Jnana Hodson

Biography

It’s been a while since I’ve been known by my Hawaiian shirts and tennis shoes, at least in summer. Winters in New England are another matter.
For four decades, my career in daily journalism allowed me to pay the bills while writing poetry and fiction on the side. That labor of love that saw more than a thousand of my works appear in literary journals around the globe.
My name, given while residing in a yoga ashram in the early ‘70s, is usually pronounced “Jah-nah,” a Sanskrit word that becomes “gnosis” in Greek and “knowing” in English. My favorite mantra of late is “Yay!” – thanks to a favorite 10-year-old gymnast. These days I dwell near both the Atlantic Ocean and the White Mountains north of Boston.
My wife and two daughters have prompted more of my new novel than they’d ever imagine, mostly through their questions about the past and their translations of social culture and tech advances for a geezer like me. Rest assured, they’re not like any of the book’s characters, apart from being geniuses in the kitchen.
Publication of "What’s Left" prompted me to thoroughly rethink the characters and events in the novels that formed the backstory. The revised editions – with new titles and new covers – are "Daffodil Uprising," "Pit-a-Pat High Jinks," and "Subway Visions." I hope you enjoy them.

Smashwords Interview

What are you working on now?
I consider "What's Left" to be my culminating novel. Through its many revisions, nonetheless, I've gained new clarity on my earlier fiction and ways these works can be sharpened, made more coherent for what will follow.
Central to this understanding is my character Cassia. Essentially, she gives me a way to view the earlier works through a reader's eyes. As the advice goes, picture your reader, and for me, that's now Cassia.
Already, I've removed "Hippie Love" from the lineup. It's just not something a daughter would want to know about her father's wild past.
"Hometown News" now has a new opening and a new cover.
"Daffodil Sunrise," "Hippie Drum," and "Subway Hitchhikers" are all getting serious revisions that include new titles and covers. Ditto for "Ashram."
Further ahead, "Promise" will be restored to its initial concept of being part of a larger novel, one that will incorporate "Peel (as in apple)" and "With St. Helens in the Mix."
Looks like I'll be quite busy for a while.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The nagging question – Just what's been happening with the characters at the end of my first published novel? – finally consolidated into a lens for me to reconsider the continuing impact of the Revolution of Peace & Love over the past 50 or so years.
Quite simply, the hippies never really vanished. Contrary to the mass-media stereotype, they dressed pretty much the way most of us do today. And many of their social issues have gone mainstream. Organic carrot, anyone? Peace emblem? Yoga?
Rather than picking up with the young pilgrim who's thrust back to Indiana, where he settles in with five siblings who've inherited a modest restaurant they intend to use as the center of a counterculture circle, I decided to have the new story focus on his daughter.
Normally, she'd have little more than a passing curiosity about his past, but when she's 11, he's swept away in an avalanche halfway around the globe, leaving her emotionally devastated and distrustful of everyone and everything – especially her family. Defiantly, she vows to recover her father any way she can, which leads to a long struggle in which she comes to see her world through his eyes.
It's no longer about history, then, but rather bigger questions. How do our identities shape us? What is family, anyway? Where do we turn for help? How do we choose a career or make a living? What can I do that's uniquely for me? In "What's Left," then, Cassia discovers what's important.
Oh, yes, and there's lot about food, too, as you might expect with a family-owned restaurant.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jnana Hodson online


Books

Subway Visions
Series: Freakin' Free Spirits, Book 4. Pre-release—available May 1, 2019. Price: $2.95 USD. Words: 37,870. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Urban, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
These underground urban adventures explore the mega-metropolis of Gotham upside-down. When a hick from the sticks like Kenzie is guided by two of his Buddha buddies and a tagger named T-Rex, the subway tunnels and elevated rails become a stage for celebrating the freaks and visionaries and dreamers who give a great city its kinetic vitality. Here's to trips that outweigh the usual destinations.
Pit-a-Pat High Jinks
Series: Freakin' Free Spirits, Book 3. Pre-release—available January 15, 2019. Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 103,220. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Alternative history
Heading for the hills after college, a brokenhearted Kenzie takes up with awesome freaks, sexual misadventures, Tibetan Buddhists, secluded nude swimmers, and general badassery through peak experience after peak experience, as well as a cluster of dark pits in between. Cosmic corn-on-the-cob, anyone? (Be advised of its graphic adult content reflecting the Revolution of Peace & Love.)
Daffodil Uprising
Series: Freakin' Free Spirits, Book 2. Pre-release—available September 15, 2018. Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 135,660. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Alternative history
As his daughter discovers, Kenzie and his buddies didn't set out to become hippies, but in the face of the old-boy establishment and its war in 'Nam, their hippedelic transformation was a natural outcome. Even for a geek like him, even in Indiana. Nothing remained the same in the aftermath, for sure.
What's Left
Series: Freakin' Free Spirits. Price: $4.95 $2.48 USD. (50% off!) Words: 118,950. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Recovering from a deep emotional loss can feel like forever. In "What's Left," everyone loses something – especially an 11-year-old daughter when her father vanishes in an avalanche.
Hometown News
Price: $3.95 $1.98 USD. (50% off!) Words: 78,460. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Historical » USA
They had hoped to transform their town and its newspaper, but a band of young, idealistic reporters, photographers, and editors at one family-owned daily newspaper recognizes that their small industrial city – like the rest of the American heartland – is at the mercy of forces far beyond its border. Consider this a report from Trump country.
Blue Rock
Price: Free! Words: 8,090. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
After appearing widely as selections in literary magazines around the world, the 80 love poems in this series now stand for the first time complete. Just listen and sway to their blues and rock. Perhaps even admire their diamond. It's passion, after all, and sometimes betrayal. Frequently, they play out in two voices in different keys that ignite in the rocky night or distill in the blue morning.

Jnana Hodson's tag cloud

60s adventure    70s    buddhist    business    college boys    comedy    community    country living    dating    despair    dreamers    family    food    free and easy    friends lovers    greek    gypsy    healing    hippie    hitchhicking    hitchhiking    humor    indiana    industry    jobs    journalism    love    management    nyc adventure    nyc subways    orthodox    passion    peace and love    poetry    politics    relationships    revolutionary    romance    seventies    sex adventures    sixties    subway    subway fantasy    subway stories    workplace