Deborah Santana (dssantana) Fri 15 Apr 05 12:21
<What's your next literary endeavor?> I am working on a fiction book right now to take a break from the family stories. It is a new genre for me and one in which I would like to work. My writing group has given me great feedback, so I will continue with this project for a few months. It is the writing process that soothes and fills me. I love the written word and will continue both memoir and fiction...
Suttle (su) Fri 15 Apr 05 12:37
TV in CHICAGO! That's gotta mean Oprah, yes? Yay!
Dennis Wilen (the-voidmstr) Fri 15 Apr 05 12:46
Deborah - Do you know what Syl is doing now?
paul (paul) Fri 15 Apr 05 15:20
What's the craziest thing you did?
It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Sat 16 Apr 05 01:41
Can't wait to read your fiction, your writing style is so pleasant to read. It sounds like you have quite a few books in you and we can expect many more to come. Yahoo. Is Carlos going to write something himself? He - obviously, both of you - has been such a spiritual force for such a long time now. What's been happening with the original band members, and also Carlos' influence on the new kids on the block after his collaborative album and the grammys? Also, can you tell us a bit more about the work Milagro does and all the good things happening with your foundations?
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Sat 16 Apr 05 07:55
<TV in CHICAGO!> Right now, TV in Chicago is the morning program on WGN (8 AM June 3), but, as always, what the universe has planned is already in motion and more appearances may come. <Do you know what Syl is doing now?> I have no idea what Sylvester Stewart is doing now. That part of my life/memoir upset our son, Salvador, so deeply that he asked around. He heard that Sylvester is in a wheelchair now. Life is so very, very complicated. How we treat our bodies, minds and souls determines the quality and outcome of our existence. Yet, even though Sly led such an unevolved life, I do not wish him harm and do not encourage anyone to hate him. He lived within his level of consciousness. As hard as it was for me to accept he could not change, as soon as I realized that was not my level of consciousness, I got away.
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Sat 16 Apr 05 08:04
<What's the craziest thing you did?> One of the experiences I cut from my finished SBTS memoir, was a time that Sri Chinmoy asked some of us "girl" disciples to gather together 100 edible items as "prasad" (blessed food) for him to give out in celebration of 100 tiny sketches he had completed. Often times, he sold these paintings to disciples to raise money for the meditation centers (himself?? - not sure). The scene in my book showed a few of us in Jamaica, Queens, pushing shopping carts through an A&P market, throwing tiny marshmallows, grapes, raisins, heads of cauliflower, maraschino cherries, M&Ms - anything we could think of - into the carts. Then we had to go back to someone's apartment and put these items into white lunch bags for SC to give to disciples. It was exhausting and ridiculous - a true example of mindless work.
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Sat 16 Apr 05 08:10
<Is Carlos going to write something himself?> Carlos has tried many times to work with other writers to put his story down. He has been so busy with his music that it has been difficult for him to participate. Once he read "Space Between the Stars" and saw how I created scenes and texture, he didn't just want someone detached from him to interview him and then create a book. Perspective is so important to the story. Carlos wants his memoir to have divine purpose and heart - and he now wants to be much more involved in the writing and not just put something out that reads like an extended interview.
Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Sat 16 Apr 05 08:26
Hi Deborah: I'm in NY and just dropped off the copies of your audiobook I bought as b-day presents. The audiobook is really wonderful...a beautiful mix of sound, texture, readings, and music. What kind of feedback have you been getting on that?
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Sat 16 Apr 05 08:32
<can you tell us a bit more about the work Milagro does and all the good things happening with your foundations?> Since 1998, our Milagro Foundation has served agencies that support children and youth in the areas of art, education and health. Many of the organizations we fund are grass-roots agencies started by one nurse, teacher, human being with a vision and a passion for children. Tutoring programs, summer camps for children infected with HIV/AIDS, equestrian sports and activities program, leadership and positive gender identity training for girls, fatherhood support, sexual abuse recovery and counseling, sewing machines in India -- what an honor to assist people who have the needs of others foremost in their minds. We try to visit as many of the groups as possible, to feel the energy and power exuded by these people who will hopefully change our world through what they learn and receive. Please go to www.milagrofoundation.org to see photos of our grantees!
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Sat 16 Apr 05 08:38
<The audiobook is really wonderful...a beautiful mix of sound, texture, readings, and music. What kind of feedback have you been getting on that?> Hey Farai! So great to hear from you. (I just received your email about PopandPolitics). The audiobook is receiving wonderful feedback. Most people did not expect the bonus CD of music and LOVE Salvador's piano, my dad's "Summertime" and the unreleased Santana tunes. One man wrote that he actually bought the audiobook ONLY for the music, but decided to listen to the book and loved it - so I guess the range of experience is broad. An unexpected gratification is that I have had a few sight-impaired people tell me how grateful they were to be able to "read" my memoir. I had not realized how important audio is to so many and am deeply pleased that SBTS is able to fill that need.
Suttle (su) Sat 16 Apr 05 15:09
The audio book is very special. Is there any chance you'll release another version -- unabridged?
paul (paul) Sat 16 Apr 05 15:40
Wow, that was my next question. It kind of ties in to the question I originally asked, if the book was available as an audio book in it's entirety. I would buy that! Any more teasers about the upcoming novel?
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Sat 16 Apr 05 21:22
<if the book was available as an audio book in it's entirety...> You won't even notice that SBTS is abridged. Kristin Lesko, who did the abridgment, did an incredible job. I proofed her edit and when I read the audio, I hardly knew what was missing. It's seamless. The bonus CD with music and the interview with Carlos and me took time away from me reading the entire book. But I always wanted music from my family included with my memoir. It is incredibly special and such a part of who I am. There is a version of the audio recorded for libraries in its entirety, read by someone else. I haven't heard it, but you may be able to find it in your local library!
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Sat 16 Apr 05 21:28
<teasers about the upcoming novel?> It begins in Central California and the main character is a 19 year old mulatta, Sierra (maybe her name will stay; maybe not). I am enthralled with creating a contemporary novel that reflects real life challenges with blended people who have spiritual connections. This is so much fun for me and frightening, yet exciting. The writing process is what I love and I feel no pressure right now; only the joy of creating something new.
It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Sun 17 Apr 05 03:37
This might sound a bit 'wigged' out but I'll say it anyway. Your book is having a profound impact on me and others whom I'm talking with at our local bookstore. There is some kind of 'vibe' that is synchronistic with all of us. I think your book captures that cosmic vibration and as we read it we go "yeah" and it helps us focus on the "greater things" of our life and what is really happening above and below us. We, here, have a general sense of bliss and feeling that good things are happening all around. Your emotional and intellectual honesty seems to coincide with our own - what is actually been going on in our own family circles for the past 6 months or so. That's not projection on my part, I've had four different people tell me the same thing as they come to pick up your book or I put it in their hands. Way cool. For me, there is a kind of distillation of many years of half-baked projects and thought about various fields of knowledge all coming into focus - emotionally, intellectually and practically and your book was/is the spark for that. Not running you for local goddess or anything, but I cannot thank you enough. More than that,
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Sun 17 Apr 05 14:09
<We, here, have a general sense of bliss and feeling that good things are happening all around.> I am glad that my "emotional and intellectual honesty" has had a positive effect on people. It is interesting that you say there is a general sense of good things happening all around. My philosophy is that "love is the way." Of course there are a million bad things going on, but if we rise together above the negative to believe we can effect change through good works and believing in love, that truly raises the level of the consciousness sea. I'm sounding a bit "California" above, but it is universal, not just a West Coast peculiarity.
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Sun 17 Apr 05 18:41
Hi, Deborah. My wife and daughter and I are very happy to have met you at Folio yesterday. I hope it was a successful event. How did it go for you overall? > I am glad that my "emotional and intellectual honesty" has had a positive effect on people. I regard that as an elegant understatement. I'm not exagerating when I say that your book has inspired me. > My philosophy is that "love is the way." I'm with you there. And I'm fond of repeating Joseph Campbell's observation that, "If God is love, then love is God." > I'm sounding a bit "California" above, but it is universal, not just a West Coast peculiarity. Deborah, I agree that it's universal. But to the extent that it is "California,", perhaps it's not such a bad thing. For instance, I remember last June we went to see Hugh Masekela perform a special one-night-only concert at the Herbst Theater, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of apartheid's official demise in South Africa. Masekela specifically wanted to thank the San Francisco Bay Area for for having led the US in this regard. That's one way in which history will look kindly on our California thing, despite it being the butt of many jokes.
Suttle (su) Mon 18 Apr 05 11:54
Deborah, do you think you could work with Carlos to write his lifestory, or would that put too much pressure on you?
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Mon 18 Apr 05 17:08
<Folio yesterday...> The Folio event was bright and fun - signing books was great. I missed the format of book store readings and answering questions, but it was nice to connect with people up close. And to meet your beautiful family... <do you think you could work with Carlos to write his life story, or would that put too much pressure on you?> I have been asked by numerous people if I could/would write Carlos's memoir with him. It seemed before that it would be "too much Carlos" (a jest around our house), but in truth, a memoir is so personal and the revelations sometimes painful for others. I truly believe it would be more interesting and freeing for Carlos to work with another writer, although I could do an authentic job because I know his family and background so deeply.
Teleological dyslexic (ceder) Mon 18 Apr 05 17:45
Perhaps, for Carlos, his memoir would be music. ;-)
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Mon 18 Apr 05 19:20
<Perhaps, for Carlos, his memoir would be music.> Interesting, but he wants a book to relate his experiences with and without his guitar. In the past, he has told stories about meeting different musicians, playing with Miles (his #1 mentor/idol), John Lee, Wayne Shorter, Herbie... he has a million stories. And the metaphors Carlos uses when he speaks are quite unique and beautiful . He remembers visually, like the time Miles took him and his best friend, Gary, to a nightclub in Harlem and Miles tried to start a fight with the bouncer; I was home in our Queens apartment worrying about where Carlos was, not imagining Miles telling a 6'6" man to go *$%+ himself!
Suttle (su) Mon 18 Apr 05 19:35
that's funny! I can understand why it would be certainly be easier for you if Carlos collaborated with someone else, and it has to be liberating to write exactly what you want without having to conform to someone else's expectations, ESPECIALLY your husbands. You and Carlos share so much of your working lives anyway. Has publishing this book been comparable to releasing a Santana CD? Has it been what you expected? Is there anything about the release/book tour experience you'd like to change?
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Mon 18 Apr 05 19:42
<Has publishing this book been comparable to releasing a Santana CD?> Carlos is an international star (& I mean that in the purest sense of the term). When he is gearing up to release a CD, our publicists have to turn down many requests for interviews and Carlos receives national attention. I never understood how incredible this was until I released Space Between the Stars. National media was not interested in my work, and, because media has often not read or even listened to product before they interview, they certainly had no idea of the content of my memoir. My experience has been much simpler, much more local, and to be perfectly honest, that has been fabulous for me. I think I would be intimidated to be in front of the cameras that Carlos is so accustomed to. I truly believe that my audience will grow because of the writing. I love that the media has been respectful of me and kind.
Deborah Santana (dssantana) Mon 18 Apr 05 19:49
<anything about the release/book tour experience you'd like to change> I have loved every book store and audience. I wouldn't change anything. Every city I've visited so far, I have been delighted by the audience and their participation in my life experiences. When Kitsaun and I arrived in Morgan Hill Saturday, March 19th, the town was absolutely empty. Only one family walked on the sidewalk and cars zoomed through town on their way to Gilroy or points beyond. We meandered into a coffee shop, read the newspaper, and then sauntered into BookSmart. I was thinking, "I hope there are at least 5 people inside." Sitting silently, waiting in folding chairs, were at least 70 people. More came until the talk began. You could have knocked me over with a breath of fresh air. I'll never forget the children in that audience, the laughter and the love.
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