Posts tagged: What does winning really mean

The International Partying Score: Greeks – Zero; Icelanders – Over the top!

 

Everyone knows Scandinavians are the best partiers ever!

I WRITE ABOUT STUFF THAT REALLY MATTERS TO ME ON YOUR SHELF LIFE. I write irregularly, as the spirit moves. It’s moving.  What got me going today?

This article: UCSB to Greeks: the Party’s OverAn article from the Santa Barbara Independent talks about the fraternities and sororities at UCSB, members of which are acting up and getting the institutions kicked out in record numbers. I would have lifted images from the article, but they were all copyrighted and stuff. The first one was of a sheriff’s officer looking tough. Scared me.

But here’s a good one: “Greeks”–fraternities–are being banned from UCSB at an unprecedented rate. Since early December three fraternities have been banned and a sorority suspended. The linked article tells you all about it.

The stupid and inane behavior on the part of the Greeks that got them tossed has prompted me to share this never-before-revealed anecdote from my early years.

I never saw the reason or need for fraternities or sororities. Places for guys and gals who already felt superior to everyone to band together and throw parties that the Vikings would find offensive, and feel superior about it? Why? I thought they would have died out in the 1950s from sheer irrelevance.

I never saw the need for “acting out” either–getting so drunk or stoned I didn’t know where I was or who I was with, other than another “Greek.” Nor will I allow myself to be “hazed” by anyone or perpetrate the practice on my fellow humans. So why Greeks? Why do people join them?

There is one valid reason for fraternities and sororities. That is to introduce young people to parties so wild that they will not be horrified when they go to Scandinavia. I know this. When I was a high school senior (and what were fraternities doing allowing 17-year-olds at their parties???), I went to a frat party at Stanford. My girlfriends seemed to find them fun. I don’t know why. I’ve never seen such out of control drunken behavior in my life. It didn’t seem fun.

But, my family visited Iceland the following summer. Most of the young people left the cities and went to work on the farms during the summers. They had parties, BIG parties. I went to one in some big community building somewhere and discovered that when it comes to partying, Greeks are Pablum-eaters. I survived only because I’d been shock-proofed at that frat house.

Grow up Greeks! We Vikings have means to tame you.

So, good ol’ Stanford frat, whatever you were, thank you for opening my eyes to the potential for over-the-top depravity. Aside from a couple of roving fistfights, they seemed to be having a better time in Iceland, too.

Despite my anti-Greek sentiments, I must confess that I am a member of a fraternity, or honorary society,  Omicron Delta Epsilon,  the International Honor Society for Economics. Or I used to be. I haven’t paid dues in about forty years.

Despite all those Greek letters, did we economists indulge in drunken riots? No. We were/are so serious that we are sometimes called in to defuse international political battles. We do this by boring the combatants into comatose states. We’ll do it for your group, too. Just let me know and I’ll dispatch a cadre of econ nerds pronto.

So long for now,
Sandy Nathan, who’s got a lot of cool books for you to check out. Click the link.

The article's over: the fat lady's singing.


About the Author – Who I Am and Why I Write – What’s in It for You?

Here I am, shortly before I lost my crown.

The “About the Author” portion of any book usually sounds as though the writer is sequestered on the far side of the moon, leaving an all-knowing narrator to hand out propaganda. I’m going to skip that and tell you my real story, heart to heart.

I was born to be a princess. I was a princess, for a while. My parents overcame the poverty of their youth by becoming extremely successful. My hometown was one of the most affluent places in the country. Giant oaks, old mansions, and flashy cars surrounded me. I spent my time showing horses and water-skiing behind my dad’s obscenely overpowered boat.

Princess Sandy died when a drunk driver hit my father head-on in 1964, killing him. Those words aren’t enough. My father didn’t die right away. Days after the accident, he died of suffocation, as blood clots from his massive internal injuries broke loose, traveled through his veins, and lodged in his lungs.

My old life vanished. Through structures and systems I will not describe, I lived at a below poverty level income for a while. I could qualify for food stamps, yet I worried that I wasn’t doing enough charitable work. My brain still thought I was upper class.

What happened in the coming years opened my eyes. I’ve seen and lived the over-privileged existence I describe in the Bloodsong Series. I’ve seen how ephemeral its rewards are and how it warps those who are trapped by it. I’ve seen how it masks mental illness and cruelty.

Want to know why a San Francisco-born, Silicon Valley-raised woman is so obsessed with Native Americans? 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 don’t think I’d ever seen an Indian.

I realized that had lived the lite version of what happened to Native Americans. They had the kingdom––the entire continent––and lost it. I know how losing everything 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, and much, much more.

My writing has a bite. My life has had a bite. Recovering from what happened to me has taken many years. But I have not just recovered, I have triumphed. What was legitimately mine came back to me, along with the fruit of my own labor. My husband––the love of my life––and I are almost embarrassingly harmonious. We’ve been together forty years. We live on our horse ranch, the most beautiful place I’ve seen.

If your life echoes the first, oh, fifty years of mine, you might find something for yourself in my books. My writing isn’t for everyone. I write about people getting better and the world working out, but its not always gentle and nice. A reviewer described my Mogollon as “equal parts horror, spiritual, romance, and action.” If that’s for you, you’re my reader.

I write visionary fiction, which is about making the world a better place. Why do I write that with the bio above? Because of I have had huge spiritual experiences all my life, as well as gentler ongoing guidance. Whatever is behind them and this earthly life wants me to sing my songs. And I did triumph over what befell me.

What’s in my writing for you? What do you get out of it? A darn good story. Insight into your own life and spirit. People write to me all the time, saying how powerful my work is and how it helped them. Maybe it will help you, too.

Now for my “regular bio”: I went to school a very long time and have two advanced degrees. I’ve had prestigious careers. My writing has won twenty-four national awards. I have three grown children and two grandchildren. I write a lot, and I’m happy.

SANDY NATHAN

By purest happenstance,  I have two new books to  tell you about. They both reflect everything above

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem (Bloodsong 2)

MOGOLLON: A TALE OF MYSTICISM & MAYHEM This is the long-awaited sequel to Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money, in which a great Native American shaman mets the richest man in the world. In Mogollon, Will Duane and Grandfather not only meet, they mix it up. This book is wild, utterly imaginative, and the opening salvo to a whole bunch more Bloodsong books. Prepare to have your reality stretched and tested. This is the book the reviewer called “equal parts horror, spiritual, romance, and action.”

Best way to find out about Mogollon is visit its Amazon page. Mogollon is available in both Kindle and print forms.

While I love my Kindle, I would buy this one as a trade paperback just for the cover. They guy on the horse is Rick Mora, a Native American actor and model. He’s one of the most photographed Natives in the world. I’m honored and delighted to have him grace Mogollon’s cover. The rear cover isn’t too bad, either. It depicts Will Duane, Master of the Universe.

 

 

 

 

Leroy Watches Jr. & the Bad*ss Bull

LEROY WATCHES JR. & THE BAD*SS BULL was a surprise to me.  I read the final version of  Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem and thought, Hmm. People are going to like this. They are also going to want more. (There’s a third book in the series, Phenomenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Miracles, which takes the week from late Wednesday night to closing on Saturday. LOTS happens in those days and nights. I have Phenomenon draft form and need but rewrite it to send it into the world.)

But let me tell you a secret about writing. Staring at an unshaped lump of 150,000 words and knowing that you will become intimately acquainted with every one of them before the war is over is daunting. That’s what I have to do to get Phenomenon into your hands. More than that, really. You don’t need to know. Even worse, what if I am beset by writer’s block the way I was with Mogollon and can’t even scribble my name for years?

Thinking mightily, I came up with , What if I tossed out a little something to give my readers something new to imbibe while they’re waiting for the next Bloodsong book? (That’s in case they don’t discover my Earth’s End Trilogy, thousands of pages all done up and ready to be read.) And maybe I can do more of little somethings, time permitting?”

So I did. The first of these newer, smaller books, known simply as Leroy by friends, is about the shaman Grandfather’s grandson, Leroy Watches Jr. Leroy is the family screw-up, simple as that. His he a failed shaman? I would never say anything like that in the book. But maybe he is. Or maybe he’s he’s a slow developer.

He does talk about the time he went to a neighbor’s ranch to heal a cow and struck oil. His life is like that. And it is in this book.

Leroy Watches Jr. & the Bad*ss Bull  is my first entry in the humor arena. Writing it was so fun! I sat in front of my computer laughing my *ss off.

It turns out that you can read Leroy  before, during or after Mogollon. Leroy sets the stage and fills in background, but it doesn’t spill the beans on Mogollon. And it’s only $1.99. Such a deal. The print version of the book is on the cusp of publication. You might want to check it out. Leroy is also worth bying for the cover alone.

Indie Gems––Fine Independently Published Fiction Selected by Award-winning Author Sandy Nathan

A few posts ago, I wrote about my plans to feature the terrific independently produced books that I’ve been reading. This is that presentation: INDIE GEMS. It’s going to be a regular/irregular part of Your Shelf Life. I have to give the Amazon KDP free books program some of the credit for this. I’ve been downloading free books like crazy.

THE RULES/STUFF TO KNOW: Indie Gems has a few rules. They’re set up for my sanity and well-being.

1. I’m presenting Indie Gems and will continue to do so as long as it’s fun. I am an author 90% of the time, not a reviewer. I’m doing this bit for my own pleasure, and to share books I really like with you. So many people are hungry for reviews that they could gobble a person up. Not this person. I don’t charge for the evaluations I write, though I may accept a complimentary copy to review. I don’t want to tie myself to producing reviews on schedule. When I get a bunch of books I want to write about–or even just one–I’ll do it and announce it on the social media.

2. Please do not send me your book to review. Don’t include a note saying that our writing styles are so similar that you’re sure I’ll love your book. I’ve already set out my position on reviewing books for Your Shelf Life. I find the books I review myself, or my good friends refer them to me. No exceptions.

3. I give  most of the books here five stars. I won’t put a rating on Indie Gems, but I will post the reviews on review sites with a 5 star rating. What I write here is my estimation of the book’s worth. My evaluation may differ from yours. Why all 5 stars? I don’t bother reviewing books that I don’t really like?

4. The format of Indie Gems will vary. Some times, I’ll post three or four short reviews and that’s it. No photos, covers, etc. Other times, I’ll have a full review, interview with the author, the works. This will depend on my schedule and if I can contact the author and how much he/she wants to participate.

This is a place to have fun, so let’s have fun! Sandy Nathan

Sandy Nathan

Sandy Nathan is a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author in Metaphysical Fantasy and the winner of thirty national awards.
Sandy’s  books can be found on her Amazon Author’s Page.
Here’s her Facebook Author Page. 


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