Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Taking It To The Mat

Posted by: PG Forte

I know I’ve posted before about my yoga practice, and yes, the Move From Hell, did interfere with that. A lot.  But I’m pleased to say that, after almost a year’s hiatus, I’ve gone back to the mat and I’ve managed to lose another 40 pounds this year. Even with the move! So woo-hoo, and Merry Christmas to me.

I love yoga for a lot of reasons, but today I want to discuss the way it relates to writing.

1.     Repetition. There’s a definite form and structure to every session—just like with books. Yet every one is put together differently. And the ways in which you experience a given session will change depending on how your body feels. Doing a particular exercise over and over again is a lot like editing—you’re constantly tweaking and repeating, refining your movements/words as you go.

2.      Variation. Every posture has almost innumerable variations (just like every trope does) and even with all of that, individual modifications are encouraged. As one of my teachers is fond of saying, “I’m in my body and you’re in yours. You know what’s best for your body.” As a writer, you know what’s best for your book as well. And what’s best for this book, might not be best for the next one. You’ll only know by getting to it and seeing how you feel.

3.     Getting to it—that’s really the key to everything, isn’t it? You won’t accomplish much of anything unless you put the time in. Regularly. There are no shortcuts. Well, there are Electronic Muscle Stimulation exercises that could, theoretically, get you in shape faster, but I’m thinking they wouldn’t really help with flexibility, so I stand by my original statement!

4.     Courage and Vulnerability. A month ago it dawned on me that I’ve become one of those people who set up their mats in the front row—which, trust me, was not always the case! With writing, as with yoga, you need to be okay with being vulnerable. With being “seen”. With being willing to look like an idiot—while wearing brightly colored, body hugging clothing. And maybe also while being considerably older, heavier and less flexible than most of your classmates. You do you,” is a valuable mantra. Also valuable is realizing that while you’re doing it (writing or yoga) you’re pretty much safe from judgment. Everyone disappears on their mat. No one’s watching you when you’re exercising, because they’re too busy focusing on themselves. No one’s watching you while you’re writing, because all the critics are in your own head, at that point. Afterwards…yeah, sure. People will likely judge you then. And that’s definitely one place where the peace of mind you get from yoga would come in handy. Another reason I think all writers should be yogis.  

5.     Namaste. I think this is a true story; although I admit it sounds almost too good to be true. It was told to me by a dear friend, shortly after she started yoga, and I have no reason to believe it didn’t happen exactly like she said. She was clueless when she started—as most of us are. She knew nothing about yoga tradition and nomenclature. But she was enchanted by one part of the practice in particular. She thought it was so lovely and encouraging how, at the end of the class, everyone would bow their heads and solemnly agree that they’d made “no mistakes.” I think about that often, especially when I, too, get to that part of class where we all intone, “Namaste.” Because, while that might not be what the word means, it’s not that far off either. There are no mistakes. Everything is perfect: the book you’re writing, your progress on the mat, Life.

Because next week is Christmas, I have two free reads available! I’d hoped to have a couple more short, holiday stories done by now, but…there are no mistakes. Also, I guess that gives me something to look forward to next year. Please enjoy, and Happy Holidays! 

Free For The Holidays

This Winter Night
Winter Hearts 0.25

Newlyweds Dario and Ophelia Leonides are passionately in love. There are only two things marring their happiness this holiday season—Lia's homesickness and her continued inability to conceive a child.

Dario would do anything to make his wife smile again. He's hoping to use the miraculous technology his father-in-law has pioneered, combined with the magic inherent in his native land. But calling upon the forces of Kokopeli may have unintended consequences. 

This prequel to This Winter Heart is available as a FREE READ.
Click HERE  to download.

Counting On Christmas
An Ugly Christmas Sweater Story
This Ugly Christmas Sweater short story features the characters Mike and Claire from Let Me Count the Ways (LA Love Lessons, book 3). Mike's been a very good boy this year and Santa Claire has the perfect present picked out for him--one that's both naughty and nice!
***This story was originally released as part of the Nine Naughty Novelists' Ugly Christmas Sweater story collection ~ Volume I***
Click HERE to download.

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