Life in the First Draft

Thank you, Judi for this article and for being our inspiration.  I enjoyed being part of Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths.

I love your article, Judi!  I keep notes, too, all the time.  The only difference is that my files aren't alphabetized like yours.  So, if it's alright by you, I will 'borrow' that idea from you.

Songwriters also keep notes.  We keep titles and ideas, lines we hear in conversations in restaurants or elevators, any idea, any word, photo or visual, anything at all that might be useful to us someday in the future.  That's why we end up with files full of little pieces of paper.

Every so often I go through the notes and put them into my computer onto a list of ideas.  I have been keeping ideas on the computer since 1990.

Unfortunately, the first computer I put them on was old and I saved all my files on a floppy disk, which later I couldn't read on the newer computers.

I like the idea of 'stand alone' chapters or stories, too.  I am discovering that more and more as I write.

In my office I have my sculptures on pedestals and I brought my grand piano in, also.  This way, if I get an idea for a song I can just walk over and play it.

I love to have everything nearby so I can go from one thing to another.  My artwork, music and writing all feed each other, even my dreams.  I have written several songs from ideas in my dreams.

Even my sculptures have inspired my dreams or visa versa.  During the process of sculpting my Egyptian Princess I wrote down my dream one morning and it was eight pages long!  It was the story of her and her brother and it started when they were children.

So, yes, I agree, keep those ideas and return to them often.

Thank you, Judi

Sandy Kastel, Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths 'Detours'

Sandy Kastel Blog: BrooWaHa

Sandy Kastel Blog: BrooWaHa 03 18 10

Judi Moreo has been a mentor in my life for a long time.  Her ‘You Are More Than Enough’ philosophy continues to be an inspiration for me and for others who are fortunate enough to have worked with her.

Judi has a talent for bringing out the best in people and helping them break through the barriers and negative voices that keep them from realizing their true potential.

When Judi asked me to submit a story for Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths, I was in the final stages of finishing my new album Indiana Rain and had several projects in various stages of completion, including two books of my own.

I knew in my heart what I wanted to write about and the series of events that occurred in the following months helped focus in on how to approach my subject.

By taking the time out from my other projects to write my story I discovered a new perspective.  The process helped me see my story in different way and then it suddenly came into view.  In fact, once I started writing I couldn't stop.

The act of writing a single chapter for another book turned into a writing frenzy for me, which opened my eyes and not only helped me find a voice as an author, but it led to the writing of another song that was added to my album.

It has been a rewarding experience and an honor to come together with Judi and on this incredible journey with a group of authors to share our stories. I have enjoyed being part of ‘Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths'.

Sandy Kastel, Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths ‘Detours’

Sandy Kastel Author Life Choices Book

Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths
The Strength of Women-Book

We all have challenges in our lives. Sometimes we don’t see them coming. Sometimes we invite them in. Some are bigger than others. Sometimes they come one right behind the other. Sometimes they show up all at once. Sometimes we have to make a choice in how we deal with these challenges.

This empowering collection of stories reminds us that we all have choices, and the choices we make are what determine the course of our lives. The authors of these stories are real people who have reached into the depths of their souls to share their inspiring journeys when navigating the difficult paths of their lives. These extraordinary people have persevered against the odds and made choices that enabled them to achieve successful lives. Through their experiences, we can find many important lessons to help us avoid wrong turns and blind alleys. Their stories show us that we can overcome our challenges and live more satisfying, passion filled lives.

"We live. We love. We explore. Our hearts are broken only to be mended again. We are devastated by life's tragedies and yet we survive."

Sandy Kastel, Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths 'Detours'

Messages of Hope from 26 Inspirational Authors

If you feel “stuck” in a situation that appears to be beyond your control, these stories will show you how others have coped with crisis and uncertainty, made tough choices and positive changes in order to find deeper meaning and satisfaction in their relationships and learned to live with purpose every day. Rarely do we find a book that addresses so many different challenges. Life Choices does this in a powerful and inspiring way. This book is about experiences, the people who lived them, and how they created successful lives. From values and self-fulfillment to legacy, this book offers new resources for people who have tough choices to make every day.

Filled with wisdom and love, this book is a soothing companion for anyone searching for the courage to make a choice to change his or her circumstances. These authors and their stories prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that success belongs to everyone, no matter where they come from or what has happened to them. They are living proof that miracles can and do happen. You can be one of these people. You can navigate through difficult times and find your pathway to the life you choose to lead. Put the strength of others to work for you. Courage is not the absence of fear or pain. Courage is taking the steps to move through it.


"This book is about ordinary people succeeding in extraordinary ways, turning tragedy into triumph, seizing the opportunity before it ceases to be one, getting up one more time than you fall. It is filled with creative ideas, strategy and inspiration in the form of life stories that just may strengthen your own resolve to follow the path of ‘Conquistador."

- Doc Blakely, CSP, CPAE, Hall of Fame Professional Speaker
"Life Choices is a superb compilation of tales from people who overcame adversity and took control of their lives. The heartfelt stories prove once again what we can accomplish with prayer and a steadfast attitude to never give up."

- Peter Fogel, Speaker, Copywriter, Author
If Not Now... Then When? Stories and Strategies of People Over 40 Who Have Successfully Reinvented Themselves
"The choices you made and the choices you didn’t have brought you to this point. Since our lives truly are what our choices make them, we have a vital interest in making better choices. Let the compelling stories in this book expand your awareness and help you choose the right path for your life."

- Jim Cathcart, Founder, host of,
Author of fifteen books, including: The Acorn Principle
"These stories will fill a void of despair with the light of the lives that surround it. Stories of strength, courage and endless faith. Do not pass go; go directly to the cashier and buy it."

- Manuel Diotte, Motivational Teacher and Author
Happiness Is A Pair of Shorts
"The choices we make along life’s journey can either strengthen or weaken our inner foundations in which all character is built. This book gives first hand accounts of how we are all capable of making those choices that fortify our inner foundations, making way for a fortress of character. I recommend it to all who want to know how to transform “every” life experience into the building tools for such worth while construction projects."

- John Michael Stuart, MSW, Author, Perfect Circles: Redefining Perfection
"This book draws from human experience that is alternately beautiful, miraculous and uplifting ~ and often all three at once. If you have ever asked yourself can I do this ~ and doubted that you could ~ you must read this book. The people here are real; their stories will answer your question with clarity and force: yes you can!"

- Gail Cohen, Author, Thinking Outside The Lines, How To Reach Your Personal Best
"WOW! What an awesome reminder of the unseen, quintessential power living inside us! Thank you for sharing your life changing stories with us—it is warm, true and inspirational. It has given me the courage to embrace my “weakness” and my story...for it has made me realize that actually it is my strength!! Life is a Gift! And we get to unwrap it every day—if we choose to...Please choose to!!"

- Marisa Wollheim, Director, Hospice in the West, Krugersdorp, South Africa
"After reading the stories in “Life Choices” I was uplifted and encouraged. We all have challenges and circumstances in life that are overwhelming. However, we all have the ability to overcome the seemingly impossible of circumstances. By reading these stories you’ll be reminded of the inner strength we all possess and have the courage to evaluate your current situation and make a choice to follow the life you were meant to have."

- Peggy S. Vasquez, Certified Executive Administrative Professional (CEAP), Executive Assistant to the Laboratory Director, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
"At a time in our country when bleakness is prevalent, how uplifting to have a book which shares positive turning points in people’s lives. A most worthwhile read."

- Jack Sheehan, Author Quiet Kingmaker of Las Vegas; The Class of ’47; Skin City
"In strange and uncertain times, such as those we now live in, you will find hope and encouragement in this wonderful book."

- Patricia Fripp, Past President, National Speakers Association, Author, Get What You Want
"So many of us have had situations that befall us and need to take comfort from the stories of others. Life Choices is a comfort and source of support for anyone facing a challenge."

- Susan RoAne - Keynote speaker, Author of Face To Face: How To Reclaim The Personal Touch in A Digital World


Update from Sandy

There's so much that's been going on and I've had so little time to share it with all of you.  

This summer has flown by with preparations for my upcoming cd, a book in the works, family plans and surprises.  Where do I start?  

I guess I will work backward.  

Last week I was in Nashville recording at Sound Stage Studios.  Their team was great.

The first session was produced by Jimmy Haslip and Jeff Lorber.

We had Shannon Forrest on Drums, Jimmy Haslip on Bass, Troy Lancaster on Guitar, Jeff Lorber on Keyboards, Charles Judge on Piano/Keyboards and Dan Dugmore on Pedal Steel & Mandolin

The following day Ron Aniello produced more songs.  

The musicians included Shannon Forrest on Drums,  Craig Young on Bass, Troy Lancaster on Guitar, Charles Judge on Piano/Keyboards, Dan Dugmore on Pedal Steel, Mandolin & Dobro with John on Fiddle & Cello.

The engineer on both sessions was David Thoener and he was assisted by Sound Stage Studio's Brad Winters.

Next week I go back in the studio to record my vocals.  I'm looking forward to finishing these songs for my new cd.  It's been over a year ago that we began selecting songs and making preparations.  By January we should be ready to release my first single.

During this process I have teamed up with Ronny Vance out of Boston and am writing a book about my experiences in music and life.


Sandy Kastel & Friends Featured Artists



Albanian by decent and born in former Yugoslavia, Jole an award winning artist in his own right studied under internationally acclaimed abstract artist “Radovan Lale Djuric”.

Jole, left Yugoslavia in 1969 and traveled to Europe visiting Rome, Florence and Venice studying for 1 year with many of the famous artist of that period.

Las Vegas proved to be the birth place of a new style of abstract expression by Jole. Lale saw his new works and was surprised that he had found this unique style of abstract in the desert. Jole is known for his vibrant colors, generating excitement, mystery and passion.

“I express myself best on a large canvas, when the canvas starts to talk to me, I answer with my brush”.

For More Information On Purchasing Art Or Upcoming Shows Call ( 917-734-9421 )This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

JOLE: Abstract  Impressionistic  Artist,
Media: Oil On Canvas:
Artist Jole: is one of today’s most collectable artist, known for his large canvases of Abstract Impressionistic Paintings, His painting sets ones eye in motion, searching, seeking and observing.  It takes a keen eye to find the subtle images, messages, and mystery which can be found in Jole’s Explosive Colors of Nature. His works reminds one of the famous Artist Monet.
 About the Artist  Jole:   Winning  his first kids art show at the age of 9 Jole captured an excellent portrait of President Kennedy and, continued winning more awards for landscapes, portraits and abstracts. In his teens he became a famous soccer player in his town believing that was his destiny, little did he know that art had already captured his soul and that one day he would become a famous Artist known for his Abstract Impressionistic Art.
Jole was Born in Yugoslavia, Albanian decent. His studies in Art began at a Local Art School in former Yugoslavia
He left Yugoslavia in1969 moving to Rome where he studied with many famous artist, in Florence and Venice, spending long hours in Europe visiting numerous museums and working with some of the best abstract impressionistic artist for 2 years.
Jole moved to the United Stated and made New York City his home for many years where he spent countless hours creating and learning new techniques, becoming a true Master of Abstract Impressionistic Art.  As Jole’s demands for his painting grew so did his creative eye capturing Explosive Vibrant Colors of Nature.
Gallery Exhibitions  Lale’s Space, Radwill Gallery, RdJ Gallery, and Lale’s Studio New York.
In 2000 Jole came to Las Vegas with the idea of retiring from painting not realizing that he would be starting a new explosive style of impressionistic art capturing the essence and beauty of the desert. In 2006 he made Las Vegas his permanent residence.
Artist Quote: I express myself best on a large canvas, refusing to give my paintings names allowing each person to see something different. I start the dialogue with my painting by saying, “You will be different” I then proceed to dress them in their finest clothing. My paintings are complete when my canvas says, “it is done”. This is my moment of detachment. I feel complimented when my client asks, “What is it?”




New Album Coming!

We are in the final stages of preparations for the release of my new cd entitled INDIANA RAIN, coming out in 2010!  I've had the great fortune of working with some of the finest talent in our industry. Ron Aniello, Jimmy Haslip, Jeff Lorber and Pat Coil. This past year has been spent writing songs and recording in studios with great musicians from L.A. to Nashville.

Red Hot Redheads - July 26th 7PM!

"Hot Summerlin Nights" PRESENTS "Red Hot RedHeads"
Featuring Las Vegas Entertainers
Sunday, July 26th at 7pm

Cabaret Performer ~ Susan Haller
Singer ~ Dolly Coulter
Jazz Singer ~ Diane Ellis
Jazz Piano ~ Joe Darro

Episcopal Church in Summerlin
"The Church that Supports the Arts"
2004 Spring Gate Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89134 [GOOGLE MAP IT]
Suggested Donation $10

Sandy Time

Thought you might get a kick out of this.  Maybe it will bring a smile to your face as you start your day....

Written by
Sandy Kastel
When asked by her architect “What are you doing up so early?”  This is what she replied.

“It was already 6 am in Las Vegas when I got out of bed here in Indiana!  But I 'woke' up first with Harold at 6:30 am when the alarm went off for him to get up and go play in a golf tournament (which is 3:30 am L.V. time).
It's not so much the getting up when the alarm goes off.  It's that Harold keeps all the window coverings closed so that I don't 'see' the sun rising as the day begins. Plus I like to take my time 'waking' up even if I start early.
I like to gradually 'rise' and do my routine, like writing my dreams, drinking my hot water with lemons, checking emails, etc. before I am ready to 'face' anyone else. Otherwise it throws me off.  Waking up to the world is a process for me.
Of course, I still have a challenge getting out of the house, especially when I get creative or involved in a project, because the time just slips by and before I know it, hours have passed and it is time to 'be somewhere else’.

Read more ...

Red Hot Redheads

"Hot Summerlin Nights" PRESENTS "Red Hot RedHeads"
Featuring Las Vegas Entertainers
Sunday, July 26th at 7:00 pm

Recording Artist ~ Sandy Kastel
Cabaret Performer ~ Susan Haller
Jazz Singer ~ Diane Ellis
Jazz Piano ~ Joe Darro

Episcopal Church in Summerlin
"The Church that Supports the Arts"
2004 Spring Gate Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89134 [GOOGLE MAP IT]
Suggested Donation $10