My four-decade career as a daily newspaper editor based me in Ohio (three times), southern Indiana, upstate New York, the interior desert of Washington state, the Mississippi River stretch of Iowa, big-city Baltimore, and finally northern New England – all while writing fiction and poetry in my free hours.
As a novelist and poet, I now live in a remote fishing village in Downeast Maine after 21 years in a former mill town in New Hampshire’s seacoast region. These postings reflect the encounters that led me from my native Midwest to the East Coast back to the Midwest and on the Pacific Northwest before ricocheting backward to here. Quite simply, it’s not the life I imagined back in college — in its own way, it’s been both rockier and much richer.
Take my detour into yoga. The name Jnana – a Sanskrit term for the spiritual path of intellect or discernment – was bestowed in 1972 to affirm my unique inner nature during a year-and-a-half residency of intense yoga study and practice in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. In America, it is typically pronounced jah-na, sliding over the first n. In its fullest form, the name expanded by increments to Jnana-Devanandashram. The name also moves into Greek as gnosis and then into English as know. Got it?
Over the ensuing relocations, my spiritual practice pointed me ever more deeply into the Society of Friends (Quaker), which, to my surprise, was the faith of my Hodson/Hodgin/Hodgson ancestors. After three decades as an active member of Dover Quaker Meeting, I’m now participating with Cobscook Friends, both affiliated with New England Yearly Meeting.
For writers like me who fall outside the book industry mainstream, the emergence of ebook publication is a boon. Once again, “experimental” literature — meaning writing free of genre conventions or commercially driven decisions — is available for the adventurous bookworm. Folks like you, I’m hoping.
My primary venue, as it were, comes in the publication of my novels through Smashwords.com, a source that allows you to obtain your own inexpensive volumes at digital edition retailers such as the Apple Store, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Sony, as well as Smashwords itself. Remember, these ebooks are available in the platform of your choice. Please note that if they’re not all showing up when you visit the site, your “adult content” filter may be on … the hippie experience, was, after all, an era noted for its sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. A simple click will fix that.
If you don’t have an ebook reader, consider downloading an Adobe Digital Reader, a nifty app for viewing and managing the books using your laptop or PC. It’s free.
In 2020, my novels also became available in paperback as well as Kindle editions at Amazon. I have to admit a special joy in having them published in physical volumes.
Although formatting ebooks for widespread availability essentially converts them into scrolls, I’ve also sensed moments when I’d prefer to offer them in a more traditional appearance. That’s led to my ongoing series of releases at Thistle Finch editions, with free PDF volumes that can be downloaded and read on any laptop or PC. Check in there for my weekly releases of poetry and spiritual nurture.
One of the best aspects of both the Smashwords and Thistle Finch editions is that they become available anywhere there’s an online connection, meaning globally as well as your own dwelling. Amazon, of course, can deliver the paperbacks just about anywhere, too.
To learn more about my publications and related work, just click on:
For a video interview hosted by Sally Ember, tune in to Changes episode 24 filmed on March 18, 2015, by clicking here. It was quite an experience!