Entries Tagged 'The GATHERING: A Native American Spiritual Retreat' ↓



Finishing moments before I’m supposed to get on a plane, I wanted everyone to know that the report on the 2007 HOLSTON CONFERENCE GATHERING is UP!!!! To see it, click here: THE 2007 GATHERING REPORT. MAJOR NEW PICTURES OF BILL MILLER! Lots of great photos of the Gathering people. The powwow. The gorgeous Tennessee scenery. Greenery!

Bill Miller hits it at the Gathering!

For the full story on the Gathering, just check the link. The Gathering is a Native American spiritual retreat hosted by the Native American Ministries of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is a nondenominational weekend retreat taking place in the Cherokee National Forest of Tennessee. Bill Miller, the brilliant and multi-big-award winning Mohican/German musician, artist, and speaker, is the Gathering’s spiritual leader. If you’d like to meet and experience Bill in a casual and intimate setting, the Gathering is your best bet.

Head Lady Dancer, Siouxsan Robinson (Lakota Blackfoot),
& Head Man Dancer, Charles Robinson (Choctaw)

I heartily recommend the Gathering. My multi-national award winning book, Stepping Off the Edge, was born at the Gathering. Yep. I got the first glimmerings of the book there. Several chapters in the book occur at the Gathering. I describe Bill Miller’s famous Saturday concert and all that happened to me. I’ve got drawings based on the people I met. The Gathering is an amazingly beautiful experience. I’ve been back every year but this one––and I would have been there this year except that I had the flu. You can buy copies of my book and benefit the Gathering. Their web page will tell you all about it.

Jaimie Russell, Mona Juckett, & Bill Miller rock at the Gathering.

You can also reach the 2007 Gathering report through the Gathering’s web site: Gathering web site. Check out the many years of the Gathering documented and archived on that site. This is beautiful photography of beautiful people. And a beautiful place. Plus it rocks.

Bill and Scott jam, again!
(They do this every year.)

I invite you to join me and the people of the Gathering in 2008 as Bill Miller returns to tell it like it is–-and how it can be.

Best wishes at this holy season. I’m off to Santa Fe!

Sandy Nathan


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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

Sometimes, wonderful things happen on the Internet. A few years ago, I posted an article about my life with horses on my web site. It was a trip down memory lane for some of us who go quite a ways back. I wrote about all sorts of things, which I’m going to repeat a bit here.

I had wanted a horse since she could stand up and cried every birthday until I got one. My parents finally got me a horse, and then I couldn’t be pried off. I still ride as much as I can.

Here’s memory number one for those of you who remember the San Francisco Peninsula before it was Silicon Valley. Here are some photos of the San Mateo County Junior Sheriff’s Posse, led by Toots Lopez in the 1960s. Please click the link to see the full sized images on my web site.
TOOTS LOPEZ LEADING THE JR. SHERIFF'S POSSE“Toots” Lopez leading the San Mateo County Junior Sheriff’s Posse, I believe in a parade in Redwood City.
POSSE KIDS AROUND THE BUSSome kids from the Jr. Sheriff’s Posse in front of “The Bus.” Some names include Rick DeBenedetti, Cathy Matson, Sheila Trifeletti, and me––Sandy Oddstad Nathan. Shep, our family dog is in front. (Check the article for everyone’s names.)

My father, Andy Oddstad, was one of the most efficient people I’ve ever known. When I joined the Jr. Posse and he saw twenty moms and dads hitching up the ol’ truck and pulling out every time we had an event, his sense of efficiency was wounded.

He dug up an old bus somewhere and turned it over to Triff Trifeletti, who was one of his right hand men in those days. Triff and his guys at the shop fixed it, painted it, made a ramp and set it up as a horse hauling vehicle that could hold eight to ten horses, stacked sideways.

It looked incredibly impressive and wherever we arrived: The bus was painted in green and white, the posse colors, with matching horses and riders. I don’t know what happened to the bus after I moved on. I expect that old bus is moldering away somewhere.

THE SAN MATEO COUNTY JUNIOR SHERIFF'S POSSE, early 1960sThe whole Posse and nothing but the Posse.

When I put up that earlier article on my web site, I heard from some people I hadn’t seen in almost fifty years––men and women who were kids with me so long ago. Click to read the whole article. With big pictures!

If you contacted me from that article, I’m going to ask you to contact me again. We’ve a couple of computer melt downs and I’ve lost all the email addresses of those folks who wrote earlier––my entire address book. You can write in the comments part below, though I’m not sure it will get through. I’ve got such an aggressive spam filter on this blog, I don’t think my own name could get through. (And you know why––who puts out that nasty spam, anyway?) Could you repeat the post on my email? sandy@sandynathan.com That will get to me.

Lots of people from Woodside’s Mounted Patrol wrote to me. We relived great old times.
And I was able to write to the Town Council about the place the Mounted Patrol, its Grounds, and horses generally have held in Woodside for so many years. Like everywhere else, my old home town is beset by those who don’t see the need for horses.

MORE AMAZINGLY––Some folks from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Posse (and that’s a BIG, SPECTACULAR posse) found an old flag from the Junior Sheriff’s Posse at a garage sale and sent it to me.

If opening that package didn’t bring some tears to my eyes. I always wanted to post a bit about the whole event, them, their Posse and that flag––but time slips, as we know. I’ve got the flag, just lost their contact info. Please, if you find this drop me a line and I’ll get back to you.

DAVID ODDSTAD & TUCK AT SKYLINE RANCH, early 1960sDavid Oddstad, my brother, riding Tuck in the Skyline Ranch rodeo arena in the early 1960s.

Here I go to another location on Memory Lane: Anybody remember a guy named Stan Cosca? How about Jim Black? A horse named Tuck? The fine and wonderful days of the Skyline Ranch in the Oakland Hills?

Let me tell you about these people and the Skyline Ranch. Stan Cosca built the Skyline Ranch. I don’t know when he built it, just that it was definitely there when I found it, back in the early 1960s. I heard that it’s owned by the City of Oakland now.

One of the neatest things about Skyline Ranch was that it was right across the street from an huge regional park. You could ride on those trails until you passed out––the location was horse heaven and Stan recognized it. The Skyline Ranch might look skimpy next to today’s equestrian super-centers, but it was state of the art when it was built. Most ranches back then were family affairs. Someone built a house, added a barn, an arena, some stalls. Ramshackle and built as the owners could afford it.

The Coscas built one of the first really “all of a piece” ranches in this part of the state. It was a complete facility with a house for the Cosca family, one for their trainer, Jim Black and his wife Tiny. It sported a fantastic rodeo arena, a coffee shop between the arena and the road. Next to the coffee shop was a saddle shop with a great saddler, Earl Naninga. The barns had an small indoor arena (unheard of at the time) and rows of stalls backed up to a central hay storage aisle. Whoever was feeding could toss flakes to the stalls on either side and feed in jig time.

They held rodeos on the weekends. Tuck was a trick horse and Stan’s daughter did a trick riding and roping act. People could ride any time. Get a burger afterward. Order some chaps from Earl Naninga, or take a number to wait a couple of years for one of his saddles. Then you’d go right down the hill and back to Oakland and urban life, such as it was.

Here’s the good part about the Internet: When you forget something’s up on your site, it’s still there. I got a great email from Traci LeMire whose grandmother, Lenore Bauer owned the restaurant at the Skyline Ranch for years. Traci wrote me a wonderful note about hanging around the ranch as a young person.

That time glows, doesn’t it? Those memories glow.

And if that wasn’t enough, then I heard from Carole Jones, Lenore’s daughter. She told me about her brother Dan helping in the coffee shop kitchen and playing his guitar for the Monday buffets. Jim Black, the resident horse trainer was also the resident artist––his paintings were in great demand. I have one of my gray mustang. Carole wrote to me recalling Jim Black’s paintings and her mother’s. Lenore was a painter, too. She wrote about days spent growing up on the ranch around horses.

Recalling this time stops the blood and raises goosebumps and seems more real than what we’ve got today. Heroic and noble. Thank you Carole and Lenore for bringing that time back. I posted this because of you.

Well, back to my story. I don’t really know how my dad met Stan Cosca. My father was building in Oakland then, Crestmont, I think. He met a number of people, including Peter Tripp and his family, going to City Council Meetings. I think he met Stan there. He began to visit the ranch to have lunch with Stan. They became friends. Soon enough, Stan knew I rode and he and Jim Black, the trainer, were trying to find me a show horse.

WATER DOG & SANDY AT A SHOW Water Dog, a typy Quarter Horse in the early 1960s.

They found me one. Not the horse above. This was my dad’s horse. He was out at Stan’s eating lunch one day. Jimmy Black was riding Water Dog in the arena. The horse was for sale. My dad flipped for him. “He’s got muscles like a wrester and red hair like my wife.” He had to buy him. (My dad was AAU Champion Heavyweight Wrestler and Commissioner of Wrestling for San Francisco’s Olympic Club. He wrestled. And he just loved my mom . . .)

Water Dog joined the family. I showed him for years. We’re at some show in the thumbnail above.

SMOKEY JOE & SANDY NATHANSmokey Joe. This is the show horse Stan and Jim Black found for me. He had been owned by one of the Rose Brothers from Hollister. A Nevada mustang. It was a case of the trainer never having time to train his son’s horse. A couple of months of training with Jimmy Black, and I was able to ride this horse to more show wins than any horse since.

Smokey is probably my favorite horse of a lifetime. Perfect behavior, never sick or lame. Never even spooked. You could ride this horse anywhere. Perfect manners with other horses or anyone.
The Rose family called the horse Tommy Tucker, I believe. After I’d traded him back to the Roses for a horse I’ll discuss below, my riding teacher saw him at a show. Still truckin’, after all those years. If you know the Rose family in Hollister and remember a gray gelding with no papers and lot of heart, I’d love to hear from you.

I did hear from Stan’s brother a while back, and I found out about the family over the years. And #@!#!!! wouldn’t you know it, the $#@!!! computer I had not only lost their email address, it lost their letters, too. I’m finally taking people seriously when they say, “Back up everything.”

So, if there are any Coscas out there, or any of Jimmy Black’s family, or any of the folks who have dropped me a line earlier, would you please do it again? Try the forum thing down below, or try sandy@sandynathan.com. I’m not a computer person, so I botch these things sometimes.

THE ODDSTAD FAMILY AND THE RANCH IN WOODSIDEThe Oddstad Family at the ranch on Canda Road.

All of you in Woodside who’ve arrived in the last 20 years, you are in for a shock. Know where the driveway is that goes to Canada College from Canada Road? There used to be an old barn up there and a Victorian house. That’s it, behind us. Our whole family rode for a while, with that barn as headquarters. Where Eucalyptus Dr. is now was pasture, as was the row of houses next to that driveway. Open space, privately owned.
SANDY NATHAN & BILLY HOWEMe on Billy Howe. Santa Rosa, 1965. This was one of the horses Mickey & Glenn Burks found for my family. One of my last shows from this time of my life.

About the time I got Smoky Joe and Water Dog, two people came into my life and changed me forever. I’d been plugging away, trying to turn from a gawky kid into a horse show winner.

My dad took me to horse shows for a whole year, hauling me and my horse from one end of the Bay Area to another, rain and shine. Pursuing the illusive scrap of rayon––the horse show ribbon. Never mind trophy. We couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t winning; I followed all the books.

Again, my dad came to the rescue: He saw that I needed more help than a book could give. I needed a coach. A trainer. He asked one of his friends, the owner of Olsen Nolte Saddle Shop. (Is it still there, on El Camino in San Carlos? I hope so.) “Mickey Burks is the best western trainer in Woodside,” he said.

I started taking riding lessons with Mickey and Glenn Burks. They were just putting the original Willow Tree Farm together at that time. Billy Burks was a baby. Mickey used to park her station wagon in the middle of the arena with Billy in it and give me lessons.

“Now hold that position,” she’d say and dash back to the car to see why the baby was crying. I’d ride around on the rail glowering. We did that for years.

I changed, turning into a competent competitor. I brought home my share of ribbons, until I won something in pretty near every class.

SANDY & ROBIN ROSE AT TALLY HO, MENLO CIRCUS CLUB, 1965Robin Rose, my best and last reined stock horse. Jim Black found this horse for me. I believe from the Rose brothers again, the same ranchers and horsemen who had Tommy Tucker. Robin was a Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred cross, agile, athletic, and the best working horse I’ve seen. When she wanted to be. She was temperamental and could buck with unfailing effect. I don’t know how many times I went off of her.

A young man named Spencer Chapin showed her better than I did. Went all the way to Reserve Champion Junior Stock Horse for the State of California. I understand she would have been Champion had some paperwork recording a win been mailed on time. I haven’t heard from Spencer for years.

Are you a Stephen King fan? I am. I like the less-laden-with-crawly-things books he writes. I loved his Dark Tower Series. In that, his characters talk about the world “moving on.”

My life moved on. In 1964, my father was killed by a drunk driver. My life changed forever. My horses left, and all that I had went away. Now I have these memories, which glow in my mind, stepping back to a world that no longer exists.

The San Francisco Bay Area isn’t what it was, is it? Maybe it’s fine the way it is. But it’s not the glowing time.

CLAIREThis is a little Jack Russell terrier. A happy face. She got adopted out in Albuquerque. Our dogs are all rescues. They tell you that anyone, anything can come back, with a helping hand.
Hard years followed after my father died; I still feel their echoes. But I don’t want you to think life ended there for me.

Things turned out okay. What was supposed to be mine came to me and what wasn’t, left.

I’ve had more grace fall on my head than I can admit. I’m happy in my family, my marriage, my life. I’m so happy, I might need to shout!

Life isn’t about the past or remembering, it’s about what’s right here, now.

With that, I’d like you to take a look at all the HORSEY STUFF I offer on our family of web sites. That link takes you to four horse magazines and my book. That’ll do you for a while.

We have Peruvian Paso horses now. Why? I like them better than any kind of horse these days. I’d still be riding a reiner if it wouldn’t kill me. Those are my all time favorites. But I’m falling apart. Knee, hips, ankle, you name it, it doesn’t work. I’ll keep riding as long as possible, though. And a Peruvian horse is as handy as any reiner, and maybe smarter . . .
And I can write when my riding days are done. I’m a better writer than I ever was rider. I’d like you to take a look at my book. The navigation bar above should get you that far. I’ve taken up winning in an arena where you don’t have to get on and off.

In 2007, I won six national awards for my writing. My first book, Stepping Off the Edge, won five national awards. It was a finalist (one of three books) in the Benjamin Franklin Awards in New Age (Spirituality/Metaphysics). A bronze medal winner in the IPPYs, and a finalist in three categories of the Indie Excellence Awards. The big surprise––my novel, Numenon, which isn’t even out yet, WON the Religious Fiction category of the 2007 Indie Excellence Awards.

Did showing horses help my books win? Yes. The attention to detail and fanatical pursuit of perfection that were drilled into me helped a lot. So did all the horse stories weaving through both books. I can’t tell a story without horses being involved. Both of those books have horse stories in them you’ve never seen and won’t forget.

Finally, before closing, has anyone seen this horse?


I eventually gave Robin Rose away. My friend, Sue Conley, knew a young trainer, Tommy Sondgroth, in Southern California somewhere. Tommy took Robin, who was around 23 years old by this time, as a lesson horse. (This was some horse! Incredible legs. Strong.) He liked her so much that he bred her to his stallion––a geriatric maiden mare, yet. I understand that she’s got a baby somewhere. Probably an old baby by now.

I sure would love to see a picture of Robin and her filly. Any one know Tommy Sondgroth? I’ve never met him. I sure would like to find out what happened to Robin and her child. You pass the word on to him, if you know him?

And does anyone have news of Mickey Burks? She, Glenn & Billy moved to Hawaii. I heard Glenn has passed, but I’d certainly love to learn of Mickey.

And this is what I believe the Internet is for! Bringing stories together, bringing people together.

All the best to you! Happy trails!

SANDY & REY DE CORAZONES Sandy Nathan and Rey de Corazones BSN, her Peruvian Paso gelding.

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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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The Gathering retreat inspired Sandy Nathan's award winning book, Stepping Off the Edge. Stepping has extreme relevance for this article.

Okay––here’s the situation. We’ve all experienced something like it: You haven’t spoken to Shelly recently. Actually, your “speaking” is done by email these days––you live on opposite ends of the continent.

But you were very good friends years ago and have gotten close again through emails. You feel like you’re sisters . . . Her emails have slowed down in the last six months; you figure she’s busy. Or something.

And then you get an email from her about something you wrote six months ago. You were feeling scared about something, and told her all about it. It didn’t seem like a big deal, and you were sisters, after all.

Your words have festered in her brain for six months. She’s been silently building a case against you. And not about your behavior––about you. She’d used your not-well-thought-out words as evidence proving you’re pond scum. All these months, she’s been judging your personal worth and frying you in a metaphysical trial that you knew nothing about.

You write back, explaining what you meant, the circumstances, how you’re irrationally fearful about somethings and why. You say you’re sorry, if this happens again, tell you sooner so you can work on it.

What comes back is a “well, so what”––and a stronger, more black and white indictment of your character. You’re bad. You’re wrong, you’re no good in a very fundamental way. She doesn’t respect you or what you did/are.

You write back, defending yourself, your temper up this time.

The answer is still another black and white statement about your personal worth. You feel like she wants you to say––and will only stop the barrage––when you say, “Yeah, you’re right; I’m bad.”

And then she demands all the gifts she’s given you over the years back, things that meant a lot to both of you once.

So you say to yourself, “Do I want a friend like this? Is this a friend?” And terminate the relationship.

Or, you give in and say, “Shelly, you’re right. I did a bad thing. I am a bad person.” And then try to negotiate a relationship and peace with this difficult person . . . until you finally realize it can’t be done.

Whichever way you handle it, you’re hurt. (Please change the “Shelly and emails” story to fit your experience with Shelly-type people.)

Some personal development-type folks say, “Another person can’t hurt you. Your feelings are your own. You ALLOW the other person to hurt you. Change your thoughts, attitudes, and reactions, and the pain will go away.”

I SAY: HOOEY! BALONEY! The above may be true for a meditation master at the height of his or her powers. But a civilian? Yeah, right.

I’ve done more psychological/spiritual/metaphysical work on myself than almost anybody I know. A betrayal hurts.

What you can do about the pain is limit how much and how long you hurt.


Communion, by Lily Nathan. Isn't it nice when life is like this?

The sudden end of a friendship hurts. This is what I have done to handle it:

1. I ASK MYSELF: Do I want this person as a friend regardless of what happened? Because we almost always make amends and give it another try. It may take a while, but most of the time, we can pick a relationship up and try again. (Unless the other person stonewalls and refuses to respond to your calls, letters, emails, etc. This is even more painful and a nasty, crazy-making way of dealing with other people and a big reason for asking: Do I want this person for my friend?)

2. PRINT OUT THE EMAILS AND SEE WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED AND WHO SAID WHAT. One of the miracles of the electronic age is that we can print out emails and evaluate our words out of the heat of passion. (Another miracle of the electronic age is that our emails can find themselves plastered all over the Net, including blogs, MySpace, you name it. I have friends who write one line emails. Anything with any content that could come back and bite them is communicated via phone or face to face. Old fashioned, but safe.)

But, having a transcript can change things. You may find that you got as nasty as Shelly did, and just as fast. Maybe it wasn’t all her fault. Or, you may see how much you tried to make things right, how you apologized and explained. And how it didn’t matter to her.

In that case, Do you want Shelly as a friend? The facts should help soothe the pain.

3. REVIEW THE HISTORY OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND SHELLY’S LIFE AS YOU KNOW IT. You were buddies years ago. Why did that end? Did she do some arbitrary and judgmental thing before? Hurt you? Betray you? Write it down. (You’ll need a journal to get the most from my blog, readers.) Why did the friendship end before? How is that similar to now?

And how’s Shelly doing in her life? She’s told you in her emails; really look at it what she’s said, outside the forgiving glaze of friendship. Has her life been a succession of failed marriages, relationships that don’t last, unfinished goals, and job problems? Does she describe her bosses and the people who run her company as jerks? Did she just get demoted, or fired, but it wasn’t her fault? If this has been going since you knew each other years ago, your ears should prick up. Notice these patterns.

Which is not to say dump friends if they’re having a run of bad luck. Everybody, EVERYBODY, can have bad years, and successions of bad years. We all can have loved ones leave us or die. Our employers can go broke so that we end up jobless. We can get fired, downsized or dumped. We can have horrible accidents. (The self-help people say these are really opportunities for great spiritual growth, if used properly. They are opportunities for character development, but that doesn’t make them fun.)

When a run of bad luck goes on for most of a lifetime, it’s a problem that needs attention. Is Shelly like that? If our lives are long term disasters and or most of our friend’s lives are the same, we need to look at that, too. Along with our own life histories.

The Secret is a popular book & and DVD talking about the Law of Attraction. Which basically means, you attract that which is like you.

Or: Your life is your mind on a big screen.

Simplistic, but true. Everything in our lives reflects our state of mind/psyche. Upgrade your state of mind, and you’ll upgrade your experience.

One way to do that is eliminate the negative. Sayonara, Shelly-baby.

4. STILL HURTS, DOESN’T IT? Because you didn’t see it coming and thought you were friends. You wish it didn’t happen. Review steps 1. to 3. above. Do you want this person for a friend? You can go back and plead for mercy.

5. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FILL THE HOLE IN YOUR LIFE POST-SHELLY? Do you have other friends who can give you what Shelly did without the possible betrayal? Spend time with them.

And what did you write about in your emails with Shelly, anyway? Gossip? Talk about your spouse, boss, family? What’s wrong with the world?

If you don’t change the parts of your mind that attracted a person like Shelly, you will quickly fill the Shelly-void with other Shellys. They may look different, but their effect on you will be the same.

Get busy. Start a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Exercise. Join a gym. If you’re online too much, try the REAL WORLD! It’s so exciting.

Work on your life goals. Don’t have any?

6. FIND YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE AND FIGURE OUT HOW TO ACHIEVE IT. THEN DO IT, STEP BY STEP. My book, Stepping Off the Edge, acts like a depth charge in getting your inner MOJO going so you discover your life’s purpose and start working toward it. It blasts through the crust of cynicism, laziness and fear that coats daily life.

If you can’t get yourself going to find your highest goals, you could read Stepping, or get cancer or something to motivate yourself. (But why? I already did––it helped a lot in giving birth to Stepping Off the Edge.)

When you’re living your life’s purpose, whatever the Shellys of the world do to you will hurt less. Guaranteed.

7. GO TO A THERAPIST OR PROFESSIONAL HEALER. The Shelly situation is still going to hurt, even if you do all this. Sorry, but I hope you’re down to the little dregs of pain at the bottom of the carafe by now.

If you’re not, and you’re still hurting like crazy after going through all these steps, this may point to a deep seated pattern or abuse in the past. Go to a licensed psychotherapist with your pain. I’m big on professional help. If the Universe intended us to handle all our problems alone, the Universe would have created just one person. There’s lots of us humans–-we need to rely on each other.

You can talk to your friends or spouse about what happened––but, remember, Shelly was a friend. She might have even been a therapist or member of the healing professions herself. (A license to practice isn’t a certificate of mental health––though it does have professional standards behind it.)

And here’s a true story about telling your problems to friends: Back in the 1980s, my husband and I were best friends with another couple. They were so fun and lively, and they had little kids the ages of ours. Our two families did something together almost every weekend; we spent holidays and birthdays together. We talked about everything; after all, we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, birthplace of est and the human potential movement. Talking about feelings was good, telling the truth was wonderful.

Okay, life being as it is, problems arose. Our business was going belly up, slowly, then fast, then slowly again as we slaved to resuscitate it. Our business could have been an episode on ER, if dramas carried out in financial data were fun. And there were other problems on our side. We were really down, my husband and I.

Of course, we told our dear friends about it; they loved us, yes? We saw them all the time.

Except that stopped abruptly: They dumped us. Didn’t call, didn’t return our calls. We had no idea why. No explanation, no recourse. You think that hurt?

Only twenty five years later did I have the enormous insight that maybe we weren’t fun any more, in our truth-telling. Maybe the other couple would rather spend their time off with people who were enjoying life and didn’t remind them of how grim it can be.

We’ll never know––that friendship is kaput. Gone. There was no post-game feedback session. But the episode left me with a healthy respect for the limits of friendship. Some relationships are built on unspoken rules: We hang out together as long as we’re having fun. We don’t care about your troubles.

The other thing about telling your problems to your friends is they aren’t trained psychotherapists. I learned a lot getting my MA in Marriage, Family, & Child Counseling. I learned a lot in the supervised hours of counseling I did in pursuit of my license. And I ended up having two kids instead of getting licensed to practice––but I learned how important all those hours of supervision the state requires for a license are.

Your friends can’t do what a therapist can; they’re not skilled enough. And the nature of friendship precludes saying some of the stuff your therapist may need to say to you, and you to her/him.

So, if you’ve tried all the self-help routes to get over the pain of betrayal, take your anguish to a professional therapist and work on it. You’ve got to go to a good therapist.

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’VE GOT A GOOD THERAPIST? This is a very good question. A friend who is an excellent therapist answered it. She said:

“If you’ve been in therapy for two or three months and can’t see a distinct improvement in whatever got you there, change therapists.”

You’ll get better with a good therapist. With a bad one, you may get better––or worse. Or stay the same. You want to get better, yes?

A good therapist has a productive balance of empathy––”Oh, poor baby . . . “––and truth telling––”So that was the seventh time you’ve gotten in a relationship with someone who treated you like slime. Can you see a pattern? What’s in it for you that you keep doing this?” Not much fun, but better than ending up married to Shelly.

8. THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION: This is the technique I used to heal the searing pain of my kids abandoning me by growing up and leaving home. It still works, years later:

Your dog will always love you. Your dog will NEVER leave you. Or send mean emails.

Sandy Nathan’s Dogs

Get dogs! Your dog will never leave you. They’ll never conduct an email campaign to destroy your sense of self, either. You can have many joyful sessions teaching them to behave exactly as you want. They will love you unconditionally, just like all the books say your friends are supposed to, and Shelly said she did. You can write about them, photograph them, and sit with them at night. I’ve got a book inside that I need to write about my little rescue dogs and what they did for me. The link above takes you to what I’ve got written so far. (Note that dogs can be rough on the landscaping and your cat. You may have to do some cat/dog relationship reconciliation.)




Emerson and Linda at the Gathering's Pow-wow. You can always find more interesting friends!

These are great friends of mine. Jenny and Emerson are at the Gathering in Tennessee. This is the Native American spiritual retreat that inspired my book Stepping Off the Edge, winner of six national awards so far. See, go to the Gathering. You’ll forget about Shelly! Maybe you’ll write a book . . .









Jamis MacNiven's Terribly Funny/Touching Book

Read funny books, and see funny movies! This is my friend, Jamis MacNiven’s book, Breakfast at Buck’s. Buck’s Restaurant is the zanny, whacko, and very good restaurant in the heart of Woodside, CA, which is the wooded, upscale, residential heart of Silicon Valley. If you’ve been to Buck’s for breakfast, you will know how the book got its title. The CEOs and big-wigs of the hi-tech companies eat oatmeal there between 7 and 9 AM. Deals go down. You could fry eggs on the intellectual/emotional intensity. It’s a trip. So, go to Woodside and Buck’s Restaurant and have a good time. Or read Jamis’ book.

You can also watch his son TYLER’S movie about walking the length of Japan in an attempt to find his father’s birthplace. Tyler had a small sketch of rock formations made by his grandmother while she was there (with his grandfather) as a missionary in the 1940s. Notice that this hysterically funny, warm and very interesting movie comes to you on the same computer that carried Shelly’s horrific messages.

And go to Scott Kalechstein Grace’s website. He’s so funny, you’ll fall over laughing. If you get on his mailing list, he’ll send you songs he wrote just for YOU!

Where you look is what you see.



This Lightning-blasted Tree Reminds Me of God's Power. It's even better when you see the picture full sized! Or the tree!

THE GOD TREE. This photo was taken by my daughter, Zoe, when she drove across the country with her cousin. This is an actual tree which captures the immensity of life and how dead we can look if hit by lightning repeatedly. It carries a message:

Even the big stuff is small stuff, eventually.

Don’t worry about Shelly. She’s already being handled.









Sandy Nathan, award winning author. I'm 46 years old here. No nips, no tucks, no fancy lenses. I write about shelf life.


Sandy Nathan, multi-award winning author of The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could, Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice (This blog article is sort of like a sample of Stepping Off the Edge.) and Numenon. Sandy holds Master’s degrees in Marriage, Family & Child Counseling and Economics. Her books have won twelve national awards, in fields from self help to spirituality and religious fiction.

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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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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 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.

Best wishes,

Barry Nathan, publisher, Vilasa Press

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“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:


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 Nathan

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

Sandy Nathan & Her Dogs Should I add dogs?

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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.


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.

Grandmothers rock HARD!

Sandy Nathan

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Head Lady & Head Man at the 2006 Gathering Pow-wow
Head Lady & Head Man at the Gathering 2006 Pow-wow!

Yes, the report with all the pictures is up! Check the Gathering web site. This year, I vowed to post the Gathering’s report RIGHT AWAY! As soon as I got home from Tennessee. What happened almost led me to title this post:


They seem to be, sometimes. We had three computers last fall when I started on the Gathering 2006 page. I knew how to use one, the oldest one, pretty well. Continue reading →

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