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plblair

  1. Fast-food Philosophy

    Posted on the wall of a Dairy Queen in Rockport, Texas:
    Life isn't about waiting out the storm. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
    I love that! Yes, it's true that life sometimes requires patience ... a willingness to wait for the "right moment."
    But much of life isn't about waiting; it's about being prepared to grab the moment as it rushes past. It's about finding beauty - and opportunity - in the sound and light show that the storm brings us.
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  2. The Language of God

    If you don't recognize it, it's the title of a book by Dr. Francis S. Collins - head of the Human Genome Project and one of the world's leading scientists in the study of DNA. He's also a devout Christian, and in The Language of God, he tackles one of the issues that I've long wondered about: why so many people believe there must be a great, unbridgable divide between science and faith. Dr. Collins' book shows that belief in God and acceptance of scientific realities - such as evolution - are not ...
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  3. Still More Wizards

    Just got to thinking (which for me can be dangerous ...): all the words we have for those who use magic. Wizard, Mage, Sorcerer, Magic-user (or wielder), Witch, Warlock, Hedge-Wizard ...
    So I'm starting some research on where those words came from. "Wizard" I know is from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "wise man." So presumably a wizard is something akin to a sage - someone who's wise (maybe, though not necessarily, an elder among his - or her - people). That could also ...
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  4. Wizards and Sorcerers and Mages Oh My

    No fantasy realm would be complete without magic-wielders. No fantasy realm would BE a fantasy realm without those who can channel the mystical currents of magic. I don't know about other writers, but part of my fascination with these folks is ... well, that they can wield magic. It's the kind of thing I'd like to do.
    Okay, I'm weird, but when someone does something rude and ignorant like cutting me off in traffic or running a red light a couple of feet in front of my bumper, I retreat into ...
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  5. Of Elves and Poorly Advised Kings

    I fell in love with elves courtesy of Tolkien (of course) with Lord of the Rings. I've been fascinated by them since, so it was kind of natural that the second-leading character in my own books is ... an Elf. Tevis MacLeod.
    I gave him a Scottish-sounding name in part because of my own Irish and Scotch-Irish background, but elves are apparently Germanic in origin.
    BT (Before Tolkien), I was aware that the Norse classified elves in two groups - the light elves (lios alfar) and dark (dokkalfar). ...
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  6. Publishing Story Continued

    Well, that was interesting. My own computer just died (yesterday), so I'm using a friend's notebook, and it posted my blog before I was ready. Dang!
    Anyway, to continue the earlier post, neither my publisher nor myself knew much about the publishing business when we started. We're still on a learning curve. It's been a ride - sometimes scary, always exciting
    Most of the time, it's actually fun.
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  7. Breaking Rules

    Is diagramming sentences still done in English classes these days? I hated those sessions. Tedious! Noun or pronoun goes here, verb goes there, adverbs and adjectives ... and I wanted to get on to the fun stuff: reading and, more important, writing.
    But more decades than I care to count later, I realize how lucky I was to have that experience. I learned from it. How much I learned from it was made clear to me a while back when I taught a writing class for adults, and made reference to "adjectives." ...
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  8. Free Plot Idea

    Occasionally I get ideas for short stories/books that I know I'll never get around to using. So from time to time, I'll toss out a thought or two that's free to anyone who wants to pick it up and run with it.
    So here's my latest idea: Person found walking on the side of the road in a remote rural area. Talks funny, maybe something "not quite right" about his (or her) appearance. Eventually it appears this may be a person who was abducted by aliens. But ...
    Wait.
    Turns ...
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  9. Looking for a Plot?

    I've started doing some posting on Yahoo's "Answers" site, and I'm surprised - also amazed and appalled - at the number of people who write something along the lines of "I want to be a writer. Somebody give me ideas for plots/characters/all of the above." Granted, a lot of those are kids (early teens or younger), but I worry that some of them may be young adults (or not-so-young adults). What's happening to imagination and the desire to create-it-yourself? Even at 11 or 12 or ...
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  10. Fourth Book Out in "Portals" Series

    "Sister Hoods," Book 4 in my "Portals" series, is out ... sort of. I've actually had a couple of book signings in the Rockport, Texas, area, but the big run isn't yet available from the printer. Hope to see it within the next week ...
    I write fantasy/detective novels based on the idea that the creatures of our mythology and folklore are real - and that after centuries of isolation, they're returning to our world. My main characters are a team of detectives and their allies ...
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