The Sad Fate of a Book Character


Writing The Heart of the Staff series has been a grand adventure, but now that it is over I find myself missing many of the characters from the epic who had become a part of my daily life, my thoughts, and even my dreams, and wondering what of them now? The following is what one obsolete character had to say about that.

shadowpersons big

So you writers think you have it tough? You ought to try living the life of one of the characters you create. I mean, really, how would you like being the figment of some writer’s bizarre imagination? If that isn’t bad enough all by itself, consider all the things you writers dream up for us characters to do. Not to mention the dangerous situations you get us into, the problems you make us solve and the many humiliating, provocative and sometimes ridiculous predicaments you drag us through! Could you, mere flesh and bone, survive it all? I think not!

And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that we have absolutely no choice in all of this. From the moment of our creation we are forced to live out our entire lives in whatever image you have dreamed up for us. We aren’t allowed to choose the way we dress, talk, act or feel! Why, some of us are forced to emerge as villains, monsters, aliens, fairy tale creatures and even some of the undead, just to mention a few of the lives you choose for us.

Take me for example. I was innocently drifting along amongst the synapses in my creator’s (totally demented) brain one moment and rudely thrust into this narrative the next, without so much as the dignity of a name or brief description of my appearance. And for what? My entire existence, now that The Heart of the Staff series is written, has been reduced to simply educate you writers and readers about the fate of a book character. Once that task is completed, my own fate is sealed. I will live as a nameless, faceless character who is only brought to life when someone reads the series or worse,  this blog. I am doomed to repeat the same words over and over, without change, until one magic day when the series is old news and this piece becomes worn out enough that, it, and I, will be deleted.

Sometimes you writers decide one of us hasn’t exactly lived up to your expectations, often without really ever giving us a chance to reach our true potential, and you just start making changes out of hand, leaving us to adapt…or not…and we all know what happens if we don’t adapt. Don’t we?

not all shadow people are the same


By now I’m sure many of you are in denial. You want to point out that book characters have exciting adventures, fantastic quests and memorable romances. To that I say…sometimes. But, it seems to me, a fair share of adventurers and questers end up dead. As for the romance…well the heartache very often off- sets the thrill of it all. No! Don’t point out the sensual delights of a good erotic tale. Have you ever considered being the hero or heroine in one of those? Do you know how stressful that can be? You have to always look your best while performing sexual feats that would often challenge any contortionist. And do all of that while you have an audience of thousands…perhaps millions! I ask you, would you, mere humans, be up to it? (no pun intended)


I will conclude by simply asking that all of you at least consider the fate of the characters you create once in awhile. Maybe you could even wish us well or thank us for helping you on occasion.. After all, if not for us, what stories would ever be told?

Carol Marrs Phipps

The Chokewoods and the Peppermint Forest are not the Same


Lukus heaved a large peppermint limb into the fire. “If Ugleeuh doesn’t find us right soon,” he said, “I’ll go back into the woods and see if I can find some nuts and berries for
supper. I saw some when I was gathering wood.”

“Well why didn’t you just gather them in the first place? You just made more work for yourself.”

“Yea? Maybe, but the last time I ate berries in this forest I nearly strangled to death, so RowanI had to think about it.”

“You tried to eat a choke oak fruit? What kind of crazy are you? Doesn’t matter, though. Things like that don’t grow here anymore. This is the Peppermint Forest and it’s different than the Chokewood Forest, or haven’t you noticed?”

“I could see that at once. But just what’s what, I need some time to sort out. So tell me, did Ugleeuh actually create all of this?” He gave a wide wave.

“She didn’t create it so much as change it, though perhaps whether she did or not Scan10067depends on just what a person considers creation to be. But, you’re right if you think that all this forest was once identical to the Chokewoods. When Ugleeuh and I first arrived here it was really awful. We battled with the smallies and dorchadas and other awful things almost every day before she was through with all of her wonderful transformations of the

“Rose and I had the idea that she made this place out of part of the Chokewoods, but I’m surprised to hear about the dorchadas actually attacking you. Rose and I saw the chief
of the dorchadas and his heathens trembling with fear in front of her.”

“You have utterly no clue at all about the kind of sadistic wrath that Ugleeuh is capable of,” Scan30001said Hubba Hubba, breaking into his first laughter of the outing. “The smallies are so terrified of her now that they’ll tramp each other to death, trying to hide if they see her. Same thing with the dorchadas. Hoo-wee! She taught them. Nasty, nasty old lady!”

“So, why were you so worried that the smallies might get you, if I left you to go for help?”

“Do I really look like Ugleeuh to you? Had she ever worked you over once, you’d never confuse us. Besides, if the smallies got me, there’d be no trace. No feathers. No nothing. They’d have a free bit of revenge on her and she wouldn’t be able to prove it at all.”

“You got that right, Birdo. Rose and I saw them take down a deer. It just vanished before our eyes. It gave out a good dying snort, and the next moment it was gone without any sign that it had ever been.”

“Yes, yes. I’ve seen it. It’s been years, but I’ve seen it.” he said with a shudder. “Let’s build up the fire some more, Lukus, just to be sure Ugleeuh doesn’t miss it. Let me come with8138228_7122_1024x2000 you for the wood. I hope that hearing the mint owl doesn’t mean that the smallies are in this neighborhood.”

“Yea,” said Lukus, glancing about. “I think it might be good to stoke the fire a bit, at that, but I’ll hunt for fuel where you can see me from here. You stay off that foot unless we have no other choice but to move on.” And with that, he went to picking up sticks.

Hubba Hubba’s head spun as he trembled and inched closer to the fire, hoping that whatever might be in the forest would fear the crackling flames.
Ch. 12, The Collector Witch




Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Big Bang Fantasy

Big Bang Cosmos Explosion
Albert Einstein’s mathematics profoundly changed physics. No one questions this. He is universally recognized as a mathematical titan, and though he might well have been an epochal physicist, it might be a mistake to call him a scientist.

Science is a body of knowledge acquired through observation. Einstein used his math to express his profound imagination, but instead of setting up experiments in order to observe his discoveries at work in the real world as would an empirical scientist, he chose instead to test his ideas with his well documented “thought experiments.” The reason no one noticed this is probably the day and time that it was. Great minds in physics were all a-fever, trying to pry open the atom. What was inside? Waves? Particles?


In 1927, Niels Bohr came up with an “uncertainty principle” which said that the infinitesimally teensy atom was fundamentally unknowable from observation and could only be understood in terms of mathematics. Perhaps. Maybe this is the best we can ever do inside the atom, but what is derailed here is the observing of the need for palpable evidence in order to establish scientific discoveries. Meanwhile, since everything is made up of atoms, people found it easy to accept math in place of verifiable observations for a growing range of things needing an explanation.

So nobody questioned Einstein until NASA found his math to be worthless for sending instrument packages to the moon and to Mars and had to fall back on the four hundred year old math of Isaac Newton to get them there. And Newton was an actual scientist who went to observe the real world for verification. Remember the apple that thumped him on the head?


The Big Bang is not only the profound math which it happens to be, it is also magic. There may well be a whole football field’s space surrounding the golf ball which represents the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, but the entire universe was never the size of the head of a pin. There never was a Big Bang and the universe is not expanding.

In all the years since Einstein’s math created it, the only substantial evidence for an expanding universe is the red shift in the spectrum of light, the supposed Doppler effect from everything in the universe speeding away from us. Yeap. Red shift in all directions, which puts us in the exact center of the universe, for one thing, which is most suspicious in a universe so endlessly vast as ours. The other problem is that the Doppler effect is not the only possible way for light from the furthest reaches of space to arrive here, redder than it should be.


When light passes through anything such as glass, higher frequency shorter wavelengths get converted into longer wavelengths from collisions with atoms, causing a shift to the red end of the spectrum. Ultraviolet light coming into a greenhouse becomes heat. So, what do you suppose happens to light passing through all those zillions of miles of space from the most distant objects which we are able to see? Space is full of dust and stray atoms for light to collide with over its vast distances. Light will arrive redder than it started out, simply because of all the distance that it had to travel, without any need for everything we see in the heavens to be racing away from us.

So the Big Bang is nothing but Einstein’s magic, is all I’m saying. And I ought to know, because Carol and I write about magic all the time.Magician wand

Tom Phipps

My Review of A MOTHER’S HEART by Eichin Chang-Lim

A Mother’s Heart


Eichin Chang-Lim


Much has been said and written about motherhood, but not nearly so much about a mother’s heartbreak when she learns that her perfect child is not so perfect after all. A Mother’s Heart by Eichin Chang-Lim is the true story of how one courageous woman copes with such a revelation, when her first-born is pronounced profoundly deaf due to a genetic disorder called Waardenburg syndrome.

This book was written to help others who are facing life with a genetically disabled child to understand and deal with what lies ahead for them, and to let them know that they are not alone. But this story is one of hope and triumph, not defeat. The author shares her own experience from the birth of her special needs child, through his childhood and up to the present, where he has become a young adult out on his own.

A Mother’s Heart is written in an honest, straight-forward manner, and the author is completely open about the ups and downs, anguish and joy, the guilt, the anger and all the other emotions and roadblocks associated with raising a special needs child. Her tale is often heart-wrenching, but more often it is uplifting.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has or knows a special needs child or simply is curious to know what it is like to have and raise such a child.


Heaters are expected to emit heat that we can feel.  The sensation of warmth is the result of heat being radiated from an object that is hotter than the person sensing the heat.  When next to a very cold wall the sensation is that of feeling the cold; however, this is not what is happening.  Heat is radiated from the person to the wall, thereby creating the sensation of coolness.  This seems backwards.  We are now finding that other things are also backwards.

For years, it has been believed that electric light bulbs emit light, but recent thinking suggests something quite the contrary.  Electric bulbs may not really emit light, but instead, they may actually absorb, or suck, dark.  Thus, what are commonly called light bulbs are really just “dark suckers”.  If you think about it, you will have to agree that at night there is much less dark near any dark sucker that is turned on.  Large dark suckers, such as those in parking lots and football fields, are capable of sucking huge quantities of dark.

Dark suckers cannot suck dark forever.  Sooner or later they get full of dark.  A dark sucker, even a fluorescent one, will almost always show a dark spot when it gets full of dark.  And, of course, once a dark sucker is full of dark, it can no longer suck.  Even with candles (that are, of course, just primitive dark suckers) the wick tends to turn black as dark is drawn into it.  If a pencil is placed next to the wick of an operating candle, it will turn black.  It is intuitively obvious that the pencil blocked the path of the dark that was flowing into the wick and, thus, intercepted some of it.

When dark is drawn into a dark sucker, heat is generated.  Obviously, this heat is from friction among arriving particles of dark.  It is not wise to touch an operating dark sucker. Because heat is generated from friction, then, intuitively, dark has mass.  It is interesting to note that primitive dark suckers, such as candles or a camp fire, generate considerable heat.  This is thought to result from the mass of dark colliding with the mass of a solid dark sucker core, such as the candle wick or camp fire wood.  Now that we are using inert gas cores in our modern dark suckers, considerably less heat is generated.

The sun is the largest dark sucker in our solar system.  Considering all of the dark drawn into the sun, and the unbelievable amount of friction that must be involved, it is no wonder that the temperature of the surface of the sun is as great as it is.  The sun, like all dark suckers, will eventually completely fill with dark.  Astronomers now know what happens to a star, such as our sun, when it fills with dark; it suddenly becomes a black hole.

It may be noted that just below the surface of a water body, during a sunny day, there is a conspicuous absence of dark.  Dark, however, increases with increasing water depth.  It is intuitively obvious that dark must sink in water because dark (which possesses mass) is heavier than the absence of dark; hence, the absence of dark, being of lighter weight, is referred to simply as light.


Now, to reiterate.  Electric light bulbs suck dark.  When dark suckers become full of dark, they typically show a dark spot and cease to suck any more dark.  Because dark has mass, it is heavier than light, and will sink (such as to the bottom of an ocean).  Heat in a dark sucker is generated by friction as a result of converging dark particles colliding while being sucked into a dark sucker.  The sun is the largest dark sucker in our solar system.  When it eventually fills with dark it will become a black hole.




Collected By:


Dr. Richard L. Phipps