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The website of Austin R. Pick, featuring fiction, essays, travel dispatches, photographs, podcasts and other tangents.
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A Selection of Items previously featured on FudoMouth's Mainframe...

NEW SHORT FICTION IN METAZEN

New from FudoMouth! · I'm happy to announce that a new short story has been published by the fine online literary journal Metazen. Entitled "The Young Prospectors," the story is actually a triptych of three interconnected vignettes, each exactly 500 words in length, that follow the adventures of Transen and Jules, a pair of busboys. Read the story online now, and check out FudoMouth: Writings for more.

Going Deeper with the Dharma

naropa.edu · The MA Religious Studies progam at Naropa University has introduced me to many insightful perspectives. Here are some of the best books from my first semester: Turning the Wheel of Truth by Theravadan teacher Ajahn Sucitto; Bearing Witness by Zen teacher and Engaged Buddhist Bernie Glassman; Minding Closely by Buddhist synthesizer Alan Wallace; and The Making of Buddhist Modernism by scholar David McMahan. Together these books offer a vision of Buddhist tradition, theory and practice that is practical and compassionate, focused but not fixated. All are recommended.

SUMMER IN THE HIGH SIERRAS

JMT 2012 · My wife and I had an incredible hike along the JMT this summer, traversing what John Muir eloquently called 'the range of light.' Our six months of planning paid off, and we completed the trail in 24 amazing and challenging days (3 ahead of schedule). My photos from the hike are now available here: Part 1 and Part 2. Enjoy!

THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING

JMT 2012 · In my ongoing quest to visit all of America’s National Parks, the John Muir Trail has long seemed like a sort of holy grail: a 220-mile wilderness trek in the High Sierras that passes through the backcountry of Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon. The stars have aligned this year, and in mid-July my wife and I will set out to hike the JMT in its entirety...

The mountains are calling, and I must go. —John Muir

Ray Bradbury: Stuff Your Head

openculture.com · There are a lot of interesting 'advice to writers' lists online —several collected here, for example— but few are as entertaining and flat-out inspiring as this 2001 address by Ray Bradbury that I recently came across. One of the most celebrated American writers of speculative fiction, Bradbury offers insightful anecdotes, practical advice and puckish encouragement for writers and storytellers. Don't miss it.

Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist

orionmagazine.org · Paul Kingsnorth's personal, twenty-year journey through the world’s wild places and the movements to protect them has also become an education in the limits of a project that he claims has forgotten nature and lost its soul. In this excellent recent essay, he eloquently articulates a growing concern that 'environmentalism' has come to mean something other than protecting the world’s wildest and most beautiful landscapes.

Unspooling The Wire

npr.org · The "astonishingly sophisticated" HBO series The Wire is one of the only creative works I’ve recently encountered that so thoroughly exceeds the surrounding hype and acclaim. The show’s gripping, grim portrait of inner-city life is Dickensian in scope, unfolding like an onscreen novel while remaining true to the realities it depicts. Once you’ve seen the 5-season epic, check out the Fresh Air interview with creator David Simon, his finale letter to fans, and other discussions from NPR. (Note: all contain spoilers.)

"You Can Perform Neurosurgery on Yourself..."

buddhistgeeks.com · I'm grateful to have recently discovered the Buddhist Geeks podcast, a growing collection of discussions with contemporary contemplative scholars and practicioners. This is a remarkable resource for meditators and psychonauts of any tradition. Enjoy your explorations, the well runs deep. The Judith Simmer-Brown, Kenneth Folk, Ken Wilber and Dark Night Project episodes are all recommended.

MIXTAPOLOGY VOLUME 6 OUT NOW

New from FudoMouth! · DJ Phalaris returns with a lively new release in the on-going Mixtapology podcast series. Featuring new music from Battles, Amon Tobin, Dreissk, the Beastie Boys and more, this brisk, sample-heavy mix offers a refreshing headphone oasis that’s guaranteed to spin a smile through your summer miles... Download Now from FUDOMOUTH: MUSIC

David Foster Wallace and The Thing Itself

04.15.2011 · With the posthumous publication of Wallace's unfinished novel, The Pale King, readers now have another opportunity to inhabit the celebrated writer's brightly flaring mind. This insightful Time review describes the process of editing the fragmented manuscript, and fellow writers discuss Wallace's achievement in this Bookworm episode. The DFW Audio Project is also worth checking out.

Play It Like Your Hair's on Fire

Ted.com · On a recent episode of Radiolab, writer Elizabeth Gilbert explains how she and Tom Waits share similar ideas about the creative muse. Gilbert expands on her notion that inspiration comes through us, rather than strictly from us, in this engaging TED Talk. The 2002 interview/profile Gilbert did with Tom Waits is itself not to be missed, and neither is this great video of Waits from 1977. Step right up...

Cult and Culture

NewYorker.com · In August 2009, Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis left the Church of Scientology after 25 years of committed involvement. Lawrence Wright's remarkable cover story chronicles the bizarre evolution of Scientology and its followers, including Hollywood elites like Haggis himself. Carefully researched, the disturbing story of this uniquely American cult itself reads like something only possible in the movies...

Books Behind Bars

Prisonbookprogram.org · I recently donated books and a year's magazines to a nearby penitentiary, and learned that there is constant demand for quality reading materials in prison libraries across the country. Many regional nonprofits help provide books to prisoners, so check this list for one near you. Or contact prisons directly; though dated, this info may be a good place to start. Donating was easier than I thought, and much appreciated. Books can be mailed cheaply via USPS Media Mail. Send yours today!

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Factmag.com · This groundbreaking 1981 album by Brian Eno and David Byrne introduced some of the first sample-based music, and is probably my most exciting musical discovery this year. Reissued in 2006, My Life is remarkably contemporary, combining densely layered rhythms with found voice recordings to create a haunting, compelling trip...

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts at Wikipedia | 'Making of' essay by David Byrne

The Return of Psychedelics Research

TTBOOK, 06.06.2010 · Timothy Leary probably did more than anyone to popularize LSD in the 1960's, but this indiscriminate promotion of mind-altering substances created a backlash, making scientific study almost impossible. Now a new generation of scientists is studying psychedelics' potential for treating problems and illuminating consciousness. This hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge explores the cutting edge of this new research.

TTBOOK's 'Psychedelics' Episode and Real Audio | (Click here for MP3)
Related New York Times Article: 'Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In Again'

The Future of Books and Publishing

Bob Edwards Weekend · This engaging series investigates how the publishing industry is changing in the digital age. In his conversations with writers, readers, publishers and media theorists, host Bob Edwards explores the increasingly dramatic effects of technology on the future of reading, writing, and selling books. Listen now:

The Future of Publishing Series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Featured: Richard Nash, Future of the Book and Jason Epstein's Essay

'A Novel Approach' to Consciousness

CBC Radio, 02.11.2010 · How does what we read shape how we see ourselves and our world? Writers of fiction often explore why we think the way we do by attempting to convey some sense of the mind’s inner workings. In this provocative episode of CBC Radio's Ideas, Hassan Santur inquires about how literary novels, alongside neuroscience and psychology, inform our understanding of consciousness and perception.

Streaming Audio at CBC Radio's Ideas site | Ideas Podcast Listen and Download
Featured: David Lodge, Jeff Warren and Galen Strawson

ALONG THE PATH — Now in Print!

Pariyatti Press · Along the Path: The Meditator's Companion to the Buddha's Land is a unique guidebook for India and Nepal, combining practical travel information with tales of the Buddha's life and teaching. I'm pleased to have served as a contributing editor on the book, which includes excerpts from my travel dispatches. It's available now!

>> Along the Path at Pariyatti Press | at Amazon.com

INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS WOOD

New at FudoMouth! · I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Wood, the bassist from my favorite band, experimental jazz trio Medeski, Martin and Wood. I talked with Chris about MMW's new Radiolarians album project, the band's diverse influences, and improvisation as meditation. The interview was published at Radio Free Chicago, and an extended version is also archived here at FudoMouth. >> Read the Interview | Full Version

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