Saturday, December 5, 2020

The Amazing Adventures of Meltdown Girl (Why my stuff is not available on Amazon)

This post was originally written for The Many Pen-Names of Morgan Drake Eckstein under the title--The Amazing Adventures of Meltdown Girl (How losing access to Amazon is affecting my production schedule) 

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 It is official. After twenty-five years of peace among the leaders of Denver’s Wiccan community, the Second Denver Witch War has started. And I am the first causality of DWW2. Happy, happy—joy, joy—right? 

Yes, it is going to affect the production schedule—as in “Everything is on hold until further notice.” 

Why? Because some witch thought that it was a suitable punishment for me to have my Amazon author account terminated. Me and my wife chose not to march in lock-step with a Big Name Witch, and now we need to be punished for our wrongful disobedience. 

Nice, right? I am guessing that this is going to be another case of putting lipstick on a pig, and claiming that it is about “Community service, and not elevating ourselves over others.” Because baby witches need to be protected from the fraudulent and predatory—and I am an evil predator. Unlike those community serving witches who are protecting you from me. 

For the one person who hasn’t heard the story yet: After enjoying twenty-five years of relative peace in the Denver Wiccan community, three and a half years ago (after the death of a prominent peacekeeping leader) a bunch of apex monopoly seekers decided that what Denver’s Wiccan community needed the most was a Gatekeeper to assassinate all the unworthy witches who had been allowed to infest the community with their pestilence and corruption during the previous twenty-five years of peace and cooperation. 

Did you know that I was a source of corruption and Covid-19? Of course, you did. You are smart like that. Too bad you are not smart enough to unsubscribe from this newsletter. You bad, bad pagan. 

But never fear, the scheme to drive me completely from the occult community is proceeding according to plan. 

The latest step of the plan was to get Amazon to terminate my author account, ensuring that seventy to eighty percent of today’s book market is closed permanently to me and my evil professional liar ways. All over less than five dollars unpaid royalty. Because my wife defriended and blocked a friend—wrongfully, for my wife was supposed to agree completely with Meltdown Girl, killing both the open-to-the-public pagan event I cohost and my author brand. 

Oh yes, you are supposed to love Meltdown Girl for her sunny personality (her blood type is Chernobyl Road Rage hot sauce), and obey her very wish and demand because she is special and should totally be in charge of all things magical and mystical. 

After all, it is not like the honored dead approve of my operation of witchcraft and shaggy dog stories. 

Maybe I need to explain that—what do you think? 

Okay, here goes . . . 

As we all know, the natural state of occult leaders is to be at war with one another. Despite the claims of community service, from the outside the war looks remarkably like self-serving monopoly seeking egomaniacs deciding that they, and they alone, deserve to receive all the bucks, fucks, and ducks that the students of esoteric traditions are willing to shell out to the bestest teacher and lineaged supreme, just to be ordered around by She Who Should Be Pope. Unfortunately, there are many pretenders to the throne—therefore, a Witch War must be fought until there is only one Witch Mother standing. And the Goddess approves, for there can only be one Witch Queen to rule all things magical and mystical. 

War is the natural state of the occult community, and anyone who says otherwise (hinting that we could do better) needs to be driven out of the community at the earliest opportunity. 

Around 1992—about the same time I entered the ranks of coven and lodge initiation—a source of pestilence arose in Denver. Her name was Alia Denny, and she was totally evil. As in, she “inherited” a community church devoted to doing public Wiccan ritual (got to honor the Official History) and changed the rules by allowing just about everyone to conduct an open pagan ritual on the behalf of the church. 

That was evil—because we all know that such nonsense needs to be stopped—the ranks of the occult, including Wicca, need to be prescreened and filtered by properly lineaged witches. Allowing everyone in, oh the horror—next thing you know, people are going to be able to claim to be Wiccans without going through the trials and tribulations of being a properly initiated coven member. 

Several people tried to stop Alia and the spread of this plague—a couple of her critics even joined the board of the church to try to correct things and put them back in their proper place and form—but Alia ignored all of them. 

Sadly, the greater Wiccan community, you know those bastards and bitches who believe that the individual should have the right to choose their own religion, decided that the performance of public Wiccan ritual was the greatest thing since sliced white bread. Oh the horror—oh the humanity—oh why is it illegal to burn a heretic at the stake? 

I was one of the misguided witches who felt that open ritual was awesome. Worse, the community leadership have failed to exile me from the witchcraft community—as in, I ignored all hints to leave the community, and kept worming my way back in, using my wallet as a tool of ultimate evil by paying to attend classes at my local occult shop. Alia was just encouraging bad behavior, and I was the poster child of the evils of an open-to-the-public religion. 

 Let me be clear—Alia Denny’s greatest crime was that she did not ban me from the community the very first night she met me. 

Followed by the fact that the idea of lineage as ultimate proof of quality was ignored by the rabble in favor of how friendly you were and how entertaining your public rituals were. Oh dear, High Priestesses had been stripped of their right to be abusive to one and all—Wicca had become a Free Market Economy. 

Enter the Amazing Meltdown Girl. 

Meltdown Girl has never believed in a Free Market Economy. Meltdown Girl feels entitled to fame, wealth, and absolute obedience—and allowing customers to decide who they like the best is the Eighth Deadly Sin. You are a horrible person if you believe that Meltdown Girl might have to do some hard work to earn the mega-star success that she so desperately craves. 

And Meltdown Girl believes that she is entitled to the fame, wealth, and influence that such authors as J.K. Rowling and Stephen King have. 

With just one book. 

Yes, Meltdown Girl believes that she should be earning mega-star prestige with just a single book. 

Not a series of books. No need for an author platform. No need to improve her output—it is perfect in every way. 

And she might be earning even less as a writer than I am. 

If so, lying to Amazon and getting my author account terminated is JUSTICE and just something that I had coming for being a monster. 

Now, I am not saying that I shouldn’t lost my author account, but let’s be honest about my real crime—it wasn’t about paying Meltdown Girl her just dues (royalties); it was the fact that I allowed this person to remain in my life for twelve years. 

And I had plenty of warning that Meltdown Girl was a little bit of a Bleep since the first day I met her. 

We met at my Second First OFM (Open Full Moon ritual)—the first one I did was years earlier and no one knew that I was actually the author of that ritual (I had self-confidence issues at the time). And like every first unrehearsed public performance, the performance was a burning dumpster fire. It wasn’t completely my fault—my volunteers had bolted at the last minute—leaving me to create an one-person ritual as I performed the OFM. (I would later realize that the abandonment of me was the first step in the Bast Temple schism—but that’s a story for the Initiation Book.) Somehow, I managed to survive. 

Well, mostly. I had made a major mistake at the ritual that would burden me to this very day. You see, I am a Wiccan in Golden Dawn—and I don’t try to disguise that fact. So, public ritual—public performance of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram; isn’t that what supposed to happen? Turns out “No!” One of the audience members that night was Gertrude . . . who got a little upset that a mere man with a dodgy lineage, not properly trained and vetted by a “real Wiccan,” and who preached the radical idea that paganism could be a Free Market System—there should be no way in Hell that I was more powerful than she was. 

But I was. 

For the next twelve years (and counting), I would be punished for this unforgivable pagan sin—mainly because Gertrude really believes that she is the smartest, most knowledgeable, and most powerful witch in the city. And any evidence that says otherwise has to be destroyed. 

Which is why the Official History of the Denver Wiccan community now says that I never once contributed to the community when people were needed to step up. 

It is also why my medical marijuana status had to be weaponized, Alia Denny recast as a villain, and why it is totally ethical, legal, and good business sense to have someone lie to Amazon and get my author account terminated. Hell, the Honored Dead would totally approve of this much needed Witch War—even Alia Denny herself would ban me from the community if she was still alive today. 

(Ethical—“benefiting the Uber-Witch who should be in complete control of the community”; Legal—“what you can get away with when you have a free lawyer”; Good business sense—“Morgan and Khari are morons who will gladly bled out and disappear from the community—they have no independent way to reach the greater pagan community”; Endorsed by the Honored Dead—“History can be rewritten and competition memory-holed 1984-style.” Anything else I should define? Oh, yes: Uber-Witch—“She was has the most greed, the biggest ego, and sharpest knife—she who deserves to receive all the bucks, fucks and ducks that aspiring witches are willing to shell be instructed in the One and Only True Way of Wicca.”) 

Anyways, back to Meltdown Girl—and yes, that tangent ties into the mess later—Gertrude will be empowering Meltdown Girl before it is all over. 

I had plenty of warning that Meltdown Girl wanted to be an Apex Witch Queen. For instance, when she first moved here from Dogsville, she was obsessed with a psychic friend of hers who was attempting to get producers interested in a ghost-chasing television show. 

“Becky doesn’t deserve her own show. All the ghosts she is talking about, all those wonderful spiritual experiences, she stole those stories from me. I am the real talent—not her. Where is my f***ing TV show?” 

It should be noted that as a man and a former business manager, I had opinions about what Meltdown Girl should do next. 

“If you want to have a TV show, you need to build up your portfolio. People need to see past evidence that you know what you are doing. Without it, why would the producers ever consider giving you your own show?” 

This advice to build up her portfolio was also given regarding her children book series, and her failure to get invited to the community church Council that Gertrude serves on. 

“Why did Bunny get invited to join the Council? Why not me? I am more talented and ethical than Bunny is. I deserve to be on the Council that rules all things magical and mystical in Denver.” 

She didn’t like my answer: “Bunny has done an annual children ritual for a decade. Bunny has proven that she contributes to the community. You have never done a single open ritual. Build a portfolio and you will be asked to do things too.” 

Meltdown Girl did not like that answer. 

And she really didn’t like it when I asked, “Why didn’t you volunteer when the Council put forth their call for new Council members?” 

Yeah, I don’t have too much patience for people who want to be asked to be leaders, but don’t want to contribute to the community without getting “paid” for their service. In other words, “I want to be worshipped and I don’t want to have to work hard to become a living goddess.” You know—the attitude problem that drives all witch wars and trademark lawsuits. 

And I knew that there was another person besides Bunny that Meltdown Girl was upset with—Me! 

You see I also got asked to join the Council (despite engaging in Active Avoidance). Why? Because I had a visible to the public portfolio: Former Inner Order officer for a branch of Golden Dawn, a blog where I periodically talked about abusive occultists, a couple dozen newsletter articles, and several open-to-the-public pagan rituals written and performed by little old me. In other words, I had portfolio. 

Well, I had portfolio clear up to three and a half years ago—history has been rewritten since then. 

Please note, I would have never joined the Council if I would have known that someday the Council would be dragging my reputation through the mud, rewriting history to justify taking over four events/services (and counting), and would encourage others to damage my author platform. 

And yes, I am positive that the Council encouraged this whole mess. Let’s be clear—this is all about several witches believing that they have the right to boss around the entire Wiccan community. As in I was supposed to ask permission to write the Public Ritual as Community Growth Tool book—so that Gertrude and the rest of her Righteous Council could deny me permission to preach a philosophy that they pretended to support for a quarter of a century, but had just really wanted to burn the person who came up with the idea at the stake for ruining their chances of being the boss of every witch living in the city. Oh yeah, these are nice people focused on “Community service, and not elevating ourselves over others.” Pay no attention to how my resignation was accepted: “I feel that the best way for you to honor Alia and her legacy is for you to leave the community.” In other words, allow the Second Witch War to happen (and Denver’s history and Alia’s philosophy to be rewritten) while killing my own open event and my author brand—without me saying a single word about it. Because righteous actions should always be veiled by a cloak of secrecy. 

One can only hope that Meltdown Girl’s manipulation of Amazon finally gets her invited to the Council—because Meltdown Girl would be a perfect addition to the Great Gherkin Collective. So how did Meltdown Girl get my account terminated? And why? 

Let’s deal with the Why first. 

Last year, Meltdown Girl approached the Council after hearing that another Big Name Witch had threaten to go to the Council, arguing that no pagan (not alone a community leader) should be allowed to be on medical marijuana, and that I should be kicked off the Council and my slot given to her. Meltdown Girl heard me complain to someone about this below-the-belt maneuver and decided to use the gambit herself. Oh yes, last year’s drama was triggered by Meltdown Girl. 

Oh yeah, Meltdown Girl ran screaming to the Council that I was trying to take over the entire Wiccan community. 

Result? 

The Council weaponized my medical marijuana, memory-holing my thirty-five years (now thirty-six) years in the Denver’s pagan and magical community, and forcing me to hand them a resignation that was in direct violation of a promise I made to Alia Denny. 

Why try to get me burned at the stake? 

Because Meltdown Girl realized that my wife, Khari, wasn’t going to kill the Occult Garden Parties “Celebrating with successful writers, artists, and witches.” No, my wife decided that she loved the OGPs and that they were not going to go away—no matter how much Meltdown Girl tried to sabotage the parties. 

“I would not serve those people chicken and ribs. They only deserve hot dogs and hamburgers. You shouldn’t be wasting money on those people.” 

I want it on the record that my Occult Garden Parties were started before Alia died (she was part of first stage testing of the event) and Alia was okay with me doing them despite my medical marijuana status. 

So what set off Meltdown Girl? 

Khari paying attention to someone else. 

Yeah, just that. 

And this is a person who thinks that they should be asked to lead the whole damn community—say what?!? 

Please note that Meltdown Girl came back into our orbit earlier this year—bitching about the horrible stuff that the Council was doing. Mostly she was upset that she was not asked to join the Council to replace me. 

Well, clear up to the moment that she realized that I thought that I still had a chance to influence people through the Occult Garden parties. Oh, and I thought that I could be a partial replacement for Alia in the community. 

Now, when I say that I am in the running to be Alia’s replacement, I don’t mean that I am going to be the Apex Witch Queen ruling the entire city. No, what I mean is that in Colorado, there are fifteen medical marijuana patients per one thousand residents. Fifteen people who are not going to like the libel (slander) that the mere presence of a medical marijuana patient at a no-power open pagan ritual can result in the entire audience having to live in a padded cell for the rest of their lives. I do not see how any medical marijuana patient is ever going to trust the Council to be their pagan clergy ever again. I know that I would never trust someone who used dirty tricks to eliminate a rival, and tried to impose health, business, and personal decisions on someone (decisions that only benefited the Council, and actually increased the person’s chance of hurting themselves and others—yeah, you know, that type of good advice.) 

I knew I was in trouble the instant that Meltdown Girl said that she dreamed of Alia and she had a message for me. 

I knew that whatever the “message” was, it was going to boil down to “cease and desist—just do whatever makes Meltdown Girl happy.” 

In self-defense, I avoided contact with the Amazing Damsel of Righteous Road Rage for several days. I also very quickly finished the section of the Public Pagan Ritual Planning Workbook that I had been working on. The feeling that someone was going to drive me straight into the weeds, if not into an extended bout of panic, low self-esteem, and close to suicidal depression—that caused the professional writer to hurry to the next logical break point in the project. 

And I wasn’t wrong. 

Please note that I cheated—it wasn’t a great feat of precognition and divination to know that trouble was coming. After all, I have known this lunatic for twelve years—and we were long overdue for Ms. Amazing to have a nuclear meltdown. 

Let’s be clear. This is a woman who once accused me of concealing hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars’ worth of sales—robbing her of much needed royalties (reality: I couldn’t give her writing away). This is the person who blackballed all applicants to Bast Temple after the schism (“I am getting a bad vibe from them”). This is the person who gave Cos-Neo “Community service, not elevating ourselves over others” the idea of using my health problems to justify their secret banning of me. Not that I am supposed to know about the true extent of that backstabbing—I am supposed to believe that the resulting secret exile of me was merely the church misusing private information—and that Meltdown Girl was innocent of getting me kicked out of the community. And most of all, this is the person who still thought that she deserved superstar treatment (must be the center of attention at all times) and a sweet ass community church board membership with a bad attitude and a portfolio that still echoed from its emptiness. 

Oh, I so knew this was going to be a bad “Alia is spinning in her grave” cease and desist message. 

After all, I have seen the three eye flashes the weekend before. 

Let’s count off the “If looks could kill,” shall we? 

First, there was the glare when I pointed out an artist tip that I learned by watching Bob Ross. 

The second flare was when I a small joke about being more qualified to be Alia’s replacement (more pro-open ritual) than any of the current crop of Apex Monopoly Seekers. 

And the third attack of Medusa Eyes was when I laughed that I would have to decide how much of a discount that I would give her when I was ready to teach my upcoming Marketing For Pagan Community Leaders workshop. 

Yeah, those are the horrible things that I did that triggered the latest round of drama; Meltdown Girl running back to the Council to complain some more, and the urgent need to get my Amazon author account terminated. 

All of which, along with the righteous weaponization of my medical status, should prove to the Imperious Trio once and for all that Meltdown Girl needs to be invited to join the Council. 

Oh, and why does she want to be a member of the Council? So she can ban people from the community simply because they give her a bad vibe. And someday, I was sure to be one of those banned—because I kept thinking that I was better than she was. 

Now, at this point, it might be helpful for the reader to know that I belong to an esoteric tradition that reserves Tier Two training (think—Inner Order Golden Dawn/Second Degree Wicca) to those who can pass three tests—Tier Two cannot be opened without at least one student who can pass all three parts of the challenge. 

One, you have to show a concern about acting ethically. This does not mean that you have to restrict yourself to only spiritual development—no, you can do practical magic. And it does not mean that you are a doormat in the real world either. You can be a bastard and still be ethical. All Tier Two members have to pass the ethics threshold. 

Two, at least one student has to gain (learn) the ability to reach into someone else’s sphere of sensation and adjust their energy. Translation—someone who will be able to initiate others, and not be restricted to handing out placeholder degrees and grades. 

Three, and the most important of them all, you have to be able to detect magical and mystical energies well enough that when you encounter someone bullshitting that they are a High Grade, powerful in magic and ritual, that you can see how often there is absolutely no energy while they are lying about hearing the advice of the Secret Chiefs and the Honored Dead. 

By the way, no one who broke away during Bast Temple schism had passed these tests—not even a single part. 

And Meltdown Girl had constantly failed all three parts—despite thinking that she was a top shelf healer and psychic. 

Which is why when my wife, Khari, passed a second part of the Tier Two challenge a couple of years ago, I started trying to warn Meltdown Girl to knock off the fake medium act. Please note I am not allowed to just come out and say, “I have known that your on/off ratio as a psychic is 10:90 at best, and I have known this for twelve years. And Khari has progressed to the point where she might be able to see what you really are the next time you say, ‘The spirits are telling me you need to do it this way, and you can believe me because I am a psychic’ and I am quite sure Khari will not be pleased once she learns your actual truth to lies ratio.” 

Okay, I did not foresee that Khari’s reaction being quite this bad—surprise, not only did Khari learn that you are a bullshitting psychic, turns out that she is still a little upset that you weren’t more sympathetic when her mother committed suicide [bad health issue]. 

My wife defriended and blocked Meltdown Girl on Facebook. 

Which is why Meltdown Girl ran back to the Council, got egged on by them to use a dirty trick to terminate my Amazon author account (a test balloon to see if the Council can use a quote of forty-three words and a claim that they are the only ones legally allowed to write about public goddess worship and its history to block the publication of my entire OFM support series), and all this because Meltdown Girl believes that Alia Denny should have handpicked her to be the next ruler of the Denver Wiccan community. 

By the way, Alia (despite what the official history now claims) only controlled one event. Not four and counting. Alia never claimed the right to shut down other people’s events and projects—and she would have been horrified that someone was trying to destroy someone else’s business and livelihood. 

Not that I was making money yet. But I had high hopes for my rebranding and relaunch. Especially my science fiction. A relaunch which can never happen now because there is no point in me finishing anything now—how would the readers ever find it? 

I mean it is not like I spent twenty years blogging about abusive occultists—watchdog work I did for free—because I truly believe that the students of the esoteric traditions deserve better leadership than Meltdown Girl, the Righteous Trio of the Cos-Neo Council, the Great Gherkin and the dozens of other monopoly seeking Big Name Witches and Magicians that believe that the world of the occult exists only to serve as their own personal ATM (cash point), sex dungeon, and personal shooting gallery. 

High-fives all around for Meltdown Girl and the legitimate guardians of the One True Wicca, for finally succeeding where so many others have failed—a big round of applause for permanently silencing my voice and exiling me from the occult community forever and ever. Oh yeah, these guardians of all things magical and mystical deserve a big round of applause. 

Applause. 

Not what I think they deserve. 

My fans know what is about to happen—yeah, I will continue writing (both esoteric and fiction); the only difference is that I do it for free, rather than attempt to make money doing it. 

And before anyone asks, the chances of me being able to use facts like “Payout threshold was five dollars; Contributors were being credited according to ereader page count of their submission: and Meltdown Girl had an advertisement for her children book series as part of her payment” to regain my Amazon account is relatively low, as in “Satan will be skating to work.” Amazon is notorious for capricious enforcement of their rules and business standards. Odds are very much that Amazon is permanently closed to me. 

A big round of applause for Meltdown Girl. Hopefully, this deed of excellent community service, unselfishness, and supreme business sense earns her that place on the Council that she so feverishly desires. And if not, well, my wife has banned her from our property—Meltdown Girl is not coming back here. 

So exactly how is all this drama, including the termination of my Amazon author account, going to affect my production schedule? 

First, all projects are on hold. Mainly because of the emotional turmoil that the events of last year and a half has unleashed in my brain. It is hard to make process on writing projects when every draft turns out to be a rant about how I didn’t agree to be a board member just to undo everything positive that Alia Denny ever accomplished as soon as she was dead. 

Secondly, all projects are on hold because I have absolutely no idea how far Meltdown Girl, the Cos-Neo Council, and the other three dozen or so Big Name Witches, intent on restoring Denver’s Wiccan community back to its pristine one true way state that existed during the Denver Witch War years—you know the ideal society that Alia Denny ruined by allowing portfolio (in the form of open pagan ritual done by the unwashed masses) into the community (undermining the ability of one simply to make a lineage claim to be able to boss others around)—I have absolutely no idea how far these fine pillars of the community will go to ensure that my opinions are silenced once and for all. 

Let me be clear: These righteous reformers have blown past all the normal limits that govern ministers. The weaponization of my medical marijuana status to justify (secretly) banning me from a community church that I attended for a quarter of a century—as well as other events controlled by the eager monopoly seekers, the rewriting of history to memory-hole my thirty-six years in the local community, the voiding out of my contributions by claiming that the deeds don’t count because my actions were not done at the right time and for the right purpose (the glorification of She Who Wants It All). The recasting of Alia’s philosophy to make the claim that Alia herself would endorse the antics of the monopoly seekers, the claim that Alia would have banned me from the community herself (stripping me of my right to be a pagan minister) once she learned of my medical status, the lying to Amazon (massive unpaid royalties, my ass) to get my author account terminated, the invoking of Alia’s ghost to try to make my wife kill her (and my) open socializing and ritual event, and all the efforts to stop me from becoming a successful author—so far, from where I sit, not a single one of these Big Name Witches (all of whom claim to be so worthy of being Alia’s handpicked successor), none of them have exhibited any human decency or ethics. 

Oh wait, these supreme Wiccans have showed that they have ethics—morals and business practices—it is just too bad that perhaps they are ethics worthy of a whorehouse madam. 

Yes, that is my personal opinion. 

An opinion that is totally worthy of screaming libel, slander, and character assassination—oh yeah, these Big Name Witches will be suing me in court, proving that Alia left detailed instructions on how she wanted these pillars of the community to deal with critics who think that occult monopolies are a bad idea, and showing a judge that their rewritten of history is what really happened and not what some Arkham asylum escapee claims happened. 

And the BNWs will definitely be proving beyond all shadow of doubt that Alia Denny herself would have stripped me of my minister certificate, my community, my own open event, and my right to write about witchcraft and the occult the instant that Alia learned that I was taking medical marijuana to treat my complex PTSD, bipolar, panic attacks. 

After all, Alia Denny knew the dark truth; she knew that the mere presence of a medical marijuana patient at a low power (nay, no power) open-to-the-public Wiccan ritual would result in dozens of attendees having to spend the rest of their lives in padded rooms. 

And the BNWs will prove all this in a court of law, along with ensuring that their official rewritten history is the only one that historians are allowed to remember, as well as proving the Meltdown Girl is a real psychic, and that the religious laws of Wicca says that a single witch is allowed to micromanage (including shutting down) the religious and business activities of all who call themselves Wicca. 

By goddess, they have historical documents to prove all these points—and by goddess, they are going to use them. 

Easy peasee, once they find a free lawyer willing to swap legal services for a Wiccan degree in the bestest lineage (in fact, the only real Wiccan lineage) that the world has ever seen. And that will be easy to do because any lawyer will be able to instantly see that I am committing libel, slander, and historical revision (worthy of major life-crippling monetary damages) while their clients are a hundred percent innocent of wronging me in a similar manner. 

Oh yes, any and all actions taken to destroy me are ethical, legal, and good business sense. 

Fuck limits—let’s burn Morgan at the stake in the public square to show one and all that Morgan is the wickedest magician living today, and to make sure that everyone knows who Alia Denny’s rightful successors are and what happens to those unwilling to kiss their papal ring. Us Wiccans like to talk about how Wiccan clergy should be better than the Christian fundamentalists. That’s rich. Someone please explain to me how abusing me is serving the Lord and Lady. 

Worse than the potential legal problems, and far more responsible for causing all of my writing projects to be put on hold, is that Meltdown Girl has already proven that she is willing to lie, omit, and resort to dirty tricks to punish anyone who doubts that she is the one that Alia would have personally chosen to be succeed her. And there is also MDG’s rage when she learns that someone is doing better than she is as a writer, that’s some real sweet poison. 

If I somehow negate the death blow that Meltdown Girl dealt to my author career—oh how do you survive as an indie writer without Amazon—will MDG hunt down and visit similar dirty tricks on each and every pen-name that she knows of? 

Now that Meltdown Girl knows how easy it is to manipulate a book retailer into terminating another writer’s author account, will she ever stop? 

Do I need to abandon every pen-name and project that I ever admitted to? Do I need to create completely brand-new pen-names, new fictional universes, and a totally different writing voice—projects that I would never be able to mention to anyone—do I need to go unbelievable lengths just to protect myself from this fucking lunatic? 

*sigh* 

Even if I somehow figure out how to bullet-proof the parts of my author platform that Meltdown Girl hasn’t destroyed yet, there will still be some deep changes to my production schedule and output. 

For instance, the oral history project (of the “Golden Age Open Goddess Worship Peace Years”) that I wanted to do, that’s off the table. I can’t begin to imagine the type of copyright usage paperwork that I would require from the participants to make me feel safe from similar sabotage. That and sure as god makes little green apples, the Council (egged on by Meltdown Girl) will be taking me to court to make sure that the forty-three most important words are not usable by me, as soon as the Council locates the trademark paperwork and the Last Will and Testament which gives them not only complete and total control of Alia’s intellectual property (and not Doug, her husband)—but everything they need to prove to a judge that I am evil professional liar—a judge who will reward them by giving them the exclusive business right to close down the events and projects of other Wiccans. Yes, the Council will be able demand that others cease and desist—all in the name of community service, and not self-enrichment. 

It will be awesome legal justice. Oh, they are so going to prove that I am a dirty filthy mouthed liar who does not deserve the basic legal protections that all other historians and journalists normally enjoy. Meltdown Girl, the Kosher Coven and their band of Merry Minions, are so going to have that judge wrapped around their little finger. It will be glorious—and at the end of the day, only the Council will have the legal right to call themselves Wiccans. The Imperious Threesome wants it—and therefore, it will happen—they will be the only Wiccans legally recognized in the whole damn world. 

Hence legally, I no longer have the right to write about local Wiccan history. Only the Council enjoys that right. And it is righteous. Can I get an “Amen!” 

So that history project is never going to happen now—one can only hope that the Council writes and publishes their totally true account (with supplementary historical documents) of why they were more important to the development of the local Wiccan community than Alia ever was. 

Also gone is any future participation by me in anthologies, journals and magazines (including guest blog posts) organized by other people. Thanks to Meltdown Girl, I am now off-limits; no one is going to want to take the risk of working with someone who has been blackballed by the greatest witches and magicians in the world, and is now being hunted down by a horde of angry witches determined to root out my brand of heresy once and for all. Meltdown Girl is a lunatic, as are her Righteous Council friends, and they will probably feel perfectly okay with destroying the literary and publishing careers of anyone crazy enough to work with me. After all, it is about “Community service, and not elevating themselves over others.” 

But the most important change brought about by this fun and games is the addition of several new “Great Gherkin Collective” projects—all starring these wonderful ladies who totally deserve to rule all things magical and mystical with a bad attitude and an iron fist. 

Oh yes, let’s celebrate the great business and religious wisdom of Meltdown Girl and the Cos-Neo Council. Just don’t ask me what I know that they don’t know. Because I may not be a top shelf witch like they are, but I do know how to get information to people through non-paid channels. I blogged (unpaid) for twenty years about the antics of the Golden Dawn Trademark War. What would make this situation any different? 

I have opinions about how occult teachers and leaders should act—and have shared these thoughts openly with the greater esoteric community since 1996 in a variety of media (blogs, newsletters, small press publications)—more often than not for FREE. 

Why would I shut up now? 

Between the weaponization of my medical marijuana status, the rewriting of history, and the termination of my Amazon author account—this has become personal. 

And we all know how I get when things become personal. If the Council, Meltdown Girl, and their obedient minions, thought that I was a danger to the community before, they haven’t seen anything yet. 

It is Game On Witches! 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Covid-19 update

[The following was sent to my All-in-One mailing list, serving all my acknowledged pen-names. You can sign up here for my mailing list]

After holding out hope forever—me and my hopeless causes—sadly I must report that my annual OFM (Open Full Moon) ritual scheduled for October 31 is officially cancelled.

Quite simply, me and Khari could not figure out a way to make it safe for us to gather this year.

You don’t realize how important a bathroom is until you don’t have access to one. And it was figuring out how to let attendees use the bathroom that stumped us.

And once we saw the problem, we couldn’t un-see it.

We had solved all the rest of the problems, but we could not solve this one. Well, not in a way that wouldn’t become a piece of zombie apocalypse performance art.

Context for the one reader who hasn’t see my dog and pony show, I picked up a habit of openly washing my hands between every step taking and making orders when I was working by myself at Loco Gyro. Some of the customers loved the fact that me and my crew were so mindful of health and safety which always made me wonder about the cleanliness of other restaurants. Of course, me and my employees thought of it as a three-ring circus act—take off and throw gloves away from previous order, wash hands, take the customer order and collect the money, wash hands, put on gloves and make the order, repeat performance for the next customer. We always wore gloves when handling the food, especially after Dimitris’ college experience of showing up to class while reeking of onions and feta cheese. Hell, we were going through two (three) hundred food service gloves a week (vinyl—not latex—I might be allergic to latex), much to the horror of the restaurant’s owners (the cheap bastards).

So yeah, I kept picturing myself dressed in full NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) hazard gear waiting outside of the bathroom with an industrial sized drum of Lysol to clean the bathroom after each and every user.

You know—death by Lysol—I would have to use a level of chem-clean that my wife, Khari, couldn’t handle. And I am sure there would be other attendees with similar issues. Including myself. So that wasn’t going to work.

Outside of that, we managed to find a work-around for everything else we would need to do for a semi-public open pagan (Wiccan/magical) ritual, right down to how to make Cakes and Ale (Mystic Repast) safe.

Oh yeah—event update—every event (whether class, discussion group, drumming, BBQ, open ritual) is now officially only semi-open. We now have a “no-fly” list with a solid “Nope—this person can’t attend” on the list.

Gone are the days of “leave your differences at the door,” thanks to some witch deciding to blow a copyright/lack of payment claim all out of proportion in order to get Amazon to terminate my author account.

For the record, this is the third major meltdown and backstabbing I have experienced from this particular toxic friend—a friendship truly worthy of a haz-mat suit and a full de-com shower.

But more about this false friend (possibly double spy), what losing access to Amazon means to me and my readers, and how I am going to promise not to let this small setback stop me from sending stuff to you next month. Oh yeah, we already know the subject of next month’s Essay of Doom (sent out the 13th of every month).

So everyone is on the same page, next year will be year five of the Occult Garden Parties (“Celebrating with successful writers, artists, and witches”). I am counting this year with an asterisk. We had events scheduled—we just couldn’t do them safely. Apologies all around. 

I was hoping to get some field-testing done for the OFM (open ritual performance) support series done this year—but Covid-19, what can you do?

I was also hoping to get one of the novels done this year—that ain’t going to happen either thanks to Meltdown Girl (who also had a hand in the Cos-Neo drama last year). But more about that next month, right?

Next year—Covid-19 permitting—me and Khari plan on doing an Occult Garden Party every third Saturday of the month (June to October). Remember that Khari works as a schoolteacher for Denver Public Schools. We can’t start the event season before June and we have to end it before Fall Burnout kicks in.

We will continue using the front and back patios, despite the three-story house going up in the south neighbor’s yard.

I am also hoping to have a Saturday night OFM (Open Full Moon ritual) sometime during the 2021 event season. But I haven’t looked at next year’s calendar yet.

And please remember that I am always up to doing a pop-up ritual if enough attendees ask me to do one.

[This post was originally sent to my mailing list serving all my pen-names.]

Friday, December 21, 2018

Planning the cozy ritual and oracle room

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Welcome to the Yule Tarot Blog Hop--gee where has the year gone?

The theme for this TBH is "cozy." Or as I like to call it, "Another chance for Morgan to talk about how he wants to remodel the house." In this particular case, how I would like to set up my upstairs ritual/oracle room.

Is this your card?
When me and my wife first brought the house, the second bedroom was to become my office with the half-basement being a ritual room. Having lived in the house for sixteen years, and having more ritual and fortune telling under my belt, along with the lingering effects of my wife's motorcycle accident, using the downstairs for ritual is not as practical as it used to be. So it is time for changes.

[The reason that my wife got into a motorcycle accident was that her biological father, an evil old man with a room temperature IQ and the stubbornness of a mule, decided that the daughter he did not know, needed a professional grade motorcycle (which she did not want) and insisted that she was going to ride it (despite the fact that a moped was more her speed and skill level). This resulted in her having an accident the very first day on it--she slammed it into the side of a car--her hip was slammed between the big-ass bike and the car. To this day, she has problems with that leg. Over time, it has gotten harder for her to make it up and down the basement stairs.]

We have decided that the basement is going to be my office and private workspace for my Golden Dawn related work...

[I no longer need as much room and "bareness" for my GD work, having left my role as a GD group leader and being completely happy to let someone else deal with the Neophytes--my future GD work is going to be done with just a keyboard and a bad attitude. The odds of me ever doing another GD group ritual--initiation or otherwise is relatively low--more so with the fact that I am far more interested in applying Golden Dawn techniques to a different symbolic framework than I am in fighting to become one of the Big Name Occultists.]

...and the upstairs room is going to become a shared ritual and mediation room instead.

Like my yard (which has been the subject for several of this year's Tarot Blog Hop entries), the vision for the ritual room is based on my vast amount of social witchcraft and magical experience. As some of my friends can guess, some of my ideas come from working with Cassandra and my time taking classes over at Herbs and Arts (when it was still owned by Morning Glory) as well as vast amounts of personal practical experience.

One of the things I have learned is that my magic and Tarot/oracle reading is affected by the atmosphere of the location that I am working in. I have done the public reading route, both in occult shops (up front, in the back room, have yet to do a reading on the roof of one, but it is only a matter of time...) and in coffee houses (that is why many of my Tarot decks have spilled tea on them) and at parties (let's call it being "entertainment"). And I have learned that public reading is just one step away from working in a cubicle, or a boiler room (hey, I seriously explored working for someone with a 1-800 number).

No, the best environment for me to do reading is lit with candles, private and smells of vast amounts of incense. Think "gypsy tent." Laugh if you will, but I think that they were onto something.

(Okay, internet police--I know that the term "gypsy" is either an insult and/or a stolen term that I should not apply to my own work--never mind the fact that me and my sisters used to joke about "being gypsies" when we were kids; only political correctness counts in today's world.)

 Basically, a "cozy" atmosphere helps me in my magical and divination work. And my wife would like us to have a ritual room upstairs...

(We also have a couple of friends who would like to see me focus more on Wicca and such.)

...so, why not make my wife happy? Besides, I need to get back into the swing of my magical work. 

As such, my wife and I have talked about what we would like to do with the room. My vision tends to be a little more grand (as in "What would I do if I had a boatload of ill-gotten gains from a wildly successful book?") while my wife is more realistic. For instance, I would like to have a fireplace in the room, but that would require a bunch of cash and the hiring of people who actually know how to do the work. There are those fake fireplace heaters, but it is not the same.

Something that my wife mentioned when I told her about the subject of this Blog Hop is that she would like a corner full of comfy pillows. So, the room is going to have a big pile of soft (and probably tasteful) pillows. And many, many gods and goddesses; it is an artist's house after all. And cats! Many, many cats. The cats will probably vote that the pile of pillows belong to them.

(The real challenge will be figuring out how to keep Anubis, our big twenty pound black cat, from deciding that everything on the altar and/or reading table is not important, and knocking all such nonsense onto the floor, so that he can take a well-deserved nap.)

Of course, all this requires me to clean out the room (it ended up being used for storage, due to the lack of enough bookcases in the house--a DIY project that has been delayed while I work on the novel--thirty thousand words and counting...) and then getting out of my wife's way.

It is totally do-able. After all, I am now on bipolar meds, and can cope with the project.

Tarot Blog Hop--all about the Tarot.
Thanks for reading my TBH entry. As always, you are encouraged to follow the links and read the other entries for this theme--there is always something new to learn.

Have a happy Yule and a great 2019. 

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Initiation as an Operating System

Egregors--easy to build all by yourself, right? No.
The line to burn me at the stake for violating modern ideas about initiated traditions (Golden Dawn, many forms of Wicca, Thelema) will soon be forming. Why? Because I am willing to say things like this:

You need both--individual and group work--to fully understand and use the [initiated Golden Dawn] system as it was designed to work. This is how it was designed--it is not a bug; it is a feature. Initiation (in a group) is like installing the operating system of a computer. The members of the group itself is like the circuits in a computer. The individual work, rituals, and study, are the programs and the owner's manual...which work best if you have the proper operating system installed, along with the suggested hardware (aka you are not working alone), and the right settings (godforms). And lineage is the official "I did not pirate this software" seal and code which (in my "healed lineage" experience) can be paid for after the fact, and allows for software patches. You would not expect a single unplugged circuit board to be able to run computer programs, so why does everyone expect the rituals of Golden Dawn to work without the set-up that was designed into the system in the first place?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A message from the Honored Dead

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I will admit that the theme of this Tarot Blog Hop, Walking Into Life With The Dead, left me at a loss of what to do with it, so I am just going to use the prompt as the basis of a quick Tarot reading.

My message from the Honored Dead.
1. What is the most important thing the spirits of your beloved dead have been attempting to show or teach you this year?

For this question, I pulled the King of Swords, which because the figure is not on a horse, I am going to read more like the Prince of Swords instead. [In Golden Dawn, the Kings are mounted on horses while the Princes are seating down--basically, the Kings on horseback are considered to be more active than their seated counterparts.] One of the things I have been struggling with lately is "pre-judgement"--judging my current bit of writing in the light of "You can't write it that way--you will offend all your readers and ensure that you will never sell another book ever again." I have always had this problem which is why I have a metric ton of started, yet never finished projects. This ties into the fact that my mother-in-law (who died last summer) wanted to see me actually complete an entire science fiction novel. 

2. What is your personal connection to Spirit, as you define it, whether that be Gods and Goddesses, the Powers of the Land, the Souls of the Dead (or the Living), or in any other way you define this word. How does Spirit connect with you and at the end of this year, what is the primary energy of Spirit that is showing itself to you?

For the second question, I pulled Death. Over the last two months, I have actually managed top remain (mostly) focused on a single project--I have managed to rack up 25K words on a single story (that's half of a small novel). This is real first for me; I have never gotten that far on any fiction project before. Interestingly, this is all being done under a brand new pen-name because I decided that I wanted a fresh start as a writer. I guess that is a form of death and change, right?

3. What will be your personal Gift to Spirit, whether this is an offering made to Deity, something you will do because of what Spirit has taught you, or some other way of acknowledging the influence of the Living Dead on your own life.

For the third question, I pulled the Four of Swords. Several of the characters that I have created are based on dead relatives, and some of the action involves me exploring my feelings about my childhood and how my mom so did not want me to become a witch, or a writer for that matter. There is my (dead) dad and my (dead) aunt who live again as other characters. I am still debating whether it is polite to use the name of one of my ancestors as my new pen-name.

One of the themes in the book is PTSD (which I have been told online that I don't understand...despite the fact that I suffer from it personally). It is kinda love offering, the pouring out of my soul.  This is almost like going to therapy--which I associate with the Four of Swords--in fact, the book starts off with my main character, Homer Milton Dante, telling his therapist what he thinks of her latest suggestion to foster his recovery. 

I love this artwork...despite the fact that I shouldn't use it.
As an illustration of all this energy, consider the artwork that I really, really want to use for the book cover, despite the fact that "no writer should make their own cover artwork" and "everyone that you are going to be competing with, they are using a different style of artwork--and abstract covers did not help sales from the Big Six--so you really should not use it!" On the other hand, my mother-in-law encouraged my occasional foray into art, and I know my father would have done the same. And I want to do some interior illustrations too--which is something else that goes against what is currently selling on the market. My research says "not to do something different than what customers currently expect"...and I violating the rules nine ways to Sunday, so this project (based on the current market wisdom) is probably going to be dead on arrival (if the experts are right). Still sooner or later, I have to actually complete a project, and I am halfway there (with enough ideas to get to the 50K mark). I might as well finish it up--complete with the inclusion of artwork that reminds me of the science fiction magazines I grew up reading.

[In many ways, I feel like a grave robber here. This book grew out of a comment that I said out loud at one point while working on another story set in the same fictional universe. At one point, I realized that international space meant "more than just Americans in space" and that meant research. I might be able to fake the British, but most other countries will require lots of research. Then I said, "Why can't I give the Ancient Egyptians rockets and be done with it?" Suddenly I had New Egyptians everywhere in the universe--opps! I am not sure how the Honored Dead of Egypt feel about this, but they were a little star-crazy--so maybe they will not mind.] 

Happy Samhain! Thanks for reading.

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Friday, September 21, 2018

My cunning plan to restore my work life balance

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Welcome to the mid-September installment of the Tarot Blog Hop. The topic for this one is maintaining and restoring balance--ironic considering that I am just starting to warm-up to break out of my summer schedule (which is not balanced at all).

A few years ago, while I was in college, I started to goof off during the summer months. At the time, it made sense--if only because I did not want to take classes during the summer semester (same amount of work--less time to do it in). After graduating (two bachelor degrees--literature and history), I continued taking the summer easy--mainly because of my wife's work habits and schedule.

Being a schoolteacher, my wife takes the summers off and works on her pottery business.

Now, this would not be so bad if she was not gifted with an annoying handicap--basically, she can't see when I am actually writing. I can be typing away, and she will walk into the room and proceed to talk as if my fingers flying over the keyboard are non-existent.

One of the bad things about writing (and art, for that matter) is that it is a "flow" activity. Basically, it is easier to do (and often better quality) if you can enter a mindset where the words and images just flow though you. Interruptions leads one to having to hack the words out at a painful rate of one word at a time.

Yes, writing is always done one word at a time.

But when the space between two words become filled with other concerns (such as the fact that one is supposed to pay attention when your wife is talking to you), it becomes a war to convince the next word to show up in a timely manner. Allow enough interruptions to happen, and the next thing you know you haven't wrote anything since like--forever, and one's muse goes on strike.

In my case, that is really not a good idea. I suffer from Heinlein Monkey--my health (both physical and mental) start to suffer when I haven't been doing enough writing. For instance, instead of sleeping, I will toss and turn for the entire night. And over the years, the problem has gotten worse.

Under normal conditions, the most that I have to put up with the summer schedule is three months, plus weekends, school holidays, and any day that my wife decides to take off, and...well, my bad childhood programming kicks in whenever someone decides that their schedule, even if it is only goofing-off, matters more than whatever I am trying to do. And I will feel great guilt for the little voice in my head that says that I should be writing instead.

Why do I have such bad programming? Simple, my mother thought that it was perfectly okay to make the oldest kid still at home, drop everything, including homework, to take care of the younger siblings and the house. That is why I ended up failing high school. Of course, it was not my mom's fault--according to her, I flunked high school because I was stupid--not because I was not allowed to do any homework. And any money I somehow made went 100% towards supporting my siblings.

So basically, I am programmed to put everyone else in front of my needs and wants--and suffer crippling guilt when I do not have the time or resources to support someone else fully and absolutely. Hence my wife decides to take the day off, and I feel obligated to keep her company--which is followed by frustration that I am getting no work done, and guilt over the fact that I feel frustrated, topped with the feeling that I am supposed to be making money hand over foot without burning up any resources (time or money).

In theory, my summer schedule is supposed to be three months...

Unfortunately, my mother-in-law died last year (suicide), so I never left summer schedule last year. My "summer" has now gone on for a year and a quarter. And it probably made sense to extend it to provide emotional support for my wife, but at some point you have to get back to work. Especially if not working has allowed an impressive imbalance to build up.

How bad is this imbalance? Peeking at my Tarot deck, the top card is the Two of Swords and the bottom card is the Lovers. I will admit that I am not brave enough to actually draw any other cards. Besides, it is not like I am going to change my plan for restoring balance.

Mercury Forty-Two--this might be the final cover.
Before my mother-in-law died, I was considering rebranding and relaunching my writing career. What I had planned originally was updating some books covers, writing and releasing some new stories, writing less political posts, stuff like that. The extended summer basically left me unable to do anything other than research how other writers were making money in the current market, and thinking about what my ideal work schedule would look like as a writer.

I did take a swing at rebooting and returning to my regular schedule in December, but it all went sideways when the remodeling started. (Not that the Esoteric Comedy Show project was ever going to be profitable, especially after YouTube changed the rules about who got to run ads on their videos.) From late February to...well, the first of this month, I got no writing done beyond the odd blog post (far and inbetween) and spent my writing energies just outlining novels that someday I might write once my wife started to work a regular schedule.

When my wife works a regular schedule, I get to work in peace while she is at work.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you choose to think about it), my wife had just quit her previous job when her mom died. After several years of dealing with bad charter school administration (that basically decided cheap was better than experienced), my wife was overdue to change jobs. And she was supposed to find a new job over the summer. That got tossed aside by family tragedy--she spent a lot of time dealing with her mom's estate. So she does not have a regular job yet (and I am guessing that it is going to be another whole year before she finds one); therefore, she is subbing again this year.

The thought of this was making me go a little crazy.

A little crazy...

So crazy that I have been forced to create a set of new rules. It is just too bad that I keep breaking them. For instance, I was supposed to have a new Tarot card done for this post (and to illustrate a story that I am working on), and it did not get done--because I allowed myself to step away from the keyboard and drawing board this week to provide emotional support for my wife's first full week back at subbing.

(I did do a card, but it looks exactly like I was interrupted numerous times as I tried to finish it. So we are just going to skip that one. If you are curious what my "flow-state" art looks like, see the book cover design illustrating this post.)

What are the new rules that I should be living by? (Rules that actually help keep me stable when I follow them...)

First, I have to write five hundred words a day. This number will go up later, but my writing engine is still cold as hell with the words coming at a painfully slow pace (three hours for five hundred words--not my best pace). And I need to write at the same time every day to increase the likelihood that my muse will get the memo and start showing up regularly. Most importantly, I am not allowed to step outside until my mandatory word count is done for the day.

Second, after a project hits a certain word count, I am not allowed to switch projects in that category until the current one is done. I am splitting my writing between Occult and Science Fiction/Fantasy, so that means that I have two projects going at any one time. Any ideas for other stories are written down on index cards and put in the proper file.

Third, I am aiming to complete a book a quarter (four books a year) using new pen-names for marketing purposes. (Besides the occult under my own name, there is going to be science fiction [Michael Ramalia] and urban fantasy [Charles Bloodmoon]--and possibly a pen-name that I am not going to admit to.)

Fourth, I need to make sure that I am actually eating lunch. After twenty years in food service (most as the responsible employee) and my childhood, I have bad tendency to realize I am hungry, and then proceed to continue what I am doing without actually taking time out to eat. I have started to make my lunch for the next day at the same time that I am making my wife's lunch for the next day. It is a lot easier if I only have to walk to the fridge and back when the writing is flowing.

Fifth, I am learning to write while wearing headphones. In theory, this is supposed to cut down on distractions and provide a visual clue that I am trying to work.

Sixth, and most important, I am not allowed to chase the hottest money making scheme, nor am I allowed to hand over funds and resources that were earmarked for my own business. That includes my time and energy.

Will these rules help? Yes, provided that I stick to them religiously.

So that is my current plan to restore some balance in my life. I will let you know later if I actually stuck to the plan, or if I allowed myself to give into the guilt and voices that say that I am supposed to put everyone else first.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Coming soon to my yard (Dark Arts and Crafts BBQ and Drumming Parties)

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Hi everyone--welcome to another exciting edition of the Tarot Blog Hop. The theme for this hop is "The Sun Harvest -- What end of summer harvest do you want to bring in before fall?"

*falls on floor laughing*

Hey kids, do you know what time it is?

"Howdy Doody Time?"

"Tool Time?"

"Dinner time?"

"Time for ice cream?"

"Oh, no--he is going to talk about his yard again, isn't he?"

"Again and again and again..."

Yes, that is right. I am going to talk about my yard again.

But first, a slight sidetrack.

Let me tell you about my July. And my original summer harvest goal...

So my wife was out of town for an entire month. She went to Costa Rica for language immersion--she teaches ESL. And I would be left in peace and quiet.

I figured that I would work on my summer goal of having a novel (an entire novel--50,000 words) done by September 1st.

I failed to realize that I was not actually going to get peace and quiet while she was gone. What I got was a bunch of garden remodeling contractors interrupting my schedule--both sleep and work. In the end, I got just a few good writing days out of the month.

Hence, I am not going to have either "Axe Murderer of Titan" or "Heartbreaker" done in time to meet my original goal. Or at least, I am not holding my breath at this point.

And in all honesty, it may have been too optimistic for me to aim for that goal in the first place.

Why did I chose September 1st as a goal for my next release date?

Well, it was the garden remodeling.

"See, I told you that he was going to talk about his garden remodel again. And again. And again."

When my wife decided that she was going to spend her inheritance on remodeling the garden, she thought that it was all going to be done by the first of June.

I laughed.

My father used to do remodeling and construction. I spent many summers and Christmas vacations on various job sites as my father tried to get me interested in the exciting and profitable world of construction and remodeling. I was not interested in that type of construction (don't get me started on the task of Fictional World Building--we will be here all day). [I was also not interested in farming and auto mechanics, just in case you are curious.]

Therefore, I had experience. I knew better. I did not need to pull out my Tarot cards to know that she was wrong. I saw her June first, and raised her a bet of September first.

And given that I am in the midst of a rebranding and relaunch of my career as a writer, what better way to celebrate than to release a book in one of the two new series I was working on?

(Axe Murderer of Titan--science fiction--pilot book of Icarus Above a Dark Earth.)

(Heartbreaker--urban fantasy--book one of Queen's Huntsman.)

But as I said, I don't think that I am going to make it.

I am still going to try.

After all, I still would like to have a book releasing near the date of my first Dark Arts and Crafts BBQ Party With Optional Drumming.

We will just have to see what happens.

The Sun--from the unfinished Monkey Tarot.
So what am I actually going to harvest this summer?

A sidewalk that does not kill people.

I kid you not--the sidewalk that they just dug out was that bad.

And a fence.

Because I like to pretend that I am not that neighbor.

You know--the neighbor that might be an evil Tarot reading witch who meets clients at his house.

Plus my storage sheds and the house trim got repaired and painted.

Basically, it is the yard and garden that I always wanted. The type of yard that one expects to find strange musicians, pot smoking artists, writers of the odd and wonderful, evil witches, and wise Tarot readers in. You know--my type of party.

And yes. it will be a monthly thing with BBQ and drumming. (Well, after my wife finishes her second Master degree work.)

Here is a video showing the current state of the yard...sort of...it devolved into a game of How Many Complaining Cats Can You Count?

[Mad Uncle Morgan shows off his yard.]

{For some reason, Blogger is not letting me embed the video.}

Oh about that September first estimate on mine? Well, we were informed just yesterday that the back gate we want will take a month to get the custom order done.

Damn good fortune telling considering that I never pulled out my Tarot deck for this one.

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