The I of the Beholder




What I’m writing:  There are two things right now that are capturing my attention, most importantly, Born Again, Book Three in my Liber Monstrorum series. I say most importantly even though Book One, First Born, hasn’t been released yet. It was delivered to the publisher three weeks before Hallowe’en so I’m hoping I’ll have a release date soon.

Descendant, Book Two in the series, is still with my editor. I am anxious for its return and curious as to Scott’s thoughts on it. Descendant has been published twice previously, by Belfire Press and Caliburn House respectively, and is probably my best novel to date.

In addition to noodling on the Occult Detective RPG Core Rules, I’m also jotting notes for a fantasy novel, which I am calling, for the time being, Enochia.

I have started this a few different times, never getting very far due to other pressing distractions. I envision Enochia as a sort of ‘what if Dennis Wheatley had written Lord of the Rings by way of Howard’s Conan‘ adventure. It is, at its heart, to be an occult detective novel, but within the trappings of the sword and sorcery genre.

We’ll see.

What I’m reading: I should be finishing The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton this coming weekend. As I’m in waste deep in some magickal study, I’ll probably not start anymore fiction until after Christmas…

I did pick up the first Trade of Marvel’s Scarlet Witch. I’ve been hearing good things about it, and the covers are beautiful. My chief concern is that I quit reading Marvel a long time ago and have hated the direction they’ve been traveling in. I hope it’s an exception to what’s been going on over there the last few years.

What I’m studying: I’m still making my way through Robert Bruce’s Astral Projection series. Basically I’m just trying to get my spirit aligned and in that headspace. I don’t buy all that he’s selling, but it’s been helpful in bolstering the bats in my belfry.

It has been a while since I last entered my astral temple, I’m looking forward to a little spring cleaning.

What I’m drawing: Doing some preliminary sketches for the cover of Backburner Press’ St. Patrick Day 2017 Tract which is a focus on Charles Stewart Parnell.

What I’m watching: Our long Winter Hiatus Nightmare is descending. Next week, the Arrowverse will be airing their last episodes for several weeks, Lucifer has already sauntered off for its hibernation, and Ink Master‘s live finale is looming. At least we get Timeless until mid-December.

On the plus side, the second half of Vikings‘ fourth season just fired up and Critical Role is ever-present.

This weekend I will be watching the season one finale of Westworld. It has been nothing short of spectacular. The idea of a 30+ year non-linear story that the viewer must assemble, slowly like a jigsaw puzzle, is really quite revolutionary. I never thought there would be anything quite like LOST for me again, but here you have it.

Music I’m listening to: I discovered, quite by accident, a Swedish Metal band called Opeth. They’ve been around since the late 80s or so, but I was never much of a metal guy, so they totally slipped by me. They remind me of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden in a lot of ways, but with more overt occult imagery. Well worth a listen via youtube.

In my Jeep, I continue to have a steady rotation of Led Zeppelin‘s complete studio releases for my daily commute (which amounts to 20 minutes round trip).

Podcasts I’m listening to: My absolute favorite podcast continues to be Gordon White’s Rune Soup. Gordon is likable, erudite, and a consummate interviewer. His guests are almost always top-shelf, and when they lag a bit, he is is able to elevate them. If you only listen to one occult podcast, this is the one. Trust me.

Sadly, my favorite RPG podcast will be soon coming to a close. Gamerstable announced quite some time back that the 300th episode would be it. They just posted episode 294. Only six left. Gulp. I’m not ready for it to end.

For my literary needs, The Cromcast and The Horror Show with Brian Keene and Dave Thomas are everything I could ask for.

What I’m playing: Skyrim Special Edition on XBOX ONE.  Is there a better video game? No, certainly not. I played this the first time around (Kim and Conn got it for me for my birthday several years back), but the Special Edition, with improved graphics, DLC, and Mods galore has taken it to a whole new level. It’s addictive and immersive and, well, I love it.

Connor’s Dungeons & Dragons 5e Sunday game continues to impress. Several of the Next Gen players definitely have the bug and that’s fun for me to watch unfold. I’m glad I get to be a part of it, but have actively tried to take a backseat to give them all the room they need to explore this on their own.

As for the D&D 5e game I’m running, we’re nearing the endgame for these characters and a new campaign is on the horizon, but not yet.The story of Ankleshanker, Kwyx, Salazar, Sardonis, and Thaddeus has not been told in full… There is still dragonfire and tentacles in their future to come.

What I’m anticipating: Star Wars: Rogue One, Passengers, and Assassin’s Creed all look amazing and I can hardly wait to see them, but there’s something about Incarnate that is really catching my attention, It could very well be a dud. Let’s face it, most modern horror has been a disappointment, but the premise here has me intrigued. I am… cautiously optimistic.

What I’m obsessing over: Skyrim, to my wife’s chagrin.

What’s next on The Occult Detective: This coming Monday you’ll be treated to The Occult Detective’s Last Writes with… Mary San Giovanni. Not to be missed.

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