Groundhog deja vu

A popular 1993 Bill Murray movie titled Groundhog Day spawned a wave of use of the term to describe a day or time when something which had already happened seemed to play out over and over again. That story has now been made into a Broadway Musical. Another term, deja vu refers to an incident which to be seems strangely familiar, as if it had happened to one previously. Yogi Berra coined the term ‘Deja vu all over again,”  which is a comical redundancy scoring high in his list of ‘Yogi-isms“.

For the last several years I have researched and published books about the meanings and origins of common sayings, idioms and expressions which we hear on a regular basis in America, the U.K., and other English-speaking countries. The most popular of these is the original volume (now with revisions) of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. 

For the past several days when I have turned on the television newscasts, I have been hearing the same rhetoric about the North Korean threats and the responses by President Trump. I try hard not to get involved online with political matters, as I have friends on both sides of most issues. But I think that everyone agrees that this is not going to end well. In hearing the same things for days on end, it made me feel like coining a new expression, This all seems a bit like Groundhog Deja vu!

By the way, you can get my popular book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, the St. Clair Publications site and many others! Happy reading. Read some different entries every day so it won’t be like Groundhog Deja vu!

Glen Campbell, A Legendary Giant, Leaves a giant void in our hearts


Some years ago, just after returning from a business trip, I was walking through the Nashville Airport on my way to the luggage return when I encountered a pair I was not expecting. There, only a few feet away, strolling in the opposite direction toward a gate, Glen Campbell was in a lively conversation with George Jones. Towering above his friend, Glen’s melodious voice rang out clearly in that corridor. I could have reached out and touched either of them, but that was so unnecessary, for both of them had touched me many times by their unique musical styles and the rapture in which one was lifted by their lyrics, tunes and voices.

Yesterday, August 8, 2017, Glen, like his friend, George, left this world and left us all with a lot of great memories. He was 81.

A few years ago I read Glen’s candid autobiography, in which he spared himself no shame for his wild past, and no regrets for his new, fuller life. I learned a lot about a man I now admire more than ever. I, for one, will miss him dearly, but always cherish the Rhinestone Cowboy who was the Wichita Lineman, and the guy who went to Phoenix, leaving behind a broken heart.

A children’s book 40 years in the making will now help kids around the world!

About 40 years ago I wrote this story with the help of ideas from my young adopted son, Scott, who was sadly taken from us a few years ago because of a long-term, off and on drug addiction. Scott was one of the most loving people I have ever known. Thinking about it has been almost unbearable. During much of his youth I was away from home a lot of the time due to my work. I have partially blamed myself for his problems. I cannot bring back the past, but through my involvement with Kiwanis I have tried to make life better for the youth in my community, and through the work of various funds, Kiwanis International has had a great influence on the lives of countless young people, from infancy through university. They sponsor clubs in schools like Builders Club, Key Club and Circle K. In communities around the world they have helped to eliminate disease and hunger. The Kiwanis Children’s Fund donates funds responsibly to help children around the world. A portion of all sales of this book will go to this marvelous fund.

Today the book, The Choo-choo Clock and the Donkey, was released and Amazon is offering it on the Prime Day Special. Get yours today for a child near to your heart and help children around the world.

Walmart Website now carrying my book!

I was gobsmacked this morning to discover that Walmart is now listing my popular cliche origin book on it’s website! I suppose it is the dream of every author for their books to  be sold at Walmart, or at least on their website. I could never have accomplished this by asking them to list it. This just goes to the overwhelming demand by the public for this work. When it was released in March, 2013, it was announced by Amazon as a ‘hot new release, it quickly became the number one work in its genre to be brought up by Google. It rose to near the top of millions of Amazon books. It has been praised by authors, poets, professors, teachers, and newspaper columnists, but this is a new milestone for which I am so thankful! Thank you Walmart!

Thanks for viewing my blog! Best day ever!

A big thank you to patrons of our website and the readers of this blog! The St. Clair Publications site itself has had  202,600 hits since it was reformatted by our wonderful graphic artist, Kent Hesselbein, and the blog, put up later, has had well over 8,500 reads. Yesterday was the best day of all with 62 blog readers, and more already early this morning, thanks to the post about Michele Doucette!

More great posts are just around the corner. Wonderful books are in process of preparation for publication, and now, with the addition of 100 new ISBNs, we are ready to take off!

Stay tuned for more announcements, and go to our website at http://stclairpublications,com to shop our huge selection of individual paperbacks, sets, ebooks and gift certificates!

Congratulations to Michele Doucette!

As mentioned earlier, big changes are happening at St Clair Publications! In addition to new titles being added and 100 new ISBNs being ordered, Michele Doucette has been appointed as Content Manager and Editor in Chief! 

Michele holds a Master’s Degree in Literacy Education from Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax, Nova Scotia). A native of Truro, Nova Scotia (referred to as Cobequid during the time of the Acadian people), she has been living on the west coast of Newfoundland since 1985, and is in process of returning home to Nova Scotia. Previously employed as a Special Education teacher, she feels blessed to have worked with such Mighty Spirits. She is the author of a large variety of books, primarily related to mind, body and spirit, available from St. Clair Publications, Amazon and other retailers. Congrats to Michele on being appointed to this important position!

Michele Doucette

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.

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 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