It’s the day after your Kundalini awakening. Now what are you going to do?

Tales of the Tinkertoy

I’ve been asked if Tales of the Tinkertoy is a kundalini book. I aways reply it’s a kundalini inspired book. Meaning I wrote it only after kundalini made me a writer.

Cover Tinkertoy

Tales Of The Tinkertoy (TOTT) tells it like it was. It’s a Bildungsroman set in its own time—the 1960s—the sexual revolution. If nothing else, it serves as a historical reference, allowing readers to compare the present to the not-so-long-ago past and to appreciate the ways we’ve progressed and the ways we haven’t.

When 15-year-old Gus Mazur leaves his Oklahoma birthplace to live with his aunt and uncle in New York City, he narrowly escapes the blame for getting a girl “in trouble.” In the Big Apple, a whole new life opens for him—from boarding school to university to Marine Corps duty in Paris to a career at the WBN television network. Trouble is the girls he left behind were nothing compared to the wily big city maidens he encounters on the way up the corporate ladder.

"JJ Semple writes very well (in places evoking Phillip Roth) and his characters in Tales of the Tinkertoy coalesce into unique and interested voices." -IndieReader

It’s in this context that we meet Gus Mazur, a young man who’s making the same mistakes you and I made when we were twenty-something—at a time when the uptight standards of the 1950s (the last remnants of the Victorian age) were being swept aside. Gus deludes himself into believing sex with liberated women will ease his frustrations about the compromises he’s forced to make at work.

Ambitious, Gus has the brains to rise to the top of network television. Yet, as the only non-white producer at WBN, he’s ambivalent about an industry that values money over narrative, politics over truth. He chafes at being obliged to run civil rights and Vietnam stories that hide the truth from the American people. But the money is good and there aren’t that many opportunities “for someone like him.”

He tries everything short of a sex change in a frantic search for love. One woman is determined to set him straight. She gets her chance after Gus is waylaid in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention helping him piece his life back together.

While writing Tales Of The Tinkertoy, I paid short shrift to political correctness and Presentism, defined by Webster as An attitude toward the past dominated by present-day attitudes and experiences or, as pundit Bill Maher puts it, Judging everyone in the past by the standards of the present. I found it futile to filter my experience through a set of informal guidelines that smother creativity and distort reality. Better to rely on the good judgment of readers to understand things were different back then.

Don’t read Tales of the Tinkertoy if you’re looking for spiritual guidance or tips on meditation, you’ll find that information in my six previous books. What you will find is a case study in expanding consciousness, the story of a young man as he moves from the profane to the sacred, from numbing ambivalence to a greater awareness. The answers are not always in plain sight; he learns to read between the lines. He backslides. His awakening hangs by a thread: will he find the Way? Will he take the path untrodden or will he remain tied to a life of baseless materialism?

If you’re looking for original fiction, TOTT is right up the proverbial alley. A guidebook to the happening of the sixties, it’s also a psychological study of human motives, why people do the things they do—for love, money, and fame—sometimes with very little self-awareness in the doing.

These words were never more true: “Self-realization begins at birth; it is the journey as much as it is the destination.”

TOTT is all about the journey of Everyman, in that it effortlessly transposes from Gus’s experience to yours and mine.

TOTT is about the journey as well as the destination, a realistic illustration of what a person endures to achieve a modicum of self-awareness. Something we in the West find difficult because we’re used to instant gratification. To us, life is an irritating parade of ups and downs, against which we defend ourselves from behind a barrier of materialism.

Which makes journey doubly difficult because the individual has never been more alone. Read Tales of the Tinkertoy; compare Gus’s story to your own!

To quote from a review of Tales of the Tinkertoy in the Indie Reader: “JJ Semple writes very well (in places evoking Phillip Roth) and his characters in TALES OF THE TINKERTOY coalesce into unique and interested voices.”

The book is now on pre-order at Amazon –
The Kundalini Consortium –