Spring Is a Time for Inspiration

I feel so blessed. New England has just been hit with another late winter blast, though the calendar says it is spring. Outside my door, birds are singing and jumping about on my newly mowed lawn. The bright March sun smiles down and I feel inspired to do greater things than ever.

At St. Clair Publications a lot is going on. I have recently put the final polish on the last revisions of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. It is at maximum length, and I have added a number of new entries once again. Since it came out in March, 2013, the paperback version now has about 100 additional phrases. Each time I add new ones I have found improvements to make and myths to burst..

I also have my first travel book out, Exploring Our Exciting World, Book I, which covers the Greater Southeastern US. I have done considerable work on Book II, the completion of which I have decided to postpone until we return to New England and visit some important sites which will be featured. This trip is now scheduled for this September – October.

Another volume is largely done, the writing of which is being accomplished by three wonderful ladies. It covers a lot of ground in Europe. Another trip by one of the authors is scheduled for this May.

Right now I am working on another research volume: How 200 Celebrities Changed Their Names and Built Amazing Careers.  This book deals with authors, singers, movie stars, magicians, sports stars and others who have adapted  pseudonyms in order to improve their images and further their careers. The book deals with  why and how these names were selected and how they reached their heights of fame. Several of those selected are individuals with which I have some personal or family connection. It is a lot of pleasure bringing out books of interest to the masses.  It will be out later this year. I hope all are enjoyed and cherished by the readers. Visit us today at stclairpublications.com and on Amazon.


Spring has sprung

Finally, after a terribly tough winter, it appears that spring has finally sprung. Outside we have only experienced liquid precipitation over the past few days and now the sun is smiling down pleasantly on Middle Tennessee.

I have been busily working on four new books at once. Vacation time is approaching and for anyone planning on traveling anywhere in the greater Southeastern US, anywhere from Louisiana to Washington, DC. my latest book, Exploring Our Wonderful World, Book I is a great carry-along tool to point you toward the best of the best spots to hit. If you like historical sites, this volume is loaded with them. If you frequent or would like to check out State and National Parks, so many are highlighted. There is even information on festivals and entertainment venues. A lot of places include driving directions. But best of all, it gives you an overview so you can see what you like as you travel or plan before visiting and map out your trip. I’m planning on taking it with us when we go to New Orleans, a place I have only visited once before.

So go to St. Clair Publications at stclairpublications.com or any Amazon site and get your copy today. I now will be taking all major credit cards at events and book signings as well. More on that later. Happy vacationing in 2015.

Second Revision of Most Comprehensive Origins is Out and the Best Ever!

When I started collecting cliches, proverbs, and sayings of all sorts in 2010, I could not conceive what the hobby would bring to the world. My first book of them On the Origin of the Cliches and Evolution of Idioms was released in 2011, and each year I have added to that collection in print. My first edition of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions was released in March, 2013. From the beginning it has been my goal to make my work the most accurate of its type in print. I have striven to burst myths about the way that what we say and why came about. In a combination of formats, literally thousands of my cliche books have been sold worldwide.

I have found endorsements of my effort from most unexpected sources: from other authors and bloggers to doctors and ministers–not just in the US, but the UK as well.

Just a couple of days ago a gentleman did a review of it that I also didn’t expect, but it was surprisingly critical. He said that he was expecting interesting anecdotes about how words came into our vocabulary and gave an example which was inaccurate about an origin of an expression in my book. I’m sorry to disappoint anyone, but I am not interested in cute stories which do not tell it the way it is. I am a seeker of truth and historical accuracy,

That being said, I am announcing the release now of the second revision of this work. I have once again found origins of some sayings which are frequently reported one way and actually happened another. I have polished the book and added the maximum allowable pages, enclosing some slight revisions and twenty-three brand new additions. I have also changed the cover colors, though Amazon has not yet made that change. Ordering one now to be shipped after March 1 should give you the new revision and the new colorful cover. I am posting the cover here. Go to Amazon today for your copy. And I welcome all honest reviews.


There are always new discoveries to make about the past

King Solomon of ancient Israel, writer of several books in the Bible, wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9: “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” (New Living Translation).

History repeats itself is one of the expressions in my best-selling book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. Within the next day or two I will have an announcement about that book. But now I want to talk about something different.

A few weeks ago I was on a local radio show on which I am a frequent guest. I was introducing my new book, Exploring Our Exciting World, Book One, which highlights a lot of historical sites in the Southeastern US, including Civil War battlegrounds and monuments, cemeteries, etc.Not ;long after that broadcast I received a call from the local Genealogical Society asking me to speak at an upcoming meeting and be a co-guest on their radio spot before the meeting. I gratefully accepted and started looking for new material to present for them.

A few years back I made a trip to rural West Virginia to find the grave of my third-great-grandfather St. Clair who fought in the Civil War. It was wonderful finding out even more than I had already been told by a cousin about this man and his wife and their ancestry. One thing about which I was curious was why he and his family went to West Virginia from the family home in Virginia where the St. Clair had lived since the late 1600s.

I kept digging until I found that his brother had gone there earlier, and that his nephew, Gen. James William St. Clair, was a very prominent attorney in the area which was a State Senator and served as the National Commissioner for West Virginia at the 1892 Chicago World’s Fair. I even found a picture of him on the cover of the World Colombian Exposition for November 1891, Therein he was greatly praised as one of the most prominent lawyers in the South.

After doing family research for a number of years I had found a lot of connections to well-known individuals, but this one was closer than most. My great-great  grandfather’s first cousin. I am still ‘digging up bones’ from my family’s past. This one was a pleasant surprise. There may not be ‘anything new under the sun,’ but there is always a lot to discover about what already has been.

We have a lot of great books at St. Clair Publications with historic significance. Check us out at stclairpublications.com .

It Always Makes Me Smile

Are there a few things that always make you smile? There are for me. When someone tells me how smart or how good-looking one of my grandchildren is, that sure does it. No one can resist a little ego-boosting comment, especially when it comes to our children or grandchildren. We all think ours are superior, and if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be exhibiting the natural pride that comes with having offspring.

Another thing that makes me smile is when I see or hear and unsolicited compliment about something I have crested. During my younger days it was my art work or poetry. Lately is is mostly one of my books. But Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions has raised the bar for me in that respect and made me thankful that I persevered and gave the work my all. Day before yesterday I was out driving and heard it being used on the radio. Of course I smiled. Last night I was doing a search on my phone and found a blog about Kindle books in which the author listed it as standing out, among all dictionaries offered on Kindle Unlimited in the UK. It was listed as number two among 16 outstanding dictionaries in all categories. Of course this made me smile.

I am presently researching more phrases for insertion in the second revision of the paperback version which will be released later this year. At the same time I am working on Book II of the Exploring Our Exciting World series, while writing is also taking place by others on Book VII which will likely be released early. Tomorrow I will be on a radio program talking about Book I which has already been released, as well as announcing some of the sayings which will be included in the next revision of  Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. My work is a pleasure. And when that is the case, we can smile more often. Visit our website at stclairpublications.com or see our great selection of books on Amazon sites around the globe.

Super Bowl XLIX Final Nail-Biter Leaves Both Sides Stunned

The fact that today is Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow in spite of all the wintry weather we are experimenting, predicting another six weeks of winter, seems to “take a back seat” to last night’s unbelievable Super Bowl Game in Arizona. The weather isn’t the only thing leaving folks “biting their nails.”

The  action in the last six seconds of the first half in which Seattle’s Chris Matthews tied the game was unbelievable enough. After that, we had Katy Perry’s spectacular show to turn our thoughts in a different direction.

But the last few moments of the second half not only included what was called “the worst call in football history” and a brawl between the teams, but Patriot Rookie Malcolm Butler‘s goal-line interception left mouths hanging open and Celebrated Quarterback Tom Brady jumping up and down.  ”I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true,” Butler said. “I’m just blessed. I can’t explain it right now. It’s crazy.”

No matter which side you were rooting for, if you watched the game you “got your money’s worth!”

If you don’t have a copy of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions yet, rush to the goal line on Amazon. Owners agree that you do get your money’s worth. And if you have a copy I welcome honest Amazon reviews.

Deflate-gate isn’t new

Since it seems like every newscast begins with the headline “Deflate-gate” over the past few days, most people probably think this just came up in the playoff game for the Super bowl. Actually, the Indianapolis Colts “smelled a rat” back last November about under-inflated balls supplied by the Patriots following its regular season game against them. But I guess that was just “swept under the rug.” After all, it wasn’t a big championship game.

But this time the charge was taken more seriously. Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today show this morning said she thought they were now “Trying to get their ducks in a row.”

Quarterback Tom Brady says he had nothing to do with any deflating of balls. Head Coach Bill Belichick said repeatedly that “He has no idea how that could have happened.”

This is just the latest in a series of scandals which the media has dubbed “Gate”

When I was in Washington, DC last August I saw the building where it all began on 17 June 1972 when the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel was bugged by members of the Republican party. We all know that was traced back to President Richard M. Nixon, and that’s what took him down. After that every scandal became a “Gate.” There are so many I won’t attempt to name them all. All the way from Billy-gate to Debate-gate to Frankie-gate to House-gate to Iraq-gate, Korea-gate, Closet-gate, Flake-gate, Gamer-gate, Portrait-gate and on and on. You get the picture. I guess this just goes down as another infamous cliche.

The question remains as to whether these incidents, take Watergate and Deflate-gate, for example… whether they were isolated incidents or just one more in a string of such practices that happen all the time but those involved are not caught. In the latter in certainly seems so, and I think the former as well.

But let’s get our mind off of the news and think about all of these sayings! All the ones used above except gate, along with their origins, may be found in Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. If you don’t have your copy, order one online today at Amazon or any reputable retailer. They are “going like hotcakes!” (That’s in there too!)


What do you do when it is frigid outside?

I awoke this morning, like so many other Americans, to record low temps for the day. It was 1 degree F with a wind chill of 12 below zero outside my house. I still had to walk our little doggie, of course, so I bundled up with layers of clothes, a knit hat and scarf, put the leash on Brody, and headed out to brave the elements. But it’s warmed up now. It is only 3 degrees. I’m at the computer with our kitty, Shia, on my lap.

So what do you do when the weather is so bad that you don’t want to get out? One thing I do, which lots of folks do, is snuggle up with something nice to read. Daytime TV isn’t great anyway, and I check facebook and other things online before breakfast.

Luckily, I have more than ample reading material when I am taking a little break from writing. St. Clair Publications has so many great books in so many genres that we can pretty much match anyone’s tastes. Everything from fast moving novels, to classics to  science fiction to self-improvement, to spiritual beliefs to animal books to historic topics to poetry, to children’s books, to word and phrase meanings and origins to travel…and the list goes on,

To see a near-complete listing of our books just go to stclairpublications.com and search the authors’ pages. You may purchase them there with PayPal or you may go on Amazon all over the world and make your selection. Many of them are also available from Barnes and Noble, Abe Books and other sources. And if you want something today, download one of our great ebooks, either in PDF at our website or on Kindle from Amazon. People are getting our books every day. If you’re not, check it out. You might like what you see!

The Little Giant will be sorely missed

Yesterday fans of Country music lost one of the greatest legends of all time. Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens had been a permanent fixture of the the music industry since 1925. His hit, “I’m Little But I’m Loud” was a testimony to the fact that his 4’11″ frame held a real giant. He even referred to himself as “Mighty Mouse in pajama’s.”

It was my great pleasure to see and hear this gentleman live in his heyday, and what a talent he was! He joined the Opry in 1948 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983. I can still hear him singing, “Take an old Clod ‘Tater (and wait).” .And how about “May the Bird of Paradise Fly up Your Nose”? One day after his last (94th) birthday he preformed at the Opry! We will miss you, Little Jimmy!

Musician Little Jimmy Dickens performs during day 2

Reflecting on 2014

Today is the last we will see of 2014, whether for good or bad. The years continue to fly by, for “Time and the Tide wait on no man.” As you will see on page 548 of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, that old saying has been with us since at least 1225–almost 800 years!

Thinking about the past year, I look back on it with ambivalent emotions. There have been sad times and good times. But isn’t this true with every year, and to some degree, every day? I missed my 50th High School Class reunion due to sickness, and two days ago was sent a package with a video. On it are memories of those who have, “Been promoted to that Big Classroom in the Sky.” The pictures of the 31 class members who are gone move forward on the screen while “Memories” plays.

But though I have lost a son, several class members, a dear friend and a beloved pet over the past year, I am still here to enjoy the blessings of life. Most Comprehensive Origins...has exceeded my expectations and Rhonda and I are in decent health.

So, my wish for my readers is “Have a happy and prosperous 2015, and reflect more on the positive than the negative. Don’t worry about things you can’t change, and change that which would be better by your doing so.”