And the Winner Is:

Last night millions of Americans were glued to their TV screens watching NBC’s The Voice Finale. The four finalists stood in a row on the stage with solemn looks on their faces, even their arms around one another at times.

It came down to the last two: Matt McAndrew from Team Adam and Craig Wayne Boyd from Team Blake. Carson Daly spoke, “And the winner of the Voice is…” the pause must have lasted at least an hour in the minds of those two artists. “CRAIG WAYNE BOYD!”

I was happy. I felt that those two were the better choices to win, But all of them, Damien, Chris Jamison, Matt and Craig, are stars, and should go on to great careers in the music world. In fact, many of the final 20 should have fruitful careers, not just these four.

TV talent shows have propelled the success of so many young people, even those who did not take the trophy or win the million dollars, or sometimes more.

In order for a person’s talent to have a showplace they must be POSITIVE, PERSISTENT, and PROMOTED. I have had two persons talk to me this week about others that have a dream of seeing their work in print. I can’t help with singers, but I can with writers.

Just remember, all of these attributes must exist in order to .be a success. If you think you have them, contact me at stan@stclair.net.

Closure, though sad

I’m simply going to say it this way, as I find other words difficult.

FROSTY MORNING

It was a frosty morning in mid-December

As I walked my dog this morning.

I blankly stared through the fine bare limbs

Of a giant maple at a dark gazebo.

The silver-grey skies beyond

Reminded me of the gloomy focus

Of my troubled soul.

The five past days were filled with angst.

Our rambling cat had dashed away

As we were leaving home at night.

Because before he’s be there waiting

At the door the following morning,

That is what we thought would be.

But not this time.

Every effort I made to find him

Proved another fruitless gesture.

Then yesterday I told a neighbor

To keep a watch for him.

An hour later she came calling.

Out on the highway near her house,

Our cat had been struck down.

I brought him home; laid him to rest

Beside two other loved ones.

Every second December,

We’ve lost a pet;

Our hearts have been distressed.

Rest in peace, our Fonzie, dear,

You’re gone, but never far.

12-13-14

Pets hold a dear place in our hearts

I’ve talked a lot on here about our cat, Fonzie. There have been a lot of antics and laughs since he came to live in our home. His mother dropped him off at my son’s feet on his back porch when he was a kitten. He hasn’t known any keepers but my son, my wife and me. Occasionally he would like to dash out the door when we opened it. We felt that he would do it just to show us he could, like the other tricks he would play.

Five evenings ago as we were leaving he dashed out. It was nearly dark, but we thought he’s come back in, either when we got back home that night, or early the next morning, like he has done so often. He still hasn’t shown up. I’ve driven all over our neighborhood twice, plus the two adjoining subdivisions. I keep opening the door and calling his name every morning hoping he has returned and is lurking in the shrubs.

He is so dear to me, as all our pets. To us they are like close members of our family. I’ve called a friend at a local radio station and announced his absence, and an ad is going in our local Sunday paper.

Books are also important to me I have a large collection, and it seems to continue to grow. Also, today I have submitted my latest book to the printer, the first in the Exploring Our Exciting World series. I’ll announce its release soon. In the meantime, visit us at http://stclairpublications.com , You might see something you like. There are even some about animals! Also, if you spot a grey cat with a white heart on his chest let me know at stan@stclsir.net. There is a reward for his return.

 

Does your dog “talk to you?”

Our little dog, Brody, responds so well to what I say that it is remarkable. When I told Rhonda yesterday, she said, “One of these days he’s going to start talking to you.”

Brody knows what I’m saying to him, no doubt, a great deal of the time. When I say “‘short walk” he knows to head around the house instead of out to the street. He protects our older female cat, Shia, from our younger, playful male, Fonzie. When I call him to be a disciplinarian he comes running and gets right to it. When he starts pulling me in a direction I don’t want to go, I say “We’re not going that way,” and tug a bit on his leash and he changes direction. When it’s time for him to go to bed, I just say, “Time for bed,” and he hops up and heads for his crate with its soft warm blanket. Sometimes it seems that he is talking to me. When he wants to go out, he comes and paws my feet. If that doesn’t work, he whines a little.

The relationship between a dog keeper and the dog is almost like that of a parent and child. If they are trained right, and gently and lovingly disciplined, they will learn to obey and they will cling to their human.

This is demonstrated in verse in my little upcoming book, I Walked My Dog This Morning, featuring a poem by that name which I posted on this blog a few months ago. It will be out sometime next year. But right now, I’ve got to get to work putting the finishing touches on the first volume of Exploring Our Exciting World. It will be out shortly. I hope others enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed writing it. It covers the entire Southeastern US and Washington, DC. I’ll post when it is released!

Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches in top .6 of 1% on Amazon

Yesterday I checked to see how overall sales were coming on Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. I was really delighted to find that in overall sales it ranks in the top six tenths of one percent of all Amazon paperback sales. It’s no wonder that they are ordering in bulk to keep up with demand.

I am working very hard to get out five new book editions, from myself and others. Unfortunately all of them  will not make it before the Christmas rush has ended.

I am in the process of getting the comprehensive index done for the first volume of Exploring Our Exciting World. This one alone will be over 550 pages. The series will take several years to complete, but it will be well worth the wait. The special contributors who are helping me with future volumes are to be commended for their work and their patience.

In the meantime, visit our website at http://stclairpublications.com. And thank you all for a wonderful 2014! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem

It seems that all we see on the news headlines are more examples of violence, political and religious extremism and racism, one way or another. I’ve often expressed my disdain for all of these attitudes and actions.

Sometimes people are so set that their view is right that they don’t consider other views    “A mind is like an umbrella: it only works when it’s open.” That’s a good saying.

History has been filled by those so hellbent on forcing others to believe the way they do that they used force to elicit change. The enemy of peace is prejudice and extremism. There is another old adage, “Convince a man against his will and he’s of the same opinion still.”

So instead of burning down a business because of something those folks had nothing to do with or beheading someone because they don’t convert to your brand of religion, why not work to educate folks and look at all the facts without “flying off the handle.”

And to learn the meanings and origins of your favorite sayings, order a copy of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions on any Amazon site in the world. They have copies in stock and ready to mail! It also makes a great gift.

 

Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions copies ordered in bulk by Amazon

I have been so blessed and humbled by the success of my large volume of  catch phrase origins and definitions that I want to thank God and those who have had a part in this for this journey. My first such book was published in 2011, called On the Origin of the Cliches and the Evolution of Idioms. It was meant to be a humorous takeoff on Darwin’s controversial work. It caught on so well that I followed up a year later with another volume.

But still, there were so many I couldn’t include. Then in 2013, after thousands of hours of research and work, I published Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, a small-print huge volume with all those in the first two books and many hundreds more. Then in 2014 I did an update with 75 more included. Of course there are always more popping up which are not even in it. But this version has really gone over around the world. It is available in both paperback and the original in Kindle e-book format, and sells every day somewhere in the world.

I was just notified by the printer that Amazon had purchased a large number of them to meet the high demand. I was really thrilled. If you don’t have your copy, or would like to give one for a holiday gift, head on over to http://stclairpublications or any Amazon site, or Barnes and Noble or whatever “floats your boat.” It makes a great gift and I really appreciate all of those who have purchased it and particularly those who have posted reviews on Amazon!  Anyone ordering this book through the end of November from the St. Clair Publications website will be issued a $5.00 gift certificate as a Black Friday special toward the purchase of other books when the order is received. Thanks to everyone!

That Magic Moment

Yesterday NY Giant Odell Beckham made what is being heralded by many as the “Best Catch Ever,” falling into the end zone for a touchdown which was nothing less than unbelievable! Unfortunately for him, the Giants were still defeated by the Dallas Cowboys.

Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard we try, something knocks us back after a major victory. But that’s life. I’ve learned to savor the magic moments, and not worry about things I can’t change.

Here’s hoping that in this wonderful season of giving thanks we all learn to remember that there are magic moments in each of our lives worth savoring.

At St. Clair Publications we have lots of wonderful books. Reading can make us relax. Reading can help us learn and grow. Why not check out our great books at stclairpublications.com and if you don’t get it there, they are available on Amazon all over the world. Have a great Thanksgiving and be thankful for the magic moments in your life.

Does the Golden Rule apply on Social Media?

The past two days I was working at a club booth at a craft fair as a fund raiser for needy kids. A friend of mine was working his own large booth of hand-crafted wood signs and other finely crafted items, and I went by to talk with him for a while.

Somehow our conversation turned to how people treat each other with respect for our differences of opinion, and the topic of social media was mentioned, and the fact that many use it as a place to vent hatred and bash others for not fitting in the person’s own groove in beliefs regarding politics, religion, and other such subjects.

Well, I have many diversified friends who don’t all see eye to eye. Of course, I have my own views and beliefs, like everyone else. Though sometimes I express a few of them, I don’t show my disdain for those with whom I disagree all over the Internet.

I told my friend about recently seeing a relative at a funeral and telling her that I had not seen her on a certain social media site. She told me that she wasn’t there because her life was no one else’s business. I told her that she was right, but that I didn’t plaster my personal life all over the net. I post positive items which I feel will help others rather than cut them or give them something to cut me for. That’s one thing I do appreciate about America…we all have a right to our own beliefs and opinions.

I may not agree with your opinion, but I will fight for your right to have it.

In the meantime, show positive vibes on social sites and check our great books at stclairpublications.com and Amazon and  other online booksellers.

To Spotify or Not to Spotify, that is the Question.

Spotify is a membership music download company which invites people to get their app and for a prepaid fee download any music they want and add it to their playlist. A great many artists are OK with this, but Taylor Swift just announced her withdrawal, stating that she feels Spotify is offering her music free, and that’s not fair to her.

WELL, I have a similar arrangement with Amazon through their prime membership. People download St. Clair Publication Kindle editions and borrow them and pay nothing but their membership. I feel that this arrangement is fair, because more people are able to read my books, and those of our authors who have chosen this as an option. Authors don’t have to participate.

Taylor Swift certainly has a right to either participate or not. I highly respect this decision, and I love a lot of her music.

I lean toward participating in anything that gets great work before more people. But that’s just my opinion.