Stepping Off the Edge - It's a spiritual trip that you take along with me.
I was uploading files on CreateSpace today and checked one of my titles, Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice. This book won six national awards and was a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award. That’s probably the most prestigious contest for indie presses in the country. Follow the links to learn more. (The links go either to Amazon or my website.)
Amazon is selling the paperback version of my book for $4.63. That’s 76% off. They did that huge markdown, I didn’t. I don’t know why, either. Or how I’m going to get paid my share from that paltry sum.
But, my loss is your gain.
So what is this book? My website says a lot about it, as does its Amazon page. The bottom line is, the book contains all the wisdom I picked up in sixty-one years of living. That’s how old I was when it came out. I’m even older now. But when I reread Stepping Off the Edge, I go, “Wow. This still works.” That’s how wisdom is: ageless.
Stepping contains everything I learned in school––a couple of master’s degrees and part of a PhD––and out. The out of school part means what I learned from doing many of the Human Potential Movement’s whacky to extremely valuable workshops. I also had a twenty five year meditation practice and study of Eastern philosophy, plus I was a negotiation coach at the Stanford Business School every spring for twenty years. I also worked as an economist and handled personal and familial problems that were so heavy you don’t want to know about them.
Everything that worked for me is in Stepping. It’s written in a story form. I relate to stories. I can remember them. Give me your Seventeen Step Program to Marital Happiness and I fuzz out on step three, being unable to remember all that, much less put it into practice. Stepping is stories. I wrote it around my life at the time.
When I wrote Stepping, I was flaming. Flaming with personal, spiritual, energetic, karmic, and physical health issues . . . Lots was going on with me. It’s in the book.
One of the absolutely fabulous parts of Stepping Off the Edge is its Native American influence. Even the book’s design and and illustrations (drawn by me) are Native themed. I have great admiration for Native American cultures. I also really like spiritual retreats. So in Stepping I take you to a Native American retreat in the wilderness of Tennessee. It’s called the Holston Conference Gathering,
At the time I attended, my absolute favorite musician/person/speaker was the retreat’s spiritual leader. Bill Miller knocked me over the first time I heard his voice. He’s still singin’ and playin’, with a few Grammies under his belt now. Here’s a web site from that time with lot of pictures. And here’s his Twitter page and FB page. To show the level of my fandom, I will decorate this post with Bill Miller related images. Bill gave me a beautiful and impactful interview which is at the end of Stepping Off the Edge. (And nowhere else.)
Bill and I are signing things at the Gathering. He signed posters; I signed Stepping. We should do that again, Bill. Somewhere.
Here’s a new story, not included in the book. I was born in San Francisco and raised on the SF Peninsula, in what became Silicon Valley. My folks weren’t blue-blooded or from any kind of wealth, but my dad did very well in business. He built a gargantuan corporation. I grew up in a pretty ritzy place.
Life is different in a town like Atherton. Manners matter a very great deal. So does diction and proper English. And knowing which fork to use. There’s a stereotyped saying about wealthy people: What you do doesn’t matter, as long as you pronounce it properly. That saying is true. Emotion is frowned upon in elevated circles. You might have feelings, but for God’s sake don’t show them. Don’t get enthused about anything. Well, the SF Giants and 49ers were excepted.
By the time I was 20 years old, I looked like a fashion model (close to anorexic, though gorgeous). My home, clothing, makeup, son, and former husband were perfect. I got straight As. The photographers from ELLE could arrive to take pictures at any time: My house was that done.
I felt like a shell. I went along that way for years, gradually disintegrating and becoming the normal person writing to you.
Over the years, I became more regular in all areas but one. I was never a fan of anything. Well, except the 49ers. But no musicians, bands, movie stars. Religious figures. None of the things that kids have fun with or get excited about. I was above all that. I didn’t feel any of that. I was disdainful and distant, but mostly numb.
Until I found myself in a western store in Solvang, California around 1995. They had Bill’s Red Road playing in the store. It knocked me flat. I bought the CD and became a Bill Miller fan on the spot. Complete with happiness and enthusiasm and a compulsive urge to cruise his house. Growth is hard, but worth it. I was so star-struck that I could barely speak when he gave me that interview on the phone. I felt like an idiot.
That’s the nature of personal growth. I’ve transformed from an uptight, anorexic beauty to a star-struck old lady. I’m much happier. Bill Miller had a lot to do with that.
Bill Miller Singing - Passion: That's What the World Needs!
If you like that story, you’ll like Stepping Off the Edge. It’s all like that, but about different topics, including confronting death. Some people say its very funny, though it doesn’t pull punches.
ONE THING THE BOOK IS NOT IS A HOW-TO BOOK. I DO NOT TELL YOU HOW TO MEDITATE, HOW TO PRAY, OR HOW TO GET YOURSELF TO A RETREAT SITE. Stepping Off the Edge IS LIKE WHAT’S HERE. OR GO TO MY WEBSITE AND READ THE FIRST CHAPTER. Someone gave it a lousy review because Stepping Off the Edge didn’t give directions on how to be spiritual. Some things you have to figure out yourself.
If you want to buy Stepping Off the Edge at it’s current ridiculously low price, do it. Amazon does not know that I am poised to upload a new trade paperback priced at $18.95. I mean poised like I push a button and the new price goes up. I’ll wait until this Saturday, August 31 before releasing the $18.95 book.
A bit about my latest babies, coming soon:
Earth’s End Trilogy – Perhaps More Action, Excitement, Romance, Thrills, and Adventure Than You Can Stand
The Earth’s End Trilogy delivers on its promise––this is a series you’ll remember long after you turn the last page
- In The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy, join an exquisite dancer who’s from another world, and Jeremy, the sixteen year old tech geek with the skills to save the planet––if he can save himself.
- Lady Grace & the War for a New World is just that, how the survivors of nuclear Armageddon fight hideously mutated monsters and learn to survive in their New World. Nuclear war has blasted them back to the stone age.
- The Headman & the Assassin is a love story for the ages, taking place in a bomb shelter 300′ beneath the surface of the earth. Radiation seals the people of the village in the shelter forever. A love for the ages blossoms improbably in the worst place of all.
Earth’s End consists of three print and eBooks and a “boxed set” containing all the eBooks.