Thank you!

Dear Readers, friends and fellow bloggers,

Thank you. I have reached 157 followers. I am touchee that you are willing to keep up with my posts and inspire me with your own.

Best regards to each and every one, james

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Libraries: Treasure troves unguarded

We are all familar with the story. Knight goes to fight the dragon, rescue the fair maiden and get rich off the dragon’s treasure. A less familar tale is dragon eats knight, fair maiden rescues herself and everybody except Sir Hor Douvre, lives happily ever after. And the treasure is a wonderous treasure of books, not shiny gold pieces. Sound familar no, didn’t think so. 

However this treasure does exist in most places the world over. Spectacular libraries filled with life changing tomes new and old. A wealth of knowledge and wisdom, filled to the brim with unique artifacts of our history. People, young and old, can find something that sparks their interest and inspires them to action. Musems are also treasure troves, but that’s another post. The United States Library of Congress holds millions of items; maps, books, movies, audio recordings, newspapers and personal letters of historical people. Right now you can pull up letters that Thomas Jefferson wrote online via your computer, tablet, smart phone or in person. Maps from the 1500s, can you imagine the cartographers making those maps. These items are connections to our past and insight to our future. We need these connections to ensure we do not forget the lessons our forefathers have taught and to see the possibilities alive in our time. The trumphs we can accomplish and the obsticles and challeges we can and will meet head on. 

Civilations have come and gone, empires have been forges and destroyed on the strength of their people and their leaders. Rome fell because the people stopped learning, caring and innovativing. Instead they became distracted with pursuits of leasure and pleasure. The empires of France and Britian fell becauae of courpt kings and leaders. We the people of the world need to learn from the treasure troves we have been gifted so our societies may grow and prosper.

Cheers, james

In the Days of Magic

When I was a child my mom read stories to us at bedtime. A fairly common practice, although I have no clue if electronics have stolen those precious moments. I can hope that bedtime stories are still sacred times when child and parent come together over the pages a book. Another discussion for another post. Anyway my favorite stories came from a book of fairy tales that is now ragged and showing its age. I believe my imagination and love of magic came from this book. There were many hours I spent listening to my mom read and then spent more time reading the familar stories on my own. My favorite was a story called the Patchwork Quilt. 

In the story which took place in a land of snow and cold an old grandmother spent nights telling her grandson stories while she sewed the quilt for his bed. An there was an evil wizard who stole the quilt for the magic the old grandma had sewn into every stitch. Needless to say good trumps evil and the quilt finds its way home. 

These stories had the classics, Red Riding Hood, The Frog Princess and others. And other less familar tales like the Patchwork Quilt. All of these stories had bright pictures, magic and a moral, important elements for holding a squirming child’s attention. I believe this book and these stories have more teach me, not just about letting my imagination and magic, but about writing and story construction. The words are simple easy for a child learning to read. Those same words are vivid and bring these stories to life. So many nights my dreams were filled with the weavings of this book. 

I hope to inspire you to reach back into your childhood and recall a book or story that fueled your wonder and awe of the written word. Take a new look at the fairytales people have been telling and see what they can teach you about our writing craft. Cheers, james

Hero 7022 Pen Review

I just inked up a nice Hero 7022 with a nice purple ink. The nib is a medium fine and the ink flows nice901.The 7022 is a nice weight, heavier and slightly thicker than the Hero 221, yet lighter and slimer than the Hero 901. The 7022 is a good compromise between the 221 and the 901. The ink flow is almost as bold as the 901 and the nib writes and draws smoothly across the page. It has a piston fill converter included and will accept cartridges. However I haven’t tried using them.

I am pleased that I bought two of these pens for gifts. They are a lovely red and gold solid metal bodied pen. The cap is tight fitting and posts securely. Overall a very nice fountain pen.

Cheers on this chilly evening, james

Family History

I read a poem the other day by Pamela A. Harazim called Strangers in the Box. The poem references the old photos that get passed down that nobody knows anything about. She ends the poem with our photos one day could be the strangers if we don’t leave our stories behind. Letters, scrapbooks, photo albums, journals are all ways of leaving our stories for those that come after we have shucked our mortal coil. 

Another facebook post was from the IJ page about the 52 Questions in 52 Weeks Challenge.This challenge is a starting point for writing your story. You take one question per week and write as much or as little as you want. The questions cover topics about your childhood, family, work and what makes you unique.

Both poem and challenge are timely, I have been struggling trying to put together a family history that I could gift to my mom, my uncle and sister. These books are going to be part memior, part photo album, part scrapbook and I want it to be in a binder so pages can be added as time goes by. A big task to be sure however I feel it is a worthwhile endeavor. I have two nieces and two nephews that never had the chance to know our grandparents. Grandma is lost in a Aletimerz daze. And Grandaddy pasted away three years ago. They don’t know the vibrant people that Grandma and Grandaddy were back in their prime. That said me and my sister don’t know what they were like as a young couple or parents. And I don’t want them to become lost in the mists of time and strangers in an old dusty photo album. At least with these books there will be stories to connect them no matter how much time passes. And if they are added to then the story continues with them. High hopes for a family history treasury becauae that is what I want it to become. A treasure trove of family memories. Priceless.

Since I found the 52 questions I am going to given them to family and ask them to fill them out and give them back so I can incorporate those memories with mine. I mourn the loss of my grandparents’ memories and wisdom, but I know they live on through the ones left behind that knew and loved them. 

Cheers on this chilly Sunday evening, james

New Year

Dear Readers,

I wish you all the best in 2017. 2016 was full of good, bad and ugly events. Here is hoping 2017 is better and the good is great. The bad is not as bad. And to see beyond the ugly to find the courage to make it all worth while. 

Cheers, james