Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to take a moment on this special morning and wish a Happy Thanksgiving to my authors, customers and numerous social media friends. May the love within us become ENTHUSIASM and reach out to all of God’s children around the globe. Inside there is no race or color. “All men are created equal.”

Yesterday I placed a cliche from my popular book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions and a good number of copies sold on Amazon yesterday alone. To whomever is responsible, many thanks. My best to all of you, today and always!

Vacations, getaways and holidays

July is a month filled with celebrations. Tomorrow is a big one, both here in the US, and for our northern neighbors who celebrate Canada Day. A vast array of fireworks will remind us of our independence and love for country. A lot of folks will hit the road.

Rhonda and I got away a bit early, and rented a cabin in the mountains of Northeast Georgia, taking jaunts to Western North Carolina and a little farther south to meet with family members whom we hadn’t seen in quite a while. But we didn’t forget our reading material. We both took books and I also packed my Kindle.

As you escape the hustle and bustle of life in the fast lane this summer, be sure to take along a St.Clair Publication book. If you’re leaving for the 4th, you still have time to visit Amazon and download a Kindle e-book. Just head to our website and survey our selection first. And if you have a devise other than Kindle you can select one of our eVolve editions directly on the site.

So have a safe and happy holiday and relax by reading!

Feliz Navidad

On this holy day in Christianity I arose early. Not because I was anticipating opening presents, but because I was wide awake and couldn’t go back to sleep. First, I want to wish my readers a very happy and blessed day. The reason for the celebration is remembering the birth of the Christ Child who came over 2,000 years ago–not on December 25– but that doesn’t matter. The remembrance is what counts.

Over the past two weeks, like millions of other people, I have had a mixture of emotions. While still reeling from the senseless slaughter of innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, December 14, we were hit with the lingering illness of our precious little Pomeranian, Stardust, the dog which had been our special joy over the past 16 years plus, and her passing away on Tuesday, a week ago today. At first this was so stunning a blow that I could hardly communicate with others. And I shall always miss her. But we were blessed to have her. When placing this beside the loss of the parents and family members of the victims of Sandy Hook, I realize that it is paled in comparison. May God comfort them and give them tranquility of soul.

Today represents love and hope. The birth of the Prince of Peace. May his love give all a brighter tomorrow. Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, God Jul and may all receive His peace.

A poet and don’t know it

I am wrapping up phase one of my final phrase origin book. The original, On the Origin of the Cliches and Evolution of Idioms, continues to sell daily on Amazon both in America and also a number in the U.K. On the Origin of the Cliches, All New, Book II is also selling well.

The effort of the new book continues to consume much of my time. But the result is definitely worth it. I am now doing corrective formatting to agree with my new, larger page, smaller text version. It will approach 800 pages and is intended to be a trend-setter and standard-bearer for future books of its type. It will contain the phrases in my earlier books and many hundreds more. After this stage I shall begin first proofing, then two of my associates will also go over it carefully before I begin the final editing and proofing for publication, hopefully in late spring, 2013.

One of the entries is “Poet and don’t know it.” If you’ve ever made a rhyme without trying you may have had someone rattle off these witty words to you. Here is my entry for that phrase:

Poet and don’t know it

This sordonic statement is invoked when someone has apparently made an unintentional rhyme. It has been around in varying forms since the late-nineteenth century. The earliest known citation is from Niagara University’s (New York) Niagara Index, page 27, 1 October 1895:

“The author of that German poem, placed under our door must come to our office and identify himself with no less than three witnesses before we will pass judgement on its merits for publication.

“’We have a poet and don’t know it. If he had whiskers he’d be a go at.’”

The fact that the entire expression was in quotes leads to the opinion that it was already in use. Then in 1926 the following variation, which became more popular, appeared in Volume 20 of the Washington, DC, literary journal, Gargoyle Magazine as a part of a ‘Pat and Mike’ joke:

Pat: “You’re a poet and don’t know it, your feet show it; they’re Long- fellows.”

At St. Clair Publications we actually publish poets–the kind that KNOW IT and want to be read. Recently a friend made it known that she had a book of poetical prayers that she wanted to someday publish. We will be the ones with the honor of putting out her book.

If you have some poems that you believe are worthy of appearing in print, let me know and I will be happy to discuss it with you. I do have the option of accepting or rejecting anything, of course. We have guidelines and standards. Here’s wishing our readers a very merry holiday season.

 

The books just keep coming out – I am thankful

In the last few years St. Clair Publications has released 52 books and has two more in the final editing process at this date. A number more are in various stages of writing and preparation.

I am thankful as we near the Thanksgiving holiday that we are blessed to be able to continue operating our publishing business debt-free, with all expenses paid as they are incurred. At a time when traditional publishing companies with great trackrecords are shutting their doors, we are operating as we did when we first began to open our hearts to other authors in 2008. All books are printed on demand so no one is out big bucks for books lying on a shelf somewhere. Yes, we have books in a number of bookstores and retail establishments, and in libraries in the U.S., Canada and the UK. But we don’t owe a dime on the publication and have been able to keep expenses to a mimimum.

Though our on-site EVolve ebook launch has been slightly delayed, we expect that all technicalities will be resolved soon and the new division will make it even easier for everyone to own a St. Clair Publications book. We have many ebooks available on Amazon Kindle even now.

In the meantime, be thankful for what you have, be safe and enjoy the upcoming holiday!

Should Columbus Day become Exploration Day?

I, for one, believe that it should. In August 2008 I was among a group of concerned folk who organized, supported and attended The Atlantic Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia featuring numerous speakers from around the world advocating taking another look at the popular teaching that Columbus discovered America. It is common knowledge that there were several explorers who journied from Europe at least hundreds of years before his 1492 venture with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. In fact, a new book published by St. Clair Publications primarily aimed at youth which is vividly illustrated in brilliant color unvails the story of one of them, ‘Prince Henry’ St. Clair, Earl of Orkney’ by Hazel Brown, which is available on Amazon in the US, the UK and continental European sites.

There is a growing movement to change Columbus Day to Exploration Day, recognizing all explorers for their remarkable feats. If you agree, you may go to http://explorationdayusa.org/ and sign a petition to do so.

Another wonderful book, one which I can only wish I had published, was authored by my friend, Gunner Thompson. It’s called Viking America and may be purchased in either hardback or paperback at a number os online retailers. It gives detailed research information concerning voyages to the New World as far back as the Roman Empire, and includes a shocking map which he discovered from 1414 showing another contenent on an orb resembling our modern maps, though somewhat distorted due to lack of proper charting. So the next time someone says ‘In 14 hundred and 92 Columbus sailed the ocean blue’ you can say, “Yeah, so what?”

Anniversary of our Independence: July 4…or 2?

For our neighbors to the north, Canada, their birth as a nation is celebrated on July 1st, and it is called ‘Canada Day.’ To our immediate south, our Mexican neighbors call their special date ‘Cinco de Mayo,’ which means May fifth. Here in the good old US of A we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day because on this date in 1776, our forebears composed the ‘Declaration of Independence,’ the document by which we proclaimed ourselves to be a sovereign nation, free from the rulership of our mother country, Great Britain. But it wasn’t actally signed until August 7th.

And there is still a controversary among some as to when our independence should really be celebrated. That’s because July 2nd, two days before the drafting of the documeent of freedom, is the true day that the Continental Congress voted for our independence, in essence declaring it.

If you recall, John Hancock signed at the very top in his larger-than-life script. Most people fail to realize that this was because he was the President of the Continental Congress at the time.

But the most important factor about this or any other celebration is not the when, but the why. And that we all know. So happy anniversary, America. And long may you live, and long may we be free.

A reason to celebrate

As I type these words, the temperature outside my door is 103 degrees, and we are in severe drought. On the surface it would appear that I wouldn’t have much to celebrate. But our great country is about to enjoy the 236th anniversary of our independence. Now in spite of the problems we have today, America is still the greatest nation in the world, and I was born here and celebrate my citizenship as an American citizen. The fact that we still have our freedom is a reason to be grateful.

Every day we can look around us, both literally and figuratively, and see many who are not as well off as we. There is an old saying, “I was sad that I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” These is always reason for gladness and celebration. All Americans should rejoice in their rights and freedoms and as this July 4th holiday approaches, greet it with gladness and thanksgiving.

 

Happy Father’s Day

On this day set aside to honor dads, it is my pleasure to wish all fathers a wonderful day. I was taken out to dinner last night, and enjoyed some quality time with family. At the church I attended this morning I had the privilege of watching a live scype interview on a large overhead screen with the preacher and a doctor serving in Afganistan who is soon coming home. I know that makes his family proud; both knowing that he has been able to be of service to our country and that he will soon be back with them.

All of this should remind us that regrdless of the problems which we have had as a nation, we still have been abundantly blessed in America. And families which are fortunate enough to have good fathers should be proud indeed. I know I am proud that I had a father who loved and encouraged me. I have not always been the best father in the world, but I do love my children and I make certain that they know it.

Home again, home again, jiggedy jog

When I was a child my mother used to use a little rhyme with me when we had returned from a trip. “To market, to market, to buy a fat hog, home again, home again jiggedy jog.” Tonight, after a week away which I dearly loved, I’m rather glad to be home. One of the movies the kids watched while on the road (probably for the hundredth time) was the Wizard of Oz. I know how the ficticious Dorothy would feel after returning from Oz. She had a marvelous experience, but it was good to get back to Kansas.

So I must say I will get to doing the blog in ernest later. It’s back to reality fo me and mine.