Monthly Archives: January 2015

Looking Forward, Looking Back, and Deepest Thanks

2014 ended with a kind of headspinning, chaotic, happy-nightmarish sprint into 2015. I hit December in a funk. 2014 had been a good year. Not a great year, but it was one of those foundational kind of years that has to happen before stuff can take off. It’s a reminder that no empire is built overnight, and that instant virality is a product of hard, hard work (unless you’re that kid from Target, thanks for that, 2014). I got a tiny, cold, but full-of-character apartment last January. After living with my parents to pursue creative pursuits at the expense of money or adulthood, landing my own apartment was, last winter, my only real dream. Fuck finding a good girl, fuck getting back into an awesome, well-paying job or investing in new gear, I just wanted a place to call mine. It was a hasty move. I didn’t have the money for it, but some people were buying my photos, (no one was buying my books), and I’d gotten on at the perfect time with a couple high school buddies to run the back end of their media business. Embracing photography as fast and hard as I could, I also started off on a surreal self-portrait photo-a-day project, which lasted a few months before ideas and motivation and time began to die off.

And, you know, it was good. Even in June when I realized I’d somehow gotten bedbugs. Even as winter fell and my landlord didn’t turn on the radiator while outside, Colorado suffered in -6 degree weather.


And things were going well. But as with stagnation, I hit a wall in October when a bunch of projects fell through. And then in November the lingering funk hit me on and off and I found myself in bed for what felt like days on end, trying to convince myself to get something done. Eventually I started writing a new book (because being in the middle of one novel wasn’t pressure and headache enough) and the writing flowed until December hit. It was supposed to be a quiet month, but then jury duty, illness, hard drive crashes, the holidays, and a few projects hit, and suddenly I was playing catchup between running to shoot after shoot. Which I love. I might be stressed and jittery and drinking coffee all day and substituting meals with cigarettes, but it’s the frantic swings from one thing to the next that keeps me feeling like I’m finally producing. It’s not me and an uphill fight against myself, it’s frantic demands to make deadlines and make cool shit for someone who’s not just me.

And the outlook for 2015 is the craziest year yet. Most of what prompted this was figuring out how to cram it into two or three tweets, but I was clicking around on Facebook and read a post by Amanda Fucking Palmer about how much she and Karl’s idol Neil Gaiman are such peas in a pod and I had this weird and sudden rush. It wasn’t nostalgia, but it was something similar. In that same forgotten way of lost friends from grade school, I was reminded of Karl From Three Years ago. Set to graduate college (which he hated at the time, but is far more lukewarm about the experience now), dreaming of finding virality with some breakout novel, traveling about and writing in cool places and trying new things and making it all awesome. Then none of that happened and I picked up photography and the writing continues to smoke from my giant burnout after publishing Into a Sky Below, in fall of 2013. And now, everything looks different. The memory though came from realizing how much it still looks the same, and how I’d been so damn stressed for the last year that I didn’t really notice it. I’ve been living in it and sprinting toward it for a month and it still hasn’t sunken in yet. But 2015 is shaping up to be the year. It’ll have pitfalls, probably big ones, but holy hell. There will be travel and there will be huge projects, and more and more work and fun and great art, and hopefully some books as well.

* * *

Which segues me to the information I came here to share:

So, I’ve released a special edition hard cover of Hallowtide. It’s pretty niche and relatively pricey (print costs and two shippings have it run up a bit at $40). It takes a week or two to get to me, and another week for me to flip to you. But it’s beautiful and sleek and fat and features a bit of writing yet unseen and I’m more proud of it than anything else I’ve made in my life.

Link to that glorious bastard of a book here:!hallowtide/ccou

I’m happy to send you one, but orders will be on hold right now until mid-February.

That’s because I’m going to Germany for a month. My brother lives there and wanted to bring me out before he moved back to the states, and next thing I knew, plane tickets were bought, and now I’ll be leaving in a week! There will be traveling and beer and photos taken, but also a lot of projects that are being backlogged here at the turn of the year. While right now I’m writing a blog and trying not to think about missing my deadlines, I’m realizing that’s everything I wanted. Stressed, running around with sixteen projects, hopping internationally, making cool art…

I come back mid-February, where I’ll have two weeks to reset before flying to Florida for the third Ghost Hunter Cruise. We’re heading down to the Caribbean for a week, checking out some amazing haunted places and spending time with excellent people. It’ll be the third cruise featuring myself, GHI’s Barry Fitzgerald, and psychic medium Sarah Lemos, who is incredible and managed to bring about many, many tears last September, if that’s motivating enough for you to join, we would absolutely love to have you:

Info about the Ghost Cruise here:

I’ll have a couple weeks before I jump to house-sitting for my aunt and uncle in Greeley (if you know Colorado… it’s not our most exotic city). But then April has the annual Ghost Hunters event at my weekend home, the Stanley Hotel, this year from Amy Bruni’s events boutique, Strange Escapes. As usual, there will be mind-bending lectures and ghost hunting with celebrity types. I’ll be speaking again and, depending on how crazy I get, miiiiight be releasing a new book. I’ll also hopefully be working on a very awesome secret project with a very awesome friend that you guys will, if all goes well, be hearing about later in 2015.

Info about the Stanley Event here:

Then I’ll hopefully be moving into a new apartment (if the gods have my favor), and I’ll have a few months of relative quiet, depending on how many weddings and portraits I get asked to do. In between that, I’ll be working on a feature-length documentary project with a very close friend, Connor, who works with me up at the Stanley Hotel. It’s going to be about the world of transplants. It’ll be a very intense project but one I’m excited to do. And, of course, I’ll be resuming my position as assistant director of the night program at the nerd camp I grew up with, which doubles as the best place in the world. If you have children in 5th through 10th grade who are gifted and may struggle with fitting in or finding people like themselves, you should 1000% check it out.

UNC Summer Enrichment Program:

September brings with it the next ghost cruise. We’re gunning for Alaska, but may wind up in southern California. There’ll be further announcements in that direction if you follow the cruise’s Facebook page. 

October will be bringing with it an even more awesome but yet-mostly-unannounced Ghost Hunter Cruise event, where I’ll be joining my compatriots once again in a country known for its leprechauns during the time of year I love most. I’m thrilled beyond all reason to go along on that trip, and I’ll be posting more about it if you’re interested in joining, as it’s closer to being more officially announced.

And then I’ll be home and the snow will begin falling again and I’ll be right back where I am now, probably exhausted, probably stressed, and very likely with a whole buttload of new memories and surprising experiences that I had no idea would be coming along the pipeline at the time I’m writing this.

But. Now I have photos to edit and articles to write and bags to pack.

As always, it’s the support from you all year long that helps keep me moving, helps me keep trying to better myself and my work, and makes me feel like it’s not just me, in a locked room, beating my head against the wall — no matter how much it often feels that way. You guys save me from that becoming all-consuming, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

A happiest of New Years to all you out there, from this bearded fool to you all.