Archive for the Current Events Category

A Man Grown

Posted in Current Events, Writing on October 9, 2021 by Occult Detective

Today, my son Connor celebrates his 18th Birthday. I am staggered by this. The boy becomes a man…

The truth is, he’s been a man for some time. Mature beyond his years, he has always possessed a rapier sharp intellect and an understanding of human behavior.

As a writer, he has grown immeasurably, producing wonderful, fantastical tales prolifically. He has a bright future ahead of him.

As a father, I couldn’t be more proud of him. I will miss the boy he was, but I embrace and cherish the man he is.

Happy Birthday, Connor. I love you beyond words.

Happy Friday the 13th

Posted in Current Events on August 13, 2021 by Occult Detective

I love Friday the 13th. It’s generally my second favorite holiday.

Three guesses what my favorite is.

Anyway, I wanted to, first, wish you all the best on this positively delicious day of supposed bad luck and menace. Of course, we all know where Friday the 13th derives its ill-nature from. Those poor Templars…

Secondly, I hope to get up to a little more tomfoolery this weekend, with visits to more local boneyards and a delightfully infested location nearby. I have been working diligently on [secret project name redacted] and I need a wee bit of a break to recharge. I’ll be sure to post a few pictures as time allows.

If you’re not following my instagram, you probably should. It’s easier to drop pics there on the fly.

So, cheers, all. Enjoy the day. Remember to be kind to black cats (but it’s perfectly ok to avoid walking under ladders).

Only time will tell…

Posted in Current Events on June 4, 2021 by Occult Detective

This whole week sort of blew by, like a mystic’s fevered dream.

Truth be told, that old dark cloud’s not done with us yet, and I find myself hooded, awaiting sentence.

Maybe I can get back on track the week after next, when these deadlines and commitments can be abated.

I enjoy the creative rush, but the red tape and bureaucracy of publishing (and printing) can take on near mythic levels at times, like a seething necrotic spirit that feeds on art and magical intent.

What spells or steel are mustered in defense of such adversaries are rarely adequate to the task, but we press on, for Gods and Country, and Kings and Fallen Idols, and that cruel beast that hides in the recesses of the shady bower, a muse neglected and all its servility has been crushed by earthly abuse…

So, I will blog again when I’ve a spare moment, and maybe in theme.

Maybe.

Only time will tell.

Nóttveiða

Posted in Current Events on April 2, 2021 by Occult Detective

It’s well past time I got back to some semblance of bloggery, so I’ve set up some themes for myself and a loose itinerary. Do not take any of this as gospel, meaning I will not, necessarily, post every day of every week, but I will be more present and I hope that the path laid out below is of interest to you and hopefully will spark some engagement.

So, what’s all this then?

Mondays I will be posting about magick in all its various guises and predominately from my own perspective, though I’m sure philosophical ponderings will rear their ugly head now and then. I imagine I’ll ruffle some feathers here and there, but that’s the nature of the beast in the current climate we find ourselves in. You can expect book reviews to be posted here as well.

Tuesdays I’ve set aside for Tarot. I plan to do readings on various subjects and discuss my interpretations of the cards. I also hope to showcase and review various decks. I will dabble, from time to time, in other divinatory methods, especially runes.

On Wednesdays I will delve into all sorts of interests, predominately related to my faith. Here I will discuss my work with the ancestors, with the gods and vættir, but also about art, writing, bushcraft, hiking, woodcarving, and the like, because I find these things intricately linked to my spirituality.

Thursday is probably the day I will be most consistent in my blogging. Each week I will post a Top 3 list in all manner of areas of interest. This is where the real fights will be sparked.

And finally, Friday. I’ve reserved the final day of the week for sharing stories from my fascination with urban legends and folk tales related to my neck of the woods. Here I’ll spin old yarns and present new investigations as they come up.

While a lot of my peers have turned to releasing content like this through patreon, I’m just not comfortable holding my hat out. I’d rather see how things play out here. So, let’s set this little experiment to light.

See you on Monday.

Haunted Heathenry

Posted in Current Events, Writing on March 19, 2021 by Occult Detective

I imagine the majority of people who follow this blog know me primarily as a writer of novels and short stories, particularly in the horror genre, or more specifically the occult detective sub-genre. It was a pursuit I took on in October of 2000. I published several short stories quickly and my first novel, Shadows Over Somerset, was released in 2004 by a small press publisher, Black Death Books.

It was a whirlwind of excitement, with book signings and convention appearances, but it was also filled with stress and disillusionment. I won’t go into the details, but suffice to say, I became disenchanted with the writing community, by and large. It’s a cutthroat business, and deceitful peers and bad publishing experiences turned me off of the industry, but I am now and always have been a storyteller.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my storytelling journey of late. I suppose it started when I was a child and, along with my little brother, I created elaborate productions with action figures and set pieces. It was also when I began to write comics, often rewriting captions and dialogue from books like The Mighty Thor and Doctor Strange to tell new tales, even using a cut and paste method of redirecting scenes. Later I was given the opportunity to write plays that my sixth grade class performed for our elementary school, my favorite being a battle between the Greek and Roman Gods that was ultimately settled once the Norse Pantheon took the field.

Of course, a large part of my talents for telling stories were honed through adjudicating roleplaying games. It scratched that itch for genre yarn spinning that was cultivated from reading Howard, Lovecraft, Wellman, Burroughs, and Wheatley as a boy, but it soon became music and magic that fueled my artistic endeavors.

As I said, I started writing horror in 2000, at the age of 34, prior to that I was writing (mostly) super hero comics (something I pulled the plug on in 2006), but my primary focus, particularly from age 16 – 30, was writing songs and poetry. That was where I felt most fulfilled, where I explored my thoughts on religion, philosophy, spirituality, and the paranormal.

Of late, as I became more and more frustrated and dissatisfied with the writing industry, from stem to stern, I found myself picking up the guitar more and songs began to fall out of it again. As I continued to explore my heathen faith, which has been a cornerstone of my beliefs for more than four decades, I found I was writing poetry and verse that expressed those themes more than ever before, that the old voice I had shelved was hungry and eager to assert itself.

This is not to say that I am done with writing horror and occult detective fiction, but just that a large part of my creative self has been neglected for far too long, that the storyteller I imagined myself becoming got distracted along the way. I guess this is a roundabout way of saying you will see a bit more of me moving forward.

I hope to reawaken that part of me that embarked on a shamanic journey long ago but lost the path somewhere along the way. I am eager to explore a hybrid of horror and heathenry, if you will, to realign myself to where I was in the beginning, coupled with the years of wisdom acquired along the way, and to become a more expressive voice in the communities in which I am active.

I leave you with a couple of verses from the first “real” song I wrote, back in 1986 or so…

Shadows are reality
Creeping through my sanity
Everything in darkness
Everything in black
I was born with vision
Mystic intuition
Trip my way through daylight
And never coming back

Flowing through the motions
Drinking magick potions
My mind is now electric
Everything surreal
Trading all my sanity
For a little sanctity
I’m living just for dying
But dying isn’t real

Ol’ 55

Posted in Current Events on March 1, 2021 by Occult Detective

Birthdays become less enamoring when they begin to pile up like cord wood, but as my old pal Clarence always says, “Getting older sure beats the alternative.” I’m luckier than most. I’ve got an amazing wife and son, and a nice piece of property with a flowing stream and a bit of woods out back. I’ve got my health, for the most part. And I’ve never lost my hunger for life, nor that burning desire to create and to explore both the inner and outer worlds, as far as the gods will allow.

So, what does 55 feel like? Much the same as 25 did, just with a few more aches and pains, and a lot less angst. Marriage and children will do that for you, if you’re wired right. I’ve acquired a number of skills and a wealth of knowledge along the way. Never quite got hold of the wisdom I expected to come with age, but I’ve still got a bit of road left ahead of me. Who knows, I just might surprise myself and a few of you before the final cut.

I’m spending the day at work, squeezing in a bit of guitar in between calls. I’ve already written snatches of two new songs. Life doesn’t get much better than that. After work, I’ll get to wrap myself around the two things that matter most to me… What does 55 feel like? It feels like love on the best of days. And on the bad days? Well, they’re alright too. If you’re wired right.

My faith carries me through. My faith in the gods. My faith in my family. And, ultimately, my faith in myself. My birthday wish is that you all feel the same…

Godspeed, 2020

Posted in Current Events on December 31, 2020 by Occult Detective

As I write this, 2020 has thirteen more hours left to wreak its havoc upon us. Not that I believe a magic wand will be waved and 2021 will be any better. At this point, I’m just hoping it’s not going to get worse. But it’s possible. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the X-Files was right all along — Trust No One — be it doctors, politicians, activists, or especially the overlords of social media.

I thought about writing a review of 2020, to highlight the good — and there were some real blessings this year, despite the carnage — but ultimately, putting this year behind us and moving forward is best for all involved.

So instead, I want to look ahead at what is on the calendar and what I hope to achieve, COVID willing, in the coming year.

First of all, I’ll be posting my 11th Annual Occult Detective Award Winners on Monday, January 4th. There were some decent reads this year and while it’s not the strongest field since its inception, there are some real gems that came our way in 2020.

On January 7th I’ll be a guest on The Parafactor, chatting with my old friend Ash Hamilton and his merry bad of cohorts. I was last on their show back in September of 2009, so I’m really looking forward to discussing the paranormal with the guys and catching up.

On the gaming front, Bordermen Games is working to finalize the editing and graphic design on RPGPundit’s The Invisible College: An Authentic Magick OSR RPG we’ve been tapped to publish. Things are progressing nicely and we hope to release sometime in late March, give or take.

Another gaming project, that we are writing and designing for an established IP is well underway and we’re hoping to see it launch on Kickstarter in the fourth quarter of this year. This one’s a dream come true (or on the verge of coming true) and will be something really special… trust me.

Those two gaming projects are going to consume the majority of my creative juices, but I hope to make progress on some other projects, such as publishing an anthology of occultists writing occult fiction, getting all my ducks in a row on a non-fiction paranormal casebook, getting my fiction republished and completing my Cairnwood Manor and Liber Monstrorum series, writing more sword and sorcery, and increasing my online presence through youtube and other avenues.

Of course, I hope to be able to attend events later in the year, if COVID can be brought under control, and there are a number of paranormal investigations that are begging for attention. And I have a pallet shack encampment that could use some of that attention as well.

At the very top of my list is to spend as much time with my family as is humanly possible, and if our health allows, for much of that time to be spent in the woods…

Let’s face it, I’ve barely scratched the surface of all I want to do, but Time is the enemy and always wins in the end. But I will do what I can for as long as I can.

My only resolution for 2021 and all the years to come after is to live until I die. You’d be surprised just how rare that really is.

Midwinter has come

Posted in Current Events on December 21, 2020 by Occult Detective

Merry Midwinter, my friends, and Happy Holidays. This is an auspicious day, with the heavens displaying a magical conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. For those of us more grounded in Northern European philosophies, these planets represent Thor and Freyr in spirit, and as this conjunction unfolds, great changes should be felt, especially for the sensitive, globally.

The social and economic upheavals and the pandemic have exposed just how precarious modern society is. For those of us who cling to the old ways, who still have a foot in the heather, as they say, it has been evident for years.

Change abounds. Magic, it seems, is in the air…

It will be comforting to put 2020 behind us and face the future as it unfolds. Speaking of which —

On January 4, 2021, I expect to publish my 11th Annual Occult Detective Awards. I think there just might be a few surprises to pop up on this year’s list.

Additionally, I will be interviewed on Ash Hamilton’s relaunch of Parafactor on January 7th (I’ll let you know when the episode airs).

Bordermen Games will be publishing RPGPundit’s The Invisible College, an authentic magick OSR RPG, sometime in the first quarter, but most likely somewhere in the neighborhood of the Spring Equinox, with supplemental materials to follow. The Invisible College will be available via Amazon, Drive Thru RPG, and other online retail outlets.

Bordermen Games is also working on a sword and sorcery ROG/Boardgame hybrid with an established IP that will launch in the fourth quarter as a kickstarter. Details to come.

The main focus for me in 2021, however, is my family’s health. Seeing us all back strong and hale. We have trails to wander, logs to split, and fires to be tended. And I’ve work yet to do on my pallet bothy… One of the most important things to come from this disastrous 2020 is a renewed faith in the gods of my ancestors, in an even great importance placed on family, and of our need for spiritual awakening.

We are faltering. This needs to change. With fervor, we must embrace the truths of our cultural heritage and gather our strength for the long road ahead. The spirits are restless… and so am I.

So, I wish you all the very best. May the coming year find you whole.

#Norsevember …Hammer in the Morning

Posted in Current Events on November 18, 2020 by Occult Detective

In 1985, my best friend, Brent Smith, and I went to Indianapolis for a Gun & Knife Show. A dealer there, a local Silversmith, had an impressive display of handcrafted jewelry, a couple of Norse Hammers among them. I talked to him about commissioning a Mjolnir necklace. He agreed and I took his card. A week later I mailed off a photocopy of a Hammer found near Romersdal, on the island of Bornholm.

bob

In 1986, Brent and I returned to the Gun & Knife Show and the dealer had my necklace. He charged me less than $200 for the silver work and even incorporated an ouroboros Jormundgandr  as the ring.

I’ve been wearing this necklace for just over thirty-five years now. If the gods are willing I will wear it for 35 more.

It is a symbol of my faith, of my reverence for my cultural heritage. It represents protection, strength, and power.

It is NOT a symbol of white supremacy, racism, or hate, as so many SJWs would have you believe. I have no room in my heart for intolerance of any stripe.

The Thunder God wields Mjolnir as a protector of all the people of Midgard.

While I revere my Northern European ancestors, particularly the Norse, Celts, Anglo Saxons, and Germanic tribes, it is not at the exclusion of other cultures.

We all share the same rock.

I will raise a horn to you and yours and ask that you do the same for me and mine.

Skál!

.:.

What I’m writing:  Rules for a Sword & Sorcery RPG.

What I’m reading: The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature by Hilda Roderick Ellis M.A., Ph.D.

What I’m studying: game design via various online sources

What I’m drawing: interior art for RPGPundit’s Invisible College.

What I’m watching: The Mandalorian, The Last Kingdom, Designated Survivor, Seinfeld, Rules of Engagement, Curse of Oak Island, The Holzer Files, lots of YouTube

Music I’m listening to: Listening to Wardruna via Youtube; Led Zeppelin and Concrete Blonde during my commute.

Podcasts I’m listening to: Gordon White’s Rune Soup

What I’m playing: Dungeons & Dragons 5E on roll20, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

What I’m anticipating: Pandemic Thanksgiving

40 Days of Hallowe’en

Posted in Current Events on September 21, 2020 by Occult Detective

Well, it’s finally here — what I like to call Bobtoberfest — that magical mystery tour that makes up the 40 days of the Witching Season. Things are a bit different this year. There’s this little thing called a pandemic going on, not to mention the election cycle, civil unrest, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and… well, you get the idea.

But fear not. We’re not going to let this diminish our ghoulishly good time.

I have walking tours planned through some old haunts — all to be streamed for your viewing pleasure. There are some terrific surprises for Last Writes in store, plus esoteric book reviews, an Occult Detective countdown, lists covering all sorts of macabre subjects, several investigations to be shared, and a whole lot more…

Most importantly, on Mabon, my lovely wife, Kim, and I will be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary, and in less than three weeks, our son, Connor, will be celebrating his seventeenth birthday.

Not hard to fathom why I love this time of year so much.

With so many plans canceled due to Covid, we’ve had to be a little more creative this year. A lot of our annual events are off our calendars, but, we’ve come up with some inventive ways to keep the spirit alive, and you get to hear all about it, and even participate in some of them, if you’re up for it.

And as always, keep a light on. It’s about to get awfully spooky in here.

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