On Location – Gonzo Fest 2018

Tim Denevi and Margaret Harrell

Author/professor Tim Denevi and I had a delightful time presenting at the Gonzo Fest 2018. The Leo Weekly, Louisville, set up the event in an itinerary:

12-1 p.m.
Writing “Hell’s Angels”: Will the Real Hunter S. Thompson Please Stand Up
Featuring: Timothy Denevi and Margaret Harrell

1:10-1:50 p.m.
Book Signings: Margaret Harrell, Ron Whitehead and Juan Thompson

1:30-2:30 p.m.
The Battle of Michigan Avenue: Chicago 1968, HST and Violence Against Journalists
Panelists: Michael Lindenberger, Timothy Denevi and Ryan Van Velzer
Moderator: Kate Howard

TopsLouisville wrote:

Held at the Main Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, where Thompson’s mother Virginia worked for many years, GonzoFest Louisville will host two panels, Writing Hell’s Angels: Will the Real Hunter Thompson Please Stand Up? and The Battle of Michigan Avenue: Chicago 1968, Hunter Thompson, and Violence Against Journalists. The festival will also host the Kentucky premiere of the PBS documentary “The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo.”

At the “Writing Hell’s Angels” panel, Tim Denevi, MFA professor at George Mason University, and I gave a program on Hunter, age 29, facing up to challenges in getting his first book, Hell’s Angels, through the publication process at Random House, no small feat under the circumstances of legal challenges and so forth. I was Hunter’s copy editor, the assistant editor to Jim Silberman and the Girl Friday on all matters pertaining to the situation.

Gonzo fest 2018

The News and Tribune gave some background on my fellow presenter:

Denevi’s next book is a work of narrative nonfiction on Hunter S. Thompson. Denevi’s essays on politics, sport, and religion have recently appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine, The Normal School, and Literary Hub, where he serves as the nonfiction editor.

With publication imminent, Tim’s second book already has a free preview here on iTunes.

A huge thanks to Deborah Brownstein for the Featured photo and to an unknown diner at the Brown Hotel for the one of Tim and me.


Hunter Thompson at ranch 1991




Lifetime Achievement

Margaret Ann Harrell Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who


Photo credit: Jinn Bug

RALEIGH, NC, March 29, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Margaret Ann Harrell with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

An accomplished listee, Ms. Harrell celebrates many years’ experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Longtime writer, editor, photographer and educator, Ms. Harrell is a talented and diverse professional who spent the first portion of her career working in New York City. Hired as a moderator for the Ford Foundation summer courses in Greek classics in four newly desegregated Mississippi and Louisiana high schools and universities by Moses Hadas, a famous professor at famous Columbia University, she earned her first permanent job as an assistant editor at United Feature Syndicate the following year, that was followed by assistant editor and copy editor roles with Penguin Random House between 1965 and 1968. After leaving Random House, she earned three fellowships at MacDowell Colony. Spending her next years in various roles abroad in Morocco, Switzerland, and Belgium, including as a co-organizer of U.S. and Indian workshops and lectures for nearly a decade, Ms. Harrell continues to write and edit all these years later.

Providing editing services for clients, Ms. Harrell will first complete a telephone consultation. She will then look at a few chapters of their book and give a tailor-made assessment of how much editing she believes the book will require and what the fee will be. She provides everything from developmental editing to partial and comprehensive editing, copyediting and line edits or final cuts.

Some of Ms. Harrell’s more recent books she authored include the memoir series “Keep This Quiet! My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert,” “Keep THIS Quiet Too!,” “Keep This Quiet III: Initiations” and “Keep This Quiet IV: Ancient Secrets Revealed.” Her cloud photography—which experiments with the sun—has also won her some fame. In addition to group exhibits and to being printed in various full-color catalogs and magazines—for example, “Best Modern and Contemporary Artists” (Palermo, Italy, 2016, 2017) and “75 Fine Art Photographers (Leipzig, Germany, 2013)—she has a selection in the Toreke Museum in Belgium, and her solo exhibit in Sibiu, Romania, “The Sun in Profile: So Bright It’s Dark,” ran in two locations: the C. Peter McGrath Center and the U.S./Romanian Faulkner Fulbright Conference. Her work is represented by the Ward-Nasse Gallery in New York City.

To read more, click here


Diana Henderson – “Volume of Wisdom”

Published for three days now, KTQ! IV, rev. ed., is still in the top 100 Kindle Mysticism books. It was the nr. 1 new issue in Spirituality/Personal Growth/Mysticism its very first day live.

I can surely thank Diana Henderson for some of that.

I am thrilled to have the review for Keep This Quiet! IV, revised edition, by the marvelous healer and spiritual teacher Diana Henderson below:

As though it arrived with a full legion of angelic messengers and masters of Light, from the moment I touched this book, its energy began to flow through me. If you are ready to welcome energetic shifts toward enlightenment and eager to embrace your own deeper understanding, this book is for you. This beautifully-written volume of wisdom provides attunements as you meander through its pages joining Margaret on her journey.—Diana Henderson, author of Grandfather Poplar

She kept it a surprise; I only learned of it when I opened her “Order of Michael news and events email.” Diana has a large following, and it’s no wonder.

Find Diana’s work here

And Grandfather Poplar here. Or here. This is an inspiring book I immediately connected with –  about a young girl who communicates with trees. The story feels very real as you read it:

Melissa Kincaid has a secret that she shares with no one—something that makes her different from everyone else in her life. She communicates with trees and with one elder poplar whom she calls Grandfather. The spirit of her ancestor, a Cherokee medicine man, watches over her and takes her into another realm in her dreams. A world exists beyond this one, and she keeps this truth completely to herself—until the day she meets Arthur, a Cherokee boy who has seen her in his own dreams.


A “grand Synthesizer” – Ron Rattner’s review

In the very latest review of Keep This Quiet! IV: Ancient Secrets Revealed, of which I am quite proud, Ron Rattner writes that Margaret has an “excellent ability to communicate and weave esoteric ideas about science, psychology, philosophy, and spirituality. Richard Unger’s channeled hand analysis description of her as a ‘grand synthesizer’ was apt and accurate.” Rattner, a longtime devotee of Dhyanyogi-ji, is the author of the forthcoming book  From Litigation to Meditation: An ex-lawyer’s spiritual metamorphosis from secular Hebrew to born again Hindu to uncertain Undo. Ron is also the principal writer on the mystical website sillysutras. com, “a project of the Perennial Wisdom Foundation.” Click to access it. Ron is a wise man, who firmly believes, as do I, he is guided by Shri Dhyanyogi in spreading these universal wisdoms.

About the Silly Sutras website, it is described as

a great new place – in cyberspace,
where Dr. Seuss will meet Einstein, and Rumi – and many others too –
just like you,
mystically musing, and whimsically wondering
about Life’s perennial puzzlements.

Here you’ll find Ageless Adages For Every New Age,
With Whimsical Rhymes For Our Times;
Plus Paradoxical Answers to Life’s Unanswerable Questions,
With Speculations and Ruminations Pondering Perennial Puzzlement

Try reading some of the posts. You will find them difficult to turn away from. Sutras, he explains, in its Sanskrit and Latin root means “to sew.” His sutras “join issues.” The result is “a tapestry of insight from direct experience and perennial precepts.  Sometimes sutras are concise epigrammatic and enigmatic aphorisms, with vast significance.  Sometimes they are grouped to refer to a common category like Yoga or Tao, or as in Buddhist sutras, to record oral teachings of Gautama Buddha.” Ron is also a poet. Sample his site and you will find ancient wisdoms he collects like pearls like those below:

There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe. 
The horizontal threads are in space.
 The vertical threads are in time.
 At every crossing of the threads, there is an individual.
 And every individual is a crystal bead. 
And every crystal bead reflects not only the light 
from every other crystal in the net,
 but also every other reflection throughout the entire universe.
~ Indra’s Net – from the Vedas of ancient India, 7000 years old

All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
~ Buddha


Italy – Art by Margaret Harrell

A section of the November/December 2017 issue of the magazine Art International Contemporary, published in Palermo, Italy, was called ‘’Il Genio dell’Art,” or “The Genius of Art.” Sun Spotlight on Faces” was accepted into it. The publisher curators placed a selection of contemporary art such as mine after works by well-known artistic geniuses such as “Picasso, Dali. Pollock.” That way, the magazine reaches the hands of “a public strictly made of collectors, gallerists, art merchant, museum and foundation directors.”

Sun Spotlight on Faces Margaret Harrell

In a September art event, the publication The Best Modern and Contemporary Artists 2017 was launched in Berlin at the Georges-Casalis-Hall. It is curated in Italy. And I was invited into it. How I would have loved to attend in person (sigh). The location was the Französischer Dom.

An condensed online description reads: “You won’t get any more central that this. The French Cathedral (called the Französische Friedrichstadtkirche or the Französischer Dom) stands in the middle of Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin’s historical city centre. As a

“Clouds Floating” – Variation of “Cloud Gathering”

venue for receptions, events, conferences and cultural events, it has the best possible location in Berlin . . . The great hall, with its 700 square metres, has room for 500 – 600 guests. A further highlight of the French Cathedral is the stunning Georges-Casalis-Hall – an oval room with wooden parquet floors – perfect for lectures, conferences or receptions for 100 to 150 people.”

Another online description adds “The edifice commonly known as the Französicher Wikipedia gives a little history:

Berlin Französischer Dom art event – Margaret Harrell








Französischer Dom (the term is German for “French Cathedral,” but in the case of Gendarmenmarkt, Dom refers to the French word for English “dome” and not to a cathedral. Neither church on Gendarmenmarkt was ever the church of a bishop. . . .

Louis Cayart and Abraham Quesnay built the first parts of the French Church from 1701 to 1705 for the Huguenot (Calvinist) community. At that time, Huguenots made up about 25% of Berlin’s population. The French Church was modelled after the destroyed Huguenot temple in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, France.


Editing – Meister Ekhart – “Only the hand that Erases . . .”

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write. – Saul Bellow


Only the hand that erases can write the true thing – Meister Johann Eckhart

Which is it? The words of the famous thirteenth-century German mystic or the modern Nobel Prize for Literature winner? Both, of course.

Editing – writing – involves juggling these two basic truths. Sometimes a text comes out finished; the trick is to believe in it and not fiddle around. Other times, most of the time, a text may rush out, but it’s falling over itself with excess words.

I like to go through a process of feeling the energy in the work, feeling its form, the way Michaelangelo said a block of stone had the sculpture inside. His job was to chip away till it revealed itself. Instead of treasuring every individual word as untouchable, I find it very easy to stand back at a distance and observe a page, the whole, so that it’s clear what needs to be left with no marks at all and what needs to be gone over lightly or heavily, even with a razor blade for sharpness. A lot of that, the author can do before coming to me. It’s when the author feels either stuck or finished or just wants a jolt of energy, a new angle to keep writing through, a different lens, that the editor can help the author go to a new level.

In editing for someone, you do this one step removed, because you are looking to capture – surround in the best textual context – the author’s own voice and words.


Bell Sounding to Thoughts – and Hunter Thompson

The audible, nonphysical bell was a phenomenon that appeared in my apartment in Tienen, Belgium, just after the sudden death of my boyfriend, Willy Vanluyten. It stayed over two years. It sounded somewhat like the watch sound that signals the hour, though there was no such watch in the apartment. It was part of an initiation. More on this and other subtle experiences inside Keep This Quiet! III: Initiations (2014) and the revised, expanded, retitled brand-new edition of volume IV, Ancient Secrets Revealed (2017). I was fascinated with all mysteries, this one included. Where did they come from? How could I use them creatively?

A glimpse from the about-to-be published revised fourth memoir, Ancient Secrets Revealed, takes us to Tienen, Belgium, in 1991. Willy had just died:

Thrown off balance—but excited—by the energy beginning to permeate the apartment Willy and I had shared, I felt the need to reach out to an old friend, though I had close female friends in a weekly “Inner Landscaping” course in self-development in Brussels and in a mystical Tai Chi course in Leuven. But I wanted someone with a longer view of me, who wouldn’t laugh outright at the fact that since Willy’s death I had a nonphysical bell sounding in my apartment in response to thoughts. Who could I call? Someone who took “weirdness” in stride? Hunter [Thompson].

Not that I told him right away about the bell or even about Willy, but I broached the topic of psychic experiences and he listened. At least, he didn’t dismiss them outright, but said he preferred the word “intuition.”

After numerous long calls January–April 1991, we found a window of opportunity to meet. It latched onto feelings never lost. We
both felt the old tie that had never broken stirred up. However, think about the unknown territory we had to cross now. Hunter did not know me as a mystic. He had only a clue or two about what was going on in my apartment—about which the reader will get more input coming right up. I did not know the extent of his increased drug use. It didn’t matter. We knew something more basic, which held on despite these important things that should have driven us apart. Would it, when we met?



“A Gathering of Angels”- September 14

Diana Henderson has given me the great honor of inviting me to be part of a beautiful event at Dancing Moon.

A Gathering of Angels Meetup Monthly Meetup

She gives details below and also here. where you can join and sign up to attend. Or just drop in if seating is not at capacity. Diana writes:

This meeting will introduce our audience to some of our local metaphysical and/or healing authors, who will share wisdom from their work to assist us in understanding ourselves, our journey, our wondrous univer

  • A Gathering of Angels PRESENTS 

    Wisdom from the Messengers
    Date: Thursday, September 14, 7 – 9 PM
    Location: Dancing Moon Books,
    1840 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh
    Hosted by: Diana Henderson with Margaret A. Harrell and Maryphyllis Horn
    Cost: $11 – $33 (Sliding scale; $11 minimum)

    Those who write books on healing, metaphysics and/or intuition are here as Divine messengers or emissaries to offer humanity solutions for walking the path consciously and moving through this great shift of the ages. At this meeting we’ll be joined by some of our local messengers to offer insights from their books and/or lives/practices. Each one will present for about 30 minutes and share concepts or techniques to further our understanding. This meeting will include:

    Presentations from the following authors: Margaret A. Harrell, Maryphyllis Horn and Diana Henderson

    • Meditation, information and/or experiential exercise with each author

    • A crystal for each attendee and exercise to work with it from Diana’s upcoming book

    • Door prize drawing

    Please bring a pen and paper if you wish to make notes.

    In her most recent book, Keep This Quiet! IV: More Initiations, Margaret A. Harrell dives deeper into the world of visions, computer-PK (mental influence over the computer), divine guidance, Psychologist Carl Jung, and science. Her path spans spirituality and the quantum mind, Hunter Thompson and the Indian guru Dhyanyogi-ji, whose tradition of Kundalini Maha Yoga she is initiated into. Many traditions join hands in this book to make “a book of wonder—spirit, ghosts, hope, mysticism, mystery,” writes Alice Osborn, author of Heroes without Capes. This book is available at Dancing Moon, on Amazon and on Margaret’s website, www.MargaretHarrell.com, where you can learn more about her other books and considerable accomplishments and honors. In addition to her work as a writer, editor and photographer, she teaches light body meditation courses in the DaBen and Orin school of LuminEssence, which explore the dynamics and untapped potential of ourselves in various translations of our energy.

    Maryphyllis Horn, M.Ed., is a renowned shamanic practitioner and metaphysical interfaith minister. She specializes in soul retrieval, shamanic journeying, Ancestral Lines Clearing©, Karmic Matrix Clearing©, past life regression, and spiritual hypnotherapy. At this meeting, she’ll present information from her book, Transforming the Soul: Beyond Soul Retrieval. The experiential portion will help you to know what it’s like to relate to a retrieved soul part. Maryphyllis is also the author of Whispering with Animals and Ancestral Lines Clearing. You may find her books at Dancing Moon and other locations locally as well as on Amazon.com. Learn more about her and her amazing work at http://www.soulshaman.com.

    Reiki Master Teacher, Intuitive, Author and Ascension Artist Diana Henderson founded the Order of Michael in 2002. She practices several alternative healing modalities and teaches classes in all levels of Reiki, Angels, Intuition, Crystals, and more. She is also the founder of Sacred Heart Soul Healing, a new yet ancient healing modality for the Golden Age. Much of her work as a healer/teacher/messenger focuses on assisting others in opening to their gifts and enhancing their spiritual connection—hastening the journey to enlightenment. Diana is the author of the novel Grandfather Poplar. She is currently working on three other books. Kindred of the Crystal Kingdom, which is in the editing phase, will be the subject for this evening. Keep reading here.


Short Podcasts on Editing – What It Is

Below are two very short podcast interviews on how I see editing services. The first interview goes into some of the recent history of editing practices – with anecdotes.

The second is about my current editing services and trends in the fast-changing market. It touches on topics like the importance of having a book edited, including my own experience at being edited. Also, there are anecdotes. If you are writing a book or have a topic and want to begin, there’s a good chance I can help. And these podcasts may lend some insight into the publishing process.

If you want to listen to the full 30 minutes, here are the two segments as they were recorded, one after the other.


Paul Krassner’s Second Letter

Diving into my garage boxes, I found a follow-up note from Paul Krassner that confirms what I remembered: he explains that in my absence (I was in Las Angeles with Hunter during a quick weekend visit) he sent me a letter but addressed it to the wrong person at Random House. So here is how I found out about that and – yes – I hurried down to the Obscene Letters area to rescue it and read it. True, such a section existed at Random House down in the basement. It made for amusing reading, and I kept both letters as souvenirs.

Read excerpts from the original, funny – mash – letter here.