Grey Avatar – ‘Spiked Coffee’ – Part 1 of a Grey Wayfarer Serial

Happy Sif’s Day!

Grey Avatar – Part 1

I can speak from personal experience that if you are tired enough, you can sleep anywhere. In my case, I was sleeping on a park bench in the city’s main park. I slept here because the police had a tendency to patrol the roads where they could look into the park but rarely got out to deal with the homeless vagabonds like myself. Luckily it was also the middle of spring and the weather was arming up. I could get by with my jacket and trail boots. Didn’t like hats unless it was super cold.

Waking up, I realized I had slept Into mid-morning or so by the sun. It was chilly but not windy. A perfect day in some people’s minds. I sat up and checked all my things. Everything was present from my backpack to my trail boots. I was getting better at being vagabond and homeless.

How long had it been now – a year. That terrible day when my whole life had crumbled. They had pronounced her dead you see – my wife that is. I didn’t go back to work and then one day I just packed everything into my backpack and walked out. I haven’t been back. I have learned how little it takes to be and stay alive since that day.

If you see me on the street though, you would not think me homeless. I know ways to keep my hygiene up to snuff and keep my clothes in good repair. I pay attention to my hygiene and appearance. I even have a debit card and what little I earn goes into it. It’s enough to afford a gym membership to one of those national chains. So always a place to work out and shower is available to me and I use them. I have gotten in good shape (muscled and still standing tall despite my age), and daily showered, brush my teeth, and trim my beard. My beard is getting grey like my medium hair. Try to get a haircut once a couple months and then it is usually a buzz cut (minus the beard) so I can grow it a while before the next haircut.

It’s my eyes that tell you that I am different. If my wife were alive and you asked her, she would tell a tale of how she fell in love with my grey-blue eyes which she would describe as getting lost in the sea after a storm. It’s the one place you can look at my face and still see me as I was – hopeful, but sad. My fifty-five years weigh heavy, but I still stand straight as I can.

I wander. It’s what I do now. I don’t stay in a single place for more than a few weeks. Then I look up the next city that has a gym where I have a membership and move on to that one. I work a little and observe. I do a lot of watching people. Lovers, partners, workers, street vendors, police, and others. I see them all and for a short time watch their story unfold in front of me. Then I write what I see in my notebook. Once a notebook is full, I mail it to a friend to keep for me. She is the only one who knows where I am at all times and is sworn to silence. I don’t have a phone or address, so she can’t write back. But she promised to keep the notebooks until I return to get them.

Today I met a most interesting person. I would not be exaggerating if I were to say this person changed my life forever, but it is one of those tales that may require many entries to tell. I am not even sure of my own sanity at this point which I have heard means I am perfectly sane just perhaps have experienced a shock.

It started with meeting a fellow vagabond. Older than me and looking far more interesting. He looked like a wizard of sorts with his long beard and hair that was pure white. He was wearing a jacket and jeans so that through off the wizard vibes. But he had a long staff-like walking stick that was actually pretty cool with its steel banded ends. I looked a little opulent for him as the rest of him suggested wanderer,

He, interestingly enough, also had a cape with a hood that he kept over his head just enough to hide his eye. Yes, I said eye because where his left eye would be was an eyepatch of black fabric. Under the cape the bulge of a medium-sized backpack was apparent. He walked straight and tall which indicated for his age he must be still in great health and shape. But his face was otherwise lined with lines of concern and courage. If you get that you get that.

He approached me and I stiffened up naturally as I tend to do when I know someone wants to talk to me, but I don’t know who they are. I was intrigued by this man, but I could sense that he was not all he seemed to be on the surface. When he spoke, his voice was both wise and commanding.

“Leif Johanson, I have need of your assistance.”

“How do you know my name?”

“I know many things. Your name is simple enough to know”

I paused here checking my brain for any time I had revealed my true name to anyone. I don’t use it much except when needed for financial or legal matters, which are very few anymore.

“So what do you want with me, seeing you have gone through the trouble of finding out my name?”

“It was very little trouble actually, let’s just say a bird told me.”

It was then I noticed the two ravens. One was sitting on one of the branches near our conversation. For the life of me, I didn’t hear it fly to that spot even though I had been on this bench all morning. The other was further away sitting on a garbage can. Suddenly I felt more watched than ever. An uncomfortable feeling for a people watcher and a wanderer who likes to fly under the radar.

The stranger chuckled at his statement and I was now more uncomfortable.

“So what do you want with me?”

“Well, let’s not talk here. I would rather we talk over coffee. That coffee shop behind us will do. You can hear me out and I will buy you whatever drink you like and given the chill this morning we will both know the simple pleasure of a warm place, a warm drink, and a warm conversation, business though it may be. Will you accept my hospitality and hear me out?”

I did not dislike him but there was something about him that caused me to be on edge. But my ethics about hospitality, seeing he used the word, is that it is rude to turn it down if offered as hospitality. Just as rude as not to give it when necessity demands it.

“Very well, I accept your hospitality sir.”

We entered the coffee shop and found it empty as it was mid-morning. The early rush was over and the staff was waiting for the noon one in a couple of hours. We ordered our drinks. I ordered my standard hot chocolate, as I don’t like hot coffee very much, but I did want a warm-up before I returned to the park. The man I was with ordered black coffee but with a coffee bean I knew was expensive. He had high tastes. Who am I to say anything about this. In the summer I would be buying an iced coffee ( I prefer mine cold) and with the same attention to the bean I wanted. Vagabonds have their rich excentricities at times.

Once we got our drinks which only took the staff a couple minutes we found a seat as far away from the counter as the stranger I was with would walk. He wanted our conversation to be private as much as possible, apparently.

“Yes, this will do.”, he said.

At first, we said nothing as he pulled out a flask from inside his coat and added some of its contents to his coffee, and then offered some to me.

“More of your hospitality?”

“Yes, actually. This is mead. It will both sweeten your drink and enlighten your mind.

I nodded my acceptance, as I felt once again that hospitality rules required it. I didn’t think this man had any more to do with me other than offering me a proposal and this was a public place. I didn’t think the coffee would be spiked.

The mead combined with my hot chocolate was delightful. I actually felt fairly warm after a few sips and I felt a little more alert and mindful. If it was spiked I felt it would do the opposite, so genuinely magical. Perhaps my new acquaintance was a wizard after all or at least an alchemist.

“Thanks, this is very good.”

“Welcome, now to my proposal.”

Then he touched my hand and the world faded from existence.

End of Part 1

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.


“Changes and the Facebook Block” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Thor’s Day!

As you have probably guessed I am not writing every day. Mostly, I am still trying to get a sense of what I am trying to do at this point with this blog. Some changes I am thinking about:

  1. My Journal Posts need to be shorter so I will be breaking them down to dealing with a single virtue each. The Nine Noble Virtues and the Three Higher Virtues make 12 total and so three virtues a week adds up to four weeks.
  2. The nature of the thise journal posts will also change as I will be dealing with a single virtue alone. I am eliminating the idea of a principle as unnecessary baggage. I also am combining the notion of a goal and a bucket list item with each virtue as well. I am going to call these Vision Points instead . They still are goals / bucket list type things. The difference by doing this I will be eliminating about 6 things to focus un and reducing the list to twelve. A much more managable list. As I age, the idea that my irons in the fire need to be very specific becomes more important.
  3. Other posts will be new in many ways and I am still in the creative process of those. I am going to do some fiction writing in all that but also make the others simpler as well.
  4. The main issue is no post (other than my fiction posts) should be longer than 500 words.
  5. I am probably going to archive all the other pages under the page heading Archives. Time for a fresh page start with a new file cabnebt so to speak so don;t be allarmed if all the pages at the top ‘disappear’. The aill simply be all under the title “Archives’. There will be some exceptions most notably “The Rabyd Skald’ posts.

I want to take a moment to address those of you that may have followed me on Facebook. I recently discoverd this blog cannot post to Facebook because someone reported it as abusive. I don’t how and no explaination was given to me. I wasn’t even made aware until I tried to share my last post to Facebook and it wouldn’t let me. I am going to explore some options. It might be beneficial for my author page to go private so I can post these there again. I am not sure.

In any case, I apologize to those of you that now have to subscribe via email or directly through WordPress now to follow me.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Rogue Wizard Delay and Other Notes” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and the Wayfarer – Part 23

Happy Sols’ Day!

Rogue Wizard Delay:

No, it is not an accident there is a delay in the next chapter of Rogue Wizard and this is a The Grey and The Wayfarer post for The Rabyd Skald.  It’s connected to the fact that the more I think about writing this next chapter, the more the Grey seems to hit me.  It seems to be one of those moments where I have a choice about facing the Grey and walking through it – it needs to be done.  But when I do this is up to me.

Writing is therapy for me, as many of you know.  Sometimes it is unpleasant and has to be done. Other times it flows.  I this case I know what I want to do and what should be done and they are the same. The problem is the process of writing is going to be an emotional roller coaster. So I am having trouble,  but I will have it done by next week but not this week. Apologies.

Support Group:

My support group is working out very well. I mean it is great to have fellow former clergy to talk to who are also non-believers in anything.  It makes everyone relatable and a lot of them have been through the process and at a later age than me so they help out a lot in keeping my feet on the ground and standing.

My Therapist: 

My therapist and I have had two sessions.  Doing it on Skype allows me to see her and she can see me so it gives me a genuine reactions both ways.  She is a good listener and hasn’t been judgmental at all.  Mostly though she has listened to me and thinks that next session we can start working on a plan.  The main two issues I deal with on this level are my change of identity and my marriage.

Job Coach: 

Through The Clergy Project, I also have job help for my career change.  I decided that even though I could use a new job soon to go more organic and find what fits me as well.  I don’t want to be doing a job I hate just to pay the bills anymore. So what do I enjoy and can make money at the same time is a journey of discovery and my job coach is taking me on and she is really thinking January or February which still is within my goal of having this done by March.

Reading List:

I was reminded by my wife that there are many books on my shelf that I have not read and should read them. So new books only when needed to keep the pattern of a non-fiction book; then a fiction book.  I haven’t been doing well on this yet, but I have started. Mostly though it is going to be a process of going through my library and pulling out things I haven’t read and putting them together to work through the rest of this year and next.

Writing Books:

I have come to the conclusion that I need to do my book writing like I do this blog.  I need about 3-5 projects at once and rotate them so boredom does not set in. Basically, I have three non-fiction books and two fiction in the hopper now.  I try to make progress on one or more every day.  It is the word count that matters.

Final Word:

Thanks for everyone’s patience.  My emotions tend to dominate my writing more than other things in my life. I have been able to be consistent on this blog, but other things need consistency too. Thanks for reading.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“A Blog Change I Have Been Meaning to Make” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Thor’s Day

Hey, it’s been a while since I did a regular The Rabyd Skald post.  Unfortunately, the time of year is difficult so mostly it is The Grey and The Wayfarer when I do one of these.  But today if you are a regular you noticed that no post dropped at 9 am and that was no accident.  This a change I have been wanting to make which is to start dropping posts in the afternoon.

There many reasons for this:

  1. I often find myself rushing as I get ready to be at work and sometimes a post just needs a little more loving care before it drops, but I skip it so I can go to work and just let it drop. This will allow me time to do a little love editing on each of my children known as posts, and then they will be a little cleaner and better.
  2. Traffic for my posts is actually statistically better for posts I drop in the afternoon instead of the morning. I get more engagements at least.
  3. I would feel better if I gave every post one last look right before it drops which given my work schedule, the afternoon is the beat time to do this.

So starting today with this post, my posts will drop at 4 pm. The one exception is on Sun’s Day which will still be The Pagan Pulpit at 10 am.   The reason for that is personal – I used to start the service and preach in my former church at 10 am.  So I preach from a little different pulpit these days at the same time.  For you pagans out there that used to be Christians, it is probably better understood.  Kind of a middle finger to my former ‘friends’ of that church. Image may contain: 1 person, beard, text that says 'You don t lose friends. You lose undercover haters. Real friends can never be lost.' Fuck You Haters!!!

Other Writing Notes:

I know I have promised this before but more fiction posts are coming. The Rogue Wizard has been difficult to write at this moment for personal reasons as well. I am thinking it will be better after the summer is over or the next chapter is finished.  In that chapter I essentially destroying most of the visages of what was the past in that series idea and moving on.  It is hard to do from an emotional point of view.  Try destroying something you put a lot of love into so you can move on, and then tell me something about it.  Until then you don’t have a clue.

When I do start my short story writing I will probably be doing alternative and very adult versions of Grimm’s Fairy tales.  Poetry has been rough or the same reason as The Rogue Wizard.  Poems are very emotional for me and have an automatic connection with someone that I can no longer have contact with but the memories of them surface for me every time I write a poem. Fall I might be able to muster something.

I have another post I want to write about using Role Playing Games as an inspiration but I might do a series very similar or The Adventures of Ayn Jones.  Something I did a long time ago taking the character creation process of a Megatraveler Character and bringing it to life with a very complete backstory.  I might very well use Megatraveller again to do this because it is Science Fiction.

Well, that is all the writing notes for now.  Don’t be surprised if another The Grey and The Wayfarer drops soon.  When The Grey builds to a point I have to write about it to deal with it.

One last note, there will be no Odin’s Eye today.  I have a lot of refitting and resting to do before the next couple of weeks.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – Warrior Mind (Part 2)

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

When it comes to a warrior mind, the Business Virtues are in many ways doing the business of war during peace.  Self-Reliance prepares for war in peace by making sure one is independent and free to act in one’s interest as best as possible.  Industriousness is working so one has the resources one needs when the battles of life start. Hospitality means one is known for grace and mercy because it leads quicker to peace after a war is over and often you might need grace and mercy for yourself.

Your dealings with others and how they perceive you and respect you go a long way to being successful when battles come. Being known as independent, hard-working and gracious is a far better reputation than being dependent, lazy and unmerciful. It is easy to make peace with life and enjoy it when your reputation is solid.  At least this is true for your own self if not for others.


“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual but also for the family, clan, tribe, and nation.”

Principle: To achieve and maintain personal independence and advocate for independence in my family, state and nation.

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by the end of June 2019 or before.

Bucket List: To own and run my own successful business or company.

The job search is a little frustrating right now and I am glad I set things back to the end of June so school will be out in a couple weeks and I can give the job search my full attention.  I have given my word to my wife if I can find a job in Michigan by the end of June that fits the bill I would do it. If not, then my search hits the whole country. Owning my own business is the ultimate in self-reliance and the goal here.


“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

Goal: Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published.

The degree is almost done.  About three weeks now before the semester is over and all requirements are finished. My novel idea is taking root in my heart of five childhood friends that set out together to find adventure.  I like it and I think the five characters I have in mind are not typical, but rather represent a good adventure team.


“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.

Goal: By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader of a support group of some kind.

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

I have to say if I get a job, I hope it is in a place with a little higher population density. I think that will make support groups, in general, a more viable option as well as owning a home of the right size.  Something me and the wife talk about which both of us agree on the minimum necessary to be comfortable for both of us.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

Justice keeps my life balanced. For all my talk of mercy and grace earlier, it should be noted that part of justice is to know when you have had enough of someone’s shit or when they have betrayed your trust.  Don’t have to deal with those people in my mind or treat them well when you encounter them.  I have a short list of such people and I think that it is simply exercising justice to myself.

 Daily Routine:

  1. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  2. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  3. Reading – half-hour. Priority order: work, school, pleasure
  4. Study / Homework / Research: half hour per day minimum or until all necessary work is completed.
  5. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, other.
  6. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  7. Weekly Routine Items
  8. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

Next week I am going to do some routine shuffle and rearrangement.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


The Rabyd Skald – Weekend Musings and Writing Plans

Happy Saturn’s Day

By way of announcements:

  1. There will be no Crossing Bifrost today as I am very much near the end of the semester and I am trying to complete some extra work for school plus get my Routines back on track.  Possible finish off another class’ work today.  For the same reason and as a gesture of respect to the Christians out there doing their Easter celebrations, there will be no Pagan Pulpit this Sun’s Day either.  I have said my piece on Thor’s Day about the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in my post on the subject.
  2. What will happen is this post on some writing plans today as well as some other wandering thoughts.  Tomorrow on Sun’s Day I will post the next installment of Rogue Wizard.  I also plan on canonizing a poem I wrote last week sometime this weekend as well.

Well, time for a few musings and wandering thoughts.

This is the first Easter season where I honestly can say I haven’t been stressed out.  I am no longer a minister so I am not preparing a message or getting a service ready.  I have to work at my job, probably because all the Christians asked for the day off, but I am good with that. I actually have more peace about it than anything else.  I just wonder if I will be working alone.

I am hopefully going to get my first walk in of the season today.  I have been waiting for a sunny day that is above 50 degrees and so today may be the first hike of the wandering skald. Hiking is a real spiritual thing for me and I am looking forward to the walk.  After that as long as it is above 45 degrees walking will take place.

The Grey has been thankfully very light right now. It is more of a dull boring sensation than depression.  More of an annoyance than anything else. I guess part of that is I have come to look at my memories of this time last year as more of a challenge o picking out the good and discarding the bad.  That will be far more difficult this summer, but right now it isn’t that hard.

Writing plans:

Part of getting back on track with all my routines is setting my writing goals.  Most notably my goals for my novel and my non-fiction book. I think I have narrowed things down a bit.

For my non-fiction book I am going to do something involving the Bible and Skepticism.  My former Christian friends might not like it but I am thinking of doing a harmony of the gospels from a skeptics point of view.  I guess announcing this at Easter is fitting in some ways as it marks a turn of thought for me.  The book will be more designed for the popular press written in something that anyone with a basic education can understand but I may do another version that is scholarly first then rewrite it for publication.

For my novel, I am going to go pure fantasy.  I had an idea a long time ago of five friends who after growing up together in a small medieval fantasy city decide to take up adventuring together in an old blog that is now deleted.  I am thinking though it might make a good novel.  It is the kind of story I would like to read so it should be fun to write.

Here on this blog I am moving slowly forward with Rogue Wizard.  I must say that The Grey Wayfarer series is not so much halted as it is me taking some time to continue my research into Norse mythology before I continue with it.  That series is more about quality than quantity. I am therefore taking a lot more time with it. Rogue Wizard on the other hand is placing myself into situations as the main character is basically me on a divergent timeline. This makes it easier to write.  I have noted since I decided to engage my memories instead of avoid them, I have found it easier to write in general.  Sill need a new muse, but I will find her somewhere I am sure.

Enjoy your weekend, there should be a Poem and A Story somewhere for you.  This week coming up I will be talking about the Pagan Holiday Walpurgis on Odin’s Eye.  This is the May Eve celebrations.  So for you pagan’s out there do not fear, we will get past this to our own stuff.

As a final announcement, on Thursday I passed 200 days straight blogging.  With this post today it will be 202.  So I have 163 days to go for a whole year.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.



Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 7 – Painful Revelations

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 14th, 2019 (cont.)

I found my clothes on a table just outside the room and a couple of towels.  I was still a little wet from whatever process they had washed me off with, so I dried off. and then started getting dressed. It was then that I felt eyes watching me.  The Lioness of course and two other individuals – Lunette and Raven.

“Now all you ladies have me at a disadvantage.  You have now all seen me in the buff, but other than Lunette in middle school, I have not seen any of you in your natural state. Any takers?  No?  Well, excuse me.”

The three of them seemed a little self-conscious, so they looked away as best they could but I continued to catch glances.  I smiled.  Underwear, t-shirt with workout saying, socks, jeans, hiking boots, necklace with Valknut symbol, wedding band, sweatshirt hoodie with local university on front.

“Mr. Raby, do you use enchantments at all?”

“No, not yet anyway.  Never had he need, always focused my studies on how magic in and of itself could help me.  Enchantments are nice to have but they can be taken from you, if you lose what is enchanted.”

“You could do an enchanted tattoo”, Raven suggested.

“Yes, I could.  Combination of alchemy and enchantment and attached to my skin.  Might be worth considering.  Speaking of alchemy, nice bit of work there Lunette with the lipstick.”

Lunette looked down at her feet.

“Can I ask if the alchemy works on everyone, or it was just targeted to me?”

“Targeted. made the formula from a lock of you hair I took back in middle school.  I was surprised the formula hadn’t gone inert, but it was still active.”

“Shit knocked me out fast, figured it was targeted.  That long ago?  What was the occasion?”

“That day when we were freshmen in High School. When you grabbed my arm when I was being a bitch to you.  You basically told me to back down and I was pissed about it.  Wanted a weapon to target you.”

I nodded. I remember that day.  I said something to the effect that I was like crack cocaine to her, so she was vulnerable to me and needed to knock off the snotty bitch thing. Enough reminiscing, need information.

“Well, ladies what happened to the Red Tree Grove? Best theories please.”

Lunette spoke first.

“She must have decided to leave and give up immortality. Only thing that fits.  She didn’t pick a replacement, so her power simply diffused. The protective power was gone about ten years ago, so I went inside. The tree was still alive but barely.  Those three scars you helped heal.  Someone had opened them up again. Given that she was the only one living there at the time, she might have done it herself.”

“Well fuck.  Yeah, trying to break her addiction completely.  No tree, no drug. Where do you think she went?”

This time the Lioness spoke.

“We don’t think she kept her physical form.  We think she went completely spirit form.  It would allow her to possess any female she wanted, and keep a long life possible for her.  She could move from female to female and occupy them. Use them as hosts to live for a long time. Then move on.  Only problem is that every time she would switch she would lose a part of herself.”

“Any leads on that?”

“One, you.”


“Yeah, the woman you had an affair with? She might have been one of them.  Highly likely.”

This stunned me for a minute, then.  Of course it would explain how could she have connected with me so well and so quickly and how I also had changed in my thoughts about her.  I mean up until February she was just another woman in the congregation, then that all changed.

“How much control would she have had? Over her host I mean?”

Raven spoke this time.

“Only when it was truly needed, she would be too weak otherwise.  Indirect influence most likely. The woman had her own choices, but perhaps there was a nudge from Elpis.”

I cringed at the name.

“Oh, sorry.”

“No, it’s OK. I have been running from this too long. I suppose it was inevitable that both Elpis and Miss Salty would be mentioned. Time to quite avoiding and face what they were to me.  Both loves of mine and lost.”

“I guess I would fall in that category too.”, Lunette injected. Sad tone in her voice too.

“Yes, you would and my wife now that she has been killed by the Council. I don’t have any loves that are not lost in some way now. I’m alone.”

Those last two words hung there for a minute.  Like a diagnoses of cancer said aloud. Lunette seemed a little pained by it.

Raven spoke first, “You might find love again.”

“Right now, I don’t want it.  It hurts too much; too risky.  Need to mourn my wife for a bit yet.  Promised myself, if she died I would mourn her for at least six months. It’s only been a couple. I honored our Christian vows when we got back together, would have continued if she had lived. I don’t really have that view anymore so my next love, if there is one, would have different rules.”

I turned to face all of them.

“OK, the only thing left for me is family. They will be in danger as long as I am alive.  What’s the plan?  What do you want me to do?”

Writer’s Notes

I know, I broke my initial rule about mentioning Elpis and Miss Salty. But it is time I faced down my real life actions and dealt with the emotions of this whole thing. 

For a long time when it comes to fiction I have been struggling to find some inspiration and I think it is because I have been avoiding this issue of late.  I need a new motivation, a new muse to write for. Instead I have been dealing with The Grey that results from emotional constipation. I think laying things out there ends the bullshit at least and now things can get flowing again.  Like an enema for my emotions. Gross but accurate.  

I write fiction from emotion.  It is definitely a more heart then through the mind thing.  Non-fiction is the other way around, so it is easier.  This last week has been me struggling to get past this and I think I have some relief at this point.  Still some things to work out, but I feel for the first time I can write at least a little more freely when it comes to fiction.  Hopefully I am right.  If I am, you all should be seeing more fiction from me very soon. 

Practically for this series, it eliminates the past almost completely for my alter ego. His decision to fake his death would mean; at least for a time, he would be walking alone and too busy for a relationship.  Not saying there won’t be something in the future, but for now love is going to be kept at arm’s length.

In real life, my wife (alive and well) and I have made a strong commitment to make our relationship work.  There are some more obstacles because of my change of faith and my attitude about a lot of things in general has changed as well, but we work on them.  It has been hard at times, but for he most part we are a loving couple again. 

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 9 – Avoiding vs. Facing (Plus Some Writing Notes)

Happy Wooden’s (Odin) Day

I haven’t given a family warning for a while, but the rest of this post probably has one.  I am simply going to be very real for a bit with my feeling about what was going on last year and how it affects me now. If you want to know simply what my writing plans are then you can scroll down to that and start reading there. I will give it a headline.

I wouldn’t give you a nickel for how I felt this past weekend..  I knew memories of last year at this same time were going to be rough, but this is downright painful at times.  Like pins under your fingernails painful.  Then to protect myself from said pain, I go Grey. That feeling of nothing being preferable to the pain and sadness. I hate when people say – “Get over it” or “Move on”.  I think to myself when I hear this: “Yes, this is where I want to be.  To have a choice between sorrow and nothing,  Yeah, this is fun.”  People who say such things, don’t have a fucking clue, and they should probably just learn some shit about depression and then shut up and be thankful you don’t fight this particular battle.

I am conflicted at times as to what strategy to employ as far as dealing with memories. There are simply times; I note, there is no way not to be triggered. So avoiding the memory is not an option.  But then how to confront and face them then?  The real problem of course is not all my memories are bad ones.  There was some good things taking place through a certain relationship last year, it is just the relationship that was doing some of those good things was ‘toxic’ or ‘wrong’.  I don’t know how else to express it, but there were some good things happening for me but other people might say it wasn’t good how it was happening.

I wasn’t moping around in April of 2018, I was actually feeling quite confident and good.  My female friend at the time was helping me deal with things that were a bummer and I was loving her for it. She was keeping the Grey at bay for me or maybe my love for her was, I don’t know. I still miss that friendship, and it hurts that it is gone.  Probably always will.

Unfortunately, we both took things too far.  We let our friendship grow into something else. Something far more intimate emotionally than was probably safe for both of us.  But I think given the state of my marriage at the time; I probably didn’t care as much then as I would now.  Our counselor said my affair was actually pretty typical. Marriage sucked, you didn’t feel loved, you hurt.  Someone else expresses love for you in some way and you are drawn to them like a moth to flame. Nothing special, happens all the time.  Sounds common and base; something I dislike, but there it is.

This weekend was rough because I was; as I often do, sifting through my Facebook memories and there was her name.  Something I had tagged her in.  Fuck it but if it didn’t trigger an immediate emotional response.  A mix of sadness, loss, grief and who knows what else. It is the kind of emotions you get when something good has turned bad or died. The whole thing hurt again and I wanted to crawl up inside and die.  But I didn’t, I kept going. I have to.  It’s all I know. I turned on the Grey and went forward choosing to feel nothing and not all that. Weird thing this time I couldn’t keep it on all the time.  I kept alternating between nothing and sadness. It sucked. I actually cried once.

Despite this, I have concluded avoid things is not an option.  I will not do that.  Let Facebook and other memories come. I need to learn to deal with this.  Let it make me stronger. Let it make me handle The Grey better. I just know this is really the small shower before the storm that will be later this spring and then this summer. It is the warm up and if I can’t learn how to handle this now, the time between now and the end of August is going to seriously suck. Well, it’s going to suck regardless, but I need to learn how to face it so I keep going and that it sucks less.  That’s all for now.

Time to talk about writing.

Writing Notes:

I have a struggle with the non-Fiction book that I am trying to resolve.  Here is the thing, I could be one helluva critic of Religion in general and The Bible and Christianity in particular.  I could write books that would seriously challenge both and possibly make a shit ton of money doing it. It would make all the past learning and experiences as a minister not feel like such a waste of time, if I could use them to build a new future with writing books.  The flip side is I still have a lot of friends who are religious and Christians, including my wife. This would seriously put some shit out there between us.  At the same time I feel what they believe is a fraud and their lives would be better without it.  Shit.

My novel is a little easier. But at the same time genre is important. I have written every fiction genre at one time or another.  Even ones I didn’t really care for and by writing them I found out that I didn’t really care for them.  My best bet would probably be to create a fantasy setting and go with that.  The reason is you can do anything with that.  But my passion is modern fantasy.  What to choose?  I also should note I won’t be writing this novel for a children’s or young adult audience – definitely adult stuff.  So yep – adult situations, sex, and violence.

As far as the blog goes, I am going to try to get out two installments of Rogue Wizard.  One for Thursday and one for Friday.  It’s time for them.  The timeline shift is going to cause the character based on me to have a major life change so that nothing in his life will relate to what is going on in my real life. The purpose of this is to change the nature of the story into something that is pure fiction.  Or mostly pure as the kind of decisions my alter ego would make will still be based on what I would really do in that situation.

Walking The Grey,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


Rogue Wizard – The Fire of Fury – Part 4 – Ghost Church

Happy Tyr’s Day. 

Rogue Wizard’s Journal January 7th, 2019

After two days of waiting for Lunette to show up; but she remained a no show, I finally had one of those problems that required me to leave the house. I was running out of food. So, I threw my college hooded sweatshirt over my shoulders and after gathering my wallet and my keys headed out.  Winter had finally arrived with the snow and cold; so I braced against the wind as I walked along. It jumped into the Dodge Journey and took off toward the nearest town with a Wal-Mart.

Based on what I knew, this would mean crossing the battle lines into mage territory, but it was midday and so I wasn’t to worried that the forces of mages would attack me.  They don’t like that kind of attention.  Despite this, I kept myself alert. Of course the benefit of being a battle-mage is that you carry your weapons with you at all times. No concealed weapon permit required. I went to Wal-Mart, got my groceries and a few other items and after paying, loaded the Dodge up and headed home.

There was some sort of accident; probably due to the snow and ice, on my normal route home. So the authorities were routing people different ways.  I turned on a side street long before that and took a way that was a little more circuitous but would still get me home in short order.  It was one of those roads that thirty years ago had been busy but with the freeway since was pretty abandoned.  I was driving by an old abandoned church and a strange feeling struck me.

Remember that thing about magic being drawn to magic?  That is what was happening. I could sense it.  I stopped the car and backed up into the church’s small parking lot.  The sign read ‘Faith Church” but the message in the message board of the sign said –
‘Closed’.  The snow couldn’t disguise the fact that the yard had been overgrown with weeds. There were no other buildings close by and in fact trees kind of isolated this small church with it’s small steeple on a corner of the road.  It had been painted white, but it was slipping into gray. The front doors were chained.

As I looked at the chained doors, I was thinking about how remarkably similar this church was to my last one as far as design.  Tall steeple with a sanctuary over the basement.  The little white church of song and postcards. Mine had been much larger but just as old and made of Michigan white pine.  It required constant maintenance to just keep it looking good and standing.  Expensive maintenance that I had often wondered what good could have been done to help people with all that money. Didn’t matter anymore, but this whole concept of maintaining a building sure seems to be an excuse not to help people in retrospect.

I approached the doors and looked at the lock. I could feel something drawing me to the inside, but I with the chained door I was pretty much stuck looking through the windows.  They were stained glass, so there was no way to really see inside. Then the lock popped open.  I looked twice and double checked the lock but it had been opened. The chains fell open as I removed it, and I opened the right door.

Oddly enough the inside was in pretty good repair. The entry way had its coat rack and bulletin board on which remained a couple newspaper clippings. It was the obituaries first of the last pastor of the place.  The second of a nineteen year old girl.  Date of death for both was the same day.  Then memory bank in my head awakened and I remembered the story from ten years ago.

The pastor and this young lady had been having an affair. His wife found out and threatened to tell the whole congregation if he didn’t end it.  He did end it, by committing suicide.  The girl was the one who discovered the body and she too killed herself.  Star-crossed lovers.  What a tragic and evil tale. All because of the judgmental nature of Christians, who righteousness is supposedly as filthy rags, but they had created an atmosphere of self-righteousness so strong, that the shame of what was happening was too great, so they ended their lives.

Of course my own failure at marriage fidelity flooded my memories at that moment.  The story was similar, but the end very different.  I guess the difference was I left my faith behind. The judgmental nature of supposed sinners who bask in the forgiveness of God when given to them; but then turn around and judge harshly other sinners is a hypocrisy I simply dismiss as no longer part of my life.  The anger of all that was welling inside me; however, and I could feel the fury building my magical rage.

With that thought a voice spoke behind me.

“Tragic isn’t it?”

I turned around expecting to see some caretaker, but instead I saw a ghost. A literal ghost. Well, two actually.   The first looked like a middle-aged gentleman in a suit and tie. He had glasses and in his free hand was a Bible.  His other hand held the hand of a young beautiful woman.  She was in a dress and had a flower in her hair.  Colors are difficult with ghosts, as they are usually white and various shades of grey.  The flower in her hair however was red and gold indicating it was something special to her.  She smiled at me.  Of course they were both partially transparent, as I could see coat rack behind them

Now I have met ghosts before. Most of them are pretty harmless; just souls with some unfinished business.  I of course had that first moment of queasy stomach knowing you talking to someone dead,  then I was OK.

“Actually, I was thinking about how my own story is pretty close to yours, only without the ending.”

“Yes, that ending could have been different.  What is commonly known is not even true. We were actually found naked in each others arms.  We had made love one last time before taking the pills. They left that out; changed the whole story actually. That and the fact were found up on the pulpit on a blanket on the floor.  One last ‘desecration’ they wanted to forget by not talking about it.  What you probably know is false.  That tends to be the way of things.”

I smirked as I recognized the sarcasm in his voice; so similar to my own.  He chuckled and as I looked at the girl, she looked down and had her cheeks been able to show color they might have shown a little blush.

“Don’t worry about it young lady.  You were in love and had nothing to be ashamed of in truth. I don’t get it though, what’s the unfinished business both of you could have?”

The girl spoke this time.  Her voice was a soft soprano, I could tell she must have sung in the choir.

“We are were not sure for a long time. My mother and his wife are still alive. Both of us had harsh last words with them, but it doesn’t explain it.  Although if it is the reason then when they die, we might fade but we no longer think so.  We felt you drive by and now know what it is.”

“Me.  I don’t recall meeting either of you in life.”

The man spoke this time.

“Basically Dickens and his ghost Marley in a Christmas Carol.  One last act of penance to someone who needs our message.  We know now that someone is you.”


“Yes, we know your story, it was heavy on your thoughts a few moment ago. That fury inside you is very powerful. It needs release or it will consume you, like our love consumed us. The fire it creates burns everything and if you don’t find a target outside yourself to direct it towards…. ”

The girls voice was hauntingly beautiful as she spoke.   I nodded at her words.

“My fury is directed at those who have lied about me and at the Council for killing my wife when we were just beginning to love each other deeply again.  In part, I suppose it is fueled by my loneliness and the thoughts of a few treacherous actions I want justice for.  Christianity’s ‘turn the other cheek’ seems very stupid when it comes to justice.”

The man spoke this time.

“Yes, it does cause people to be abused and shamed then justify those that do it to them. Understand we are not saying your fury is bad; just dangerous. Our message to you is a little more centered on letting go of the past, so you can focus that fire of your fury at a proper target now and not at yourself.”

I nodded.  I knew what he meant. My rage was mostly self-destructive right now.  It didn’t create any positive action.  The only positive effect is that it fueled my magic with tremendous power. But where to focus that power?

“You said you had a message for me, each of you.  What is it?”

“You first my dear,” the man said.

“I speak to you as a woman with a woman’s heart. This last year you have loved two women deeply.  One hurt you and the other forgave you.  I want to submit to you that the one that hurt you might have done you a tremendous favor.  You may very well have avoided a lot of rage directed at you and her because of her choice to leave you.  I don’t know her, but I know it crossed my mind more than once to leave; so we could live and maybe love again.  It might have been her motivation.  She may have been the smart one on the decision, because you couldn’t be. If there is a need for forgiveness that will help you and not upset your sense of justice; it is probably to forgive her.”

Tears poured down my cheeks.  The truth of what she said made it hurt again, but her words rang true, and I had made a commitment to the truth. As I  looked at the ghost girl I saw her start to fade.  She had been right.  Her unfinished business was her message to me.

The man looked at her.

“Go my dear, I will be along shortly.”

I watched as the girl completely disappeared.  Then he looked at me.  He looked like he was about to cry himself.

“My message is man to man. I have learned the folly of worrying too much about what people will think of me.  I paid for that with my foolish death. The only honor that matters is what you have for yourself. Remember that, when opinion is against you for doing the right thing or even for just following your heart.  Your honor is within you, it is not the product of whether other people respect you or not. Had I known that, the two of us might still be alive.”

I nodded again and then he too began to fade.

“Looks like we were right.”

“Thank you, both of you.”

He nodded and faded out of sight.  Now the church foyer had a truly empty feeling. Whatever spirit this little church had left and now passed on to the other side.  It was indeed abandoned now.  Kind of a metaphor for my faith in truth. I walked out,  padlocked the chains back in place, and then went home.

I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do know that the lessons those two ghosts taught me are going to be with me for a bit.

Author’s Note: You will notice that the dates for the journals are now slipping into the past.  This is by design as one of the magical forms my character uses is divination. The ability to see the future is part of that. From an authorship stand point that means using twenty- twenty hindsight instead.  There will be times where nothing is happening, and the time line used here can catch up, but I am going to keep it at leas a month into the past from now on to reflect the characters powers.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.



The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer (Part 5) – A Time of Memories


Happy Thor’s Day

It is hard to believe but I haven’t written a The Grey and the Wayfarer post since early Yuletide. I have been busy enough; I think, to keep The Grey at least in check in my life and continue to walk the path. Recent days have seen a change in my mind I guess and mostly it is due to the fact that at this time last year, I began to start a time of year that is now a bittersweet memory. Mostly bitter in the end. It is not just a time of memory and struggle for me, but for my wife as well.  There is a flood of emotions about these memories for both of us and they run the whole spectrum, but mostly I notice that they have a depressive effect for me.

I think the best way to walk this path through The Grey is to firstly know that these memories are not just going to go away.  Ignoring them will not help me; nor will pretending they do not exist. That just leads to a worse mental state and that is not going to help.  There is a lot of guilt associated with many of them now, and I need to work through them to get over that.  Personally, I know it is going to be rough but I need to walk through it to make myself a better man on the other side of it.

The second thing I think needs to happen is that new good memories need to be created.  I have two significant milestones coming up during this time:  1) My 50th birthday – personally I don’t care if it celebrated, and I am not sure given last year who would come to such a thing, but it is a significant thing to be a half a century old.   2) My wife and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary on June 10th. Given that we spent last anniversary apart, I think it is very important that we celebrate this one and do it together. I guess I would rather see a celebration here by family as well for a lot of reasons. Mostly we need a celebration of our love for each other.

In the meantime, every day is a journey of another step toward where I want to be.  There are many forks and crossroads ahead. I need to make wise decisions as to which path to take. The problem of course with The Grey, and why I am taking it pretty seriously right now, is that it is like an overcast sky that can make the things unclear and not as illuminated as they could be as I choose which path to take.  It is why I stick to my plans and goals with discipline, despite what I feel at times, so I keep moving.

The one writing note I have at this time is that I am planning on doing some fiction writing soon.  It has just been a little difficult to get my Muse to kick my ass into gear about it. I don’t know, she might be asleep or on vacation. In any case though, I have a lot of time off from work next week; and unless that changes, I plan on filling that with school, continuing my  job search and writing fiction.

Thanks to all that read this blog. You are appreciated.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.