Labor Day, Labor of Love and a new cover

Labor Day usually marks the emotional end of Summer. Although Fall begins officially with the rise of Libra on September 21, we've pretty much settled on the fact that summer's over. It's the last picnic, the last vacation. For many school has already started. WAIT This was the Covid-19 summer that never happened. If we were one of those who followed the guidelines, out cookouts were for family only, our vacations retooled and spent locally. And there were masks everywhere as businesses timidly reopened. If we decided not to follow the guidelines and gathered many of us were lucky, but some weren't. So here's what that holiday is about as we wait semi-sheltered for a Covid-laced Fall.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. (from Wiki)

The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During 1887, four more states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York – created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

More than a century after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

Now our picnics are family and friend based rather than Labor Union or Industry based. This year we salute our survival and we extend the hope that the smaller businesses will be able to recover the economic downturn they suffered from being close for 2 months. Knowing the strength of American spirit, I believe we will.

In 2015 Createspace offered me two choices for a cover when I told them I wanted a crypt with a broken box like the tomb of Khufu.

What could be simpler?

I thought they used manipulated photos for their in-house work the way most cover companies (unless you pay huge amounts) do. Couldn't be done they sait and offered a modern looking orange tomb and a catacomb-looking tomb. I chose the catacomb but wasn't happy. I knew eventually I'd have another cover.

With the closing of Createspace Cover department I realized I'd have to go looking for something new. My son Thomas who had been editing my books from 2015 decided he wanted to try with Book 4 Heart of the Lotus. It was successful so when I revised and updated Voices in Crystal he designed that one carrying the Flower of Life motif to become the exterior of the Children of Stone's vessel. Naturally I chose him to do the new cover of Going Forth By Day.

This time I knew I would get the cover I always wanted. I sent a sketch. We would keep it green and this time the sarcophagus would match the description of the black box mentioned at the end of Book 1 and the beginning of Book 2.

The Flower of Life would be a carving on the wall this time. After several tries you see his best work yet!

Here's the first teaser for the book with the Pre-Order information.

and remember book 1 is just $.99 - to get you started!

Myths, Stones and Magical verses.

I never read much about gemology until I was an adult, but as a child I intuitively knew the magic of colorful stones. The rainbow stones in my banner and logo came from a childhood experience you might call a first “wakening”.

I was 9 and my family had recently moved to Charleston, SC. The year was 1957. It was a year of firsts. First contact with the spirit world in the way of what seemed to be a demon in our raised basement. I learned many years later as I meditated that a “thin place” between worlds was there.

Charleston had a lot of those because it was an old city that had seen much horror as slaves were processed near the place I lived.

My father took me to the old museum often. On these trips I found much of it mediocre except for the ancient world exhibits.I saw a mummy. I saw a reproduction of a pharaoh’s head as well as a greystone reproduction of King Menkaure on his throne. I used to stare at it, walk around it and wonder why I was drawn to it, as if he was familiar. Nice man, I thought. Not fierce.On a stand nearby was a Minoan Serpent Goddess. I couldn’t take my eyes off her porcelain body and multicolored skirts either. I would ask myself if I thought I had dressed like that.All this paled when my father took me to a gemology display in the room next to the statues. There were various rocks which became every color of the rainbow when a black light was illuminated.

Recently Allysha Lavino asked what my favorite color was. I answered “Rainbow”. When I have meditated or prayed for something that’s out of order to right itself I know all will be well when the rainbow appears. The opal (better in black) is a favorite because it contains a rainbow.

When My character Ariennu stares into the Children of Stone’s pod and the organic stones inside she cries out “rainbow” and her hardened heart almost weeps in joy.

Fast forward to when I was in college, and friends and I were practicing meditation and “past life” exploration we used to place a smooth flattened marble on our third eye and tell ourselves we were concentrating the energy and the messages.

My best friend and I had red stones, but when we traveled to school in Mexico in 1973 we decided to find more stones. Reaching into a tray of gemstones, we closed our eyes and waited for a stone to call us. That was when I found my own signature and my place, if you will.

It was a black goldstone, the shape of a reversed triangle. I’d never seen anything that said “me” so well, so I designed a shape to hold it and had it made into a necklace. Oddly enough the man who c rafted it was there and then not,-- his only pedigree was that he had made bent wire jewelry for Elvis who didn’t live far from me.

The result was powerful, mystical and stunning. It was my goddess stone, like goddess Nut, but more than that she was a rift in the universe – a crack in the starry sky that created the channel of my own destiny – where I came from and where I will go. Look closer, It’s not a crack, It’s a face of the goddess; the rift forming her eye and nose. The wire is her serpent hair because she is also of earth. The wire becomes her breasts or is it praying hands – or both.

What is the prayer? Is it something to a Christian saint, to Mary or Jesus as I was raised to pray, or is the prayer to a manifestation that’s older, the origins of which are lost in time? Maybe it’s all of these. Prayer and song that prays are important in my life and in my stories.

One of the things I recite in segments and whole in Children of Stone is the verse from the Plate of Petelia. This was a sheet of gold that was rolled and put in a tube. Then it was worn by members of an Orphic Cult. These came from Italy about 400 BCE ( so really before the era of classic Rome) but are believed to come from a much, much older tradition. It is a verse the learned ones in the School of Wisdom use in teaching one’s destiny. It is also, in part, the title of the final book in my series The Lake of Memory. I’m hoping I’ll be able to publish it late 2021 or early 2022.

Here it is:

You will find in the halls of Hades a spring on the left,

and standing by it, a glowing white cypress tree;

Do not approach this spring at all.

You will find another, from the lake of Memory

refreshing water flowing forth.

But guardians are nearby.

Say:“I am the child of Earth and starry Heaven;

But my race is heavenly; and this you know yourselves.

I am parched with thirst and I perish;

but give me quickly

refreshing water flowing forth from the lake of Memory.”

2 reviews

Xenoman - Adam Martin

Commercial world of the future

Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2020Verified Purchase 4.0 out of 5 stars.

This was my first exposure to the genre cyberpunk. At first I had a lot of trouble getting into the story, but slowly I began to understand the crazy world of either future or alternate universe. The world wasn’t as dark as most dystopian novels are. I was reminded of Blade Runner but more reminded of Fifth Element with anime-like synth characters who didn’t understand they were not human and humans who were lost in a drug dependent world of hyper-commercialism. Sunlight is the drug of choice but now a designer drug called Black Magic has become popular but causes addicts to burst into flame. Xeno has lost friends and is now sent on a mission to save another. My only issue was character building. The world building was great, but I struggled a little with the different characters for the first few chapters. The story was complex and deep and deserving of another read through. It’s satirical and fun; often cartoonish. In fact, I wish it was written in graphic novel format! I’d love to see the pictures.

Scottish Alliance - J. Sheppard

Wish it was longer. 4.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2020

Verified Purchase

We see Lara as a vampire hunter in the beginning, but quickly discover she’s a werewolf now being sent on a mission to Scotland. It’s a ruse and something of a set-up to put her close to her fated mate. But then the story ends before she gets to know the wolf of her dreams. I liked the book however. Once I realized it was a prequel I felt better about the abrupt ending. Lara is a good character and quickly built but I would like to see some less traditional werewolf lore. The beginning was some great action showing her on the job of hunting and killing a vampire but her work wasn’t visited again. I would definitely be interested in seeing how such an independent character will deals with the concept of a fated mate. In whatever Ms. Sheppard writes next.

Rage Beast Mate: A SciFi Reverse Harem Prison Romance (D.R.A.R.B. Penitentiary Book 1) Kindle Edition by Nikki Landis


Conall's Mate: A Macconwood Pack Novel (The Macconwood Pack Novel Series Book 6) Kindle Edition by C.D. Gorri


NEXT: September 21 Fall, and new books

my writing progress new reviews and more.

Featured Posts