, I get to write whatever I want pretty much whenever I want. I don’t have to worry about someone I share a bed or a house with judging me for content, or kids to babysit, or family not taking me seriously when I’m like “Nope I can’t do that today, I gotta write/edit/submit.” I work a miserable third shift schedule and am usually up working on something when most of you are out the door to start your shifts at work. My current schedule plus writing time is completely incompatible with pretty much any kind of relationship and I’m cool with that. I’d really like to get myself further established before I try and fulfill other aspects of my life. I’m single, 30, no kids, healthy (I think) and have a 40+ hour a week job that is enough to pay the bills. People often tell me they’re jealous of that. Well, rarely, but sometimes, I’m jealous of their happy marriages and their cute children, BUT, since I got what I got, I take full fucking advantage and no fucking prisoners and if I want to spend my entire days off not showering, banging on my keyboard in my underwear with a fifth of vodka, I don’t even have a pet to judge me or get in my way.
- Friends: Duh Right? I want to focus this part on writer friends. There are too many to name, and several of them I’ve never even met in person, but that doesn’t matter. I talk with them, bond with them, sometimes talk about shit that has zero to do with writing. Sometimes they even offer to edit things for me or send me a message that says, “Hey Lippopotomas, I’ve got an anthology to fill, you interested?” Hell, even if they’re coming to me after exhausting all their other resources, they’re still coming to me, right!? I’ve bonded with people around the globe which fits nicely into my fucked up schedule. There’s always someone to talk to which can go nice with being single and living alone. I’ve even learned new expressions, my favorite is “taking the piss” which I like to purposely butcher into “taking a piss” just to agitate. I treat these folks just like I would real life friends and it’s awesome. One of my best friends is a guy named Ken MacGregor. We shared pages in DOA2 a book that blew both of us away as we later found out we both started writing seriously around the same time and not long before getting accepted to that book. After a few chats and what not we started collaborating. We published one short already and we are I think about 33k words into a novel/novella that I’ve gotta say, is fucking awesome. Our voices and our styles and our sense of humor mesh well and we’ve created some really fun characters. This never would’ve happened if we hadn’t started chatting one day. Now we talk almost daily about the book, other books, what we’re working on, or just our lives. We got to meet a few months ago at a con. It was like seeing an old friend for the first time. Friends are the shit, thank you all, you know who you are!
- Reviews (Even the bad ones): Most of the anthologies you see posted on HorrorTree don’t receive a whole lot of notoriety when they are finally released. My amazon page, fuck it, here’s a plug, http://www.amazon.com/Kerry-G.S.-Lipp/e/B00DTKTM1G/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1416898429&sr=8-2-ent Ahem, right, then. My Amazon page has 28 entries (all of which I’m thankful to be a part of) but a lot of them have few reviews or zero reviews. The only book with a lot is DOA2, which contains by far the most big names. Writers like myself, don’t get feedback often, especially not from readers we don’t know. Reviews are nice, even when you get eviscerated, which I have on multiple occasions and I’m cool with that. It’s just nice to know that people are reading your stuff. Also, reviews help books gain visibility and can attract new readers. I’ve even been contacted a time or two to talk about something I’ve written and not only is that the best fucking feeling in the world, it’s led to some strong relationships and good friends. Most writers aren’t Stephen King, and they’ll correspond with you to talk about their work or whatever. Just don’t send them a message that’s “hey, I love your work, read my book on amazon, or can I send it to you for a critique.” No one is thankful for that. If you’ve ever done that, hang your head in shame and don’t do it again. Asking for something like that has to be earned and if an author refuses, THAT DOES NOT MAKE THEM AN ASSHOLE. They are busy! Respect that fool! Sometimes I even gotta turn down helping my FRIENDS, feel free to chat us up, but you liking our work doesn’t entitle you to send us yours. Build some rapport! Cultivate relationships! Friending someone on Facebook and then firebombing them with your Amazon page is not marketing, it’s being a dick.
- HorrorTree: Yep, this is gonna sound kiss assy. STFU. Here’s the deal. Back when I took short story classes in college and tried to submit, you couldn’t find any fucking markets. There was no Facebook, there was no HorrorTree, no Amazon, no nothing. I think there was Duotrope, but that was IT. I was shocked when I stumbled on HorrorTree. I’d never seen anything like it. I used it like crazy and submitted and finally started getting accepted. Then I started corresponding with HT, and Mr. Stu. And he gave me an opportunity to write here. I’ll always be thankful for that and even though I don’t do it often anymore, it was a very significant part of my development. I got to think out loud through a lot of the things brand new writers experience and it led to several opportunities and relationships. I don’t think I’d be where I’m at without those original columns and for that, even though I rarely write here anymore, I’ll always be loyal. And thankful. And hopefully I’ll always be welcome. I mean if I haven’t been fired yet, there’s hope for all of us!
There are plenty more things I could go on about, but I hit the major ones and you’ve still got dessert to eat.
Lastly I’d thank YOU, THE READER. I have no idea how many people read my posts or for that matter, my fiction. It could be 5, it could be 50, I have no idea, but I’m thankful for any kind of an audience and I really hope that I’ve helped you in someway or at the very least entertained you with my ranting, swear-filled musings. I wish you all the best and hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday and for those of you overseas that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a kick ass Thursday. I won’t promise to write here more in the future, because every time I do that I seem to disappear for months, but I promise that any time I’ve got something to say, I’ll send it here first.
THANK YOU ALL FOR EVERYTHING. WHOEVER YOU ARE, WHEREEVER YOU ARE. Nothing but the best to you and your families from Kerry GiantSquid Lipp and the whole HorrorTree crew.
Keep reading, keep writing, and keep it real,