Galaxies Within Us

I spent this morning catching up on newsletters from authors I follow. If you’re not sure I’m subscribed to yours, feel free to drop a link in the comments. I promise to at least check it out. Developed, long-form thoughts are so much more appealing to me than bite-sized hot takes. While I’ve felt increasingly alienated from the scene to which I’ve belonged for ten years now, there are some folks who I know are intelligent, interesting and kind. I’d like to keep up with them.

My newsletter is more or less dead in the water. Maybe fixing that’s a 2022 resolution. I’ve made enough for 2021. Sure, we’re scared still and 2020’s aftershocks are still being felt, but as I stated yesterday, I’m onto the next one. All about leveling up. Bearing my torch through all darkness and lighting little fires along the way.

This past week, I did a few things that were outside my comfort zone and (in some cases) outside my normal realm of interests. I started learning how to code at Free Code Camp. New skills are important, especially in the gig economy we’re increasingly moving toward. Sure, it doesn’t have anything to do with writing and that’s okay, or maybe it does and I don’t see it yet. Still, I’m growing. Leveling up. Evolving.

I also started studying & investing in the stock market. Dry stuff, from my outsider perspective, BUT I will say there is a feeling I get watching my money grow. A feeling I used to get from likes on social media, but so much more beneficial, in my opinion. Something that means having the means to take care of my own.

I also recorded a vidcast (is that a word? a video podcast) with Kelby Losack and J David Osborne. While chatting with those two is not outside my comfort zone at all (in fact, I feel like I can be my genuine self around them), recording that conversation and putting it up for the world to see is another matter entirely. I pride myself on being real as fuck, but I’ve always been hesitant to do ALL my thinking in public because I worry about sounding crazy or insensitive half the time. The show will go up on Tuesday morning. It’s called White Trash Occultism. Links will follow once it’s posted.

Progress on ONE AND ONLY is moving along nicely. Chapter 3 will be up here tomorrow morning. You can read Chapter 1 here and Chapter 2 here. I kind of know where it’s all going, at least the part of it that I’m calling ONE AND ONLY. See, I didn’t show my hand before, but it’s 5 am on a Sunday and I’m feeling froggy. I’m working on three novellas that will actually be one novel. ONE AND ONLY will probably conclude around Valentine’s Day. It’s sequel will commence the following week and wrap up around June. The third part will wrap around Halloween. This is intended as a year long, public project. A chance to work out loud, offer early access, and think on a larger scale. Once it concludes, I’ll edit and collect them into a physical edition you can purchase.

I used to think of writing as THE thing I do. It’s time to think of it as A thing I do. We’re complicated, and I think limiting ourselves to one vocation can be mentally and economically harmful. I am Lucas Mangum. I am not one thing. YOU are not one thing. Whole galaxies swirl within us.

Good morning.

12/29/2020

I got off to a slow start this morning. By the time I got the little guy off to preschool, it was time to log into work. But I said I’d blog every day, so blog every day I shall. Today’s is late.


Sometimes, wrestling is really silly.

Sure, it’s usually always silly, but there are times where it crosses into some kind of bizarro outsider art. A good example of this is the April 10, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, an episode where co-heads of creative Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo attempted to “reboot” the promotion. It’s some truly odd stuff, full of inside baseball and alliances between former enemies. You can check out some highlights from it here.

Other times, it becomes silly in hindsight. Take, for instance, this rap performed by the entire WWF roster in the 1980s.

While I do think it can be detrimental to your art to try and be silly on purpose, it can also be beneficial to lean into the inherent silliness of what you’re doing. Believe in yourself, brother!


Speaking of fully diving off the deep-end, self-awareness be damned, I finished listening to the audiobook of CAT MAGIC by Whitley Strieber. It’s a great book written by someone who’s developed an unfortunate reputation for being a little kooky. The thing is, it doesn’t read like a crazy person wrote it. I’ve read plenty of stuff by crazy people. I’ve even written a book while wrestling with insanity myself.

No, CAT MAGIC doesn’t read like the work of an unraveled mind. It’s a fun horror story about a battle between a coven of witches and a fundamentalist Christian cult in a small New Jersey town. There’s plenty of theological debate and fascinating insight into paganism within the book’s pages. There’s so much that I wonder if Mr. Strieber wrote the book while he was having a spiritual crisis of his own.


Tonight, I’ll be doing a test stream with friends (and excellent authors) J. David Osborne and Kelby Losack. We’ve got a secret thing in the works that I think will be really fun. All I’ll say about it is it involves movies, occultism, and Twitch.

I found out yesterday that I wasn’t storing my videos on my Twitch channel. Total n0ob mistake. Thankfully, I’ve only done two streams so far, but I’m kind of sad to know those are lost forever. I had a lot of fun thinking in public about creative decisions I made while writing the first chapter of ONE AND ONLY.


PANDEMONIUM, the book I co-wrote with Ryan Harding, has been out for two weeks. It’s doing pretty well, but can definitely do better. If you got some money or gift cards this past holiday, then you could do worse than this grabbing this one. It’s a horror novel themed around the world of hardcore wrestling, and a tribute to the Dario Argento-produced DEMONS movies. It’s got a ridiculously high body count, and for what it’s worth, it was the most fun I’ve ever had writing anything. Hope you’ll grab a copy.

This week, I’ll be working on my collaboration with Splatterpunk Award Winner Wesley Southard.

Our nightmare year is almost over!