Its Not Magic But

A few months ago, I introduced a postscript to this column titled, "It's Not Magic, But." in which I could mention books, videos, software, websites, whatever, that (while not specifically magic oriented) were interesting. I also solicited your suggestions for items to include in this category. Unfortunately, due to space restrictions, Editor Stan had to cut this section from the last few columns. This month I use it as my lead, so if it goes, the column goes.

Our suggested reading this month comes from Dr. Jerry MacGregor (co-author of The Restaurant Worker's Handbook). His suggestions are so important that I felt they should lead off this month's review column. They are: The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, On Writing Well by William Zinsser, and The Art of Readable Writing by Rudolf Flesch. To this list I would add a book which I have found useful: Style by Joseph M. Williams.

In this age of desktop publishing, email, and magic bulletin boards, the ability to write clearly and concisely has become a critical skill. You cannot establish credibility if you handle the language poorly. I have watched as flame wars arose on the internet simply because the writers did not express themselves clearly.

If you intend to self-publish a magic book or a set of lecture notes, your writing skills become even more important. Learning tricks from a book is a difficult process. A manuscript filled with errors in punctuation and grammar can stop a reader in his tracks.

If you are considering writing a magic book, clarity and concision are not enough. I would suggest you add one other skill: persuasiveness. I need you to convince me (without hype) why I should take the time to study your version of a particular trick. This means, of course, that you have thoroughly studied earlier versions of the trick, and you believe you have substantially improved the effect, the method, or the presentation. (And, by golly, we're back to Darwin's First Law again.)

The above books are very inexpensive. You'll spend less on all four than you would for the average magic book. Do the magic world a favor. Buy them and study them.

Incidentally, if you are in an isolated part of the country, you can find all these books (and about one million more) at the Amazon Bookstore. Point your browser to and be prepared to drop a load of cash.

Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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