Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Quote on Living and Another About Poetry from Henry Miller

I have been looking for a quote from the Rosy Crusifixtion by Henry Miller that speaks to the point that writers must live their lives and not just write all the time. All I remember is that Miller was not worried (or may have been at some point and shirked the worry) about writing every single day. Living was important and he would trust that memory would serve him by acquiring the bits that were important to remember at any given time. 

It could be that the passage from which I crave quotes is close to this one (which is one of my all time favorite quotes, as I deem the words words to live by): 
"Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music--the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself."
Although I did not find the quote that I wanted, tonight  (and I'm turning in soon since I've been up since 3a.m.), I did find the following about poets and thought I would post it here for safe keeping: 
“Conditioned to ecstasy, the poet is like a gorgeous unknown bird mired in the ashes of thought. If he succeeds in freeing himself, it is to make a sacrificial flight to the sun. His dreams of a regenerate world are but the reverberations of his own fevered pulse beats. He imagines the world will follow him, but in the blue he finds himself alone. Alone but surrounded by his creations; sustained, therefore, to meet the supreme sacrifice. The impossible has been achieved; the duologue of author with Author is consummated. And now forever through the ages the song expands, warming all hearts, penetrating all minds. At the periphery the world is dying away; at the center it glows like a live coal. In the great solar heart of the universe the golden birds are gathered in unison. There it is forever dawn, forever peace, harmony and communion. Man does not look to the sun in vain; he demands light and warmth not for the corpse which he will one day discard but for his inner being. His greatest desire is to burn with ecstasy, to commerge his little flame with the central fire of the universe. If he accords the angels wings so that they may come to him with messages of peace, harmony and radiance from worlds beyond, it is only to nourish his own dreams of flight, to sustain his own belief that he will one day reach beyond himself, and on wings of gold. One creation matches another; in essence they are all alike. The brotherhood of man consists not in thinking alike, nor in acting alike, but in aspiring to praise creation. The song of creation springs from the ruins of earthly endeavor. The outer man dies away in order to reveal the golden bird which is winging its way toward divinity.”
Henry Miller, The Time of the Assassins: a Study of Rimbaud
Further, as a sort of side note, the above picture was found with this blog which I would follow, were it not dead

Monday, July 2, 2012

Why I Won't Buy Jillian Michaels' Body Revolution

In my mid-twenties I bought one of the Billy BlanksTae Bo videos. I thought that the Tae Bo class would be a nice variation to my workout routine. I was already practicing from a Living Arts yoga video once or twice a week and going to a spin class at least two or three times a week. However, within fifteen minutes of trying the Tae Bo workout, discouraged, I crashed into my seven foot floral couch, sweat pouring, and watched as the very fit participants in the video kickboxed through the next hour or so. I never tried the workout again.
Recently, I viewed some part of Jillian Michaels' (The Biggest Loser) infomercial for her new series of workout DVDs called Body Revolution . My interest was piqued. I remembered that Jillian Michaels has been integral in helping many people slim down and get more healthy. The woman changes peoples' lives on television. However, after watching what little I did of the infomercial, I wondered if taking her workout plan might prove the same results as my attempt to work out with Billy Blanks, all for the cost of $135.00 (after the estimated shipping and handling) which to me at this point in time is no chump change.
The infomercial features a room full of very fit people employing some very high impact routines that I have no doubt will slim, trim, and tone any participant if they are able to keep to the routines. What I don't see is an entry point for people who are either just beginning the workout or at a mid-level in the infomercial. Nor do I see anyone whose body type I can relate to as far as where I am now.
I understand that the series increases in challenge and I also understand that Michaels has included workouts from The Biggest Loser. It is evident that the program aims for significant and swift results. I like these bits of information and yet I still crave to watch someone go through the process as I do instead of finding myself working out with people who look to me like athletes already. I think that seeing someone progress as I progress would encourage and feel more realistic to me than what I've seen so far. The knowledge that Jillian Michaels was the personal trainer for the participants of The Biggest Loser just is not enough.
I am not sold. 

***originally published at Yahoo Contributor Network

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Some Possible New Resources for Naad Yoga Studies

This post has been moved to Finding Naad.

Learning to Write Articles for Percentages of Pennies Per Page View Inspires Me to Keep at It

In Summer, 2010, I got together at Under the Umbrella cafe with two other writers to chat, become re-inspired, and glean some ideas about writing.

I had been thinking a lot about all of my talents and joys and I wondered how I could implement more of those things into my life. I have had more than fifty jobs because it is challenging for me to not become miserable when my interests and abilities are not engaged and of course, I have been searching for that job that is a joy and not a challenge because of the lack of engagement related above.

I had come across the Strengthfinder book and while it offered some really good insights about how I work best and how I learn, I still felt a bit lost. Most of my skills have been best utilized in my volunteer work with internships and non-profits. I enjoy working in those sectors because there is usually a lot of freedom there to explore, learn, and hone skills. Of course, the pay is not great if it is a tad above nil. A lot of CEOs at non-profits get a pittance if anything at all. Also, my work description, if it existed, was fuzzy and not backed by proper certifications so that I might move forward with those skills into future employment. This was probably mostly my fault because at any of those situations, I have usually had the freedom to at some level create my own position. I suppose as a writer, I can write that in, create the titles and such if I need/want to....

At any rate, getting back to the meeting: One of the things that I really wanted was to step significantly back into my writing life. I wanted to learn ways in which I might be able to make a little money with it. I'd heard that you can still make some ducats writing sci fi and romance novels but these are things that aren't too much of an interest to me, despite my attempt to write just about everything. I'd applied for a technical writing position and made it halfway through the editing portion of the interview, and when I became so bored to literal tears, I decided I couldn't go that route. I would pull every hair out of my head in grips.

The three writers at Under the Umbrella talked a bit about freelancing. I'd wondered if freelancing was a bit dead. Nonetheless, I seemed to know people who did freelance and at least two who did well enough to eat and have shelter by. One of those people was at the table.

I knew that I had become a fairly decent writer. I'd won some awards and scholarships for writing and have even published a little. When I wrote for a fellowship, despite the site saying that those who were not accepted would not get a letter, I got a letter saying that my work was worthy of some program, that there was no doubt I would do well in any program that might accept me, and that perhaps I should try the fellowship again with new material.

The chat at Under the Umbrella was a relief as well as a boon. Recently, I have been trying to fulfill the advice that I obtained there from the freelancer who feeds and houses himself with the work. The advice was a simple first step. Write a blog post everyday on any subject, about 250-300 words, before making inquiries into freelancing gigs. Write about everything. Write about products in your fridge. Write about books you've read, records you've listened to. Anything and then Presto (!) you have a portfolio.

I've taken the advice to heart, even if I don't make the goal of writing something 7 days a week. I have to keep in mind that I am learning, too. I want to write very good articles that are informative and valuable to readers. I haven't practiced journalism since Junior High School. Not everyone takes blogs seriously, and I don't even know if anyone really reads these things. The solution? A dear friend of mine told me some time ago about Yahoo Voices. It's a website which is very similar to Examiner or Yourhub. Anyone can submit articles to the site and there are varying levels of writerly ability there. I have been watching some very good writers, some freelancers, to try to gain more skills. I have also begun to submit to the site on a regular basis. I like the site even though I rarely make a per article up-front pay (and the most I have made so far is $3.02). The boons from the site are priceless to me, though. Even the percentages of pennies I earn per page view are incentive for me to continue. I am making more there with a writing exercise than I am on my blog and the possibility for an audience is increased by the nature of the site. Further, when I ask for up-front pays, I get very good tidbits from the editors who teach good journalism (ie using full disclosure, getting permissions, and nixing assumptions in articles). The experience is good and helping me keep my gumption up.

I'd suggest it to anyone who wants to try.