The Healer and the Pirate

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

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.