I had thought recently I really needed to do SOMETHING on this blog since I had not since I was hurt almost three years ago. I should destroy the blog or use it. So.
I posted a picture of Bugsy today on Facebook and wanted to tell more of his story, but going back to the June, 2002 entry pictures are missing and it's not possible to link to just that story, so he's a good story to start back blogging. The picture today:
The 2002 story, but we later discovered Bugsy is a soft-coated wheaten terrier: Today Bugsy, our 7-month-old all breeds dog, is a the vet's becoming a eunuch. Events like this evidence the differences between human males and females. For me, it simply racks up as another errand to perform. Any deprivation involved is that the genes that make Bugsy neat won't be passed on to other dogs and thus to other homes. For Mike, my husband, a sense of guilt balloons for depriving Bugsy of a fundamental right as a male. His words as we left were, "I told you to enjoy it while you could, Bugsy!" I bonded with Bugsy by email, which is amazing in that I'm not an animal person. The fact we have ample dogs and cats at our home before him resulted from my concessions rather than my advocacy. It wasn't hard to fall for him, though. The first introduction was from Jeffrey:
Sam has found a puppy that I would guestimate to be about 8 weeks old. The puppy is quite obviously a stray due to the lack of collar, general dirtiness (before Sam bathed him), and the fact he whined in front of our window for around an hour before getting attention.... He is quite possibly the most affectionate dog I've ever seen (i.e. climbed to my neck and rested his chin under mine).
The little guy is/has:
Male (Sam looked at the paws)5-6" to the shoulders
Proportionate length, approx. 8" from tail base to base of neck.
Not terribly skinny, but not really healthy weight. (very obvious when Sam was giving him a bath)
I consider the face somewhat short and stubby, but that's arguable.
Primary colors are: Tan/gray body, black face and tail, white accents on paws, nose, between the shoulder blades, and tip of tail.Dark eyes.His fur is on the long side and slightly shaggy, especially around limbs.
Ears are folded down and floppy.
His tail's fur is laid down and the tail curls above him ending in a sharp point.
Sleeps a lot.
Cuddles... see "Sleeps a lot".
Playful when not sleeping.
Teething, thinks a tied up rag is his ticket to heaven.
Not potty trained.
Jeffrey and Sam couldn't keep the puppy without a pet deposit, so they took him to David who had two cats and a pet deposit. David took a picture and said:
Well I decided not to go into work today considering I had probably 1 hour's worth of uninterrupted sleep throughout the night. I forgot that puppies make a lot of noise when they are left alone. I have unofficially named him Duke. If he's going to mom and dad's then they can name him whatever they want. I was most amused after seeing the dog. Jeff's description of the cutest thing ever was underrated by the fact that he's not a cute dog. Just a puppy and most puppies are naturally cute. Well since I have the rest of the afternoon I'm going to work on the church's website, buy some new jeans, and get a collar and some chew toys for him to chew on instead of eating the cat's toys. Jeff put his finger really well on how my guys were acting to this new intruder. They act like they do when they have a bug or something in their house. Not quite sure what to do with it. Don't want to kill it because they can't play with it any more, but know it doesn't belong.
And that's how Bugsy came to our house and the source of his name. I hope the vet's taking good care of him.
The author in Hendrick Medical Center emergency room February 15, 2012
I've thought about my great-grandfather Sam Paisley Richards this last week, but perhaps not at the time I should have! Read more about Sam at my genealogy section. But the memory could have come in handy when I was bleeding out a liter or so, causing the first responders to hustle.
In my genealogy section, I say:
At the McCARLEY family reunion in June of 1991, Ray ELLIOTT and Sam BREEDLOVE were talking about their grandfather, Sam RICHARDS, and the following dialogue took place:
Our grandfather Sam RICHARDS was a man of great faith and he could take fire from a burn if any one was burned and also he could stop bleeding. He could stop bleeding in animals and in human beings and used passages of scripture from the Old Testament. Now to take fire from burns he would recite this (hope I can remember it):
"Fire, I beseech thee in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost to come out."
and he'd say it again:
"Fire, I beseech thee in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost to come out."
and the third time he'd change it just a little:
"Fire, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost I beseech thee to come out."
Now to stop bleeding he would use this incantation I guess you'd call it:
"As I walked by thee and saw thee polluted in thy own blood yea I said unto them let thee in thine own blood live."
And he said this three times.
"As I walked by thee and saw thee polluted in thy own blood yea I said unto them let thee in thine own blood live. As I walked by thee and saw thee polluted in thy own blood yea I said unto them let thee in thine own blood live."
and the bleeding would stop.
A neighbor of theirs who lived quite some distance from them had a mule that ran into a wire fence, a barbed wire fence and cut his shoulder severely and it was bleeding to death, and they called our granddaddy and told him where the wound was and he made this incantation and the bleeding stopped almost at the moment. They had their watches on either end and by the time our grandfather had finished saying these words, the people at the place where the mule was said that the bleeding stopped.
Ray and the others around continued talking in conversation I didn't record word for word, and he was asked to recite the blessing Sam RICHARDS always used, which he said was, "Our dear Heavenly Father, we thank thee for these and all other blessings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord."
I've thought about Sam Richards and my father's "That's true," a great deal since 1991. I've had a persistent thought - conviction? - that I might have healing as a gift. Since I'll spend the next year or so recuperating and mending nerves and tendons, perhaps I'll find out or draw closer to an understanding and acceptance of whatever that truth is. Meanwhile, I'll share a poem of mine in From the Porch Swing - Memories of our Grandparents and be crass enough to suggest you support the book, one of five finalists as the About.com Readers' Choice Award as 2012 Best Grandparenting Book.
A Modicum of Faith
Barbara B. Rollins
Newborn as Shiloh roiled, Sam modeled wisdom, grace —
an unpretentious man. They trekked to Arkansas then on,
set up a church and scattered seed; a place
in Texas dawned a home, a farm from faith and brawn.
Sam served and sowed from youth through eighty years of love,
attuned to all of life, revered for prayers he spoke.
His unobtrusive faith invoked response above
the ken of prouder men while healing hurting folk.
Sam melded foot and severed toe, stanched blood
with words and healed a distant mule by speaking through a phone.
Example etched in children trust that undergirds,
and evenings he would sing, a radiant baritone.
A simple righteous man, a man I never knew —
Pacific battles raged as Sam progressed in peace,
a saint. And now Sam’s grandson’s daughter finds it true
that mountain-moving faith exists and shall not cease.
I started January not with resolutions but with 60 goals to meet during January. The list has evolved. Some differ - are completely new - from those on the original list. And the parts of the list I wrote on January 1st that aren't done yet haven't been abandoned and will be completed. Some actually were completed but were private enough I didn't include them in this list for hordes in perpetuity. It is 12:16 a.m., February 1st. These are things I have accomplished in January, 2012. Those not completely finished may be listed, but noted.
Write a list of 60 things to accomplish in January
Five sections of new book on Galatians (this done with OAStepper)
Set up This Path for Kindle, help Becky get author permissions (authors notified, most have given permission, two have not, more have not replied. It will be published without those not granting permission. Some bios to be revised before publishing it on Kindle.)
Design cover for large print version A Cloud of Witnesses
Revise Kindle version of Slender Steps to Sanity (revisions have been done, still working on some polishing, will be up and out by Friday.)
Get a security package for office computer
Do a redirect on each old page on the websites to get all links to go to the revised websites
Send Milagros to Barnes & Noble for sale in stores (in progress, nearly done, need a permalink that I've asked for)
Send White Elephants to Banes & Noble (in progress, nearly done)
Five-sixths of the way through 2011, I look back on the momentous journey of the year with gratitude, joy, and fond memories. Two have been very public. One I wish were more public, and the third the "courthouse crowd" and some of my friends know, and I'm telling the rest of you today.
January 1st I watched as Sam Carroll was sworn in as Judge of County Court at Law No. 2 of Taylor County. I had participated in a similar ceremony April 1, 1988. Twenty-two years, nine months leave vivid and delightful memories, good friends, and pride in a job well done. I've never regretted the decision to step aside, but I very much miss the daily contact with all the good people there.
On that day the third event (the one I wish more people knew of) also happened, for I became a full-time author, editor, and publisher. I emphasize the publisher part of the description, because I continue to be surprised how many people don't know I'm doing that and don't even know Silver Boomer Books is an Abilene publishing company. We've got 18 books published now, and our office is in the Commerce Plaza building. I'm there most days, 1290 S. Willis, Ste. 210, but call before you come to make sure (325-518-5108). My partners are Becky Haigler and Ginny Greene, and we publish nostalgia and memoirs at Silver Boomer Books, poetry and fiction at Laughing Cactus Press, and 12-Step Recovery and spiritual writing at Eagle Wings Press.
You can follow us on our Facebook page, which is echoed on Twitter. Our books are at Hastings and Texas Star in Abilene, or by contacting us. They're on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com and available for order at any bookstore. In an effort to get the word out, we've very recently contracted with Sandra Minnick for a media blitz.
The second, fairly well known, event you've already ooohed and awwed over, my twin grandsons Jack and Justin Rollins, sons of David and Dezi. They are such a joy. Dezi says they're working on eating their first solid food, rice, today, and I'm really tempted to get in the car and follow the already-worn track to Frisco and their house! They were born June 9. (I've realized there's a problem seeing this year's archives on this blog, and I will see what I can do to fix that soon. Here's the post I wrote just after they were born.)
And the fourth. I moved into an apartment in July and filed for divorce this week. It certainly was no easy choice to made - I'd tried to make it for years. But it is the right decision for me, and I am fine and thriving. Contact information can be hard to come by, so use the address and phone number stated above for the partnership and for me individually.
Problem: You’ve got a great book and 10% of your friends and family members to whom you didn’t give a free book have bought, and that seems to be all. You have no marketing budget and really need to move more books. Besides, it NEEDs to be read because it's a GREAT book! How can you get people to read it?
For purpose of an example, I'm using our Silver Boomer Books anthology FROM THE PORCH SWING - MEMORIES OF OUR GRANDPARENTS.
1. Blog about it, have a web presence, get on Facebook and other social media. Then have contests (answer a question or give the best example or some such - or just a random drawing of those who "like" the book), ask questions (what's your favorite part of this anthology?), and keep updating, keep people coming back or being aware of the book. Keri Mathews has done a marvelous job of doing just that for our anthology Flashlight Memories. Get other people (those who owe you because you gave it free) to comment about your book and share it on their pages.
2. Push your book on other people’s blogs.
Google search, blogs about grandparents:
GrandmaStories.net has recent posts on adult education, eating healthy on a budget, and facts and recipes for quinoa. (Keen-wah). Nope.
GrandparentsTLC.com has two posts since last May. Probably not many people reading this.
Search for keywords grandparents on blogger.com: On google home page, under “more” select blogs then search.
The first one, www.igrandparents.com looked promising. They have a long list of grandparent names, and we’ve got names used for grandparents we feature in talking about FROM THE PORCH SWING, so a comment there about another name works. Gonnie is one not listed there and included in our book.
That blog didn’t have a lot of comments, so it doesn’t help a lot, but if you do something cute enough and put it there then share the post you commented on to Facebook, etc., and see if you can draw some more traffic to that and to your comment. Do it on several blogs, and go back and work it into the conversation several times. You’ll find those blogs with the most comments, so concentrate there.
3. Set up a website to talk about books in general but yours fall in the list. You can do a site that reviews anthologies. Include other people’s anthologies, but yours as well. You don’t have to identify yourself as the author of the book to have the site. A page about your favorite Small Press Anthologies with critiques of:
Then do something to keep people coming back to that page. New news on recently published anthologies, etc., but have the home page prominent when the search hits so yours show up.
Don't you need to read FROM THE PORCH SWING?
I would love for people to review my books – not just those with my name on the cover but all of Silver Boomer Books' titles. Yet it occurred to me over the weekend – I don't do that for other authors. So, I'll be featuring other writers' books here occasionally.
I've had Robyn Conley's book Pray the Bible With Paper and Pen - Growing an Everyday Relationship with the Lord since it first came out a couple of years ago, and I highly recommend it. Somewhat similar to Robyn's What Really Matters to Me, it's a book and workbook in one, but Robyn's text plays a larger role in Pray the Bible. She talks of the ACTS method of prayer – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Surrender &ndasy; then starts through the Bible, speaking of Adam's conversations with God, the awe he must have felt and what would be necessary to pass that and move on to real communication, highlighting the need for absolute honesty with God - who already knows all the things we think we want to hide anyway. Moving on, she speaks of Abraham in the second chapter, Moses in the third, and progresses through the Bible.
Pray the Bible with Paper and Pen is a helpful, simple book by an excellent writer on a subject dear to her heart. I recommend you get to know Robyn and that you get Pray the Bible with Paper and Pen.
The pictures stenciled on my heart have squelched
ten thousand thousand words. Unspeakable
destruction haunts me. When the towers belched
they spewed forth malice, infinitely vile.
My spirit joined with countless kindred souls
to mourn, to cry, to contemplate a state
of evil foreign, new, where none consoles
and each confronts an omnipresent fate.
Despair to anger shifted as the pain
too ponderous to bear alone forged knots
between the folk whose parallel mundane
existence melted. Heart to heart responds.
In unity we stand as evil fails.
The ultimate result is good prevails.
I wrote this ten years ago. I can't say it better now. My heart goes out to those whose lives were forever changed that day and in the clean-up and the battles and deployments afterwards. Thank you for your service. That's so hollow. But so heartfelt.
Months ago, my partners and I planned a book to come out in time to promote it for this day. It came out. We said so, but we didn't push it because, for my part at least, that seemed so crass. When a real fan of ours saw the book for the first time on Friday, she didn't know it existed. I guess we did a good job of not being crass. I'm glad. We can build our business on other events. And now we can market the book because it has a real message. The title is The Harsh and The Heart - Celebrating the Military.You can ask me where to find it. I'm not going to be commercial today. We used this poem in the book. And this one, along with my partners, which concludes the book:
Thanks For Your Service
Barb’s dad wrote love letters from North Africa then China/Burmah/India theater, letters from Sam to Mrs. Sam censored by Sam. Her uncle Joe memorized the eye chart to get to Korea, was shipped home on a hospital ship, discharged when glasses broke. Sending a Texas flag to a nephew at Diego Garcia, books to Iraq, two of each, ready for sharing, a murmured “Thanks for your service” even in the courtroom, judge to defendant. Ginny says both her dads, Navy men, shared a birthday and fondness for tattoos. Becky, daughter of a Marine, Air Force wife, saw Spain, Japan, Germany from base pivots.
Then sniping escalated, exploding to unthinkable as terrorists made weapons of Americans, as horror came home. Ten years have passed, thousands have sacrificed lives, limbs, sons, daughters, their hearts. Thanks for your service? Oh, yes. Simple words, heartfelt words. Not enough. But it’s what we can do.