Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reptiles of the Mind


The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.
William Blake

...thinking about stuff is generally easier than actually doing it, but less satisfying...unless, of course, you’re thinking about doing something really stupid...
Ancient and Venerable Yoga Cynic Sutra 16:731/2

...just wrote this review for Elephant Journal of a book called Writing Yoga...and, in the process, got kinda self-indulgent...which is what I do...without apology...(I mean, seriously, it’s not like I get paid for this shit)...(and, anyway, like to think I’m working in the tradition of the late great Lester Bangs)...(remember reading Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung while in grad. school, and thinking “why can’t I write literary criticism like this?”...probably shoulda known my days in academia were numbered right then)...

Some years ago, my yoga teacher told me about a retreat she was leading on a beach in Mexico, involving instruction in not just yoga but writing.** The yoga and beach-in-Mexico parts sounded awesome, but thought I’d probably skip out on the other in favor of more wandering-on-the-beach time—I mean, I got me a PhD in English, done taut reedin’ n’ ritin’ at the college level, for chrissake, completed a novel, and published all kinds o’ crap; so y’know, what could be more fun on a trip to the tropics than having somebody correcting my split infinitives and instructing me not to end my sentences with prepositions?**** As it turned out, the writing teacher, Ann Randolph, was more holy lunatic than didactic schoolmarm. Right from the get-go, she had us radically stretching, pushing boundaries, moving beyond comfort zones into all kinds of places I really wasn’t expecting to go.***** At the end of the week, when asked how I felt about the balance of yoga and writing, I said I didn’t feel it was a combination, per se. Rather, it felt to me like it was all yoga, the writing as much as the asana practice. And this, along with, according to what I’d read, a desperate need for writers these days to have something called a web presence, led me to create my semi-famous blog, Yoga for Cynics…(mentioned in Yoga Journal and yada yada yada).****** (And, when people point out that, often, the content isn’t really about yoga, I point out that writing the blog is yoga…and, at least fifty percent of the time, I mean it).

...(yes, in this blog where, in better times, I’ve shared the words of Whitman, Shakespeare, and Kinky Friedman, I’m now quoting myself...at length)...(you’ll have to read the actual article to see the hilarious snarky footnotes, as well as get to the point where I move beyond shameless self-promotion and actually mention the book I’m reviewing)...(and yes, this is also shameless self-promotion)...

Oh, help me in my weakness, I heard the drifter say...
Bob Dylan

...so, anyway, running through this bit of personal history, particularly the cryptic web presence thing, reminded me that part of what got me into the blogging thing...in addition to, y'know, becoming one with the blogosphere and spreading peace and contentment throughout the interwebs...was a need to market my writing...(for which I also need to work on the shameless self promotion thing...as I’m doing in this post)...specifically the novel I put the finishing touches on nearly four years ago, but still haven’t gotten published, Drifter’s Escape...(yes, the title comes from that Dylan song)....(what are songs and poems good for if not to provide titles?)...(note how well that Blake line fits with the pic from my trip to Costa Rica, up there...even if it doesn't have all that much to do with the content of the post....can't have it all)...

...though, as it turns out, Yoga for Cynics has kind of taken on a life of its own...and perhaps the strategy of continually planning on getting back to the process of querying agents really soon but never actually doing it might be reevaluated...though whether that means actually getting back to querying agents, or developing a different strategy...(and, y’know, actually implementing it)...is up to question.....more on this, perhaps, as it develops...

...trying to get shit published might be yoga, too...but we're not too sure about that...
Ancient and Venerable Yoga Cynic Sutra 121:97

2 comments:

Carol Horton said...

My suggestion: Forget the agents and self-publish. It's the new new thing and takes a huge amount of hoops to jump through (and preset formulas to conform to) out the the way. They can't really do anything much for you anyway unless your project promises to be a blockbuster phenom. And those tend to be super-boring. So what's the point?

reptiles shops said...

Nice picture you have there! I have a gecko as a pet.

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