Posts tagged: rancho vilasa

How to Finish Books, Find True Love, and Live, Write, and Speak from the Heart

Sandy Nathan at the Book Loft, Getting Ready to Expound on Life

Click here to go to see Sandy Nathan’s talk on YouTube. Get the full skinny in the article below.

In this age of the Internet and social media, getting to know each other is difficult. I’ve wanted to know you for a long time. It’s been hard, because how do you express your true identity in a 140 character Tweet or a Facebook message that disappears in an hour?

Meanwhile, people jam the Net, posting,  “Look at me! Look at my new book!” “Look at my award, review, letter from mom!” I don’t know about you, but this turns me off about as much as a person can be turned off. And it seems with all this frantic “socializing,” no one gets acquainted. Certainly in the great junior-high school of the social media, no one connects profoundly.

But I’ve wanted to get to know you. The you you. The you beyond the hype.

I’ve found a way to introduce the me me, so we can finally connect.  I gave a talk at our local book store, The Book Loft in Solvang, CA, the day before Valentine’s Day.  The link below will magically transport you to YouTube, where I’ll tell you why I hate the famous day of hearts and flowers. I’ll share a lot of other things with you, too. How I write. “Literature through disaster” is my own personally trademarked term to express how my soul transforms personal wipe-outs into books. It may work for you, too.

I invite you to watch the video. I hope you get to know me better, and then let me know you. Drop me a line. Let me know what you think and feel.

Click here to go to YouTube and Sandy Nathan on Valentine’s Day, Writing from the Heart, Finding the Heart in all the Inner Mess, and Literature through Disaster.
(Also mystical experience and how it jump-starts the writing process.)

Authors Mara Purl and Sandy Nathan at the Book Loft

My friend and fellow award-winning author, Mara Purl, joined me at the Book Loft. Mara is an amazing person and writer. She’s lived a legendary life. Click here to go to her website. She also was videoed. You’ll probably find a link to her talk on her site.

* * *
Sandy Nathan is the winner of twenty-one national awards, in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.

Sandy’s  books are: (Click link to the left for more information on each book. All links below go to Kindle sale pages.)
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice

Two sequels to The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy are in production. If you liked  The Angel you’ll love Lady Grace and Sam & Emily.

Happy Holidays––and All the News Worth Sharing. I’ve got two new Books, an International Rights Agent; Numenon is a Book Club Selection; New Book Awards. An Invitation and a gift.

First the important message: My best wishes for the holiday season! I’m late for Diwali, but should be on time for Hanukkah, Christmas, Al-Hijra Muharram, and Kwanzaa. If I missed any other seasonal celebrations, best wishes for them, too!
Then my news. And I do have a lot of it.  This is the text of my holiday newsletter:

I was putting this newsletter together and realized that, in all probability, we don’t know each other. I’m close to some of you–my friends and family. Others I know a little bit–neighbors and fans. The rest of you probably have a very sketchy connection with me, based on typing an email address into a box.

For many of you, this newsletter may seem like another pitch from one of the bazillion authors trying to get you to buy their books.

That isn’t what I’m about. Let’s clear that up right now. Please take a moment and listen to my most recent radio interview, linked below.

My editor always says, “Show me, don’t tell me.” The Depth Insights interview linked above is the best “show and tell” of who I am, where my writing comes from, and what I’m about that I’ve produced to date.
I invite you to take a few moments to listen to the interview.
I invite you to become my friend.

Sandy Nathan  Sandy Nathan




I’ve been invited to be the author of the month for the Depth Psychology Alliance Book Club in January 2012I made the interview linked above for the Alliance’s radio show. It offers a taste of what I’m about and an intro to what I’ll be discussing.
The book club is part of the Depth Psychology Alliance,  an on-line, global gathering place for those interested in the field of depth psychology.

Depth Insights Logo
Depth Insights Book Club

Their motto is, “Seeing the World with Soul.” Depth Psychology explores the highest and deepest aspects of humanity. And the richest, may I add. When I was a graduate student in counseling, these areas of study ignited my being.


Membership in the Alliance is FREE and so is the new book club. Join the Alliance through the link above and sign up for the book club. You don’t have to be a therapist or professor. All you need to join is an interest in Depth Psychology.  Email me for more details.  The group will be reading my book, Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money.

Numenon Logo Small
Click Image to Buy Numenon

The link will take you to Numenon’s page on the Depth Psychology Alliance’s web site. Check it out. They have an incredible web site.  I love their bee icon.

I’m looking forward to finding out how the club members see Will Duane, my brilliant, tortured hero.

Let the games begin! I’m excited




THE REALLY BIG NEWS: I’VE GOT TWO NEW BOOKS COMING OUT IN EARLY 2012! The Tales from Earth’s End Series continues with sequels to The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy.

Most people who read The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy ask me, “Where’s the sequel? I’ve got to know what happens next!”
Lady Grace Is what happens next. Thousands of years have passed since the end of The Angel. Radiation levels are safe at last. A few survivors straggle back to the Piermont estate in Connecticut.
Lady Grace
Click to go to Tales from Earth’s End
What do they find? You won’t believe it.
Lady Grace is a thriller and sci-fi, a fantasy like you can’t imagine. And a tender love story. With visitors from another time and place. It’s Book Two of the Tales from Earth’s End Series.

Sam & Emily: A Romance from the Underground, the third book in the Tales from Earth’s End Series, will be launched
shortly after Lady Grace. Sam & Emily is a love story between two characters introduced in  The Angel. Sam & Emily is about a passion that creates joy and ecstasy, as well as deepest anguish. It’s a passion that lasts a lifetime. And it’s not your ordinary romance.

Sam & Emily: A Romance from the Underground
Click for Tales from Earth’s End Blog
The romance industry has rules about how a romance must go. What those involved must be like. And the mandatory happy ending. I don’t believe in mandatory happy endings. Is that how life is? Always happy at the end? I’m not saying my book’s a tragedy, but . . . a guaranteed happy ending? You’ll have to read Sam & Emily to see what I mean. Unlike the sex in most romances, the intimacy in Sam & Emily isn’t particularly graphic, certainly relative to what I’ve seen in samples of other people’s work offered on the social media. My husband described it as “inspiring.”
The two new volumes in the Tales from Earth’s End Series  
are poised for release. They’re at my designer’s being polished. We had hoped to get them out for the 2011 holidays–but that was not to be. So I’ll send another newsletter around when they come out.

Or watch the Tales blog, or my website. Or my Facebook Author page. “Like” me, you’ll find out when the new books are released right away.

I’ve been working so hard that my publicity has been a little sketchy. I might have forgotten to tell you about The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy and Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could. 

The first book, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy takes place on the eve of nuclear Armageddon in the late 22nd century––or thereabouts. The United States has degenerated into a police state. Two people carry the keys to survival: Jeremy Edgarton, a 16-year-old, tech genius and revolutionary;

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Buy The Angel on Amazon (Kindle

and Eliana, the angelic, off-world traveler sent to Earth on a mission to prevent her planet’s demise. The Angel is a sci-fi thriller set in a 1984-like setting. It’s the first book of the Tales from Earth’s End Series. 

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy won four national awards in 2011, taking the Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction at the IPPYs, the largest and oldest contest for independent presses. It also won the Visionary Fiction category in the 2011 Indie Excellence Awards, and New Age (winner) and Sci-fi/Fantasy (finalist) in the Best Books of 2011 (USA Book News). A good bet if you like any of those categories.
The other book I released in January 2100 is Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could is the true story of a premature baby horse born on our ranch. Tecolote was not expected to live––yet he did.
Tecolote: The Llittle Horse That Could
Buy Tecolote on Amazon

This book is a child’s book–44 pages–that can be enjoyed by adults. It’s a sweet lovely tale. Tecolote is an Amazon Bestselling book. It’s available on Amazon as a print book and Kindle book.

If you’re interested, I would strongly recommend buying the print book version. The Amazon Kindle version is fine: It has all the pictures and tells the story. It’s only 99 cents. The print version is beautiful, has a color interior and is a great size for children to read: 8″ X 10″.

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could won five national awards, including the 2011 Silver Nautilus Award, an award given to distinguished books aimed at making the world a better place. It also was a finalist in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Contest in:
  • Animals/Pets General
  • Juvenile Non-fiction
It’s been a banner year for me, with new books and literary awards. To cap it off, I’ve signed with the Montse Cortazar Literary Agency for exclusive NUMENON WINS THE 2009 SILVER NAUTILUS AWARD!representation of the international rights to my books. I was honored to be chosen by Montse. When Montse wrote to accept me she said, “My main motivation as a literary agent is to support those authors and publishers who work for the collective awareness, and I truly feel your work is really special and goes in that direction.” Yep. That’s why I write.  I’m looking forward to what the future brings. Perhaps The Angel, Tecolote, Numenon and all the rest will be read worldwide!
Click the link to find out more about the Montse Cortazar Literary Agency.

Happy holidays, once again. We offer those of you who have eBook readers a special gift in the coupon below.
(If you don’t have an eReader, you can buy an inscribed, autographed hardback first edition of my Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money for $9.50 plus shipping (and sales tax if you live in CA).  It’s a $24.95 retail value. Click here to buy. Please specify what inscription you’d like.  Contact Barry Nathan for quantity orders.)

All the best,
Barry & Sandy Nathan
Vilasa Press




As a special holiday gift, I’m giving you the eBook of Numenon for free! It’s usually $2.99 on Smashwords. To claim your gift, go to, and the Numenon page. (Click to go to that page.) Enter the coupon LV94U on checkout. You should be able to download pretty near any kind of eBook from Smashwords. Please share this offer with your friends and family members.  It’s OK with me if the offer goes viral!


Offer Expires: Enter Expiration Date January 19, 2012



Sandy Nathan, award winning author, rides her horse for the first time after having her ankle fused. Little did she know that getting over writer's block would be harder.

I wrote an introductory article on unlocking writers block a few weeks ago. (The one illustrated with photos of us trying to get a horse into a trailer.) After three weeks of vacation in New Mexico, I’m home and happily and productively working on the rewrite of Mogollon, sequel to my award winning novel, Numenon.

What did it take for me to break through the dreaded block?

Well, I stepped in a rut in the driveway with my fused ankle about three days into my vacation and spent the next two weeks in great pain and unable to walk. Before that, I had in a kidney infection along with a major flu.

That’s right, I had a kidney infection at the same time as the flu.

Is suffering necessary to break through writer’s block?

Was for me.

I put a longer and deeper write up of my experience these last few weeks on my personal blog ( Here, I summarize a few key learning points that may help you deal with your dragons:

1.    Accept and surrender.
If you’re unable to write what you want, or reach the depth that you know you’ve got with your writing, acknowledge it. You don’t have to like it or embrace it, just accept the fact you’re blocked. And surrender to the fact. Journal about it. Write a blog article or entire book about it.
2.    If you don’t accept your blocked state and surrender to it, you can search the Net for tips and techniques to deal with writer’s block and paralysis. You’ll find lots: Try them all. Maybe they’ll work. Chances are they won’t. When you discover this, accept your block and surrender to it.
3.    Hit bottom. I did this in my idyllic New Mexico escape, bruised ankle propped on pillows and my foot and lower leg––all the way to the knee––looking like an angry eggplant. That was after I got over the kidney infection and flu.
4.    Truly give up. Hand your whole life over to your Higher Power. If you don’t have a Higher Power, make One up.
5.    Note that the universe really is in control of your life, not you, despite what The Secret says. Healing is a combination of grace and self effort. When you surrender, the spooky stuff starts happening. For instance, when I finally hit as bottom as I’ve been in recent years, I decided to read by book club’s selection for the next month, which was:
6.    Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza. This best-selling book tells the story of how Immaculee Ilibagiza survived the murder of one million of her fellow Tutsi tribe members by rampaging Hutus. She hid in a 3 X 5 bathroom in Rwanda with 7 other women for 3 months. This book is a miracle, the finest example of contemporary Christian mysticism I have read. It jolted me into contact with my spiritual roots and provided the ground of my healing.
7.    It’s also evidence that writer’s block is not the worst thing that can happen to you.
8.    Neither are low book sales.

9.    You don’t have to be obsessed with your on-line sales, the number of blogs you write on, your web site stats, or anything about the world of writing.
10.    Life would go on if you never wrote another word.
11.    You might even enjoy your life more.

Freedom is letting go of attachment and aversion.

Freedom is letting go of attachment and aversion. No more: "I gotta have it," alternating with "I'd better run from him/her/it." Freedom is our birthright.

This is freedom. Once you attain this knowledge that you don’t need to write and the inner state that goes with it, the fountain of creativity inside of you may start to bubble again. You may get new angles for the book you were working on. You may WANT to write. You may be able to write.

Or not. You may want to run screaming from the literary world.

Try my method: Drop everything. Get to a dead stop. See what your soul says to you about your writing and your life. Do what it says.

I’m back at work writing, but in a different way. No more pounding the keyboard until my shoulders won’t move and my wounded ankle feels like it’s poured full of molten lead. No more obsessing.

I’m doing things differently and letting the immense love and good will of the universe carry me forward. If my stuff is supposed to sell, it will because people find value in it––and in getting to know me.

In God we trust, right? That’s the title of that other article I wrote about my recent three weeks of high altitude spiritual regeneration in Santa Fe.

Two more tips that could radically improve the level of peace in the world and might even help your writer’s block:

1.    Watch where you put your feet. If you watch where you put your feet, you won’t step in it. It can take many physical and metaphorical forms. The rut in the driveway that nailed my already screwed-down ankle taught me the wisdom of simple truths: Watch where you step.
2.    Keep your ankle above your heart.
This is a variant of an Eastern spiritual practice. In Eastern religions, worshipers pranam, bow, to their gurus, sacred objects, or representations of deities. The pranam involves either going down on one’s hands and knees and touching one’s forehead to the floor or a total prostration, lying face down on the floor with your hands over your head––a full pranam.

The pranam honors the sacred and forces one to put one’s head below one’s heart. That is, a pranam puts the rational, judgmental function of the intellect below the empathetic, intuitive, compassionate function of the heart. This is a good thing. Few people get in trouble because they’re too compassionate.

My episode with my ankle indicated that keeping your ankle above your heart can be an equally powerful means of attaining surrender, peace and nonviolence. Could those Hutus have murdered all those people if they’d kept their ankles about their hearts? No.

You can’t do much lying on your back with your ankle above your heart. This posture does provide a perfect opportunity to catch up on the meditations you’ve missed since you started writing seriously twenty years ago. You can contemplate existence like crazy.

With your ankle above your heart, your ankle’s swelling will go down, and so may that of your head. It’s a humbling thing, lying with your leg in the air. Humbling enough to allow your soul to talk and tell you what it thinks of the way you’ve been living.

Your soul may point out certain deficiencies in your behavior that have contributed to your inability to write anything but checks. Your soul may suggest alternative behaviors. In my case, if I didn’t run myself into the ground and chase foolish …  (Contemplation can be brisk.)

Writing and lifestyle are interrelated, or so my ankle and heart told me.

In words my editor sent me (from Ephesians): Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

In God I trust, while walking the walk.

If you want the longer form on my personal blog, click here to go to Sandra

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