Codpieces – Renaissance vanity or necessity – Part 1

Great historical human fashion-statements and rationale. Some of your side notes were hysterically funny and I blushed several times just looking at the “codpieces”. I hope that style doesn’t come back in fashion anytime soon because men still have problems with zippers.🙂

Vagabond Traders


Codpieces briefly reared their head during the renaissance period and reached their peak in 1550’s. Every man who donned a pair of leggings wore a codpiece, regardless of age, sexual orientation or religion persuasion. For some reason, fashionistas of the 1500’s thought that a man running around in a pair of leggings with a short tunic fastened at the waist and a protruding codpiece looked sexy. Men, especially in the upper classes, were extremely concerned with clothing and footwear; and had a fondness for finery which included silks and scarlets. This is clearly demonstrated during the 15th, 16th and 17th century with many young men being prone to reducing their family fortunes with their predilection for fashionable frippery, including ornate bulging codpieces

Codpieces were not an invention of the renaissance. Simple codpieces have been found on figures excavated at Knossos on the Minoan island of Crete.

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From the of author of a dozen thrillers and entrepreneur Mark Dawson suggests:

  1. have at least one free book on offer;
  2. build a loyal following via interaction;
  3. have a well thought out and researched marketing plan before you begin to spend your budget.

From the Founder of the Alliance of Independent Writers, Orna Roberts suggests:

  1. develop your own email distribution list as one of your key pillars in your marketing plan,
  2. speed up your operation by using a database manager like Mail chimp and
  3. don’t start spending money on advertising until you have at least three books out there.
  4. So far, there have been two other Amazon Academy events on this side of the pond: one previously in Dublin and this one in London. And there will be one more in Newcastle coming soon! After that, Amazon will review feedback to see if they will do it again and I, for one, hope they will.

Quotations on Writing — charles french words reading and writing

Charles French has posted some unforgettable quotes for writers and I plan to post them on my  “real” wall at home so I will never forget why I am writing fiction. ( “Write what should not be forgotten.” Isobel Allende ( “That’s what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth.” Tim O’Brien ( “Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So […]

via Quotations on Writing — charles french words reading and writing

Deep in December — Mitch Teemley

These are a beautiful quotes, especially Mother Theresa’s “Love until it hurts” and a wonderful way to begin the New Year for only love can heal all hurts and hearts.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” ~Mother Teresa “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ~C. S. Lewis “When suffering comes, we yearn […]

via Deep in December — Mitch Teemley

“An Idiot Contemplates Apple Pie…”

This is a delightful post, insightful, hysterically funny, and in my opinion, well written.

Lehman's Terms

“An Idiot Contemplates Apple Pie, a Practice in Stream of Consciousness”

I wrote this a few weeks ago and for reasons soon surely evident has been taken to being called “Why, Apples?” in “the biz.” I do like that title, I’m afraid, but since I’m one of those crazy guys, I felt the title had to inspire terror and act as a warning… while also delivering on its promise (the idiot).

This is a long voyage, and it in no way is a recipe, I’ll state that right now. I was hoping to discover patterns and all that after the fact (see: “weeks”) and see if I could tell how my “related” thoughts were related, but the best I could do was sync physics to fruit via Isaac Newton and the apple. Which may/may not be a true story, but it’s the same link everybody else would’ve come up with…

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The Real Meaning of Christmas Giving- Alicia

A beautiful and inspiring true story from A Teacher’s Reflections and as the title reveals, “The Real Meaning of Christmas Giving.”

A Teacher's Reflections

Alicia was my first experience in real Christmas giving, the kind that involved the whole family and money.  One hundred dollars- a fortune for a preschool teacher back in the late 80’s.  It was a Christmas gift that changed my family.  They didn’t know Alicia, although I often talked about the children in my preschool class.

Alicia came into my class with issues; she had spent much of her first year of life in a baby seat.  Her mother had special needs and never knew that holding a baby, talking with a child, and letting a baby play on the floor were important to a child’s growth.  Never mind reading-aloud or playing with toys- those activities were far away from Alicia’s world.

Her mom had a big heart.  She really wanted to do what was best for her child.  I spent as much time helping her as I did loving…

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The Little Match Girl






At this time of year, I think of The Little Match Girl fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. “It was terribly cold. It had snowed that day and it was almost dark”, begins the story of The Little Match Girl who carried with her a little box of matches to sell, but no passerby had stopped to give her even a penny as she walked along, hoping for someone to buy her matches for a penny, but no one even glanced her way.

The Little Match Girl was so terribly cold and her thin little body ached with the cold. She had no coat or shoes. Her old hand-me-down sweater was soaked through from the snow that had fallen earlier in the day.  She shivered uncontrollably as the snow started falling again. She saw a place between two houses where she could sit down and look across the street.

There she saw warm yellow lights from windows. She thought she could even smell the holiday goose that was headed for the dining table.  She was so weak from the freezing cold and so hungry she could no longer stand again, so she took one of the matches and lit it and she began to feel warm and then she lit another one. She knew she dared not go home, her father would beat her.

She began to dream of her grandmother and lit another match, but this time all the matches came aflame. To her it was like heaven with the sky ablaze and she saw her beloved grandmother as she watched as a star fall from the sky. She remembered what her grandmother told her, when a star falls a soul goes to heaven. “Take me with you Grandmother” she cried, and her grandmother picked her up and flew to heaven with the tiny Match Girl in her arms. The next morning, the little Match Girl was found frozen to death on the street corner where no one had stopped to give her even a penny.

This is more than a fairy tale, it is real because around the world there are many little Match Girls and Boys and they are dying for want of a little kindness from those of us who have shoes, warm coats and Christmas dinner waiting.







Happy Solstice!

Thank you Charles French! Yule, The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year yesterday. It is the festival of birth of the new solar year. In Wiccan terms, it is the renewal of the Sun god. Yule is also called the Day of Children, Mother’s Night, and Christmas. The Herbs cedar, cinnamon, ginger, sage, rosemary and the colors of gold, green, yellow, white and red are all colors associated with this solstice and will last until midwinter is passed, bringing the Spring Equinox in March! Visit

charles french words reading and writing



I am almost late in posting this, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy and Blessed Solstice–this wish goes to everyone regardless of religious beliefs or otherwise!

Also, I am one of the unusual people who loves Winter–I always feel at my best physically and mentally at this time of year. I become more energetic, and I always feel like a child with delight when it snows.

Again–Have a Happy and Blessed Solstice!



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2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge!

I found this fascinating challenge by accident  on  blog and I immediately signed up!   I am writing two speculative fiction novels with a theme of Witches & Witchcraft. It is a fascinating subject, especially White Witches, Green Witches, and Dark Witches.  They are really quite different in their philosophies, actions, words, and deeds.  I am enjoying writing these two novels. Reading and reviewing more books about this subject is a journey into something that millions of people once believed was as real as a dark moon, black cats, curses, spells, and all kinds of wicked doings. I think I will fetter out the truth of it, but if not it will be a scary adventure!  🙂

A dog’s tale of Christmas spirit

What a beautiful and heartwarming story about a Christmas dog from Sandy Says Web blog!

Sandysays' Weblog

As is my custom, I like to present my readers with a canine crafted Christmas story this time of year. This is a new one.

The Geezer and I wish you all a very "Merry Christmas" The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

I watched the dog from my apartment window. The first time I noticed him was when I was eating lunch one Saturday. It was a blustery December day, cold, dreary … the type day best served by fireplaces, sofas with blankets, hot chocolate, and football games on the TV … not being outdoors. My apartment building adjoins the park where I saw him; that park’s lively April through October, but is as still as a mortuary in the cold Midwestern winter.

The dog was by himself, his actions rather strange for he chose to sit by an isolated park bench away from the access sidewalks that criss-cross the facility. Immobile as a statue, he faced into…

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