Archive for the ‘publication’ Category

Well here is the first (and quite incomplete) version of our introduction book. Tell me what you think. Anything we should take out? Add in? Anything you particularly like or dislike? Drop a comment and let me know. And since I can’t resize this, just click on the link to see the whole 14 or so slide presentation.

My Scrapblog

Here are some sentences I humbly offer to help you on your way [If you use any of these sentences in your next great novel please give me credit.]:

“IF it weren’t for those damn squirrels! Now I was left to ponder, how would I get my toast out of the tree.”

Okay, that was two sentences, but just let it slide. Squirrels who steal toast aren’t for you?  How about this gripping beginning:

“AS my car spun off the road, and all I could think was, “How did that Elk know my name?”

Okay, the idea of a talking elk doesn’t get you thinking (in which case I must ask, what is wrong with you?).  But I’ll try something else.  If you want a deeply emotional beginning that tugs at the heart string, how about this:

“I had to admit, I did love her. But could I live with her odd obsession to shoelaces?”

So you didn’t like the squirrels, the talking elk, or the shoelace obsessed girlfriend. Well, you sure are tough to please. But maybe these next few might help:

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There have been several powerful and moving answers to our prayers over the last few weeks.  Expect a full post sometime next week.

There is the possibility (if I can scrape together the money) that I will be doing a review of protein bar brands.  To make this review helpful I will only review bars available at most Wal-marts and GNC stores.

An advance copy of my encyclopedia entry on slave patrols will probably be posted toward the beginning of next week.  I would value the input of any grammarians and English majors who read my blog.

Also, expect on update on fitness gains, losses, and plateaus at the halfway point in this Two Week Transformation Challenge.

Well, I am due to turn in my encyclopedia entry on slave patrols on August 1.  The only problem is that I can’t find my muse.  I have written four drafts, all of which I’ve torn up (figuratively since I am using Word) and thrown away (deleted).  Which stinks since most of them were near complete but they weren’t quite what I wanted to write.  The topic of slave patrols is so large and I only have 750 words to express all I want to say.  This is driving me crazy.

So I guess I need to pray, focus real hard, block all outside distractions (dog, radio, etc.) and just sit here till I either starve, go insane, or write the perfect entry.  I am hoping that the third option happens first.  Although, while in law school I came pretty close to the first and second taking place all too often.

I have a lot on my plate these days.  I have an entry for a History Encyclopedia that remains unfinished.  I also have two journal articles desperately in need of a bit of my time.  My historical fiction book on runaway slaves (which will eventually be the centerpiece of a home school curriculum on slavery) remains at three chapters long- out of about ten chapters I have planned for the book.

Now, on top of this, I will be writing my first guest post for another blog.  Catherine Morgan asked me to post for her “Be the Change” blog about two weeks from now.  I am honored by her request and look forward to the opportunity to make my first guest post.

I just wanted to drop a few hints about that post now to wet your curiosity.

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Well, it is a rewrite of a section of my thesis.  I tweaked it a bit (well a lot) to fit into a scholarly journal- I am thinking the North Carolina Historical Review (NCHR).  I will be posting a rough draft in the coming week or so.

So all of you who like that kind of stuff set aside some time in your schedule to give it a read.  🙂

Today I will be working on some unfinished work. I am polishing up a short article for submission to the New Bern Historical Journal about the events as Street’s Bridge in 1821. For anyone interested, a larger discussion of the events at Street’s Bridge can be found in the first chapter of my thesis.

Beyond that I need to begin work on a new article I hope to submit to the North Carolina Historical Review. My new article will discuss the condition of the North Carolina Militia between the war of 1812 and the Mexican-American war of 1846.

Beyond the above topics I am looking into possible papers on

  1. “Amazing Grace:” A Look into the Religious Outlook of Southern Slaves. Reading through slave narratives, the amount of faith in Christ (and their own personal redemption from slavery) is amazing considering their unique circumstances. (I’ll post an example later)
  2. North Carolina Slave Patrols on the Eve of the Civil War.  Very few have researched North Carolina’s slave patrol system.  With the exception of Sally Hadden’s work (not to mention my own thesis; and that of another grad student) the study of North Carolina’s slave patrol has been largely neglected.
  3. Wards of the State: The Orphans of War.  The story of how the children of one officer who served in the war of 1812 received significant compensation directly from the state- including financing an education at West Point (books, uniforms, etc.).

Change is difficult, change is hard on the nerves, and change is perhaps the single most important incentive to growth. Sometimes the only certain thing in our lives is change. We can encounter that change and cower in fear, we can simply roll with that change (letting it overpower us), or we can use that change to transform us for the better.

When I started this process in early February, I noticed a change in myself.

I had become intellectually lazy (I had almost stopped reading completely), I had become spiritually empty (my prayer life was practically dead), I had become financially lazy (engaged in a cycle of spending beyond our means on non-essential items), and of course I had become near hopelessly fat (my stomach jiggled when I brushed my teeth).

These things hadn’t happened over night. Each occurred gradually, the result of a long string of poor choices and bad decisions.

I took a look at myself that February day and said, “This need stop now.” I haven’t been perfect since then, I have spent money I shouldn’t have, missed bible study dates, and eaten deep fried food and calorie dense snack food. However, for the most part, 95% of how I live my life in all those areas has changed. Why did I do that?

Because I looked ahead and I saw an unwanted change coming. I looked to my financial future and I saw bankruptcy; I looked to my spiritual future and I saw the wide path that led to destruction; I looked to body’s future and saw heart attacks and diabetes. I didn’t like any of what I saw. So the choice was clear, wait for change, or begin the process of change (transformation) myself.

The process has been at times a bumpy road and at times quite difficult, but it has also been rewarding. I would advise anyone else seeking to transform their life that the change is worth it- the chance is worth it.

Birthday’s are usually a good time to reflect on your life- especially when you enter the second quarter of your earthly existence.   What have I learned?  How have I grown?  Heck, I don’t have enough space here to answer those questions.

But one thing stands out- I have a lot of learning left to do.  While my fitness situation is rapidly improving, my finances and my spiritual walk are both lagging behind.  I have taken steps in the last few days to address both deficiencies and I will continue to try to compensate for past neglect.

Beyond that, as I watched the news this morning, I heard a quote that was quite poignant.  I believe it was Mohammad Ali’s wife who said that the most important thing to remember (at least according to her husband) was that “He whom receives much from God, of him/her much is expected.”  Living in the United States, with a home of my own, with a wonderful family and good health- I consider myself rich beyond comparison.  Yeah we drive 17 year old cars that make me scared every time I turn the key; yes we are behind on some of our bills; and yes we don’t have enough to put the new roof on our house that it needs.  None of that is incredibly important though.  Why not?  Because I have faith that if the cars broke down, if the more bills piled, or the roof collapsed- whatever happens God will provide relief.  I don’t know how He will do it, I don’t know when, but I know His aid will come when the time is right.  For all this I am so grateful, but also so guilty, as I know I haven’t given back enough.

So looking forward from this day, it would be appropriate to say that I look toward a more abundant and charitable life.  Whether it means running our ranch/farm for the benefit of our community or whatever the Lord asks, I look forward to the opportunity.  I will admit I have my fingers crossed that God goes with the whole farm idea- but I am open to whatever He asks.

I was tagged several days ago by Lose-weight-with-me regarding what goals I had- regarding both this fitness program and life in general. So without further adieu, here is my list of goals, broken into four categories: short term (those which can be accomplished in less than 6 months), mid-range (those which can be achieved within 1 to 3 years), long term (those that will take 5 or more years to achieve), and underlying (those which should motivate me everyday).

Short Term Goals

1) Lose another 24 lbs (reach 160lbs). This is quite doable in six months. The math says that I only need to lose 1 pound per week.

2) Decrease waist size to 30 inches. This is achievable. When accomplished I will have half a dozen pants that fit me again- finally.

3) Run a 5k. Why not? I figure it will be a good motivation technique. While I dislike running, I love winning things. I want to place first- but we shall see. At this point I would be happy to complete the course.

4) Publication. Publish at least one of the articles I am currently working on.

5) Corporate Paperwork. I want to begin the necessary paperwork to incorporate the corp. my wife and I will use to purchase and run our future farm (more details later).

Mid-Range Goals

1) Publication. At least four articles published. I would love to see at least one each in the North Carolina Historical Review and the Journal of Southern History.

2) Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle. I want to stay within a range between 160 and 165 pounds; continue eating healthy and in moderately sized portions; drinking lots of water; and regularly exercising.

3) Save Money. I need to save up for the farm/charity my wife and I are planning. It will take a good amount of investment on our part- and deprivation from now until then- but it will be worth it.

Ideally the farm will act in several charitable capacities. A “kitchen” for the local poor (as we will give food items grown to local families in need [i.e. milk, eggs, fruit, etc.]). A no-kill animal shelter (dog, horse, sheep, etc.) that will also function as a program for at-risk kids- said children will work with the dogs to train them for new homes while hopefully gaining an appreciation for love and grace in their own lives.

4) Completion of my Ph.D. program.

Long Range Goals

1) Obtaining a U.S. History teaching position somewhere in North Carolina- Asheville and Wilmington preferred. University of North Carolina- at Asheville is my number one choice as far as I am concerned.

2) Organize and build the aforementioned farm (and an eco-friendly formworks home) wherever God sends me to teach- I am really hoping God chooses Asheville, NC.

3) Publish my first book. I am thinking something on slave patrols- but with an interesting twist that I will disclose later.

Underlying Goals

1) Witness to three people each week, invest time in them, invite them to three events (dinner, church, etc.), and pray for them three times a day.

2) Shun worldly desires and grow in Christ daily.

3) One hour bible study each day.