Happy New Year!
Welcome to Morgan Drake Eckstein's 2010 Full Disclosure Statement 2010.
If you are a regular reader of my blogs, forum postings, and articles, you know the insanity that the next few minutes are going to entail; you are probably well medicated already. You also probably know everything that I am about to tell you.
If you are a new reader, then these are the important things that you need to know. They will not make my writing any easier to read, but you will at least know what to expect.
First off, you need to realize that this is going to be unlike any full disclosure statement you have ever read. Disclosure statements bore me. I suspect that they bore other people too. Therefore, if it seems like I am treating this like a joke…well, I am. Besides, those people who want to see a full disclosure statement from me are going to be disappointed even if I did a legalese version; their goal is to prevent me from saying bad things about them, or failing that prove that I am so biased that my opinion should automatically be ignored. And yes, I am talking about you, Ann Coulter.
Morgan Drake Eckstein
Morgan Drake Eckstein is a pen name. It is not my real name. It is a name that I started to use when I still cared about my reputation…or more specifically my mother's opinion of my reputation.
Mom was horrified that her friends would find out that I was writing occult articles. I was also not to admit to actually being a pagan/wiccan. So I started to use a pen name that was a variation of my second Order motto (the first motto I had in Golden Dawn did not stick).
Sometime after I got disowned, I ceased to care about what she thought of my activities. There was also the little fact that having gone to High School in a small town, once my cover was blown, there was no point in pretending that everyone did not know what I was doing for a living.
Quite honestly, I prefer my pen name over the name that I was born with; that is why I go by it instead of my real name.
Morgan Drake Eckstein is who I really am---like it or not.
I am a Republican by family tradition, though I am not sure how coming from a poor working class family qualifies one to be Republican. I tend to vote Democrat. The political party that I might be most interested in joining doesn't exist anymore; I might actually be a Whig (I really need to do some research on them). Not changing political parties amuses me.
Really?! You don't know my religion?!
Profession 1: Freelance Writer, Journalist, proud member of the new media
A lot of my behavior can be explained by the simple fact that I am a freelance writer by profession.
On my good days, I am a journalist. On my bad days, I am a proud member of the new media and Google whore.
The new media is the world of blogs, web pages, and podcasts. It is a world where citizens have been given access to their own newspaper and broadcast station. This includes the lunatics. I might be one of the lunatics.
I make a good hunk of my living by writing…this implies my income comes from people reading my writing.
Because I get paid when people read my writing, and more and more of my writing ends up in the online (non-print) world, I love Google. I also love any other search engine that sends me readers.
I also love people who link to my writing. Especially if it is a piece that I am earning on by the page view.
Contrary to what some people will have you believe, my posting material in heavily spidered locations is because I want the page views.
Profession 2: Full-time college student
I am currently a full-time college student. This explains why occasionally I seem not to post anything new for weeks at a time.
My major is literature, which explains why I use occasionally use the MLA citation style. If I cite something using MLA, it will be "quote" (x). The (x) is actually the page number; if this was an actual citation, you would be looking for the x (the tenth) page of a book's introduction. Yes, I expect my readers to be able to figure out roman numerals, especially if my source actually uses roman numerals.
A lot of time, I just use signal phrases to indicate my sources: Person X said "Y" about Z. This is known as magazine style; it is the style I use when working for the newspaper.
My minor is history…I have yet to figure out exactly what this does to my writing. Except that it has given me practice in Chicago citation style, which I absolutely loathe using.
I have also done reasonable well in the required science, math, and language classes…again, I have no clue how that affects my writing.
I have a small love of semi-colons; they show up in a lot of my sentences. I hope that my sister sees them; she loathes semi-colons.
Profession 3: Research Monkey
Occasionally, I have done a turn (or two) doing research. Sometimes, I have even been paid to do this chore. What this means is that I have a habit of automatically saving, or printing as pdf, most of the pages that I come across that I think might be of future interest to me. I have learned the hard way that caching large sections of websites makes the research process a lot easier.
The side-effect of this is not only can I spot when someone edits a blog post or webpage, I can actually prove what the original version looked like.
Avocation 1: Golden Dawn member, perhaps an authority and leader
Over the years, I have belonged to several Golden Dawn groups. I know where some of the skeletons are buried.
Currently, I am an elected officer of Bast Temple, a small Golden Dawn-based lodge in Denver, Colorado.
The reason that we say that it is Golden Dawn-based is that there is an ongoing debate about what is and what is not Golden Dawn. I like to think that what I do is Golden Dawn; other people will disagree.
Bast Temple is under the banner of BIORC. In the future, BIORC may become a full-fledged multi-Temple Order. Or it might not.
There are some people, online and offline, who have labeled me the Head of the BIORC. This is only true in the sense that I had a significant role in starting Bast Temple, and the membership keep re-electing me.
The fact that the membership keeps re-electing me scares me a little bit; it scares me more that some people consider me an authority on Golden Dawn.
Basis of my authority
I suspect that the basis of my authority rests upon the fact that I am loud and opinionated.
Locally, in my own lodge, I become an authority simply because I had more experience than others did. When you are the only one that knows anything about a subject, it is easy to get stuck with the label of being an authority.
Interestingly enough, due to the fact that I am considered an authority by some, I have gotten to see documents that have actually increased my knowledge base. I guess that is just the way the ball bounces sometimes.
I would mention my Golden Dawn Grade and Wiccan Degree, but none of my regular readers really care about those things. All that matters is that I am a student just like them, and I am willing to share my opinions and experiences.
Avocation 2: Conspiracy Member
Contrary to the beliefs of some people, I am not involved in a conspiracy.
It is true that I have friends in several different Orders. But it is also true that I dislike people in several different Orders also. I have yet to have a full-blown enemy in any of the Orders; but over the years, there have been several good attempts made by some to become my enemy.
The reason that I am not involved in the conspiracy (if there actually is one) is that I have a hard time following directions. Proof of this can be provided by a half dozen people who have strongly suggested that I cease to do certain things…suggestions that I have promptly ignored.
Avocation 3: Terrible Book Reviewer
I am opinionated. This fact is known by everyone who has ever read my writing, especially my book reviews.
I am notorious for giving bad book reviews. My book reviews are my honest opinion of these books, based on my own background and what I believe my audience is like.
I like doing book reviews. I am not doing them because I was ordered to, or because I was paid to do so. My reviews end up on heavily spidered sites because I want the page views and Google Love that goes along with those placements.
For the most part, I personally pay for the books that I review. There have been a few books in the past that I was given. To the horror of the writers and publishers, giving me a free book does not guarantee that I will review it in a timely fashion; it also does not guarantee that the review will be favorable.
I have also read some of the research conducted by publishing houses; I know how little influence I actually have; it is really sad.
Avocation 4 (or is it Profession 4): Astrology and Occult writer
My writing career has taken some weird bounces over the years. One of the weirdest is that I ended writing occult and astrology articles. I basically tried making my living as a writer, writing anything but occult and astrology. You name it; I have probably attempted to write it. To be quite honest, it never even occurred to me to attempt those two fields; occasionally the plainly obvious gets by me. There is also the little fact that most other types of writing pay much better.
Honestly, I have only the barest clue of who is reading my material. I have some ideas based on comments and private emails, the profiles and known actions of some of my readers. But I am unsure about ninety percent (more or less) of my readership.
I do have a list of assumptions. I presume that my readers have an IQ in the upper half of the population. I presume that they are interested in paganism, wicca, magic, and Golden Dawn. I presume that they range from having no lodge/coven experience to being experts in the field (hence the occasional spilt rating on a book review). And I presume that they can decode a MLA citation when they see one.
Slow News Days
I will admit that I have slow news days. On those days, I will blog about the other bloggers, things I have seen on the web, the weird things that my cats do. Basically anything that I find that gets me fired up (amusement or anger, both work for me).
This coming year, many of my slow news days will be spent mocking Ann Coulter, who I decided would make a decent enemy. Hopefully, she notices and send some readers my way by bad-mouthing me. Hey, I can hope.
Following other blogs and websites
I do not openly follow all the blogs and newsletters that I subscribe to. I imagine that not all of my own subscribers openly follow me either.
Gaining and losing readers
I realize that my writing, including my forum and blog posts, costs me potential readers. On the other hand, my writing also gained me readers. Hence, the balance of the universe is maintained.
Am I bribable?
I don't know.
I imagine that given enough money I might resist the urge to be mean to people. But no one has considered giving me a bribe to find out. Hint for anyone who wants to try to bribe me: Make it a really big bribe.
I know that I have accepted money in the past to ghost write material. I like big bags of money. Oh wait, I guess that is why I am still a Republican.