WHAT DOES THAT ADD UP TO? THE SERIES FOR 99 CENTS THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY. (As always, check to make sure the last two books are still priced at $0.00. Amazon turns these promotions on and off around midnight. This is out of my control.)
INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOKS:
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Winner of 4 national awards, including the Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction at the IPPY Awards.
The first book in the Tales from Earth’s End Saga gets the ball rolling. What’s the ball? The planet Earth. Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet. Two people carry the keys to survival: A teenage boy and an intergalactic traveler. And a bunch more fascinating characters, too. The book is an ensemble piece where the prize is survival. The link above will take you to a lot more info, and a place to buy. 99 cents!
5 STARS! Should be a movie! Darlene of Reno NV
“This was an excellent read. I felt like I was watching a movie, drawn in completely. The world and characters were so real I could smell it. . . Now I will have to go read other books by Sandy Nathan. Oh, and I hope someone decides to make this book into a movie. That would be awesome!”
Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Lo
“FIVE STARS! A MODERN SCI-FI MASTERPIECE Lady Grace was first-rate science fiction and one of the most absorbing page-turners of that genre that I’ve read in years. Author Sandy Nathan exhibits the imagination of Ray Bradbury combined with the whimsicalness of Douglas Adams. That’s high praise, but it’s warranted. The story includes so much action; tense, suspenseful drama; and two charming love stories that it’s irresistible.” J. Chambers, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer (#27 at this writing)
Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground
Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground Tales from Earth’s End Saga, Book 3. The book is a love story; it focuses on a relationship and has a different feeling than the other two books. This is my favorite book. Here’s a review:
5 stars out of 5! A gripping story of life after the world ends . . . fascinating and reminiscent of Stephen King’s epic masterpiece – The Stand.Sam & Emily is by far my favorite . . . in the series. It will leave you thinking well after turning the last page.
Todd A. Fonseca, bestselling author of The Time Cavern
Out of the ballpark! It’s a terrific story with wonderful characters – both the good guys and the bad guys – in all kinds of wild situations.
… Prepare yourself for a wild ride. And give thanks that there are Sandy Nathan books already in print and even more on their way. Laren Bright Emmy-nominated television writer
Some info about the Tales from Earth’s End Saga from author Sandy Nathan:
I wrote the books of the Saga to be free-standing. I wanted a reader to be able to read any of them and understand what was going on. I’ve had two types of feedback. One reviewer said that he felt sufficient backstory existed in the earlier books to let the reader feel comfortable reading later books. Another reviewer said, “Read them in order.” Which is cool, because you have the opportunity to read all three for a pittance.a
A heads up–I’d give the books of the Tales from Earth’s End Saga an R rating if they were movies. They contain violence, strong language, and sexual situations. I’m a grandmother, but I don’t write like one. I don’t go over the top, either. The books are about the end of the world, a police state and people fighting for survival. Despite that, they’re quite spiritual and uplifting, not to mention really romantic.
Tales from Earth’s End Saga Boxed Set Is on the Way!
THE BIG NEWS: Tales from Earth’s End: The Complete Series Boxed Set A giant eBook containing all three books is in production!
This set is not included in this promotion, but will be in the future promotions.
Sandy Nathan’s writing has won twenty-two national awards. She’s won in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.
Sandy’s books are: (Click link to the left for information about each book.
All the links below go to Kindle/Amazon sale pages.)
The Tales from Earth’s End Saga ––A Legend for a New World (I recommend that you read the books in order to fully understand the action.)
RedRoom, the site for readers and authors, had a contest this week. We were to blog about our favorite illustrated book. My choice is a highly personal one. Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could is a book I wrote about a remarkable horse. Tecolote was born prematurely on a freezing night. There was no reason for him to survive–but he did. The book tells and shows what happened as Teco (as we called him) grew into a strong, mature horse.
Tecolote and his Mother, Rosie–
This was taken when he got on his feet.
Although the book is illustrated with photographs that show Teco from his birth all the way to an adult riding horse, the story focuses on his tricky first year. We didn’t know if he would live five days. People from our neighborhood gathered outside the corral where he and his mother lived, praying for him and crying. He looked beyond terrible. Even so, he brought people together from the very start.
Later, when Teco was out of the woods, his mother died. She was an older mare with health problems. Teco faced life as a preemie, then a young horse without a mother. The book centers around how we as his caretakers used the other horses of the ranch and its facilities to give the youngster a secure and normal start. It’s about how he found his place in the herd and made dear friends in the horse and human worlds.
Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could is a beautiful tale for children, especially those with disabilities or facing loss. Teco’s story shows people––kids and adults–that those with problems can make it and have good lives. It’s is a kids’ book, 44 pages long.
Why did I stop writing at the end of Teco’s first year? We ran out of photos. Once Teco got his feet under him, he took off. The rest of his life was so normal that there wasn’t anything to photograph. He went under saddle so easily it was laughable, and then just headed down the road.
I cover Teco’s early days in the book, but I’ve never written about what follows here, the final part of Teco’s life.
Sandy & Tecolote–My author picture shows
just my face and a bit of Teco’s cheek.
This is the REAL photo. Teco’s giving me a hug.
Tecolote ended up being my horse. I’m an older rider with so many things wrong with me that I don’t know if I should be riding. Actually, I didn’t ride for several years. Due to an improperly set broken leg from a skiing accident, I developed severe arthritis in my knee and ankle. I had to have my knee replaced and my ankle fused. I also have a bad back. Plus I’m a cancer survivor and pretty chopped up because of that. After all that pain and surgery, I lost my nerve. After a lifetime with horses, I became afraid to ride even the calmest horse.
But my husband wanted me to ride with him again. He cajoled me into trying Teco, who had turned out to be the mellowest horse in the world. My husband’s coaxing worked.
Teco took care of me. I needed a special horse like him––gentle and kind and unspookable––to keep me safe. We became a pair as he took me on many safe, smooth rides up the trail.
One of the things that people who don’t ride don’t know about is the bond between horse and rider. Teco and I became as bonded as an equine/human pair can be.
I loved him. And he loved me back. He did a special thing that no other horse has done with me. I’d approach him, scratching his shoulder and neck the way another horse would if grooming him. He’d wrap his head and neck around me, encircling my body. It was the only way a horse could give a hug. (They don’t have arms, afterall.) He gave me a hug every time I approached him.
The book Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could came out and I entered it in a few contests. Life went on. When my grand kids came to visit, Teco amazed me. He’d never seen kids before, yet he packed them around like a trooper. They fell in love.
Sandy & Tecolote –– He’s my boy,
the horse that got me back into riding
After the kids went home, I got back to writing. I was working on manuscripts for two books. I didn’t go down to the barn for about a week. Finally my husband called and said, “I’ve got Teco saddled. Come and ride.”
I was high as a kite, euphoric. The book contests I’d entered were announcing their winners. I’d found out the night before that Teco’s book had won 2011 Silver Nautilus Award for Children’s Nonfiction (Gr. 1-6). The Nautilus Award recognizes books that promote spiritual growth, conscious living and positive social change. Previous winners include Thich Nhat Hanh and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I was overjoyed–Teco’s book belonged in that company.
Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could
Won the Silver Nautilus Award
My joy lasted less than 24 hours. I went down to the barn. My husband had Teco saddled and ready. There he was, resplendent in his golden coat with its black trim. I found it impossible to look at Teco without feeling happy. He was a buckskin; his body was golden palomino color. His mane, tail, and legs were black. I could run my eyes over him and appreciate his straight legs and how his shoulder angled back the way that a gaited horse’s should. He had a short back and long hip, an adorable face. All of Tecolote was beautiful.
But not that day. He stood in the barn, head down, mucous pouring from his nostrils. He coughed. I didn’t like the look of him at all.
On the other hand, he was saddled. Show me a horse person who can resist getting on a saddled horse and I’ll show you someone who isn’t really a horse person.
I decided to ride him to the arena and see how he did. He walked slowly, head almost touching the ground. He coughed and had no energy. In fact, he acted as though he might fall down.
“This horse is sick,” I said to myself, heading slowly back to the barn. When I got off of Teco, he lowered his head. Liquid poured from his nostrils, splattering on the barn floor.
He had pneumonia. It didn’t respond to the massive doses of antibiotics the vet gave him. I was mystified; I’ve had horses for 55 years and have never seen one with pneumonia. Our part of California is too mild.
Teco kept getting sicker. We took him to the hospital. We have one of the best equine hospitals in the country in our valley. Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center is a wonderful resource. They’ve saved the lives of many of our horses.
They’d save Tecolote, too. When he unloaded the horse from our trailer, my husband said a half dozen bright young vets swarmed around him.
“They climbed all over him for hours, discussing what might be wrong and doing tests,” my husband told me. They’d fix our horse.
Tecolote: Always Elegant
A day later, we went in for a conference. The vet who was coordinating Teco’s case said, “If we can stabilize him well enough to go home, he can hang out in pasture with his buddies the rest of his life. But you can never ride him again.”
We sat there, stunned. “What do you mean?”
“He’s too dangerous to ride,” the vet explained.
“What’s wrong with him?”
“He’s in heart failure.” He drew a diagram of Teco’s heart, showing how part was greatly enlarged. Their ultrasounds had given them a clear picture.
“But how did this happen?” I couldn’t believe it. “Is it because he was premature?”
“It has nothing to do with his prematurity. It’s been happening over the last two or three years.”
In shock, I realized that no one had ridden him during those years. My husband likes rip-roaring horses with tons of spirit. I wasn’t riding, being too traumatized by all my surgery. Teco stood in pasture, apparently fine, enjoying life with his friends.
And dying. We brought him home and gave him all the zillions of meds the clinic prescribed. Twice a day, my husband ground maybe thirty human pills with a mortar and pestle. He mixed their dust with molasses and water, and loaded the mess into a syringe with the end cut off, which allowed him to squirt the meds into Teco’s mouth. The horse raised his head as high as he could; he did not make it easy.
When the heart begins to fail, it enlarges, trying to make up for it’s decreased strength. It can’t pump enough blood to the animal’s body, and it can’t recirculate fluids. They begin to build up. On a horse, fluids collect along the animal’s belly––the lowest point on his body. Fluid gathers between his front and back legs as well. Teco looked he had a blanket of gigantic kitchen sponges stuffed under his skin from his the front of his chest through his hind legs. The meds did nothing.
Teco’s book kept winning awards. Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could was a finalist in two categories of the 2011 National Indie Excellence Contest: Animals/Pets General and Juvenile Non-fiction.
I was in this crazy world where the awards kept coming in and Teco got worse. I’d go down to see him in his pasture. He’d be standing there, head down, in a corner by himself. He was leaving this world. He was leaving me.
Tecolote–– Making a Full Circle
The vet said he had only a day or two to live when we put him down. If we hadn’t, the end would have been horrible. Just before I left the field so the vet could do his job, I scratched Teco’s neck the way I always did. Sick as he was, he turned his head and neck around and embraced me. A final hug, and he was gone.
I ended up in the hospital in the midst of all this. I started getting chest pains as Teco deteriorated. If you call up your doctor––and my internist was pretty far away––and say, “I’m having chest pains,” that doctor will say, “Go to the Emergency Room right away.”
If you walk into an Emergency Room, a haggard-looking lady in your mid-sixties, those medicos will JUMP. They did every test you can imagine. I was scared stiff, not knowing what was happening with my body.
It boiled down to: My heart was breaking. Tecolote was being ripped from my soul.
* * * * *
Tecolote died May 1, 2011, four days before his tenth birthday. He was a miracle when he was born and a joy all his life. He brought horses and riding back when I thought that part of my life was over. I loved him for the obstacles he overcame in his life, and what he helped me overcome.
Here’sTecolote: The Little Horse That Could’s Amazon page. You can loook inside the book and see Teco. I put up some photos of him and our other horses on the page, too. At the end of 2011, the book garnered two more prizes. It was a winner in Children’s Nonfiction and a finalist in Children’s Picture Book Softcover Non-fiction of the USA BOOK NEWS “USA BEST BOOKS OF 2011” AWARD.
* * * * *
That’s why Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could is my favorite illustrated book. It’s all I’ve got left of him. I’m glad I’ve got the awards and the book.
I wasn’t going to enter any book contests this year. Lady Grace, my new sci-fi, fantasy, visionary fiction novel, dribbled out of the publisher’s arms when most of the contests were within minutes of closing. But, like a compulsive gambler, I couldn’t leave book contests alone. I got the Lady in the IPPYs (Independent Press) Awards, sliding in just under their “drop dead date”.
The IPPYs are the oldest and largest book contest open to independent publishers and authors. It’s a great contest, and very prestigious. I’ve entered it many times and done well.
Never at the last minute, though. The management offers nice discounts on entry fees if you get your entry in early. Unfortunately, I didn’t get mine in early. My husband growled at me as I put the book package together. “How many awards are enough? How much are you going to spend this year?”
Answer: There is no “enough.” Ever. Anywhere. In anything. You spend what you need to go the distance. I mean, did they tell Secretariat his saddle cost too much or he ate too many oats?
Since the early-bird special had come and gone and my husband was still snarling about how much contests cost, I put Lady Grace in one class in the IPPYs––I didn’t hedge my bets entering two or three. The category I entered was Visionary Fiction.
Jenkins Group, sponsor of the IPPYs began announcing winners on April 27, six days ago. They seem to be announcing awards when the judging of a batch of categories is finished. As of this sitting, Wednesday, May 2 at 1:03 PST, Visionary Fiction is practically the only category NOT announced.
Six days is a long time to hold your breath.
Talk about stretching my neurotic tendencies to the max. In the last six days, I’ve learned it’s as bad to go into something from a strong position as it is a weak one. My 2011 novel, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, WON the Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction at the IPPYs last year. YAY! Talk about a feel good moment. I’ve won Bronze and Silver Medals before, but never a Gold.
So I should feel confident, right? No. My inner self-talk goes like: “They probably will give it to someone else to spread the awards around. Also, you’ve done a bunch of touch ups to the cover since you sent the book––the ink was barely dry when you mailed it. It probably isn’t good enough. You don’t know what the other books in the category are like. They may be FAN-SUPER-TASTIC. Can I stand it if Lady Grace “only” gets a Bronze or Silver? What if it don’t get nada? AHHHH!”
This skillful manipulation of my inner state by repeated negative thoughts might be considered The Anti-Secret. This is the antidote to Rhonda Byrnes’ famous Secret. Rhonda’s book goes like: “If you wish for it hard enough, something will come.” Maybe not what you wanted, but something.
I do not consider myself particularly neurotic. I think of my self as the female, West Coast, Protestant version of Woody Allen.
I’m going to sit at my computer, fully experiencing my pain and heart palpitations (really) until the Jenkins Group posts those wins. Or losses.
Sayonara! I will let you know what happens, win or lose.
THE RESULTS JUST CAME IN: SOMETIMES YOU WIN, AND SOMETIMES YOU LOSE.
THIS TIME I LOST.
Sandy Nathan is the winner of twenty-one national awards for her writing. She’s won in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.
I Love to See You Smile . . . A Valentine’s Day Video and Gift for my Readers & Friends
Valentine’s Day is here. I’ve always thought of it as a day retailers thought up to sell pink and red stuff and pump up demand for greetings cards. I’m not much of a romantic.
Except that I am. I’m sentimental and romantic. I love the people who read my books and write to me saying they love them. I like all you smart people who can appreciate a quirky book that doesn’t fall smack in the middle of some genre. I love it that you understand and love my sci-fi/fantasy/romance/end-of-the-world/visionary prose.
I love writing for you and I appreciate your being my readers. That’s not exactly romantic, but it’s very true.
Many Thanks and Happy Valentine’s Day!
My Valentine’s Gift to You: Special Valentine’s Offers
So you can get ready for the sequels, I’m offering ten free ebooks of The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy.
This book won four national awards, including the Gold Medal at the IPPY (Independent Press) Awards. Contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange download. Offer expires February 29th.
Note that we have raised the price for the multi-award winning, hardback edition of Numenon to the full retail of $24.95 on Amazon. Why? Don’t get me started. You can always get Numenon for $9.95 plus shipping through our website: Buy Numenon Here
Free Numenon on Smashwords Offer Expires: February 29, 2012
That’s not it! I made a special video for you, just to make you smile! See below–––
Every once in a while, something works out right. This blog post grew from one of those things that came out just right.
I was looking for a way to say thank you and that I appreciated your support. I wanted to do it with a video. And I did. This video came out right. Please take a moment to view a little film that expresses my feelings for you. You may want to let it run through once with no sound so that it can buffer. It’s high resolution, so you can play it full screen.
This award feels very good. It marks almost four years of work by myself and my publishing team at Vilasa Press. I want to thank my content editor, Melanie Rigney; my book designer, Lewis Agell; and Kathy Grow and Kathryn Agrell for copy editing and proofreading assistance. Many thanks also to my husband, Barry Nathan for keeping Vilasa Press organized and moving forward.
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boyis Sandy Nathan’s new science fiction/fantasy novel. Of the special genre of books and films that include 1984,A Brave New World, andThe Prisoner Series, The Angeltakes the reader to a dark future world that’s not so different from our own. In the late 22nd century, people are continually watched, disappearing off the streets and from their homes. A shadowy but all-powerful government calls the shots; war rages while the authorities proclaim the Great Peace.
All is not bad in this fictional realm, for the angelic extraterrestrial, Eliana, appears on the streets on New York City on a mission to save her planet. As radiant and pure as the world around her is tarnished, Eliana must find the Golden Boy. He turns out to be Jeremy Edgarton, a tech genius on a planet where technology is outlawed, a revolutionary, and the FBI’s most wanted. They find themselves caught up in an explosive adventure when Jeremy decodes new transmissions and discovers that a nuclear holocaust will take place the next morning.
The themes of The Angel read like pure sci-fi, but author Sandy Nathan explains, “I’m a former economist. While the love story between Jeremy and Eliana enchants, the back-story––the hideous world around them––is the product of my economist’s mind interacting with current events. We’re in the worst economic melt-down since the 1930’s, with no end in sight. Some events in The Angelare based directly upon history. For instance, Germany’s economic distress during the Great Depression is one factor contributing to the rise of Adolf Hitler. Could a totalitarian government arise from our current conditions? Maybe. The Angel’sworld is just a heartbeat from our own. In writing The Angel, I wanted to entertain my readers and challenge them to discover solutions.”
So the book has a vision, a powerful vision, and a dark vision. And it’s also got a love story that will melt your heart. And the sequel is well into production. I’ve been told it’s even better than The Angel. Whoa. Something to look forward to.
Life is a trip. Two days ago, I was notified that my book, Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could, had won the 2011 Silver Nautilus Award for Children’s Nonfiction (grades 1 – 6). I was ecstatic. Winning is always fun, but this was more than that. Teco and I have bonded; he’s my boy and my personal riding horse. His lovely essence is entwined with mine.
The day after receiving the award, my vet told me that Tecolote would never be ridden again, in fact, he might die. I’m reeling. I can’t make sense of it.
Teco got pneumonia a week or so ago. Out of the blue. I think the very strange weather we’ve been having––rainy and cold one day, 88 degrees the next, back to rainy and cold––triggered it. He was a very sick horse. I’ve not seen a sicker horse. I won’t describe it, because it was awful.
We had the vet out. He gave him a strong course of antibiotics. (The drugs they have available now are wonderful.)
But Teco didn’t get better, or all the way better. The vet gave him another course of antibiotics and did an ultrasound of his lungs. Definitely pneumonia. Not all gone. It should have been gone.
He stopped eating, even fresh grass. Weight was falling off of him.
Barry went down to feed one morning found him down on the ground. Teco wouldn’t get up. He called me, but the horse had gotten up by the time I reached the pasture. The same pasture in which he was born that cold night ten years before. “He’s OK,” Barry said. The horse was nibbling on pasture grass. He was OK.
Later, I found him in the corner of his pasture, head down, lipping at dirt (despite grass all around). Looking so dejected. Kicking at his belly now and again like he was colicky.
He’s in the hospital now––Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center––which I consider the best equine hospital anywhere. I thought for sure they’d be able to fix him. They’re so great; they can do anything.
Barry spent three or four hours over there the first day with very skilled vets swarming around the horse, doing high powered ultra sounds and who knows what else. Teco’s illness didn’t add up. There were so many parts to it. It must have been brewing for a while. The vets did say that it wasn’t because he was premature. If it was that, it would have shown up years ago.
Tecolote is resting comfortably in the hospital now, undergoing treatment. The pneumonia triggered a bunch of things. I can’t write them all down. The vet said so many things; my mind’s a blur. And I’m crying.
It’s his heart. It’s beating at twice a normal speed; it’s enlarged. Fluid is accumulating. He still has pneumonia, but they can’t give him more antibiotics now because his digestive tract is messed up.
If they can stabilize his heart so that he’s well enough to come home, no one will ever ride him again. Riding a horse with a bad heart isn’t a good idea. If they can’t stabilize him . . .
Horses are heartbreakers. Animals are heartbreakers. People are heartbreakers.
If you engage in the world, if you fall in love and love, you open yourself to all the pain the the universe. We’re mortal. Those we love are mortal. They die. We’ll lose them, and we will feel pain.
Tecolote’s fighting the battle of his life now, doing it in his calm, gentle way. Even the vets are exclaiming about what a kind, patient horse he is.
I want to share this video with you. It shows some photos of me riding Tecolote. I didn’t realize when we took the photos that that ride would be one one my last with my boy. The absolute last ride was when I got on him and rode him slowly down to our arena a few days ago. He coughed almost every step and didn’t want to move. He did though, in his plucky way. I got him to the end of the arena and thought, This horse is sick. I’m taking him in.
When I got back to the barn, Teco put his head down and fluid poured from his nostrils. That was our last ride together.
Please think of him as he fights to live. Tecolote, the little horse that could.
The book takes place in the late 22nd century and features a character from outer space. Nuclear Armageddon is supposed to occur the next day. Is it science fiction? A fantasy? Sure is. It’s both science fiction and fantasy.
Does it have anything to say about present day reality and the economic situation we find ourselves in? Oh, yeah. Big time.
I was recently interviewed by Irene Watson of Inside Scoop Live. Irene’s interview captures The Angel’s soul better than anything that’s been produced about the book so far. I began The Angel a few month’s after my brother’s sudden and tragic death. Grief was a motivating factor in my writing, but lots more was active in my overheated subconscious when the book came blasting through. I’m an economist. I’ve been worried about the snail-like progress of our recovery from the Great Recession. I’ve been worried about a lot of things in our world. They come out in Irene’s interview.
Please take a moment to listen to the interview and join me in exploring the direction our world is taking. Is the world of The Angel something that could come to pass? You can hear the interview on the link below, or through the link to Irene Watson of Inside Scoop Live.
THE ANGEL & THE BROWN-EYED BOY is a sci-fi, fantasy, thriller set on the planet earth’s last day. It presents a dark and doomed planet with secrets hidden everywhere. It’s characters are an amazing crew that will haunt you. One reviewer called it, “A future world only heartbeats from our own.”
While THE ANGEL & THE BROWN-EYED BOY has this science fiction/fantasy aspect, it is also the story of a troubled young man’s coming to grips with his family, which has to be the most dysfunctional in the world’s history. He has hours to do it before the nuclear Armageddon.
Most of all, THE ANGEL & THE BROWN-EYED BOY is a love story between Eliana, the angelic dancer who came to earth to save her own planet, and Jeremy, the tech genius, revolutionary, and heir to a fortune. Their love flames in this novel. It’s one of the great love stories, with love reaching through time and space.
I hope you enjoy it on Valentine’s Day or any other.
A heads up to all the fans of the Holston Conference Gathering: THE REGISTRATION FORM MUST BE RECEIVED BY SEPTEMBER 4th, 2009. It’s getting to be time to send in those registration forms to make sure they arrive by the deadline.
Here’s more information about the Gathering:
Bill Miller gives a Saturday night concert at the Gathering.
Bill Miller, the multi-Grammy winning musician, artist, & speaker, will once again be the Gathering’s spiritual leader. Look forward to more of his insights and a rousing Saturday night concert.
The Holston Conference Gathering 2009 will be held September 19th & 20th 2009 atCoker Creek Village.The Gathering is sponsored by the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Native American Ministries Team. This year marks the Gathering’s 11th anniversary!
The Gathering retreat inspired Sandy Nathan’s award winning book, Stepping Off the Edge.
“The Gathering inspired me to write Stepping Off the Edge. Several chapters take place at the Gathering and Bill Miller gave me a wonderful interview, which is in the book. I hope that you are able to attend the Gathering and that it inspires you as much as it did me.”
I’m on a bazillion e-mail lists––I swear, they must reproduce in the night. Every day, I get ecstatic emails about some new system or formula that will FIX ME. Or MAKE ME HAPPIER, MORE FULFILLED. A MAGIC BULLET THAT WILL BRING ME THE SECRET OF MY DREAMS, the dreams I haven’t DARED TO DREAM BEFORE.
All I have to do is listen to a free teleseminar, where I will be seduced into signing up and plunk down big bucks.
Thing is, I ain’t broke. I’m happy, fine, doing well, I don’t need anybody’s friggin’ system to fix me––and I resent these self-appointed gurus assuming they have the right to make the offer. (I have a real guru, and she doesn’t sound like that at all.)
There’s more. I have an MA in Marriage, Family, & Child Counseling from Santa Clara University. I worked had getting that degree and did very well. I began my meditation practice in 1975 and have worked hard in the inner and outer worlds to make my spiritual self the one that runs things. I’ve had three or four professional careers that taught me to exercise my brain and will, and personal skills. The challenges I’ve dealt with myself––cancer and my leg falling apart, for a couple––and in my family have strengthened and tempered my soul.
I know both from a professional, theoretical standpoint and from the work I’ve done on my self that the so called miracle transformation in 30 days or less doesn’t exist.
I know for a fact how hard it is to change, barring acts of God and grace, and how stupid these Get Enlightened Fast schemes are.
There’s no easy way, folks. No fast track to a magic life. You slog through in the trenches, day by day. That’s where the breakthroughs occur, as St. Teresa of Avila pointed out. Daily life is the ground of spiritual transformation.
Read St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Rumi, Mirabai. No easy, sign up now and be free trip will take you where you want to go.
Here’s my promise: I WILL NEVER ATTEMPT TO FIX YOU. You’re fine right where you are, just as you are. And so am I. I’m going to get off all those stupid mailing lists starting now.