Today is Extra Special

So, I normally don’t do two posts in the same day, but I was really excited to get this one out there and I know you’ll be really excited, too. I also didn’t want to skip a day in my Seven Sins essays as I have a bit of a thing going. Ever forward!

So, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this entry in The Infernal Interviews!

Our sacrifice today is the wonderful Mitch Horowitz

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He sent me his own photo and everything!

So, from the extensive research I’m currently doing, as well as what I’ve seen on Twitter, I can tell you that Mitch is a busy guy. He is an award-winning historian, as well as an author on subjects ranging from The Occult to the secret life of Ronald Reagan. His voice has been used to bring tales to life in the form of audiobooks and has been a voice of “alternative spirituality on CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, CNN, and throughout the national media”, according to his blog. He has been published but has also been on the other side of that as a publisher.

Honestly this is all on his blog and if you want to check that out, click here and you will go there. Don’t click here though, it’ll go to something else.

So, without further ado, lets get on with this entry in…

end of MY rope

1) What is your relationship to the Church of Satan?
I am not a member (I’m an ecumenical Satanist) but I greatly admire CoS and the work Anton did in founding it. Aesthetically and ethically, CoS has been an earthquake on the religious scene. And I admire Peter Gilmore’s work—I’m more metaphysical in my orientation, but he has sharpened CoS’s focus in a manner that keeps it from being a museum to what Anton did, and keeps things fresh.

2) Do you have any creative projects on which you are currently working?
I have a new book called The Miracle Club coming out in October, and I am writing and speaking a lot. I’ll be Los Angeles in October discussing the life of Manly P. Hall, women and occultism, and why magick works. Soon I plan to present a series of talks and a book on Satanism called God of the Outsiders, so I’m looking forward to that. My pal Ronni Thomas and I are also making a film version of the occult book The Kybalion. (Oh this all sounds fun)

3) What is the best name for a cat?
Lucius.

4) Tell me a little about “Satan’s Honor Roll“.
I wanted to lay down the law that there is an ethical code on the Left Hand Path. The other night, one of my kids asked me, “Dad are you a Satanist—yes or no?” I said yes, but realized that I have trouble explaining even to my own kids that that doesn’t mean what they get taught online or hear in their peer group. I think that was the inception for the article, which has gotten an incredible reaction.

5) How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I like to be alone. I might do a ritual of some kind, or write down aims for the future. I do like getting gifts—generally anything having to do with artist Steve Ditko, and I don’t care if I have it already because I also like giving stuff away
6) Do you think there is relationship between how well somebody can drive and their religion?
Wow—amazing question. I have noticed that Hasidic Jews drive like shit. I can say that because I had an Orthodox bar mitzvah. So, I really don’t know, but that’s one observation!

7) How do you define Satan?
I do believe in a nonphysical aspect of life, so I see Satan as the name that humanity has placed upon the energies of rebellion, discontent, protest, and consequences-be-damned art. Whatever term you use, I do believe that there is an extra-physical presence called Satan whom you can approach. Approach him at twilight at a crossroad—he’ll give you a new name.

8) What’s your biggest Pet Peeve?
People who think they’re badass because they call people names online. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t say it digitally.

9) What are your top three favorite songs?
10) Tell me your favorite joke
Here’s one I made up (may Satan forgive me):

“Did you hear that Tom Petty is taking swimming lessons?”

“No, tell me about it.”

“He says the wading is the hardest part.”

The End

Damn, I am glad we ended on that joke because it was really bad good. Please take a second to check out Mitch and all of his work as he has taken a moment to chat with us.

Enjoy the rest of your day, my Darling Devils, and I’ll see you tomorrow in the Fourth Circle.

HS!

LH

I Read Books

Hey there, my Darling Devils, it’s me, ya girl, and I’m here to give you my book recommendations! This took me a LONG time because I have so many books that I adore for various different reasons. Somehow, I’ve got it down to my Top 5 with a few honorable mentions at the end because it was hard to pick. There are a wide variety of genres represented, so there should be something for everybody, and I will provide links to where you can purchase these.

NOTE: I have NOT included any of the Church of Satan’s book in this list because I plan to do a literary analysis on each of them later.

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Edwin with our books

So, without further ado, please put your hands together for…

Lauren’s List

5) Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature 

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I love Laura

This book is dear to my heart because it is (mostly) about Bellingham, which is where I spend most of my days, as well as other parts of Washington, Alaska, and Diet Washington AKA Oregon. This is a collection of short stories, poems, fiction, and non-fictions from a woman who was absolutely amazing.

Ella Higginson was born in Kansas, moved to Oregon, and then moved to what was known was New Whatcom, Washington with her husband in 1885. She was chosen to be the very first Poet Laureate of Washgton State and was hugely popular. On the side of one of the buildings at my alma mater is the phrase “Here is the home of color and of light” which is attributed to nobody. This is one of Higginson’s lines from her poem “College by the Sea”, which is a poem about WWU back when it was a Normal School, which taught women how to be teachers. Her name isn’t under the quote because nobody at that time could imagine a world where people didn’t know Ella Higginson. Actually, I have a tattoo of that line!

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This was when it was brand new

Sadly, Ella was lost to history until one of my favorite people in the world, Laura Laffrado rediscovered her work in the State Archives. Seriously, what a character this woman is. I can’t put Laura into words, but there are interviews with her in various magazines. Just google her.

I really recommend this book if you want to see some amazing examples of poetry and prose writing. Ella Higginson was an accomplished poet with an unparalleled master of words.

Amazon Link

4) I am America (and So Can You!)  dictated by Stephen Colbert (Author of I am America (and So Can You!).

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As you can see from the cover, this book is hilarious! This is written by the character Stephen Colbert played on his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, also named Stephen Colbert. Sadly, this character died after Stephen left The Colbert Report, but his identical twin cousin, Stephen Colbert, often makes appearances on Stephen’s current show, The Daily Show.

By the time you’re done reading this book, you’ll have a hole in the side of your cheek from how often your tongue has been shoved in there. It’s all about what is wrong with America and how Stephen knows how to fix it! If you’re a fan of Stephen it’s really easy to read in his voice, which adds to the hilarity of the entire thing.

Sections include “The Family: So help me God I will turn this book around right here”; “Class War: Let them buy cake for a change”; and “Homosexuals: Do not read by glow stick light”.

If these sound like really right-wing talking points, it’s because they are! That’s the whole point of the character of Stephen Colbert, the show he used to host, and the book I am recommending here.

Beyond this humor, the text pokes holes into all of the arguments often used by republicans to defend their views. This serves as a humorous way to point out the flaws of Uncle Gary the he starts going off about the Lesbians and the Mexicans after be’s had a few at Thanksgiving.

Seriously, I don’t laugh out loud at books often, but this one had me roaring!

Amazon Link

3) Man v. Nature stories by Diane Cook

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This book is interesting because it’s one of two on this list that I had to purchase for a class while I was at WWU. It’s a collection of short stories that pit humans against, not only nature, but their natural instincts. I’ve read the book through, but often come back for specific stories within the text, as they have the ability to stand alone.

A few of my favorites are It’s Coming, which is about a group of humans that are trying to escape from a monster that the readers never get a really good look at; Meteorologist Dave Santana, about a woman obsessed with a local weather man; and The Not-Needed Forest which takes us into a world where boys are sorted into “Needed” and “Not-Needed”.

What makes these stories so amazing is that they don’t explain everything. Allow me to explain. We as readers are shoved into the world where out characters live, but we don’t learn everything that they already know because, well, they already know it and have no reason to explain everything to an observer they as characters are unaware of. This is something that movies have a huge issue with, though the one movie I’ve recently seen that does it REALLY well is A Quiet Place.

Another interesting aspect of a lot of these stories is the perspective. Often times, the characters refer to themselves in first-person plural, using “we” instead of “he” or “I”. I was actually doing it in the last paragraph. This draws the reader into the story and makes it feel more personal; like it’s actually happening to them, too.

If you’re into some really fucked up stories written beautifully, check out this one for sure.

Amazon Link 

2) Aristotle and Date Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz 

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Just as Stephen Colbert’s book made me laugh out loud, this book had me weeping. It may seem like it’s going to be a philosophical book, which it is in some ways, but this is actually a book about two boys growing up together and finding love.

As you can see from the cover, this book has won many awards, including an LGBTQ+ literature award, so you can kinda figure out how the story goes just by looking at it. This isn’t a bad thing at all since there are a lot of twists and turns that put you on edge as you’re reading.

I don’t want to go too far into the story or the characters because I really think you should read it! Actually, I have a second copy of this book, so if you really want it, shoot me a comment and I can send it to you at the end of July. I’ll even write you a little personalized note if you want!

Amazon Link

1) The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

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Holy, holy, holy I love this book! I read this book for the first time in 10th grade and I read the whole damn thing in one go because I couldn’t put it down!

This is the story of a family and how life takes you through crazy twists and turns, even when you’re already dealing with other issues. We follow a man through his life as he struggles to balance following his dreams and falling in love.

Oh, and the narrator is a dog. That’s right, folks, you get to hear about life through the best dog ever. Enzo is a wonderful pup with some wonderful views on life. This isn’t really a spoiler, but if you want to go in blind, don’t read the next sentence. Enzo believes that if he really tries, he can learn all he can during his time as a dog and then come back in the next life as a person. Also, since his human is a racer driver, he loves watching races and so there’s some really cool nods to real racing culture, if that’s your thing.

I’ve loaned out these books many time and have purchased it as gifts for people’s birthdays and weddings because I love it so much. I really, really recommend buying, borrowing, or checking out this book because it really fun and well-written.

Amazon Link

Honorable Mentions

I really, really wanted to put these books in the list, but I forced myself to only pick five.

1) Boxers and Saints, a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang

2) The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

3) The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. (Also her book The Poisonwood Bible)

4) Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson, which is a book about reaching rock bottom and getting back up again.

 

So, that’s all for this post, but if it goes well, I can do some more! I have many opinions on movies, shows… twitter profiles. Let me know in the comments what other lists you’d like.

I hope you enjoyed this post and, if you read or have read any of these, please let me know what you thought!

Have an amazing day, my Sweet Satans.

HS!

LH

I Love Painting

Hey there, everybody! I hope you are enjoying your summer! I have been taking time to relax and start getting ready for the next school year, which has been wonderful. Also, Fourth of July was AMAZING and I’m going to be doing a post here soon on why it’s a Satanic holiday.

But today, I want to talk about painting! Here’s what you need to know: I am a garbage painter. I absolutely suck at it. I took a Theatre class a while ago where we needed water colors in order to complete the Costume Design homework and once that class was done I still had all these supplies. So, I tried just painting for fun.

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See?

And it was fun! It’s calming and creative and I don’t have to use the thinking part of my brain for a while. The paper never ends up looking like the image I have in my brain, but that’s okay.

I’m not looking to get rich or famous from painting. I do it for myself. It has become a sort of ritual time for me and I don’t have to worry about if it’s good because I can always just toss them out later. Nobody has to see them.

I’m posting some here so you guys can see what I’m talking about.

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I call this one “The Fuck?” 

The point I’m trying to make here is that you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy doing it. There’s a lot of activities I have zero skill in that I still do, such as singing and dancing. Well, I mean I can’t club dance. I Blues like a mofo.

I know that I get really nervous doing something I’m not good at, even if it is something I like. It takes time for me to be comfortable singing in front of people or even showing them my poems, even though that’s something I’m good at.

So do what makes you happy, friends. As long as you aren’t hurting anybody or anything, go do what makes you happy. Paint a picture, write a story, go fishing, bake a cake, whatever! You don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it.

Have a lovely weekend, my Lovely Lucifers.

HS!

LH

I Want to Introduce You to One of My Heroes

So, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you would have probably (Hopefully) read my blog posts about Lighting Design and Teaching. Well, I didn’t end up where I am by accident. I got here by working hard and loving what I do. Technically my degree is in Creative Writing, so most people think I’m going to be an English Teacher or a starving writer, but I’m not really using it in either of my jobs.

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RUN DAVE!

As a Lighting Designer and a Drama Teacher, I am one of those few who can actually say that I make my money through theatre. I started my career in community college and had only briefly worked backstage in a high school production my freshman year. Well, Until I met Dave.

Dave was my Theatre and ASL Teacher in Community College and, the first week of class, pointed at me and informed me that I was the Stage Manager. I loved it! I ended up finding myself drawn towards the lighting aspect of the stage, though, and that’s now what I introduce myself as. I have thought about doing an SM job at some point soon… I digress.

Dave is so amazing, though, beyond just being one of my Teachers. He is Director, Actor, and Writer with titles such as Rescuing Awen, Guild of Immortal Women, and Angakok.

Oh and he likes to float around under water breathing canned air. I only make it sound strange because I am hugely jealous at what he gets to do and see when he is going scuba Diving. More amazing than that, Dave is a PADI instructor at Seattle Scuba who is gay friendly and will teach you in ASL if that’s how you prefer to learn.

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Damn you, Dave.

So, if you want to check out more about my wonderful, director, mentor, fellow actor, and friend, you can check out his website here.

For now, let’s dive into his actual brain in this entry of…

end of MY rope

with David Alan Morrison

1) What do you like to do with your free time?

I have a lot of varied interests. I wish i could chalk it up to being an interesting man, but the truth is more mundane…I’m restless and A.D.D. I spend a lot of time directing community theatre, line dancing and 2-step (country/western dancing). I used to do quite a bit of scuba diving, but a while ago, my apartment burned down and I lost my equipment. I still haven’t replaced it all.
2) Are there any creative projects you are working on right now?

I’ve been doing two things: 1) making edits to my middle-grade book, RESCUING AWEN and 2) outlining a new book I’m working on. Unfortunately it’s going slowly, though. I keep getting hung up on how much (and what kind of) sex to put into a “romance”. (Thoughts, readers?)
3) Tell me about your books.
I would love to do that! I have four books out: a middle-grade book, RESCUING AWEN, a memoire, TRAVELS WITH PENNY; OR, TRUE TRAVEL TALES OF A GAY GUY AND HIS MOM; a Magical Realism, GUILD OF IMMORTAL WOMEN; and ANGAKOK, a gay-themed suspense thriller. RESCUING AWEN is one of my favorites – it’s about a sentient planet that is dying from pollution and ecological disaster. She gives a young Earthling super powers in an attempt to heal her. TRAVELS WITH PENNY is a popular one with women – especially mothers. It centers around coming to grips with the definition of “family” and how it effected my coming out process.
4) Give me the craziest drama you’ve experienced in your theatre career.

So many! Probably doing an original one-act in a local pub – we used the alley in back as our dressing room. Not only embarrassing, but the night it rained, it made for a very wet evening.
5) What is your interpretation of Satanists?

I’m not sure. I haven’t had enough exposure to know. I don’t believe in “hell” or “satan”, so I reject the idea that it is worshiping some kind of “evil spirit”. I also reject that it is akin to what some refer to as “Black Magic”. I think of realists; those who understand that for every YIN there is a YANG and every good deed, there is a bad. Which means Satanists can see the order in chaos; the sanity within the insanity of today’s world. Rather than throw personal power aside and let “Jesus Take The Wheel”, they choose to exercise their power of choice and forge their own way amongst the fucked up-ness we see around us. Am I right? What do I win? (Five Starts for Dave: 𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐𖤐)
6) Do you have a religion you subscribe to?
I follow a belief system most people call “Pagan”. It’s actually a combination of traditional Paganism and Taoism . I believe that there is a series of events that we have no control over, as life is a complex combination of the fates of all humans. That belief, mixed up a devout belief that humanity is tied to our Earth – makes for an interesting lifestyle.
7) Which celebrity (dead or alive) is your dream man?

I’m not too picky – I have quite a few of “wanna haves”: although I must admit, 1970’s Burt Reynolds was pretty hot.
8) Tell me your favorite joke.

I can’t – it’s a joke I learned in American Sign Language and has no direct English translation. Besides – jokes are so firmly rooted in culture, that while Deaf people may think it’s hysterical, Hearing people won’t get it.
9) What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen while diving?

An ancient Sea Turtle who floated just feet from me, chowing down on some underwater plants. He seemed totally unfazed by me and my fellow divers. Such grace! The creatures are amazing.
10) What in your life are you most proud of?

I am *tremendously* proud of students who I have taught who have then gone on to great success. Whether it be using their theatre education, or sign language, I fill with pride when I hear from them and they tell me how I helped kick-start their future.

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Dave is really one of the best people I’ve ever met and can either be the nicest person in the world or a total bitch, depending on if he likes you or not. Or if he’s hungry… or hasn’t had a soda for a while… LOVE YOU, DAVE!

That’s it for now, kids! I’ll see you all tomorrow, a day further down the left hand path.

HS!

LH