Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ideas up the yinyang

A few months ago I received an email from a woman who had been Googling and found me. Specifically, she found a reference on my Cosmic Relief web site to one of my alleged books-in-progress, Tantra For Rednecks. The woman, Jade Beaty of Austin, said she was working on a book idea of her own called Tantra For Bubba: Sacred Sex For Rednecks. "Do we have to wrestle for the right to write Bubba’s book?" she inquired.

I visited her website and her blog, and quickly ascertained that she is in fact serious about Tantra (specifically, Tantric sex), though she certainly has a healthy sense of humor as well. (How can you not love a woman whose tag line is, "Namaste, Y’all"?) I learned that her intention is to write a book that actually might help people have more enjoyable sex lives. Whereas I…well, my intent re my own Tantra book was not quite so serious. As I explained to Jade, my idea was originally inspired by an old joke that comes in a few variations, e.g.:

What's the definition of redneck foreplay?
"Get in the truck, bitch."
(Or "in the back seat." Or...well, you get the drift.)

Another variation requires a literal punch line; the person telling the joke punches the tellee in the arm and says (in a Bubba accent, of course), "Ready, sweet thang?" The pairing of Tantric sexual practices and rednecks just seemed so absurd it was begging for a parody.

The problem, I explained to Jade, was that in order for Tantra For Rednecks to be effective satire, I would have had to take the time and effort to learn more about Tantra, and I was simply too lazy – not to mention busy with my real job of writing and editing books for other people.

And so Tantra For Rednecks lay dormant, an idea and nothing more, for over ten years. I could not in good conscience deny Ms. Beaty the opportunity to do something with this idea, which she had come up with independently and with apparently nobler motives than I. As much as my partner Ron might like to see me wrestling with another woman, I wrote to Jade and told her that wrestling was not necessary, and she was welcome to go ahead with her book idea. I even thought she should do a whole series of Tantra instructional books – including a Geezer version for ‘seasoned citizens,’ though I recommended against having explicit photos in that one.

There is, it seems, a lot of interest in Tantra these days, and if you want to find out more, the web is just filled with information. You could certainly start with the Wikipedia entry, which offers this working definition: "Tantra is that Asian body of beliefs and practices which, working from the principle that the universe we experience is nothing other than the concrete manifestation of the divine energy of the godhead that creates and maintains that universe, seeks to ritually appropriate and channel that energy, within the human microcosm, in creative and emancipatory ways." Yawn. I’d go with Jade if I were you; she sounds like she’s a lot more fun, and she writes in plain English.***

Anyway, hearing from Jade set me to thinking about all of the other creative ideas I’ve had over the years, ideas that for some reason never went anywhere. One of the first was Mime For The Blind, a performance-arts program I was involved in that never met with much success. A few years later, working with a group of contemporary artists, I designed a series of all-brick aquariums and ant farms with murals of breathtaking beauty painted on the outside. Sales were lackluster. Over the years I experimented with many other product concepts, such as Home Miracle Kits that would enable anyone to create crowd-pleasing, media-attracting phenomena such as Weeping Jesus Faces or images of Our Blessed Lady on a wide variety of common household items. Then there was Yeast Infection Barbie ®; I couldn’t even get Mattel to return my phone calls. And there was the line of motivational toilet paper with printed quotations from Tony and Zig and all those other asswipes inspiring folks (slogan: "Go with the best!"). To my dismay, no one seemed interested in helping me develop any of these ideas.

I have to believe that not all of my ideas suck, though. I am on much more solid ground when I stick with what I know best: book ideas. I'm thinking of one particularly good concept (well, I thought so, anyway) that I had way back in the early 90s, and which I publicized fairly extensively through newsletters, articles and even at the back of the book version of Cosmic Relief. This was an erotic punctuation guide called The Comma Sutra. And although I am of course kidding about the product concepts in the above paragraph, I am not kidding about this one. I planned for The Comma Sutra to be a real punctuation guide with, naturally, a Kama Sutra look and feel. I had even lined up a professional artist in Austin to create beautiful color illustrations of people and punctuation marks in naughty positions. He was very enthusiastic about working with me and I know he would have done a remarkable job. Besides being a practical and entertaining punctuation guide, the book would have been a true work of art. I even considered publishing it in a scratch-and-sniff pop-up edition, which would have been no challenge for the artist because he is proficient in numerous media.

To me it just seemed like such a natural thing to pair up punctuation and Eastern spiritual traditions. Consider, for example, the Yin-Yang symbol. Normal people look at that symbol and see an abstract depiction of negative/female and positive/male forces, but I see a pair of opening and closing single quotation marks (with disproportionately small periods inserted). Anyway, I told everyone I knew about my book idea, but, alas, I sat on my a… um…end-mark and did nothing about it. English being the pun-infested language it is, it was inevitable that another clever soul would eventually come up with the same idea. And so she did, and her book was even offered by several major book clubs. Oh, well.

Still, I have not given up on my quest for new and creative ways to increase my personal prosperity quotient. For example, I am currently designing a Christian adult-entertainment web site to meet the needs of what I feel is a grievously under-served market. Not only will the site feature submissions from hot Christian amateurs, but there will be an online store to sell DVDs, lingerie and toys for the discerning Christian consumer. If that works out okay, I may expand the enterprise into several other major-faith product lines. Wish me luck.

*** Also, please know that "Tantra" has nothing to do with "Tantrum." Tantra involves slow, subtle and highly disciplined methods of achieving satisfaction. Depending upon who you are, however, a tantrum might be more effective, and certainly quicker, in helping you achieve your goals. Or at least it will get you in the news. Just ask Victoria Osteen, wife of superpastor Joel Osteen.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Rahasya said...

Please, please, "Tantra for Bubba" - Redneck tantra is a must.

Found you on a blogger search, popped to page 22 of the search to get out of the mainstream.

Write that book and I'll nominate you for a high Guru rating at Sarlo's. Then you'll have to be up first on the search.

Namasté Sistah

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Rahasya, and thanks for writing. However, my prospective work, "Tantra For Rednecks," was intended to be a humor book. Jade Beaty is the sexual healer who is actually serious about the Tantra/Bubba book. She found me via Google, and wanted to know if it was okay for her to proceed with her book. I gave her my blessings. Her blog is "Goddess Musings," and it's at
http://www.goddessmusings.blogspot.com
From there you can get to her web site and, presumably, her email address.

Namasté right back at ya!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, Connie.

I just want to let you know that I enjoy the way you write. Your humor's casual while still in-depth, but that might be because you're a satirist or something... I'm just going off of what I'm seeing here.

Here, there, anywhere; I enjoyed it.
I'll be elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 6:09:00 PM  
Blogger DeviJade said...

Hi, Honey,

Are you still here? I got a bit waylaid from writing Tantra for Bubba. Had a massive mold exposure while renovating a house in Austin, which developed into Environmental Illness. Big journey...I'm back in the Boulder area and a full time, elder student at www.naraopa.edu. Still writing, still teaching, now poisoning young minds with a student group, Sacred Sex Salon. Hope you are well! I just googled myself and came across this old blogpost. Sending love...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:52:00 AM  

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