July 2012 PKD Otaku

It’s HERE! The famous 25th Issue of PKD Otaku! It was actually out on the 25th, too 😉 I have three pieces in this issue: 1) my essay “Explaining the Inexplicable 2.0” (this is an update of the blog post mentioned previously here.) 2) a book review of Tessa Dick’s “Allegro’s Mushroom” 3) a letter to the editor regarding Ray Bradbury’s 1999 book signing at Page One Bookstore in Albuquerque, where I asked Ray about PKD. And, just look at the amazing eye candy in this issue. Looks amazing on the iPad! Enjoy!

My PKD Big Bang aka “Accidental Appreciation” – really novel writing ;)

The following is a piece I wrote back in Y2K (2000) when I wasn’t quite ready to really write the novel. I’m posting now for two reasons. 1) Mr. Hand of the Philip K. Dick and Religion blog offered me a guest post (thank you, Teddy!) and 2) I needed to explain what I mean by my PKD Big Bang epiphany. I could probably articulate this better now, that like Phil, I have a million words under my belt that I did not back in 2000. Oh well, this is it. The end is really PhilDickian!!
(I hadn’t read it for a long time.)

I’m not writing a novel about Philip K Dick because I’m a life-long fan of his, or of any science fiction. I didn’t set out to write about this guy, HE came after me – with a vengeance. Phil insinuated himself into MY world, apparently because I would listen. Stop right there. I know you think a line like that means I must be crazy, especially because he had been dead for 14 years when this happened. You could dismiss my whole story right now on that basis– she’s nuts. But, I hope you’ll continue reading because there’s something compelling about my story, mainly that it contains Universal Truth aka Universal Knowledge.

My link to Phil has nothing to do with science fiction, it’s a spiritual story. Or more precisely, a Spiritual Encounter. I could launch into an exhaustive explanation of the series of unusual and bizarre experiences that are my life, but instead I’ll try to sum up that part briefly and get on to the crux of the matter– the part that affects YOU and everyone—our link to What Is.

I grew up surrounded by mysterious Masonic rituals, Pentecostals speaking in tongues, Ouija board contacts, and miraculous healings. My mother and my aunt were steadfast followers of Edgar Cayce and believed Houdini would reappear and confirm the afterlife at any moment in our humble home in the Midwest. None of that seemed ODD when I had no basis for comparison. In fact, when I was seven or eight years old, my best friends thought the stuff going on at my house was really cool. It wasn’t until word spread around school that I learned Ouija board and séance communication was generally frowned upon. I felt embarrassed to learn that I fit right in with the Adams Family and Munsters (remember this was the 1960s), so I stopped communicating with the “intangible” until…

I had a series of “experiences” after my parents died (1976 and 1979.) (2012 NOTE: as it turns out, I actually did insert quite a bit about my life experiences in the novel—especially the transcendental “Encounter” that occurred when my dad died. I did not have any intention of doing that that when I first wrote this piece. I had already written two articles back then: “The Door is Open”– a story about what happened when Dad died and “My Grandmother’s Ring” that explained what happened when Mom died. Those were actually linked in the 2000 version of this piece. That website is no longer accessible. Sorry, back to the article now.)

During the late 1980’s I dabbled in Shamanism and that led to a series of events VERY similar to Phil’s—maybe stranger, if you can imagine. I was involved in automatic writing that culminated in the release of a little booklet called Beyond the GodForce (that’s now available again in eBook form.)
My talents were much sought after in the 80s. I probably could have cashed in on this and hawked my “wares” like JZ did Ramtha on the talk show circuit, but I didn’t. My day job, at the government, would have really frowned on that extra-curricular activity! I did moderate an international New Age conference via computer BBS systems in 1987, but that’s another story. I didn’t make a dime from any of that, because I didn’t think it was right to profit from my “gift.”

I’m sure you are weary of waiting for the PKD BIG BANG. Well, it came in 1996. I was visiting my friends in Denver, Colorado. (This is the story I planned to use for the Intro to AKS)

We were sitting around on a Sunday morning reading the newspaper and drinking coffee. John asked if I had ever read any PK Dick. “No,” I confessed, embarrassed because he had suggested PKD several times over a couple of years. I still recall how he glanced up looking over the top of his half-lens reading glasses. “You really should, you know,” he said with a bit of a disapproving tone. “Okay,” I sighed. “Remind me which one should I start with?” I remembered checking once and discovering that the guy had written a shit-load of sci-fi books.
“Oh, start with the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch or maybe Man in the High Castle,” John said. “Just don’t start with his late stuff because by then he was totally insane.”

Totally insane. That’s what stuck in my mind. What does someone write when they’re totally insane, I wondered. Of course, I went right out and got the late stuff.

That little bit, along with this next very important part is how I always thought I would introduce AKS:

My god, he thought, she was ready… She’s answering questions in advance, questions I haven’t asked. I have to listen to her answers, he thought excitedly, and figure out from them what’s what, what the real situation is.”
‘Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike’ — PKD

I didn’t intend to write this book. Oh, sure, like a million other wannabe authors, I thought I might write a novel someday. But this book wouldn’t take no for an answer. It HAD to be written. “The story must be told.” That’s the first glimpse I got of the situation.

Of course, now you (Teddy followers) really SEE the situation. But I still haven’t even got to the Big Bang. Here it comes, exactly as written in 2000:

I went right out and got a copy of VALIS, what some would call the craziest of Phil’s novels. And, that’s when the PKD Big Bang occurred. Right smack in the middle of reading it, I knew everything there was to know about Phil. I have never learned one thing since that I didn’t intuitively understand that night. I completely understood his obsession over his mystical experiences and this feed-back loop that I find myself in, remembering and then forgetting my own past insights and experiences.

It’s inherent to any mystical experience, I believe, that you immediately “get it” and then lose it in the process of analysis.
I put that in bold because that sums it up right there. Our rational mind can never comprehend the unfathomable. Obvious, isn’t it? It’s why people can’t explain why they believe in God, or Jesus or Buddha. Zen Buddhists can’t explain Satori and don’t even try. True Zen monastics don’t even speak at all. Why bother?

But the rest of us just can’t leave it alone, can we? We insist upon struggling to explain or justify or understand our experiences, especially those that truly impact us. And if you’ve ever had any type of mystical or religious experience, or even an intense sexual encounter, then you know that it’s a crazy-making process to analyze or try to explain.it. Phil took his obsession to the extreme by writing over a million words trying to deal with it. Did he ever get any closer to the meaning of it than that period when the actual experiences occurred? I doubt it. What you do get is confirmation, over and over again—the feeling of de ja vu or synchronicity.

So, why am I surprised to find that my own recent encounter with Paul Williams (March of 2000) is so remarkably similar to the time when he first met Phil? (Read Chapter One – Vanishing Realities from Paul’s Only Apparently Real.) I think I might really write the novel after all. Paul said, “Phil likes being in your story.” He gets it! Paul understood all the dreams and uber weird experiences I’ve had since I started reading and writing about Phil.

And, Phil, I finally “get it!” The story really will be told. Thanks for the great new title. Should I tell anyone that you sent it to me in a dream? Or is that also part of the story?

When the PKD Big Bang occurred, I understood about Phil, but also that everything would unfold just as it should. Now, I finally believe it really will. Somehow, I just KNEW!

Did I mention the title of my novel-in-progress? Phil says to call it, “A Kindred Spirit.” by ejm, Albuquerque, NM

March 28, 2000

Okay, if you found this on your own, then head over to Ted Hand’s blog — Philip K. Dick and Religion for either the beginning or…
the rest of the story 😉

“Thirty years ago today…”

the writing stopped. When Philip K. Dick died of a stroke (followed by a heart attack) March 2, 1982, there was no more speculation about VALIS, no more “what ifs” and no more maniacal all night journaling that he called the Exegesis. Our PKD Fan Site developer, Michael Fisher, created this excellent Memorial.

Of course, on the shelf above is my “what if.” Death may not have stopped PKD. What if he found someone to prod into finishing his Unfinished Business. That’s the basic premise of “A Kindred Spirit” the novel. BTW, that shelf is at Bookworks in Albuquerque (a little personal triumph. 😉 If you are local, please buy a copy from one of the book sellers on our main page: AKSbook.com

AKS and Author in Otaku #23

As I called it over on Fbook, “the biggest, baddest, BEST issue of Otaku ever!” Someone quickly asked, “Otaku??” Yes, OTAKU… PKD Otaku!” The word is actually Japanese slang referring to people with obsessive interests. Obsessive is an understatement when it comes to fans of Philip K. Dick. Dickheads is our other affectionate term.

Anyway, this is the 23rd issue of Patrick Clark’s great zine, and the third one I’ve been involved with. My novel was featured in issue #21 with several pages of Q and A with me, book reviews and commentary on A Kindred Spirit. Issue #22 had a follow-up on AKS, plus interviews by me: one with Tessa Dick (Phil’s fifth and final wife) and a reprint of an old interview with Scott Apel on PKD’s Dream Connection. Now, this Exegesis-laden issue has a commentary by moi (ej ‘jami’ Morgan) about the newly released Exegesis of Philip K. Dick and another fine book review of AKS by Senior Dickhead (pronounce as Spanish or elder statesman) Frank C. Bertrand. I would link directly to those, but the zine is not set up that way. darn! You’ll have to page through the PDF starting here, Otaku #23, but admire the eye candy along the way — stunning!

Tachyon Bombardment!

I think this term “tachyon bombardment” sums up Philip K. Dick’s VALIS/Pink Beam/Exegesis experience as well as anything I’ve heard (and I’ve heard a lot!) So, here are my musings on the Exegesis from yesterday, a Buddhist holiday. Imbedded here on my Crypto blog, is also the podcast with Erik Davis, a PKD scholar who assisted with some of the Exegesis editing, along with Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem. Pamela and Erik really get into what it was like editing the 8-thousand rambling pages of insight and speculation that Phil left behind. I also posted a comment on their “Expanding Mind” page.

the Amazing AKS Free Book Project

In a moment of inspiration this week, I decided to begin the Great AKS Book GiveAway! In the fine tradition of the 1000 Journals Project (launched around 2001), I am going to place FREE copies of AKS (A Kindred Spirit, the novel) around Albuquerque, New Mexico and BEYOND!!

Free copies? “Have you lost your mind?” NO. These are older versions — either Sept 16, 2010 or March 6, 2011 editions (maybe even a few original FDO copies) that have errors. But, who can complain– they’re FREE! I was going to donate these remainders to a worthy cause, and I’m still willing if you have suggestions, but over the coming days (weeks) I am going to place numbered copies at various locations all around ABQ (and beyond.) If you find one, I would love to know where you found it. I’m also asking that you pass it on. If you want you can mark errors, or make your own corrections, but that’s not necessary. I have a long list of ERRATA that was fixed in those copies. You can make comments here, though, on anything: where you found the book, what you think of it, and hopefully where you left it. Because that’s the other catch…

I hope you will keep passing the books along. It helps everyone. YOU get a free book to read, you pass along a free book for another reader and maybe word of mouth will spread about AKS being a good read 😉 After all, it won Best Spiritual/Metaphysical eBook for 2011, from Poynter’s Global eBook Awards.

If you want your own copy, or a corrected one, you can click the BOOK on the home page for a list of current LOCAL and indie book sellers. You can also buy the trade paperback or Kindle version (only $4.95) on Amazon. (the link is good for either eBook or paper 😉

Finally, if you have suggestions about how to improve the Great AKS Book GiveAway , just leave us a note below! Namaste!

WINNER!

A Kindred Spirit took top honors in the Spiritual/Metaphysical category at Dan Poynter’s first Global eBook Awards in Santa Barbara, California August 20, 2011! In other words, I WON!!

I want to say right off, I did not pay to enter this competition. Many did, but I was fortunate to be nominated and fees waived! It makes the win so much sweeter — a real reward and honor. I was not aware of Dan Poynter prior to being part of this event. I have since learned he is considered the original self-publishing guru.

That brings me to my second point. AKS is not “self-published.” ZiaLink Ink is a New Mexico LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), and a business consortium. Bringing together the talents of other artists and writers means AKS is the product of a group of professionals, not a first-time effort slapped together in a few months. I worked several years on the novel and had first rate talent helping me get it published. And now, it truly is the award-winning novel A Kindred Spirit!

For now, I will link to my own press release again, but as soon as I receive publicity, those links will be here or in the comments below. (Did I link to the latest Otaku #22? See comments) The new WINNER badge is on front page ( www.AKSbook.com ) Oh, and I mention Ottumwa, Iowa in the press release so I can send it to the Courier — the REAL Ottumwa Courier where Niki fictionally worked 😉

THANKS again to everyone who helped proof, edit, write reviews, tweak graphics and again to Mary Gray, bless her heart, for pouring her heart and soul (and final drawings) into my novel. (She is legally blind now, so no more drawing after a fabulous career in the arts.)

The final editions (trade paperback and Kindle) are posted and for sale on Amazon. PLEASE use the widget or link to the right to buy, Buy, BUY!! and thanks in advance for your support!

Global eBook Finalist?

I think so! We just got the first peek at the list of finalists tonight, and unless I’m wrong, it appears that “A Kindred Spirit” is on that list!!! Here, check the links: the list of Spiritual/Metaphysical fiction (note the word Finalist in my box) and then there’s this, the actual list of finalists!!

I’ll be looking for that updated FINALIST badge to put on the front page of the AKS site, next. YIPPEEEE!

And, as for the NEA event (in the post below), I received a list of three pages of contacts for the novel. The letter I received said that there was a lot of interest in adult fiction and very few offerings at the NEA Book Expo — mine received a lot of attention. How exciting is that?

Book sales have definitely picked up recently. So, the eBook award, being in the Expo and mentioning it on new Facebook groups is paying off. Now, can I get the 8.2.2011 Revision on Amazon for sale?! The process has taken much longer than anticipated. Revisions were actually done in July, but apparently August is one of the busiest months in the publishing world so getting new trade paperbacks, Kindle update and ePub for iTunes (Apple) is taking extra long. Really soon now. I will tweet, blog and post on Fbook the moment the new edition can be purchased. Thank you for your ongoing support and interest in A KINDRED SPIRIT!!

My trade paperback version of A Kindred Spirit (the novel) will be on display at the huge NEA Expo in Chicago, June 30 – July 2!!

I’m very excited because nearly 20-thousand attendees will pass through the book expo and several MILLION will have information about the books and materials at the event. It’s an excellent opportunity for exposure. If anyone SEES the book there, please let me know: [email protected]

Also, I just lowered the price on the eBook to $4.99 While some authors have dropped even lower (to 99 cents!) many to $3.99, I decided to step down more slowly. I can knock off another buck this summer or fall, but for now it’s $4.99

After all, AKS is nicely formatted with graphics and art. I spent beaucoup bucks getting it in perfect format for iBook and Kindle and for distribution through Ingram as both trade paperback and eBook, so you get what you pay for, right? Some of the cheap-o books are truly self-published with little attention to detail. AKS had many hands involved and is published through a local consortium of professionals. It’s worth a buck more, trust me!

AKS available on iTunes, too!

A Kindred Spirit,the novel,  is now available as an iBook on Itunes! That link is a preview, with book info, which can be viewed even if you don’t have an iTunes account.

To buy from Apple, you must have iTunes via some Apple product — iPad, MAC, iPhone, etc. (if that’s wrong, then someone correct me.) I can access iTunes on my PC but I think it’s best to buy the iBook on the device where you will read it. Anyway, it’s on iTunes along with a Free Sample (yes, of iBook!) The entire book is less than $5.00 US  (about the price of a fancy cup of Joe, makes you more euphoric and lasts MUCH longer .)

AKS is also available via Ingram for Nooks, Kobos, Sony’s eReader, and other eReaders. Of course, it’s also available for Kindle  on Amazon with FREE sample chapters (and also under $5.00)   ENJOY!!!