The Week that Was

Today is Columbus Day, a unique holiday that most companies in America ignore.  Waterside focuses on our relationship with the bank and the US postal service so when they take a holiday, so do we. Of course we started this policy more than thirty years ago when it really mattered if the bank and post office were open for our basic operations. Today, in 2014, we could be just as productive with both the bank and the post office closed, but everyone at the main office looks forward to getting the day off so our tradition continues.

Gayle and I just spent the last week driving from Cardiff to Ashland Oregon and back. Along the way we had a wonderful meeting with Michael Beckwith of Agape and then Marilyn Tam and her husband Kevin in Santa Barbara. We had one of the most amazing vegan meals I have ever eaten. I am a real meat lover and rarely have vegan meals, but Marilyn cooked some form of squash that was out of this world. Having an excellent red wine with the meal helped, but I have to confess that the dish itself was enough to convince me—even meat loving me— that I might become a vegetarian someday.

The following morning I had a call with my newest client Pamela Anderson. This was a bit of a coincidence given the vegan meal as Pamela is passionate about her “non-animal” diet and her newest book will focus on that topic among other health tips for maintaining beauty and vitality. Pamela is working with John Pierre who is best known as popular TV host Ellen’s personal trainer. John Pierre is also a nutritional expert and assures me that the sooner I give up meat the better I will feel. I am sure he is correct, but I am just not ready. Pamela’s diet is based primarily on her love and respect for animals, but she is also now working closely with John Pierre who will be a co-author the book. They are focusing on the health benefits of a vegan diet.

After the call with Pamela I had a delightful Santa Barbra brunch with Barbara DeAngelis; we had the most amazing pancakes along with a scintillating conversation. Barbara has just completed the manuscript for “Soul Shifts,” which will be published by Hay House next March. This is going to be a book that will speak to everyone who is ready for true transformation in all aspects of their lives. From Santa Barbara we headed up to Boulder Creek and meetings with Deborah Rozman and “Doc,” the founder of HeartMath. Deborah is the CEO and a remarkable businesswoman. Doc is the visionary behind HeartMath and a unique and extraordinary individual. Doc has campfire meetings that start at 9pm and run until 1am or in the morning. Doc rarely meets with outsiders these days, but Gayle and I have become close friends and regulars. Someday I may write a book based just on the conversations I had with him recently, but until then Doc prefers we keep our campfire chats confidential.

The next morning we drove up to San Francisco for lunch with Claudia Boutote, associate publisher of Harper, and her associate editor Hilary. Claudia is doing some amazing books at Harper and no doubt Waterside will be offering some of our strongest titles to her in the near future. Claudia is a wonderful combination of smart businesswoman and creative visionary. She is not afraid to take on cutting edge subjects and promote them vigorously. After a brief meeting in Petaluma with M2ebook creator Jared Rosen it was off to Bandon Dunes for a three day golf outing with Constance and Howard kellough, the owners  of  Namaste Publishing, which is the original publisher of Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” Constance and Howard are wonderful people and Gayle and I had a ball. The golfing is tremendous on every level—sheer beauty, tranquility and challenging golf. The links style courses are rated the best in America if not the world. There are four different courses at Bandon Dunes and all four are rated in the top twenty of public access courses in America. The links style suits my golf game with hard fairways on top of sand dunes, which allow golf balls to roll an extra fifty to sixty yards. I was hitting some drives two hundred and fifty yards, which is far longer than my normal two hundred yard drives. Even with that advantage it was still demanding golf and I barely broke 100 on each course. I plan to go back next year and now that I know the courses expect to take five strokes off each round of 18 holes.

From Bandon Dunes it was on to Ashland Oregon for meetings with my clients Neale Donald Walsch, who presented me with his newest book,  “God’s Message To The World” and Jean Houston, who is perhaps the most fascinating woman in the world. Jean is known for her books such as The New York Times number one ranked book “Possible Human,” and her most recent book “The Wizard Of Us” but I find Jean’s daily life to be even more intriguing than what she can write about in her books (although I like her books too). Jean consults with some of the most powerful world leaders and business leaders on our planet. Most of what Jean is working on is confidential so Gayle and I felt privileged to share a meal with her.

I believe that Neale’s new book is his best since “Conversations With God.” “God’s Message To The World” has the direct frankness and common sense of his previous bestsellers, but tackles people and religions’ primary misconceptions about God. The cover of the book features a post it from God reading: “You’ve got me all wrong”. The God Neale describes is the kind of God we should all seek, a God who loves us all and never seeks to punish us while we are on earth or afterwards.

We had planned on staying a few days longer up north to meet with my good friend John Kilcullen who pioneered our wonderful For Dummies book series as CEO of IDG Books when the books were originally published. John was the primary marketing force for the entire book series and is one of the most articulate and best marketing geniuses I have ever met. He has been working with the acclaimed reality TV producer Mark Burnett and John was going to fill me in on his newest endeavors, but we received a call from my daughter in law indicating that she is starting to dilate and may have her baby as early as this week. Her son will be my first grandchild so we hurried back just in case her labor comes early. John understood so Gayle and I just jumped in the car after lunch with Jean and sped home 756 miles from Ashland to Cardiff in less than eleven hours, which is probably a land speed record that will never be broken. We left around 2:30pm in the afternoon so we didn’t run into traffic the entire ride and were delighted that the main street in Ashland runs right into interstate five, which runs by our home in Cardiff. It was a 756-mile ride without ever leaving the road except for quick stops for fuel.

Well that was the week that was. Looking forward to relaxing from this vacation and staying put for a few days before our travels continue.

 

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