Posts tagged: http://www.ibpa-online.org/

About Stepping Off the Edge–A Roadmap for the Soul

Stepping Off the Edge

Last Tuesday, Native American model and actor Rick Mora and Rev. May Leilani Schmidt were on Leilani’s radio show, Universal Spiritual Connection. I called in and chatted for a minute. We discussed spirituality and other topics. Out of that, Leilani scheduled her shown on Tuesday, June 24th 2014, as a three way discussion between Rick, herself and me, Sandy Nathan.

We’re going to talk about spirituality and our personal backgrounds: how did our lives influence the way we are? How did experience shape us? [June 24th is a highly auspicious day: my dad's birthday and that of my meditation master. What magic will play?]

I thought, We’ll be talking about spirituality. I wonder if people would be interested in my book  Stepping off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice? That’s really about spirituality. Stepping was published in 2006. For my first book, I wanted to write something significant. Something that really mattered. I wanted to help people. I also wanted to tell my story.

And thus, Stepping off the Edge was born. It’s the first and only book in the memoir/self-help/New Age/spiritual/religious/applied psychology genre. It’s good, too. The darn thing won six national awards out of the starting gate.

Rendered me speechless, which is hard to do.

Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist - I've got bunch more stickers like this. I'll spare you a show and tell.

 

  • 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist in New Age (Spirituality/Metaphysics) The Benjamin Franklin Award is one of the largest and most prestigious awards for independent presses.
  • Bronze Medal Winner in Self Help, 2007 IPPY (Independent Publisher) Awards The IPPY Award contest is the largest and oldest for indie presses.
  • National Indie Excellence Awards 2007: Finalist in THREE Categories: Autobiography/Memoir, New Age Non-Fiction & Spirituality.
  • Best Books of 2007, USA Book News, Finalist in Autobiography/Memoir

 

After its triumphant birth, Stepping off the Edge was eclipsed by my passion for writing fiction. It’s moldered on the Amazon site since, inexplicably rising to bestseller status in Applied Psychology every once in a while. I have no idea why; I’ve never promoted it.

Is now the time for Stepping to shine? I have no idea, but  two designers are working on new a cover and interior. It’s well on it’s way to a triumphant return as Stepping off the Edge: A Roadmap for the Soul. Will the new book emerge before the June 24th show? Beats me. I’m working on it.

Here’s the new Author’s Note which will go in the new book. There’s some repetition from the above, but folks most likely won’t have read this blog post:

ANOTHER NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Sandy Nathan 5/18/2014

The original Stepping off the Edge bears a 2006 copyright. It was my first book. I thought I should start my career with something meaningful. I wanted to create a work that was  deep and significant, expressing eternal truths. I wanted readers to see who I was and remember that when they read my future works. Stepping did that and much more: the darn thing won six national awards, quite a surprise for a first time author.

The 2014 version of Stepping off the Edge is very similar to the 2006 one. The thing about eternal truths is that they’re eternal. Reviewing the manuscript showed me that while my personal issues are different today, probably more people are struggling with the material in the original Stepping than when I wrote it.

The nasty eBay addiction I studied meticulously in the first Stepping is tamed, but millions more people have discovered the joy of spending 90% of their time in front of a computer screen, grabbing at shiny trinkets. They’re/we’re like rats in some experiment, trying to reach nirvana one pellet of food at a time. Call it gaming, participating in social media, book marketing, personal branding, or plain ol’ eBay addiction, the possibilities for destroying the meaning of your life on-line have multiplied over the years. You can still apply what I say in Stepping to dig yourself out of your hole.

Same with writing. Much of the first Stepping is about my struggle to see my work in print. I go on and on about achieving my dream of becoming a famous author, making millions, and eventually dominating the world. No. Wait—that’s what they do in gaming.

Today, millions more share my literary agony. I know: they’re self-pubbing like crazy, flooding the market with books that compete with mine. No need to change the bits in the old Stepping that concerned the Author’s Path.

Stepping off the Edge is awash with Native Americans. Its design has a Native theme and chapters and chapters take place at a spiritual retreat held by this country’s First People. Bill Miller (Mohican/German), my all time favorite musician, artist, and speaker, was the spiritual leader of that retreat. He gifted me with an interview and testimonial.

Want to know why a San Francisco-born, Silicon Valley-raised woman is so obsessed with Native Americans? I’d suggest reading my bio, which is somewhere in this book. It talks about my fall from American royalty into the desperate condition of being a regular person. Recovering from that fall has formed most of my life and turned me into a writer. I wrote this book and then a few dozen other books and manuscripts from my angst.

I dubbed my first fiction series the Bloodsong Series. Why? It’s written in my blood. After I’d drafted a few thousand pages of the Bloodsong books, I had this giant Ahah!

At least half of the characters were Native Americans. Why? I lived on the San Francisco peninsula. I don’t think I’d ever seen an Indian.

I realized that I had lived the lite version of what happened to Native Americans. They had the kingdom the entire continent and lost it. I know how that feels. They were treated abominably for centuries, and had the worst abuse hurled at them. Then they were asked, “What’s the matter with you? Why aren’t you doing better, you lazy bums?” I know all about that, too.

One more thing: I do not sit you down in this book and teach you how to meditate, pray, or figure out what’s sacred to you and what you should do with your life. Some things you have to do for yourself. This book is a roadmap containing everything that actually helped me heal and move forward. Some of it is from my years in school, while other portions may be highly personal spiritual experiences. That’s what I offer you. You have to apply your mind and heart to what’s in this book and transform it to fit your circumstances.

Having set the stage, here’s the Author’s Note to the original Stepping of the Edge. It’s as valid now as it was on the first go round.

 * * *

I want this book to touch you and heal you. I’d like my writing to open your heart so that the love inside flows out and transforms your life. I want my words to make you laugh and cry and feel and become the person you were meant to be. I want to move so many people that the world of hopes and prayers becomes real and we live together in paradise.

Negotiation coaches tell you to set your aspirations high. That way, you’ll have a better chance of achieving them, or at least you’ll get closer than you thought you could. My goals are set out above: You can tell me if I attain them when you’ve read this book. Right now, I want to tell you about it.

At first, I wanted to write a book about a Native American spiritual retreat called the Gathering. As I wrote, I realized that what I was writing about was bigger. I was writing not just about a particular retreat or spiritual activity, but also about how we can become mature, spiritual beings.  What must we humans do to grow up?

If that is too big a question, how did I grow up? I’ve grown up over thirty years of spiritual seeking. I can tap into my inner well of bliss. I’ve got a great life. My husband and I have been together for forty years and are still in love. My family’s wonderful. And I still experience my old crud now and again, but that’s not the norm.

How did I achieve this?

By what I do and how I live. Spiritual practice made me the woman I am. So I wrote a book about spiritual practice. This is a real “show me, don’t tell me” volume, because you don’t learn spiritual practice from reading a book. A book can tell you about spiritual practice, but doesn’t give you its fruit. Trying to learn spiritual practice from a book is like trying to train a dog without having one. Spiritual practice is alive and requires a living body committed to learning. Given this, I used my favorite demonstration tools, my soul, body and life, to illustrate the road to spiritual maturity. (A few of my friends chip in their stories, as you’ll see.)

This book is a trip. I cover the bases of prayer, meditation, worship, spiritual retreat, dedication of one’s life to experiencing the divine, taming the mind … I write about many things, using stories and examples that anyone can comprehend. I hate books that are so highfaluting that the average person can’t understand them. Life is hard enough without me making it worse with intellectual pretension.

I suggest that we get going. Who knows how much time we have for our journey? None of us will come out of this earthly voyage alive: We’d better start now.

Sandy Nathan
My website
My new interactive website
My Facebook author page (Please like!)
My Amazon author page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writers of Sci-fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction: Gigantic List of Review Blogs –– Check Them Out: SF Review Blogs List––A Comprehensive List of the Major Reviewers of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction

Numenon Cover

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money. Accidental sci-fi.

I never thought I was writing fantasy or science fiction. When I wrote Numenon, a book about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman, I thought the more spectacular bits were write-ups of my meditation experiences. Those who meditate know that visions with lights and Hollywood-type special effects are normal.

Much to my surprise, when the reviews started coming in,  Numenon was reviewed as fantasy. Well, wait a minute! I was aiming at literary fiction.

When I wrote The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, I realized I’d crossed a line. A story set in a pre-Apocalyptic world some two hundred years in the future whose title refers to an angelic extraterrestrial is definitely sci-fi. Or fantasy.

Not only had I crossed a line, I liked it. I started reading science fiction and fantasy and found that the really good stuff was as emotionally/personally engaging as literary fiction. Not only that,  it was FUN!

I’ve decided to devote space on Your Shelf Life to blog articles about science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction, as well as writing by the authors of the above. And reviews. I already post reviews on Your Shelf Life. Now I’ll be doing them more often, and inviting guest reviewers to pitch in.

For your edification, I will now attempt to add the SF Review Blogs List, so you’ll be able to get in touch with pretty near any SF/Fantasy Blog you want. Including mine.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Romanian French Chinese Danish Portuguese German

A


52 Weeks of Geek

7 Foot Shelves

The Accidental Bard

A Bibliophile’s Reverie

A Boy Goes on a Journey

A Dribble Of Ink

Adventures in Reading

A Fantasy Reader

A Fantastical Librarian

The Agony Column

A Hoyden’s Look at Literature

A Journey of Books

Allan Bard

All Booked Up

Alexia’s Books and Such…

The Alternative

Andromeda Spaceways

Anomalous Thoughts

The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

ask nicola

A Southern Fried Weirdo

Audiobook DJ

aurealisXpress

Australia Specfic In Focus

Author 2 Author

AzureScape

B


Barbara Martin

Babbling about Books

Bees (and Books) on the Knob

Best SF

Bewildering Stories

Bibliobabes

Bibliophile Stalker

Bibliosnark

Big Dumb Object

BillWardWriter.com

The Billion Light-Year Bookshelf

Bitten by Books

The Black Abyss

The Black Library Blog

Blog, Jvstin Style

Blood of the Muse

Book Addict

The Book Bind

Bookgeeks

Book in a Series

Book Love Affair

Bookrastination

Book Series Reviews

Booksies Blog

Bookslut

Books on the Knob

The Book Smugglers

Bookspotcentral

The Book Swede

Bookthing

Book View Cafe [Authors Group Blog]

Brain Harvest

Breeni Books

Brenda Loves Books

C


Calico Reaction

Cheaper Ironies [pro columnist]

Charlotte’s Library

Circlet 2.0

Civilian Reader

Cheryl’s Musings

Club Jade

Cranking Plot

Critical Mass

The Crotchety Old Fan

Curling Up By The Fire

D


Daily Dose – Fantasy and Romance

Damien G. Walter

Danger Gal

Darkeva’s Dark Delights

Dark Faerie Tales

It’s Dark in the Dark

Dark Parables

Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews

Darque Reviews

Dave Brendon’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog

Dazed Rambling

Dead Book Darling

Dear Author

The Deckled Edge

The Discriminating Fangirl

The Doctor is In…

Dragons, Heroes and Wizards

Drey’s Library

Drying Ink

Dusk Before the Dawn

E


Edi’s Book Lighthouse

Enter the Octopus

Erotic Horizon

Errant Dreams Reviews

Eve’s Alexandria

F


Falcata Times

Fantastic Reviews

Fantastic Reviews Blog

Fantasy Book Banner

Fantasy Book Critic

Fantasy Book Reviews and News

Fantasy By the Tale

Fantasy Cafe

Fantasy Debut

Fantasy Dreamer’s Ramblings

Fantasy Literature.com

Fantasy Magazine

Fantasy and Sci-fi Lovin’ News and Reviews

Feminist SF – The Blog!

Feybound

Fiction is so Overrated

The Fix

Floor to Ceiling Books

Flying off the Shelves

The Foghorn Review

Follow that Raven

Forbidden Planet

Frances Writes

Frazzled Book Nommer

Free Book Reviews

Free SF Reader

From a Sci-Fi Standpoint

From the Heart of Europe

Fruitless Recursion

Fundamentally Alien

The Future Fire

G


The Galaxy Express

Galleycat

Game Couch

The Gamer Rat

Garbled Signals

The Geeky Bookworm

Genre Reviews

Genreville [Publishers Weekly]

Got Schephs

Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

Grasping for the Wind

The Great Gnome Press Science Fiction Odyssey

a GREAT read

The Green Man Review

Gripping Books

H


Hasenpfeffer

Hero Complex

Horrorscope

Hot Cup of Coffee

Hyperpat’s Hyper Day

I


I Hope I Didn’t Just Give Away The Ending

Ink and Keys

Ink and Paper

The Internet Review of Science Fiction

io9

It is the Business of the Future to Be Dangerous

J


Janicu’s Book Blog

Jenn’s Bookshelf

Johnny Oops

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Jumpdrives and Cantrips

K


Kat Bryan’s Corner

Keeping the Door

King of the Nerds

L


La Bloga

Lair of the Undead Rat

Largehearted Boy

Layers of Thought

League of Reluctant Adults

LEC Book Reviews

Legends of Fantasy

The Lensman’s Children

Library Dad

Libri Touches

Lincoln Crisler

Literary Escapism

Literary Musings

Literaturely Speaking

Little Red Reviewer

ludis inventio

The Luminous Page

Lundblog: Beautiful Letters

Lupines and Lunatics

Lytherus

M


Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf and Book Review

Mari’s Midnight Garden

Mark Freeman’s Journal

Marooned: Science Fiction Books on Mars

Martin’s Booklog

MentatJack

Michele Lee’s Book Love

Missions Unknown [Author and Artist Blog Devoted to SF/F/H in San Antonio]

The Mistress of Ancient Revelry

MIT Science Fiction Society

Mithril Wisdom

Monster Librarian

More Words, Deeper Hole

Mostly Harmless Books

Multi-Genre Fan

Musings from the Weirdside

MyBlog2.0

My Bookish Ways

My Favourite Books

My Overstuffed Bookshelf

N


Neth Space

The New Book Review

NextRead

Not Free SF Reader

Nuketown

O


OCD, Vampires, and Rants, o my!

OF Blog of the Fallen

The Old Bat’s Belfry

ommadawn.dk

Omphalos Book Reviews

On A Pale Star

Only The Best SciFi/Fantasy

Ooh…Books!

The Ostentatious Ogre

Outside of a Dog

P


Paper Spaceships

Paranormality

Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

Patricia’s Vampire Notes

The Persistence of Vision

Piaw’s Blog

Pink Raygun

Pizza’s Book Discussion

Poisoned Rationality

pornokitsch

Post-Weird Thoughts

Praetor Naturam

Publisher’s Weekly

Punkadiddle

Pussreboots: A Book Review a Day

Q


R


Ramblings of a Raconteur

Random Acts of Mediocrity

The Ranting Dragon

Ray Gun Revival

Realms of Speculative Fiction

The Reader Eclectic

Read. Breathe. Relax.

Reading Fairy Tales

Reading the Leaves

Rememorandum

Review From Here

Review Haven: Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Reviewer X

Revolution SF

Rhiannon Hart

The Road Not Taken

Rob’s Blog o’ Stuff

Robots and Vamps

S


Sacramento Book Review

Sandstorm Reviews

Satisfying the Need to Read

Science Fiction Times

ScifiChick

Sci-Fi Blog

Sci-Fi Bookworm

SciFiGuy

Sci-Fi Fan Letter

The Sci-Fi Gene

Sci-Fi Songs [Musical Reviews]

SciFi Squad

Scifi UK Reviews

Sci Fi Wire

Scribbler to Scribe

Self-Publishing Review

SF Diplomat

SFFaudio

SFFMedia

SF Gospel

SFReader.com

SF Reviews.net

SF Revu

SF Safari

SFScope

SF Signal

SF Site

SFF World’s Book Reviews

Shawn Lazarus

She Never Slept

Silver Reviews

Simply Vamptastic

Skull Salad Reviews

Slice of SciFi

Sniffly Kitty’s Mostly Books

Solar Flare

Speculative Book Review

Speculative Fiction

Speculative Fiction Examiner

Speculative Fiction Junkie

Speculative Horizons

The Speculative Scotsman

The Specusphere

Spinebreakers

Spiral Galaxy Reviews

Splashdown Reviews

Spontaneous Derivation

Sporadic Book Reviews

Stainless Steel Droppings

Starting Fresh

State of Review

Stella Matutina

Stomping on Yeti

Stuff as Dreams are Made on…

The Sudden Curve

The Sword Review

T


Tales from the Black Abyss

Tangent Online

Teens Read and Write

Tehani Wessely

Temple Library Reviews

Tez Says

Thinking About Books

things mean a lot

Tor.com

True Science Fiction

Tyrion Frost’s Fantasy Blog

U


Ubiquitous Absence

Un:Bound

undeadbydawn

Urban Fantasy Land

Utter Randomonium

V


Val’s Random Comments

Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic

Variety SF

Veritias Omnia Vincula

Vons Books

W


Wag the Fox

Waiting for Fairies

Walk into Mordor

Walker of Worlds

Wands and Worlds

Wanderings

Wendy Palmer: Reading and Writing Genre Books and ebooks

Weirdmage’s Reviews

The Weirdside

The Wertzone

With Intent to Commit Horror

The Wizard of Duke Street

WJ Fantasy Reviews

Wolfe and Raine

The Word Nest

Wordsville

Wordtipping

The World in a Satin Bag

WriteBlack

Writing About Reading

The Written World

The Wry Writer

X


Y


Young Adult Science Fiction

Your Shelf Life: How Long Will You Last?

Z


Romanian


Cititor SF [with English Translation]

French


Elbakin.net

Mythologica

Chinese


Foundation of Krantas

The SF Commonwealth Office in Taiwan [with some English essays]

Yenchin’s Lair

Danish


Interstellar

Ommadawn.dk

Portuguese


Aguarras

Fernando Trevisan

Human 2.0

Life and Times of a Talkative Bookworm

Ponto De Convergencia

pós-estranho

Science Fiction Made in Brasil

Skavis

German


Fantasy Seiten

Fantasy Buch

Fantasy/SciFi Blog

Literaturschock

Welt der fantasy

Bibliotheka Phantastika

SF Basar

Phantastick News

X-zine

Buchwum

Phantastick Couch

Wetterspitze

Fantasy News

Fantasy Faszination

Fantasy Guide

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

Romanian French Chinese Danish Portuguese German

 

The Magic of Social Networking by Pat Bertram

Pat Bertram

Pat Bertram

TODAY’S GUEST BLOGGER IS PAT BERTRAM. Pat is the author of four acclaimed novels and a master of using social media to promote one’s books and career. Pat demystifies on-line book marketing and presents an array of social media tools for her fellow writers. Be sure and follow the links to her blogs and the resources in the article below. These lead to practical, easy to use information to make you a social media pro.  Pat’s easy, conversational style brings out the social in social media.

I absolutely LOVE Pat’s attitude. She plunges into an area that leaves so many of us confused and overwhelmed and makes it fun!

Sandy Nathan
Your Shelf Life.com

* * * * *

Writing a book was hard. Editing it was harder, and finding a publisher even harder. Waiting for it to be released after acceptance was murderous, and now promoting the book is . . .

Daughter I Am by Pat Bertram

Daughter I Am by Pat Bertram

Ha! Bet you thought I was going to say it was hardest of all — most authors find promoting to be an arduous task, but not me. I enjoy it. What’s not to like? I get to meet wonderful people and have wonderful conversations. I get to write articles about anything I want and post them all over the internet. I get to . . . well, those two points are enough. Or should be.

Goethe wrote, “What you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” So, gather a bit of boldness and begin. Join sites like Facebook and Goodreads. Add friends. Take the time to get to know people by commenting on your new friends’ content, by sharing with links to some of your new friends’ articles and content. And bit by bit the magic happens.

Let me share some of the magic that has happened to me.

I was a recent guest on Dellani Oakes BlogTalk radio show, “What’s Write for Me”. Being a bit nervous, I posted articles asking for advice on both Gather and Facebook, and I received the most wonderful tips and suggestions. So when I screwed up, it was my own fault. (I stammered a bit, used too many “actually”s but overall I did okay. The worst thing was when I said, “my books are good, but everyone says that, ‘my books are good,’ so it really doesn’t mean anything.” I meant that all authors say it, so it means nothing. But it comes out completely different when you hear it because you don’t hear the quotation marks. Ah, well, all part of the learning process, and that learning process is part of the magic of boldness.)

I had the privilege of meeting Bruce DeSilva on Facebook before he became a bestselling novelist. He introduced me (virtually speaking) to his wonderful wife, the poet Patricia Smith. Or is it his wife, the wonderful poet Patricia Smith? Either way, a remarkable experience.

I managed to impress award-winning ad exec Marshall Karp with the way I promoted his stop at Bertram’s Blog during his blog tour. Still don’t know how I did that. I just thought I was having fun.

I had the honor of hosting Michael Palmer’s very first guest appearance on a blog. How magical is that?

More Deaths Than One by Pat Bertram

More Deaths Than One by Pat Bertram

Am I bragging? Maybe, but the truth is, I am honored to have met these people and to have shared a moment of their lives. But it would never have happened if I hadn’t created a presence on Facebook and various other social networking sites.

Creating that online presence is part of the magic. This is one time and place where you can be the person you always wanted to be. What image do you want to portray? Witty, wise, intelligent, forward thinking, funny? Down-to-earth, optimistic, casual, youthful, enthusiastic? Helpful, creative, disciplined, worldly, romantic? By acting as if you are that person, you become it. This online persona is not a fabrication, it is the better part of you, the bold part, the magical part.

You might be shy in real life, but on the internet you can be as social as you care to be, and that is the key to social networking: being social. Spamming people with mass emails is not social. Nor is setting up a profile and expecting it to run itself. You need to add friends and take time to get to know them. Update your status frequently (people love to know what you are doing, and what you are eating). Include interesting links so your new friends seek you out. Reward those who post great content by leaving a comment or participating in their discussions. You need to take an interest in them. It’s up to you. You can treat book promotion as an arduous task, or you can be bold, give a bit of yourself, and perhaps create magic.

(If you don’t know how to get to know people on Facebook, start by joining the Suspense/Thriller Writers group. It’s an active group, and you don’t need to be a thriller writer to join, because in the end, we all try to write suspensefully.)

For more information on Book Promotion, see Book Marketing Floozy.

A Spark of Heavenly Fire by Pat Bertram

A Spark of Heavenly Fire by Pat Bertram

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Second Wind Publishing liked her style and published three of Bertram’s books: Daughter Am I, More Deaths Than One, and A Spark of Heavenly Fire. Her fourth novel, Light Bringer, is scheduled for release in March, 2011. Bertram blogs about writing and the writing life at http://ptbertram.wordpress.com and is the moderator of two online discussion groups that help both new and experienced authors further develop their craft: No Whine, Just Champagne on Gather.com and Suspense/ThrillerWriters on Facebook. Her website is Pat Bertram’s Website.

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