If you want to get something done, ask a busy person

I have often heard that people who are not busy already won’t likely take on a new project. I have taken on so many that I sometimes have to say “No” now.

However, because I stay so busy I do get a lot accomplished. It’s kinda like the medication commercial which says “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.”

I have been terribly rushed lately trying to get everything accomplished that I need to before vacation. But, I still joined a new group on Linked-In today called Books and Writers. I find it really interesting, though I won’t be able to devote as much time to it as I would like. When I get responses to my posts, I will try to check them out.

In the meantime I am remaining very busy!

Check out our books at http://stclairpublications.com .

Does everything happen for a reason?

Last weekend Rhonda and I went to North Carolina for a much anticipated High School Graduation Class Reunion. We arrived at our reserved motel on Friday evening, and I settled in with a book of the county history from the motel office. As I gazed at it, my eyes suddenly began to cross and I was seeing double. I started to rise and felt dizzy. I lay down, thinking the problem would soon go away. I had had short episodes with this in the past.

Soon I felt some better and decided that a good night’s sleep was all I needed. At 4:00 AM I awakened to find that the symptoms had intensified. I asked Rhonda to drive me to the ER of the local hospital. Once there, they began immediately to treat me for vertigo. The nurse assured me I would be well and on my way to the reunion that evening. Not so. After hours of failing to improve and even after IVs with more meds, they decided they wanted an MRI, but had no tech on duty, so they called the larger city, Asheville, for permission to transport me there. Rhonda followed the speeding ambulance, almost losing them at times.

Late that evening they told me the MRI was normal, and that some cases of inner ear problems are slower to go away. I had not been able to eat all day, and finally at about 8:00 they brought me a box lunch. At 9:00 I was dismissed, as my symptoms were improving. So much for my reunion. Rhonda had been in touch by phone with one of my classmates who relayed my situation to the class. I had been scheduled to speak, and one of my books was given by our class president as a door prize.

I was really surprised by the outpouring of well wishes I have received over the past week. One of my best friends in elementary school called and told me of the rush of memories he had felt while reading Beyond the Thistle Patch, my book of childhood memoirs which I had dedicated to our class. We talked for quite some time. Several called, while others emailed. One, female classmate who is now a doctor, sent a card signed members of the church she attends.

“That must be why that happened,” Rhonda told me yesterday. “It brought you closer to some of your classmates than if you had been there.”

I don’t know about that diagnosis, but it may be right. I might not have realized how much some cared. It’s just good to see that after 50 years, the bonds still hold.

Meanwhile check out stclairpublications.com or see our books on Amazon.

Busier than a one-armed paper hanger

One of the cliches in my popular book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions is “Busier than a one-armed paper hanger. The entry reads like this:

Busier than a one-armed paper hanger

This humorous analogy has been in common use in the U.S. since at least the early twentieth century. Sometimes it is expanded to say, ‘with hives’ or ‘on a windy day.’ The meaning is clear, too busy for one’s own good. Despite the fact that someone who writes useless checks is also known as a ‘paper hanger,’ this applies to the obvious—hanging wallpaper—a task which requires both hands to perform properly.

An early example is found in St. Nicholas, an illustrated magazine for boys and girls, Volume 45, Part 2 by Mary Maples Dodge, in a section called Daddy Pat’s Letters from the Front, 1919:

“Daddy has been busier than a one-armed paper-hanger, and it has been awful hard to find time to write.” 

Well, as of late it seems that I have been about that busy, and unable to “get my head together” to do regular entries.

I am currently working on three books from three different authors and expecting more. Add to that other obligations what is coming up like a class reunion in North Carolina, and vacation and research in New England for the book series, Exploring Our Exciting World, well…this is going to get worse. Then I will be having surgery and be incapacitated for several weeks. Oh well, that’s life, and I enjoy mine immensely.

In the meantime, visit our website at http://stclairpublications.com and order a great book. You can also find them at all Amazon sites around the world, or order them from your favorite book retailer.

My best to all!.


RC Cola and a Moon Pie

In the South, an RC Cola and a Moon Pie have traditionally gone together like a sausage and biscuit. Every year about this time, in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, a typical old Southern village in Bedford County, throws what they call the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival. Today it’s happening with a parade at 11:00 and a lot of vendors with everything from crafts to art and music. And our governor, Bill Haslam is attending. There’s a Saturday live radio show in the family style Bell Buckle Cafe. But the temps are in the 90s and there is always a crowd in the thousands.

I love Bell Buckle, and we go at least once or twice every summer just to shop the quaint craft and antique shops and grab a tasty meal and possibly an ice cream.  I’ve also been known to go for a Moon Pie and an RC Cola on occasions.

My upcoming book will be the first in a long series of volumes scheduled to be released titled Exploring Our Exciting World. This one will be about the Southeast US, and Bell Buckle will be just one in a bushel basket full of fine locations to visit. These books will be unique in that they feature best attractions to visit in each area including festivals, sports events, National and State Parks, Historic Landmarks, and Amusement Parks plus Institutions of Higher Learning. But another unusual feature will be that a lot of it will be from personal experience, and each book will have contributions from others. The first book is scheduled for release in October, 2014. 

For other great books see stclairpublications.com.

Father’s Day and Bonnaroo

Yesterday was one of my favorite days…being a proud father, and all. I got taken out to lunch and given a beautiful card by my lovely wife; I received five phone calls, one text and two facebook messages from family and a number of ‘Happy Father’s Day’ wishes from friends.

My oldest son, who lives in Colorado, talked to me at length and told me about his adventuresome day of ‘firsts’. He went mountain bike riding, went to see a 3-D movie, and saw the new Corvette Stingrays, Of course he heard from his kids, too.

This morning, just down the road from here, tens of thousands are exiting Bonnaroo.  This year it featured such entertainers an Lionel Richie, Elton John and Kanye  West, who brought along his new bride, Kim Kardashian. Our local newspaper had an article with the heading Kanye West brings sharp tongue to Bonnaroo. I don’t know about that, because I was too busy doing family things and stuff that I felt counted for something.

Now another week of doing what I love: making sure that the public has the best possible new books to read and study. For more ‘good stuff’ see http://stclairpublications.com.   

Weekend of non-stop entertainment

This has been, and continues to be, one of the most entertainment-filled weekends that the music, sports and acting-loving public could ever expect.

Locally, here in Middle Tennessee, while thousands prepare for Bonnaroo, the four-day camping music festival on the 700 acre farm down the road just a few miles from my home, featuring some of the top names in pop and rock in the world,  CMA Fest and Fanfare in nearby Nashville with the superstars of ever popular country music is in full swing.

Then in New York, yesterday evening, the running of the Belmont Stakes, which, to the disappointment of millions (especially those who had $9 million bet on California Chrome), failed again to produce a triple-crown winner. His owners are steaming because of the ‘unfair’ standards with ‘fresh horses’ competing. (I was on the edge of my seat during this one)

For days the French Open Tennis match has been running full speed, and there were the Finals for the Stanley Cup in tennis, and two major auto races revving up today, plus the NBA Playoffs between Miami and San Antonio.

In addition to all of that. we have the Miss U.S.A. competition tonight at the Bayou in Baton Rouge and the Tony Awards live from Radio City Music Hall in NYC.

Whew! I’m out of breath thinking about it all.

After it’s all over, it will be time to order a good St. Clair Publications book from http://stclairpublications.com or off of Amazon and relax by the pool or in your favorite easy chair. There are several good ones which won’t put you to sleep, but will still keep you entertained. Our motto is “Small enough to listen to the author, large enough to reach the world!”


I’m rooting for California Chrome

In 1978, Affirmed was the last horse to take the triple crown. Before that, in 1973, Secretariat was the first to accomplished this coveted feat in 25 years.

Since 1978, 12 horses have won the first two rounds and fallen short of winning the third leg..

I guess the reason I’m so up on California Chrome is the fact that he was purchased as a colt by co-owners Coburn and Martin for only $10,000, when many champions go for millions. Also, his trainer is 77 years old. I like fantastic success stories. This colt was an unlikely winner, and now has taken 6 straight races and is in good form to take it all.

Although I’m not an avid horse fan, I’ve been to a race at Kentucky Downs and it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill. I’ve also been to Kentucky Horse Park at Lexington and seen the Thoroughbreds up close.

Kudos to jockey Victor Espinoza! Though he is a celebrated winner, the whole enchilada had to work together to get California Chrome to where he is today. With the Belmont Stakes three weeks away, my hat’s off to him and I offer my fondest wish for a thrilling finish for a deserving team.


Angus Buchan, an unusual man in today’s world

This morning I went for a ‘meet and greet’ with Angus Buchan.

A lot of folks would be overwhelmed or turned off at his overly direct, lay-it-all-out style. No matter what you think may of him, he is truly an unusual man by today’s standards. But he is for real, not a put-on. I really enjoyed meeting him and getting to know the real person behind the legend.

The following is from Wikipedia:

Angus Buchan was originally a Zambian maize and cattle farmer of Scottish descent[1] who started farming in Zambia but was forced to sell everything and move to GreytownKwaZulu-NatalSouth Africa in 1976 due to political unrest in Zambia.

In 1980 he started the Shalom Ministries to preach in his local community. Over time he has become a full time evangelist while the farm is now being run mostly by both his sons.

In 1998 Angus wrote a book about his life, Faith Like Potatoes, the book was turned into a film of the same title in 2006. Angus Buchan’s Ordinary People is a 2012 semi-biographical film that tells the story of the growth of Buchan’s ministry from the 1970s to the present, and that of three fictional characters whose lives are changed after attending one of his conferences.

About criticism: “Not one cent goes to Angus. He lives in the same wattle and daub house that he built on his farm. He drives the same old car. He doesn’t even have medical aid.” said Bruce Winship.


The serenity prayer – Living at peace

In my 2006 book entitled “Prayers of Prophets, Knights and Kings,” I included versions of the mysterious “Serenity Prayer.” The longest version is attributed to American theologian, Reinhhold Neibuhr, said to have been written about 1926. The basic prayer, however, is much older. In 1957 it was printed in the Methodist Devotional, The Upper Room with the title, A Soldier’s Prayer from the 14th Century. It was reprinted from an out-of print book by Fredrick Ward Yates named, Between Dawn and Dark. Here is that version:

“Almighty God, our heavenly father, give us serenity to accept what cannot be changed, courage to change what should be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other.”

Regardless of what version you may have heard or read, the message is the same: There are some things over which we have no control . Those things must be accepted so that we can move on with our lives. Some things we have the ability to change for the better. Those are the only things with which we should concern ourselves.

The news on the television, radio, Internet, and in the newspapers, is constantly negative, and dwelling on those things is a waste of time unless we have it in our power to make a difference. When this is the case, some have stood apart from the pack and dared to be different. I applaud those precious people!

So if you have the ability to right a wrong, God bless you. Do it.

Otherwise, choose to live at peace with yourself and those about you, and only involve yourself in making your life and that of those in your care the best it can be. Spread good tidings and joy.

There are many positive books available through St. Clair Publications. A good number of them are also on Kindle. Go to our website at http://stclairpublications.com. You may obtain books there directly from us. Or you may go on Amazon worldwide. Every day folks like you are doing just that! Godspeed, and have a blessed day.

Sean McComb, a true hero

CBS this morning brought to light a story first published by the Baltimore News Journal on October 12, 2013, when Sean McComb was named Maryland’s Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014.

McComb is an English teacher at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Baltimore County. In the CBS segment, one of his students was interviewed with teary eyes stating what a life-changing experience it had been having Mr. McComb (only 30 years old) as her teacher.

Lillian Lowery, State Superintendent of Schools, stated in October, “Sean personifies the cutting edge Maryland educator.” she further stated, “He is an energetic instructor, making certain his students set goals.”

In his CBS interview, McComb stated, “I teach students, not English….I hope I can make a difference in some lives.”

Sean, you already have. My mother was an educator recognized before I was even born in Who’s Who in North Carolina Education. She was my great hero. She not only made a difference in my life, pushing me on to success, she did the same for countless others, both children and adults.

Here’s to Sean McComb and the many other great teachers who love our youth and encourage them to be all that they can be! You are among America’s and the world’s greatest heroes!