Author Archives: Paul J. Stam

The Accounting

KoolauI don’t really think of myself as a poet, but sometimes when I’m just sitting looking at the mountains or the ocean thoughts just come to me; quite often in rhyme and meter. Because I always have a notebook and pencil with me I jot down those thoughts and smooth them out a little when I get home.

accounting-calculator-9-1241870-1600x1200The Accounting
by
Paul J. Stam

I look to the peaks and I see the glory,
I notice the trees and I hear the story.
You may not think I hear God’s voice
But how one meets God is a personal choice.

I walk a trail through trees, ferns and brush.
A breeze breaks through with a spiritual rush,
And I stopped right there to hear what is said.
Wanting to know what is living or dead.

Breathing alone does not make up your life,
There are breathers who spread discord and strife.
Avoid them as much as you possibly can,
For clinging to love is the far better plan.

And when at the end you must give an account
You won’t impress God by how loud you shout.
For the hurting did you have a kind word?
Or said you things that shouldn’t have been heard?

It’s not all about how much you can get,
Or if in this life you are very well set,
But with the hungry did you share your bread,
And say the kind things that had to be said.

There are some pious who are meaner than sin
Who hate you for not going to church they’re in,
Don’t let them tell you you are wrong
Just because you don’t sing their song.

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Wishing you all the best and Aloha – pjs/

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churchstepsBody On the Church Steps – A who-done-it that will keep you wondering to the end. Everybody is suspect, well, not everybody, but a whole lot of them and the police don’t seem to be to interested in solving the murder real quickly. I wonder why. Body On the Church Steps is published by Indigo Sea Press and is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

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DES VOY cvr

Desperate Voyage, is a World War II story of courage, love, murder and an enemy attack on a British freighter. It is available from All Thing That Matter Press and on Amazon. The Kindle edition is only $5.99,

It is based on my recollections of crossing the South Atlantic as a boy during WW II.

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Final MSS Cover frontMurder Sets Sail is a sea adventure. You know right from the beginning who the bad guys are. Can Chris escape the sinking of his boat and the death they have planned for him? Murder Sets Sail is available from Indigo Sea Press and on Amazon. The Kindle editions is only $4.99.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]The Telephone Killer – He calls a head of time to tell the TV station who his next victim will. It will keep you reading even after you have figured out who the killer is. The Telephone Killer is published by Indigo Sea Press and is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.

The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.

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R&R cover thumbC and G cov 1a smallTwo historical novels about colonial Congo where I was born and grew up are: Of Rulers and Ruled and Of Chiefs and Giants. The period covered is from 1885 when Leopold II of the Belgians claimed more than 900,000 million square miles of Central Africa as his private domain until independence in 1965. These books are available All Things That Matter Press and from Amazon. The Kindle  and Nook versions are only $5.99.
 
Since everything is copyrighted please feel free to re blog any of my posts but please repost in its entirety and giving appropriate credit.

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Filed under musings, Paul J. Stam, writing

The Ditch

A story in the paper during the Holiday Season was the basis for my writing this poem.

DitchThe Ditch
by
Paul J. Stam

Beside the flowing drainage ditch,
The little child sleeps.
The sitting mother seldom smiles,
And very often weeps.

A block away the K-Mart lot
Is filled with shiny cars.
A child with a brand new toy,
Has no apparent scars.

In the lot the Christmas trees
Have all just gone on sale.
That means nothing to this hungry child,
Fevered, sick and pale.

The scrawny tree gives little shade,
Nor protection from the rain.
Pretty words are little help,
To an abandoned mother’s pain.

The wall behind is strong and stout
Shielding from prying eyes.
Well made to keep the bullies out,
Muffling a hungry child’s cries.

Paradise the place is called,
With mountains to the sea.
Tourist drop money everywhere,
But not at the scrawny tree.

Fear is now the rule of day,
Behind that concrete wall.
Fearing what they will say,
And maybe take her child away.

There is no help from anywhere,
From State or Church or man.
They reprimanded her before.
She’s done the best she can.

Beside the flowing drainage ditch,
The sitting mother weeps.
The child clutched to her breast,
Is at peace in eternal sleep.

She will be charged with child neglect,
With abuse and a whole lot more.
Careful how you judge another,
Who had more than she could bear.

Can there be one whose heart is torn,
By her plight and that of others?
The responsibility for her is ours,
Who are her sisters and her brothers.

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Love, Peace and Aloha – pjs/

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S&FL FrntI have a new novel will be coming soon with Indigo Sea Press. The title is, A Short and Futile Life.

It is the story of one who has served his country with valor and honor. A man of integrity, the government now wants silence him for telling the truth.

It is a near future novel about life in the United States when most, if not all, the personal rights stated in the Bill of Rights have been revoked for the good of the whole.

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Final MSS Cover frontMurder Sets Sail is available from Second Wind Publishing and on Amazon. Kindle editions is only $4.99.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.

The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.

Since everything is copyrighted please feel free to re blog any of my posts but please repost in its entirety and giving appropriate credit.

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It’s In the Doing – by Paul J. Stam

Second ImageI am baffled by the amount of complaining that swamps the Internet about how hard it is to write. So much that I wonder why people bother to write. There is a plethora of articles such as: Dealing With Writer’s Block, and The Demon of Procrastination etc.

Procrastination I understand; it is doing what you want to do rather than something you think you must do. But writing is something I want to do, love to do, and so the things I procrastinate at are such things as paying bills, or making, or keeping, doctors’ appointments.

To be very honest with you I have never had writer’s block, whatever it may be, unless it is responsibilities that keep me from doing what I love to do. Right now I’m working on two novels; one is Second Image which is in the final edits (so much so that I even made a tentative cover for it) and the other is an unnamed apocalyptic novel in the 1st draft.  The only thing that blocks me from working on one or the other of them is an obligation of some kind, or another love which has come into my life recently, and that is ceramics. Continue reading

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Little Boys Dream 1

Waiola-1ba

Waiola moored at her slip in La Mariana Yacht Club

I can’t believe it; 50 years ago this month we launched the sailboat my wife, our son and I built. It was a red banner month because not only did we launch our boat after 2 years of building, but I also signed a contract for my first novel sitting in the cabin of our newly launched boat, the Waiola, moored in Dana Point, Calif.

It all started with a dream; a little boy’s dream.

Africa-2I don’t know how or where that wanting came from. I do know that there in Central Africa, without a stream or pond more than ankle-deep, a little kid dreamed of owning his own sailboat.

When I was a kid, back in the 30s and 40s, General electric used to give away free calendars. They were big things; 36” by 18” with a full color picture on the top and the days of the month on the bottom.

One year they came out with all twelve months with sailing vessels. There were sloops, yawls, schooners, dinghies and full-rigged ships. I traded my little bit of candy with my 2 brothers for their pictures at the end of the month when it was their turn to get the torn off GE picture.

We came to the United States in 1944, just before the end of WW II crossing the South Atlantic aboard a British freighter. It was my first exposure to the sea and I loved it. My novel Desperate Voyage is based on that crossing.

When I got out of high school the draft was still in effect and when my number came up I joined the Navy because I didn’t relish the idea of sitting in a foxhole in Korea in the middle of winter eating K-rations and being shot at.

dd510001At least in the Navy I would have a dry bunk and warm food. And lucky, lucky me, after boot camp I was assigned to a little destroyer escort; USS Eaton DDE 510, which pitched and rolled like a small ship should rather than on some great big floating barn like an aircraft carrier.

After 4 years of sailing all around Europe doing the things 18 to 22 year olds do in France, Scandinavia, Italy, Holland, England and the Mediterranean etc., I took my discharge and did what society expected me to do; attended college, got my degrees, even became head of a department and then marvels of marvel, I was sent to a conference in Honolulu.

I attended the opening session and decided I no longer gave a damn about innovative education, so spent the rest of the week driving all over the island; climbing mountain trails and sampling the water and sand of various beeches. I had a contract for the following year with the university, but in the spring I resigned, cashed in my annuities, sold everything I owned and moved to Hawaii.

That was the beginning of a little boys dream coming true, but not right away; that little boy, now in his mid-thirties had to go to a whole new kind of school. Next time, learning about storms, smooth sailing and other fun.

May every day be smooth sailing for you and if you get bored you might try one of my books. – Thank you and Aloha – pjs/

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S&FL FrntIn the paper department I have signed a contract for another novel with Second Wind Publishing. The title is, A Short and Futile Life. Have no idea when it will be released, but you can bet your sweet boots I’ll let you know when I know.

It is a near future novel about life in the United States when most, if not all, the personal rights stated and the Bill of Rights have been revoked for the good of the whole.

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Final MSS Cover frontMurder Sets Sail is available from Second Wind Publishing and on Amazon. Kindle editions is only $4.99.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.

The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.

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What’s In a Word 2 – by Paul J. Stam

More madness with the English language

Foreign Legion soldier at Keelung, January 1885

A bass drum

So there I was with all this Polish furniture to polish. I didn’t know how I would get it all done so I got a soldier to desert his dessert in the desert to help me. After all his help I felt there was no time like the present to present him with the present I had for him. He did not object to the object I gave him, which was a bass drum with a bass painted on it.

English: Short leg cast

Later I went to visit an invalid friend with invalid insurance. He had a leg injury. When I go there his room was so full I was too close to the door to close it. Before I got there the doctors had to subject the subject to a series of tests. He was in great pain but after a number of injections the leg was number. They didn’t think they could save the leg, but how could I intimate this to my intimate friend?

Now unless you are bilingual, multilingual or super lingual, you’re kind of like me in that the English language is what we have to work with. I do the best I can, and I don’t know about you, but I have never been able to find an egg in an eggplant or an apple nor a pine in a pineapple. And why is it sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet at all, are meat? Why is it boxing rings are square and why is it quicksand sucks you down slowly?

And so I leave you with this, not every word is what it seems to be, or is necessarily so, which brings me to my autobiography which I am writing entitled, “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and which will probably never be published, but at the beginning of it I give the reader fair warning with this.

An Introduction
To Be Read

It has been said that, “History is written by the winners.” Hell, I said that in one of my books soon to be released by Second Wind Publishing, so it had to have been said before me. I am one such winner in that I have outlived any who might be able to refute the things I say in my autobiography.

However, I will, to the best of my ability, be honest except when it suits me to be otherwise. After all, I am a storyteller, and the important thing to a storyteller is to keep the reader interested, not be honest.

I will also warn you that the things I tell you about me, my family, my life, my loves, my hates, my accomplishments (there’s very damned few accomplishments so I’ll have to make some up) and my failures (do you really think I would tell you about those) are things that interest me, or at last did at the time.

Now, having been warned, let us begin. Please feel free to make suggestions. They will be welcomed and ignored, as is the case with any suggestions from close friends.

There, you’ve been warned, exactly what you have been warned about I’m not sure.

Thank you, and May Only Good Come Your Way.

Copyright © 2015 by Paul J. Stam
All rights reserved

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Final MSS Cover frontMurder Sets Sail is available from Second Wind Publishing and on Amazon. Kindle editions is only $4.99.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]Another of Paul’s books, The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.

The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.

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Since everything is copyrighted please feel free to re blog any of my posts but please repost in its entirety and giving appropriate credit.

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What’s in a Word Anyway?

What’s in a Word Anyway
or
How the English Language Can Kill Writing

English: Spógvin is a Faroese wooden row boat....

Corn field

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a farmer used his farm to produce produce. One day there was a row among the hired help as to which row to hoe. The row about which row to hoe got so bad he had to let them all go. So they all went to the river and got in a row about how to row the boat.

illustration from a book of fairy tales

Back at the farm, to help with planting, the farmer decided to put his pigs to work and so he taught his sow to sow. Things went real well with the sow that knew how to sow the seed until a bore came along and she started to rut with the bore in the rut along side the road. When she started to rut in the rut alongside the road her squealing startled the dove that dove into the bushes.

About that time the wind came up and when the farmer tried to wind up the canvas cover over the haystack the wind put several tears in the cover and that brought tears to his eyes. The wind was just starting to die down when one of the hired hands came back and the farmer thought he could teach him to lead if he could just get the lead out. But the man had been wounded on the row about how to row and so the farmer wound a bandage around the wound. After the bandage was wound around the wound the farmer sent the hired man to take the refuse to the dump, but the dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

 – The End –

Now I ask you, how can anyone write understandable material when you discover that you have a nose that runs and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few mean the same thing.

And here’s a scorcher/chiller; how can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

I just don’t know. I just don’t know, but I will keep trying to write readable material. Why don’t you look inside some of my books and let me know if I succeeded. You have a lot to choose from. There are mysteries, adventure and right now I’m trying my hand at science fiction.

Thank you, and May Only Good Come Your Way.

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To learn more about me or look inside some of my books click here.

S&FL FrntI have signed a contract for another novel with Second Wind Publishing. The title is, A Short and Futile Life. Have no idea when it will be released, but you can bet your sweet boots I’ll let you know when I know.

It is a near future novel about life in the United States when most, if not all, the personal rights stated and the Bill of Rights have been revoked for the good of the whole.

 

churchstepsThe mystery Body On the Church Steps is now available from Second Wind Publishing and on Amazon. Kindle editions is only $4.99.

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Final MSS Cover front

 

Murder Sets Sail is available from Second Wind Publishing and on Amazon. Kindle editions is only $4.99.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]Another of Paul’s books, The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.

The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.

Since everything is copyrighted please feel free to re blog any of my posts but please repost in its entirety and giving appropriate credit.

Copyright © 2014 by Paul J. Stam
All rights reserved

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Quinn’s Tahitian Hut – by Paul J. Stam

I woke up in the middle of the night and started thinking back to my sailing days; specifically about Quinn’s bar.

1-quinnsQuinn’s was the quintessential South Sea’s bar. Right on the waterfront; it was loud, dirty, boisterous, smoky, bawdy and famous. Anyone who had ever sailed into Papeete prior to 1973 has squandered his money in Quinn’s.

James Norman Hall, best know for his book, Mutiny on the Bounty, and James Michener of Hawaii fame and other better known writers frequented Quinn’s.

The original, legendary Quinn’s is just a memory now. It was torn down in 1973 and replaced with an air-conditioned store catering to tourists. The Sheraton Hotel took the name for one of its bars,

My wife never let me go into Quinn’s alone. it was a free-wheeling bar with no restrictions of any kind and a guy alone, who was obviously not local, was quick to get propositioned. There were frequent fights over the girls and the girls were friendly.

There was only one toilet with a ragged curtain as a door. it was not uncommon to have a girl come in to squat over the trough while a guy stood at the trough in the floor that had water continually flowing in it. I once had a girl come in while I was peeing and hoisting her skirt squat down look at me and say, “You want me hold for you?” No wonder my wife didn’t want me going to Quinn’s alone.

So there I was, unable to sleep after a great week in the studio thinking about how I was going to work Quinn’s Tahitian Hut, better known as Quinn’s bar, into “It Ain’t Necessarily So!” It is an autobiography, which is my current work in progress, hence the name. But that comes after my Africa days so I’ll think it through later.

But damn, my wife, our son and I had a wonderful 8 years of sailing the islands of the South Pacific and I can’t wait to get to writing that part of it in “It Ain’t…”

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To learn more about me or look inside some of my books click here.

Paul Stam is the author of the books shown below with another one, A Short, Futile Life, coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.

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Final MSS Cover frontMurder Sets Sail is available from Second Wind Publishing and on Amazon. Kindle editions is only $4.99.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]Another of Paul’s books, The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.

The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.

Since everything is copyrighted please feel free to re blog any of my posts but please repost in its entirety and giving appropriate credit.

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Don’t Kill the Messenger

TruthNow don’t get angry with me just because I’m about to tell you the truth. I know, I know, the truth hurts, but sometimes we have to face it. Now I am just going to be honest with you, and if the truth hurts, remember I’m just the messenger.

White houseJeffersonThis truth business all came about because a friend, well OK, an acquaintance really, had just returned from D.C. and was rhapsodize about all the monuments and I thought, “Yeah, that’s a city of nothing but liars and monuments and all the monuments are to liars.”

Arlington

UnknownI realize that may not be a very nice thing to say, so I’ll mitigate it somewhat by saying there may be a monument to someone other than a liar like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and some of those little monuments in Arlington.

Aside from that slight possibility; in all likelihood the greater the liar, the larger the monument, because almost every monument is to a “gone from here” politician and everyone knows there is not a more accomplished liar than a politician. Continue reading

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Problem Thinker

Is it not imperative that writer’s think, or does the thinking just cause problems with the writing? This is a very serious question to which we don’t want answers. Is the admonition, think before you write a hinderance or the answer? On the off-chance of shedding too much light on a subject writers would prefer to keep in the dark, I offer this humble but erudite Homily.

Thinker 1

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone – “to relax,” I told myself – but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself. Continue reading

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Questions Wanting Answers

Well now this isn’t one of my questions, but instead a wonderful answer by Stacy Casteneda to the cover for A Shot and Futile Life coming soon from Second Wind publishing. – Thank you, Stacy!

S&FL Frnt-Thmb

O.K. 2W family, I really would like to know what you think.

Question 1 – Is there any empirical evidence that sequential excerpts from books engender sales, or are we just desperately hoping that some people will be so enamored with our writing that he or she will be unable not to buy?

Question 2 – If we conclude that excerpt do create awareness if not actually leading to sales (and no one will buy anything they haven’t heard about), then what is the optimum post length?

Question 3 – If showing them our wares themselves does not lead to sales, then what kind of blogging does get them interested in our books. The same identical hat in a dingy store will not get the same attention as it would if it were in an “upscale” store. So, what “storefront” if you will, induces the blog reader to walk in and look around?

Question 4 – How did I get “over the hill” without getting to the top? – No, no, that’s not my real question, I just had to throw that in there to lighten things up a bit. But seriously, now in my 80’s I know I am out of touch with modern reality. Hell, I don’t even have a cell phone, but why would I need one when I don’t get a dozen phone calls a month and half of those are some someone wanting to sell me something, or the drugstore reminding me that one the chemicals that keep me alive needs renewing.

My question has to do with modern communications technology. I gather from Google that MOBI is an eBook format that along with EPUB, AZW etc. are designed for small screen formats. Can DOC and / or PDF formats be converted to MOBI and if so what is a good converter.

Oh dear, I fear I have over loaded you with questions, so if you would answer any one of them I would be “over the hill” ecstatically happy. Hell, I’ll be happy if you just have a great day and don’t answer a single one of my questions.

Anyway; Good Luck, or May the Force Be With You, or Blessings, or Happiness and Light, or as my Irish mother used to say, “May your troubles be less, and your blessing be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.”

Blessing and Aloha – pjs.

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]Final MSS Cover frontPaul’s book The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is now available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99. – Soon to be available as an audiobook.

Murder Sets Sail  now available from Second Wind Publishing and on AmazonKindle and Nook versions just $4.99,

 

churchstepsS&FL Frnt-ThmbBody On the Church Steps now available from Second Wind Publishing and on AmazonKindle and Nook versions just $4.99,

A Short & Futile Life coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.

 

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