This was a random find while volunteering at the library. The cover, the short description pulled me in, and I’m glad it did. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The author time hops between the past and current time as the story progresses. I enjoyed learning a great deal about the history of libraries, specifically this particular library in Los Angeles, along with a bit of history regarding librarians. A non-fiction book at its best!
Today we travel to Winnipeg, Canada to chat with Manuel Matas, M.D. about how being a psychiatrist, paranormal experiences, angels, a life-threatening illness, a hippo, photography exhibitions, Touchdown Quiz, time, nature, and a bowler hat wearing giraffe come together as part of Manuel’s current and past life.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a psychiatrist, author, portrait artist, photographer, and public speaker. I currently live in Winnipeg, Canada. I have also lived in Toronto and Montreal.
My book, The Borders of Normal: A Clinical Psychiatrist De-Stigmatizes Paranormal Phenomena, was a Whistler Independent Book Awards Finalist and an Amazon #1 Best Seller in two genres – Parapsychology and Unexplained Mysteries.
I have had many paranormal experiences, including out-of-body and near-death-experiences, visions from message-bearing apparitions, and precognitive (prophetic) dreams. I share these experiences in my book, along with an exploration and discussion of extra-sensory perception (ESP), telepathy, premonitions, predestination, channeled art and science, and mediums, using a mind-body/spirit paradigm. I also explore the spiritual, philosophical, cultural, and historical aspects of these phenomena.
Many people who have these experiences don’t talk about them, even to their doctors or their closest friends, because they are afraid they are losing their minds. My intention in writing The Borders of Normal was to de-stigmatize and normalize these phenomena and to encourage people to share their own paranormal experiences.
What ignited your author’s flame?
Over the years I have written many articles, poems, essays, and letters-to-the-editor (over 200 letters published by The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper). Although I had many paranormal experiences, I mostly kept them to myself. Everything changed after I saw the angels at my father’s funeral. That was too much for me to keep to myself. Working full-time and raising a family, I didn’t have much time to write, but a life-threatening illness, from which I have now fully recovered, allowed me the time to start writing my book.
What would you choose as your spirit animal?
Oddly enough, I would choose the hippo, because I had a dream about a hippo emerging from the mud and I thought that was a good metaphor for my writing career. I couldn’t actually see the outline of the hippo until he shook off the mud.
What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading The Overstory, by Richard Powers. It won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The genre is Environmental Fiction. I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s a series of intertwining stories which all are based on the author’s love of and deep respect for trees.
What do you do when you are not writing or marketing your books?
I worked in my profession as a medical doctor and psychiatrist for 42 years. Now that I am retired, in addition to writing, I spend time with my family (mostly on Zoom during the pandemic), reading, drawing, painting, walking, and photography. I am an Elected Member of the Portrait Society of Canada. I have had two solo photography exhibitions.
Do you have an interesting childhood story?
I made my television debut at age 15. I was representing my high school, along with three other students from my school, in a TV quiz show called Touchdown Quiz. We won the grand prize, which was a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica for the school library, and $300 for each student on the winning team.
What is the last movie I watched and why did I choose to watch it?
Two Distant Strangers is a 2020 American short film written by Travon Free and directed by Free and Martin Desmond Roe. It was nominated for a 2021 Academy Award for Best Short Film (Live Action). I was interested in watching it because of the subject matter and because it was nominated for an Academy Award. It is about a pressing social issue – the repeated killing of young, unarmed, Black men by white police officers – and the story is presented in time loops, which I am very interested in. In fact, the nature of time is the subject of my next book.
A giraffe knocks on your door wearing a bowler hat. What does he say and why is he there?
Top of the morning
Tip of the hat
The Beauty of Nature
Is where it’s at.
He is there to remind us of the healing power of the beauty of nature.
Do I think things happen for a reason? Do you have an example?
Yes. Many years ago, a poem popped into my head and I had no idea what it meant but I always remembered it. About three decades later, while watching the movie Arrival, the meaning became clear. Sometimes things happen and we don’t know why but if we maintain the long view we can eventually understand why it happened.
What are you currently working on?
My next book is on the nature of time. What is time? Time is a mental construct. The word “time” is derived from an Indo-European root which means “to divide.” We divide time into hours, minutes, and seconds. Time divides us against each other, against Nature, and against our true selves.
It was wonderful having you be a part of MTA, Manuel! Your current book and your upcoming book sound interesting. And I completely agree with your giraffe friend, nature is a powerful healer. Wishing you all the best! – Camilla
Where to find the book:
It is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters/ Indigo, FriesenPress Bookstore, Banyen Books in Vancouver. E-books are available from Kindle, Google Play, Nook, Kobo, and the iTunes Bookstore.
Today we travel to Ventura, California to chat with Kac Young, PhD about how meditation, traveling, John O’Donohue, flying private airplanes, Irish whiskey, a handyman, and New York City come together as part of Kac’s current and past life.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an author of 25 books, and also a licensed Religious Science Minister, a Certified Archetypal Therapist and Counselor; a Certified Meditation Teacher; a Career Coach for aspiring actors and directors; and a former pilot of private airplanes. I am a certified Medical Qigong instructor, living in Ventura, CA.
When not writing or teaching, I travel the globe experiencing the energies of international sacred sites and working with advanced masters from many traditions.
In which genre do you write?
I write to the heart and soul. My books are meant to lift people up. There is plenty in the world that drags them down, but I want to be a light in the reader’s life, answer the questions, help them succeed and laugh a lot along the way.
How many published books do you have?
Twenty – five
If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would definitely want to meet John O’Donohue, poet, mystic and author of some of the finest books ever written. His books move and inspire me to live a bigger life, to care deeply for the planet and to know that life is a series of passing seasons and there is wisdom in each drop of rain. Yes, I would drink fine Irish whiskey with him until the wee hours and my cheeks were sore from laughing and my heart was filled with love.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?
In school the nuns told me I was a very bad writer. It scared me for a very long time. What I learned later was that they were unable to separate the writing from the subjects I was writing about. They made me feel I was a bad writer when in fact, I was just writing like a rebel. I am enjoying my new-found freedom from the scourge of little closed minds. Fortunately now, I see it as ancient history.
How do you prepare yourself to discuss your book?
The first thing I do is sequester myself for 10 minutes, meditate and release the pressures of the day. I spend the next few minutes going over my book to refresh my mind. I randomly flip through the book and stop on a page. I read what it has to say and that will be the guide for my workshop, interview or presentation. I would say the faeries are in charge at that point.
What do you miss about being a kid?
Nothing, I’m still one at heart!
What actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life, and why?
I would definitely want Rachel Brosnahan to play me. She would look great as a redhead and she has the femininity and bravery to play me and my wild courageous life. I flew a plane at 15 and got my pilot’s license at 16. Of course she could play me! She’s got the chops. (The Marvelous Mrs. Mazel.)
List 3 interesting facts about yourself.
Pilot, Minister, TV Producer
How handy are you when it comes to fixing things?
I can fix most things. My father taught me to be independent, to take care of myself, to have an equal measure of taking care of myself and of helping others. My tool collection is wide and filled with gadgets ranging from plumbing to electrical parts and everything in between. I can rewire a circuit, fix a clogged sink and install a toilet. When I was 12, I asked for a power drill for Christmas. Thereafter, I received tools for my birthday and Christmas. I graduated college with enough equipment to open a handy service. When my father passed away, my mother saved every tool for me. You have a door that sticks? Give me a minute and I’ll be right there!
One story I remember from my twenties is that a guy asked me out to dinner and said he was waiting for some handyman to install a broken lock on his door. It got later and later and he said he might have to cancel because the guy hadn’t arrived. I told him no problem. I’d come over and have it done right away. His parents happened to be visiting. I packed up my tools, drove to his house, fixed the problem while they all stared at me. A few twists and turns and I had it working. Done! Okay then, all I had to do was wash my hands and I was ready to go. His parents were astounded. They asked him after the date, “Did you ask her to marry you?” He said he hadn’t. His mother smacked him upside the head, “What’s the matter with you…she’s worth her weight in tools!” His parents never forgot the little redhead in high heels who could fix anything in a flash.
What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?
New York City, the place of my birth, is stirring, invigorating, leveling, extraordinary, inspiring, teeming with opportunities and the most exciting American city on earth.
It was wonderful to learn more about you and have you on MTA, Kac!! Here’s to the Faery Life! Wishing you much joy and success! – Camilla
Where to find Kac’s most recent book:
My recent book is Living the Faery Life. You can find it where most books are sold, at Amazon and other online booksellers.
Kac Young has been a producer, writer and director in the Hollywood television industry for over 25 years. Kac has also earned a PhD in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy. She completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University. Clients come to her for advice on health, nutrition and spiritual wellbeing. Using her third Doctorate degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy, she helps people manage weight control, smoking cessation, behavior modification, stress reduction, past-life regression, and phobia management. She teaches workshops and classes in Metaphysics including, Crystal Healing, Essential Oils, Bach Flowers, Pendulum energy, Moon Energies, Feng Shui and practical classes in healthy eating and finding the perfect partner.
She is the author of 24 books.
“Crystal Power, 12 Essential Crystals for Health and Healing,” “Essential Oils for Beginners,”, “The Healing Art of Essential Oils,” “The Art of Healing with Crystals,” “The One Minute Cat Manager,” “The Enlightened Person’s Guide to Raising a Dog,” “Heart Easy, The Food Lover’s Guide to Heart Healthy Eating,” “Discover Your Spiritual Genius,” “Feng Shui the Easy Way,” “Dancing with the Moon,” “21 Days to the Love of Your Life,” “Gold Mind,” “Cheese Dome Power,” The Path to Fabulous,” “The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies,” “Chart Your Course, and “Supreme Healing.” She also creates the annual Essential Oils wall calendar for Llewellyn Books, and has written two novels.
Her entertainment credits include General Hospital, The Showtime Comedy Club Network, Politically Incorrect, Circus of The Stars, The People’s Choice Awards, The Golden Globe Awards, The Genesis Awards, and several dozen talk, dramatic, variety and entertainment specials with Hollywood’s biggest stars. Most recently she was Vice President of Television Production and Development for Universal Studios Hollywood and has also served on the boards of The Director’s Guild of America and Women in Film. She won an Iris Award for her work as producer of “Mama” and a Golden Acorn Award for “Cleaning Up Your Act.”
What We Talk About When We Talk About Books by Leah Price
Incredibly interesting book that skims the history of books, including shifting opinions of books throughout the years. My favorite sections of the book were the last two chapters, covering “prescribed reading”, bibliotherapy, and the many uses of books in group settings. Bibliophiles will most likely enjoy this book!
The first book I’ve read by Audre Lorde, and I plan on reading more of her writings. Originally published in 1984, the book touches on racism, being Black and how that intersects with feminism and lesbianism. I found the writings to be incredibly informative.
Quotes from the book: “I give the most strength to my children by being willing to look within myself, and by being honest with them about what I find there, without expecting a response beyond their years. In this way they begin to learn to look beyond their own fears.”
“We can sit in our corners mute forever while our sister and our selves are wasted, while our children are distorted and destroyed, while our earth is poisoned; we can sit in our safe corners mute as bottles, and we will still be no less afraid.”
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
This is my third time reading this book. I think I first read it in 2016 or 2017, found during a volunteer session at the library while pulling holds. It’s just such a calming, fascinating story that also taught me much about snails. Thomas and Lillian both love this book too. They read it the first time around. Simply a beautiful book and story.
**Throwback to 2015** – From the time Thomas and Lillian were born (2005 and 2001) I read to them nightly before going to bed; leading to some time in 2017 when we all decided to discontinue doing so. Their tastes in what interested each of them had solidified by this point. We all continue to be heavy readers, reading daily.
A Pebble for Your Pocket – Mindful Stories for Children and Grown-ups by Thich Nhat Hanh
August 2015: Ask for help and you shall receive …
My son, Thomas (10 years old at the time) got angry the other night and it was spilling out of him in unkind ways. He asked me for help in getting past the moment and was not liking anything I suggested.
It was time for our nightly reading and “A Pebble for Your Pocket” is what we are currently reading. I opened to where we had stopped the night before and this is where we were to begin again, “When We Are Angry”.
Thomas stopped me after reading the title and halfway through the first sentence and said that I had chosen that on purpose. “No, Thomas, I did not. This is where we stopped last night. You asked for help and here it is.”
I felt his energy shift just from hearing this. He was glued to the entire section.
November 2020: This is a wonderful book for all ages. I’ve read it once or twice since this reading in 2015. It’s easy to read, with practical suggestions that work to help with a mindfulness practice.
Today we travel to San Francisco to chat with Kate Farrell about how using storytelling as a teaching tool, Scholastic, memoir anthologies, walking, meditating, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, motherhood, and telling stories from the heart come together as part of Kate’s current and past life.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was a storyteller at an early age. By age ten, I’d tacked signs on telephone poles in my neighborhood, announcing my fairytale play. As a first year teacher, I stumbled on storytelling as the best way to teach literature to inner city kids. By 1970, I’d honed the skill as a new librarian, and in the 1980s, funded and trained teachers in a CA state-wide storytelling project—and published educational materials on the art with big name publishers, like Scholastic and Highlights for Children.
In the ever-evolving world of storytelling, I understood by 2005, that personal narrative was the new folklore—so, I wrote and edited memoir anthologies. My work is a bridge in storytelling: from traditional folklore to authentic, personal tales. I live in downtown San Francisco.
In which genre do you write?
Personal narrative, and how-to tell stories of personal narratives.
How many published books do you have?
What does your ideal writing space look like?
Small, but with a view of the sky and changing weather
Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?
The idea for Story Power came from a how-to book I published exactly 40 years ago.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
Reading, walking, meditating, Zooming with family and friends
What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene or plot or to help you remember something if writing a memoir?
Visited a small town along the Mississippi Gulf Coast that no longer exists, swept away by hurricanes Camille and Katrina. I directed my friend who had offered to take me there from New Orleans to drive around in circles until we found the one, single building that had survived: the county bank, a stone, two-story, antique building, possibly with a steel vault in the basement. Once I discovered that one remaining relic, I knew I was not insane: there had been a town here. We’d lived right across the street from that bank in the French colonial town of Pass Christian.
I grew up in the Jackson, Mississippi area, with many holidays spent on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. My maternal grandmother lived in Gulfport when I was very young. Found memories … thanks for stirring them up! – Camilla
What is the most amusing, crazy or inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?
Motherhood! I gave birth to a strapping baby boy when I was 40 years old and found myself with a handful: an active baby, precocious both mentally and physically. I had to watch him every minute or he’d climb out the window. He barely slept; was curious; loved books and storytelling. His dark brown, almost black eyes were filled with joy and enthusiasm for life. Such a miracle, strong and brilliant! He’s now on a motorcycle tour of the Ecuadorian Andes and will soon return. At home in the world, he has given me joy in his feats, and the courage to accomplish success on my own.
You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What do you do to prepare yourself?
Since I am a storyteller, I don’t read from my book, Story Power, I tell stories by heart. Lately I like to practice with Zoom, record, and playback. In that way, I can watch for gestures, eye contact, pacing, and when to pause.
How do you prepare yourself to discuss your book?
My book, Story Power, has nine themes, suggested types of personal stories that are often popular. I choose one or two themes, and prepare to tell a summarized version of a story and discuss its value. For general discussion and talking points, I will often record these on my phone and listen to them before the event.
What are you currently working on?
I’m writing my own full-length memoir, calling it ONCE: MEMOIR OF A STORYTELLER.
At this stage in your life, what advice would your young self give to your more mature self?
To believe that my ability and enjoyment of solitude is my greatest strength and solace, from childhood to old age.
It was wonderful learning more about you, Kate! And, a pleasure to have you on MTA. I plan on adding your book to my ‘to be read’ list. Wishing you all the best! – Camilla
Reconnect Through Stories. Stories are everywhere. The art of storytelling has been around as long as humans have. And in today’s noisy, techie, automated world, storytelling is not only prevalent—it’s vital. Whether you’re interested in enlivening conversation, building your business brand, sharing family wisdom, or performing on stage, Story Power will show you how to make use of a good story.
This is my first book to read by James Baldwin, and it won’t be my last. Such a powerful book about the consequences of racial injustice. I found Baldwin’s words meaningful on many different levels. Written in 1962, in the early days of the civil rights movement .. Here’s a quote from the book that really resonated with me:
“White people in this country will have quite enough to do in learning how to accept and love themselves and each other, and when they have achieved this — which will not be tomorrow and may very well be never — the Negro problem will no longer exist, for it will no longer be needed.” – James Baldwin
Too Much and Never Enough – How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump, PH.D.
A must read, revealing book. Served as confirmation for what I have observed, and deduced, on my own, and what I intuitively felt from the energy that exudes from this man. So far, she’s been the only family member willing to come forward and tell the truth about this dysfunctional family and man.