As mentioned in a previous post, Error, all written work has some errors, mistakes, and typos. My work is no exception. So, there are a couple of updates.
I know we celebrate our nation’s birth with the signing of The Declaration of Independence on July 4. Actually the delegates endorsed it on July 2, 1776. Congress adopted it on July 4, 1776. So, this little celebration I’m launching will cover these days–which includes my own birthday.
July 3 is an important date throughout history. For example:
- 1035, William the Conqueror became Duke of Normandy;
- 1863, Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg;
- 1890, Idaho admitted to the US;
- 1962, Jackie Robinson inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame;
- 1996, the Stone of Scone returned to Scotland.
So, yes, there is reason to celebrate and here we go.
Still, you all are the ones getting the gifts.
If you already have the ebooks, you can gift them to friends. You can also share this post with others. I’ll link on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, so if you are on those platforms, you can share the information there. And, please do so.
The Amazon e-book edition of Carolina Dawn goes on sale–a countdown sale–starting today. It starts at $0.99, shifts to $1.99 later on July 3, then goes back to the regular price of $2.99 at midnight on July 4. That’s Pacific Daylight Time, if you’re in another time zone.
If you already have it, again, you can gift it to others at these prices. As above, share this on the social media of your choice.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m always trying to find more reviews for Spirit Missions books. If you take advantage of this celebration, please take a few minutes to post a review or rating on Amazon. Anything helps.
So, let the celebration begin!
Earlier, I stumbled on a four-year-old post that linked to my original publisher. The link–I checked it–took the browser to a possibly dangerous site. So, prudence dictated that I go through all the older posts.
That was a larger job than I anticipated, but I got it done.
In the process, I discovered that a lot of links used in posts a couple of years ago are no longer active. Who knew things changed so quickly? Businesses come and go and software tools are here one day and gone the next.
So far, the Amazon and Barnes & Noble links work just fine. Whew!
I also found it interesting that review and feature sites for both Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers–even from the old publisher days–are still up and active. Some things just never fade away!
While this exercise was fun, it took a lot of time. From here on, I’m going to review the old posts more frequently and make sure old broken links don’t stay around.
If you run across a link that doesn’t work or goes somewhere you don’t expect, please let me know. I’ll correct that right away.
Imagine, if you will, spending every day, every week, every month for years in a cell ten feet by six feet. You have a limited view of anything remotely resembling the outside. Your only contact with fresh air is the small time you spend in the exercise yard each day.
You might share this cell with another person. Your accommodations would be the metal frame bunk beds, a sink, a toilet, and a small desk with a cupboard. No privacy. One wall is just bars and a barred door.
My last post was about the Old Montana State Prison and my grandfather. Since then, I contacted the Montana State Prison and the prison librarian. I’d offered to donate a copy or two of my books to their library. She was very open and happy to get some new books. But, could I send four copies of each, please? See, the prison has four libraries in the different parts or security levels of the prison. I’m glad to do it.
Prisons Need Books
Montana State Prison needs lots of books, Wendy said, and they especially need dictionaries. The libraries Wendy oversees even have a Christian section and they could use more good fiction in that area. If you have new, or good used, books you can donate, please send some to:
Montana State Prisons Libraries
400 Conley Lake Road
Deer Lodge, MT 59722
Attn: Wendy Zunes
If you can, send four copies of each work. That helps.
I wasn’t certain how to get books to prisoners until a friend linked an article here. Granted the article is a few years old, but the information seems current. The article is a good guide to what to, and what not to donate. The Books Behind Bars organization often just wants cash to help fund the requests by prisons. Those books (usually used) get funneled through a couple of bookstores (one in Seattle, I understand).
But, sometimes, you can contact a prison directly and get books to them, as I did with Montana State Prison. With any prison, there are protocols to getting anything from the outside to them. I figured I could afford to donate a few copies of new books to the prison. I may contact a facility here in the Spokane area, too.
If you contact a local prison directly and have some success, you might post a comment here with an address like I did above. As mentioned in the linked article, prisons are for punishment. But they can also be places for second chances.
(Note: Wendy said one of the most popular SF authors is Harry Turtledove and his alternate history books.)
Perception and Reality
Writing involves perception and reality. How we perceive things and how things really are.
On the one hand, we might be like William H. Packwood, who thought that bringing water to the Willow Creek Drainage in Malheur County in Oregon would be a great idea. His perception was that gold miners in the Willow Creek area needed the additional water. The reality is, the ditch–once constructed–took water badly needed by the ranchers in Baker County. Things got heated and–at one point–explosive.
Politics aside, the ditch was a pretty amazing construction. It wound about 140 miles, five feet at the bottom, seven feet at the top, with a grade of 4.8 feet per mile across mountainous country (Eldorado Pass is 4,623 feet, Willow Creek averages 2,000 feet). Constructed by Chinese laborers.
The perception is the Chinese laborers were cheaper and more reliable. That makes perfectly good, economic sense. You can read about the reality in the link above. It’s an old story of how they built things in the west.
You can still see much of the canal today if you travel through that part of North Central Oregon. If you get to this area, stop at the Unity historical site for more information. A small population of the descendants of the Chinese laborers still live in Baker City. More information on this engineering feat and the people involved is available at The Blue Pine Publishing website.
So, I didn’t know anything about this canal until earlier this summer when I stopped at the historical site in Unity, OR. I knew some sketchy things about mining in the Blue Mountains and I’ve seen the large dredge in Sumpter, OR (worth a visit!). But, I didn’t get the full picture until I found the historical site in Unity and found a few other online resources as a result. Sometimes you just have to know the questions to ask and the search terms to use.
As I travel, I do try to stop at interpretive sites as much as possible. It’s amazing the information they provide and adjust my perceptions of what happened in the past. Will I use this in a story or novel? Maybe.
Think about it. It makes a good story line. A group hires a brilliant engineer to build something. The project takes precious resources away from another group. There are consequences. Other story threads that would weave through it is the indentured labor used and the “side businesses” that crop up around that activity. And there’s the anger of the other contract laborers who lost out to the cheaper indentured laborers.
I used the word “explosive” earlier. Yes, that would accurately describe that story.