Interview with Coyote Kishpaugh

What are seven things of interest about you?
1. I love the martial arts. I saw David Carradine in his Kung Fu series in the seventies, and was fascinated by the flashback sequences. The idea of being able to train, not just in fighting but in meditation and self-mastery, was one that I really hung onto. The moment I found out that people actually study self-mastery, I knew what I wanted to get into.

2. I have tattoos. My first tattoo was a pentagram on my sternum, which made the rest much less painful by comparison. I also have an oolong dragon on each inner forearm. I designed the dragons myself, taking their pose, facial structure, and even scales from different images and ideas that were important to me growing up. And they have five toes each, of course, so they can practice calligraphy and write to their friends.

3. I am extremely photophobic. My author picture shows me wearing sunglasses, not because of any fashion statement, but because I can’t see without them in “normal” light. I also need to stay covered in sunlight to avoid a skin reaction. On the other hand, I can see very well in darkness. I can walk through heavily canopied woods on a moonless night, and the leaves are still green. Which is awesome.

4. I practice yoga. I started practicing yoga in 1978, as a means of meditation and self-mastery (not having access to the above martial arts lessons at the time), and then started practicing kundalini meditation around 1999 or so. I am nowhere near a yoga master, partly because I am self-taught out of books and partly because that was never my goal. But I am comfortable and in good health, and know myself fairly well.

5. I am a vegetarian. My oldest yoga book advises not to sweat “trying” to stop eating meat, as having a Sattvic diet will come on its own if one practices yoga long enough. In my case, at least, that is correct to some extent: I haven’t eaten or wanted meat in years. However, I do love spicy food, which is not Sattvic but is very yummy… and sometimes gives me the hiccups, much to my friends’ amusement.

6. I used to perform at Renaissance festivals on a regular basis as a combatant, and still enjoy training in sword, staff, axe, and dagger. I am equally comfortable fighting with either hand, or both. I prefer heavy blades (such as longsword or broadsword) to the lighter ones (such as epee, cutlass or foil), but my favorite weapon is English quarterstaff. And before you ask, no, I don’t do archery. I’d be lucky to hit the floor with a bow.

7. I don’t use a pen name. My name actually is Coyote, and I love it.
Published 2015-12-24.
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