El Frío

El Frío by Phillip McCollum With the icy ground penetrating the inadequate layer of canvas wrapped around his knees, Captain Joaquín de Toledo y Parra cried out to the miraculous blood dribbling down the white embankment a mere fifty yards before him. “Mother of God, take me away! Forgive my trespasses!” The words struggled to form across his fat tongue …

Destroy the Internet

“They’re coming now. Down Rue de Marcottes.” “I must find them.” The words were mainly for himself. “You can hear the fools and their footfalls kilometers away. The arrogance.” “Silence, Yvonne. Please.” “Maybe we can stop at La Pompe Benoît on our way out, eh? Enjoy a warm brûlot before greeting our new leaders?” Paul was unamused and grew more frustrated …

Fire! Get out of the house!

I found this little gem in the veritable treasure chest of trivia and historical keepsakes that is The People’s Almanac #2, published in 1978. Most of us probably remember a similar robot popularized by Rocky IV. If you’re interested in what ever became of Klatu, read this. Lots of information from people who knew the inventor. What a crazy history and despite …

FIRST POST CHALLENGE

Thanks to John Howell for passing on this particular challenge. It’s a little frightening to peek into the past, but here I am for all to see. That was an embarrassing hop back in time. I think I was a little angry about work or something, so it would seem. But anyway, it appears that if I had made that …

Book Review – The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

When you gather data, you become informed. When you read, you develop wisdom. With The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer gracefully takes up the torch long held by Mortimer J. Adler, and becomes the modern advocate for purposeful reading. She gives us her own interpretation of what it means to “read well” and, thankfully, holds our hand a little more …

Weekly Recap – February 27th, 2015

Health-wise, this week was much more pleasant, though talking to my brother in Germany, he and his girlfriend were not feeling well either. That’s proof enough for me to declare this stomach thing a full-on pandemic. Time to load up on the bottled water and ammo! Who’s with me?? Kidding, of course (already have plenty of water and ammo). What …

Historical Medical Images

Here’s some fodder for your fiction, whether for inspiration or historical color. Some are interesting, some are creepy, some are both. Enjoy! -Phillip

Book Review – The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction

Most writing books I’ve read can sit comfortably on a scale with Technical on one side and Inspirational on the other. James Thom’s The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction definitely leans toward the latter, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you know what you’re getting into. There are plenty of excellent craft books out there that will serve you …

Random Research Facts #1

Here are some interesting tidbits I’ve learned while researching my latest novel: In the 1800s, a bitch was a tin cup of bacon grease with a rag for a wick stuck into it. It was often the only source of illumination for those brave frontiersmen heading west. For those same frontiersmen, liquor supply nearly always equaled the other provisions combined. …