Tuesday, March 27, 2018

That Ebook Bastard (Why I have embraced ebooks)

One of the joys of teaching the occult, or at least being one of the louder people in the room, is that you can install all types of silly ideas into those who accidentally come within the sound of your voice. Ideas that the rest of the occult community, or at least a significant portion, will insist are really bad ideas and that the person who convinced them that these were good ideas should be flogged with an angry cat. Typically, the flogging are reserved for ideas like “Getting sponsored by a legitimate occult group is highly over-rated and may not be worth the price of having to hate the same people as the head of the sponsoring group.” No, I do not make many friends, for I am that whack job. I have made a list of things I believe that I really should not, simply because I am one of the few that feels this way.

The other day I had to add something new to my list. Not really new—it is just that I hadn’t made a certain business decision yet that puts me firmly in the “Does not believe what the majority of the occult community believes and therefore, he is really, really wrong.” Now that I have made the decision, let the flogging begin.

But long before the business decision was actually made, I was already wrong. Let me give you a quick illustration.

One of my occult writer friends recently published a new occult book and was advertising it on Facebook. I hopped over to the Amazon page to take a look. I was mildly curious, and just maybe thought that I might buy a copy to help my friend out (because I know how Amazon sales ranking works). Yet upon learning that the book was not available in convenient and more economical ebook form, I choose to spend my money on a bundle pack about a cowboy who rides a unicorn instead. (Unicorn Western—if you are curious.) Bottom line, while I was mildly curious about my friend’s book, I was not that curious.

Yes, I have become the Ebook Bastard. That bastard who likes all his class handouts to be in convenient ebook form—preferably in Kindle format, thank you very much. And who plans on issuing all his future handouts on Amazon, for those people who do not live in reasonable distance of my charming voice. The bastard who believes that printed occult books, well printed books period, have become a shrinking niche market, and not worth the effort to format unless they are picture and chart books. I would totally consider buying a pop-up book; but if it is just words and a few pictures, ebooks are now my preferred format.

It is not just price, and not having to find space on a bookshelf for another book (“Look, I just brought nine novels and my Kindle is exactly the same weight as it was before I brought those books”), it is some of the stuff that I can as an author that really makes me a supporter of ebook technology.

For those who have not seen my work, I tend to write stuff that less than a hundred people in the entire world will be interested in. The likelihood of a traditional gatekeeper publisher deciding to put my work in print is about the same as me suddenly sprouting wings and becoming an angel. And that is totally ignoring the fact that I am open about some of my opinions; you try to get a traditional occult publisher to publish your stuff when you are openly stating in your book that you are pro-pot.

The bottom line is that my stuff is only suitable for self-publication. Nevertheless, even as a self-publisher (I prefer the term “indie”), I could go the print route, as my friend did with his latest occult book. So why didn’t I? Because I can do things with ebooks that I can’t do with printed books.

(A quick aside—all the editing and support that a traditional publisher provides, or should provide, can be done by an indie directly, or paid for by the indie. A self-published book can be as good as a book that was vetted by a traditional gatekeeper publisher.) For instance, I have a couple books (really short books—articles really) that I have planned on expanding for years (code-named Bootstrap and Walking the Wheel). To do this with a print versions, I have to not only buy a proof copy (or several if I don’t get it right the first time), everyone who currently has brought a copy would have to buy a new copy to read the new material added. Now, there are some that will argue that having customers buy new copies makes sound business sense. But in my mind, it doesn’t.

First, there are things that I originally thought about putting in the book that I didn’t…because I didn’t have time to. Getting the information out was more important than getting it perfect the first time. And let’s be honest, the core information in the book would still not be available today if I waited for perfection. It was better to issue the information for the interested parties, and plan on updating later.

Second, I learned and developed the core idea over the last eleven years since I first released the currently available version or Bootstrap (likewise for Walking the Wheel, which was released a couple of years ago). The readers that I would most like to read my developments are actually those who used the information in the first place. And with an ebook, I can be reasonably sure that those who brought the ebook though legitimate retailers will get the updated material. Such an immediate updating and ensuring that it gets to the people who brought the first version is easy with an ebook, and impossible with a printed book.

Third, I consider those who have used the material from the first edition of the books to be a community. I like my little community—occasionally, people thank me for releasing the information which gives a small thrill every time it happens. These are my tribe, and I don’t see how annoying them by making them buy a whole new copy at a higher price tag would be productive. (Yes, if I add a hundred pages of material, the price is so going to be increased.) I released the information that is the backbone of Bootstrap because it was my solution to a reoccurring problem, a solution that I still believe in. Updating the existing ebook, rather than creating a whole new edition, is more supportive of the idea and the community that uses the idea than being a writer scrabbling after nickels and dimes.

(Another aside—yes, I know that there are those who believe that if I was really supportive of the occult community that I would just release the information for free and not charge a dime for it. To these critics, I would like to point out that I am a professional writer and what I am charging is far less than what the some legitimate occult leaders charge for their support. On the day that the world abolishes money and everyone gets a guaranteed livelihood, I will quit charging; but until then, I have bills to pay.)

Fourth and most importantly, by updating the ebook and not creating a new listing, I get to keep all the existing links to the books. And the work I have done over the years to promote the books (blog posts and linking to the sales pages) carries over to the new expanded versions. I don’t lose my current sales numbers, and get to add to them instead. Try doing that with a new print edition that is a hundred pages longer and is essentially a brand new book.

And that is the crux of the matter, I can do things with ebooks that I simply could never do as a writer with printed books. It does not matter that “Real books are made with paper” and that “One should not never use a Kindle while performing ritual”; what matters is that ebooks allow me to give my customers a better experience.

Because of that, I am truly that Ebook Bastard.

(And no, I am not telling which two books I am updating. If you can't guess from the code names, then you are obviously not part of the existing tribe that I am updating them for.)

Maybe if it was a touch bigger. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Musical Tarot (Esoteric Comedy Show)

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[In celebration of our fiftieth Tarot Blog Hop post, a bit from a show that you would never actually see happen at a Tarot convention. Trust me. No one would ever be crazy enough to let this happen. So we will just have to imagine it happening together.]

At this point, I would sing you a song. But my wife has expressly said that Morgan shall not sing. Which is a shame because I have a wonderful singing voice. Yes, it it true that angels do cry when I sing.

Giant tears of joy. Emotion that has not been experienced since the creation of the universe. My singing is that good. And angels would totally agree that my singing is as powerful as the creation of the universe.

I should probably point out that my god-daughter disputes the greatness of my singing, and says that the angels are actually crying in great pain and agony. Let's call that Fake News, and move on.

There are people other than my wife and god-daughter who tell me not to sing. The entire Denver community of witches and pagans has told me that when the singing parts of the rituals happen, I am supposed to hum--softly--just so we don't violate any public noise ordinances. Again, Fake News--they just jealous that I am the best singer in the Denver pagan community.

Being forbidden to sing, I have thought about learning to play a musical instrument. Even someone who can't carry a tune in a bucket should be able to learn to play a musical instrument. Surely singing and playing a musical instrument have nothing in common.

And wanting to do it right, I have thought about musical instrument I should devote myself to.

Now many instruments are automatically off of the table for various reasons. For instance, I can't play any stringed instruments because the strings might be made from cat-gut. Yes, I have done some serious non-research here. And the instrument can't be too large, for I am a lazy bastard who believes that his only exercise should consist of pulling books off a shelf. Therefore, the tuba is out of the question, along with the kettle drum, and the piano. That's last one is rather surprising, but let's be honest--it is hard to carry a piano onto the bus.

I have narrowed my choices down to three options, and now my choice of instrument is tied up in committee. But I am quite confident that the committee will allow me to have an instrument. There is absolutely no way that the committee will agree with my mother that all I am doing is making an ungodly racket.

My number three choice is the accordion. My father owned one. I want to own one. Just because his was sent to the attic, never to be seen again, doesn't mean that mine will suffer the same fate. I see that the audience doesn't believe me, and are busy texting the music committee about how much they would love to hear me play the accordion.

"Dear committee for the protection of those who know what music should sound like, I totally support Morgan getting an accordion, and being allowed to play it in public. After all, the accordion is built on the cat in a box principle--and there is absolutely no way that Morgan could play it wrong."

That was texted by someone who obviously done more research on this subject than I have. Because when this bit started, I did not know that accordion had cats in them. Is cat alive? Is the cat dead? We don't know. We will never know. But we can all tell that the cat is a little unhappy by the sound it is making.

My number two choice for musical instrument is the bagpipes. Everyone loves bagpipe music, especially when played by a genius like myself. Plus I will finally be able to convince the neighbor across the street to quit playing their party music at midnight. We all have that one neighbor, who insists on playing their music at midnight on a hot summer night when everyone in the neighborhood has their windows wide open. There is absolutely no danger that this will cause a musical stereo war in my neighborhood.

"Dear committee for the protection of cats and sleeping neighbors, I totally endorse Morgan playing a set of bagpipes on a hot summer night. It is sure to create world peace, for bagpipes sound nothing like an angry cat stuck in a bag."

My final choice in music instruments--my number one choice is a bag of rusting tin cans. Because let's be honest, my real goal here is to be the center of attention--and there is not a reality music show that will not be amused and amazed at my skill at playing a big bag of tin cans.

"Dear committee for the protection of those who do not find this joke funny, for heaven's sake, make sure that Morgan lets the cats out of the bag before he attempts to play it. When will someone think of the cats being tortured for the sake of music."

I recently discovered that you can make cats sing. I discovered this on Facebook. Someone posted a picture of a cat singing Bohemian Rhapsody. Well, not actually singing. It was a picture of a cat captioned with song lyrics.

Totally awesome, don't you agree?

I'm just a purr boy. Nobody rubs me. He's just a purr boy from a purr family! Spare him his life from this meowstrosity!
So I have now developed a hobby of trying to match the song to the picture. And considering that we are supposed to be talking about Tarot, let's go there. Otherwise, this entire bit will make no sense when I put it into a Tarot Blog Hop post.

Being a "silly person"--that's medical speak for "being a bloody loony"--I have started to put song lyrics onto pictures of Tarot cards. Please note that some of these only make sense if you watch the same television shows I do.

I think that Wayward Son by Kansas is appropriate for the Chariot. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen fits the imagery of the Lightning Blasted Tower. Like a Virgin by Madonna, that's the Lovers. Great Balls of Fire is totally the Ace of Wands. The Immigrant Song is my chosen one for Strength. Hint--think of the Viking Kitty video. Death is Tiptoe Through the Tulips--what else could it be?

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!

Carry on my wayward son, for there will be peace when you are done.

Tiptoe through the tulips with me!

Like a virgin, touched for the very first time.

We come from the land of ice and snow--we are your overlords.

But I am most proud of the caption that I came up with for the Devil. It is truly something to cause angels to cry in joy.

If you are happy, and you know it, and want the whole world to know it, if you are happy and you know it, clap your hands! 
And that is what it is all about--causing angels to cry with my awesome ability to make music.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

ECS Free Guns For Everyone (Lap Cats Are Good Too) sales links

“Marge, have you read this?”

“Sue Ann, read what?”

“There is a pecker wood in Colorado, who thinks he knows more about the dangers of guns and gun control laws than us super-smart New Jerseyians.”

“Really? Who?”

“Mad Uncle Morgan.”

“Who’s he?”

“He is that comedian bloke that the Great Gherkin says is a paid hater and troll, and who is being controlled by the time traveling octopods from outer space.”

“Sue Ann, who is the Great Gherkin?”

“Oh Marge, you know, the Great Gherkin is just some guy, an unpopular Big Name Occultist with a patented success system.”

“Patented success system?”

“Yeah, pick a popular cause, trademark it, and charge bigly fees for people to ride on the same parade float as he does.”

“Are you sure that the Great Gherkin is not actually the President of the United States?”


It is Mad Uncle Morgan, everyone’s favorite witchy comedian, versus the Great Gherkin, the most famous occultist of all time. Which one of them is right about the Constitution and gun control? Which one of them owns a catapult? Which one is the greatest American patriot ever? And which one is just a pot smoking liberal traitor of a hippy? Learn the answers to these important and life-changing questions in this Esoteric Comedy Show special, as well learning why gay wedding cakes are so dangerous.

Now available for your reading pleasure.

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble



And iBooks/Apple iTunes store (sorry, I am having a devil of a time trying to locate the sales page link)

ECS Assault With a Deadly Taco sales links

Excerpt:  Of course, now that I am being treated for mental illness...I am no longer eligible to obtain the heights of spiritual development. That is right, I can no longer become the Pope, a President, or a highly advanced “Will live on in a glorious solar body after death—no longer having to come back to Earth” magical guru.

And it is a darn shame. For I really wanted to do one of those jobs. “And I am at least as qualified as they are.”

That is right.

You cannot be Pope and be treated for mental illness at the same time. What is the occasional witch hunt and heresy burning marshmallow night, as long as your spirituality is not being dulled by drugs.

You cannot be President and be treated for mental illness at the same time. What is the occasional witch hunt and heresy burning cocktail sausage night, as long as your nuclear button finger is not being dulled by drugs.

And you cannot be a world-renowned spiritual and magical master and be treated for mental illness at the same time. After all, what is the occasional witch hunt and heresy burning fried chicken and watermelon hexing party, as long as your supreme esoteric wisdom and understanding is not being dulled by drugs.

 And we all know this...
Now available on Amazon. Coming soon to other retailers...
Want me to write more of this stuff?

Buy a copy of Assault With a Deadly Taco, three "twenty minute shows," at your favorite ebook retailer...

Because buying ebooks is how you encourage writers.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

(also all the other Amazon sub-sites)



Barnes and Noble

Coming soon to iBooks (Apple bookstore).