Desperate Voyage – 3

Meet the second group of passengers on the Captain’s list. Colonel Harwell told his wife it was a good ship. Everything he had said was true, but he wished it could have been a better ship. It was a freighter and she would be thrown in with all kinds of people. But proper travel accommodations were just impossible to find. His greatest consolation was that it was a British ship and its cargo was vital to the war effort so it had probably been well maintained.

Desperate Voyage is my latest publication from All Things That Matter Press

DES VOY cvr

DESPERATE VOYAGE
by
Paul J. Stam

EXCERPT THREE

DAY ONE
TUESDAY – 13 January 1942

Marisha Harwell pushed the tab on the phonograph, watched the record drop and then turned and walked across the room. The music that filled the room was classical arrangements of Russian folk tunes. It was music she had grown up with, music that soothed her, music she had danced to at her wedding.

She sat down on the couch, the yellow-gold brocade of the upholstery and the elaborately carved legs and carved arch over the back of the couch contrasting elegantly with her simple, black, linen dress. Around her neck, she wore a double strand of perfectly matched pearls. The pearls were in the Harwell family for more than two hundred years. They were a wedding gift from the first Earl of Chatham to his bride and were handed down to each succeeding Harwell bride. Ransom had given them to her on their wedding day and when Nicky got married, he would give them to his bride.    Continue reading

It Ain’t Necessarily So – 9

Aint 3 final

It Ain’t Necessarily So
CHAPTER NINE

  Adoption
The Preparation

English: The Rwenzori mountains also called th...

We had just gotten back home from our trip to the mission station at the base of the Ruwenzori Mountains, when my parents and sister left early in the morning to go to a mission conference on another station. They wouldn’t be back for three days. While they were gone we three boys were left in the care of, Kusala, the head houseboy who had been with my parents since before any of us children were born.

Kusala was like a second father to me. I spoke Bangala before I spoke English. My mother and father taught me how to read and write, some manners, actually a lot of manners, which I pretty much ignored until I began to understand how consequential they could be. Kusala taught me the really important things like how to shot with bow and arrow, throw a spear and track game. Interesting how I now have absolutely no need of the really important things that Kusala taught me and understand how important the things Mom and Dad taught me really are. Continue reading

Desperate Voyage – 2

Port JYou met Captain Chipman last week. He had just received the passenger list and was not too happy about having a boatload of Americans. He had thoughts about every one on the list except the Duers who, because they were listed alphabetically, were the first on the list. So, meet the Duer family. You will meet all the rest of the passengers before thy board the ship tomorrow.

He hoped that Reverend VanderMeer would not ask to hold services. He thought that it might be well to have a nurse on board in case there was an emergency of some kind even if she was American. He thought it was a little less than noble for a British officer to be sending his wife to the safety of a neutral country which was known to be pro-German.

Desperate Voyage is my latest publication from All Things That Matter Press

DES VOY cvr

DESPERATE VOYAGE
by
Paul J. Stam

EXCERPT TWO

DAY ONE
TUESDAY – 13 January 1942

Although the sun was almost set, the heat of the day was confined and motionless in the small, one room flat. Just three hours before the landlady had called Rudy to the phone and the agent from Cooks had informed them they were confirmed for passage on a ship that would be leaving for Buenos Aires. They would have to stop by Cooks first thing in the morning to get the final details and be prepared to board before noon the same day. If they were not at Cooks by 8:00 a.m. the booking would be given to someone on the waiting list.

Now, having prepared dinner and done the dishes, Rose Duer had the three suitcases opened on the bed packing their clothes. Two large trunks were closed and sitting in the corner by the door. For more than three months one of those trunks had served as a table in the tiny flat in which the three of them were living while waiting for passage. The agent said the cabin to which they were assigned was small, but at least they would be on their way. Continue reading

Desperate Voyage – 1

To all those that go down to the sea in ships,
That do business in deep waters,

Meet Captain Chipman. He’s a real nice guy with more responsibility than anyone should be asked to take on, but he’s about to take on a bunch of passengers who would try anyone’s patience and faith.

German U-boat U-25.

German U-boat U-25.

The ship Chipman captains is new and fast, and although the German U-boat wolf-packs control the North Atlantic sinking Allied shipping almost at will, there are no German warships of any kind known to be operating in the South Atlantic. For Captain Chipman and the passengers and crew of the Port Jefferson it should be a safe and easy passage across the South Atlantic from South Africa to Argentina.

Things begin to go very wrong when they see a distress flare and go to help. The survivors have been adrift for two weeks. They claim to be Dutch, but when closely questioned it is discovered they are Germans from a decoy ship that sank when it hit a loose mine.

Desperate Voyage is my latest publication from All Things That Matter Press

DES VOY cvr

DESPERATE VOYAGE
by
Paul J. Stam

EXCERPT ONE

DAY ONE
TUESDAY – 13 January 1942

In the oven like heat of his quarters, Captain Jeffrey Chipman sat at a gray, steel desk. He was a large man. He had always been a large man, but now at the age of fifty-five he had added two pounds of weight for every one of his thirty years at sea. His light blond hair was beginning to turn gray but was not noticeable because he kept it cut short and the gray was not much lighter than his natural hair. In school he was called ‟Sandy” because of the color of his hair. No one called him ‟Sandy,” or ‟Jeff,” or “Jeffrey,” any more. Officers of equal, or higher rank called him ‟Chip.” Everyone else, including his wife, called him ‟Captain.” She had called him that before he ever was one.

He sat at his desk wearing only his undershorts with one towel around his neck and another underneath him to absorb the sweat that ran down his body. Two fans attached to opposite bulkheads swung back and forth moving the air around much like two spoons in a bowl of hot soup might do. He wiped his face with the towel around his neck and then stood up pulling the towel off and went to the head. He threw the towel over the edge of the hamper and grabbed a fresh towel. He stood looking out the porthole as he wiped his face and shoulders. Continue reading

Christmas Sale Was a Success

Well it’s official. The final count is in and the Christmas Pottery Sale at Windward Community College was the best ever. The 2-day sale netted more than $14,000.

DSC02287That amount is divided 70% to 28 students who entered and 30% to the ceramics club that funds scholarships and other worthwhile projects.

A friend of mine calculated that he sold more than a $1000. worth of ceramics, but he is a prolific producer who puts out 1st class good. He also had a lot of items in the sale.

I didn’t do so well. Actually I have no idea how well I did since I didn’t keep track of what, or how many, of each item I submitted. I really am a poor businessman. But poor businessman or not, the fun for me is not in the selling, but in the making of the item. If someone buys it that only validated that I did reasonably good work.

DSC02274DSC02278I was surprised by some of the things I did sell. A quill in the hand sold. I had it priced kind of high because I liked it and I didn‘t mind if it took up room in my tiny apartment for a little while, at least until the next sale which will be the Mother’s Day sale. Oh, dear, that is only 5 months away. I’d better get busy and start producing.

Nep 2Another thing that sold was Neptune seated on the Ko`olaus. Of course this was the 3rd sale it had been entered in and every sale the price is a little lower. Actually I was glad to see it go because it was a little heavy for me to lift. I mean the mountain was hollow and all, but at about 18 inches long, 8 inches wide and 16 inches high at Neptune’s head it was quite a chunk of clay.

DSC02129DSC02165I had a few smaller things that I thought would go, but alas, I guess I thought they were worth more than the buyers did. I was only asking about $50 for them. These figurines, 6 to 8 inches high, are such challenging fun for me to make. I never know when I start out what I’m supposed to do.

DSC021454 4 bowlsMaybe I’m supposed to stick to mugs and bowls. They went well and once you get reasonably proficient on the wheel they are fairly easy to make.

Anyway, it was all great fun, and when I’m not playing in the mud I’m busy trying to write something earthshaking. Not really. I’m just happy if I write something others find interesting.

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NOTE – Having grown up in Central Africa I am acutely aware of the lack of clean water, All income from the sale of my pottery and books is donated through PJS Inc. to organizations drilling for safe water in Africa and to pottery therapy for autistic teenagers and young adults.

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To learn more about me or look in side this or my other books click here.

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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.

<><><>

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 from Amazon. The Kindle  and Nook versions are only $5.99.

DES VOY cvr

Another new novel of mine, 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 Things That Matter Press and from Amazon and the Kindle edition is 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.

Pottery, Writing and Quinn’s bar

Xmas saleWell, it’s been a busy week around the Windward Community College ceramic studio with everyone hustling and bustling to get things into the Christmas sale. I don’t know how many items there were for sale, but there was a lot of them as these pictures show. You can’t pick them out from among all the others, but I had almost a 100 pieces for sale myself.

I was so busy with the pottery stuff that I neglected my blogging responsibilities. But since I made blogging my responsibilities, I guess I can skip a few.

I don’t have the final count, but I think this was one of the school’s best sales. Half the goodies were off the shelves and in people’s homes by the end of Friday, which means the pickings were a little slim on Saturday.

DSC02161DSC02129I was thinking of going to a couple of galleries to see if they would be interested in handling some of my figurines, but since we can’t pick up our “left overs” until Monday and I have nothing to show the galleries, I decided to put that off till next Saturday.

So there you have it, my excuse for not doing any blogging this week. However, I have gotten a little writing done. Started a new novel. Don’t know what the title of it is yet. So far the title is “Work in Progress.”

That is in addition to what I’m doing with “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” That is also a work in progress. 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 has squandered his money in Quinn’s. James Norman Hall, James Michener 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 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 sit on the stool while a guy stood at the trough that was the urinal. I once had a girl come in while I was peeing and siting 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!” 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 Ain’t…”

 <><><>

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

Oh, by the way, if haven’t found anything as a present for some one yet, take a look at my books. I write in several genres from mysteries to historical. Why not start thinking about maybe giving a couple of them as surprise present. Stuff their Kindle with a good book.

<><><>

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.

<><><>

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 from Amazon. The Kindle  and Nook versions are only $5.99.

DES VOY cvr

Another new novel of mine, 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 Things That Matter Press and from Amazon and the Kindle edition is 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.

A Mud Puddle Christmas

Full KilnFull ShelvesWhat can  I say? It’s ben a busy week in the mud puddle. The kilns are firing full blast and the shelves are full of things waiting to be fired.

We’re getting to the end of the semester and that means it’s time for the annual Christmas pottery sale at Windward Community College on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. If any of you who read this live on Oahu, then stop by. The sale is this coming Friday from 9 am to 7 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.

There will be thousands of interesting and functional items to choose from: ceramic sculptures, mugs, bowls, wall hangings, all of them made by students.

IMG_1798Ginji Lamansky does particularly interesting vases and platters.

DSC02285DSC02283If big is what you want? Then you might be interested in these yard stools by Brian Bilk. They are about 18 inched high and light enough to move around but so heavy the wind can’t blow them into your neighbor’s yard.

Of course I have some of my stuff there. A lot of figurines and some bowls and mugs.

DSC02154DSC02161DSC02166Blue LadyDSC02129

DSC02114So there you have a little of what you can find at this years pottery sale.

if pottery is not your thing, maybe books are and I have a slew of them for you to check out. Anyway, till next time happy hunting for that special gift for that special person.

  <><><>

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

Oh, by the way, if haven’t found anything as a present for some one yet, take a look at my books. I write in several genres from mysteries to historical. Why not start thinking about maybe giving a couple of them as surprise present. Stuff their Kindle with a good book.

<><><>

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.

<><><>

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 from Amazon. The Kindle  and Nook versions are only $5.99.

DES VOY cvr

Another new novel of mine, 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 Things That Matter Press and from Amazon and the Kindle edition is 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.