My new motto–and you have my permission to quote me!

One of my social media outlets is Pinterest, though I usually only go there occasionally because of my situations, obligations and physical conditions.

The other day I was re-pinning a post from another user on my GREAT THOUGHTS board and made a statement which was entirely my own, out of my heart. I have chosen to make it my new motto. The statement was: “Strive to be your best even at your lowest point.”

This year I have been on a roller-coaster ride from highs to lows and vice versa. I have truly reached some of my lowest points. The deaths of my son, my uncle, my cousin and a dear friend; multiple injuries resulting in surgery, and heavy dental procedures resulting in continuous pain–the last two not being over yet. And there have even been other great upsets.

Even at the lowest points I have chosen to retain faith in God and the gifts that have been granted to me which keep me going.

Sure, I have had moments when I was less than positive, but I have always picked myself up and taken another positive step.

So when life “gets your goat” (see my book Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions for this one), remember to drag out my personal motto: “Strive to be your best even at your lowest point.” And you may quote me on that!

 

Free Publishing of Your Book

This post is for any St. Clair Publications author, present or future. One of my authors recently contacted me about needed changes to her book in order to comply with a contributors personal request. She asked me to remove her book from Amazon.com until the changes are made and resubmitted. I have complied with that request.

At any needed time I can remove any author’s book or books on a temporary basis. This is just one of a number of free services that St. Clair Publications provides for our valued authors.

Here are a few items an author should consider in choosing a publisher.

We provide free publication of accepted books. Remember, we do have a right to refuse publication based on content.

We provide author services if needed at very low cost. These include: proof reading and or editing; preparation of the manuscript for publication to required specs, cover design and preparation to specs, and some promotions. NO OTHER POD Publisher to my knowledge offers these services to their authors as low as we do. I challenge you to find one and let me know. If this can be proven, we will match any advertised prize on these services as long as I remain as President and COO.

We also pay a royalty which is the highest percentage of profit of any publisher I have found.

Check out our website at stclairpublications.com and/or contact me at stan@stclair.net.

 

Do you dwell on the past?

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t think about our successes and failures or learn from past mistakes. I love the study of history, now more than ever. Genealogy and DNA have become hobbies through the years.

But those thoughts of going back to the “Good old days” are senseless. Things are not ever going to be the same, whether good or bad. We all need to focus on making our world a better place. That can start in the heart of each of us.

Today while letting my mind rest between tasks, I wrote the following poem:

THE FOCUS OF OUR LENS

I know that I cannot return to the past,

For it is but an elusive trail

Of botched memories:

A crape paper kite floating ever upward;

Its gingham tail with knotted bows

Flapping behind in the misty breeze

Of wanton dreams.

 

No, the past, as the future,

Is hardly as the camera of the mind envisions.

Both are better left alone for what they are.

 

We live in the uniqueness of the moment,

And that must be the focus of our lens.

10-9-14

It will appear in my next book of poetry, I Walked My Dog This Morning, due out next year.

Words with similar meanings often have much different connotations

Have you ever noticed that words which have nearly the same meaning often take on different connotations in actual usage?

Take middle and center, for example.  Someone between the buyer and the seller who takes the price up for the consumer is the “middle man.” Someone getting between two people that causes tension is always in the middle of the problem.

On the other hand, a person can be the center of attention, or the center of one’s world, etc.

Center and middle are basically the same in meaning, but in most cases very different in their usage.

There are a number of other words like this. But word usage is a passion of mine as evidenced by my popular phrase and expression origin book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions selling every day on Amazon. Buyers say that the paperback version is really great! Get it today on Amazon or other online bookseller or better still, at the St. Clair Publications website, http://stclairpublications.com where PayPal payments are one of the safest ways to pay ever!

You can’t get there from here!

Until our recent trip to the Newark airport town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, the nearest I had come to fulfilling the old saying, “You can’t get there from here” was at the tiny Pacific coastal fishing village of Yalapa, Mexico, where the only two options to get there are horses stomping through the rain forest and a water taxi from Puerto Vallarta. I shall never forget that great jaunt by water.

But after we got off of the New Jersey Turnpike and followed the directions that we had to get to Wyndham Gardens Hotel, where we were intending to stay, it would truly seem that finding it was impossible. After the directions didn’t work we stopped twice for directions, the last one even getting them from the Internet. Still we couldn’t find it. We ended up staying at the Newark Airport Hilton for the next two nights.

Even when my cousin was bringing me back from our trip into Manhattan, he directed his iPhone to take him there and it misdirected him to that hotel! I have no plans on a repeat of that venture, though I enjoyed the evening in Manhattan and the time at the hotel with Rhonda very much.

So the next time someone tells me jovially, “You can’t get there from here,” I won’t be laughing. I’ll be looking for another destination.

In the meantime, get a copy of my book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions online in either paperback or Kindle, and be looking for the first volume of Exploring Our Exciting World due out before Christmas.

 

Does it bother you when someone gets your name wrong?

Recently I started reading a book (one which I didn’t publish) in which the author mentioned me (he doesn’t know me) and spelled my name wrong. He called me “Stan Sinclair of Tennessee.” I knew without a doubt that was writing of me, because he was talking about a project which I had co-founded. Now calling me Sinclair doesn’t offend me, because it is just another spelling for the St. Clair name. The only fact that bothered me a bit is that it was incorrect, and did not properly identify me by the name by which I have been known all of my life. Someone “Googling” me under the Sinclair spelling would be hard pressed to locate me.

Then a few days later I was given incorrect information on a lady’s name whom I needed to contact and inadvertently sent out an email with the incorrect spelling of that dear lady’s name. I felt really bad about that.

If you are addressing or making reference to another person, it is always best to be doubly certain that you have their name correct. Once you say it to the person or even worse, put it in print, there’s no calling it back.

In the meantime, get a copy of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. It’s still selling well because I tried very hard to get the facts right before publishing it. I am, however, human, and if you own a copy and find an error, please don’t hesitate to contact me at stan@stclair.net.

Coach Allison Clark: A positive roll model in sports

In a day when the NFL is taking a licking over abuse charges, it has been truly refreshing to work with Allison Clark, a woman’s basketball coach with Tennessee Tech University. Reading, editing and publishing her first book, Off the Back of the Rim, available at http://stclairpublications and www.amazon.com has been a great pleasure.

Her book is flying off of Amazon at an alarming rate every day. There is a great page on Tennessee Tech’s web site, so no wonder.

http://www.ttusports.com/sports/wbkb/coaches/clark_allison

Get a copy for yourself and see what the buzz is all about! It is truly worth the read.

 

Bell Buckle – A step back in time

In spite of my normally rushed schedule, Rhonda and I, after getting our annual flu shot this morning, headed for the quaint hamlet of Bell Buckle, just a “skip, hop and jump” from our home in Middle Tennessee.

It’s something we do at least once a year. We spent about 3 hours and 15 minutes there, shopping the antique stores and enjoying a “comfort food” (as they call it) lunch at the Bell Buckle Cafe where a number of Country Music folk and other noteworthy people have dined through the years. I know I did an entry about Bell Buckle once before, but it’s just a favorite spot of mine. We only spent about $100.00 and had a great time. That even included a couple of gifts Rhonda bought for our little granddaughter and a cool antique framed copy of “Young Woman at a Half-Door,” the original of which is at Chicago’s Museum of Art. The painting is signed “Rembrandt” and dated 1645, but some attribute it to a follower. Still, it’s a great work of art, and I shall be proud to make room for it on my office wall.

Bell Buckle is but one of hundreds such spots which will be featured in the first volume of “Exploring Our Exciting World,” which is scheduled for release before Christmas.

So getaway soon to a place you can enjoy life and look for a great book at stclairpublications.com.

Poetry in Memorandum

Today I want to again post a poem: one which I composed yesterday. But its roots go deeper than the memory of this horrid day in 2001–it embraces the life experiences of us all. Each of us has taken part in experiences, both good and bad, which have shaped our individual lives and set us apart as unique.

When in New Jersey recently, my cousin and friend, Steve St. Clair, took me on a special journey into Manhattan, and specified that he wanted to first show me the 9-11 Memorial first. Many thanks, Steve! This poem is dedicated to you! It will also appear in my future poetry book, I Walked My Dog This Morning.

I’VE BEEN THERE

 

I’ve trampled old bricks; the Forbidden City

And ambled up China’s Great Wall.

I’ve forged to the summit of grim Kilauea

And basked in the mist; Yelapa’s quaint fall.

 

I’ve roamed the mystical ruins of Mayans;

And dined with dignity; Halifax coast.

I’ve pounded the pavement in Lower Manhattan,

But mused at Ground Zero the most.

 

I’ve savored the chicory at Café du Monde

And ogled the dives on Bourbon Street;

I’ve chauffeured a coupe through Charlotte Amalie,

And trudged endless miles of soft golden wheat.

 

I met Jimmy Carter and Jimmy Doolittle,

Made friends with both nobles and peasants.

The rays of the sun have fallen around me

Upon the great shrines and the deserts.

 

The White House before me, the West to my right,

I’ve lifted my heart in great praise,

Remembering Old Faithful blubbering heavenward,

My love for creation ablaze.

 

9-10-14

Remembering 9-11

Attitude Determines Altitude

The events of the past six weeks have been trying and challenging, to say the least. After the tragic loss of my younger son, Rhonda and I got away for a much needed hiatus to the North, visiting spots we had both dreamed of seeing. That was a great break.

But after returning I underwent rotator cuff surgery which was also very needed.  Of course, this has been painful both physically and emotionally for such an active person as I. My right arm is in a sling, it hurts to move it much, and I am mainly restricted to doing everything normally accomplished with either my right hand or both, including typing, with only the left one.

But for the most part, I have managed swimmingly! I told Rhonda this morning that I was getting so used to using my left hand that I hardly recognized the inconvenience.

It helps that I learned long ago that it’s not what happens to us that determines our successes and happiness but the way we react to what happens.

I’ve failed many times at tasks I tried to do. I just tried again. I’ve hurt so badly that I wondered when I could ever feel well. Everything passes; there is always sunshine after rain.

So when I encounter folks complaining about the cards which life has dealt them, I’m tempted to say, “Go fish!” There are a lot more fish to be caught that can fill your belly with good taste.

In the meantime, buy a book from a St. Clair Publications author, or online. We have some of the greatest ones there are!