Category Archives: Travel

Why Elk Jerky? — Post by Michael J. Findley

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When I was a young teenager, a group of men from our church went elk hunting. They brought back some elk meat and gave it to my mother, brother, and I. It’s tougher than bison or venison we were told.

So my mother marinated it and turned it into jerky. It was a slow process, but it was delicious and we had months of great tasting elk jerky.

Chicken soup is for those sick and in need of medication. Elk jerky for the soul is not chicken soup for the soul. Elk jerky is for those on the Lord’s firing lines. It supplies protein to those fighting in combat.

It is a combination of encouragement to keep on and ammunition to those on the firing line.

Image Credit: USFWS – Pacific Region Follow
Elk – Hanford Reach National Monument
Credit: USFWS

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We Wrote the Book — And More … Post by Mary C. Findley

Homeschool exhibit Booth setup day 2

Homeschool exhibit Booth setup day 2

About a week ago, we exhibited at a homeschool convention, Appalachian Home Educators in Knoxville, TN. http://www.appalachianhomeeducators.com/home Got to meet a fellow author and online friend, Shawn Lamb. Her exhibit and ours seem to have been the only two booth promoting our own original works. Attendees who stopped by the booth kept saying, “Oh, you wrote all these yourselves?”  We walked around the exhibit hall and saw what other people promoted. Some had their own works to promote or sell — a system or a method of teaching a certain subject or a certain type of student. Some had a full compliment of curriculum or reading material or activity books or kits created by other people. One had a set of magnetic, re-usable scheduling cards. One sold home made soaps and essences in a business that started as a homeschool project.

booth 1 day 2

But people who wrote almost 30 books themselves? We were the only ones. Quite a few vendors were upset that there weren’t more attendees, frankly. Promo literature promised 1000 swag bags, implying they expected 1000 families to attend. It’s doubtful that there were 200 people who visited the booths. Vendors on either side of us left early, disappointed by the turnout and sales. Another problem was that classes were offered nonstop from 9 am, an hour before the exhibit hall opened, and continued an hour after it closed both days. There was no time that was exclusively given to visiting the exhibit hall.

mike booth 2

So it was a disappointing time for those who came with products to sell onsite. Many of them wondered if they would have enough gas money to get home. Those same people shook their heads at us when we said we didn’t bring anything to sell. We brought samples of all the print books we had, and printed sheets with QR codes so people could scan and go to sales sites directly. We also handed out business cards with our blog address and QR, which has all the books linked to sales sites. Mostly what we offered were ebooks, which is still a new idea to many homeschoolers. We showed them a $27 print book versus the same book, as ebook, for $2.99. They were impressed. Not all of them loved the feel of real books so much that they were unwilling to consider how much they might save in money and space with ebooks.

me booth

We know that we had a pretty big jump in views of the blog. We know that we had a few sales on Amazon. Mostly we got to meet some nice, interested people. Our message to them was simple. “You’re busy. You’re  tired.  Your kids are here. You’re overwhelmed with everything you’ve done and seen here. But later, when you get a break, here’s a little card with a simple message … Come take a look at what we have.”

mike booth1

Hubby became a little famous. People stopped him to talk and wanted to eat lunch with him, wanting to know about these books he wrote. I found a few people who thought Steampunk sounded interesting, and who really like historical fiction. Many people thought our marketing technique was strange. We thought we achieved our purpose of letting people know about our books and letting them decide for themselves.

Here is the list we also handed out, of all the books we currently have. About half are in print format, and we are working on getting more into print. Keep in mind that the illustrated print books (Conflict of the ages, for example) are only black and white. If you get them, we have matchbook set up with Amazon. You can get the ebooks free so you can show students the color images.

All our books (including Historical Fiction, SciFi, contemporary relationships short stories, and an Archaeological Mystery serial) are linked on our blog.

Visit our YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/ffvp5657. Watch Jonah and Ruth as well as “Sojourner,” part of the Space Empire Saga, in full 3D animation, book teasers, and upcoming projects related to biblical study and the Conflict of the Ages.

Science, History, Literature, and biblical worldview studies are the focus of our book and video projects.

Historical Fiction

by Michael J. Findley
The Ephron the Hittite Series
1. Ephron Son of Zohar
2. Tawananna Daughter of Zohar
3. Heth Son of Canaan Son of Ham, Noah
4. Shelometh Daughter of Yovav Wife of Ephron

by Mary C. Findley
Adult Romantic Suspense
5. The Baron’s Ring
6. Send a White Rose
7. Chasing the Texas Wind
8. Carrie’s Hired Hand (novella)

by Mary C. Findley
Young Adult Historical Adventure
9. Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion (plus illustrated version)
the Benny and the Bank Robber Series
10. Benny and the Bank Robber (Plus homeschool editions for student and teacher with review and vocabulary)
11. Doctor Dad
12. The Oregon Sentinel
13. Lines in Pleasant Places

Spec Fiction

by Michael J. Findley
14. The Empire Saga (all six of the following books in one volume)
15. City on a Hill (Novelette)
16. Sojourner (Short Story)
17. Nehemiah LLC
18. Empire One: Humiliation
19. Empire Two: Repentance
20. Empire Three: Sanctification

by Sophronia Belle Lyon (pen name for Mary C. Findley)
The Alexander Legacy Steampunk Literary Tribute Series
21. Book One: A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist
22. Book Two: The Pinocchio Factor
23. Black Crow’s Blessing (novella prequel to Book 3)
24. Book Three: The Most Dangerous Game

By Mary C. Findley
25. The Acolyte’s Education (Allegorical clockwork novella inspired by Little Red Riding Hood)

Contemporary Fiction

Relationships Short Stories
by Mary C. Findley
26. Fifty Shades of Faithful
27. Fifty Shades of Faithful 2: In Living Color
Archaeological Mystery Serial
by Mary C. Findley
28. The Great Thirst Book One: Prepared
29. The Great Thirst Book Two: Purified
30. The Great Thirst Three: Pursued

Nonfiction

31. Write for the King of Glory (tips on indie writing and publishing)
32. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Readers’ and Writers’ Guide for Believers
33. Biblical Studies – Old and New Testament (Teacher and student editions)
34. Antidisestablishmentarianism (illustrated and plain versions)
(serial versions)
35. What Is an Establishment of Religion?
36. What Is Secular Humanism?
37. What Is Science?
38. What Are the Results of the Establishment of Secular Humanism?
The Conflict of the Ages series (All have teacher and student editions)
39. I. The Scientific History of Origins
40. II. The Origin of Evil in the World that Was
41. III. They Deliberately Forgot: The Flood and the Ice Age
42. IV. Ice Age Civilizations
43. Disestablish: An Overview from Creation to the Ice Age

Look for our FREE and 99 cent books in digital format!

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Can You Change? Will You Change? — Post by Mary C. Findley

canyouchangewillyouchange

We love books. But we live in a semi truck. Yes. We live there, full-time, hubby and I. It’s not one of those with a motor home setup. It has small storage spaces here and there, but we have to have clothes, food, tools, personal care supplies ,,, Not a lot of room for books. We have perhaps a dozen books, if that many, in the truck, and they fill an entire cupboard. They are reference books that only exist in print, or samples of some of the books we have written in print format.

We also have a Kindle Keyboard, a Kindle Fire, and a tablet. Among all three, we may have 2000 books. Not sure. But it’s probable that we have more than you do in your whole house.

Do you read ebooks? More and more people say they do. It’s still kind of like a novelty, reading ebooks as opposed to print books. Some get them on their phones, their tablets, or even own an ereader especially for books. Some claim they buy a lot of books there, or take advantage of the free ones that are EVERYWHERE online. You can certainly save a ton of money, in most cases, by buying ebooks versus print books.

But many people still prefer “real” books. They want to hold them in their hands, and they have bookshelves filled with them. Why not? Books are nice. Hardcover books are substantial, and last a long time. They can even become valuable. For thousands of years, people have valued physical reading material, be it clay tablets, scrolls, parchment, or paper books. They are treasures, and can be ornaments to a home. Beautiful scroll cases. Ornate bookshelves.

But what happens when you no longer have a home? You say that won’t happen? It has happened to many people, for many reasons. I’m just going to focus on just two reasons, though. I’m not necessarily talking about homelessness. That’s a different issue, for another time.

One reason for not having a home is the need to be mobile, like our current need. Our work requires constant travel. Go where a load is, pick it up, go where it needs to deliver. We have some stuff in storage, but that’s mostly more books, which are kind of becoming a burden, because storage has to be cared for and paid for.

Another reason for travel is to make personal appearances. Many sales jobs require that. Public speakers of all kinds have to do that. We are trying to segue into that, to be teachers and to promote our books by making appearances at conferences and conventions. Go where the people are, to tell them about what you want them to buy from you. But even people who do that usually have a home base — a place they keep coming back to. Normally that’s a home, with books and bookshelves.And they sell physical books at these appearances.

But there’s a third reason for constant travel. It’s called persecution. People have suffered that for thousands of years, too. Elijah in the Scriptures is an excellent example. Where did he come from? Where did he live? We have no idea. But we know of two incidences in his short career where he had to pick up and move out, fast. He predicted no rain for around three years and then God told him to run and hide. After the drought ended with that spectacular sacrifice on Carmel, he ran again. Pretty sure he didn’t take his book collection with him. Maybe, you’ll say, he didn’t have to make that second move. He just did it because he was scared. He still did it, fast, and likely didn’t take a lot of baggage.

The point is that we as believers are too rooted in our homes and our stuff. What if we had to move, suddenly? What would happen to our books? How would we study, learn, teach, and even amuse or distract ourselves and those we care about? Don’t give me the excuse that earlier believers didn’t have electronic devices. We do, but we’re relegating them to the toy department. It’s time to realize they are tools God has given us.

Apocalyptic stories drill home the mantra that we will be at a mere survival level. We will trudge, and kill the enemy, whatever it is, and trudge some more, and scrounge for food, and hide, and become hardened and tough, and nothing else will matter, until we reach that refuge, however elusive it is. One day we will get home again, and start accumulating stuff again.

But what about the people in the Scriptures who wandered in sheepskins and goatskins? What if we never have a regular home again? What will we do for books then? How will we teach our children?

I haven’t seen the movie The Book of Eli, but I understand that Eli listened to recordings for most of the movie as he traveled. That’s one way to “read,” and necessary for him. It sounds like a great idea that he had to barter for power sources to recharge his listening device. A nifty, practical concern.

Still, the movie, to me, seems to have had a rather silly point — fighting and struggling and killing and nearly dying to possess or preserve a physical book. When are we going to realize that digital books can live forever, go anywhere, come to us easily, instantly? They take up almost no physical space. They can have beautiful, color illustrations. They can have sounds, even be listened to rather than just read. These things are treasures in the aether. They can flee persecution with us, in our pocket or our backpack.

Christ said to the disciples to go to the ends of the world, sharing the Good News. But we won’t go, because we won’t leave our stuff, and some of that stuff is physical books. Print Bibles, concordances, study guides, devotionals. Homeschoolers even have tons of paper to teach their children, with the best of intentions. Maybe the disciples wouldn’t leave their stuff, either, and that’s why persecution came. When it did, they went everywhere, preaching.

Most of us still haven’t got the message that anyone can go and tell the Good News, because we’re stuck to our stuff. We can’t even answer a question out on the street without going home and looking it up in our paper Bible. What if your Bible was right with you, in your phone? What if, instead of your kid using his handheld device to play games or check Instagram, he had his Bible, his schoolbooks, wondrous, edifying pleasure reading, right there in his hands?

When there’s a fire or a tornado or some other disaster, we have to pick up and move fast. What do people grab first? Their phones. Sometimes nothing else.

When we are persecuted (and we will be) we will have to move fast and travel light. Many people already are fleeing death for their faith. What will you be able to take? Not those bookshelves of Bibles and homeschool curriculum and reference books. Probably not any of your physical books. But what if your tablet or phone is also your book shelf? What treasures can you take, and preserve, and share?

Just think about it.

Images from Pixabay.com

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