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.