Stumbling Upon Ghosts

On Christmas Eve 2008, I decided to post one of my stories here on the blog.

Here it is, in case you missed it.

I thought it was a Christmas-ey kind of thing to do and I reckoned the story contained a measure of sentimentality and creepiness which might befit the season.

(Photo by Vidiot)

Since Christmas Eve, that post has been viewed... (goes to check)... 34,123 times. That is a lot of views, as far as my little blog is concerned.

Turnip of Power - who has forgotten more about social networking and blogging than I will ever know - has kindly posted an article about my holiday visitor phenomenon today. The post takes the form of an interview with yours truly. Perhaps go and have a look.

'Long Distance' was written in 1991 and has been published in various places since. The idea used in the story has been more recently echoed in movies such as 'White Noise' and, to wonderful effect in Conor McPherson's brilliant play, 'The Weir'.

I'm not for a moment suggesting that they got their ideas from me - they didn't. EVP was well written-up back when I wrote the story and it's not hard to see the dramatic possibilities it offers.

So thanks to everyone who came to look at my little Christmas offering.

It demonstrated something to me. This medium, within which we write, may be just a pool that we sit on the edge of and wiggle our toes in... but it is a deep pool and there are lots of little fishes down there.


Anonymous said...

Oh Ken. I should be thanking you for writing. You've an amazing talent and I'm glad you're using it.

Anonymous said...

Just don't let any of those fishies make off with your toes -- they are vicious little buggers!

Fantastic interview, Ken -- now I know all your secrets ;-)


Susan at Stony River said...

Is this a warning or a promise? LOL Congratulations on such an avalanche of hits for a story that was truly worth such attention!

Anonymous said...

Since conducting the interview, someone's been calling my house int he middle of the night saying "Vigler, vigler...". Scary stuff!

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Did you see Lady in the Water? Me neither, but if any of those fishes are thinking about escaping and coming to terrorize me, I'm coming after you for giving them the idea.

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Wow, nice interview. I was away in Florida and missed all the action....I'll go back and read this one this weekend.

Jim Murdoch said...

It just goes to show the potential that's out there. I stumble my own posts most of the time but the best I've managed was just over 600 in a day; I average 100+ normally. I also post on LitMixx, Post on Fire, Yahoo Buzz and Yearblook as well as a couple of carnivals but never seen any real benefit from any of it. Twitter has me totally confused but then I struggle with Facebook.

Now, the real test will be how many of that thirty-odd thousand will come back for more?

Jena Isle said...

Frankly I was pleasantly surprised when I read that particular story as I was used to your humorous stories. That was one side of you Ken , that is worth getting acquainted with.

Keep writing. what about a sci-fi next time? I am fascinated by sci-fi stories, like Battlefield Earth a L Ron Hubbard. It was a thick book but I read every word of it.

Looking forward to your others

Jena Isle said...

BTW, congratulations for the success of the story. I will nominate your blog for the blogs award at social sparks. Happy blogging.

Jena Isle said...

Hello Ken,

I nominated you to the blog of all time: here is the URL.

I think there is a code.

I'll campaign for you, lol...

Good luck.

Ken Armstrong said...

Reggie: You're being far to nice to me. We should have a big fight or something - to liven things up! :)

Margaret: In writing that, I spent a little time thinking about what kind of fishes are down there - it's an image. I think there are even some who are so deep down that if we brought them to the surface, they would swell up and pop.

Susan: I think I have 'gone on' about this a bit too much now but I like the story too and I was *so* pleased that all the people came...

Turnip: When I was trying to thing of a name for the person on the phone, I saw an advert in the paper for a British computer company called Viglin...

Matt: Haven't seen 'LITW' crappy reviews have kept me away to date. But, if there be fishes...
"thou shall have a fishie
on a little dishie
thou shall have a fishie
when the boat comes in" :)

Jim: I add a Stumble to yours whenever I see them. I have a suspicion that the category which we place our stumbleds post in is quite important but I haven't figured it yet.

Look for people you know on Stumble and add them as friends, then keep an eye on their stumbles and you have a better chance of seeing stuff you consider worth stumbling. When you are in love with one of your posts ask for a stumble or two from friends via email or message. Why not?

Jena Isle: I love Sci Fi but haven't written with any success in the genre. I think I'd need more science in my to be able to write fiction about it. :)

Thanks as ever for your encouragement - I still owe you a book - where the hell are they anyway?? :)

Dave King said...

Lovely story,. I hadn't read it. Thanks for the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what's funny? As I was typing that comment, I was thinking the exact same thing! And was about to type that I slapped you or something but decided to leave it.

Great minds think alike, and all that... haha =P

hope said...

Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Just shows you, good stories don't age. Imagine if just half of those visitors who arrived so unexpectantly, had left comments. You would have still been answering them.

Hopefully this will be the first of many massive spikes in traffic on your blog, your stories deserve that.

Ken Armstrong said...

Dave: Thanks. :)

Fragileheart: It's understandable that we would be thinking the same thing. We were getting mawkish and one thing we ain't is 'mawkish'...

... Bitch! :)

Hope: It was! You? Oh, sorry, that wasn't a question. :)

Lyndi: Thank you. I am limited in the amount of stories I can show here because first publication rights can be compromised (Long Distance has already been published). But the older and more disillusioned I get, the more I'll put on. :)

Unknown said...

Brilliant, Ken. Really pleased for you.

Fiendish said...


Nothing like a bit of deserved success to warm the cockles.

You were missed at WG, by the way. (Well, we didn't really have WG because there was just two of us, but still).