Tag Archives: United States

No Neutral Words

Word PowerWord Power

The first summer after I came to the United States my parents sent me to spend the summer on the same farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where my father had spent his summers while growing up.

English: The midway at the Orange County Fair,...

At the end of haying season the farmer took us all for a day away from haying to the county fair. Like most everything those first few months away from my home in the Congo, everything was new, startling and amazing. I had never seen anything like the midway at a county fair.

One of the attractions was called, Power of Sound. I don’t remember what the banners in front of the tent said, but I remember the brilliant colors of: red, silver, gold, yellow, orange and the black of words and objects exploding.

I remember the barker saying something like, “Come in and see what your words look like. – Not the printed letters, but an actual picture of the sound of your words.”

I am sure that he said it in a more irresistible way than that because I paid some of my hard-earned summers pay to go in and see what sounds looked like.

There weren’t many in that tent. None of Clarence’s three sons were interested in that show so I bravely went in alone. Now you have to remember that I was just recently out of the jungle, so to speak, and most things in the civilized world were, if not a little frightening, somewhat intimidating.

Heathkit Oscilloscope OM-2

The showman had some kinds of electronic gadgets and one with a glowing porthole like thing with cross-lines in it. I later learned it was an oscilloscope of some kind.

He started out by telling his audience that all sounds had electronic energy called frequency that could be seen visually on the screen. Even as he talked into the mike the white line moved across the screen.

He played a few notes on a trumpet, fired a cap pistol and each time the line moved differently. He invited people up from the audience and showed how each person’s voice was different.

His final act was to put a wine glass on a stand next to the oscilloscope. A large but attractive woman came out and started to sing. I didn’t much care for what she was singing. It was the opera kind of stuff that my mother liked to listen to on the radio on Saturday afternoons after we got to the States. But on the radio there was usually instrument playing along with the singing.

The woman kept singing, the line on the oscilloscope changed along with her singing. She hit a real high note. The line on the oscilloscope jumped and the glass on the stand shattered.

I walked out of that tent wondering if it was a trick or not, but at the same time aware that the words I speak had a force to them. I have since learned that the shattered glass was not a trick, but was done by the high frequency of the note that woman sang.

I have also learned that there are no neutral words; you are either speaking encouragement or fear. I am a writer, among other things, and like most writers I am pleased when someone likes what I’ve written. Whether or not someone reads what I have written is entirely up to them, but what I say is entirely up to me. The words I speak have an energy to both build up or shatter others and myself and I should be very careful what I say and how I say it.

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Paul’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,

Body On the Church Steps coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.

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Filed under books, fiction, writing

Some People Are Just Lucky

Like I said, some people are just lucky. There is no other way to explain it and I’m one of them. You’ve all heard the cliché, “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.” Another one is, ”It’s better to be lucky than smart.” Well, I am very lucky in that I know (via the Internet) Mike Simpson and the fine folks at Second Wind Publishing who are the “who you know that counts” part of the clichés.

churchstepsIn the 3 years since submitted my first novel to Second Wind Publishing, I have signed contracts with them for five books. The latest to be released in a month or so, is Body On the Church Steps. Now really, one just does not expect to find a naked body in front of the church. One might find a nude body in front of a bar, or club maybe, but certainly not in front of the church and certainly not dead. And why was it put there and who put it there? Well that is what the story is all about, and it’s going to  more than the police to solve this mystery.

Final MSS Cover frontThe book before that was Murder Sets Sail, released just last month. There is no mystery here. The reader knows right from the first chapter who the killers are and whom they are planning to kill. The question is can the intended target escape? Of course they can. That’s what an adventure/action novel is all about, isn’t it? This is a fun read. A friend of mine told me he got up to give their infant son his midnight bottle and instead of checking his cell phone he started to read the book. His son finished his bottle and went back to sleep and my friend couldn’t stop reading. Next thing he knew it was time for the 4 AM feeding.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]The Telephone Killer was published December of 2012. In this one the serial killer calls a television station ahead of time with clues as to who he will kill next. Although those clues are correct, they are often misleading.

So there you have 3 novels that have seen “the light of day” so to speak.

prison-bars-2The 4th novel, A Short Futile Life has a tentative release date of December 1 of this year. It is unlike anything I have done before in that it is a near-future political drama. A war hero works to help a man be elected President only to discover that the candidate planned all along to make the Presidency of the United States into a dictatorship. When our hero tries to expose the dictator, he is of course, arrested, brought to trial (a rigged trial), found guilty and executed. No picture of the cover for this one, but maybe something like this.

Finally the 5th novel, Endangered Species, with a tentative release date of March 2015, is a terrorist/adventure novel in which a group of terrorist devises a way to kill all the residence of a major US City. I have no idea what the cover of this book might be, but the team at 2nd Wind will come up with something fabulous.

Did I say I was lucky? Now wait a minute. Lucky has the idea of no reason for one’s good fortune; you know, like “dumb luck.” I think “blessed” is a better word. It implies that there is some force working on your behalf. Maybe that is what George Lucas meant when he had the characters in the Star Wars movies say, “May the Force be with you.” Well, there is certainly a Force with me and it is Mike Simpson and all the team at Second Wind Publishing.

Thank you, Gang, and May the Force be with you!

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Paul’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,

Body On the Church Steps coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.

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Filed under fiction, Mike Simpson, writing

It’s All In The name

Cover of "It's All in the Name (Hey L'il ...

Funny the way people get nicknames. It is said that Earvin “Magic” Johnson got his nickname from the way he handled a basketball. Another guy I knew has the nickname “Birdie.” I am told he got that name because he was an avid hand glider.

When I was a kid my best friend’s name was Lawrence. No one called him Larry, which I guess is the common nickname for Lawrence, but everybody called him “Skip.” I have known more people named “Skip” than any other nickname I know.

I had a cousin named Paul. Just like my name. Everyone called him Skip. Then he had a son who they named Paul, but everyone called him Skip also. Then that Skip (Paul) had a son whose real name was Paul and they called him Skip too. It just don’t figure, but I guess if you can’t think of a different first name it’s not likely you’d come up with a different nickname.

I’ve had some strange nicknames in my day. In fact all of mine were a little weird except the one I didn’t like and the reason I didn’t like it was because it was true.

Growing up the natives had a nickname for me. They never called me it when talking about me to my parents or other missionaries, but used it when talking about me among themselves and to me. My native nickname was, “Mbekede.” The closest translation of “Mbekede” would be “Smartass.” I kind of liked that name.

Coca-Cola

I came to the United States when I was 15 and got introduced to a bunch of food I had never tasted growing up in the Congo. I discovered such things as potato chips, Baby Ruth candy bars (the 1/2 pound size) in abundance, and Coca-Cola. Those foods had a direct influence on me and the next thing I knew I had the nickname of “Fatso.” Sure didn’t like that nickname, but I had earned it.

But I lost that excess weight and went in the Navy and I got another nickname, “Postage.” Sometimes it was, “Hey, Post office,” but usually it was, “Hey, Postage…” That came about because at muster, or for a work detail they called you out by the last name and the initial of the first name. Obviously if my name; Stam. P. was said real fast, or if there was a typo on the roster sheet it came out – Stamp. Got out of the Navy and was never called “Postage” again.

Then for years; through college, with all kinds of jobs such as teaching, or construction work or sailing, I was simply Paul. Now suddenly, just because I put my website address on the bottom of all my potter instead of my name, people around the studio are calling me “WW.” They don’t even make it “WWW” but I guess some nicknames are shortened versions of the real name like “Sal” for Sally or Salvatore.

So, what’s in a name anyway?

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The Telephone Killer is available from Amazon, the publisher, Second Wind Publishing and other bookstores for $15.50 and the Kindle and Nook editions are only $4.99.

View the video here.

Please feel free to re blog any of my posts.

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Filed under Humor, musings, writing