A Book Store…

When I was a kid, maybe fourteen, I walked from my home to Maplewood, MO.  It wasn’t far, just a couple of miles, but the walk was worth it.

Tucked away between the bar on the corner (that had the best Polish sausage with Miracle Whip sandwiches ever – of which I could do a blog just on them – maybe later), and the music store was a small book store.

English: myśkliwska, Polish sausage, kiełbasaMiracle Whip

Title: Shakespeare and Company Taken on: 2004-...

Title: Shakespeare and Company Taken on: 2004-09-19 11:11:16 Original source: Flickr.com – image description page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was indeed small but the shelves went from the floor to the ceiling, with every genre of hard cover or paperback book.

There were new books, traded books and books that looked as though Shakespeare or Poe may have browsed the pages.

At first, I went there to get comic books.  They were, after all, only a dime.  The little grey-haired lady kept a close watch on me.  The thought of ever stealing a book never entered my mind.  Those books were the way the lady had money to feed herself.  I would pick the comic book I wanted, give her my dime, then leave the store.

In the coming months she grew to know me and her surveillance of me slowly disappeared as I graduated from Superman to Doc Savage.

Doc Savage

Then, the Mike Hammer books were the ones I wanted to read.

Mike Hammer (Robert Bray) beating up a thug na...

The grey-haired lady, at first, would not sell them to me.  She told me to wait a few years.

I really liked the lady so I said okay and settled on a Doc Savage I hadn’t read.

Winter came, and with working before and after school and going to school, the thoughts of going to a book store was furthest from my mind.

When the winter snows were over and school work dwindled down to a snail’s pace, I had a pocket full of money.  The bookstore with all those treasures of written words, awaited me.

My arrival to a corner of the world I felt reserved for me, I found the store closed.  Looking through the front window, where the new hard cover releases were displayed, I saw no books.  My gaze was met by empty shelves.

I went next door to the bar and asked Gus the bartender, where the little lady that owned the next store moved.

He looked at me with kind eyes and said, “Heaven.  She passed away a month ago.”

In the ensuing years, I found other places to buy my books.  Places like Borders and Barnes & Noble were there.

Borders is now gone and is being followed by Barnes & Noble.

The feel of a book is slowly but surely being replaced by electronic media.

I hope the little grey-haired lady, whose name I never got to know, has a huge bookstore in Heaven, not having to worry about kids stealing comic books.

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved

Spectacular Capture of a Snow Monkey (Japanese macaque) by Robert van Koesveld

Robert van Koesveld

Robert van Koesveld

Robert van Koesveld originally shared this post:Engagement                                                                   ‘enjoy & share’
This delightful little snow monkey (Japanese macaque) seems to be staring at me. Something he wouldn’t do because eye contact triggers hierarchy issues in these monkeys. He is looking briefly at my camera! Captured today in Japan with +Martin Bailey & +Chris Marquardt  at -4 degrees C (6 hrs ago) Added to my…

Snow Monkey

Snow Monkey (Japanese macaque) by Robert van Koesveld

Robert van Koesveld graciously approved the reblog of his original posting on Google+ on 1/29/2013. You will find his website at http://www.robertvankoesveld.com.The link to the post is above, as well as his caption to the picture.  The message in this picture is exactly what the photographer intended.  I was fascinated by this capture.  When I followed the link to his website, I was amazed to find a plethora of incredible wildlife pictures as well as cultural depictions of different nations.  I wanted to make sure to share Robert’s incredible vision in the discipline of photography.  His pictures are amazing!  Thank you, Robert, for permission to share this treasure.

Spectacular Capture of a Snow Monkey (Japanese macaque) by Robert van Koesveld

Snow Monkey

Yesterday 2:45 AM (edited)  –  Public

Engagement                                                                   ‘enjoy & share’
This delightful little snow monkey (Japanese macaque) seems to be staring at me. Something he wouldn’t do because eye contact triggers hierarchy issues in these monkeys. He is looking briefly at my camera! Captured today in Japan with +Martin Bailey & +Chris Marquardt  at -4 degrees C (6 hrs ago) Added to my WILD album.

Robert van Koesveld gave permission to reblog this article on the snow monkey (Japanese macaque).  This photography is stunning!  I went to the website http://www.robertvankoesveld.com/ and discovered a wealth of incredible wildlife pictures.  There are also cultural pictures that indeed tell the story in the exquisite detail of the subject.  If you click on the picture of the snow monkey, it will take you to the site where you can enjoy this photographers attention to detail.  Spectacular!  Thank you to Robert for this magnificent collection.

FULL WOLF MOON RISING

The Wolf Moon by Patrick Jones

Please Click Here for a Link to the Interview

Today, Indies Unlimited featured “The Wolf’s Moon” by Patrick Jones as a Book Brief.  Isn’t it interesting that they chose this weekend to feature the book!  That coincidence may never happen twice!

Thanks to Indies Unlimited for their devotion to writers everywhere!

Indies Unlimited Book Brief – The Wolf’s Moon by Patrick Jones

Indies Unlimited Book Brief The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones

Please click here for a link to “The Wolf’s Moon” Book Brief

The Wolf’s Moon” is featured today on Indies Unlimited.  This site is very accessible to the Indie author in every aspect.  Beginning or seasoned, or simply somewhere in between, informational blogs about tips and tricks for the Indie author are provided by a staff of experts.  I particularly enjoy their featured “Like Fests” where the author can connect to other authors through various social media outlets.  This is a great group of people that has gathered together to promote each other as well as share their successful stories so that others may gain from their journey through the self-publishing platform.  Interacting with the members provides an interesting mix of personalities from every genre.  Challenges are often posted as a means for the author to improve their writing skills and talents.  Everyone is welcome and the site is very well maintained by the administrators.  We have been listed in the “Freebie Friday” category as well as the above “Book Brief”.  In fact, the administrators approached us to inform us that this opportunity was available to pursue.

A terrific site to interact with others and share mutual interests!  I highly recommend this site to connect with!  It is also interesting that we are featured on the weekend of the Wolf Moon cycle!  If you didn’t get a chance to run outside last night to view the moon, it will still be there tonight!!   Take care!

The Feel of a Book

Patrick Jones

Patrick Jones, author “The Wolf’s Moon”

I wrote a blog not long ago about how my daughter at two years of age received her first library card.

A couple of decades later she has a room full of books.  Many of them I gave to her when I moved from St. Louis to Crawford County, Missouri.

Crawford County Courthouse

Crawford County Courthouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She still is in the modern age and uses her computer for reading, but she’d rather have a book.

Although my son has almost every type of electronic device known for communication, he still has books for his three sons to read.  The cherry wood bookcase has books so packed in that if he buys anymore, I’ll have to make another bookcase.

As for myself, I have no problem with the electronic devices.  People who do use them buy my book (I hope).  I just have a problem reading from them.

A book has a certain feel.  A new book has a smell that differs from a used book to one that is very old.

The local newspaper, The Bourbon Beacon, has two articles about the library.  (The Beacon is back in print after sixteen years).  One article is how residents can apply to borrow eBooks.  The other article is about “The Alphabet Train” for youngsters.

Where I like turning pages, others like moving a finger.  I can take a book to my cabin to read in the evening and not worry about batteries.

Last evening at the local grocery story, I saw a friend, Carol.  Her mother is up in years and has been ill lately.  Carol was with her mother while the doctors conducted testing.

While Carol waited with her mother between tests, she took out her Kindle and started reading.  Carol was asked, by her mother, what she was doing.

She explained it was something she could use to read a book.  Carol took the Kindle to her mother, demonstrating how it worked.

Smiling a most becoming smile, she asked Carol, “What will they think of next?”

Woodworking as a Hobby

IM000409.JPG

Many people have hobbies; the ones you use working some item with your hands.

For me, it’s wood.  There is nothing wrong with oak, it makes great furniture.  Pine is good but it is a soft wood.  It can have a nice grain but it can “sweat” sap and it needs to be sealed.

Cherry and walnut are the two I love to work best.  Both have unique grains and properly worked look like nothing else.

A person starts with a piece of rough cut lumber.  Then you plane it to the thickness wanted.  Next in the process is to joint the sides (make them board straight).

Now comes the time consuming part – sanding.  I start with an 80 grit, then 120 and 220, but I go a little further.  I use a 400 than finally a 600 finishing grit.

Cherry when it’s sanded is a very light pink.  At this point a person can stain the wood to make it red, or take lye and “burn” it red.  You had better be quick to wash the lye off, otherwise it will ruin the wood.  Personally, I tan the wood.  I use oil on the wood and then let the sun do the work.

Once the wood reaches the proper depth of color, it’s time to build the piece of furniture with the wood that you worked so hard to perfect.

Now that the table, or whatever it is, you’ve just built is finished, it is time to use the tung oil to finish it.

You pour the oil on the wood and buff and polish.  It takes more than weeks.  Sometimes it takes months.  You can’t rush it.

Then the day comes and you know there is nothing more you can do to make it any better.

You have worked hard, making all the changes, taking all the time needed, and you have a finished item.

Kind of like all of the steps you take when writing a book.

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved

The Summer Garden

Red and Yellow Columbine taken in Spring Missouri USA

Copyright (C) 2013 Sandra Jones, All Rights Reserved

A few years ago as a birthday present for my wife I dug an area next to the deck and made a flower garden.

My wife knows about flowers; when to plant them, where the sun is best, etc.  As for me, I figure if it goes in the ground and it gets sun and water, it’s going to grow.  It will produce flowers if I did those things.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

Even though it was early summer and we had enough spring rains, the ground was rock hard.  Using a shovel, I dug an area thirty feet wide and fifty feet long.  The ground was full of rocks.  There were small ones and large ones and a few VERY large ones.  Two days later the ground was turned over, preventive weed cloth was down, assorted plants were in and all covered with pine bark.

My wife was working out of town and was to arrive home the afternoon of her birthday and I had, in addition to the garden, planned a party.

That evening I had far too many people telling me about the plants in the wrong spots.

Keeping my mouth shut, smiling and nodding my head, I listened to why nothing that I planted would grow.

Most, after the party, went home.  A few stayed over and the next day was actually no better.  My lip now has a permanent indentation from my upper teeth.

Once they had all gone to their own homes, Sandy and I relaxed to the quiet on the deck.

She smiled at me and said how much she loved the garden.  Later that day we moved some of the plants to other, more correct, spots.

Since then we have more flower gardens than anyone else on this road.  Each garden has different flowers but all beautiful.

I know your question:  What does a flower garden have to do with writing?

Not a damn thing.

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved

The Library

Rachel Reading a Book

Kindergarten graduation

Years ago when my son was moving from kindergarten to the first grade there was a summer reading program.  The program covered all students in St. Louis, Missouri.  If a student read five books over the summer, the reader received a certificate for an ice cream cone from the St. Louis Public Library.  The fast food chain, McDonald’s, sponsored the program.

That summer my son, Pat, was six years of age.  Even at six his bright mind was quick and always looking to find the things that would benefit him.  Simply reading five books to acquire an ice cream cone was easy.  Pat had been in tow with me for years going to the local branch library.  That year on summer vacation my son attained his first library card.

My daughter, Rachel, was two years old and she, too, wanted free ice cream cones.  So while Pat was looking for books, I told Rachel she could get books on my card.  She had also learned to count.  Five books was a number for her to count.

Once, sometimes twice per week, the three of us were at the library returning books and getting another certificate.

Rachel would sit on my lap and we read each book together.  She learned her alphabet and was sounding out words over that summer.

While at the library returning books, Rachel asked in her soft, sweet voice, “Daddy, when can I get my own “libraby” card?”

The ladies working at the library heard her question and told her she had to sign her name.  That was all that was needed.

Those two bright, brown eyes looked to me for the answer.  I asked the younger of the two ladies for a sheet of paper, then we sat at a table.  Starting with large block letters, we reduced the size each time until she wrote the letters.  Pat stopped looking for new books to read and was cheering Rachel on.  Soon I noticed the crowd of adults and other children watching.

Finally Rachel signed her name twice, the same size, to go on the back of the “libraby” card.

It was time.

I filled out the card, the one that told the librarians where the book that was not returned was located.

Rachel took the pen from the librarian and signed her name in the block letters.  When she finished, it seemed Rachel had drawn a crowd –  everyone applauded her!

My daughter was not just happy but proud of herself.

Now she was able to earn her ice cream cones on her own and Pat was every bit as proud of her.

A few decades later, Pat is Director of Informational Technology for a school district.  He is currently working on his PhD and Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree as a Geological Engineer.  All from reading at a local branch library.

One other thing, I have always been proud of both!

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved.