The Healer and the Pirate

The Healer and the Pirate is available now on Kindle and Nook, and in print at Lulu and Amazon!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year 1922

I think this applies 90 years later. Do you?

Competition is going to be keen this year. The dollar is going to be hard to get. Men who have been getting twice what they were before and have had lots of money to spend are going to feel the pinch. It looks as if everybody who works for a living will have to work a little harder. It may be that life will seem hard. But what of it? Life has always been hard--perhaps it was meant to be. Anyway, it is something that has got to be lived and mastered. It's the business of men "to greet the unseen with a cheer" and "to advance on chaos and the dark."

Of course all of us cannot have a hand in the big things that must be done in meeting the challenge of 1922. But if all of us do the little things we may, 1922 will indeed be the "Happy New Year" of our greetings.

To save a little money,
  To praise a little more;
To smile when days are sunny
  And when the tempests pour;
To pay less heed to sinning
  And more to kindly thought;
To see beyond the winning
  Just how the fight was fought;
To be a little kinder,
  A little braver, too,
To be a little blinder
  To trivial things men do,
To give my hand to labor,
  Nor whimper that I must;
To be a better neighbor
  And worthier of a trust.
To play the man, whatever
  The prize at stake;
God grant that I shall never
  These New Year pledges break.

--Fair Play, St. Genevieve, MO, December 31, 1921

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"I figured whatever you did had to hurt, like a surgeon stitching you up."

So this is a game that goes around Facebook every so often.

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence AS YOUR STATUS. AND POST these instructions in a comment to this status.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST book.

And it was, as above: "I figured whatever you did had to hurt, like a surgeon stitching you up."

I totally cheated because I picked up The Healer and the Pirate, which was not only nowhere near me, but was in fact in a sealed box that I had to open. Sorry.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Which is better? Steak or pizza?

Why is it that food-related jingles are so catchy? Even when they aren't selling a particular product?

Seriously, I have sung both of these songs. More than once. Though I don't have all of Jimmy Fallon's pizza party song/dance memorized so it's usually more improvisation.

(Today was actually a very special day but I'll talk more about that next Monday. :) )

Friday, December 23, 2011

The First Christmas Tree

This isn't a Biblical story; sounds like it was probably a medieval legend. Touching, though.

Many years ago--very many years ago--a small party of men landed from a boat on a rocky coast. The men came from Palestine and the inhospitable coast was the shore of barbarian England.

The party was headed by one Joseph of Arimathea and he came to tell the people of England, for the first of Jesus, who died for men and women.

The natives would have nothing to do with them--would not listen, or go near them or give them food. For days they traveled, chilled and hungry, until, despairing, Joseph sank down. As he did so, he thrust his staff into the ground. To the amazement of the Pilgrims, the staff began to bund; the buds turned to leaves and the fragrant blooms unfolded before their astonished eyes.

"It is a sign from God!" said Joseph. "He bids us have courage. Let us settle here and preach about Jesus."

They built a rough house and chapel alongside the little tree and many years later that house was rebuilt with beautiful Gladstonbury abbey.

But the tree lived all through Joseph's life and long after, and it is said that it blossomed every Christmas eve.

Such, friends, is the beautiful legend of the world's first Christmas tree. And that is why our little children's Christmas tree cannot be bare of branches, but must be green--blooming.

Blooming, as blooms the eternal love of the Man of Galilee for all humanity.

--The Colville Examiner, Washington, December 24, 1921, Page 5

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Get a spectacular Christmas album FREE!

Our Heart's Hero is giving away their Christmas album on Noisetrade for FREE. Buy it! Leave them a tip if you like.

I paid $8.99 for the album a week or two ago and it was well worth it. You should definitely download it for free! I reviewed the album on this page if you want to read it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Unique use for a Kindle

OK, maybe not that unique...but I did my last read-through for "The Healer and the Pirate" by loading it onto Kindle. If I saw something that needed attention, I'd just highlight and type a tiny note--like ".". Then I could look at the Kindle doc later and check the document.

Two advantages to this method:

*I could do my last read-through at lunch and away from my computer.

*A good way to help you edit is to change the font/format/etc., which can trick your mind into thinking the document is new. Changing from a 13" laptop screen to a black-and-white Kindle screen...well, that's certainly a different way to look at the document!

The main disadvantage is that your changes aren't instantly reflected in the document. But that's also an advantage...I tend to make changes impulsively, and knowing that you have to do extra work to make a change helps keep you from changing something unless it needs changed. In the late stages of editing, that can be a good thing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Daily Duffy

If you like the Duffy the Disney Bear photos I've been putting up sometimes, you might enjoy my new log, Daily Duffy. I put up a new Duffy picture every day...just a tiny dose of cuteness.

Be careful, tiny bears!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Carols - 1921

I didn't see much reference to Christmas least not in the newspapers from December 17, 1921...

Church of the Beloved Disciple


REV. GEO. R. VAN DE WATER, D.D., Rector.

Communion, 8 and 10, 11, Rev L. E. Sunderland, Supt. City Mission Society,

CHRISTMAS CAROLS, Ancient and Modern. Organ, 'Cello, Violin, Harp.

4 P. M.

Silent NIght, First Noel, Three Kings, Lo, How a Rose, 1609, Slumber Song, Song of the Angels.

--The New York Tribune, December 17, 1921, Page 17

I'd never even heard "Lo, How a Rose" (the 1609 appears to refer to the arrangement) or "Slumber Song." I'm assuming those are these two songs.

I can't find which song is "Song of the Angels."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sliver of Soul

One of the more intimidating (and wonderful) parts about writing is that you're sharing a bit of your inmost thoughts, even your soul, with the world.

On the up side, if no one reads it, I don't have to worry about that. The other wonderful thing is if people actually enjoy visiting the realm of your mind for a while.

The Healer and the Pirate is available now on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and print!

She was an exotic healer hiding from the dangers lurking in her past...

Nessa Pearson wanted nothing more than to disappear into the everyday life of her quiet mountainside village. When a friend's urgent letter arrives, Nessa faces her fears and flies off to heal a sick child. But just when Nessa thinks she can lay her worries to rest, her safety vanishes in a cloud of smoke.

He was a pirate on a mission...

With his father at death's door, Aridin Nightstar would do anything to save him--even use a magic lamp to kidnap a beautiful healer. With a few delays, he spirits Nessa back to his ship, just like he'd planned. What he hadn't counted on was the white-skinned, blue-haired captive stealing his heart.

Can Nessa and Aridin overcome bandits, a bloodthirsty crew and Aridin's greedy mother to follow the Savior's plan?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Surprising Christmas Album by Our Hearts Hero

NOTE: You can get this album FREE on NoiseTrade!

"Love is Breathing", the new Christmas album by "Our Hearts Hero," is different from any Christmas album I've heard (by Christian artists or not).

Perhaps the most striking aspect to me is that every song is about Jesus' birth--not a single song about chestnuts or snow or anything. The closest to a "secular" song is the excellent (and currently FREE on their website!) Carol of the Bells, but they threw in an interlude of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" in the middle to fill it out.

Now, granted, I'm sure there are plenty of all-religious Christian Christmas albums out there. But it seems like even many everyday Christian rock albums throw in a remake of a secular song, and most Christmas albums seem to have some religious songs and some secular ones. To hear an album that's so heavy on rock but all REAL Christmas songs is something special in and of itself.

Others have noted that from the titles of the songs you might think it's an all-original album, when it's not. (Though this close to Christmas, I imagine you're probably buying from an online outlet, and if you listen to the previews you'll figure it out quick enough.) "Love is Breathing" is the only fully original song. Most of the others have at least some snippets of new music and lyrics and/or new and unique arrangements. I think giving the songs names like "Glow" (for "Gloria in Excelsis Deo") is fair, because the majority are not really the old songs, but not something completely new, either. Relient K does some of this in "Let it Snow Baby, Let it Reindeer," especially in their version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" where the verses are made up but the chorus is classic. But I think several of the songs on "Love is Breathing" one-up that classic album in that regard.

If you're the type who doesn't want to hear another rendition of old classics, then this may not be the best pick for you. But this album is full of fresh and unique takes on truly classic songs.

And it's a joyful album, too. Many Christmas albums, as well-intentioned as they can be, are kind of somber. The upbeat takes on the songs, coupled with the fact that there's absolutely no longing for absent family or snow or the like, makes this a very Christmasy album.

Their own original song, "Love is Breathing," has some amazing lyrics from the point of view of a shepherd. The chorus goes "Love is breathing, Hope is screaming tonight in the baby's cry. I have mercy and I saw grace inside of this newborn's eyes. And everything we know's about to change. And He's laying in the stable in a manger asleep on the hay."

(My one issue with it is the Digital Rights Management on the Amazon version, but that's probably Amazon's fault, and it's Christmas so I'll save that vent for another day.)

Anyway, if you like Christian rock at all, hurry and buy "Love is Breathing" by Our Hearts Hero. The sooner you buy it, the more time you have to listen to it before Christmas!

(FTC disclosure--I got the single "Bells" free from and got hooked into paying $8.99 for the rest of the songs!)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Disarmament; Dr. Adolph Lorenz; 336 Hours to Christmas

Draft of Proposed Pact Is Formally Laid Before Arms Parley

WASHINGTON, D. C., Dec. 10--A draft of the proposed treaty between the United States, Great Britain, France and Japan, which is to supplant the Anglo-Japanese alliance and pave the way for an acceptance of the American proposals for a naval reduction, was formally laid before the arms conference today by Senator Lodge.

--The Evening Herald (Klamath Falls, Or), December 10, 1921

Clinics for Poor Cripples Will Be Continued; Receives an Offer From College

NEW YORK, Dec. 10--Although keenly hurt by the cold shoulder which he said the medical profession of America had turned toward him, Dr. Adolph Lorenz, famous Australian (sic), indicated tonight he would carry on his free clinics for cripples here.

"I'll stay, if they don't throw me out," he said.

Dr. Lorenz attributed the feeling against him to animosities bred by the war. The people as a whole, though, had been wonderful beyond description in their reception of his work," he added.

"Whether I go home to Vienna or stay is entirely up to the health commissioner of New York," he declared.

Health Commissioner Copeland said he would see to it that Dr. Lorenz remained….

"My great mission was to thank the American people for all they have done for the starving little children of Vienna. I did not fail in this."

Dr. Lorenz did not disappoint 75 crippled children who had gathered at Health Commissioner Copeland's office today, seeking his aid….

When Dr. Lorenz stopped to rest and sip some tea, Dr. Copeland said to him:

"We have in America a type of citizens we call 'd--- fools.' Don't be disturbed by them…I have received word that my university, the University of Michigan, is open for you. The health officer of Newark, Dr. Charles V. Craster, is here, and he wants you to go there and assist in caring for the crippled in that city."

Dr. Lorenz replied:

"I have done what I could with a clear conscience and a good heart. I will continue if God assists me."

--The Evening Herald (Klamath Falls, OR), December 10, 1921

Apparently, Dr. Lorenz nearly won the Nobel Peace Prize, though I'd never heard of him. has an interesting write-up of him...apparently he couldn't operate due to an allergy to carbolic acid. It looks like he performed manipulations and such without cutting into people.

And this caught my eye because frankly, about half the 1920s comic strips, I don't follow at all. I think this one works today.

--The Bemidji Daily Pioneer (Bemidji, MN), December 10, 1921

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One wonderful thing about publishing

The Healer and the Pirate, a Christian romance fantasy novel, is out on several platforms!


Other eFormats, including Nook (and also Kindle)


We'll have it in the Nook store as soon as Barnes and Noble allows.

We have a blog that we update at least every Saturday (Savior willing)!

And here's the lovely cover, by Maggie Phillippi.

One wonderful thing about just getting our work out there?

NO MORE EDITING. OK, yeah, if we find a typo (they happen in all published works, even ones that have had multiple editors), yeah, we'll fix it. And while it's a pain to fix them across 3 or 4 digital platforms, it's nothing compared to fixing a traditionally printed book.

But more importantly, it means NO MORE CHANGES TO STORYLINES. Granted, those always drove Maggie batty. Even driving home today I was thinking, "In 'The Healer and the Pirate,' wouldn't it be better if we changed that scene where--"

NO. Let me stop you right there, me. Just, NO.

It's out there and DONE. Get to focusing on the next one. Stop editing and get to writing!

I'd better listen to me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tons of Free Christian Music on Freegal

Edited 3/25/12

So last week I talked about Freegal, which is a system that some libraries subscribe to that allows patrons to download free and legal MP3s (usually 3/week). More info here.

I suggest you go right now and check your local library website.  If they have Freegal, you can get yourself some music!  If not, then you could check other city libraries that you may be able to get a card to (like if you're in a suburb, try the big city).  If they also don't offer it, then move along; this post will be pretty dull to you.

I was actually just going to post that you can finally look up songs by genre on Freegal, but I just checked and couldn't get it to work.  Again.  So below is a list of some popular Christian artists on Freegal.  The below is not a comprehensive list, but it gives you a starting point.

I suggest you use "Advanced Search" and search by artist. Asterisks are for my own use, as I'll be checking back to download some more songs from them later.  And once you've grabbed some free songs, maybe you can head on over to iTunes or Amazon MP3 and show some love to one of your favorite smaller artists.  :)

Skillet - Skillet; Ardent Worship: Skillet; Alien Youth; Hey You, I Love Your Soul; Invincible; The Early Years
Don't Miss: Angels Fall Down; Will You Be There (Falling Down)

Stellar Kart - Everything Is Different Now; A Whole New World EP
Don't Miss: All My Heart; Something Holy; Rescue

*Disciple - Disciple; Southern Hospitality; Horseshoes & Handgrenades
Don't Miss: Still working on it

Fireflight - For Those Who Wait; The Healing of Harms; Unbroken and Unplugged
Don't Miss: Unbreakable; For Those Who Wait

Wavorly - Conquering the Fear of Flight
Don't Miss: Praise and Adore

*Relient K - The First Three Gears; Forget And Not Slow Down; The Bird And the Bee Sides; Let It Snow Baby, Let It Reindeer; Is For Karaoke EP; Is For Karaoke EP Part 2
Don't Miss: Softer To Me; For The Moments I Feel Faint; Forward Motion; Getting Into You

*Subseven - Free To Conquer; Subseven the EP
Don't Miss: Faded Letters; Mayday (from Subseven the EP)

Red (I had to use Advanced Search and look up Artist and Album) - End of Silence; Innocence and Instinct; Until We Have Faces
Don't Miss: Already Over

The Chemistry - The Chemistry
Don't Miss: Still Alive

Nevertheless - Live Like We're Alive; In the Making…
Don't Miss: Live Like We're Alive

Plumb - The Best of Plumb; Plumb; Simply Plumb; candycoatedwaterdrops

Switchfoot - The Beautiful Letdown; Live; Nothing Is Sound; Stars; Oh! Gravity., The Best Yet

The Fray - The Fray; Heartbeat; Over My Head (Cable Car); Reason; Acoustic in Nashville Bootleg No. 2; How To Save A Life; Live at the Electric Factory (Bootleg No. 2)

Eleventyseven - Galactic Conquest; and the land of fake believe

*House of Heroes - The End Is Not The End; Meets the Beatles EP; The Acoustic End EP; Suburba; The Christmas Class; Lovesick Zombie; The Rebel Jesus

Jars of Clay - A ton of songs

Are any of your other favorite Christian bands on Freegal?  Did I miss any songs that you consider "Don't Miss"?  Leave a comment!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Healer and the Pirate - again

The Healer and the Pirate is now in print! Actually, I haven't seen the physical print copy yet, so this is your chance to get a special very first edition, in time for Christmas!

Click here to order! Use the code SLEIGHRIDES by December 6 for FREE ground shipping!

Also on Kindle ($2.99)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Baby with Five Hundred Mothers - 1921

Front page news.

"Baby With Five Hundred Mothers" Undergoes Successful Operation

Orville McBaine, the 10-month-old crippled baby for whom the girls of Stephens College recently subscribed more than $400, has successfully undergone the first operation necessary to straigthen his legs, and will be brought back here probably next week for treatment until it is time for another operation in St. Louis. Miss Willie T. Bryant, visiting nurse for the Charity Organization Society, who took care of the baby's mother before she died about two months ago from tuberculosis, will go to St. Louis the first of next week to get the baby.

The child is now at the St. Louis Children's Hospital under the care of a specialist, Dr. Nathaniel Allison. Three operations will be necessary to make the child's legs usable, but after that Doctor Allison promises a cure. Between the operations the baby will be brought here, where it will be given the best of care and special treatments which Dr. Allison will prescribe.

The 500 Stephens College girls, who constituted themselves the baby's mothers when they gave the money for the operation, are still thinking up things to do for their "baby." They are buying blankets, clothes of all kinds which they think he will need and toys to amuse him. Each one of them takes a personal interest in the baby, and takes it upon herself to see that the "baby with five hundred mothers" is well taken care of.

--The Columbia Evening Missourian, December 2, 1921

Good news! July 1922:

Orville McBaine, Adopted by Stephens' Girls, Is Cured.

Little Orville McBaine, the crippled baby who was last winter adopted by the girls in Stephens College, who gave him the benefit of medical treatment, is again in Columbia after several weeks in a St. Louis hospital. Orville is so much improved now that physicians say he is practically cured.

He was brought back from St. Louis by his father, Richard McBaine. He was first taken to St. Louis by Miss Willie Bryant, visiting nurse of Boone County, last fall. The girls of Stephens College made it possible for the little fellow to remain in the hospital until the present time.

--The Columbia Evening Missourian, July 29, 1921

From the Social Security Death Index it looks like he lived to be 77 and died in 1998.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I'm not certain which is more common at Disneyland, unicorns or pegasii.

But here's a pegasus in the Aladdin show at Disney California Adventure!

Still a little tired from my trip to Disneyland (which was a lot of fun!) but I got more ideas for LUNA....maybe I'll do something with that someday. I think it would be so great to entertain people...but then, maybe I can do that through writing?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tons o' free (to you) music

First, A Rotterdam November could really use your help...if you have $5 or more to spare, please hop over to their Kickstarter and preorder their upcoming EP. I have no doubt it will be excellent. $5 for the EP or you can put up more money and get some really cool stuff.

I was surprised to find my library subscribes to a service called can log in with your library card info and then download up to 3 MP3s a week at no cost to you. The count resets Sunday; I understand some libraries may run through their allotment by the end of the day Sunday or Monday.

When I investigated further, I found it may not be the best use of the library's money, as the library is often paying Freegal (who appears to work through Sony?) about $1 per MP3. But on the other hand, it also appears it's kind of a prepaid thing, so if your library has it, it's paid for and you might as well take advantage.

Christian artists include Switchfoot, Relient K, Fireflight, Nevertheless, Skillet, The Fray, and Red (you'll have to do Advanced Search for those last two). Certainly a ton more, but their browse option is absolutely abysmal so you have to search for a particular artist to find them!

Assuming you actually would've bought all these MP3s for $1 each, that's a free $156 a year...not too bad!

Now that I've saved you all that money, don't you want to go support a band who needs you? :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday - post-Thanksgiving - 1921

Yes, the after-Thanksgiving sale dates to at least 1921!

"A Purchase in This Sale Will Make an Ideal and Acceptable Christmas Gift!…Connected With No Other Establishment in the World"

That looks like a really neat store, but I think the ad copy leaves a little to be desired… Looks like Seidenbach's closed in 1963. Good story at Tulsa World.

--The Morning Tulsa Daily World, November 26, 1921 (page 7)

Toys! Note the "Miniature Theatre with Doll Actors Performing "Red Riding Hood" and "the Pie and the Tart" at Gimbels--Sixth Floor

--The New-York Tribune, November 24, 1921 (page 7)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Notes from Tus-con Part 1

I went to a bunch of panels at Tus-con, mostly geared towards writing. The first one I went to was titled something along the lines of "There are 32 ways to write a story but only 1 plot" with panelists Bruce Davis, Dennis McKiernan, Weston Ochse, and Patricia Briggs. Here are a few points I picked up that might help other writers.

Dennis McKiernan said the story begins when something changes and the adventure begins when something goes wrong. He suggested you mull over an idea to figure out if it's worth writing about. He keeps a Word doc of all his ideas, but Patricia Briggs noted she won't read the ideas if she writes them down.

Patricia Briggs said "I don't have ideas. I have characters." She starts with unhappy characters and throws them in a room with other unhappy characters (happy characters don't have stories). She said the one plot is characters solving a problem. As for outlining, if she knows how it ends, she doesn't care.

Weston Ochse noted that everything he's read is a mystery (characters discovering things), and "every story is a mystery at its heart."

Bruce Davis finds it hard to write nice characters because when you're in someone's head, you don't think nice things. He doesn't think total heroes exist, but total jerks do!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tiny Duffy and TusCon 2011 part 2

They had a lot of fancy geodes at the hotel, for some reason.

I let Duffy pick a toy out of the treat and toy bowl.

I didn't let him take this one home. It was kind of creepy.

Later he took another one.

It wasn't that dark out but this picture looked spooky.

Weird Chinese beverage thing.



Oh, NOW I get it. Wait, no I don't.

Duffy likes Spiderman because they can both climb up walls.

Fancy Duffy.

Duffy with body parts.

Duffy with chili!

Oh no! Be careful, Duffy!

But he escaped. Goodbye from Tus-con!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Scalping in 1921

90 years ago, The main news is still about the peace agreement:

U.S. to Refuse Japanese Plea for More Battleships; Britain Stops Construction of Four Giant Cruisers…

--The New-York Tribune, Saturday, November 19, 1921 (page 1)

Also something I hadn't heard of. (I miss the days of votes that weren't on partisan lines…)

Anti-Beer Bill Passes Senate; Vote Is 56 to 22
Wadsworth Denounces 'Savage Rigidity' of Measure; Goes to Harding Now and Will Stop Medicinal Brew
Nullifies Treasury Rules
Enforcement Will Kill Prohibition and Lead to Terror Reign, Says Senator

From The Tribune's Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18.--The long struggle over the anti-beer bill in the Senate ended to-day with the passage of that measure by a vote of 56 to 22. The question before the Senate was adoption of the conference report, which had already passed the House. The bill now goes to President Harding for signature, and when it is signed and enacted the beer regulations recently issued by the Treasury Department will be nullified. The bill stops the use of beer and malt liquors for medicinal purposes.

Twelve Republicans and ten Democrats voted against the bill….

--The New-York Tribune, Saturday, November 19, 1921 (page 1)

And evidently ticket scalping dates back to at least the 1920s...

Chicago After Ticket Scalpers

CHICAGO, Nov. 18.--Palmer E. Anderson, chief field deputy of the Internal Revenue Collector's Office, today assigned fifty deputies to round-up scalpers who have sold tickets for the Chicago-Wisconsin football game to-morrow at advanced prices without paying the required 50 per cent tax.

--The New-York Tribune, Saturday, November 19, 1921 (page 13)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Writing Styles

Sorry I didn't update yesterday; my ISP was down from before I got up 'til when I went to bed. Not pleased!

So my co-author has a style of suggesting we just cut things out if they're not good. It's actually an excellent rule (so excellent we've dubbed it Maggie's Rule). It's amazing how many times you have those sentences that just don't flow right, and if you delete them, it makes the paragraph stronger than if you'd tried to fix it!

When in doubt, take it out.

I have more packrat-ish and idea-hoarding tendencies, so my rule naturally tends to be more "If it's OK, it can stay."

Can make editing interesting sometimes! Really, Maggie's Rule is better than mine...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tiny Duffy and TusCon 2011

Here are some pictures from a recent trip to Tucson and my favorite convention, TusCon.

It is hard to stay safe when you are a tiny bear.

3 reasons eegee's is awesome:

Cherry Cider eegee's…one of the very best flavors of the month ever.

Ranch with fries. BY DEFAULT. (Speaking of which, it's a sub/sandwich place where you can get fries. WITH RANCH. BY DEFAULT.)

Captain eegee's! I think he actually predates Mr. Incredible.

Tiny Duffy waits for a panel at TusCon. (Note the Sprite behind him.)

Tiny Duffy has nachos in the con suite.


Outside the film room.

Can you find a hidden Mickey?

Just resting.

Inside the film room. POPCORN!

And since I'm lazy and this is a super-easy way to do an entry, more next week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Burial of the Unknown Soldier - 1921

America's Unknown Hero Is Laid to Rest As Harding Calls on World to End War

Such Sacrifice Never Must Be Asked Again, Nation's Chief Pleads in Solemn Ceremony at Arlington
All Nation Silent As Grave Is Sealed
Nameless One Entombed, Amid HIghest Honors in All History, as Symbol of the Country's Fallen

By Boyden R. Sparkes

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11.--The unidentified body of an American who died in a battlefield in France was entombed to-day in Arlington Cemetery, to live forever in the hearts of patriotic countrymen as the Unknown Soldier. Perhaps he was a homesick boy on that day when his life faded out, but if his spirit eyes saw the spectacle on that Virginia hilltop, if he heard the cry against war uttered there to-day, he knows he did not die in vain.

If his mother, unknowing, was among the sorrowing women who wept as nations honored her son, she, too, must know that his life was not a wasted sacrifice, for the President of the United States, standing beside the Silent One, voiced a pledge that American energy be dedicated to the cause of everlasting peace.

Light-hearted, his spirit may have hovered over that funeral procession as it tramped to the slow cadence of a dirge the seven miles from the capital across the Potomac to the heights where America's dead heroes have their bivouac. Rushing on ahead, an impatient, glorious spirit, he could have looked down from above on all the ceremonies in that white, unroofed amphitheater…….

--New-York Tribune, November 12, 1921

By the end, the article was saying what the dead soldier's spirit DID know and see. Very weird stuff.

"His Sacrifice Shall Not Be in Vain"
President Harding Calls for Commanding Voice of Civilization Against Warfare

President Harding, speaking at the burial of the Unknown Soldier yesterday, said:

"Standing to-day on hallowed ground, conscious that all America has halted to share in the tribute of heart and mind and soul to this fellow American, and knowing that the world is noting this expression of the Republic's mindfulness, it is fitting to say that his sacrifice, and that of the millions dead, shall not be in vain.

"There must be, there shall be, the commanding voice of a conscious civilization against armed warfare."

--New-York Tribune, November 12, 1921

President Harding took advantage of the day to spin the disarmament plan.


Hughes Surprises Conference With Concrete Plan for Ridding World of Huge Warship Burden
Harding Says Humanity Cries Out for Relief
Tells Armament Conference War-Wearied World Demands Assurances of Lasting Peace--Hopes for New Era

Calls for Immediate Fleet Cut by Britain, Japan and America
Gives London and Washington Nearly Equal Figures, Tokio Less
Secretary Presents Detailed Plan Covering Wide Range of Sea Disarmament


--Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia, PA), November 12, 1921

All this would be work so well if no countries were ever bad.

A bit more info is at

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Time Tithe - Results

So when I set up my goal to do 100 hours of church/time with God/writing in 40 days, I knew full well I'd set a goal to have The Healer and the Pirate finalized and on Kindle in November. Fair enough. But somehow I guess I had this idea that somehow the formatting would take like 15 minutes and I'd fill the rest of my time with editing and such. Or, maybe formatting in Word would take ages but then it'd fly into Kindle with no problems.

Uh, yeah, no. I spent probably 5 or 10 hours wrestling with Kindle in the last few days and I'm still not so sure about the formatting. It still has some small glitches I can't get rid of, short of converting the whole thing to HTML (and since I moved it all into Pages because that can convert to ePub, I don't want to knock it into another program....).

But anyway, if you count doing formatting/Kindle work, and Googling for solutions to that and interesting and necessary things like tax questions online, I definitely hit my 100 hours in 40 days! Will probably take a bit of a break tomorrow and will be reading one more time on my Kindle this weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Those Corinthians must have liked music

Just happened to find these verses reading through my Bible yesterday.

Oh, and A Rotterdam November could totally use your help, if you have a few bucks to spare for their new EP. $5 pre-orders a digital download; more gives you more spiffy stuff!

Here is a lovely song from them.

A Rotterdam November's "Letter"

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

--2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (NIV1984)

Using some Bible verses and working them into a love song…pretty neat.

Moving along, 2 Corinthians 4:7:

Jars of Clay's "Four Seven"

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;

--2 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB)

And from the very next lines in the Bible, we have

"I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength"

Darrell Evans' "Trading My Sorrows"

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

--2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV1984)

Friday, November 4, 2011

President Harding and Segregation - 1921

When people complain about how awful the world is, these kind of articles put things into perspective for me. This is from an African-American newspaper in Minnesota (I didn't see prominent references to it in other newspapers at the Library of Congress site).


President Harding made a speech Wednesday at Birmingham, Ala., on the race problem, which displayed remarkable misinformation on the subject due to the fact that he has evidently studied from one side only.

Of course Mr. Harding is right, when he says that the colored man should have political, educational and economic rights, but he is wrong when he says that he is not entitled to every right to which every other group of Americans is entitled. The president has no right to say that one-eight of the population of the United States must be differentiated in any way from the other seven-eighths…

The President erroneously confounds "social equality" with amalgamation. He says that amalgamation cannot be, but it exists, it has always existed and always will exist. The combined efforts of the law and public opinion have failed to prevent the mixing of the races. Throughout the ages there has been so much racial mixing that today the scientists and ethnologists agree that there is no such thing as a pure race. In no other country on the globe has there been more racial mixing than in the United States which is the melting pot of the world. The majority of the people of the United States are mixtures of various races and the greater part of this majority is composed of people with more or less Negro blood. The racial mixing in the South is almost wholly illegitimate as the laws make marriage between the races a crime.

Now as to social equality, that exists in some part of the United States and it is only in those parts of the country which have more or less of social equality that the colored people have any rights which the white people respect. The very words, "social equality" imply that all rights are secure. In the South there is neither equality nor respect for rights. The contempt for the colored man is largely due to his inferior social status, which extends through all human relationships in that benighted section of the country. Even at the speech of the President the colored people were segregated and the dispatches say, "In the white section there was a silence which was absolute and stony, only one light flutter of applause came when the President said, "The Negro should be encouraged to be the best possible Negro and not the best possible imitation of the white man." This seemed to please a few of the whites who evidently visioned a "good Negro" of slavery days, who hat in hand bowed low when "ole massa" approached."…

THE APPEAL does not believe, as Mr. Harding puts it, that there is a "fundamental, eternal and unescapable difference between the races." To do so would be to challenge God and Christianity. It is a distinct departure from the ideals of the founders of the Republic who declared that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."…There are just as many differences between the individuals of any one race as their (sic) are between the people of any number of races. The idea of race differentiation in any form in the law, in the functions of the government, and in public association is contrary to a just concept of a democracy in which all men are presumed to be equal, and is repugnant to the highest ideals of the Christian's God, who is declared to have made of one blood all nations of men. If Mr. Harding is right, Christianity is wrong…

--The Appeal, Saint Paul, Minnesota, November 5, 1921, page 2

In other news, the Japanese Premier Takahashi Hara was assassinated, as reported by newspapers around November 4 and 5, 1921. The whole cabinet resigned.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

People Who Get Things

When I was little, I looked forward to when my parents would go out of town and leave me and my brother with our usual babysitter, our family friend "Aunt" Chris (aka Christine Agnes Camp). She was chronologically an adult, but to me at least, she was more like a playmate or a friend. We loved when she'd play "Octopus," when she'd get on the ground and chase us around. I think most of all, she wasn't afraid to be a kid with us.

The thing that I think of most now is that she "got" the realm of fantasy and make-believe. She brought over the old BBC Narnia movies (taped from PBS, I believe) and watched them with us. OK, I'm not sure my brother actually watched them; he's never liked fantasy at all (you should hear him vent about how Quidditch is a fraud!). But Aunt Chris and I did, and then we discussed how faithful to the books (or not) they were.

Today, I'm amazed now that probably the majority of people I know (including several of the VERY dearest people to me) just don't "get" fantasy at all. If they try to watch a movie or read a book set in another world, they just can't follow it. (Which means that some of the people dearest to me will never "get"--and probably never even be able to read--the Christian-romance-fantasy-with-pirates novel that Maggie Phillippi and I wrote and are putting the final edits on now.) Now, I do have a hard time getting into adult fantasy books, but I'm just SO fascinated by the realm of the imaginary and the speculative.

Aunt Chris passed away fairly suddenly a couple weeks ago. I'm grateful she loved Jesus, but it's still sad. I don't know if she would have been interested in reading a romance, but it hit me that she may have been one of the people who might have "got" that book Maggie and I wrote. I'll never know now...or at least not this side of the grave for sure.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pirate Julie

OK, if I can't post pictures of myself in pirate costumes on Halloween, when can I?

(Oh, I made all those clothes, by the way.  Just not the hat/headscarf/socks/shoes.)