Please Signal Boost – Help for a friend of Isaac Bonewits

Given human nature and the nature of the pagan community, it was inevitable: One of the people I contacted in connection with Isaac’s biography is having some financial difficulties. He didn’t ask for a hand-out; instead he asked that I spread awareness of his services as a reader.

His name is Stephan Abbott. He knew Isaac 40 years ago; Isaac got him a job working at Gnostica, one of the influential publications of the pagan movement. I haven’t interviewed Stephan yet, but I’m sure he’s got lots of juicy Isaac stories.

Here are the links for Stephan’s school of magic: (click on the graphics to get to different portions of the site)

You can arrange readings from him via:

Please spread the word, speak with Stephen, and learn what he can offer. I may not interview him for a while, so you may be able to get the cool stories before I do!

Signal Boost – Big Book Sale: Strong Sales, Book Reviews and Good Advice Needed!

Originally posted by at Big Book Sale: Strong Sales, Book Reviews and Good Advice Needed!

Note from : I’ve read the book, I think it’s excellent, and I’ve reviewed it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

My publisher is having a big book sale, and if you’ve been thinking about reading my book, this is a very good time to do it. Here’s the deal:

75th Anniversary Special

Rutgers University Press is celebrating its founding in 1936 with a special online offer for our customers. Take 36% off the list price on all books you order from our website through June 25, 2011 (simply enter discount code 02ANNV11 in the shopping cart).

The link to the sale page is here:

And the link to my book page is here:

I would love all suggestions about how to get the word out about this and encourage librarians and individuals to grab a copy.

I checked in with my publisher yesterday, and while sales aren’t bad, they could really use a big boost. I appreciate anything you can do. Please offer your thoughts! Signal boosts are also very welcome.

Finally, I would be very grateful to those willing to do Amazon and Powells book reviews—if you’d like to review the book, please let me know.

I’ve asked a few wonderful people about this already, but I could use even more help in this area, particularly if you have an unusual/specifically focused perspective on HIV/AIDS, managing serious chronic illness, health care, women’s health issues, resilience/surviving under really challenging conditions or social/cultural capital…

You can see some of the reviews that have been written already here:

Thanks so much, my dears!


OK, troops. Everyone who doesn’t have to pay a thousand dollars to get their car’s air conditioner fixed, take one step forward.

Not so fast, Seligman!

"But Sarge, you told me not to step forward on Monday, for my last car repair!"

Don’t give me lip, Seligman! Now drop and give me two big ones!

OK, this kinda hurt. Then I think about the women in ‘s book. I can feel lucky that I can pay for this and still go to Free Spirit Gathering and Fires of Venus. This is at most a serious annoyance, not a disaster. The same cannot be said for everyone I know.

I give my thanks. My gratitude is reflected in this month’s Kiva donation.

Looking for… (part 2)

In my research on Isaac’s biography, I’m looking to get in touch with some people. Any help you can offer (including a signal boost) would be appreciated.

Gavin and Yvonne Frost are the founders of the Church of Wicca, and long-time friends of Isaac. I wrote to them at the address on their web site. They haven’t responded yet; that site has not been updated since 2006. Does anyone have more recent contact information? Addendum: Once again, located via Facebook and message sent.

I’m still looking for Ron Wright, Robert Pennell, and confirmation on Robert Larsen. I sent Wright and Pennell messages via Facebook, but have yet to receive a reply.

Need microphone set-up for faint voice recording

OK, audio geeks, I need help and I need it fast.

In one week, I go to the Free Spirit Gathering. I hope to do some voice interviews. The set-up will probably be people sitting around in a circle, from 10 to 30 feet across (I have no idea). I want to make audio recordings of my questions and people’s responses. My original idea was to put a microphone in the center and let it pick up the voices.

My recording device will be my iPad. Note that this has no internal input amplifiers for its microphone; input volume cannot be adjusted. I purchased an external microphone (a CAD U1); it’s a USB microphone (any mic for the iPad must be USB). It has no amplifier either, just a mute button.

In my initial tests a few months ago, this mic seemed fine. I just ran a more realistic audio test, and to my horror I found that if the mic was more than a foot away from my mouth, the sound became almost too faint to hear. In an outdoor environment like FSG, I’m afraid everything will disappear into background noise.

Video cameras seem to capture sound from a long distance away, and with no special equipment. There must be something out there that will do what I want.

If I must, I’ll pass the mic around. But this is awkward, and will interfere with my ability to take notes while people speak.

I don’t have much time for shopping. If I have to, I’ll pay extra for overnight shipping from Amazon, but I have to know what to get.

So: What’s a good audio set-up for capturing voices speaking in a circle?