Entries Tagged 'LITTLE INDIA: A Jewel Southern California' ↓

WHO IS SANDY NATHAN? A Q & A SESSION SPELLS IT OUT

Sandy NathanSandy Nathan, National Award Winning Author

I’ve always hated the “Who is Sandy Nathan?” question. Ditto: Who is anyone? This is a philosophical inquiry. Answering that question is why we’re on earth. You can’t answer it in thirty seconds.

However, someone sent me these crazy questions. The little blurb at the top says the basics about me, and the Q & A session gives you a sense of the whole creature––me.

Enjoy!
Sandy

Sandy Nathan knows the worlds she describes in her writing. She draws on her personal studies in meditation, spirituality, and mysticism as well as her experiences in Silicon Valley corporate culture, breathing life into her characters and giving them depth and dimension. Sandy has won multiple national awards for her books. The mother of three grown children, Sandy and her husband live on their California horse ranch.

This gives an adequate view, but you may get a livelier one from this question and answer session:

 Q & A WITH SANDY NATHAN:

Where did you get the idea of a series of thrillers about the richest man in the world and a great shaman?

From God. Also from the strands of my life. Most of what’s in the Bloodsong Series comes from the threads of my life, as interpreted by my unconscious mind and shaped by my editors.

The series exploded in my brain after a cataclysmic and healing meditation retreat and thirty years of personal work. Heal that trauma! Clean up that mess!

I started writing the Bloodsong Series in 1995. I was fifty years old: It took me fifty years to have something worth saying. It’s taken me thirteen more to write it properly.

Are Will Duane and Grandfather based on real people?

No. They grew up inside of me as characters. They bear similarities to people I’ve known or read about, but they have their own life inside me. I wish they were real. I’d love to do dinner at Will’s.

Are you real?

Yeah. It says so on the label attached to the back of my neck.

Actually, this is a good question. BECOMING AND BEING REAL are the main things I write about. Becoming my Self is my goal in life.

Why did you call it The Bloodsong Series?

My surgeon asked me that as he wheeled me into the operating room. I said that, “It almost killed me to write it, so why not?” (The surgery went fine.)

The actual reason is that my blood sang, danced, and did cartwheels during the years I’ve worked on the series. I hope yours does the same. This is visceral, bloody spirituality.

Why are books about vampires so popular these days?

Beats me. I think people should read about bloody, heart-singing, mind-searing spirituality. The vampire deal does nada for me. Books about spiritual growth and recovery from addiction are compatible with action, violence, sex and sensuality. Read my stuff and find out. Better: Try it and find out.

Live your heart’s song, not its drippings.

Why all the sex in Numenon?

There’s only one explicit scene, and that’s a flashback. The undercurrent of sexuality in Numenon is due to the undercurrent of sexuality in all things human.

And besides, I have my mother’s permission to write what I wrote. I started this book in 1995. About 1997, I announced to my mom that I was writing a novel.

She said, “I want the first copy!” My mom was elderly at this time. And always had been a lady.

After two years of writing, I knew the lay of the book, so to speak. I gasped and said, “Well, mom, some of it’s kind of … raunchy.”

She smiled her adorable smile and said, “Why, Sandy, honey, you have to have sex in it, or no one will buy it.”

She died in the year 2000 and didn’t receive that first copy. I like to think that in the Bloodsong Series and my other fiction, I have embodied my mother’s advice to the fullest. I’m sure she’d be proud.

Do you have any advice for your readers?

Lead the life that’s yours instead of faking someone else’s.

What kind of music do you listen to while writing?

None. The song of my soul, the music of the spheres, and the chugging of my computer sound automatically when I write. That’s enough. I get hostile if anyone comes into the room making any noise. Since I write in the family room most of the time, I have become a problem, like our dog who bites anyone near his dish. We’re working on it.

What do you wear when you write?

I usually wear complete Peruvian Paso horse show regalia suitable for the highest levels of competition. This includes a white shirt and jeans, poncho, wide brimmed Peruvian hat, belt, spurs, fancy neck scarf, jewelry and a harmonica.

If that’s in the wash, I wear a tutu and pointe shoes.

Who’s feeding me these questions? What difference does it make?

I write round the clock and wear whatever I’m wearing.

You can ask Sandy Nathan a question! Before submitting, ask yourself, “Is this a good question? Would I ask my mom this? Or, would I ask my minister, rabbi, guru or dog trainer? Am I scammer or seriously disturbed person that Sandy doesn’t want to hear from? Am I trying to hawk my book rather than reaching out and buying Sandy’s?”

If you’re on the level, ask away. You can comment here or do it through our contact page. Sandy answers sporadically. She can be pretty fast, if it’s a really good questions and relates to her work.

STEPPING OFF THE EDGE coverStepping Off the Edge, winner of six national awards

NUMENON Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

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LITTLE INDIA in LA & ROBERT MIRABAL––TO BE FULLY ALIVE,WE MUST MAKE A JOURNEY… START HERE

THE LOTUS
The Lotus: Symbol of Enlightenment

We’ve been doing a bunch of clean up and refurbishing on my family of web sites. Spring housekeeping! It’s actually to get ready for the launch of my new book Numenon, available now on my site and Amazon.

While updating my family of sites––I have 52 URLs. (Who can find them all??? I’ll give you a prize (a book?) if you name them all.) During this process, I found articles that I’d written that were too big to even load. My software croaked at the overload. So I cut these in half, spruced and put them up. Now you can read them!

These are philosophical AND fun articles, lavishly illustrated, as you will see below.

WE MUST MAKE A JOURNEY––THE ROAD TO ABIQUIU IN NEW MEXICO
The Road

THE JOURNEY: THEMES FROM TAOS TALES INTERPRETED

This think piece tackles the human journey to enlightenment. I wrote it after hearing Native American artist/musician ROBERT MIRABAL’S award winning album Taos Tales. This is a haunting album and very deep. In my article, The Journey, I interpret what Mirabal says in the light of my background in western philosophy and psychology, and my studies of Eastern thought.

If you’ve been wondering about buying one of my books-–this gives you a mini version, with PICTURES! So many I had to cut these articles in half to load them. Here’s another original photo by my daughter, Zoe Nathan. (Attribution is nice, all you out there who would never steal from a store but think nothing of lifting people’s photos.)

THE SHADOWLANDS––WHAT YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH TO GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE
THE SHADOWLANDS––WHAT YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH
TO GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE
In the shadowland, dark looks light and light looks dark. It’s Kali Yuga, the age of darkness, the age we live in.

YES, YOU DO HAVE TO CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN
THE MOUNTAIN
Yes, you do have to climb mountains to achieve your goals.

The Journey goes on through the life stages. I present material that later shows up in an expanded form in my book, Stepping Off the Edge.

LITTLE INDIA: A Bit of India in Southern California

I wrote this article after my first trip to Little India in Artesia, near LA. Little India is the second largest ethnic Indian community in the USA and represents a goldmine of cultural and SHOPPING. This is Google’s highest rated site on Little India, outranking their own Chamber of Commerce. Why? It’s good. I’ve updated it, adding Maps! Also cut it into two parts so you can read it.

The Nataraj and California Oaks: A perfect match
The Nataraj––Dancing Shiva––and California Oaks
A perfect combination, like Little India and SoCal

Aside from giving an overview of the many shops in Little India, I also give an overview of what I know of Indian culture and art. I’ve studied with a meditation master from India since 1975––I’ve learned a bit. Just a starting point.

If you’ve wondered what the red dot on the forehead means, if you wonder what the face on my new book, Numenon is, find out here. If you want to get your nose pierced by people who’ve been doing it for centuries and know how, this is the place. Read the article. It tells where my daughter had it done. If you like to eat Indian food––Go there and consume! Yes! Eat it up!

FASHION GALLERIA IN LITTLE INDIA
THE FASHION GALLERIA IN LITTLE INDIA
My daughter, Lily, is buying a killer bedspread made of pieces of old saris and Punjabis.
You can have one, too. Cost way less than the boring junk at The Mall.

NUMENON, NUOMENON, NOUMENON: KANT’S THING-IN-ITSELF
My new book features a Photoshopped Shiva Nataraj, the Dancing Shiva. How did the largest corporation in the world get a Nataraj for a logo? Read it and find out.

That’s it for today, gang! Read and enjoy! Shop and enjoy! Enjoy!

Sandy Nathan

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A FATHER’S DAY TRIBUTE TO MY DAD, ANDY ODDSTAD

I was looking through old family albums recently and came upon the following article about my father. It contained information that I thought worth sharing––some of it was new to me. Father’s Day is about acknowledging our fathers for what they’ve done and honoring who they are or were. That’s what I’m doing here.

For all his accomplishments, some of which are laid out below, my dad died at age 45. No, he didn’t die of a heart attack. He was in perfect health. Someone who turned the wrong way onto a freeway off-ramp killed him. The old guy might have been drunk––he did have an opened bottle of wine on the seat next to him–-or he might have been confused. He could have been trying to end his own life. He did end his life, along with my father’s.

Here’s the article from an old newspaper. I’m going to post it in its entirety.

From the DAILY COMMERCIAL NEWS, “OLDEST BUSINESS NEWSPAPER ON THE PACIFIC COAST––SINCE 1875,” Thursday, January 15, 1959, by Hugh Russell Fraser

Today’s Bay Area Profile of Andy Oddstad is another in a DAILY COMMERCIAL NEWS series which appears each Thursday to give you an intimate portrayal of prominent Bay Area executives. The author, Hugh Russell Fraser, is recognized as among the top book reviewers and biographical writers of our time. ––Editor.

When I heard that down in Redwood City there is a man, only 40 years old, who has built 10,000 houses in the Bay Area in the last 10 years, I decided to go down and see what he was like.

They call him Andy Oddstad, but his real name is Icelandic in origin––Andres Fjeldsted Oddstad.

He is a stocky, blond type, built like a wrestler (which he was at college, and still is), decidedly affable and friendly in his manner.

There is nothing ostentatious about his office a 1718 Broadway. There he presides over the destinies of 10 construction and building companies, the best known of which is Oddstad Homes.

With a signal to his secretary to cut off the phone, so as to give me his uninterrupted attention (How I hate these tycoons who take a dozen calls while pretending to talk to a visitor!), he talked in a low-pitched, well-modulated voice.

Naturally, I wanted to find out what made the man tick; I first questioned him about how he got into the home-building business.

Born in British Columbia, Oddstad’s forbearers were all from Iceland. He was 9 years old when his father, a carpenter and builder, moved to San Francisco. Here he worked for his brothers-in-law, the famous builders Ellis and Henry Stoneson. Young Andy went to Sunnyside Grammar School.

At the age of 10 he knew he was going into the building business. Never was there any doubt of it.

FASCINATED

Not because his uncles were builders in a big way, the founders of Stonestown, but because everything about building, from sweeping out the floors of new houses to constructing walls and roofs, fascinated him.

Every daylight hour that he did not have to spend in school, he spent around building projects; in fact, he worked after school cleaning up trash on building sites, sweeping floors, helping make repairs. He discovered he would rather do that than play.

Meanwhile, Andy kept on going to school––first to Aptos Junior High, then two years at San Francisco college and finally two years at the University of California [at Berkeley] from which he graduated with honors and an engineering degree in 1941.

Despite the financial status of his uncles, he worked his way through college, always in building and construction work.

It was while at college that he stumbled onto something that made him think of business in more precise terms. He took as his graduate thesis a study of low-cost housing in California!

ALMOST HALF

He went all over the state, and in San Diego he ran into an eye opener. Mind you, this was in 1941 when government construction of low-cost housing was at its high point. He discovered to his amazement that Uncle Sam was putting out $9000 for a unit that was little more than a three-room apartment, while in San Francisco, private enterprise was building five-room houses with a garage underneath, definitely superior to the San Diego Government-subsidized project, for about $4250! In other words, for less than half the subsidized amount!

That was his first acquaintance with the waste inherent in bureaucracy. He could hardly believe his eyes, but slowly he came to realize that he was looking at a simple and inescapable fact.

His interesting and carefully documented thesis went to waste, however, although the University of California gave him a pat on the back for it.

Hardly had he completed this study when the approach of World War II brought him into the Navy. There he became a “frogman,” an undersea demolition expert. He saw combat duty in Okinawa, winning a raft of medals, including the Bronze Star Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation, and the Pacific Theater Ribbon with five battle stars.

On getting out of the Navy, with the rank of Lieutenant [Actually, Ensign  SN], he returned to the Bay Area. Then he decided to go into business for himself. [The initial business was funded with $500 or thereabouts that my mother, Clara Oddstad, saved from her wartime wages. SN] He teamed up with another Icelander, Chris Finson, who hailed from Seattle, and together they formed the Sterling Building Company.

GREAT TRIO

It was at this point that his famous uncles, Henry and Ellis Stoneson, came in with help and guidance. A third man, to whom Oddstad gives great credit, was Parker Maddux, one-time president of the San Francisco Bank. This great trio, all three of whom helped Andres Oddstad on the road to a spectacular success, have all passed on, Henry Stoneson only recently.

Andres Oddstad doesn’t think much of the co-called “self-made men” who insist they did it all, that nobody helped them.

“When you come to analyze it,” he said, “that is nonsense. Nobody makes it alone. Sooner or later, they get cooperation and/or assistance. I am proud of the help and expert guidance that I got from my uncles and from Parker Maddux, and if you writing anything about me, don’t forget to mention their names!”

I like this about the man. No boasting, no phony claims. In fact, I think he underestimated, rather than overestimated, his own ability, which I soon recognized was considerable. It is plain he is a hard and unremitting worker; that he thinks problems through and believes in doing a through and careful job.

But he also has imagination! This was apparent in his keen interest in economics and architecture. Perhaps a better word is enthusiasm, although I do not usually associated the word “enthusiasm” with a man who always talks in a low-pitched voice, never once raising it to an excited pitch.

It was obvious he has been fascinated by two men, the great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and J. Kenneth Galbraith, author of The Affluent Society. Wright he regards as a great architect, the like of which American has never known. “He thinks and designs in three dimensions,” says Oddstad. “In addition, he is a showman and super salesman. Take this training ground he operates for young architects on the desert near Phoenix, Arizona. [Taliesin West] There he takes young men out of college, puts them to work drafting––carrying out his ideas, and the result is he has a far-reaching influence on the rising generation of architects.

“Wright sees things in their relation to their environment. Many orthodox architects––and Wright is anything but orthodox––remind me of the fellow who polishes a pebble in a mosaic. Write has helped me think in depth––you have to do it in any kind of business, but especially in the building business.”

But it was the imaginative Galbraith I wanted to question him about. The Affluent Society has dynamite in it, and I was curious our the third largest builder in the San Francisco area reacted to the top U.S. economist.

“Let me say one thing,” said Oddstad, “I like to solve any problem by reducing the variables––in other words, simplifying the assumptions. But by no means do I disregard the variables. Some economists––in fact all of them but Galbraith, disregard factors they don’t understand.”

“Meaning what?” I demanded. “Let’s get specific.”

“Well, just this: The usual run of economists pay no attention to such factors as human greed, the ego, etc. Because they do not understand these, they ignore what they can’t understand. Galbraith does not. He tries to reckon with all the variables. In other worlds, he sets the whole problem of economics against against a background of common sense. Do I make myself clear?”

“Exactly, ” I said. “In fact, you have converted me, as never before, to the value of Galbraith. My previous acquaintance with him was wholly superficial. In other words, if I may add, it is your view that most economists are lacking in fundamental common sense?”

ALL BUSINESS

“Right!” he said in that low, even voice of his. Then he added slowly: “Of course, you can ask how all this helps me in my business? Well, an understanding of economics helps toward an understanding of the reference frame of all business, not just the building business.”

“And speaking of business,” I said, “what do you think of the future of the building business in California?”

“Just this:” he replied, “first, our population is going to double by 1975. They are coming in here at a great rate now. It is becoming a trend. And it will accelerate. Not only that, we will double our production units. I mean––and let me make myself clear––for every apartment house or building you see now, there will be another apartment house or building by 1975. For every home you see now, there will be another home in 16 years.

“You mean,” I said, “for every house and building we see know, we are going to see double that by 1975?”

“Yes. This is one part of the country where values are going to be on the increase, steadily and persistently. In fact, right now California has the only semi-permanent wealth in the nation.”

When I left this rather extraordinary man, whose profession is building and whose hobby is economics, I suspected he was telling me the truth. The surprising thing is that 1975 is only a relatively short time off!”

End

ANDY ODDSTAD WATER SKIING IN THE SF BAY 1960s
Andy Oddstad getting ready to water ski in the SF Bay, early 1960s

• • • • • • • • •

AFTERWORD: Well, we all know that 1975 came and went. I’m sure my father’s predictions were far lower than actual levels of development in California. I’m also certain that he could not comprehend the explosion in housing prices from the 1970s on. For a guy born in 1918, contemporary housing prices would sound like fantasy.

These days [I originally posted this in 2008.), some of his most modest homes that sold for about $9,000 in the 1950s are going for $1 million. (I wish he hadn’t sold them!) [They’re down to a mere $800K due to the recession of the 2000s.]

Andy Oddstad was a guy who came up in the Great Depression. The article above mentions him working for his uncles after school. He did it because he needed to work if his family was to eat––and the rest of the Oddstad family worked, too. Sweeping out jobs after school wasn’t a hobby. Nor were his two paper routes before school just for fun. He constructed the bicycle he rode to deliver those papers out of scrap from the junkyard. And raised rabbits behind the family home for meat for the table.

Those were hard times.

Oddstad Homes had built over 14,000 homes at the time of my father’s death. Oddstad Homes was the #1 builder of residential housing in Northern California by a wide margin, and #10 in the US at its hey-day.

What was it like having a dad like that? Like growing up in the Marines. Tough, and fair. He really did read Galbraith. He had––and read–-volumes by the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Baruch Spinoza on his bedside table. When he helped me with my homework, I had to have razor sharp pencils, several pens, a pad of scratch paper, good paper for the answers, a straight edge, and a compass at the table before he would sit down with me. I got one explanation, that was it. [Pocket calculators didn’t exist.]

Brisk.

I majored in economics for my first two college degrees, due in part to his influence. I’m glad I have that knowledge, though it’s taken me a lifetime to start “listening to my heart” as the New Agers say. I still feel guilty about being a writer and author, though I know it’s what I was born to do. (My dad could not have fathomed the New Age, either. Or free love or the 1960s.)

I owe Andy Oddstad a very great deal. I’ve never seen a person who lived at 100% and demanded that those around him do the same. He shaped me and my life.

What are some of the most important words my father said to me?

First off, he said, “Sandy, there’s no reason a girl can’t do everything a boy can do.” So I took physics and calculus in high school. “And I know how smart you are, so don’t try and tell me you can’t get good grades.” I got good grades.

He held me to a high standard, and I’ve kept it. That’s the most valuable thing I got from my dad. He was the most disciplined person I’ve met. He moved through life at hyper-speed, like he was skating on the edge of a razor blade.

It’s a shame he’s been all but forgotten. He gave a great deal to the San Francisco Bay Area.

But that’s what happens when you die.

I know that housing tracts built by one of his competitors, Joseph Eichler, have been named Historical Neighborhoods. There’s an very glossy, slick magazine put out for owners and fans of Eichler homes. I think that’s great. Eichler’s designs were spectacular examples of low cost, good design.

They are not spectacular examples of low cost, good construction. I’ve lived in an Eichler. I know all about huge single-paned windows that leak all the heat in the room and radiant (under floor) heating that that doesn’t keep rooms warm and can lead to big repair bills when it breaks. My cousin worked as a carpenter building Eichlers. I will not repeat what he said about the quality of their construction. I don’t know if the old saw about how fast they burn down is true. Do Eichlers really burn down in three minutes?

Enough carping. I expected that Frank Lloyd Wright would approve more of Eichler’s work than my fathers. I do wish that some of the folks living in Farm Hill, Linda Mar, Crestmont, Rollingwood and the rest of the communities built by Oddstad Homes might throw together a blog or something.

My dad was an engineer. He was interested in straight lines and economy and that’s what he built. He wanted everyone to have a good, well-built house over his or her head. He was a political liberal, a strong Kennedy man, a man who cared about everyone, not just the rich.

Now is the time to remember our fathers, whoever they were and whatever they did, even if they weren’t perfect and contributed to our personal difficulties. We’re here because of them, whoever they were or are.

My best wishes, fathers. And all the best to you, Andy Oddstad, whom I knew as Daddy. There’s so much you didn’t get to see, Daddy. You have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. You missed the Beatles.

And you didn’t get to read my books! I think you would have liked them.

Sandy

Andy Oddstad & Ray Stern
Ray Stern and Andy Oddstad getting ready to water ski in the SF Bay, early 1960s.
Ray was a great buddy of my dad’s. He was a professional wrestler and entrepreneur. The caption next to this photo in our family album is, “Ray floats at last.” That is written in my dad’s handwriting and refers to the fact that Ray was a block of solid muscle. He had so little fat mass that he couldn’t float at all without his wet suit. I think he was the hardest to teach of the many people my dad taught to ski. By-gone times: The Bay is too polluted for skiing now. Ray and my dad are gone.

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SANDYNATHAN.COM WEBSITE REDO––and a little gift for writers.

Sandy Nathan
Sandy Nathan

We’re redoing my author website, sandynathan.com, in preparation for the release of my new book, Numenon. Expect a new look soon, if it’s not already there.

I rewrote a bunch of new text for the website, wanting to make it reflect how I currently feel about things. I came up with a little piece that was really about writing and the writing life. Which, of course, is different for everyone. “The writing life” doesn’t exist.

It was a neat little piece, which I wrote over by mistake when doing the actual homepage that you’ll see on my site. Argghh! I hate that. So now I have to type it with my wonderful 44% accuracy. (Measured by the cool voice recognition software, Dragon.) Here goes:

Ever wonder what it’s like being an author? This site (sandynathan.com) is my best shot at showing you how it feels. I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer, mastering the obvious techniques before I was ten. I knew I was going to write a book one day while I was in the primary grades.

If you are a writer, you’ll know that writing is not optional. You’ll be scribbling observations on napkins at the old folks’ home long after anyone can decipher them.

If you move up to being an author––which means that your drive, ambition, and obsessive compulsive tendencies flame hot enough for your work to find itself in print––that’s another realm.

People have asked me, “How do you finish a book?” This is very simple: Start it and keep writing until it’s done. That’s the smart Alec answer.

The true answer is: Something has to goad you so hard inside that you can’t stop writing until you’ve articulated the deepest kernel of meaning in the story the universe put in your brain. You can’t stop rewriting until the thing is crystal clear and your dog weeps when he reads it.

Yes, there’s technique; yes, there’s education, but you can’t beat personal disaster as a motivator and writing tool. Go deep, writers; find out why it hurts so bad. Tell us about it.

I write because it’s the only way I know to clear the recesses of my soul. To shed light on what troubles me. To find out what the hell it is that grinds me late ant night. I write constantly, often until I can’t move my shoulders.

But that’s where the openings occur. When I’ve poured myself into a story so far that I can’t back out or stop or put it aside, the universe opens and shows me itself. The bliss comes, the inspiration, the knowledge that what they tried to tell me in Sunday school was true and that something cares after all.

That’s what I want to tell you about writing. It’s about finding the light.

Sandy Nathan

PS. After retyping this, I can tell you that my typing accuracy really is 44%.

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I’M ON FULL POWER LIVING, THURSDAY AUGUST 9TH, 9AM PST

Sandy Nathan Sandy Nathan, National Award Winning Author

I’m so excited about being on the Full Power Living radio show! Full Power Living is the only internationally-broadcast radio show dedicated to “awakening the world to the power and importance of human emotions.”

And feelings are important, as those who have been knocked over by powerful reactions to seemingly trivial events can testify. Our feelings have their own logic and are tied directly to our deepest values and beliefs.

ilenedillon1.jpg Ilene Dillon, M.F.T., L.C.S.W.

Full Power Living is hosted by Ilene L. Dillon, M.F.T., L.C.S.W. Ilene has been a psychotherapist for almost forty years, teaching thousands of people how to use their emotions to master life challenges. You can learn more about Ilene from her web site, Emotional Pro.

wtr_channellogo_A-2.jpg

To listen to the show, log on to World Talk Radio (www.worldtalkradio.com). Once the site is up, click on Studio A, which you’ll see close to the top of the screen on the left. Another screen will come up with a navigation bar indicating the days of the week. It’s right about in the middle of the screen. Click on Thursday, and then scroll to 9 AM. Ilene and I will be there!

We’re going to be focusing on my book, Stepping Off the Edge, and how I treat emotions in it, as well as how I use emotions in my work as a writer and in my life. I have to tell you, effectively using my emotional world was one of the things that allowed me to write my books and see them published. So far, my books have won six national awards.

If you’ve read Stepping Off the Edge or my ‘zines and articles, you may want to ask me a question or make a comment. The Full Power Living show is your chance! Call toll free during the show––AUGUST 9TH 9 TO 10 AM PACIFIC STANDARD TIME. In North America, you can call toll-free: 866-613-1612. Outside North America, the toll free number is 001-858-268-3068. I hope to hear from you!

If you miss the show, it will be archived on the radio station, Ilene’s web site, and my site, sandynathan.com But I hope you can make it: August 9, 2007, 9 AM.
SANDY & REY DE CORAZONES I’m in the saddle, doing what I love. Horse are like emotions; when you’re skillful, you can control them with the subtlest cues, substituting understanding and teamwork for force.

NUMENON Numenon, The Bloodsong Series I.
Numenon
will not be released officially until late 2007 or early 2008. But––we’ll have pre-release copies available soon. Very soon, I’ll post a link so you can order your copy. The first book of The Bloodsong Series, Numenon has been getting more hits than anything on my web site. Winner of the 2007 National Indie Excellence Award for Religious Fiction.

What’s Numenon about?

Join the richest man in the world and his top executives on a journey that may cost their lives. Will Duane, founder and CEO of Numenon, Inc., surprises his team by telling them that they’re going to a Native American retreat in New Mexico.

He doesn’t tell them that his dream of transforming the world through enlightened capitalism is all but dead and that he’s falling apart. He doesn’t say that the security of his home has been breached. Nor does he reveal a terrifying, prophetic dream. And he certainly doesn’t tell them about the mine . . .

An ancient Native shaman awaits them at the mysterious Mogollon Bowl. The Holy Man attempts to guide them to their good, while an unseen, ominous force plots their ruin.

Will Light or Darkness claim their souls?

“The collision of commerce and spirit, the world’s richest man and an ancient Native American shaman, a global corporation larger than any other and the quiet strength at the core of the natural world — this is thriller and metaphor and life lesson in the hands of a writer who has journey’d through both worlds.”
Gerald DiPego, screenwriter–Phenomenon

STEPPING OFF THE EDGE coverStepping Off the Edge. Winner of Five National Awards. Click here to buy.

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BILL MILLER, THE NATIVE AMERICAN MUSICIAN & ARTIST, NOT THE BAR-B-Q GUY OR THE HOOKED ON FISHING GUY

Sandy NathanSANDY NATHAN, National Award Winning Author

If you Google the name Bill Miller, you will get web links to a large number of very interesting folk, most of whom are not the person I’m writing about.

It’s not that I don’t like Bill Miller the Hooked on Fishing Guy. I’m sure that I’d like him fine if we ever met, but I’m not hooked on fishing. If you are, you can see him on his Brighthouse Networks TV show. Or check out his web site for the latest in angling knowledge, pictures of his catch, and tips on how to improve your own angling.

No, I’m not talking about that Bill Miller the Texas BAR-B-Q Guy, either. For years, this Bill Miller held the www.billmiller.com web address. He probably changed it when he got sick of requests for Bill the Native American musician’s songs.

I can see it now––Bill picks up the phone in his Hill Country restaurant: “No, I can’t sing Reservation Road, but I can get you a nice plate of tri-tip and beans . . .” Check out that BAR-B-Q web site, it’s inspiring. Makes me want to go to Texas and eat ribs.

Nor do I wish to write about Bill Miller the Money Dude. That Bill Miller is the portfolio manager for the lotsa-billions Legg Mason Value Trust. On the other hand, as a former economist, anybody who beats the market as often as this Bill does makes my heart flutter. Oh, baby. Check out this article from Newsweek that talks about why Bill Miller was named one of the best fund money managers of 2006: Bill’s Incredible Performance. You go, guy! Tackle the National Debt! We need money managers like you!

BILL MILLER AT THE GATHERINGThe correct Bill Miller. This links to his web site.

Nope, I’m not writing about any of them. This BLOG POST is about BILL MILLER, THE GRAMMY-WINNING, MOHICAN/GERMAN, MAJOR MUSICIAN, AND REALLY GREAT ARTIST. NOT TO MENTION INSPIRING SPEAKER AND SPIRITUAL LEADER. THAT Bill Miller. His web address is: http://www.billmiller.net You can also pick up his latest news, slide shows, about fifty videos on his MySpace space:

MYSPACE/BILLMILLEROFFICIAL


BILL WAILS!Bill Miller singing at the Gathering, a Native American spiritual retreat. Bill is spiritual leader of the Gathering.

I think that Bill might have greater name recognition if his were a recognizable Native American name, such as Crazy Horse or Sitting Bull. (I’m not being disrespectful to those great American Indian heroes. They are my heroes, too. I just wanted to illustrate my point with names that everyone would agree were authentic.)

Okay, if Bill had a traditional Indian name, he might have more name recognition. Folks would probably not get him mixed up with the Money or Bar-B-Q Guys. (I wonder if he gets requests for tri-tip sandwiches or hot stocks on his web site? Let me know, Bill.)

BILL WITH HIS PAINTINGS Bill playing at the Gathering retreat again. The paintings behind him are his art.

I am a great fan of Bill Miller the Musician, Songwriter, Artist and Speaker. I have been his fan since first hearing his music on the sound system of a Western store in Solvang, California. This was back around 1997. I bought the CD, The Red Road. It reduced me to a blubbering slab of emotions when I listened to it. (I did this at home, fortunately.) I instantly became Bill’s fan, wrote him a huge letter (which never again was seen after I tossed it in mail box), and have idolized him since.

(This is saying a lot, because in my culture, we do not show strong emotions. We are sophisticated, which means we lie about our feelings in the service of appearing calm and fearless. Maybe superior. I was born and raised in the heart of Silicon Valley before it became a jungle of tilt-up concrete buildings, money, and both broken and fulfilled dreams.)

BILL WITH LINDA AND JENNYBill with Linda & Jenny at the Gathering. Another reason to attend: This could be a picture of you.

Anyway, Bill knocked me over. Still does. If you are a Bill Miller fan, you will find lots of Bill lore, and a Bill Miller interview in my award winning book, Stepping Off the Edge.

This is a brazen sales pitch for my book, yes. But Bill and the Gathering, the retreat he leads every September in Tennessee, have impacted my soul, my life, my heart. So I wrote about them in my book. Actually, if you look on almost any page of my massive family of web sites, including LITTLE INDIA: A Bit of India in Southern California, you will find some mention of Bill Miller.

This link should take you to me being interview on Amazing Authors. I talk about Bill and the Gathering there, too.

STEPPING OFF THE EDGE coverStepping Off the Edge: My book’s title describes how I feel when I get in one of these silly moods. In freefall and hoping I don’t hit bottom too hard. Anyway, you will notice that Bill Miller’s portrait is on the cover of my book. The book has lots about Bill and many other people in it, but mostly it’s about me crashing through a few years of my life, managing to illustrate everything they taught me when I was studying counseling. It will make you laugh and cry, even just looking at the illustrations.

WHY AM I WRITING THIS?

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything about Bill for the Net. I googled Bill Miller, and discovered that my own huge fan website about him DIDN’T SHOW UP ANYWHERE. It used to be on the first page, right near Bill’s own site and the BAR-B-Q Guy’s. Gone! It was gone from the rankings!

My site had become a web non-entity, at least in the world of Bills.

Those of you with optimized web sites where you paid a fortune so that your site lands on top will empathize, right? You know what page standing means.

My situation is worse––I’m a scrappy grandmother: I do most of my web stuff myself.

Do you realize that the neurons in my brain that pulled that Bill Miller website together the first time and got it on the Net so many years ago are GONE? KAPUT. Yes, aging does that.

So what I put up ten years ago, I don’t know how to put up again.

Oy vey, as my mother-in-law used to say. Oy very, I say.

COKER CREEK COVERED BRIDGEThe covered bridge at Coker Creek, site of the Gathering. Sometimes, moving forward in life is as simple as stepping over the brige. (That sounds like a good book title . . .)

Given the fact that my site had disappeared off the charts, I wanted to do something, something drastic, to call attention to may flagging “hittage.” What? What could I do to raise myself within the Miller world?

This BLOG POST is it. Supposedly, spiders or robots or maybe even aliens continuously search the Net looking for new content. Hopefully, this qualifies as content. It’s a little thin for my typical work––though I am having a wonderful time writing it.

If you find this blog, you should look at my really big page on Bill Miller and life around him. Check out http://www.billmilleronspurs.com I’ll make sure something’s up there. Somehow . . .

And there’s another article about Bill, too. BILL MILLER: HALLOWEEN II. You will not believe this article. It’s about seeing Bill in a concert at Santa Barbara, CA, only forty minutes and over a mountain from where I live. The writing in this article is fun and profound, but the pictures are KILLER!

No where will you see pictures like this. This article is mostly illustrated with photos one of my friends took at a Peruvian Paso horse show. She photographed a costume class. Ever seen a horse and rider dressed as an elephant? Read Bill II and you will. My friend has an MFA (Master’s in Fine Art) in photography, so not only are her photos unbelievable in content, the horses and riders are in the middle of the picture.
Sandy Nathan & Bill Miller at the Gathering Book SigningBill and I signing books and posters at the Gathering.

Maybe you’ve already seen these articles, and that’s why I don’t exist Google-wise––you’ve moved on, as Stephen King says. (I’m fan of his, too. Check out is web site.)

But, hey––I’ve been busy. I’ve published two books in the last couple years. Writing is hard work. I can’t update, update, update. Read the articles about Bill again. Look at the pictures. Look through all the years of THE GATHERING’S WEB SITE. So many pictures you’ll get bleary eyed. Of Bill and everyone. Go to the Gathering. It’s life changing.

COKER CREEK MAIN LODGEThe main hall at Coker Creek, site of the Gathering.

Go see Bill, too. He’s an over the top performer. Check out MySpace/Bill Miller Official for his schedule. Write him message. We all like getting messages. Buy his CDs. His paintings. Do that.

Meanwhile, I’ve had some fun while not writing about Bill on the Net. My book, Stepping Off the Edge, has won five national awards. It was a finalist for the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award, a Bronze Medal Winner in the 2007 Ippys, and a finalist in three categories of the 2007 Indie Excellence Awards. (These contests are so big, if you’re a finalist you can call yourself a winner. Like the Academy Awards nominees get to flash it.)

I’m a grateful woman. All the work paid off.

NUMENONNot only that, my novel, Numenon, which won’t be out until later this year, won the 2007 Indie Excellence Award in Religious Fiction as a galley. I hope to give Dan Brown a run for his money with my Bloodsong Series. Numenon is the first book in that series. I hope you’ll take the time to look at my web site, read about me and my work. If you’re so moved, I’d love it if you reserved a copy of Numenon and even bought Stepping Off the Edge.

Thank you my readers, for your support and patience. Yes, I get a little silly sometimes. A lot silly, actually. But I appreciate you.

All the best,

Sandy Nathan

Sandy Nathan

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RADIO CHAT FEST TUESDAY, JUNE 5TH, 6:30-7:30 PM PACIFIC TIME!

REVEREND LEILANI SCHMIDTRev. Leilani Schmidt
I’m very excited to be on Rev. May Leilani Schmit’s program, THE UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL CONNECTION. The show airs on BBS Late Nite. The link above gives you information about how to listen, call in, and so on.

A native Hawaiian, Rev. Leilani is dedicated to bridging the gap between all peoples and cultures of the world. She’s also clairvoyant, channels, and heals. Wow. She welcomes questions from listeners and has a terrific program featuring very interesting spiritually adept people from around the world.
STEPPING OFF THE EDGE cover

I’ll be speaking on, “When Your Inner Voice Speaks, Do You Listen?” This is a major theme from my book, Stepping Off the Edge. Stepping has been working out, by the way. It’s won FIVE NATIONAL AWARDS so far. It’s a finalist in the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Awards in the New Age/Spirituality category, one of three books to make it that far. Haven’t found out if I won yet. You’ll hear my ecstatic screams from where you’re sitting if I did. This is big deal.
And it’s a Bronze Medal winner in Self Help in the IPPYs, the Independent Press contest. Another big one, more than 3,000 books entered. And it was a finalist in three categories in the 2007 National Indie Excellence competition. It was first runner up in New Age and Memoir, and a finalist in Spirituality.

The validation from my peers felt wonderful. Writing is a lonely, difficult job. Getting feedback like that felt wonderful!

NUMENON

And––while I’m bragging––my novel, Numenon, WON the 2007 National Indie Excellence competition in Religious Fiction. It was hot off the presses: The printer sent the Early Reading Copy to the contest as they were completed. They arrived that last day they could to be judged. Phew! That’s smokin’

Hope you listen to Rev. Leilani and I chat it up next Tuesday!

Blessings,

Sandy Nathan

Sandy Nathan

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NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS FROM VILASA PRESS!

STEPPING OFF THE EDGE cover
Stepping Off the Edge by Sandy Nathan

The 2007 awards for competitions for the best books published by independent presses have been announced. Thousands of presses and books are entered in each competition. They’re so big, that being a finalist counts as a win, just like being nominated for an Academy Award is considered an award.

We at Vilasa Press are jumping for joy! Our two titles are cleaning up:

Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice is the winner of SIX NATIONAL AWARDS!

Stepping Off the Edge won:

o Autobiography/Memoir (First Runner Up)
o New Age Non Fiction (First Runner Up)
o Spirituality

Stepping Off the Edge is Vilasa Press’ first title, and we’re pleased as punch! The work, fanatic attention to detail and insistence on excellence are paying off. Not to mention the literary skill of author, Sandy Nathan.

NUMENON
NUMENON, our second book and the first book of THE BLOODSONG SERIES, HAS WON TWO NATIONAL AWARDS AS AN ADVANCE REVIEW COPY (GALLEY)

NUMENON will be officially released in early 2008, and it’s already a National Award Winner! Watch Amazon and this web site for the gala BOOK RELEASE CELEBRATION! Click on one of the Numenon links and take a peek at its web site. Find out why readers are going wild over this book.

If you’ve read Stepping Off the Edge and like it, we ask you to tell your friends about it.

If a look at the Stepping Off the Edge’s website and knowing it’s already won four National Awards makes you interested in buying it, you can through Sandy Nathan’s web site. You can also buy Stepping Off the Edge on Amazon or any of the big on-line book stores. And––you can order it at your local bookstore.
NUMENON

Best wishes,

Barry Nathan, publisher, Vilasa Press

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NUMENON, NUOMENON, NOUMENON: KANT’S THING-IN-ITSELF

NUMENON

“What is Numenon?” you may ask. Why isn’t it spelled noumenon, the way the great philosopher Immanuel Kant intended when he wrote The Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysic? Noumenon is a concept from philosophy meaning the thing-in-itself, inferred reality beyond the sensory world (phenomenon) to which we are limited. Who dares to use such an important word as a book title, when the book isn’t even about philosophy?

Sandy Nathan

I do. Sandy Nathan. And it is about philosophy. It’s about the quest for meaning and essence inherent in human existence. It’s wrapped up in corporate and Native American trappings is to make it palatable to people who wouldn’t read philosophy if their lives depended on it. This book is an exercise in philosophy.

And I have an almost-major in philosophy from the prestigious Santa Clara University for credentials. I love philosophy. Studying philosophy saved my life.

When my father was killed by a drunk driver when I was eighteen, philosophy got me through. At that time, SCU required everyone to minor in philosophy––which I think is sensible and getting more so every day. I kept on taking philosophy courses after getting my minor, because I NEEDED IT. I ended up two courses shy of a major. I would have taken those two courses, but my advisor, Dr. Mario Belotti, said, “Who will ever see it? It won’t show up on your diploma.” Economics already filled the spot where it said “major.” I didn’t bother.

Who would guess that a mere forty years later, I’d be writing novels about philosophical subjects? No one. But that’s how life is.

STEPPING OFF THE EDGE cover Stepping Off the Edge, my first book, another philosophy blockbuster.

You asked about why it was spelled numenon. I didn’t change the name from Noumenon to Numenon lightly. (Or Nuomenon––check out Nuomenon.com, too.) It was because many other Noumenons existed and I didn’t want to get sued. Also, the domain name was taken, taken, taken. So many noumenons––there’s a rock album called Noumenon, a DJ, half a dozen corporations. Does this mean we’re all philosophers?

Well, yes. We are. Most of us don’t take it seriously until it’s too late. (“I knew I should have been a rock star instead of an accountant . . . ” “I should have made up with Uncle Henry. He stole my putter forty years ago . . .” Gasp, sputter. The end. Too late.) That’s how we tend to do it.

Not while I’m around, kiddies. Now’s the time to do the job! I’ve realized how old I am. Gasp, sputter. Not yet!

Communion by Lily Nathan

Communion by Lily Nathan. Let’s get real, folks. Now’s the only time to do it.

Why did I name my book Numenon, however spelled? Truth is, I really wanted dasein, Heidegger’s pure being. Pure being beyond the mind’s comprehension, beyond everything! Can you see the explosive cover for that book! WOWSIE!

Unfortunately, dasein is taken. Dasein Corp. is all over. Dasein Design, on and on. The corporate world has overtaken the philosophical world, in name at least.

Treegod by Zoe Nathan DASEIN!

I spent an un-fun day searching the Net for good corporate names early in the third or fourth rewrite of Numenon. I searched the Greek Pantheon, the Roman deities, Hindu, Vedantic, some Chinese gods, and sprites and others from world religious traditions. All taken. Also most philosophic concepts.

Taken! Taken! Mostly by software manufacturers. Since when did Shiva become a proprietary name? Millions of people worship Shiva all over the globe. What do they do when they’re praying, chant, “Om Namah (Proprietary Corporate Name)”?

So, dasein was taken. But I got lucky with nuomenon. It was available! I grabbed it as fast as I could log into my favorite purveyor of URLs. Grabbed it with joy.

Only later, as I tried to read parts of the book to my writing group did I realize that nuomeon was much harder to pronounce than I remembered when I was studying philosophy. Really hard: Nuu-o-me-non. A tongue twister. Something was wrong.

A little sloothing and I discovered that I had misspelled it on my initial search. Okay, the best of us make mistakes. When I finally looked up the correct spelling, I realized, “Oops.” I Googled noumenon and found the multitude of legal entities already claiming to be the noumenon.

How can a philosophical term be made into a proprietary name? “It can’t,” said my lawyer. “Use it.”

“Watch out you don’t get one of those corporate guys mad at you,” said my other lawyer.

I spelled it Numenon. Cowardice is prudent, if not a virtue. Plus, the domain name was available.

Now that we have discussed noumenon, nuomenon, numenon more than you’d ever want to unless you were a philosophy major, let’s talk about something else. My new book:

NUMENON

The world of Numenon is on the way. It’s book one of the Bloodsong Series––this is just the beginning. I’ve got eight books FINISHED in draft form. (Meaning: They won’t be too hard to rewrite.) We’ve got the Advance Reading Copies and are gearing up to send them out for reviews and testimonials. We’ll have some Pre-release Copies soon, available only through the sandynathan.com site. Check one of the multitudes of links above for more information and what readers are saying about Numenon.

I’m going to go chant my mantra now, “Om Namah (Proprietary Corporate Name).”

Sandy

Sandy Nathan

Sandy. Do you like the color or black and white photo?

Sandy Nathan & Her Dogs Should I add dogs?


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KINTARO WALKS JAPAN!

WOW! IS THIS VIDEO GOOD! My daughter Zoe forwarded it to me yesterday. My husband, Barry, and I forgot about dinner as we watched it. It’s the story of Kintaro, meaning Golden Boy in Japanese, the nickname for a young American man who walks from one end of Japan to the other in search of his father’s birthplace. His only clue: a line drawing done by his grandmother somewhere near the birth site.

The film is very funny, as one would expect knowing this young man’s dad, and sweetly touching. A perfect balm to the soul.

Turns out we’ve known young Kintaro, aka Tyler MacNiven, since he was a wee lad. We lived in Woodside, California, his hometown. Our favorite restaurant was Buck’s of Woodside, owned and operated by Tyler’s family. Buck’s has got to be the funniest/funnest restaurant in the world. Click on the link and read and laugh until you drop over. Book fiends, read about Jamis’ book. Better, go to the restaurant and “Steal this Menu!” They’re that funny.

Jamis MacNiven's Terribly Funny/Touching Book

So, of course, Tyler’s film is funny.

Wow. I knew that kid when . . .

Speaking of which, my novel Numenon, Book I of the Bloodsong Series, is at the printers now. Well, we’re just doing Early Reading Copies to send to literati and reviewers for testimonials and reviews. They will be available to everyone soon! Faster if you clamor for them! Email me going, “Clamor! Clamor!”

You may think my novel and Kintaro Walks Japan a loose association, but it’s not. I have eight or so novels in the Bloodsong Series written as drafts. Starting in the third novel, a fantastic, zany restaurant in Woodside CA becomes the scene of HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT ACTION. Guess which restaurant? BUCK’S! Can you guess what happens? Not on your life. You’ll have to read the series to get to it.

NUMENON

But would I make you suffer until the third book comes out? Never! I’ve just written to Jamis MacNiven asking for permission to make Buck’s the Official Restaurant of the Bloodsong Series! Yes, I aim to create a web site for my series surpassing that of a famous teenage writer of vampire stories. Just to show that grandmother’s rock! If you click that link now, you’ll get nada. Totally nada. That’s because it’s not done yet. But soon . . . Remember The Bloodsong Series.
By the way, my first book, Stepping Off the Edge, is a finalist for the New Age category of the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Awards, the prestigious awards of the PMA, an association of independent publishers. That means Stepping is one of THREE books that might win the award. The award ceremony occurs in conjunction with Book Expo America, the largest event serving the largest book market in the world.
STEPPING OFF THE EDGE cover

Grandmothers rock HARD!

Sandy Nathan

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