Presidential Quotations on Power and Moral Responsibility

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“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

                                                                      Abraham Lincoln

 

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“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

                                                                      John F. Kennedy,

                                                                      based on Dante,

                                                                       Inferno

 

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“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

                                                                     Barack Obama

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon–November Weather Spell by Robert Fillman

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I am very proud to announce that my friend and office mate at Lehigh University, Robert Fillman, has an important book of poetry published, and it will be out soon!

I have featured Robb’s poetry on this blog before, and I urge all of you to take a look, and if you can, to buy a book at the pre-release price, which is sharply discounted.

Here is a link to the book page: November Weather Spell

and to his homepage: robertfillman.com

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Congratulations to Robb!

 

The Ghost in the Standing Stone

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Here is a wonderful story from K.D. Dowdall!

Pen & Paper

As I walked through the abandoned centuries old churchyard, in a neglected area of the Yorkshire countryside of England, I shivered in the cold, damp, morning air. I was feeling melancholy, no doubt enhanced by the gray skies that seem to want to stay indefinitely, hovering over this landscape.

As I continued walking, mindlessly, through this abandoned field, I found myself wondering about the lives that once walked through this field, that are now dust. I couldn’t help wondering when it would be my turn—to turn to dust.

In my field of vision, I noticed an odd-looking standing stone that stood at the very edge of the long field. It was all alone, as if abandoned through the ages. From a distance, I could see, no, I  could feel it’s presence. How does one feel a standing stone’s presence?

I don’t know, yet, I felt it pulling me toward it…

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Local Feathers~

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Here are more beautiful photographs from Cindy Knoke!

Stellar Jays live in the pine forests in Southern California’s mountains.

Oregon Dark Eyed Juncos are local birds and are related to sparrows.

Burrowing Owls are “a species of special concern,” in Southern California, where much of their natural habitat has been destroyed by development. Petitions are being submitted to the state to change their status to endangered.

This handsome jay was hanging out on a picnic table, waiting for a handout.

So, of course, I gave him one!

Juncos are quite tiny, and rather shy, so they are hard for me to photograph. This guy was unusually cooperative!

Burrowing owls nest underground to hide from raptors and raise their young. People and organizations all over California are setting up underground Burrowing Owl boxes to help shelter and protect these adorable owls. It is a rare thrill to see them out of the boxes curious about the human who is…

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Who Is Your Favorite Mystery Writer?

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I hope you have been enjoying this series on favorite writers; I certainly have been. I was thinking about the next group of writers to consider, and I was inspired by preparing for my Wednesday night class at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. It is a First Year Seminar, Muhlenberg’s college’s name for the freshman writing course.  My course is “The Detective in Film and Literature.” We have read Poe, Doyle, and we are starting Agatha Christie tomorrow.

So, my list of favorite mystery writers, always a difficult prospect to narrow down, follows.

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First my absolute favorite is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of the greatest of detectives–Sherlock Holmes.

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My second mystery writer is John Connolly, a contemporary Irish writer whose work combines mystery with the supernatural. His writing is both dark and lyrical. His detective is Charlie Parker.

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My third choice is actually a writing team: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, who have several characters, but my favorite is F.B.I. Special Agent Pendergast. Their work is engaging and imaginative; they also combine mystery with suggestions of the supernatural. I always look forward to their next book.

My question for all of you is this: who are your favorite mystery writers?

 

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

Dining With Characters, Part 2 — Revisited

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For the next installment of this series, I wanted to focus on a few characters out of Shakespeare with whom I would like to spend a couple of hours eating, drinking, and talking. I have loved Shakespeare’s plays and poetry for much of my life. I have acted in and directed some of his work, and I have studied and taught his writing both at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and in the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, so I would be thrilled to be able to speak to some of his characters.

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I would have Hamlet, Henry V, and Macbeth as my guests. I imagine we would meet in an English tavern and have a basic meal and beer.  I hope that my royal attendees would not mind not having a grand meal; I am reasonably sure that Henry V and Hamlet spent a fair amount of time in such modest places before their respective plays begin, and as a Scot and a warrior, Macbeth probably was used to basic accommodations while in the field.

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I would ask them about their views of leadership and the responsibilities of a leader and about their portrayals in the plays.  Henry V and Macbeth are both based on historical persons, while Hamlet is perhaps based on a real person–that is a debate for another day, so I wonder what they might have to say.

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I think this would be a lively and deeply fascinating discussion.

With whom from the world of drama, not necessarily Shakespeare, would you choose to invite to dine and speak?

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Sam Sadlowski’s Secret Love of Art — in Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 and Gallows Hill: Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 by Charles F. French — Revisited

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How often do people hide the truest parts of themselves from the world?

Samuel Sadlowski, a  retired homicide detective of the Bethberg, PA Police Force, is one of the three central characters in my horror novels Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I and Gallow’s Hill: Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2. In many ways he projects a carefully cultivated image of a guy who doesn’t care about his appearance or what others think of him. He dresses in beat up old clothes, eats very fatty foods, and is overweight. He also has a reputation, also carefully developed, as being a tough guy—after having served in active combat as a Marine in the Vietnam War and a police officer, the people in the area know that he is able to handle himself in physical confrontations.

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This self-created image is what he uses to hide his deep sorrow about his son’s suicide, and it serves to keep others at a very long distance, except for a very few people.  Included among those to whom he shows his true feelings and identity are the other two men of the Investigative Paranormal Society.

While he shows one image to the outside world, one part of himself that few know of in his little city is that he is a lover of art. He has no desire to share his appreciation of art with anyone other than his friends.  He loves to travel to the museums in New York City and Philadelphia. He has a small collection of original paintings of mainly little known artists from the area and an array of prints of famous artists.

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He once confided to Roosevelt and Jeremy, the other two members of the IPS, that he almost decided to be an Art History major and go to college instead of enlisting in the Marines, but he was too afraid of what his father would have said. He told them that he was more afraid of his father’s disapproval than of the war.  But now, he spends much of his free time reading and looking at paintings and sculptures.

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Sam’s favorite art, like Roosevelt is the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movement.  But very few people in Bethberg know this side of Sam. And his favorite museum is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, a short two hour drive from Bethberg, PA.

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GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

Königssee – Królewskie Jezioro Parku Narodowego Berchtesgaden

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Here are beautiful photographs from Marzi!

Ilustrowany Notatnik Osobisty

Malownicze położenie wtulonego w alpejską dolinę Jeziora Królewskiego – Königssee – sprawia, że jest ono jedną z największych atrakcji Parku Narodowego Berchtesgaden.
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Obejmujące powierzchnię ponad 5200 km² jezioro, leżące w Alpach Bawarskich, otoczone jest od wschodu szczytami Gotzenberg i Jenner, od zachodu drugim co do wielkości niemieckim szczytem Watzmann. To najczystsze jezioro niemieckich Alp, wraz ze stromymi zboczami górskich szczytów, przypomina krajobrazem skandynawskie fiordy. Szmaragdowa w letnie miesiące tafla jeziora, zimą skuta jest lodem.
Położenie na południowy wschód od Monachium sprawia, że Königssee jest doskonałym miejscem na weekendowy wypoczynek, albo ciekawym przystankiem w podróży.
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Stojący na półwyspie św. Bartłomieja, XII-wieczny kościół z czerwonymi kopułami dachu, na tle wschodniej ściany góry Watzmann, od czasów romantyzmu był inspiracją pejzażystów. Barokowe wnętrze kościoła jest wzorowane na planie katedry w Salzburgu.
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Miłośników filmu zainteresuje miejsce w którym spędziła dzieciństwo i młodość wspaniała aktorka Romy Schneider. Rodzina Romy, przeniosła się z Wiednia do Schönau – do “domu Mariengrund” swoich…

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