I don't post much, do I? I do intend to start a publicity campaign for my books, someday. In the meantime, they are all available still, and I am yet extant. If you have somehow found this modest blog, I encourage you to peruse the previous entries. You will find information on my books and many essays that, though not recent, yet have some value.
Monday, April 10, 2023
Many years ago, so far as I can recall, when one purchased something, the clerk would say “thank you” and one would reply “you’re welcome”.
For quite some time, however, one has often heard “have a nice day” instead of “thank you”.
Just lately a variant of “have a nice day” has somehow appeared: “Have a nice rest of your day”.
I do not know how this latest phrase originated or why anyone would say it. Besides being awkward and ungrammatical–surely the best way to express the felicitous thought would be “May the rest of your day be nice”--it seems quite limited. What about tomorrow? Don’t you want my tomorrow to be nice, o solicitous clerk? Or are you acknowledging the fairly obvious fact that you cannot wish me to have had a happy previous portion of my day?
Why not go even further? Why not say “have a nice life” or “may you be happy until you die, and then go to heaven”? Perhaps we could venture into fairytale phraseology: “May you live happily ever after.”
Or maybe we could just return to “thank you” or “thanks for your patronage”, and reply “you’re welcome”?
–Brian A. Libby, 2023
Sunday, September 11, 2022
When Valhalla was completed, Wotan said "The eternal work is finished." I doubt my works will be eternal--but then neither were Wotan's, as things turned out. At any rate, the revised edition of The Free Lands is now published on Amazon KDP, both in paperback and ebook form. For just$18, or $4 on Kindle, you can acquire a 2.5 pound, 655-page tome that completes the saga of the Pelicans Mercenary Regiment (unless I keep writing them, which will happen only if some people start reading them.)
Of course, before reading The Free Lands, you should read the first three volumes, also now available in final revised form.
I'm well aware that this announcement will not cause cries of joy throughout the world of fanrasy-adventure aficionados, but I hope now to begin some sort of publicity campaign to revive interest in my Mercenaries series. (I have sold a few hundred copies in the past several years, but it has lain fallow for a while.) Any suggestions?
The new book's ISBN is 979-8848976-816. The old edition is still listed on Amazon; I hope to find a way to eliminate it (and the other old editions) so readers will not be confused.
Sunday, July 31, 2022
Europeans say that everything is bigger in the United States. (French and Saunders had a very funny skit about this.) But nowhere, I think, is this truer than in the cereal aisle of the local supermarket, as I noticed while shopping the other day.
Would you like some Fruity Pebbles? You may choose among three sizes: the Large Size box is 15 ounces. The Family Size box is 20 ounces. The Mega Size box is 27.5 ounces. If you want only a small size box, you will have to buy the Large Size, which is the smallest available.
Other cereal manufacturers use the term Giant Size (apparently instead of Mega Size).
I do not know if even more enormous sizes exist. Perhaps there is, in the storeroom, a Colossal Size box that must be winched into your trunk.
Whatever happened to Small, Medium, Large? These words are directly related. But there is no way intuitively to know the relative dimensions of things labelled Mega, Giant, or Family. (How big is a family?)
Monday, August 16, 2021
Here are some addresses useful for learning more about my books: three Youtube videos and my Facebook page.
Storm Approaching: https://youtu.be/GjlyGbBkTbc
And Gladly Teach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IukjbheqL7g&t=13s
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
The new (and final) edition of Part Three of the Mercenaries series is now available at Amazon in both print and ebook versions. The ISBN of the print version is 979-8520689188. The old edition will still be on the Amazon site for a while since it takes time to get rid of such things.
Sunday, March 28, 2021
A short time ago I received a copy of “The Pocket Book of Etiquette” by Margery Wilson, a gift from a friend who thought that a historian might find it interesting. Interesting is an understatement. I have been reading this wonderful 400-page book with rapt attention. The book was published in 1937, revised in 1940, and went through ten printings by December 1942, so it obviously sold well and had wide influence. It is amazing that, amidst some of the most depressing times (both figuratively and literally) in our national history, and in the worst part of World War II, Americans were buying an etiquette book.
For my part, I cannot enumerate all the great things I have learned. I shall strive to reach Margery Wilson’s high standards. Why, by the time I finish this priceless volume I am going to be so elegant that no one will recognize the gauche blunderer of yesteryear. I will never again feel apprehensive about how to conduct myself at teas, receptions, and hunt balls. Gone will be my former louche behavior at the opera, the theater, and debutante parties. Exquisitely attired in magnificent habiliments, I will dazzle everyone with my soigné, debonair aura. From my tall hat to my walking stick, my tailcoat to my spats, I will be the cynosure of every eye!
Here is a minuscule example of the excellent guidance the book affords:
(p. 122) A man always rises when introduced to anyone. A woman arises when introduced to an older woman or a woman of the same age. Everyone rises for the Church…. Naturally, children rise for all introductions.
(p. 189) At a formal lunch, men leave their coats, hats, and sticks in the hall. Women leave their heavy wraps in the dressing-room but retain their hats and gloves, and sometimes a fur neckpiece…. Guests remove their gloves at the table, or earlier if cocktails are served in the drawing-room. The hostess, of course, never wears gloves or a veil….. Men at a Sunday lunch wear the cutaway coats they have worn to church.
(p.195) Service and all plates are removed from the left with one hand, while another plate is set down with the other hand from that same left side. All too often one sees a servant take a plate from the left and then side-step or back-step to the right of the chair to set the next plate down. One can only watch in wonder and ask, “Why?” Service and all plates are removed one at a time. Stacking occurs only at Dude Ranches.
(p. 226) In America a maid is usually called by her first name. In England they are always called by their last name. A housekeeper is always called Mrs. or Miss, and a governess in the same manner. All menservants may be called by their last names except when the name is too difficult to pronounce. Then the first name may be substituted.
(p. 83) The well-dressed Englishman, usually regarded as the best-dressed man in the world, adopts an enviable attitude toward his clothes. He is meticulously careful in their selection…. He never appears to be wearing a suit for the first time…. He dresses correctly for whatever he happens to be doing, whether it is hunting or dining…., All of us are familiar with the saying that England has conquered the world in a boiled shirt.
I am considering acquiring a monocle.