Category Archives: Updates

365 and 2014 and New Chapters

Happy New Years, all! Big thanks for undertaking the last years together with me, and hopefully holding on for more to come!

2014 is bringing a lot with it this year, which is equal parts terrifying and thrilling. I moved into a new apartment a few days before the new year broke, finally stepping out on a gamble that my photography will be enough to make rent. Love the place. It’s tiny and old and the number one fire worry in the city right now, but I adore it and I’m looking forward to a lot of memories made there in the next few months.

With this new chapter, right around the new year, and my recent emphasis on photography, I thought it would be an excellent time to begin work on the 365-Photo-Challenge, which is a project that requires photographers to try taking a picture every single day for a year. It’s a great opportunity to flex one’s creativity and skill set, and I’m wicked excited for it (even if I’ve already missed two days this weekend and I’m playing catch up not even a week in).

But I wanted to share the first few with you guys, and give you a glimpse of the new place.

The first photo was on the morning of the new year. We pulled an all-nighter and drove up the mountain in Boulder to catch the sunrise. An awesome way to bring in the new year. The sunrise turned out a bit weak. Overcast skies masked the sun. The best I got was an eerie shot of the city lights and moody clouds. We could only see the sunrise through a gap in the cloudcover. There was probably a metaphor there for how I feel starting the year.

1a-For-WebAnd I’m hoping that this shot, from my apartment window later that afternoon, was another indicator of how the year will wrap up.

1b-For-WebThe official second photo was actually taken a couple days before the new year, the first morning I unlocked the apartment. I’d been in there dozens of times because one of my close friends was renting for a couple months before moving to Wisconsin. That morning, it was eerie and empty and echoing and of course the first thing I had to do was lug in my camera stuff and take a shot.

2-For-WebThe after-shot of course, after moving most of the bedroom/living room in.

3-For-Web

Today’s shot. There might’ve been a haircut in there somewhere.
4-For-Web

And the first of hopefully a series of coming creative/conceptual shots. I wasn’t expecting much with this guy, but it wound up surprising the hell out of me.

(Probably another metaphor there for the year if you want to force things). 5-For-Web

 

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Into a Sky Below, Forever Official Release Day!

Sky-Below-1The day has officially arrived! My second book, Into a Sky Below, Forever arrives at stores across the web today.

Here’s the cover description:

Moving. Disturbing. In Denver, a young woman grows up terrorized by something massive and unnatural that watches her while she sleeps. In west Texas, a boy’s world unravels as his brother relates an encounter with a strange figure in the woods. Struggling with insomnia and depression, a man named Mitch begins speaking to a creature of folklore in the trees behind his house. And along the plains of the Rocky Mountains, two college students discover a house that should not exist.

These stories and more make up Karl Pfeiffer’s first collection following his debut novel, Hallowtide. Ranging from fiction to non-fiction, from the poetic to the profane, Into a Sky Below, Forever examines the thin places, where the wild leaks into the refined, the supernatural bleeds into the physical, reality blends with fiction, and where the only things left holding the world together are the things that truly matter the most.

This is a book about birth and rebirth: it’s a study of cycles, sex, and ouroboric processes; it’s an examination of the ways we grow up, grow strong, grow together, and grow apart; an autopsy of the ways we love and rage and reproduce and repeat again.

As always, it’s about finding light amidst the darkness.

On Twitter, three weeks ago, I posted a call to arms for my followers to buy the book today, Monday, if at all possible. With the lack of a presale option for indie-published authors, we’re immediately put at a severe disadvantage compared to the traditional approach, despite all Amazon does to support indies. The only reason pre-sales are well-loved is because they take three month’s worth of early sales and put them through on the same day, shot-gunning a book to rapid-seller, and most-popular lists in an instant.

So I ask that, if you are interested in this book at all, if you might buy it one day, you drop $.99 on a Kindle copy today. Hell, even if you don’t have a Kindle, support the book! It’s the price of a coffee size-upgrade.

But if Kindle’s not your thing, there are other places to pick the book up too. There are sites that will be carrying the book, but because of various approval processes, this could be the difference of hours or days. However, each format is available somewhere on the web. I’ll list them below as they stand now, on the release-day morning.

Kindle is available on Amazon. (The hard copy will be there whenever Amazon’s robots decide they should push their button)

The hard copy is available right now through the Createspace e-store. (in the interest of full disclosure, shipping is kinda expensive on this option, for whatever reason).

Nook is available through Barnes and Noble.

The iTunes epub file may not be going up on the iTunes Store at all (because iTunes is the biggest nightmare to work with in the world), but you can download the epub file from Smashwords. (Or you can download the Nook file, and it should look and function the same).

I’ll keep you updated as to when Amazon starts pushing the hard copy.

Otherwise… buy, read, and I do so hope you enjoy it.

-Karl

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My July

The yearly post! Where I disappeared to in July (or: A chance to share my video with you all).

I’ve discussed SEP in various blogs before this last year and the year before.

SEP is the Summer Enrichment Program. It’s really my home. Affectionately deemed “nerd camp”, because there’s really no other pithy way to describe it, I attended as a camper for five years, and then went through two years of the leadership program in high school before working as a staff member for another six years. I’ve been a night program counselors and a teacher, and this past year I moved up to be the Assistant Night Program Director.

Like a boss.  No, really. Exactly like a boss. I was pretty much assistant boss.

Like a boss.
No, really. Exactly like a boss. I was pretty much assistant boss.

But I’m not the rare one. Though I may be an “SEP-lifer” who has yet to lock down a real job that keeps him from working each July, I’m not rare in finding my home here. The kids, every summer, light up at this place. They find themselves there first. And after (or before, or at the same time — it doesn’t matter when), they find other people, and together they grow and they devour and the world is manageable and tolerable again. Many people don’t think twice on it because we think the world is an oyster for talented people (and because 80’s movies trained us that way), but life is hard for smart kids. The feeling of alienation and boredom and frustration reach breaking points regularly.

Anyhow, I also ran around like a nut all of camp, trying to do both my administration job as well as get some wicked shots for a video I wanted to make.

Unfortunately, after dropping my hard drive down the stairs (yeah, don’t do that), it eventually crashed, and I lost all the extra footage, Final Cut Pro documents, and exported copies I’d had finished. Except for one, slightly less-quality version I’d happened to export to my Desktop.

Which is this:

The song is Radioactive, by Imagine Dragons, of course, but I remixed together four or five different versions for the video. I don’t pretend to be any kind of master on that, so it’s a bit shoddy if you crank your volume, but many of the campers asked me for the song, so that’s available here:

And, as always, if you know of a child between 5th-12th grade, who you think would love a camp like this, you can find more information here. 

We’re always trying to boost our numbers and would love to have more applicants each year. Dates go out around December. It’s at UNC’s campus in Greeley Colorado. And it’s awesome.

Stormset-3-Final_1_For-Web

And I took this picture while there. So you know. There was that too.

 

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New Camera, New Vlog, also Updates!

After a month of recovering from losing my last video camera, I’m coming back with an announcement about upcoming events and projects and when you can expect new ghost hunting vlogs coming your way.

I’ll be doing at least two events coming up here in the next couple months.

Which includes the Lost Limbs Foundation Event at the Stanley Hotel:http://www.lostlimbsfoundation.org/ev…

And the second Ghost Cruise, coming in September of 2014 (website not yet updated):http://www.ghosthuntercruise.com/

My new book, Into a Sky Below, Forever will be arriving in September if all goes according to schedule. It’s a book of short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as some poetry sprinkled in, and some of the stories will include some reflections on strange spirit experiences.

New vlogs will be coming back in August after I get done with the summer camp I’ll be working at! Those vlogs will include weekly ghost hunting vlogs as were coming for the better part of this year, but also a few more creative videos using some badass new tech I’ve just gotten my hands on, as well as some feature possibilities as we go into the new year.

So absolutely stay tuned.

And, as always, you can find more at my website: http://www.karlpfeiffer.com

Into A Sky Below, Forever

As I mentioned last night on Paranormal Happy Hour over at LiveParanormal.com, I’m planning on releasing my next book early this fall.

It’s going to be called Into A Sky Below, Forever.

Sky-Below-Teaser-4

From the cover:

“In Denver, a young woman grows up terrorized by something unnatural that watches her while she sleeps. In West Texas, a boy’s world unravels as his brother relates an encounter with a strange figure in the woods. In a small suburban neighborhood, a man named Mitch begins speaking to a creature of folklore in the trees behind his house. Along the plains of the Rocky Mountains, two college students discover a house that should not exist. And on the Oregon coast, one young man comes to terms with the inevitability of all things. 

These and other stories make up Karl Pfeiffer’s first collection following his debut novel, Hallowtide. Ranging from fiction to non-fiction, from poetry to the profane, Into A Sky Below, Forever again brings us to Pfeiffer’s territory of the thin places: Thin places where the wild leaks into the refined and the supernatural bleeds into the physical; Places where reality appears in fiction, and where fiction disturbs the delicate fabric of reality; Places where it’s only poetry that can grasp at what it is that’s beyond us, where the only things left holding the world together are the things that truly matter the most.”

Into A Sky Below, Forever is set to be released in September.

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Ghost Hunters Academy DVD Release and FAQ

If you didn’t already know, the Syfy spinoff Ghost Hunters Academy DVD hits shelves today, a couple years after the last episode aired in the second of its two six-episode seasons.

The show was the second spinoff of the pioneering success Ghost Hunters, and focused on training young, college-aged students in the art of the hunt. Though met with mixed Critical reviews, it went on to produce a second six-episode season before it finally stalled out and met with unofficial cancellation.

But it’s near and dear to my heart because I was on it. And I won the first season of it.

So if you’ve found my blog because you already follow me, because you were running a search about the show, or you tripped through a strange interwebz warp and found yourself lost, dazed, and mildly confused in this stark blogosphere landscape, I’ve written up a quick FAQ about the show to honor its release.

GhostHuntersAcademyWhat did you get for winning?

This sweet sweatshirt.

I was given a chance to work with the Ghost Hunters International team along with the other winner, Susan Slaughter. I appeared on one episode in the summer of 2010 and was given the runaround by producers after that. Though I still don’t know what happened, I’m thinking they had too many cast members and didn’t like the idea of having two winners from their spinoff show. Anticipating the coming loss of their two female leads, I think they chose Susan over me.

What are you doing now?

I came back to Colorado, finished college with my degree in Creative Writing and a focus on Religious Studies. I worked with a few local teams here and there before I wound up regularly attending the Stanley Hotel’s weekend public ghost hunts. A few months later I began working there officially, and I’ve been there ever since. That’s been about two and a half years ago now. I also lectured around the nation for a short while about the varying philosophies and approaches to ghost hunting. And just this last October, I released my first novel, Hallowtide. It’s not about ghosts or the supernatural in any of the traditional senses, but it does have a psychological and mystical component. It’s about a young man who begins having nightmares of a journey into Hell. More can be found about it here.

What was your hardest challenge on GHA? -@DimitriNesbitt

There were many. The show was boot camp for ghost hunters, not so much a classroom. And in order to get as much drama from us, we were often left in the dark. For example, the first episode, we tour Fort Mifflin, and then they say, “Alright. Go get the equipment.” We glance at each other, confused, questions on our lips before deciding to turn back to the RV and explore the nooks and crannies for the Pelican cases. Sometimes the hardest challenge was putting up with team members that you found yourself butting heads with, sometimes it was trying to feel confident about doing something you’d had no training in, but could be kicked off at any moment because you weren’t doing it right. In a lot of ways, making it through and winning. That said, though these were challenges and stressful, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Greatest idiot moment? -@GAC_Ninja

There were plenty of those! With cameras on you and a million people watching at home, any error feels like the biggest idiot moment. From the one time I felt the gaze of every single viewer when Jane called me out for being inconsiderate at Buffalo Central, and I knew immediately that that moment would make the episode, to the time I forgot a voice recorder in a room we were investigating at Fort Mifflin, to the time in Eastern State when I forgot to log a tape with crew and Steve chewed me out for ten minutes. You always feel like an idiot when you’re under the gun and inexperienced.

What do you think would have saved it from cancellation? -Evie Warner

I think so long as the show was such that one winner was promised a slot on the TAPS or GHI teams, it was destined to end. They have only so many open slots that they need to fill at any one time, having too many seasons would stack up winners.

People love Ghost Hunters because of the characters and the ghosts.

The formula for Academy was essentially the same framework as Ghost; Race through the setup, get down to the investigation. Here I think their meat and potatoes was in turning the lens inward toward character interaction and behind the scenes, which was what established Ghost Hunters in the first place, and was emphasized in the Academy idea of the premise. This show needed emphasis on characters and ghost hunting. I think the competition side was important for getting return viewers, but the opportunity that was lost was in the education, the down and dirty, the running back and forth between buildings at Essex County in the pouring rain and yelling down from a busted out window three stories up that you’re going to toss cable down.

What really goes bump in the night? How have your experiences on the show changed the way you think about unexplained events in real life? What location was freakiest? -Mandy Rose

What really goes bump? Mostly people’s imaginations. The show taught me that most of the locations we went to, some of the most haunted in America, can have quiet nights. Working at the Stanley since then, I’ve seen how easily people scare themselves and how badly they want to believe. As far as what we’re actually dealing with when something does come through? The list is long; human souls, angels, demons, elementals, inter-dimensional beings, animals, time slips, energetic echoes, extra-terrestrials. Which are genuine and which aren’t? I’ve yet to know.

I grew up three years in the two months it took to film the show. I learned how to live life on the road, how to put my problems second to those people I cared about, how to put my head down and get a job done no matter what, how to stay humble, how to present myself to people, how to perform, and how to be a good critical thinking ghost hunter.

Essex County Sanitarium was by far the eeriest of the places. Though the activity wasn’t the strongest, being there in the epitome of fall, the last week before Halloween, where the weather alternated between glowing orange leaves and drizzling rain, the place had power; Run down, decrepit, and creaking with sighs and sounds of what could have been supernatural. Maybe it was lying in the body slabs at the morgue that finally did it, but there was no place I’d rather have been.

You can buy Ghost Hunters Academy, the complete series, at Amazon.com or in stores starting today, January 15.

New Blog! Another Intro

As I disappear and return again to talk some paranormal issues that…really need talked about.

But here it’s mostly to fill you in on the last six months.

Let’s Light This Candle

Blogosphere! Twitterverse! Clever internet word for group of people I’m talking to!

Had a question on Facebook earlier today I wanted to answer in case any of you were wondering the same. But first, updates: I’ll be going to California later this week for a good buddy’s wedding. His name is Chris Mccune. You might remember him from Academy. He’s a badass and I wish he had a fanpage for you all to wish him well. But if you want to leave a comment to let him know, I’ll be happy to pass them along.

We only take serious photos together. Pictures are not a time for goofing off. That’s how kittehs die.

 

Then travel will take me to Lexington, Kentucky for SCAREFEST at the end of the month, where I’ll launch my book early for those attending, and stage the official launch for the rest of the world over the internet on the following Monday, October 1st. If you’re interested in going to SCAREFEST, you can find more at www.thescarefest.com. Then in October, I’ll be attending a special Halloween event at the University of Wyoming, where I’ll also be selling and signing copies of the book. More information on that event will be out as it becomes available. Other possible events are lining up throughout the next few months as well.

The question was posed though as to how to get me out to YOUR state for a signing or event. The thing is that it always comes down to money, which sucks, but that’s how it is. I’m a starving artist hoping this book will blow up enough to let me get an apartment again (preferably in a rainy, foggy section of country). And so, to go to an event, I need to get my travel paid for. But I can’t do it myself. If I did do it myself, my return would have to cover the costs, if just to break even. But that  would mean selling a couple hundred copies of my book or photos or whatever at the event. Or, if the event itself brought me out, they would have to bank that my name will bring enough ticket sales to cover my costs. At this point, I’m not really there yet. My fifteen minutes was up two years ago.

So how then, do we fix this? We make me explode. Not Doc Manhattan style (though that would solve the whole trouble with plane ticket cost), but in terms of my status. Which means this book needs to explode. So, if you want me to be able to tour or hit up these events across the country, spread the word. When the book comes out, if it sounds good, pick up a copy, write a review on amazon (even if you hated it, honest feedback is good feedback), tell your friends about it, start the conversation, pirate it (I don’t care, I’d rather it spread right now), show them pictures of Ryan Gosling and tell them that it’s actually me, paraphrase most interesting man in the world commercials when speaking of my experience. Stir the pot.

That’s how we do this thing. I’m working my end for you, trying to make this novel absolutely as good as it can be, so that it can rock your world when it’s finally out. The rest is you guys.

HALLOWTIDE

The Beta readers have returned and the results are in.

It’s official! My seven-year-coming novel project Hallowtide has the greenlight to be released this fall!

Hallowtide is the story of a young man who begins having nightmares of a journey he made into Hell itself. And seemingly, these nightmares hold their roots in a school shooting he was the victim of while in high school five years before. Why and how though are for him to discover, and in so discovering, could break his mind, his relationship, and his life itself.

The website is now live (though probably doesn’t work right now on iPhones and iPads because it’s flash).

 

Throughout the month of September, I’ll be posting updates, releasing covers, plot teasers, the official drop date, releasing excerpts, and posting downloads! In the following few days I’ll post the “Manifesto,” my argument for why I’m releasing it the way that I am in a non-traditional format. Over time, the book website will be fleshed out further and further until the final release of the book, so be sure to check back frequently, like, share, spread the word!

It’s going to be a fun couple months as the book goes into final stages of creation! And I hope you guys are as excited as I am!

Exhaustion

Emotionally and physically exhausted.

Days spent teaching gifted students art. Expression. The meaning and value of true art. What lies beneath. Their work astounds me.

Nights and evenings entertaining and giving it all so that they can be filled. Filled with whatever they call it. The “Glow,” love, friendship, acceptance. Magic.

Last night, fist pumping excitement all day and hourly countdowns. Sitting in the theater with my hands clenched in fists for two and a half hours while a theater sixty miles south sat with hands clenched in fists for the rest of the night. Some, the rest of their

And this morning with my dear friend while she taught, worries clenching and unclenching with every passing

Second.

The end

Of this camp tonight. My tenth graders finish their stay with tears in their eyes and on cheeks and with hugs and sobs.

Two days ago I draw the death card and the reaper against red sky and scythe, that butterfly curling against his cocoon, and I say “This is not a bad card. This is hope.”

Yesterday evening walking behind fifty kids leaving our end of session banquet and seeing the street lamps flicker on as darkness fell

While beneath they wandered through the trees unknowing.

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