At long last, a video flash of Numenon. What’s it all about?

NATIONAL AWARD WINNER: NUMENON won USA Book News' BEST BOOKS AWARD IN VISIONARY FICTION and THE INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD for RELIGIOUS FICTION. "Five Stars! A fantasy set in the real world to draw readers in and never let them go, NUMENON is highly recommended to readers seeking modern fiction with fantastical elements." MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW NUMENON is available at sandynathan.com, on-line, & wherever books are sold. Get a free e-book by signing our mailing list: http://www.sandynathan.com/newsletter.htm

This is on animoto.com. The HTML is in there. If the link doesn't show up, CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE VIDEO.

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Native American Students Need Prom Dresses!

With our emphasis on history and Indian cultures, we forget that  today’s Native young people live in two worlds, that of their heritage and that of every other American teenager.  Those of us who strive for equal education for them must not forget that they are also very much a part of today’s social world, with the same hopes and dreams of the majority teens.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project has a request that will bring real happiness to a young person.

We all remember how important prom was. Unfortunately many of the girls on my reservation, the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, do not have a lot of resources for Prom.

So the Teen Center on the reservation started “Passion for Fashion” where they collect dresses, then the girls get to “shop” for Prom.

Please forward to others (especially college and high school moms and gals who may have some goodies from last year.)

*formal dresses (new or gently used. all sizes, up to 24)
*formal shoes
*make up
*evening bags



Cheyenne River Youth Project
“Passion for Fashion”
P.O. Box 410 E Lincoln Street
Eagle Butte , SD   57625

Please help if you can, if only by passing this info along to someone who can donate a dress or accessory. Thanks to Vicki Collins of the Holston Conference Gathering and Anne aka “Grandma” for sending this to me.

Sandy Nathan

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Jump over to my writers’ blog YourShelfLife.com and find out what I really won––and how it can benefit you.***

The article below was my invitation––and you can still check out the prizes and see the slide show.   Enjoy, Sandy Nathan

Want a taste of what’s we’ve got for you?
the Native American spiritual retreat that inspired Sandy Nathan’s book,
Click and see the slide show!

This is the first of the gifts available to you at Sandy Nathan’s Amazon party.

Things just got rolling at my Amazon e-party when it was time to quit. We’re extending it another day to give more people a chance to participate. You have another chance to buy a great book and get amazing free gifts.

This Amazon party is my holiday gift to you. My book, Stepping Off the Edge, is a mind-bending, spiritual adventure–and the gifts you can get today are a treasure trove. I invite you to come with me and step off the edge.

What is an Amazon E-Party?
If you buy my book through the link below, you will be able to receive terrific gifts from a number of very talented people. I’ll list some here, you can see the whole list through this link: SANDY’S E-PARTY GIFTS!

  • 30% discount on the custom interior and cover of a book from Creative Publishing & Design!
  • An hour’s phone consultation on your book’s title and subtitle from Grammy nominated screenwriter Laren Bright.
  • Tecolote Finds a Friend: A Baby Horse Finds His Place in the World An e book by Sandy Nathan. A lifelong horsewoman, Sandy wrote this true photo story from her ranch for this event. It is available nowhere else.
  • A spectacular slide show from the Holston Conference Gathering, the Native American retreat in Stepping Off the Edge and a personal invitation to attend.
  • Special gifts from (in alphabetical order): Lewis Agrell who does pretty near anything with graphic design, Ilene Dillon the Emotional Pro, country real estate experts Linda Boston Franke & Clark Franke, Mary Patrick Kavanaugh very funny would-be author, self-publishing guru Dan Poynter, super editor Melanie Rigney, Brent Sampson CEO of Outskirts Press, Author Marketing Expert Penny Sansevieri, Jeniffer Thompson the Website Wow woman, ReaderView’s Irene Watson. Who else? Why cowboy and horse trainer Jack Vance, who you really want to know if you have a problem animal. And–sizzling romance and more from Santa Ynez Valley’s Sarah Robbie.

You need to see this bonanza for yourself.  For all the details, visit:

What is Stepping Off the Edge?

Are you looking for a book that’s a good holiday gift as well as an engaging read? Join me as I tackle some of the major problems of our day: How do you handle an eBay addiction? Wondering about your roots? As in, do you have any? What is spirituality and where do you get it?

In Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice, Sandy Nathan loads her readers in a figurative RV and takes off on a spiritual adventure across the United States. She travels to Missouri’s Ozarks to find her roots and takes you to a Native American retreat in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest.

This is part memoir, part how-to–lots of easy exercises to try throughout this book–and part amazing. Stepping Off the Edge has won six national awards and garnered rave reviews.

“A fantastic spiritual narrative that is alive with hope and possibility. Sandy Nathan’s journey will inspire you create your own spiritual practice. A highly recommended book for all spiritual seekers.”

If you buy my book from Amazon by midnight Wednesday, December 10th 2008, you can get a great book and LOTS more: CHECK OUT THESE GIFTS!

Why Are You Doing All This?

“Your book sounds like a must-read, why are you going to all this trouble to get people to buy it?” an acquaintance asked me, somewhat huffily.

That’s a good question. People don’t buy things automatically, you know. Many of my friends are people who would do almost anything to get a book published. All I can say is, that’s the easy part. People can’t read what they don’t know about. Most people have never heard of Stepping Off the Edge and any number of really excellent books. I want to introduce you to my book and myself.

Stepping Off the Edge
is a book I had no intention of writing. I was busy working on my novels; I had plenty to do. But force I could not resist reached out and grabbed me, hauling me all the way across the United States from California to green Tennessee. I went to a Native American spiritual retreat called the Gathering. Bill Miller, the multi-Grammy winning Native musician, artist & speaker is its spiritual leader. That retreat was such a profound experience that inspired me to write Stepping Off the Edge –which is about lots of things.

I finished the first draft of Stepping Off the Edge on December 22nd. The birth of the holy in this flawed world was very present in my soul. What happened to me that day as I sat at my computer BLEW MY MIND! It’s all there, at the end of Stepping Off the Edge

I invite you to join me in pursuit of the sacred, and the delightful. This book and this party is my gift to you.

Sandy Nathan

“Sandy’s book has got to be one of the most fun to read books about spirituality ever written. She takes the reader along on her adventures with a down to earth approach and style that keeps the reader in touch–with both reality and spirituality. Informative, entertaining, and enlightening.”
Natural Horse Magazine Volume 8 Issue 5

Remember, you need to buy the book from Amazon on by midnight December 10th to get the goodies.

If you buy my book, Stepping Off the Edge, by midnight December 10th, you can receive some truly wonderful gifts–in addition to a great book.


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Sandy NathanSANDY NATHAN Award Winning Author

My Amazon Bestseller Best seller Book Party was December 9 2008. Things were just getting rolling when it was time to stop––so we’ve extended the event though December 10th. Click here to go to the party! 

Click here to see one of the prizes, an amazing slide show from the Gathering, the Native American spiritual retreat which inspired Stepping Off the Edge.

I’m doing one of those “bust into the Amazon bestseller ranks by providing incentives (bribes) to buyers to if they buy on a certain day.” These parties have been around for a while and have been lauded and condemned by many.

I’m doing mine for a bunch of reasons, one of which is the possibility of moving into the Amazon bestsellers with my book Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice. 

Stepping Off the Edge is a spiritual companion and guidebook for the modern age. Its a perfect holiday gift and something you can give to people of all faiths. It contains everything worth remembering that I learned earning my two graduate degrees and lifelong personal spiritual practice. These are the self-help nuggets that I grab onto when my life threatens to take a negative turn.

Sharing my book with you is as important to me as any sales rating. I finished the book’s manuscript on December 22, three days before Christmas. At that time, my soul turned toward the birth of the holy on this flawed planet.

What happened on that day still blows my mind. It’s all there, at the end of Stepping and throughout the book. This book is a mind bending, true, spiritual  journey. I invite you to come with me and step off the edge.

I really invite you to do it on December 9th 2008. That’s my party day, and you won’t believe what my friends will be giving you if you buy my book on Amazon through the special invitation I’ll send you. (Go to my website and sign up for my mailing list NOW. You’ll be sent an invitation automatically.)

STEPPING OFF THE EDGE cover If you buy my book through Amazon’s site, the first great prize you will receive is my book! Stepping Off the Edge has won six national awards and rave reviews. It’s well worth buying and reading in itself.

You’ll get more. When you buy the book through Amazon, use your receipt number to log into a special web page. That will allow you to download all the prizes my friends and I are offering. What are they?

TECOLOTE FINDS A FRIEND: A Baby Horse Finds a Place in the World The first gift is from me. I’ve written an e book for you. Tecolote Finds a Friend: A Baby Horse Learns the Ways of the World. Tecolote was born prematurely on a freezing night. He battled to survive from his first breath and overcame the worst thing that can happen to any youngster. Will he learn to be a member of the herd or stay an outsider forever?

This is the first of the amazing true stories of Rancho Vilasa, our horse ranch, that I’ve made public. The e book features photographs of the horses taken while the story was unfolding. This incredible tale is available only at my Amazon  Bestseller Party. We may make it available for sale later, but for now––this is it.

ARE YOU A WRITER,  AUTHOR, OR PUBLISHER? Here are some prizes for you. I’m sharing my secrets with you. What a truly professional presentation? Check out these people:

  • Ghislain Viau  of Creative Publishing Book Design has offered a discount on the interior design of a book. The discount will be awarded by lottery at the end of my “Amazon day” and is good for three months. If you are a publisher, owner of a small press, or considering self publishing your book, a beautifully designed interior is absolutely necessary to stand up in the marketplace. Ghislain did the interior of my book Numenon, which you can see by clicking on the book’s Amazon page and searching the “look inside” images. You can also see examples of his work on his web page, linked above. I found Ghislain a delight to work with. He was always on time, has superb technical skills, and can manage your project, submitting it to the printer and keeping track of it.
  • Laren Bright, three time Emmy-nominated screen writer and multi-talented, award winning writer, has offered a one-hour telephone consultation on a book title and subtitle. If your book is judged by its cover, it really is judged by its title. The wrong title and subtitle can destroy your book’s chances of success. Professional copy sings and presents your book in its best light. Laren wrote the cover copy––that’s the back and end flaps––for both of my books. He has an amazing capacity for grasping the essence of a book and expressing it in a few compelling words. See sandynathan.com about the books for examples, or check my books on Amazon.
  • Lewis Agrell of the Agrell Group, has offered what I consider a pathbreaking article on book cover design. Lewis drew the map that appears on the end papers of my Numenon. (Unfortunately, Amazon’s search inside feature doesn’t show it. You’ll have to buy the book to see it.) He also designed brochures for both my books, as well as other sales materials for Numenon. And––he designed the e-book which you’ll download when you buy Stepping Off the Edge on my Amazon day. He’s a joy to work with and totally professional.
  • Penny Sansevieri, The Author Marketing Expert TM, is donating some of her writings, possibly chapters from her new, best-selling Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider’s Guide to Promoting your Book on the Internet! When you’ve got your book edited, its interior designed, the copy written and the cover ready to go, you need to publicize it. Penny helped me with Stepping Off the Edge. She’s supremely professional and knows her stuff.
  • Jeniffer Thompson, monkey + C + media = designhaus, will offer several chapters of her writing. Want a spectacular website that expresses you perfectly and optimizes your place on the net? That’s what Jeniffer and monkey C media do. You’re looking at an example of her work: Jeniffer and her associates created this blog and my matching website at sandynathan.com   Jeniffer worked tirelessly to create a site I loved. She does that for all her clients.
  • Melanie Rigney, Editor for You, has more than thirty experience as an editor, writer and reporter. Her company, Editor for You, has provided services to more than 200 authors, publishers, and agents. Melanie spent five years as the editor of Writer’s Digest, the leading magazine for writers, and was editorial director for Writer’s Digest Books. She’s worked for the major publishers and is a well known leader of writers’ conferences. Melanie worked on the editing of my book Numenon and she’s edited, copy edited and proofed everything I’ve done since. Melanie has offered some of her writing on editing and writing, and maybe a Kindle download if the conversion can happen soon enough.


When you buy my book on Amazon, you’ll be able to download some red hot reading not available anywhere else. Check back. I’ll post what’s coming as details evolve.


A couple of experts are working on answers to those questions for my party day. I’ll post when I have details.


Head Lady & Head Man at the 2006 Gathering Pow-wowStepping Off the Edge is a book that I did not intend to write. I was doing important work––writing my series of novels––and was plenty busy. Little did I know that the universe had other plans. A force I could not resist dragged me across the United States to a Native American spiritual treat held way out in the Cherokee National Forest of Tennessee.

BILL WAILS!Bill Miller, the multi-Grammy winning, NAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award winning, Native American musician, artist, and speaker, is the Gathering’s spiritual leader.


That weekend was a soul awakening for me, a turning point in my life. I ended up writing Steppping Off the Edge. Stepping Off the Edge tells the story of my experience at the Gathering, which takes place on old Cherokee ground, the home of the original Cherokee people. The book tells you how I got there and gives you tools to handle the hard times of your life. And the good times.

We’ve got special gifts coming from the Gathering and the people of the Gathering that I’ll post when I get all the details.

That’s it for now!

SANDY & REY DE CORAZONES Happy trails!  Sandy Nathan

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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.


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:


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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The other day, I was about to purchase a lot of seven vintage raccoon coats on eBay.

I’ll say that again: I WAS GONNA BUY SEVEN OLD RACCOON COATS. I seriously, seriously wanted to toss in the winning bid.

These were not marked as to size: None of them might have fit me. My thought was, “Well, maybe one of them (or more) will fit me. I can sell the rest back on eBay and make a bundle.” Or not. The seller didn’t PUT any close ups in the ad. I couldn’t tell if some might be missing things like sleeves or backs.

I was not so lost in I wanna that I couldn’t see that this was a stupid thing to do. (I’m not saying rehabbing things and reselling them on eBay is a bad thing for everyone, but for me, it definitely is.)

I have a new book coming out in two months and all sorts of publicity stuff happening. Book stores want me to speak, and the Book Expo America, the largest book fair in the country is coming up in months, close to my house. Plus, I’m writing a new book, science fiction thriller, and I’m closing in on the final chapters.

Book related activities are what I should be concentrating on. The thrust of my life is getting those books out and promoting them.

Taking on seven beat up raccoon coats in California, where winter is two weeks and consists of three days below 60 degrees, ranks in the realms of the really stupid.



HOW CAN WE STOP OURSELVES? (We’ll work on WHY WE DO IT later.)

1. DON’T DO IT. The number one way to eliminate your stupid mistakes is: DON’T DO THEM. If you have any inkling that what you want to do is stupid, don’t do it. Don’t make the phone call, put in the bid, place the bet, buy the bottle, or wink back at that good looking guy/gal. WHATEVER IT IS, DON’T DO IT.

(I’m writing for everyone reading this blog as well as the person writing it. At this point, the raccoon coat deal isn’t dead. I could still shoot in a snipe. Why do you think I’m writing this? It’s writing therapy.)

If you think what you’re about to do is dumb, don’t do it.

Another way of saying this is, “Do good, not evil.” St. Thomas Aquinas said that many years ago. It remains priceless advice.

The other half of this is, “DON’T DO IT” by itself is about as effective as those drug abuse prevention programs based on “JUST SAY NO.” 🙂

Of course druggies can’t say no, they’re addicts. They live in a society based upon their saying, “Yes!” and often. Just like all of us. Our society is a maximal immersion in temptation and desire. We float in the titillation of the senses, the commandment “Do thy thing,” and “If you want it, you should have it.” Sooner is better.

Who says “Don’t do it.” I do. Others do. The trick is, “How?”

By not doing it. This requires self control and development of the will. Two spiritual attributes.

2. THINK ABOUT WHAT STUPID MEANS. There’s evil, and there’s stupid. I think they wrap nicely into each other. My book, Stepping Off the Edge, has two chapters in it on recognizing and dealing with evil. I’m not going to repeat these here. However, the crux of my arugment comes from something my meditation master said. He said something like, “Hurting other people is the greatest evil. Even thinking about hurting another is great evil.”

If you’re about to do something stupid, it undoubtedly has an element of evil. You hurt yourself or someone else. Do an analysis like the following for your I wanna.

What’s the evil with me and the coats? If I got the package at the asking price, it would cost $350 to deliver the hairy monsters to the door. That’s with no returns, and no, “Gee, seller, I really need a bigger size on at least one.”

Would my husband notice the $350 charge on our credit card? Oh, yeah. He who holds the family finances together, denies me nothing, pays the bills, and demands almost nothing for himself would take it like a fist in the gut. I would be betraying him. This is definite evil on my part.

What about me? How do I hurt myself? So I get the furs, jump into the joy of rehabbing shedding pelts? Something I know nothing about? Not only that, I don’t know the creatures’ condition. When done with this learning experience, I “get” to resell them on eBay or craigslist or my local flea market.

At the expense of working on my book Numenon, the first book of a series that I’ve been working on since 1995, which is coming out soon?

Talk about self sabotage.

4. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE? Get this and saying no will be easier.

WHY AM I HERE? Keep this question before you always. Search until you find an answer. You are on this planet to ask that question until you know the answer. When you know the answer, then you are to actuate the plan.

Got it? Of course, you’ve got it. We all know this. Ever you ever caught yourself sort of ducking you head in guilt when you’re about to do something stupid. evil or off purpose? We all do that.

Only a few of us, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Mohatma Ghandhi and the like really live their lives the big way, being all that they were meant to be. The rest of us duck and jive and sleaze out. Me included. Those raccoon coats were the birthplace of this entry, after all.

It took me 50 years to find my life’s purpose, which is writing about those first 50 years and all the rest. Creating meaning out of chaos and mayhem. It was hard. Writing is hard. It’s easier to fritter my time away on stupid things.


Under every burning desire is what you really want and need. It’s an intangible thing that you will never get by buying fur coats, getting a new car or spouse. What emotional need are you trying to meet with whatever stupid thing you’re about to do? Examine this.

Using our furry friends, what do those coats mean to me? Well, I’m exhausted, doing all this book stuff. Worn out. I’d like do not just own a furry coat, I’d like to be a furry animal and curl up somewhere. I’m pooped, so I go for fur. I don’t want to burden my family with the cost of one coat, so I figure that I’ll make a profit with the seven coats, and then justify keeping one. That’s logical, isn’t it? Stupid logic. I’m buying seven times the work, a huge risk as to quality, all for unrecognized emotional need.


In Stepping Off the Edge, I’m pretty open in telling the truth about myself. People have asked me, “Boy, you were really taking a risk, taking about that.” Here is one of my greatest secrets:

If you want to make something disappear, tell the truth about it. 

If you’re really serious about getting the monkey off your back, take a picture of it and show everyone you know. The clearer and and more definitive you can be about whatever is holding you captive, the less power that temptation will have on you. Works for crushes on people, things you want that are stupid, all sorts of emotions like anger, resentment, jealousy. So while people are going, “Oh wow, she’s so brave,” I’m really becoming freer to be the person I was meant to be. It works. Yes, you will feel exposed and like a real idiot when you do it. Freedom is worth the cost. And the cost is cheap when it’s telling the truth. Go, and create goodness and truth. The embarrasment fades.


That’s the underlying “how to stop.” Get real. You’re going to die one day. Do what you came here to do.

I’m going to post this now. May add pictures and such later. As well as the why we do stupid things. I’ll also update this and let you know if I let the seven raccoon coats go with out buying them.

Sandy Nathan

PS. While the coats may sound like a dumb thing to lust after, they’re not as stupid as some things people do. I know someone who dumped his really nice, respectable wife of many years for a twenty year old he met at a swap meet. That ranks in the realm of the unbelievably stupid acts.

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The beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, home of national award winning author, Sandy Nathan

Sandy NathanSandy Nathan
Let’s talk about things that matter . . .

That’s what we do here. Things that matter cover a wide range. Like on-line auctions, eBay and getting smart. Check this out:



That was the last straw. I decided to write this article, no more procrastination!







Creatures to emulate: Be a coyote, not a chicken.

At the end of the auction that prompted this tirade, I looked at the item’s auction page, wanting to do a post game analysis, and knowing what I’d find. Come with me now. Check out (almost) any completed auction on eBay. (We can all find the auction ad page right? I’m writing for beginners on eBay, as well as others. The auction ad page is where we placed our bid, right?)

I went straight to auction page’s Bid History line. That’s in the middle of the info section in the top area of the page, right above the winning bidder’s name. (The area where the End time, Shipping costs, Ships to, Item Location, History, and High Bidder are stacked on top of each other.)

I clicked on History, which is a number indicating the number of bidders, and sure enough, the bid history looked like this:

(No, it doesn’t look like this. I’m having a bit of trouble getting WordPress to write a table. I’ll try to figure this out. Meantime: the table on eBay shows our bidders bidding more and more for the same item, often with no other buyer in sight. In the info below, salliemay raises the bid from $29 to $150 all by herself, no other bidders showing. Her final bid of $273 is almost ten times her initial bid. She doesn’t pay the increase she caused; the winner does.)

BIDDER . . . . . . . BID AMOUNT . . . . . BID TIME

muggsie (781). . . . .$276 . . . . . . . . 12 noon (1 sec. before auction ends)
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . .$273 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seven minute before close
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . .$271 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nine minutes before close
bee-bob (7) . . . . . . . . .$266 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ten minutes before close
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . $264 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eleven minutes to go
fritz (14) . . . . . . . . . . . $262 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eight hours to go
bee-bob (7) . . . . . . . . .$260 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 hours to go
fritz (14) . . . . . . . . . . . $225 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Four days to go
bee-bob (7) . . . . . . . . . $175 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Two days to go
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . .$150 . . . . . . . . . . . . . We’re heading to the initial listing date
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . . $125
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . . .$99
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . . .$89 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Closer and closer to the auction start
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . . . $59
salliemay (2) . . . . . . . . . $29
BOZOMAN (0). . . . . . . .$10
Starting price . . . . .$9.99 . . . . . . . . . . . . TIME ZERO: AUCTION BEGINS

(These are made up bidder names, by the way. If there are real BOZOMAN(0)s out there, let me know and I’ll change the name.)

Okay, what happened here? Basically, our friend salliemay bid up the price of the item from a lousy ten bucks to $273. She didn’t do it alone; she had help from her friends, fritz and bee-bob. (BOZOMAN opted out after firing the opening salvo.)

Notice anything about these wannabe winners? Yes, their highest feedback score is 14. Ol’ fritz managed to win fourteen times and earn the (14) behind his name. These people are BEGINNERS.

They drive me crazy. How did muggsie (781) win the item and get that 781 positive feedback score that the (781) behind his name indicates? By using a sniping program. Simple as that. Do you think a smart guy like muggsie (781) is going to sit around his computer waiting for the last second to throw in his bid? No. Software does it.

When does muggsie (781) show up in the auction? Once––one second before it closes. Where do I show up? Not at all. When salliemay did her thing with the price, I pulled my snipe. The item was out of my budget range. I never showed up at all.

Where did I learn this? While I was getting my (286) positive feedback score. I have an entire web site devoted to helping you improve your game on eBay. See SANDY’S AUCTION WISDOM for many well thought out articles about both buying and selling on eBay, as well as managing the little problem that many of us find ourselves with: eBay addiction.

Lots to read on SANDY’S AUCTION WISDOM, folks. I’m not going to replicate it here. The articles on that site were once some of the most highly ranked articles on buying and addiction on the Net, by the way. I don’t keep changing them all the time to stay up in the ratings, because I’m not addicted to my own website statistics. My articles on buyding and selling and marketing are good reading, if you’re serious about being sane and participating in on-line auctions.

One funny aside, my auction domain name http://www.sandysauctionwisdom.com, the cumbersome Sandys Auction Wisdom, was originally the snappy ebayonspurs. I chose that catchy URL, because it referred to my ‘zine, Spurs Magazine, and led to my web articles about eBay on Spurs. That seemed easy enough.

Not to eBay. I came out with ebayonspurs and got a letter from Meg Whitman faster than I could post an auction listing. eBay frowns upon people trying to catch a wave by latching onto its corporate image. Use of the word “ebay” in any domain name is a no-no. When threatened with legal action, I rolled, pulling my cute moniker and going to something obscure, but kosher.

More about what happened in the auction above and most auctions. I want you to look at the bidding history of any recently completed auction. Almost invariably, somebody bids and bids and bids, apparently against her (or him) self. Why? I don’t get it. If another bid was made, it would show up in the bid history, yes? They must be doing it for some reason, thinking they’re winning––this time, they’ll finally win. Yay!

I’ve looked at lots of auction results, and it always seems that one bidder keeps upping the price and upping it. It’s always a low feedback score person––a newbie. And the auction is almost always won in the last seconds by someone whose feedback score shows lots of winning. And at a much higher price than necessary if salliemae could have been THROTTLED at her first bid.

Oh, yes, you may get several beginners doing the same thing, as we have above. They should all be THROTTLED.

I couldn’t figure out what was going on. The solitary bidder listed again and again, bidding with no other bidder recorded, raising the price.

So I wrote to eBay, saying what I’ve told you above. They got back pronto, with information about shill bidding. You know what that is? Check it out: shill bidding from eBay’s site. Ebay is the best source of info about eBay, their on-site guides being up to date, easy to understand and authoritative. (My articles are basically correct, but eBay changes so quickly that you should check any uncertainly you may have with their HELP PAGES. )

When I told eBay about the pattern I’d observed over and over again, they thought it was shill bidding––salliemay was actually the dreaded RUPERT (21,741), who was in collusion a pack of other auction pirates, bumping up bids right and left.

I don’t think so. Why would RUPERT want a ratty old fur coat? Why would RUPERT want table linens or the other stupid (sorry, lovers of fur and lace) things that catch my eye? And why would what I show in my example be so pervasive?

I chalk it up to an even more pervasive human trait: STUPIDITY. Or IGNORANCE, if you want to be more polite. I’m just sick of the sallies and wonnies and dopies of the auction world causing me to lose stuff that’s probably feeding my own addictions and also causing strain with my husband about my overspending. (So, okay, the loss isn’t important in the bigger scheme of things.)

And I’m sick of beginners and idiots (Sorry. Sometimes I get really heated . . .) making everyone pay more than they need to for trivial to extremely useful stuff.

So: use a sniping program. To learn what this is, go to my series on on-line auctions and memorize it: THE PLACE WHERE YOU GET THE SNIPING HARDWARE.

To make it easier than that, I use esnipe.com, which has helped me get pretty much everything I’ve won. Every once in a while, I pay them $20 bucks or so. They bid for me electronically, charging a minimal amount when I win something. I’m out of the bidding wars. Out of sight, lurking like a sneaking bandit, waiting to win.

Which is what we want do to, yes? We’re not just sitting in front of our computers knowing our hips are spreading by the day, we’re trying to win. Sign up for esnipe, they’ll take care of you.

eBay has it’s own, in house sniping program, which you can use on bundles of things you want. It will bid on a group of specified items for you until you win something. That’s pretty neat. I’ve never used it, so can’t say how it works. But salliemay, for goodness sake, stop bidding against yourself and start winning!

eBay’s Bid Assistant Check it out!

Oh, you won’t win if your bid isn’t the highest bid in place at the auction’s closing. But that’s a matter of choice and budgeting. Read my whole series, I get into all of that. Financial sobriety, the soft addictions, not going broke. Having your soul come out on top instead of your lust for stuff. These are deep articles, sumptuously illustrated by stuff from eBay.

Ebay also has it’s own really good tutorials on everything eBay related. Here’s the eBay LEARNING CENTER.

That’s it, folks. Oh, one other thing you should read to get smart about on-line auctions:

Stepping Off the Edge

Winner of six national awards, including:
Bronze Medal, 2007 IPPY Awards; finalist, Benjamin Franklin Awards in New Age; finalist, 2007 Indie Excellence Awards in Memoir, Self Help and Spirituality; finalist, BEST BOOKS OF 2007, Memoir

I’ve got two chapters in Stepping Off the Edge about eBay addiction. How I got it, how I handle it. Financial experts have told me they’ve never seen on-line addiction treated the way I do.

So, get my book, and read my SANDY’S AUCTION WISDOM series. A reader sent me the following about that series:

Dear Sandy,

Thank you very much for your site. Your analysis of what causes this kind of addiction has helped me to break down why I am doing what I am. Because of that I now have a much better chance of freeing myself from this and whatever else I manage to become compulsive about in my life.

I think that the way that you write about this subject matter is very insightful and nurturing, I got something out of every section and it taught me something about myself that was way more valuable than just how to quit compulsively shopping from my computer.

I think your articles will help everyone with the intelligence to understand the concepts and the patience to read more than a paragraph. I may even buy your book based on my enjoyment of your writing. I have copied and pasted a small section of the text from it and put it in a folder I keep on my desktop called “read this everyday”.

Thanks Sandy.

Sandy Nathan & Her Dogs

Thank you, my dear reader. Now let’s all be smart, non-addictive, winning buyers!
Sandy Nathan, National award winning author. Winner of eight awards as of 12/11/07!


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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.


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.
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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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:


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.


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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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.

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!


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!


Sandy Nathan

Sandy Nathan

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