Blue Monday

Posted in Archive on August 3, 2015 by cairnwood

genconn* I had an amazing time with Kim & Conn at Gen Con on Sunday. They are immensely good company and keep me on course. Already looking forward to next year. Later today, I’ll be posting a bit about our trip over at Dice Upon A Time…if the gods allow it.

* I started a new story on Lammas Night, for a variety of reasons. It is an occult detective fantasy, something I’ve attempted before but never followed through with. First lines are important. This one starts, “The grave was unmarked by the hands of men, but the old gods remembered and showed their respect accordingly.”

* I just cracked open John Langan’s The Wide Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies. I’ve been meaning to get to this for awhile. I love Langan’s narrative voice. He’s one of those guys who inspires you to dig deeper.

* There are only 88 days till Hallowe’en. Only 50 days until Bobtober begins…

* “Our” cat had been missing for going on two weeks. I put “our” in quotes because he lives outside. He showed up one day several months back with a limp leg and looking malnourished. We kept him fed, looked after him a bit… enjoyed his companionship.

Conn named him Boo, after the cat in my Landon Connors stories, he being black with a spot of gray on his breast.

Yesterday, as we left for Gen Con, I spotted him crossing the road a few blocks from our house, from a field of corn into a field of beans. We pulled up and called for him. He came. Kim tried to get him to go back home with us, but Boo wasn’t interested. He showed his affection, but returned to the wild, where I presume, now that his leg is healed, he prefers to hunt for his food.

I also suspect he’s got himself a lady cat or two on the hook.

New Post on “Dice Upon A Time”

Posted in Dice Upon A Time on August 1, 2015 by cairnwood

dice logoFor those interested, I commented on last night’s ENnie Awards, held at Gen Con in Indianapolis.

As was to be expected, Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition was the big winner.

You can check out my thoughts on what went down by clicking HERE.

Once in a Blue Moon

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Writing in Theory & Practice on July 31, 2015 by cairnwood

We’ve something of a magical weekend ahead of us. Not only is it Lùnastal (or Lughnasadh, Lammas, or Gwyl Awst, if you prefer), but it’s a blue moon as well. The last time Lùnastal and a blue moon fell together was 2004.

Lùnastal marks the beginning of harvest and, coupled with the second full moon of July, we’ve got ourselves a strange brew in the making.

For my part, after work I’m looking to hit the Converse Town Rummage with Kim, then play a board game with Connor before the three of us wrap up season nine of Smallville. Then we’ll see about lighting a Harvest Fire.. and writing the first lines of a new project.

It’s also a time to reap what’s been sown. There is a lesson that I keep having to relearn and it is this — It is not enough to be published. You need to be published well. It’s time once more for some soul searching, to reevaluate where my writing is taking me.

Lùnastal is the perfect time for this…

Dice Upon A Time

Posted in Dice Upon A Time on July 30, 2015 by cairnwood

diceuponatime3Because I obviously have too much time on my hands, I’ve launched another blog: Dice Upon A Time

Why on earth would I do such a thing and what does this mean for The Occult Detective?

Well, I believe launching DUAT will help me maintain my focus on the Occult Detective genre, fact & fiction, here at the mothership, while giving me the opportunity wax poetic upon my tabletop obsession over yonder.

If you dig gaming like I do, give it a look. If not, no harm, nor foul. That just means this site will be a lot more interesting for you overall… no more of that D&D or Game of Thrones clutter around here. All spooky stuff, all the time…

Pulsatio Universi

Posted in Liber et Auda on July 28, 2015 by cairnwood

Brent’s been gone six months now. I remember a little tidbit from a college psych class that six months is considered the proper length of time to grieve someone. Well, it seems painfully short if you ask me.

I’ve never been one to experience grief in the classic sense, the debilitating collapse over the loss of someone or something.

I suppose that comes from my concerted belief that we are made up of more than just these physical bodies. Brent believed so too, and it was a common discussion between us.


I like to think of it like this. We are the sum of three parts.

—Of course there is the physical shell in which we inhabit. It is akin to a conveyance, a means of interacting with the material world, to enable us to have a tactile experience with the world.

—We also possess a soul. Everyone has one, though some are older than others. When our physical form “gives up the ghost”,as they say, there are options. Reincarnation is one possibility, Some become trapped on the material plane,while others traverse the multiverse. Some are consumed by light, some by darkness, and some create a new light all their own.

—Then there is our spirit, that spark of divinity that has always been and will always be. Through its interaction with our body and soul, the universe experiences life. This is the hardest to define.

Atop a hill overlooking Turkey Creek, on the land I was raised, was a two ringed fire pit my friends and I had constructed. Brent supplied the chalk-white landscaping stones, leftovers from one of his construction jobs, and a half dozen or so of us humped them over the creek and up the hill.

The fire pit was shaped like a keyhole and was purposely ‘facing’ west, with Venus rising above our large back stone.

It was a special place and we camped and conversed there often. After much consideration, Brent and I came up with a name for that hilltop — Lad’a Mitheroch. We’d pieced the name together from J.R.R. Tolkien’s invented elvish. It meant ‘The Plain of the Grey Horse’, although Shaun called it “Bob’s Field of Bad Dreams”.


We carved out a special path from below, winding up the hill so that you’d enter the space by passing between two mulberry trees, a male and female.

It had a magic all its own and I would be lying if I didn’t say I missed it.

But, anyway, the point of this story is, one night, Brent and I had a helluva blaze going up there. We were passing a bottle of Canadian Mist between us and chain smoking Marlboro cigarettes (he Lights, me Reds).

Beneath a canopy of stars, our discussion was of the universe and our place in it. Brent expounded up his theory that close friends like us had lived many lifetimes together, with our souls reincarnating over the centuries, but that we exchanged spirits, making us all the closer through this crucible of interaction.

I liked the idea then. I like it even more now.

Against the backdrop of the multiverse, what’s six months?

Measured against eternity, a lifetime is less than a heartbeat.

It’s easier to miss someone when you know you’ll meet again.

Happy Gary Gygax Day

Posted in Dice Upon A Time on July 27, 2015 by cairnwood


Monday Monday

Posted in Liber et Auda on July 27, 2015 by cairnwood

I finished “Birds of a Feather” for the Occult Legion finally. I started work on it, originally, on April Fool’s day. Four months to write four thousand words. Should have taken me four days. The important thing, I suppose, is that I finally typed “FIN” on the bastard. It’s a good story, set just after World War II, and features a couple of characters from my Cairnwood Manor novels.

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I don’t get all the hate for True Detective’s second season, especially toward Vaughn and Farrell. Look, it’s not great TV, but it’s not terrible either. It’s like Nic Pizzolatto took a paint by numbers cop show and tried (emphasis on tried) to put a David Lynch spin on it. While he did a superb job of mining Alan Moore and Thomas Ligotti in season one, season two, so far, has been less successful. I’m still hoping that everything comes together in the final two episodes.

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Played four sessions of Dungeons & Dragons this past weekend. One with Connor and Kasey; another with Connor, Doug, Kasey, Joe, & Steve; a third with Doug, Joe, Shaun, and Steve; and finally, a solo adventure with Connor. All set in the same home-brew universe, of course, though in different timelines.

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We are a lot further along on the remodel of Connor’s bedroom. Kim painted the room on Sunday. Carpet, doors, and trim and then his sanctum sanctorum will be complete. Close. Maybe two more weeks?

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Mounted a lantern outside our front door. Curb Appeal 101, as my lovely wife says. Stuck another on our shack. Looks pretty decent, if I do say so myself.

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Gen Con is creeping up on us. Nervous and excited. Bemoaning my slim wallet, but it’ll be spectacular regardless.


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