Author Day Library Book Signing a success for authors in spite of weather

Several authors chose not to brave the elements on Saturday for the big Author Day at Magness Library in McMinnville, Tennessee. I’m a little “ahead of the curve” because they haven’t posted the pics yet, but at least 15 authors came out, and the clouds parted mid day, bringing a number of folks by. https://www.facebook.com/magnesslibrary/

I even met a neighbor whose husband I know, who had heard about my cliche origin books not even realizing  by whom they were written. She came to purchase them as a surprise for her husband for his upcoming birthday! I promised not to tell. All authors to whom I spoke sold books, and certainly both who had published with St. Clair Publications. I sold quite a few.

In the meantime head on over to Amazon.com and get your copies of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, original volume and the new Volume II.

Big Author Day Book Signing Coming Up!

Two weeks from this Saturday, on April 22, from 10:00 AM till 1:00 PM, a group of St. Clair Publications authors and some other author friends will be participating in a spectacular author anchor day at Magness Memorial Library at 118 West Main in McMinnville, Tennessee, I will be signing copies of both volumes of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, and have samples of some other books.

St. Clair Publications authors joining me with their books will be Tammy Mentzer Brown, author of A Teacher’s Prayer, a marvelous true story about her struggles in youth in a divisive environment, and time in a children’s home, and how she persevered as a result of a caring teacher. Tammy has traveled to churches, schools and back to the children’s home as well as being a guest on Birmingham’s Fox TV to tell her marvelous story. ext will be children’s author, Dee Hall. Her illustrated book, Can You Imagine? is filled wit poetic verse which delights youngsters! She is having health issues at this time, but  if she is able, we will be joined by Katy Ishee, author of the highly acclaimed book, Pieces of My Heart, the true story of how as a teen she gave birth to a baby which was forcibly taken from her. After going through a tumultuous life including time in Haight Ashbury, motorcycle gangs and traveling as a MASH double for Major Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan, she made a vow to find her long lost son at any cost. She has been on television and the story has been read by celebrities.

Also there will be my good friend, Country Music singer-songwriter, Sunday Sharpe! In the 1970s,  Sunday hit # 11 with  I’m Having Your Baby, written by  Paul Anka, the female version of his huge hit, and  # 18 with A Little at a Time, and had numerous other great songs on the charts. She was also nominated for an ACM Award in 1977. Sunday’s great novels, What Ever Happened to Bella Star? and What Ever Happened to Bella Star? 2   reveal the true story of what happens too many times to artists in Nashville as well as the music business in general.

Other friends will take part including newspaper columnist and novelist, R.D. Sherrill, known locally as Deane, who writes fantastic murder mysteries! .

Don’t miss this great event!

Green as a gourd

As mentioned earlier on my blog, I’m part of a group of authors who think getting to the truth is worth the effort put in. We realize that we can’t believe everything we read; that the saying ‘If you say it loudly enough it must be true’ is a bunch of hogwash!

For the past seven years I have been involved in researching and debunking much folk etymology. Cute stories that people made up about the origins of the old sayings, proverbs, metaphors and idioms we use everyday without thinking about it. But getting to the truth about anything takes tenacity and sometimes people still want to believe ‘old wives tales’ rather than proven facts. One Amazon customer who did a review of my first volume of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and  Figurative Expressions didn’t like it because he said, “I have a small book of cute stories how sayings got started and I thought I was getting a big book of them.”  ”Sorry, Charlie, only good tasting tuna…”

I released Volume II last fall, and as soon as it had gone to the editor, before publication, I had begun the third and final volume. It is due out about Spring, 2019. Here is an example of why this takes time. This one took me over three hours, but I arrived at conclusions, entirely my own, never before published as to how this simile came to be used. It will be in Volume III along with at least 1,300 others. I hope you like it. This is advance copyright in this blog post:

Green as a gourd

This simile is most often used for a person who is a novice; new to some particular field of endeavor. It is not a derogatory term, but one of understanding that the person just needs time to mature like a fruit which ripens on the vine. The person is simply not ready for use. Similes are notoriously difficult to trace as to origin. However, the earliest known use of this term, though here seemingly literal, is in Fragments of an Unfinished Drama, by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), originally published posthumously in 1824:

“I saw two little dark-green leaves                                                                                      Lifting the light mould at their birth,                                                                                      and then I half-remembered my forgotten dream.                                                              And day by day, green as a gourd in June,                                                                        The plant grew fresh and thick, yet no one knew                                                              What plant it was.”

 The adding of ‘in June’ helps us understand why ‘green’ became associated with gourds, and also with the figurative expression. Later in the year gourds, like other fruit of the vine, change color and harden; many turning yellow, as they become ripe and ready for use as food, tools, like dippers, or even instruments of music in some cultures. In Harper’s Weekly, December 9, 1865, in ‘The Yankee Girl’s Story’ we see another utilization of the phrase, omitting ‘in June,’ but a slight bit more metaphoric:

“She was a nice old critter, but as green as a gourd. She never did come to town but she was cheated and imposed upon by every human bein’ she came in contact with. All the hackmen knew her, and when they saw that old green calash of hers poking out of the railway car at the depot they always looked up…”

Though it is a simile, it seems that it could have been, at least partially, a literal one. A ‘calash’ here, referred to a large hood worn by women in the 18th century. The lines implied an old woman with antiquated customs. Hackmen were drivers of ‘hacks’ or taxis. But ‘green’ may have been referring to the actual color. Nevertheless, it set a pattern, and future use failed to include a reference to June as being the time when gourds were actually green.

In 1879, a book titled The Poetical Works of Percy Basshe Shelly was published in London by E. Moxon Sons, edited by William Michael Rossetti, which brought Shelley’s work once again to heightened public attention. Several printings were released over the next few years.  Immediately after this, ‘green as a gourd’ began to be used as a clearly figurative simile. The earliest printed reference comes in June, 1879, in the monthly paper, Gleanings in Bee Culture, in a letter from N.H. Allen in Kirkwood, MO with the heading, ‘Transferring: The Experience of an A.B.C. Scholar’:

“Next day I began the operation of transferring, green as a gourd except from what GLEANINGS has told me, but with tools and implements sufficient to build, scrub out and furnish an ordinary house, much more, ‘a bee house.’”

Then in testimony given February 8, 1881, in the Contested Election Case of Gustavus Sessinghaus vs. R. Graham Frost, from the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, in Cross-Examination by Mr. Donovan, counsel for contestee, published in 1882 in Miscellaneous Documents of the House of Representatives, First Session of the Forty-Seventh Congress, 1881-1882, on page 401 we read:

“I was green as a gourd at it, but I could write and read, and I had to do this work.”

 

 

 

 

Kindle Prices Reduced! Take a Look!

At St. Clair Publications 2017 will be a year of change. We are endeavoring to make our company mare attractive to both authors and readers. The first of these changes is the reduction of 21 Kindle e-book prices to appeal to the modern reader who is looking for both QUALITY and AFFORDABILITY in digital reading material. To this end we are reducing the price on some popular titles by several authors, including my own most sought after volumes. Below is a list beginning with those now going for only 99 cents!

By Michele Doucette:                                                                                                             The Collective: Essays on Reality .99                                                                                   Turn off the TV, Turn on Your MInd .99

By Kent Hesselbein:                                                                                                               Good to the Finish! .99                                                                                                           Infidel: Legends of the Men of Iron, Book I .99

By Stanley J. St. Clair:                                                                                               Beyond the Thistle Patch .99                                                                                            Limericks, Jokes and Other Such Rubbish .99

By Byron De Vere:                                                                                                             2012: The Awesome King of Destiny .99                                                                            

Now revived at only 1.99:          

By Stanley J. St. Clair                                                                                                        On the Origin of the Cliches and the Evolution of Idioms Volume II 1.99

Now reduced to 2.99:

By Michele Doucette:                                                                                                             A Travel in Time to Grand Pre 2.99                                                                                     The Wisdom of the Crystals 2.99                                                       The Ultimate Enlightenment for 2012 2.99                                                                   Veracity at Its Best 2.99

By Stanley J. St. Clair                                                                                                        On the Origin of the Cliches and the Evolution of Idioms (original volume) 2.99 Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs                                                            and Figurative Expressions, Vol. II 2.99 

By Ron Cunningham and Stan St. Clair: 

Conspiracy in the Town that Time Forgot 2.99                                                                  Conspiracy Book II 2.99                                                                                         Reflections of an Investigator 2.99

By Joy Dunicliff:                                                                                                                     Quaker to Catholic: Mary Howitt, Lost AUthor of the 19th Century 2.99

By Rhonda St. Clair:                                                                                                               The Darkness of the Sun 2.99

By Genevieve St. Clair:                                                                                                          Inside My Head 2.99

And the best selling of all is now only 4.99!:

Sy Stanley J. St. Clair:                                                                                                            Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions 4.99

 

Why do my cliche origin books continue to sell?

Back in 2010 I had been curious about the origins of popular metaphors and adages that we all use and never think about how they got started. I started searching through the Internet, looking at books, etc., and found much conflicting information. One problem was what is known as ‘Folk etymology,’ nice little stories, often made up or passed down which “held no water.’ So I decided to do some serious study. I needed to debunk myths. Over the next year I put a collection of a few hundred together, adding a bit of humor, and published a book titled On the Origin of the Cliches and the Evolution of Idioms. This was a facetious take off on Darwin’s  Origin of the Species. I was pleasantly surprised at the number that started selling. I followed it up the next year with a second volume. Then in 2013 I unpublished the second volume after introducing a huge book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions,, which grew to 740 pages with revisions over the next two years. Amazon called it a ‘hot new release,’ and it took off ‘right out of the gate.’

A second volume of that book has new been released. My cliche origin books have sold thousands of copies, both paperbacks and Kindle e-books, in seven countries around the globe. They have received high acclaim and have been used in colleges, and as reference works. They have been used to teach English as a second language.

My research goes on. I am working on a third and final volume for this series which I feel even rivals the original for originality and content. It will have around 1,400 new sayings and phrases, with many proverbs and Southern Americanisms. It is due out in 2019. Here is one I researched today:

Fixing to (or, ‘fixin’ to’)

This largely Southern American idiom means that one is in the process of planning to do something: getting ready to. Even before it was used in the South,  fix, from the Latin ‘fixus’ (settled), evolved in the U.K. between the 14th and 17th centuries from meaning attaching or settling something to adjusting or arranging things. It only became primarily used for repairing something in the 18th century. But the idea remained as arranging things, or ‘setting one’s mind.’ Similar citations appear earlier, but this one from Testimony Taken by the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs: The Late Insurrectionary States, Georgia, Volume II, published in Washington, D.C., 1872, on page 648 is very clear as to context:

“I thought perhaps they were fixing to get my mare and carry her off.”

This connotation remained with the Scotch Irish and English who had immigrated to the American South, and particularly, from Appalachia to Texas, where ‘fixing to’ is still used today.

BUT don’t wait two years. Get the first two volumes on Amazon today. They are selling because they are different, and more nearly accurate.

Why do so many celebrities change their names?

I have had the privilege of meeting a number of important people in my run at life. With several of them I have I have had personal dealings or connections. In 2015 I released a book titled 200 Celebrities Who Changed and How They Found Success. It was overshadowed by the popularity of my phrase origin books, but in its own way it was unique. If you haven’t seen it, and trivia interests you, you may want to get a copy of this book. Below is the Introduction: It’s available on Amazon.

There are numerous reasons why persons in the public eye change their names (or have it done for them). Many times it is simply because their birth names are too long, complex, ethnic, or would be difficult to pronounce or remember. Some have taken their mother’s maiden names, or the surname of a stepfather or first husband which was never dropped. But many others are much more complex. For instance, why did Rudolf Walter Wanderone, Jr. and James A. Moore, Jr. both take the names of fictional characters that they claimed were based on them and how did doing so change their lives forever?

At least 20 featured entertainers who took stage names were from Jewish immigrant families. Many were impoverished; some were abused; several were forced to work as young children to help pay family bills. Many were from broken homes, and some never knew their biological fathers, often being placed in foster care. One worked as a prostitute, one a bootlegger; another was a drug dealer. Several were jailed. One was expelled from school and many were dropouts. How did these broken individuals climb to the top of their professions? It took dogged determination and encouragement, and likely, a new name.

In this pictorial book of trivia, one unique feature is that I include popular actors, singers, dancers, authors, sports figures, magicians, entrepreneurs, broadcasters, models and others who longed to create a public persona which he or she felt was worthy of his or her audience, revealing the circumstances and reasons behind the changes and how they built the public perceptions which took them up the ladder of success. I have been very selective in order to provide a variety of intriguing personalities and stories of overcoming adversity.

Well, it happened again! Thank you!

It was great to see that in addition to 5 other copies of my popular book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions which sold yesterday on Amazon, one individual ordered 17 copies! That happened about a year or so ago when someone ordered 19 copies at the same time. It may be the same person…but I would expect it is a teacher, professor or school ordering them for a class, since I know it has been used as a text book to help teach English as a second language.  I am very grateful for this, and feel honored! But only one copy of the second volume sold yesterday. Of course all purchases are appreciated, but I can’t help but think about all those people who have, and use, my original volume who are missing out on the 1000 + additional entries in the second one which were researched just as meticulously as the others and would improve their library of phrase origins and meanings!

So… If you have the first one, whether you bought it yourself, or received it as a gift, I know you would love Volume II! get your copy today on Amazon or the St. Clair Publications website!

A day which will live infamy

75 years ago today the U.S. Military Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by air and naval forces of the Empire of Japan, plunging the United States into World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously referred to that fateful day as one which would live in infamy, having altered his originally intended word ‘history’ to infamy. Truly it was just that. And 416,000 American soldiers died in that ensuing conflict. But World War II served another, more positive role in history. It turned the United States from a marginal military force to a World Super Power, and brought the country together like nothing else before or since. That generation has been called “the greatest generation.”

This proves that “every cloud has a silver lining,” a saying that has been around since the classic poet John MIlton pinned it in Comus: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle in 1634. In spite of the fact that Milton first penned this phrase, it did not become noted as a proverb until Victorian Days. This is only a small taste of the gems found in my popular phrase origin books. This one’s on page 170 of the original Volume of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. Get yours today at the St Clair publications website, Amazon sites worldwide, Barnes and Noble, or at numerous booksellers online around the world. You can even ask your local bookstore to order you a copy, if you prefer.

Meanwhile, keep America in your thoughts and prayers.

 

St Clair Publications proudly presents…

Since our opening in 2008 to publications by other authors, both previously published and new ones entering the public arena, my associates spiritual writer and editor Michele Doucette and graphic designer, webmaster and author, Kent Hesselbein, and I  have worked to provide an array of genres in printed and digital formats. We are part of a community of personalities known for researching historical subjects, then exploding myths about misconceptions.

It is now my pleasure to introduce a groundbreaking new work by Australian theologian and researcher, Barry Page, entitled The Historical Moses Found. The title itself is intriguing. If you like exploring alternative history, purchase a copy today on Amazon in the U.S, U.K.. or Continental Europe. It is also available in Kindle format. It will soon also be available at the St. Clair Publications website.

Unique Adult Coloring Book Released

Adult coloring books are all the rage, and there seems no end in sight! But one which has just been released by Cristal Clear Designs is the most unusual one I have ever seen.. I may be a slight bit prejudiced, but I invite you to check it out for yourself. You see, the talented artist who created all of  these stunning heart designs in my son, John. John has been doing brilliantly colored blacklight poster drawings for several years, and even did an album cover for the rock group Godsmack..

The book is simply called Hearts, and is now available on Amazon. It will make a great gift for all lovers of art and coloring.

https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Cristal-Clear-Designs-1/dp/193578675X/