Posts tagged: native american shaman

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem – How Rick Mora’s Picture Came to Be on the Cover

After only nineteen years of mind-rending effort on my part, Mogollon: Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem is on to the market. What is Mogollon? It’s a book about the richest man in the world–Will Duane–meeting perhaps the greatest Native American shaman ever born. Will and a bunch of his corporate hot shots travel from Silicon Valley to the Mogollon Bowl in New Mexico for the shaman’s annual retreat. The Mogollon Bowl is a miraculous place where people can become psychic, meet their soul mates, and experience personal and spiritual growth equivalent to about three lifetimes of psychotherapy.

That’s because the shaman, Grandfather, is the real deal, and so is the Mogollon Bowl, and so are the spirit warriors at the retreat.  It’s intense. What happens is intense. That’s why the subtitle is A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem. Mogollon is a book about conflict: cultural and spiritual conflict, economic conflict, and inter- and intra-personal conflict. And it contains several great love stories. Mogollon could be marketed as a romance, except that it doesn’t follow the rules of the romance genre. Plus it’s funny in parts.

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem

Here is the front cover and spine of Mogollon. I’ll post the rear cover below. This book is worth buying for the cover alone. How did this cover come to be? When I write a book, I make a video about it.  You can look at some of my videos here. As the writing and production of Mogollon began to look like it might happen before I croak, I started looking for images that matched my ideas of what the various characters look like. The book has lots of characters: Will Duane, the rich guy; a bunch of his executives and staff; Grandfather, the shaman; and four thousand Native Americans. (If made into a movie, Mogollon would be a full employment opportunity for Native American actors.)

I searched every stock photo in existence looking of images of Grandfather, Will Duane, and Wesley Silverhorse. I could not find satisfactory photos for any of them. None of the potential shaman stand ins had the lift-off factor that any person of spirit has to have. Read the first section of Mogollon. That’s Grandfather speaking and that’s what I mean by lift off. Every spiritual master I’ve known has had the ability to elevate the spiritual state of the people near him/her. No stock figures of Grandfather, though I did find the drawing which is floating in the sky above Rick.

No canned image for Will Duane, either. I was born and raised in what became Silicon Valley and spent much of my adult life there. One thing I’ve noticed about tremendously rich people: they didn’t get where they are because they’re lazy and stupid. You have to feel what these people are like. The intensity. The drive. The intelligence. The ability to work three days straight. A stand-in for Will is on the back cover, but he’s not right.

And then we have Wesley Silverhorse. Wesley is Grandfather’s most advanced spirit warrior and is expected to take over from him when the time comes. Wesley is drop-dead gorgeous, but he’s also everything else you’d want in a human being. If either of my daughters wanted to marry Wesley, it would be an automatic thumbs-up. He does a martial arts exhibit in the book you’ll never forget, not to mention his exhibition of horsemanship.

Believe me, Wesley does not exist in stock photos of Native American men.

What could I do? Well, I Googled “beautiful Native American men.” When the images came up, about half of them were of one person: Rick Mora. I had never heard of Rick Mora, but he came closer to fitting my image of what Wesley would look like than anyone. How did he get on the cover of Mogollon?  I asked him. Sent him an email, if I recall. There was some conversation––he’s very nice––and voila! In due time, Rick’s photo is on the cover of my book.

Cool, huh? I love this cover and I hope you do, too. Rick’s presence is on the cover is wonderful.  Damonza.com, the cover designer for both the eBook and the paperback, did a fabulous job in creating a memorable piece of work. And that’s how Mogollon’s cover was created. The paperback should be coming out within a week.

We’re planning all sorts of fun launch activities. Stop by my website and see what’s going on.

Mogollon's Rear Cover--Will Duane points to some of his real estate holdings.

 

AMAZON TOOK MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS––YOU WIN BIG!!!

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

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.

Sandy Nathan

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.

 

 

MOGOLLON: A TALE OF MYSTICISM & MAYHEM IS FINISHED!

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money - This is NOT Mogollon's new cover. The it's being designed.

HURRAY! HURRAY! Mogollon is done. (Though see the note below about its release date.) I started the Bloodsong Series, of which Mogollon is book two, in 1995. Eighteen years have gone by since a spectacular spiritual experience launched a series of books that have owned me since. What happened?

Some really bad things happened to me long ago. Mercifully, I did not remember them. Until I did. That was 1993. After working harder than I knew I could to recover, I finally felt well enough to attend a meditation retreat in 1995. I’d been meditating twenty years at that point.

I worked as hard as I could in the retreat, following the 4 AM to 10 PM daily schedule, going to classes, doing spiritual practices. Praying. And contacting one of the people involved in the “really bad things.” I’d never been brave enough before.

When I got home, I felt fantastic. Totally healed, sparkling new. All trauma gone. That was nice, but the real perk of the adventure had yet to occur. A couple of days after I got home, I was in the shower (showers are intensely spiritual places) when something like a lightning bolt hit me in the right temple and entered my skull, ricocheted around inside, and left a trail of blue sparkles and mist that Hollywood special effects guys could not replicate. Then it left. Total elapsed time? A few seconds.

“Whoa,” thought I, “that’s never happened before.” The fireworks were not the whole package. The spiritual zap from Somewhere also left a book behind. Its plot was right there in my mind as the blue mist disappeared. I ran down to the computer and banged it out. “What do you think of this?” I showed the pages to my husband.

“It’s good, but it seems like a comic book. Make it longer.”

Two hundred and seventy five pages later, I knew I had a book. Pages more than that, I realized it was a series.What is it about? Bloodsong starts out with the adventures of the richest man in the world, Will Duane, meeting a great Native American shaman at the shaman’s retreat in New Mexico. Numenon and Mogollon are set in this part of the series. But, after the retreat, the corporate gang goes home to Silicon Valley and the Numenon Corporate headquarters in Palo Alto. All sorts of characters, from witches to rogue corporate execs to budding shamans, come up in locations all over the world. It’s a wild, highly imaginative series.

That’s how the Bloodsong Series was born. It keeps growing. I counted ten titles in my Bloodsong file on my computer. These are either written as drafts or soon to be released, like Mogollon.

All were born of that meditation retreat and moment  in the shower where Something sent me a message of hope and love. And power, violence, pain, redemption, and a bunch of amazing characters.

My writing can be very gritty. With the exception of work written for children, all of my writing should be R rated. It’s not for kids. That’s the fruit of the “really bad things” mentioned above. If you’ve been marked in that way, going back to sweetsie and happy-ever-after is impossible.

I said up above that Mogollon was finished. Not quite. What’s finished is my line by line response to my editor’s terse comments, “This sucks.” No, she doesn’t say that. She speaks a different language: “Too much head-hopping here.”

I’ve finished addressing my editor’s myriad concerns and have a manuscript version Mogollon that’s ready to hand off to other professionals. I’ll send it off  for copy-editing and proofreading. Then comes the design of the book, eBook, covers, the whole visual package. What’s finished is my mind-numbing involvement in the book’s every line. The hard part.

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem, Bloodsong Series 2, will be released in early 2014.

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money - This IS the existing Numenon cover. Enjoy it while you can: the new one will be different.

So will Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money, Bloodsong Series 1. What! Book 1 of the series will be released at the same time as book 2? Yep. We’re doing a slash and burn of Numo.

Numenon was released in 2009; it’s four years old. It was also the first book I wrote. My writing has improved exponentially since 2009. We’re giving the book a full makeover. Once that’s done, the book will be redesigned and ready for a double launch with Mogollon.

Why am I doing this? Well, Numenon is dear to my heart. It flowed directly from that mystical experience back in 1995. If you look at Numenon’s reviews, you will see that by far the majority of readers LOVED it just as is it stands. They said things like:

“The new release `Numenon‘ by Sandy Nathan is one of the most superbly developed, intensely riveting and profoundly moving works of fiction I’ve read in quite a long time. The author’s attention to detail, in-depth character development and cohesive, constantly evolving storyline will keep the reader transfixed from beginning to end.”
Brian E. Erland, Hall of Fame Reviewer

You can read the negative reviews for yourself. Suffice it to say, they blistered my hide.

If I can fix something, I will. I’m going to attempt an update that will satisfy people like Mr. Erland and the folks who thought I should boiled in oil along with my book.

Reviews are very interesting, particularly if you have a background in psychology. I hold an MA in marriage, family and child counseling. The depth psychologies claimed my heart––these are the areas of study which treat the deeper more primal parts of the psyche, archetypes, the essential areas of the soul, especially mystical experience. My interest lies with the work of Jung, Psychosynthesis, and the transpersonal psychologies.

I found Numenon’s reviews a textbook illustration of Jungian typology. Carl Jung, a giant of modern psychology, came up with his typology trying to reconcile personality differences between his friends and colleagues, Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler. Both were brilliant men and giants in the development of modern psychology. Here’s an article I wrote about Jungian Type for writers. The theory is complex, but what Jung says is: People are different. They live in literally different worlds; they don’t see the same thing, even when in the same room.

Which is why Numenon’s reviews vary so much and people reporting honestly on their experiences can come to such different conclusions.

* * *

I  am an intuitive in Jung’s typology. Intuitives live in a realm beyond the physical, picking up on currents that others don’t see. We have a vision of what direction the world will take. Intuitives are intensely interested in their internal growth and that of everyone else. They’re interested in people and their stories. They’re very interested in their vision becoming a reality.

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money could only have been written by an intuitive. And intuitives are the ones that “get” what I was writing and the way I did it.

* * *

Modern novels have become very fast, like screenplays, where all the action takes place on the page, and that’s all you get. You lose a lot that way, but fast action-filled writing does satisfy certain types.

I’m going to rewrite Numenon so that it retains its spirituality and moves faster with more action for the modern sort of reader. Without wrecking it.

If you read my work, please realize this:

I AM NOT A THRILLER WRITER! I AM NOT A SCI-FI OR FANTASY WRITER! AND I AM!  If you want breakneck speed, chills, battles between good and evil, monsters and bugs running around blowing things up, and the end of the world–I’ve got them all in the Earth’s End series and my newer work.

BUT I THE GOAL OF MY WRITING IS NOT JUST COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL THRILLERS, SCI-FI, OR FANTASY.

ALL OF MY WRITING STEMS DIRECTLY FROM THE VISIONARY EXPERIENCE I DESCRIBED ABOVE. IT IS THE FRUIT OF THAT EXPERIENCE.

WHY DO I WRITE? I WRITE TO CHANGE THE WORLD. I WRITE SO THAT WE HUMANS CAN LIVE AND GROW UP IN PEACE, SAFE FROM THE DEPREDATIONS OF EVIL.

Sandy Nathan and Tecolote

 

Sandy Nathan

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

Sandy’s Web Site

 

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