Raising the Bar

As I had done the last time, my eyes were glued to the Discovery Channel production of Nik Wallenda on Sunday evening as he broke two more world record by walking across a tight wire high above Chicago, first climbing up a 19 degree slope, then blindfolded over a shorter distance between two other skyscrapers. Something in me cringes, feeling he goes too far, but something else can’t help but admire him for his nerves of steel and determination to be the best of the best.

Being the best at what I do has always been one of my goals. As an insurance agent I once led sales with two companies simultaneously. Then I always worked both smart and hard to win trips around the globe that the companies for which I was contracted, either as an agent or manager would pay for. I was constantly the leading regional manager in my field with my last full-time company.

As both an author and a publisher, I try to raise the bar and promote excellence. I am always thrilled when one of my books sells its first 1,000 copies. I am always proud when one of my authors does well and sells out at book signings or goes far beyond “average” in online sales. These things continue to happen because I am not satisfied to be average.

Our authors are important to me at St. Clair Publications. If you are an author, join our growing team. We will help you raise the bar.


Pinterest Updates Give Fresh Inspiration

We all need inspiration from time to time to keep our life experiences moving forward in a positive manner. Some of us are blessed to have a great spiritual family, some a great blood family, and some gain inspiration by the written word.

I have spent a bit of time lately on Pinterest doing updates which I hope will help our St. Clair Publications family and friends in this way. One thing I have done is pin some sayings on my “Great Thoughts” board in which I personally believe. This morning I have placed two of our latest releases there which both exemplify our philosophy of a healthy, positive life.

Go there and see the information about “Off the Back of the Rim: Uplifting Thoughts to Help You Rebound from the ‘Bricks’ of Life,” by enthusiastic Tennessee Tech Women’s basketball coach, Allison Clark, and “Tales from the Smoke House: The Christmas Book” a timely, full-color interior version of expert storyteller Franklin P. Smith‘s uplifting tales as told by old men around a pot-bellied stove in a rural South Georgia store. See: http://www.pinterest.com/stclairpublish/new-releases/

And just remember, life gives back a lot of what we put into it. Order a St. Clair Publications book today for yourself or for a loved one as a holiday gift of love.

If you want to get something done, ask a busy person

I have often heard that people who are not busy already won’t likely take on a new project. I have taken on so many that I sometimes have to say “No” now.

However, because I stay so busy I do get a lot accomplished. It’s kinda like the medication commercial which says “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.”

I have been terribly rushed lately trying to get everything accomplished that I need to before vacation. But, I still joined a new group on Linked-In today called Books and Writers. I find it really interesting, though I won’t be able to devote as much time to it as I would like. When I get responses to my posts, I will try to check them out.

In the meantime I am remaining very busy!

Check out our books at http://stclairpublications.com .

In a tense time, we can still make a positive difference

This week Christians celebrate Holy Week. Those of the Jewish faith celebrate Passover. Around the world, however,  it has been a week of tension due to many unfortunate events such as Russian intervention in Ukraine, Search for the missing plane in the Indian Ocean, sad memories of the Boston Marathon bombing a year ago, the tragic slaying of three gentiles by a Neo-Nazi targeting Jews near Kansas City, a ‘blood moon’ rumored to be a harbinger of the end of days, harsh spring storms and now the sinking of a ferry off the coast of Korea.

I have learned that trauma happens no matter what we do or say. Worry does us no good, because we worry about those things we can’t do anything about. A positive attitude and a thankful heart do more good than all of the worry and anxiety we could ever muster.

Over the past few days I have occupied myself in activities which I felt were beneficial. I went to a political meeting where candidates for federal, state and local offices could express their views. My wife and I went to church to worship God. We went to our granddaughter’s Easter party at school. We attended a Kiwanis meeting. Today she is going with her mother to visit her sister who was recently in the hospital, and I am going to visit a friend who has just been transferred from the hospital in a neighboring city to a local rehab center.Friday evening we are going to another town to judge dishes in a festival.

We are here to make a difference in this world. We may not move mountains, but we can encourage others who need our touch for that day.

After you do your best to help others, you may want to check out the excellent works of St. Clair Publications authors at http://stclairpublications.com, or on amazon worldwide. Have a blessed day!

Morgan Shepherd is an inspiration to us all

At age 72, Morgan Shepherd is attempting to do something that has never been done before: qualify for the Daytona 500 at that age! But he’s no stranger to challenges and wins. He has numerous trophies under his belt and 19 Nascar wins.

Three years ago, working as a security guard at Walmart, he took a shoplifter down in the parking lot and handcuffed him. He says he runs like he’s 30, and I believe it. He looks like he’s only about 45.

Shepherd, a professed, “born-again Christian,” is a fireball who says he can “whip the average guy’s butt!” I wouldn’t get in his way. My best and a hearty salute to Morgan Shepherd.

Mission Accomplished

The day before last Thanksgiving I posted that I would not be doing the normal weight gain over the holidays. The reason this was important is that at the beginning of last year I was up 20+ pounds from my average weight. At 6’2″ that didn’t show as much as it might have had I been shorter, but at my age I could certainly tell a difference in my energy and mobility. I determined to lose the extra pounds and at least stay within a selected 3 pound range. The weight was shed thanks to my wife’s going on the meal plan with me and preparing more healthy foods, as well as watching portions and exercise. Well, I used ‘will power’ enough to maintain during the past holiday period and am still within that range. We are again going on a regulated diet to try to drop a bit more and be healthy. Each of us only has one body and we need to take care of it.

So, my best to each one who reads this, and my hopes and wishes for a prosperous and HEALTHY 2014 to you all.

Auburn’s last second miracle

I was but one of the multitude with eyes glued on the final second of play in the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium last night. That alone is a miracle, as I had just turned to that channel to watch another program which was supposed to soon air.

One second remained on the clock. Alabama had made other failed attempts at a 57 foot field goal in an effort to break the 28-28 tie with Auburn. Again the attempt by Adam Griffith failed, but this time Coach Gesmatzahn had instructed Chris Davis to be poised to intercept the ball–a move so unexpected that it worked like a charm. Davis bolted around and through Alabama’s stunned tackles to complete a 109 foot touchdown, winning the game and clinching their shot at the SEC championship! Wow, what a play!

Even if your not an Auburn fan or are even not a normal sports enthusiast, one has to admire this remarkable accomplishment.

Moral of the story: Never give up, even in the face of what seems insurmountable odds.

If you are a writer and don’t think your writing can be recognized, though you feel that it has potential, don’t give up. Contact me at stan@stclair.net .

How to not gain weight during the holidays

We all do it every year. At Thanksgiving and Christmas we overeat because there is just so-o-o much delicious food and we just have to sample most of it. Then on  New Years we make a resolution (or at least a pledge) to lose the extra pounds.

Have you ever thought about it? This is like going to a party expecting to get wasted. But a lot of people do that too.

We don’t have to gain weight over the holidays. But that takes will power. We have to make a conscious decision not to eat too much. So if you don’t want to feel uncomfortable and filled with gas, and you don’t want to be concerned about your diet in January, just make a determination that you will eat sensibly this week and during the entire season. You can do what you determine you will. I’m making my ‘resolution’ now. Then I can be thankful that I was resolute. How about you?

Making lemonade

We’ve all heard the adage, “When life passes out lemons, make lemonade.” This stems from an earlier metaphoric expression (in my latest phrase book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, to be sure, on page 327 in the paperback) lemon for an inferior product. Here is the excerpt:

Lemon (auto)

A lemon is an automobile which is found to be defective after it is purchased, and may apply to either new or pre-titled autos. The word ‘lemon’ in this fashion goes back farther than its usage as relating to cars. It was coined early in the twentieth century in describing any defective item. Then, Julian Koenig, a highly acclaimed ad executive, used it in his 1950s Volkswagen ‘Think Small’ advertising campaign.

In the 1970s economist George Akerloff, a later Nobel Prize winner for this work, used the term in his 1970 paper, “The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism.”

The attention Akerloff gave to the problem was instrumental in first ‘lemon law’ being proposed in California in 1980.

But a lemon as described in the proverb also means any unforeseen unfortunate circumstance. This past week, my lemon started after a visit to one of my doctors, who is, by the way, a fan of my writing. Dr. S. assured me of my great physical shape and how well I was doing on my meds. Unfortunately, that afternoon I went into my back yard to resume work on the patio area I am constructing there and did a lot of strenuous work in the heat of the day. Not a wise plan for someone subject to bouts of exertion-induced asthmatic bronchitis. Needless to say I began feeling the effects immediately, and they only worsened into the weekend. By Saturday evening I relented to visit the ER. My oxygen level was very low, my blood pressure greatly elevated  and I was wheezing, rattling and gasping for every precious breath. I was given two breathing treatments and put on an IV with antibiotics and given steroids and pain killers. I am still on regular meds but able to be at my computer some. It’s difficult to keep me down.

This morning I lingered at the TV longer than the norm and was glad I did. CBS This Morning had two guests on who peaked my interest. Rock legend John Fogerty, who formed CCR in 1960, said that one of his inspirations was Howling Wolf, a now all but forgotten best selling performer of his day who was a personal friend and inspiration of my friend, Phil Ward, (pseudonym Israel Stuart) as a child, with whom I very recently co-wrote The Prince of Kings, an exceptionally moving and revealing true story. Howling Wolf has a prominent part in the book.

The other guest was NY Times best-selling Colleen Hoover. A few short years ago she was a housewife in Texas trying to raise 3 kids in a mobile home. She just wanted to be a writer. She got the idea of writing ebooks and publishing them on Kindle, never imagining what the result would be. Her first romance novel was called Slammed. Now her venture is owned by Simon and Schuster and she makes big bucks.

Like Colleen, I used my downtime to become inspired to do this blog entry. If writing is your dream, St. Clair Publications can put you “in the driver’s seat.” Yes, that one’s in my book, too. But you can get this and all of them at http://stclairpublications.com or this ground-breaking work can be yours on Amazon Kindle “for a song.”



Any job worth doing is worth doing well

I’ve been very busy this week preparing for events of which I am in charge this month for Kiwanis. Kiwanis is a worldwide service organization whose motto is “Serving the children of the world.” It has been my great joy to be a charter member of my club which was chartered in 1984.  I am serving as President this year, (a position I have held from time to time over the past 29 years) and will be going in as Lt. Governor of my District in October. But my duties are already beginning, and I am scheduled to speak at a luncheon meeting at one of the clubs today.

It has always been my belief that ‘any job worth doing is worth doing well.’ It’s something a lot of us heard from our parents, they heard from theirs, and back many generations. It is one of a multitude of old proverbs in my book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and figurative Expressions. I want to share this snippet from the book:

Any job worth doing is worth doing well

A number of Internet sites attribute the coining of this proverb to Dave Vanderbeck of Yardville, New Jersey in 1850.

Actually, this is an old proverb dating back to at least the eighteenth century. The Earl of Chesterfield, in a letter to his son in October, 1746 wrote the following:

“Care and application are necessary… In truth, whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.”
[1746 Chesterfield Letter 9 Oct. (Published 1932) III. 783]

Since it is an axiom, the meaning is clear. Later it was used by other authors, including H.G. Wells in Bealby in 1915:

“‘If a thing’s worth doing at all,’ said the professor, ‘it’s worth doing well.’”

This is only a small sample to the many sayings that are incorrectly attributed by a number of sources. If you haven’t gotten your copy, today you may get it as cheaply as FREE on Kindle if you are an Amazon Prime member.

I am going to make an honest effort to be the best Kiwanis Lt. Governor that I can. Like everybody else, I’m not perfect, but I do put in effort.

The same is true when I release a book which we have prepared for publication. There have only been two books released by us that we did not prepare. If you choose St. Clair Publications for your book, we pledge the best value in the POD publishing market today. And you can ‘put that in your pipe and smoke it.’..or ‘take it to the bank,’ which ever you prefer!