Three For Thursday: Paranormal TV

Posted in Media, Paranormal on April 8, 2021 by Occult Detective

Thursday are going to be fun. When I wake up, I think of a topic and I throw up a list of my Top 3. It might be anything. Whatever catches my fancy. It just might spark controversy or debate on occasion, but that’s alright. We’re (mostly) all adults here. So, what do we start off with?

Well, looking up at the top of the page, it says this is occultdetective.com, so how about we address our raison d’etre, but with a twist. At some point we’ll tackle literature, tv, movies, comics, and the like, but for our inaugural launch, we’re going to have it hit a little closer to home. Let’s keep it real and leave the fiction behind.

Top Three Paranormal Investigation Series

— Number 3 —

Haunted Highway

“I’m Jack Osbourne and I’ve been obsessed with the paranormal since I was a kid. I’ve wanted to investigate some of America’s scariest cases. But I decided it had to be done differently. I’ve put together two teams–myself and my researcher Dana and my friends Jael and Devin. We shot everything ourselves; just us. This is what we discovered and it completely blew my mind.”

I liked Haunted Highway because, for one thing, it was different. No camera crews. Just two investigators driving across America, sticking their collectives noses into places where they don’t necessarily belong. Jack, of course, is a charismatic host, and his fellow investigators were fun to ride along with.

— Number 2 —

Portals to Hell

Another Jack Osbourne show? Yes damn it. And it’s not because of him, though he is likeable. For whatever reason, you just sort of root for the guy. The premise is a bit contrived, but I enjoy the locations and the production of the series. Jack’s partner in crime, Katrina Weidman, is a familiar face, and she and Osbourne have good chemistry. I also enjoy the people they bring on board to assist, particularly Michelle Belanger. I also enjoy the interaction between the producers, the crew, and the investigators. Everyone is involved and it feels natural.

— Number 1 —

Hellier

“A small crew of paranormal researchers find themselves in a dying coal town, where a series of strange coincidences leads them to a decades-old mystery with far-reaching implications.”

Hellier follows researchers Greg and Dana Newkirk, Karl Pfeiffer, Connor Randall, and Tyler Strand, with special appearances by Allen Greenfield and John E. L. Tenney, as they embark on an enigmatic adventure fraught with cryptic emails, strange synchronicities, goblins, aliens, the Mothman, and more. People often talk about the journey being more important than the destination, and Hellier encapsulates that ethos perfectly. How else do you describe a documentary that begins with a frantic email and ends with an Invocation to Pan?

Hellier certainly came closest to capturing the feel of my own investigations, especially in the mid-1980s, around the displaced town of Somerset, Indiana. Speaking of synchronicities…

Wyrd Wednesday

Posted in Wyrd on April 7, 2021 by Occult Detective

Hail, Óðinn!
Wayfarer, Wanderer,
Allfather, King!
Hail the Æsir!
Hail the Vanir!
Hail the Jǫtunn!
Hail the Vættir!
Hail the Folk!

This is the prayer I say every morning as I place Mjǫllnir around my neck. The necklace is very dear to me. I have been wearing it faithfully for 35 years. I hired a silversmith to craft it for me in 1985, modeled after one found in Rømersdal, Bornholm, Denmark. I requested the ring to be fashioned as Jǫrmungandr swallowing his tail. The craftsman delivered it to me a year later, at a Gun and Knife Show in Indianapolis. In 2001 I added the second ring, my wedding ring, when it became too tight for my finger. I have gone through many necklaces — leather cords, rope chains, and the like — several were gifts from my wife. Mjǫllnir is now born by a dog-tag chain. It’s never been more secure.

I thought it fitting to discuss this on the inaugural Wyrd Wednesday post, Mjǫllnir being the most obvious declaration of my faith. It is frequently commented on, especially at events and festivals (remember when those were a thing).

I embraced the Norse faith as a child, on my own volition, in 1974. I had no scholarship to guide me, no mentors or believers to counsel me on this path. My only resource at the time was The Children of Odin, written by Padraic Colum and illustrated by Willy Pogany. I had no inkling that anyone else in the world heard the call of the Northern Gods.

But it felt right and true to me then, as it does for me today.

I used Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca as a sort of guide back then. I saw Thor and Sif as my patrons. As I said, I was a child with no guidance. I fumbled through my faith, adding knowledge wherever I could find it along the way. In time, I came to honor Odin above all others, as it was his example that led me all along the way, gathering wisdom where I could to incorporate it into my faith and practice.

Now, of course, we are in the midst of a renaissance of Norse culture. The worship of the old gods has risen exponentially in the past decade. Never has there been more scholarly resources available. It is an amazing time to be Heathen. It is also a terrible time…

For all the positive growth in our faith, there has been a near equal amount of negativity. There are some who would use the symbols of Heathenry in bad faith, and others who misappropriate the gods and present them to further their own agendas.

I do not belong to any national or international organizations. I belong to no local kindred. I have been a solitary practitioner for more thirty years and I am fine with doing so for thirty more if the gods are willing. Of course, it is the twenty-first century, so I do interact with a number of Heathens from all facets of the faith, be they Asatru, Aldsidu, or simply Norse Pagans.

I count among my friends those who are Universalists, Folkish, Wiccatru, and all points in between. There is no room at my table for racist, bigoted thoughts and behavior, and I can tell the difference between someone who wishes to honor their cultural heritage from someone who merely maintains hate in their heart.

Personally, I certainly lean Folkish, but I hold no line against any man or woman, regardless of ethnicity or orientation.

As I have said, this is an amazing time to be Heathen, to be sure. We are well and truly blessed.

It is a tremendous responsibility to represent the gods. It is one none of us should take lightly.

Tarot Tuesday Three-Card Reading

Posted in Tarot on April 6, 2021 by Occult Detective

Welcome to the rebirth of Tarot Tuesdays. I thought I would start things off with a reading — a simple three card draw. For those unfamiliar, three card readings are often done for quick answers to pertinent questions. They represent the past, present, and future.

Today I’ll be using a deck of my own design — The Occult Detective Tarot. Let’s see what the Fates have in store for us.

We’ll start this off with a not so simple question, “How will we fare as we come out of the pandemic?”

The first card drawn is from the Major Arcana — The Devil. The Past Position represents recent events that have transpired leading up to the present situation, relating to your question. In this case, The Devil represents a seduction by the material world, but can also depict fear or bondage. I guess this is fitting as we see many of our COVID restrictions being lifted. We are moving away from the fear and lockdown protocols.

The second card is the 7 of Water, the card of Shamanism. This is the Present Position and reflects our current state of affairs as related to the question at hand. The 7 of Water represents the ability to see through illusion. I have my own thoughts on why this card found its way into this draw, I’ll let you make your own conclusions.

The third card drawn is the 8 of Air, the Private Eye. This is the Future Position and typically shows the probable outcome. The Private Eye is hard-nosed and down-on-his (or her) luck, trapped by circumstance, but dogged and persevering. They tend toward having a victim mentality. Everyone’s out to get ’em. Is this saying that, as we (meaning the majority) slide back into our day to day lives, that we will feel set upon, that we will be working to persevere against an oppression brought on by pandemic response?

Can you see another interpretation?

Food for thought. And that’s why tarot is an invaluable tool…

Magick by Trial and Error

Posted in Magick with tags on April 5, 2021 by Occult Detective

We in the occult community all have origin stories. Mine is no stranger than most, though I did get an early start thanks to a steady diet of comic books, horror movies, and ghost stories around countless campfires, both real and proverbial. My foray into magical practice came after a thirst for hunting monsters, boogeymen, spirits, and the fae. It was initiated by my belief that those things were real and that if I was going to interact with them, I needed the sort of protection that only magick could afford.

My first book on the magical world was Unseen Forces by Manly Palmer Hall. It had been my great-grandmother’s. Through it, I learned that magick was real, as were all manner of elemental creatures and spirits and the like. I was eight years old. I had never been beholden to my Christian upbringing, and it was shortly after reading this book that I began exploring the gods of Germanic Heathenry. It seemed natural to me that the gods of my ancestors were more salient to my ambitions, especially if I were to pursue the esoteric as a matter of course.

When you’re young, especially in the rural Indiana of the early 1970s, a magical education was not easy to come by. But I managed, thanks to the sparse collection of books in the Public Library, such as the works of Sybil Leek, Richard Cavendish, and Arthur Edward Waite, but it was Francis King’s Techniques of High Magic that really opened a few doors for me.

It was a struggle though, which brings me, finally, to the subject of today’s missive. One of my biggest struggles for years was the very nature of the magical workings I was able to get my hands on. Most of it, variations on ceremonial magic, was so rigid, never mind overwhelmingly influenced by Christianity. Though I did the work, it felt wrong, and if there is a lesson I might impart, after more than forty years of this it is that magick is real and it is personal.

All of those books. All of that study. The lesson that came the slowest to me was that magick was not the rituals in these tomes. Magick is not a set of formulas and equations to be memorized and recreated verbatim. Oh, it works quite well if you do so, but you don’t have to adhere to any of it. While it’s true that there are some laws and protocols required to interact with preternatural intelligences, the actual art of magick is just that — an art. Yes, it can be approached like science, and with incredible results, but magick can be so much more, through embracing your own creativity.

Do the work. Learn the etiquette. But, by all that’s holy and unholy alike, once you’ve got a handle on it, make your own rules. Make your own magick, by trial and error.

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

What I’m Reading in 2021

Posted in The Library on March 5, 2021 by Occult Detective

2020 was a challenge. While my goal has always been reading 52 books a year, I used to read far more than that. As a reviewer, it was almost like a job. The last few years, I’ve been hovering around 57. I think this is going to be my last year chasing a book a week. I’m 55 years old. It’s time to slow down, to really immerse myself in what I’m reading. Review copies, because of COVID, have been few and far between. It’s time to start looking toward solely reading for pleasure again.

  1. Berkeley Noir, edited by Jerry Thompson & Owen Hill
  2. Centralia by Amodia, Bunn, Cesare, Hicks, Keene, & Quinn
  3. The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun by JRR Tolkien
  4. Tales of Norse Mythology by Helen A, Guerber
  5. A Means to Freedom: The Letters of HP Lovecraft & Robert E Howard: 1933-1936
  6. The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost
  7. Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier by Mark Frost
  8. The Saga of the Volsungs with The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, translated by Jackson Crawford
  9. Fire & Blood by George RR Martin
  10. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
  11. The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman
  12. The Magical Battle of Britain by Dion Fortune
  13. The Viking Spirit by Daniel McCoy
  14. Weird Indiana by James Willis, Mark Marimen, and Troy Taylor
  15. Tales of Yog-Sothoth by Davenport, Hambling, Phipps, West, & Wilson
  16. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts — The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland by Bryan Sykes
  17. The Way of Fire and Ice — The Living Tradition of Norse Paganism by Ryan Smith
  18. The Vikings — A History by Robert Ferguson
  19. Odin — The Origins, History and Evolution of the Norse God by Jesse Harasta
  20. Trudvang Adventures Setting Companion
  21. Trudvang Adventures Heroes Companion
  22. Rites of Anglo-Saxon and Norse Paganism by Eric Wodening
  23. Mordenkainen’s Candlekeep Collectibles by Grim Press
  24. Swordfighting for Writers, Game Designers, and Martial Artists by Guy Windsor
  25. Candlekeep Mysteries by Wizards of the Coast
  26. Five Torches Deep by Sigil Stone
  27. Wyrd by Will Wright
  28. Old Norse for Modern Times by Sharpe, Vídalín, & Gillingham
  29. The Path & the Power by Swami Anand Nisarg
  30. Untold Sagas – Lore Book of Svilland by Dream Realm Storytellers
  31. Printer’s Error by JP and Rebecca Romney

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…

11th Annual Occult Detective Awards

Posted in Occult Detective Awards on January 4, 2021 by Occult Detective

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE NOVEL
2010 — A Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene
2011 — Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis
2012 — Tortured Spirits (Jake Helman Files) by Gregory Lamberson
2013 — Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas
2014 — The Last of the Albatwitches by Brian Keene
2015 — Human Monsters (Jake Helman Files) by Gregory Lamberson
2016 — The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost
2017 — HeX-Rated by Jason Ridler
2018 — The Outsider by Stephen King
2019 — Starry Wisdom by Peter Levenda
2020 — The Wise Friend by Ramsey Campbell

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE SHORT STORY
2010 — Ghosts Templar (Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter) by Guido Henkel
2011 — The Hellfire Club by William Meikle
2012 — Gathered Dust by W.H. Pugmire
2013 — In the Dark and Quiet by Joshua Reynolds
2014 — Bedlam in Yellow by William Meikle
2015 — Seeking Whom He May Devour by Joshua Reynolds
2016 — The Watcher at the Gate by William Meikle
2017 — When Soft Voices Die by Amanda DeWees
2018 — The Case of the Black Lodge by Aaron Vlek
2019 — Occult Legion: He is the Gate by James A. Moore and Charles R. Rutledge
2020 — Every Man and Every Woman Is a Star by Nick Mamatas

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE ANTHOLOGY/MAGAZINE
2010 — The Black Spiral: Twisted Tales of Terror, edited by Richard D. Weber
2011 — House of Fear, edited by Jonathon Oliver
2012 — A Cat of Nine Tales, edited by Tracy DeVore and Thaddeus Sexton
2013 — Weird Detectives, edited by Paula Guran
2014 — The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult, edited by Lon Milo DuQuette
2015 — A Grimoire of Eldritch Inquests, edited by Joshua Reynolds & Miles Boothe
2016 — The Weiser Book of the Fantastic and Forgotten, edited by Judika Illes
2017 — The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, edited by Judika Illes
2018 — Occult Detective Quarterly: Number 4 / Spring 2018
2019 — Occult Detective Magazine: Number 6 / Fall 2019
2020 — Centralia, edited by Cullen Bunn and Heath Amodio

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE/HORROR COLLECTION
2010 — Occultation and Other Stories by Laird Barron
2011 — Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre by HP Lovecraft
2012 — The Complete John Thunstone by Manly Wade Wellman
2013 — The Small Hand & Dolly by Susan Hill
2014 — Hitmen by Greg Mitchell
2015 — Night Music by John Connolly
2016 — The Midnight Eye Files Omnibus, Vol 1 by William Meikle
2017 — Carnacki: The Edinburgh Townhouse & Other Stories by William Meikle
2018 — We Are Where the Nightmares Go by C. Robert Cargill
2019 — Case Files of the Royal Occultist: Monmouth’s Giants by Josh Reynolds
2020 — Conquer by Edward Erdelac

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE AUDIO DRAMA/PODCAST
2010 — Edict Zero-FIS by Slipgate Nine Entertainment
2011 — Edict Zero-FIS by Slipgate Nine Entertainment
2012 — Operation Victor by Big Finish
2013 — Occult of Personality with Greg Kaminsky
2014 — Rune Soup with Gordon White
2015 — Rune Soup with Gordon White
2016 — The Horror Show with Brian Keene
2017 — Rune Soup with Gordon White
2018 — The Joe Rogan Experience
2019 — Monsters Among Us
2020 — Neil Gaiman & DC’s The Sandman

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE COMIC
2010 — John Constantine: Hellblazer
2011 — League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century – 1969
2012 — League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century – 2009
2013 — Drumhellar
2014 — The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
2015 — Providence
2016 — Providence
2017 — Black Magick
2018 — Hellblazer: 30th Anniversary Celebration
2019 — John Constantine: Hellblazer
2020 — John Constantine: Hellblazer

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE MOVIE
2010 — Inception
2011 — Drive Angry
2012 — Solomon Kane
2013 — Odd Thomas
2014 — Deliver Us From Evil
2015 — Bone Tomahawk
2016 — Dr. Strange
2017 — A Dark Song
2018 — The Possession of Hannah Grace
2019 — Doctor Sleep
2020 — The Wolf of Snow Hollow

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE TV SERIES
2010 — Supernatural
2011 — Fringe
2012 — 666 Park Avenue
2013 — Hannibal
2014 — True Detective
2015 — Constantine
2016 — The X-Files: Season 10
2017 — Lucifer
2018 — Strange Angel
2019 — Stranger Things
2020 — Helstrom

BEST OCCULT DETECTIVE REALITY SERIES
2010 — Destination Truth
2011 — Brad Meltzer’s Decoded
2012 — Deals from the Dark Side
2013 — Haunted Highway
2014 — The Curse of Oak Island
2015 — Expedition Unknown
2016 — The Curse of Oak Island
2017 — Expedition Unknown
2018 — The Occult Collector
2019 — Hellier
2020 — Portals to Hell

BEST OCCULT NON-FICTION
2010 — Perdurabo, Revised & Expanded Edition: The Life of Aleister Crowley by Richard Kaczynski, PhD
2011 — Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates
2012 — In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult by James Wasserman
2013 — The Best of the Equinox, vol 2: Dramatic Calls by Aleister Crowley & Lon Milo DuQuette
2014 — Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World by Gary Lachman
2015 — H.P. Lovecraft & the Black Magickal Tradition by John L. Steadman
2016 — The English Magic Tarot by Rex Van Ryn, Steve Dooley, & Andy Letcher
2017 — Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony by Julian Vayne
2018 — John Dee and the Empire of Angels by Jason Louv
2019 — The Grimoire of Aleister Crowley by Rodney Orpheus
2020 — The Dictionary of Demons: 10th Anniversary Edition by Michelle Belanger

BEST OCCULT MUSIC/SOUNDTRACK
2010 — Let Me In by Michael Giacchino
2011 — Keep The Streets Empty For Me by Fever Ray
2012 — Lucifer Rising and Other Sound Tracks by Jimmy Page
2013 — Runaljod – Yggdrasil by Wardruna
2014 — The Devil’s Hand by Anton Sanko
2015 — Constantine by Bear McCreary
2016 — Doctor Strange by Michael Giacchino
2017 — A Dark Song by Ray Harmon
2018 — Skald by Wardruna
2019 — Spells + Rituals by Charming Disaster (Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris)
2020 — Skapanir by Danheim

THE MANLY WADE WELLMAN AWARD
2010 — Brian Keene
2011 — William Meikle
2012 — Gregory Lamberson
2013 — Tim Prasil
2014 — John Constantine
2015 — Miles Boothe
2016 — Sam Gafford, John Linwood Grant, Travis Neisler, and Dave Brzeski
2017 — Joshua Reynolds
2018 — Charles R Rutledge
2019 — Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews-Newkirk (Planet Weird)
2020 — Si Spurrier & Aaron Campbell

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.

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