Wednesday, January 03, 2018


I can't be needing a Dr Pepper 10 this early in the morning. "There's something wrong about that," I say as I'm pouring the fizzing nectar over ice.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Day 2

How is your new year going? Broke your resolutions yet? I do like making resolutions and think it's good for me to think about how to be a better human, but I don't get too upset when I slip. Every day is new day and a new chance to do better. Almost a motivational poster, but not quite pithy enough.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
I hope the new year blesses you and yours
with joy, peace, health, and wealth!
Stephen B. Bagley

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Joke 15

An aspiring young lawyer was sitting in her office late Christmas Eve night when Satan appeared before her. The Devil told her, "I have a proposition for you. You can win every case you try for the rest of your life. Your clients will adore you, your colleagues will stand in awe of you, and you will make embarrassing sums of money. All I want in exchange is your soul, your husband's soul, your children's souls, the souls of your parents, grandparents, and the souls of all your friends and law partners."

The lawyer pondered this, then finally asked: "So, what's the catch?"

Boosting the Signal

Boosting the Signal: Back up your computer! Recently I heard that a writing friend's laptop died. I don't know what was lost, but I imagine lots of things. We all have precious photos and documents on our computers and phones now. BACK THEM UP! One of the easiest ways of doing this is by paying for Carbonite, an automatic backup system for computers. I use it and recommend it, but if you do use it, make sure you know what folders it's backing up, particularly if you use different folders than its presets. But there are other apps that will do that, also, for your computer and phone. (If you use a backup system, please share it in the comments.) Don't lose your digital memories.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Joke 14

A clergyman is walking down a country lane, enjoying the freshly fallen December snow, and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.

"You look exhausted, my son," said the cleric. "why don't you rest a moment, and I'll give you a hand."

"No thanks," said the young man. "My father wouldn't like it."

"Don't be silly," the minister said. "Everyone is entitled to a break. Come to my house and have a hot chocolate while I change to work clothes."

Again the young man protested that his father would be upset. Losing his patience, the clergyman said, "Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him, and I'll give him a piece of my mind!"

"Well," replied the young farmer, "he's under the load of hay."

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Joke 13

A husband and wife were driving down a country lane on their way to visit some friends at Christmas. They came to a muddy patch in the road, and the car became stuck. After a few minutes of trying to get the car out by themselves, they saw a young farmer coming down the lane in a tractor. The farmer stopped when he saw the couple in trouble and offered to pull the car out of the mud for $50. The husband accepted, and minutes later the car was free.

The farmer said to the husband, "You know, you're the 20th car I've helped out of the mud today."

The husband looked around at the fields incredulously and asked the farmer, "When do you have time to tend your farm? At night?"

"No," the farmer replied. "Night is when I put the water in the hole."

Christmas Factoids 2

“The Nutcracker” is the most famous Christmas ballet and was used by the Chinese to break the
wills of political prisoners. It is outlawed by the Geneva Convention as is the playing of “Jingle Bells” more than 1,754,322 times during the holiday season.

If you received all of the gifts in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would receive 364 presents, none of which you could return. By the way, why are there so many birds in that song? Doesn’t it seem fowl?

Holly berries are poisonous, which does explain why holly berry cookies aren’t popular even though there was a heavy marketing push for them during the 1950s. It joined the ranks of other failed food products: stone ground hemlock bread, foxglove fajitas, poop pie, and of course, green tea.

In 1843, A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens in only six weeks. Many of us feel he should have taken more time with it and added some spaceships and several hot alien females.

Excerpted from Floozy and Other Stories on sale here:

Bonus Christmas Joke 13

The traffic was terrible as Herman was driving down the freeway to the mall. Everyone was out shopping for Christmas presents, and they were driving like crazy people!

His cell phone rang. Answering through the car speakers, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!"

"It's not just one car!" said Herman. "It's hundreds of them!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Factoids 1

Christmas trees started in Germany in the 16th century. On Christmas Eve, Martin Luther was walking home under a starry sky, which was so beautiful he wanted to recreate its beauty for his children. He decorated a large evergreen with lit candles. He followed his creation of the "First Christmas Tree" with the development of the "First House Fire Caused by a Christmas Tree."

Since 1947, the people of Oslo, Norway, have given a Christmas tree every year to the city of Westminster, England. The gift expresses Norway’s gratitude for Britain’s help during World War II, despite the fact that the tree is never on Britain’s Christmas list. Britain would prefer a gift card.

The first president to decorate the white house Christmas tree in the United States was Franklin Pierce. This is the only notable thing Pierce did while in office and as such should be remembered, but not by me. I’ve already forgotten it. Franklin who?
Traditionally, Christmas trees are taken down after Epiphany or whenever the husband has been nagged beyond human endurance.
Excerpted from Floozy and Other Stories on sale here:

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Recommended book!

River Bend
By Barbara Shepherd
Historical - Belle Strong expected her husband to meet her when she stepped off the ferry in north Texas, but she was in for a surprise—her husband is dying. Pregnant and alone, she faces challenges along the Red River where her world includes fur trappers, Indians, and a rugged sea captain.
Jacob Owens spends most of his life on the high seas and is a self-proclaimed bachelor. But when a green-eyed beauty enters his world, he finds his thoughts drifting in different directions. Why can’t he stop thinking about her, and why is he trading fine beaver pelts for exquisite fabrics to surprise Belle to use in her quilting?
Can she protect her son in such an uncivilized country? Or will she be forced to rely on a complete stranger?

Monday, November 13, 2017

FCB Excerpt

If a woman asks you if you think another woman is pretty, the answer is simply “no.” I don’t care if a multitude of angels are singing the other woman’s name because of her glorious beauty, you say, “No.” If you can convincingly add, “She’s an ugly hag,” things will go even better.

But don’t get cute on this. A friend of mine and his wife went to a cocktail party, and afterwards, as they drove home, his wife casually asked if he thought a woman at the party that they knew from college was pretty.

He immediately said, “No. She has aged so badly.”

“Now, don’t be rude,” his wife said, slightly smiling and resting her hand on his knee.

Warmed by her approval, he stupidly continued, "It’s obvious she’s had her boobs done. They’re so perky and round.”

Poor guy.

-- From the forthcoming book Floozy Comes Back, copyright 2017 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

FCB Excerpt

"Many people are horrified the Pilgrims practiced pillorying, the act of fastening someone in a wooden framework in a public area so the Pilgrims could insult and demean them. You should remember this was long before Facebook and Twitter. The Pilgrims had to make do with what they had. And it was better to be pilloried in the New World than in the Old World. In the latter, they would throw rotten vegetables at the pilloryee. The Pilgrims had no food to spare for such fine sport and had to make do with mud, rocks, and—wait for it—dung. On second thought, it wasn’t better at all."
-- From the forthcoming Floozy Comes Back by Stephen B. Bagley. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

FCB Excerpt

"Pumpkin spice is a powerful movement these days. You can find that spice in lipstick, candles, lotions, body sprays, perfumes, bath salts, shampoos, potpourri, air fresheners, facial tissue, toilet bowl cleaners, deodorant, sachets, dog biscuits, toothpaste, lip balms, and much more. And that doesn’t count all the pies, cakes, coffees, tarts, fried pies, muffins, and other desserts. There’s really something quite uncanny about it. It’s entirely possible that zombies want pumpkin spice brains, and vampires want pumpkin spice blood."
-- From the forthcoming Floozy Comes Back by Stephen B. Bagley. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Perfect for Halloween!

Blackbirds Second Flight 
Perfect for Halloween! 
Featuring thrilling stories and poetry from Stephen Bagley, Wendy Blanton,
Gail Henderson, Ken Lewis, 
Jean Schara, and Heath Stallcup!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

A bit about the Blackbirds

The anthology Blackbirds First Flight featured stories from Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, and Tamara Siler Jones.

To quote Pru Simmons: “Blackbirds First Flight is an anthology of stories and poetry with a dark, sensual twist. The stories run the gambit from thrilling Gothic adventure to modern urban fantasy to fantastic encounters with the macabre. The poetry is uniformly excellent and tells dark stories of its own, many related to mythology.”

Here's a bit about the authors:

Stephen B. Bagley wrote Tales from Bethlehem, Murder by Dewey DecimalMurder by the Acre, Floozy & Other Stories, and EndlesS and co-authored Undying with Gail Henderson. His works have appeared in Writer's Digest, Creations 2014, Creations 2013, Creations 2012, ByLine Magazine, Free Star, Nautilus Magazine, OKMagazine, and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit for more info.

Kent Bass enjoys writing Gothic action/adventure stories. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and from the University of Oklahoma, with a Master of Science in Accountancy. He and his family live in Dallas, Texas, where he works for the nation’s leading tax software company. Blackbirds First Flight was his first publication.

Wendy Blanton published three fantasy novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard under the pen name Elizabeth Joy with co-author Scott Carman. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management from the University of Mount Olive and served in active duty for the United States Air Force for eight years. She is an apprentice bard and tells Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues. Visit for more info.

Gail Henderson co-authored Undying with Stephen B. Bagley. She collaborated with noted Oklahoma photographer Michael Duncan to produce Bare, a book of poetry and photography. Red Bird Woman, a collection of her poetry, was published in 2013. Her work has appeared in Creations 2014, Creations 2013, Creations 2012, and ByLine Magazine. She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University. Visit for more info.

Tamara Siler Jones is a wife, mom, writer, quilter, and cat-wrangler from rural Iowa. She has numerous novels in print/eBook, including Ghosts in the Snow, winner of the Compton Crook Award for best first novel of the year in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre; Threads of Malice; Valley of the Soul; SPORE; and the newly released Morgan's Run. Visit for more info.

Jean Schara retired from a 28-year career in the United States Air Force in 2008 and took up residence in Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and of the Troy State University with a Master of Science in Adult Education. She has had several book reviews published in the Air Power Journal and several articles published in Vision: A Resource for Writers. Visit journal for more info.

Blackbirds First Flight is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu, and other online retailers. Visit for more info.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Perfect for Halloween!

Enjoy stories and poems from authors 
Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, 
Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, and Tamara Siler Jones
in this dark, thrilling anthology!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Interesting idea

Apparently, Walmart is testing a program where it delivers groceries to your fridge even when you're not home. As long as it pays for them, too, I could support this. And what about cooking the food, too? Come on, Walmart, step up!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Autumn come quickly

I am so looking forward to that first hard freeze of autumn...that nip in the air, the changing leaves, the crunching sound made by the tiny frozen bodies of mosquitoes as I walk down the lane...autumn...time for you to come now.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Horse to water...

You cannot help people who don't want to be helped. Why is it so hard for me to remember this and to accept it? Maybe it's the sheer illogical thinking that I rebel against. Why would someone choose ugliness instead of something better? My brain refuses to comprehend it.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

We're all in this together

I think it's important in this day and time to remember we're all part of the United States. We're one family going into the future together. And most importantly, you're completely wrong.

Friday, September 01, 2017

I do

I want tacos. The sheer ridiculousness of wanting them at this time of night.... But I do want them. Three of them. Maybe four.

And no, I'm not driving to Taco Bell at midnight. My diabetes nurse would lecture me within an inch of my life. Not that I would care as long as my mouth was stuffed with tacos!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Visiting the Pope

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer met the Pope on Sunday. One assumes it was for an exorcism....

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Cafe Stephen

The weather was so pleasant last night. Cool. Calm. The only sound was the slurping noise as the mosquitoes sucked my blood...and the smacking noises as they licked their tiny mosquito lips...hmmmmmm good blood, they buzzed.... I think I might be delirious from blood loss.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Hmm. I thought the eclipse was supposed to make people go crazy and strip off their clothes and run up the streets, shouting, "Bumpdabump my baby woogie woogie." Well, now I just feel awkward....

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jungle creatures

      Tomorrow morning, I will get up, and despite personal failures, diabetes, family tragedies and illness, rotten health, global warming, riots in the streets, the sun burning out in five million or so years, I'll still be right here.
      Praying, hoping, believing against all intelligent thoughts otherwise, striving, writing, dreaming unreasonable unlikely things, losing, winning, loving for all the wrong reasons...
      Still here.
      I'll still be here.
     You be here, too.
Eleanor: We're jungle creatures, Henry, and the dark is all around us. See them ... in the corners? You can see their eyes.
Henry: And they can see ours. I'm a match for anything. Aren't you?

(From The Lion In Winter by James Goldman)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Turn the page

Closing The Book
By Stephen B. Bagley

It surprised me when I swept off
all the books on the shelf. I thought
I had long since spent my passion
in purchasing your faithless heart.

You feel uncertain of our life,
you tell me. What you mean is your
better love than me may still be
out there. Why settle for less here?

So go. Leaving is how you show
how little you care, how little
you understand the rarity
of love in this non-fiction world.

If this were a story, you would
come back broken, and I would let
you love me or even better
introduce you to my new love.

Since this is not, I will pick up
the scattered books and set them back
on the shelf, being careful to set
yours to one side to box later.

Excerpt from Undying by Stephen B. Bagley & Gail Henderson. 
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"Places I'd Rather Be"

Places I'd Rather Be 
By Stephen B. Bagley

On a beach --

No, on a beach with white sand --

Wait, on a beach with white sand and the only sound the ocean --

Hey, on a beach with white sand and the only sound the ocean and a tall cold fruity umbrellaed drink in my hand --

Yes, on a beach with white sand and the only sound the ocean and a tall cold fruity umbrellaed drink in my hand as I lounge in the shade beneath palm trees and you walk toward me, smiling, the sun glistening on your wet skin as you rise out of the waves ...

In your arms.

(Copyright 2017 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. From the forthcoming book "Eternal." Thank you for reading.)

Monday, August 14, 2017


Do you ever feel inexpressibly weary of this world's stupidity? Or really just the stupidity of man? No, I'm not throwing in the towel on us yet, but I remain astonished and dismayed by the utter and complete disregard for true science and true faith that is rampant these days. We have set ourselves up as little gods, and the reckoning will be terrible. God really doesn't have to do anything for us to destroy us in an apocalypse; we'll do it all on our own.

We'll blame Him, of course. We always do when bad things happen, even though many of these disasters are the result of our bad planning and bad decisions, but we won't take the blame for not installing tornado shelters, for not moving populations away from earthquake and tsunami zones, for not following safety standards in food and buildings, by not addressing inequities in food and wealth so that children don't starve to death, for letting hate-filled demagogues win our political offices, for not stewarding our environmental resources so that we can be sure our children's children's children will still have farmland and forests.... You can easily add to this list of disasters. They're all our decisions. It's easier, cheaper, faster to make bad decisions now. After all, we can always blame God later on.

I think the biggest tribute to God's love and mercy is that He hasn't swept us off this earth already. If I were God, I I watch the news about North Korea, Charlottesville, Burkina Faso, Wisconsin...I know I would be sorely tempted.

And this is why I rarely watch the news, Alice. Now you know.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A religious ramble

A good friend of mine has said that she has reached the age where she doesn't have to associate with people she doesn't like or simply doesn't enjoy. I understand this. I think time and self-respect do the same for most of us. However, it does mean when I don't hear from her in a while, I wonder if I'm in that group now. :)

The danger in this may be if you're basing your choices on skin color or race or other superficial qualities. There's much to be said for going outside what you usually enjoy. We grow in that way. She isn't basing her choices on that so don't think I'm taking a potshot at her. In fact, in many ways, I've done that, too, in my life, but I try to ensure I'm including a diversity of friends in who I'm keeping.

One subset that I've been dropping is people who blame the world and circumstances for their problems instead of realizing their decisions have consequences. I want to point out a common error in so-called Christian thinking--the Bible never says God will rescue you from the troubles caused by what you did on this earth; He promises to be with you throughout and will welcome you into His care after your life is over, but He's not a genie granting your every little wish.

I call such thinking "The Gumball God." We put in a prayer, and we expect a blessing as easy and simple as that. Just like putting a quarter into a gumball machine, out pops our blessing. We're busy in attempting to make God into something we can control or at least understand. We keep trying to put Infinite into the Finite and are frustrated when God just doesn't fit.

One of my ways of looking at God is He is the ultimate artist. He made this beautiful world filled with mountains, oceans, forests, humans, animals, and so much more. Like any artist, He doesn't like it when people destroy His art. A good way to make decisions might be to ask yourself if what you're doing is making His art more beautiful or if it is marring His work. It's how I try to live my life. I fail often, but it's what I aim for.

Yes, I've wandered all over the place in this. Hope you enjoyed the ramble.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I'm a tree

My diabetes nurse has this chart where she logs your weight and then figures out how tall you should be. Apparently, I should be a Redwood.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Unsent Letter

Dear Diet,
Our relationship is in terrible trouble. You're bland and boring, and I can't stop cheating on you with Little Debbie.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

My inner voice

My diabetes education nurse says we all have an "inner fatty" who talks to us. Mine talks all the time, and I must say he has many tasty ideas.