Award-winning Author Sandy Nathan’s Poem Is Featured in Cowgirl Magazine!

Author Sandy Nathan riding the real Azteca at the Monterey Peruvian Paso Horse Show.

Click on the link below to see a pdf of the entire Cowgirl Magazine article. Some great photos of beautiful people and horses. (Plus a selection from my poem.)

COWGIRLmag_The Peruvian Horse

Here’s what Cowgirl Magazine printed of my poem:

AZTECA - This is the selection from the poem in Cowgirl Magazine.

Wow! When editor Deborah Donahue contacted me to ask permission to feature portions of my poem “Azteca” in Cowgirl Magazine I was really surprised. Why? I’d forgotten about it. I wrote Azteca in 1996. The poem swept the Peruvian Paso world when I wrote it. I heard it was translated into Spanish and sent to South America. I stuck it on one of my websites and went on to write other things. (See the end of this article for information about me and my writing.)

People are largely unaware of the spiritual synergy possible when humans meet horses. I’ve been aware of it for many years. My first spiritual experiences happened when I was a young teenager riding my horse through the redwood forests of California’s Coastal Range. Riding through those silent places with the redwoods reaching for the sun like living spears became magical, sometimes. All that existed was me, my horse, the redwoods and motes of light drifting down lazily from the sun. Boundaries shifted and broke down. All of it merged, the forest and my horse and I became one.

This unitive experience is only the beginning of the spiritual gifts horses can bring, which I found out as years passed. In the poem “Azteca,” I toss together what happened to me in those early trail rides and the explosive, transcendent experience that I found in the show arena.

“Azteca” is based on an experience I had in the Amateur Owner to Ride class at the National Championships in LA’s Griffith Park. Happened the first time I rode in national competition. It happened again the next year on a different horse, also in the National Championships. The stress of competing at that level tossed me into Nirvana. Such experiences are the best reason I can think of for showing horses. Shows can pop out transcendent experiences such as the one described in “Azteca.”

Azteca is a real horse. We bred him and owned him for many years. He was one of the hottest––most energetic and spirited––horses we’ve bred. Azteca is now in his mid-twenties, sound and healthy and doing occasional work on a ranch.

Here’s the whole poem. I hope you enjoy it.

AZTECA

Azteca, as noble as his name.
Flaxen locks tumble down his classic face,
splash hard on a shoulder sloped so fine.
Slick copper flanks slide
into flashing legs,
stop at tendons, carved taut and dry.

Azteca, as noble as his name,
steps out over rocky paths,
picking through obstacles,
white legs dashing
a four beat gait.

Azteca, as noble as his name,
carries me up rocky roads,
past people, cars and town.
Our far beyond it all, to lands
where panthers roam.

Azteca, swinging his Spanish gait,
tireless legs slashing,
carries me through the
brilliance of it.
Moves me past
mountains, lakes and eagles
and
into another realm.

Suddenly––we are higher than the eagles,
flying past the stars.
The heart of me is pierced by it,
the awful, roaring beauty
of sky and rocks and sun.
Of my horse and I alone in it,
a solitude of joy and pain.

My heart aches with what I see
above, below, around me:
nothing but exquisite space.
And streaming through that vapor,
God’s true face.

The bliss of being part of it rocks me,
sweeps me wide.
Tears burst forth so sweetly
as my soul shouts out its cry––

“Thank you, Lord, for making me,
for making this good horse.
Thank you for this moment,
your gift of grace to me.”

These words of thanks
raise me high again,
’til the mind’s distinction
‘tween world and horse and I
loses fascination,
lets go its deathly hold.

In a flash, all fades out–
no horse, no rider, no mountain,
neither sky nor sun.
Naught but God’s creation–
mountain, horse, and I are one.

Sandy Nathan
Copyright 3/17/96

Sandy Nathan and Tecolote

Author Sandy Nathan writes to amaze and delight, uplift and inspire, as well as thrill and occasionally terrify. She is known for creating unforgettable characters and putting them in do or die situations. She writes in genres ranging from science fiction, fantasy, and visionary fiction to juvenile nonfiction, spirituality and memoir.

Mrs. Nathan’s books have won twenty-four national awards, including multiple awards from oldest, largest, and most prestigious contests for independent publishers. Her books have earned rave reviews from critics and reviewers alike. Sandylives with her husband on their California ranch. They bred Peruvian Paso horses for almost twenty years. She has three grown children and two grandchildren.

Would you like to know more about Sandy Nathan’s writing?

Sandy’s Amazon Author Page. Click here of on image.

HERE ARE LINKS TO AND DESCRIPTIONS OF SANDY’S SIX BOOKS!
They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the earth, and beyond.
    The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy––An angelic girl shows up on the sidewalks of New York City in 2197. Or is she a girl? Jeremy Edgarton, teenage genius and revolutionary decodes the transmissions. They say the world will blow up tomorrow morning.
    Lady Grace––The radiation has cleared. A few survivors make it back to Piermont Manor to start a new life. What they face is a battle more deadly than any they’ve fought. Evolution can work for evil as well as good.
    Sam & Emily––Can love live in an echoing cement bomb shelter three hundred feet below the earth’s surface? Find out in Sam and Emily as headman Sam Baahuhd falls in love with a beautiful assassin.

A Father’s Day Tribute to my Dad – Andy Oddstad

Andres Fjeldsted Oddstad in full battle gear. He was a "frogman" in the US Navy, part of an Underwater Demolition Team sent to occupied waters to clear bombs before the Marines arrived.

Today’s the day we remember our fathers. But don’t we remember them with every breath we take? They are multi-sensory reality templates: the way they look, move, sound, act, talk, walk, think, and even smell brands us to the bone. We can’t forget them: we are them. Aside from shaping my body, my father’s existence informs everything I do. I say my work-o-holism is from being born and raised in Silicon Valley. It’s really from my dad’s ceaseless activity.

This is one of my long articles. It contains a newspaper interview of my dad from the 1960s. I’m including it in toto as an expression of love and gratitude to a man I loved. It’s also a glimpse of the history of the San Francisco Bay Area before Silicon Valley existed. It’s a glimpse of a man raised in the Great Depression who rose from nothing. A smart man. In the post below, my dad discusses economics. I didn’t know he knew all this stuff. I majored in economics, but didn’t get to discuss it with him. He died before I could.

Was my father’s death the most traumatic thing that’s happened to me? No, but it set a record in 1964 when a drunk driver slammed into him head on. I didn’t know a man like Andy Oddstad could die: scholar, football player, war hero, super successful businessman, weight lifter, AAU champion wrestler, unbelievable water skier, supporter of all sorts of charities and causes, husband, dad, terrible horseman, and the center of my family’s life. How could he die?

Just like anyone else.

Andy & Clara Oddstad dancing in the good days. My parents were a love story for the ages.

Andy & Clara Oddstad in the good days. My parents were a love story for the ages.

I was looking through old family albums recently and came upon the following article about my father. It contained information that I thought worth sharing––some of it was new to me. Father’s Day is a good time to acknowledge what he did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FASCINATED

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

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

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

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

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

ALMOST HALF

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

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

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

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

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

GREAT TRIO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALL BUSINESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

End

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

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

Before the Great Recession, some of his most modest homes that sold for about $9,000 in the 1950s were going for $1 million. (I wish he hadn’t sold them!) They’re down to a mere $800K due to the recession.

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

Those were hard times.

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

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

Brisk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that’s what happens when you die. You get forgotten, your legacy is muddied and claimed by others, and your family can fall apart. Dads: If you want to give your families a great Father’s Day present, don’t die.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandy

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

I’m still alive, though! Alive and writing, Daddy, wherever you are! My father never got to read my books. That’s painful. My dad would have liked them; he taught me how to write and how to be. I write for smart people who demand more than pablum. That’s the fruit of my dad’s influence. He would have liked my work.

Happy Father’s Day, Dads of the World!

Sandy Oddstad Nathan

Sandy’s Amazon Author Page. Click here of on image.

HERE ARE LINKS TO AND DESCRIPTIONS OF SANDY’S SIX BOOKS!
They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the earth, and beyond.
    The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy––An angelic girl shows up on the sidewalks of New York City in 2197. Or is she a girl? Jeremy Edgarton, teenage genius and revolutionary decodes the transmissions. They say the world will blow up tomorrow morning.
    Lady Grace––The radiation has cleared. A few survivors make it back to Piermont Manor to start a new life. What they face is a battle more deadly than any they’ve fought. Evolution can work for evil as well as good.
    Sam & Emily––Can love live in an echoing cement bomb shelter three hundred feet below the earth’s surface? Find out in Sam and Emily as headman Sam Baahuhd falls in love with a beautiful assassin.

What Makes Men Sexy? What Makes Male Characters Sexy? What Makes Literature Sexy? Why Are We Obsessed with Sex?

I had a brief but interesting email conversation with Rick Mora recently. Rick is a Native American model, actor, producer, you name it. In addition  to his other modeling, he’s been on two book covers in the Romance genre. I loved the most recent one and told him so.

Rick Mora, actor, model, producer

I learned from Rick that Fabio is the most successful Romance genre cover model. This morning, I discovered Fabio has more than 93,000 images on Google and 3,300 book cover images. Here’s a HuffPost slide show of his covers.

I found this very disturbing. I am not a Fabio fan, though I’m sure he’s a very nice person.  My previous blog article, Judgment Day, was about the insidious decline of our culture into a judging and blaming mill. I could easily drop into major judging right now, but I won’t. I will say only that Fabio isn’t my cup of tea.

Who is? This is a surprisingly important question. I expect most of those reading this are authors/writers. If you can’t name what turns you on, how can you write it? And–if it turns you on, will it turn others on? We’re talking market appeal here. Can you successfully project your own sensual tastes on a larger population and have them love what you’ve done?

Join this valuable research project: Ask yourself the questions I ask below, and drop me a comment to express what makes men sexy to you.

What makes a guy sexy? What makes a character sexy?

Seeking the answer, I asked my husband, “Who do you think is the sexiest man in the world?”

“Me,” he said, not missing a beat. “And I’m not looking at any other men.”

There you go: what testosterone does. Complete surety. No false modesty. No need to compare himself to anyone.

This is sexy––very masculine. I agree with him. He’s certainly the sexiest man in my universe. He has an additional compelling advantage: He rides. Nothing is sexier than a good looking man who can really ride a horse. All that sensitivity and restraint. Perfect balance. Split second awareness. Fearlessness. The animal vitality and sweat. Control of a powerful creature with a fingertip. Whoa. Here’s a picture:

Barry Nathan riding Leon Gitano BSN, a Peruvian Paso stallion. Nothing like a stud.

Answering the questions making up the title to this post is a surprisingly difficult exercise, but part of the answer came easily. What men have I known who have stuck in my brain/soul/psyche for, oh, 35 years, give or take? What are their characteristics? I have not been physically intimate with any of these men, yet I can’t forget them.

Priests, monks,  professors, and bosses: Big, big impact from these mentor-type people.  I’ve known a number of priests (Catholic) and monks (Sarasvati order of Hinduism) that captivated me. And there were a few PhDs who caught my eye.

  • I remember one of the priests who was a professor of philosophy when I was at Santa Clara University. A towering intellect, and towering man, he had a huge head of white hair that flew heavenward. Completely oblivious to what he looked like, the black bathrobe thing that the Jesuits wore in those days often gaped at his considerable middle, revealing a white T shirt. His “bathrobe” was covered with chalk dust. Every inch was a mass of wrinkles. He taught Modern Philosophical Issues. When he lectured, you felt the hand of God. The hand was good, but didn’t mind smacking you around a bit. When he preached, students would walk out of the Mission shaken. They didn’t really understand what he said, but he sure SAID it. Whatever he was talking about was so avant that it barely fit in English. I’ll never forget him.
  • His counterpart, who was chairman of the philosophy department, was the exact opposite of the professor above. This priest was spare, with not an ounce of extra fat, upright in his posture and very strict in his thought. You could understand what he was talking about. His clothes were immaculate; not a fleck of chalk dust remained on him. He was close to ancient when I took courses from him. Didn’t matter. He had impact.
  • Monks. I spent twenty five years associated with a meditation group based in India. I’ve known a number of  Hindu monks who have impressed me greatly. These people practiced what they preached. They had attained something spiritually. I can remember standing in a hallway next to one of them and getting a contact high.  What was it that attracted me to them? Their purity. Their recitation of scriptures, their meditation, their spiritual practice had changed their souls and made them very attractive.
  • Spiritual masters. I’ve known two meditation masters and a tai chi master. These people had the qualities of the priests and monks to the nth power. The contact high began when you decided to sign up for something they were leading. I could not think within ten feet of my first meditation master. My mind shut down. The energy he gave off was an explosion. Bliss, ecstasy (the state,not the substance), healing of everything radiates from these people. You don’t think that’s attractive?
  • Guys I’ve worked for. I’ve been very fortunate in that all my bosses have been very cool. One stands out. At the top tier of his field, he started out being a White House Fellow, then got a PhD at the most prestigious university in the country. Taught at Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford. Wrote I don’t know how many major books on business theory. He was the best classroom teacher I have experienced. Was he tough? Mean? Did he yell at people? No, the opposite. He was very clear and mega intelligent, as well as a Zen scholar and practitioner. This showed up in his teaching. Brilliant but soft, innovative but kind. As able to hone in on students’ social and psychological states as he was to read what he’d written on the blackboard. And watching him debrief a negotiation was like watching a surgeon doing a heart transplant. Wow.

Notice that most of the people above were in holy orders. I had no physical or sexual contact with any of them. What made me remember them all these years? A few, primarily spiritual, things:

  • Intelligence. These men were sharp.
  • Passion. These men were passionate about what they did.
  • Vocation. They did what mattered to them and what would impact the world.
  • Energy. We all throw off energy. Spiritual practice intensifies it and purifies it. It makes us attractive to others. It’s fun, no, wonderful, to be around a spiritual powerhouse.
  • Integrity. They walked the walk.
  • Commitment. These dudes were in the game, playing as hard as they could. They were committed for the duration.

None of this says one thing about hair length or color, size of pectoral muscles or other body parts, six-packs, facial construction, or the beauty of a torso or thigh. It’s about what’s attractive to me, and that’s intelligence, intensity, energy and personal power.

As an aside, I think that one of the reasons that so much sexual wrongdoing occurs with the clergy is that what their jobs and spiritual practices make them sexy. People are sexy, but the spiritual lifestyle I’m describing intensifies it  and personal energy. If there’s no outlet, look out choir boys.

Before leaving the area of spirituality to leap into the sweaty physical realm, we need to investigate the relationship between sexuality and spirituality. Is there one? Oh, yes. Have you heard of Tantric yoga? Sex and spirituality embrace in all sorts of ways  Tantric sex is very, very real. You don’t have to follow any particular practice to set it off, either. Combine disciplined sexuality, ignited spiritual energy, and  spiritual practice–you can get yowser-wowser sex of which the Romance industry could not conceive. You can achieve over-the-top spiritual and sexual experience at the same time. Experience that lasts a really long time. Days, even.

Why isn’t more written about sexuality and spirituality? Probably because most writers haven’t experienced it. An interlude in my upcoming book, Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem, that reads like an over the-top, absolutely impossible, sexual fantasy. It’s not. It’s a write up of one of my experiences.  Maybe we’ll get more people writing about the really good stuff if they realize that meditating for twenty-five years will buy them more than the ability to remember their mantra.

How do we go from my spiritual/intellectual description of qualities in men I find attractive to the grunt and groan sex that people write about? Where’s the hot and steamy?

EASY: ADD A BODY.

Capoeira BSN, a Peruvian Paso Stallion - Our first stallion, ending his life increasing the number of Peruvian Paso horses in Australia. Many men would love his job.

There’s a sexy male body. A stallion. My husband and I operated a horse breeding farm for twenty years, providing us with a wealth of information better kept to ourselves and other horse breeders. (Tends to be raunchy and explicit.) I’ve always wanted to share this wealth. Now’s my chance. Having watched stallions in action, I can say that nothing on the cover of any romance novel or anything else can compare to a stallion in any dimension. You name it: length, width, reload time. Passion, power, pure male force. Duration, number of partners in one session. They don’t call them studs for nothing.

I’m going to quit now, because this is a super long post. I’ll delve into our topic more and be back in a few days. In the meantime, think about what attracts you in a person and what attracts you sexually. Are they the same?

NEWS FLASH – I JUST DISCOVERED THIS: What makes a man sexy? If I am falling off my horse and a man catches me, he is sexy. That just happened to me. My husband caught me, with our horse trainer right behind him.

Catching me creates a deep and abiding affection, verging on idolization. It doesn’t matter what the guy looks like. He doesn’t have to have six pack abs or anything. If he keeps me off the dirt, he’s a god.

There you go, guys, Sexy 101.

If you’d like to read an intense, beautiful, terrifying, imaginative and sexy book, check out The Headman & the Assassin. Can love survive in a bomb shelter 300 feet below the earth’s nuked surface? I consider Headman Sam Baahuhd one of the sexiest men I “know.” Along with Leroy Watches Jr. ofIn Love by Christmas: A Paranormal Romance, which is an Amazon #1 Bestselling eBook in Metaphysical Fantasy. Sex and spirituality, delivered tastefully.

The Headman & the Assassin - I think this is a pretty sexy cover. The guy on the cover is a Russian body builder. And she does stab him in the heart.

Sandy Nathan

Sandy’s Amazon Author Page. Click here of on image.

HERE ARE LINKS TO AND DESCRIPTIONS OF SANDY’S SIX BOOKS!
They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the earth, and beyond.
    The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy––An angelic girl shows up on the sidewalks of New York City in 2197. Or is she a girl? Jeremy Edgarton, teenage genius and revolutionary decodes the transmissions. They say the world will blow up tomorrow morning.
    Lady Grace––The radiation has cleared. A few survivors make it back to Piermont Manor to start a new life. What they face is a battle more deadly than any they’ve fought. Evolution can work for evil as well as good.
    Sam & Emily––Can love live in an echoing cement bomb shelter three hundred feet below the earth’s surface? Find out in Sam and Emily as headman Sam Baahuhd falls in love with a beautiful assassin.


 

 

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