Art/Architecture Books/Library Christianity/Religion Photography Road Trip Journal

Phoenix-Prescott Valley-Phoenix (Day 4 Summer Roadtrip 2012)

A busy Sunday began with us leaving Phoenix a few minutes after 8:00. We set our GPS to direct us to Prescott Valley where Jerry would preach the morning message in a church pastored by Rev. Richard Evans. We arrived too early, so after sighting the church, we went a few blocks away to Wendy’s where we ordered coffee.

“Look, Jerry,” I had sputtered on the way to the coffee stop. “Look at that neat building. I want to take pictures.” So Jerry drove back to this children’s dental complex, and while he sipped coffee I snapped pictures. Cutest place. Smartest dentist.

Pastor Evans, his wife, and other members of the church welcomed us as we entered the church, and soon a table was set up for my books. It was an amazing morning; per capita, I believe I sold more books there in Prescott Valley than I have sold any other place. As he introduced Jerry to preach after I had made my book presentation, Brother Evans announced that he wanted to buy 100 copies of my newest book, BACKSLIDING, the bitter bite of beelzebub. I sold so many books after the service that I ran out of one of the titles and must do a mailing today. I tremendously appreciate such support for my work. (Another subject which I will address in a different post is my extreme reluctance to push my own books. Yet I know that unless I do so, I will not sell them. 😦  …..)

Jerry stands with pastor and Mrs. Evans and with their son Ryan who is a law student at USC and who was home for a visit. With these neat people we enjoyed a delicious meal and great conversation at a Texas Roadhouse. . . then it was time to drive back to Phoenix.

The dedication of Gabby by her parents was scheduled for Sunday night at Phoenix Revival Center pastored by Brother Delmon Sansom. Brother Sansom spoke an eloquent dedication message titled, A Tale of Two Homes. It was powerful. Jessica wanted her pappy to be involved, too, and of course he was excited to do so.

Gabby is a definite mama’s girl and she did not want to be given to Jesus! She yelped, wanting to be given instead to Jessica. “Never mind her crying,” Jerry said to the audience, and he prayed right over her bawling.

After the dedication, Jerry preached to the precious people who make up the congregation of this fine church. After sweet conversation with Brother and Sister Sansom and their great people, we said good-bye, motored home, and plunked ourselves into bed. Tired, but happy!


Books/Library Humor Photography Social Writing

Not Perfect

Because I write something every day, I’m quite aware of the need for accurate spelling, punctuation, and other usage of the language, although I understand that despite my carefulness, I frequently make mistakes, as do others.  When I self-published my first (of four) books, I scrutinized every word, sentence, and paragraph in what proved to be the futile goal of producing a flawless book. During these years of extensive writing and publishing, I have learned that a professionally produced book by a major publisher, on average, contains three errors.

Even though I know this, it startled me this past week to notice a significant error in a beautiful book I had purchased.

Yesterday at the library, I picked up a notice of a book sale, and saw right away a misspelled word. A misspelled word and the library somehow seem out of synch.

However, the small error did not hinder my successfully shopping there today. Here’s an image of my stack; a bargain for $4.00.

Okay, okay. I know this piece will be scrutinized to assure that I have produced a piece in which grammatical, spelling, and punctuation usage is of the highest caliber. Score me. 🙂


New post on my devotional blog here.

Books/Library Christianity/Religion Pentecostal Writing

Backsliding: the bitter bite of beelzebub

Order information:

Price…..$15.00   plus $2.50 shipping

Make check to: Forrest Press

Mail to: Shirley Buxton P. O. Box 4577  Crestline, CA. 92325

Need to charge an order? Book is available from Pentecostal Publishing House

My other books here.

Books/Library Church Pentecostal Photography Writing

BACKSLIDING: the bitter bite of beelzebub


Shipping tomorrow!

Books will be available at the United Pentecostal Church, International, Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship, Advance Ministries, and directly from me. (In a short time, they will be available on Amazon.)

At the UPCI general conference in Louisville, KY. from October 12 to 15, I will be signing books in the PPH display area.

As soon as I receive the books from the printer, which should be early next week, I will ship books to those who have pre-ordered. Again, thank you for that. It helped me tremendously with the printing costs.


It’s easy. Go to My Books page. Don’t delay so that I can mail yours before leaving for Louisville.

Books/Library Lake Havasu

The Allure of Bookstores

Of truth is the acknowledgement that “the best things in life are free,” and it pleases me when I see indication of people’s understanding of this, and of their indulging in such  worthy opportunity. Consider book stores, and in particular modern-styled book stores which boast of couches, free wi-fi, and in-house coffee shops where may be purchased a myriad of coffees, from a straight cup of black to the most exotic of blended versions, with or without a cloudy smother of cream, with or without a jolt or two of espresso. Peach smoothies and iced berry drinks whirled into delectable treats are offered alongside slender cellophane-wrapped Biscotti and a tender Danish selection that is visible on the shinning glass shelves. Have no money? The aroma is free, as are the sounds and sights, and on opening the door to enter the noble place one is besieged by the incomparable perfume of freshly ground coffee beans, by splendid light, and by the sharp rattle of spinning ice.

The best part though, are the long shelves of books and magazines, free for the taking; well, I mean free for the taking down to read, and then either to purchase, or to place back in its spot. Glossy periodicals on any subject thinkable, from photography to cooking to current events to home decorating to fashion. Books of every genre to peruse. Ample rich chairs to settle into with your trove for skimming, examining, browsing, or even for serious study. Ah, yes. A bookstore. One of life’s greatest gifts. Free.

We only have one in Lake Havasu; Hastings is its name. Jerry and I go there frequently. We hook into the internet, we read magazines and books, we write, we drink coffee. We gaze. We consider. Board games are tucked about as are boxes of crayons for any youngster who wants to use them.

On Friday evenings, we’ve noticed a group of young people who come in with their own tables, which they set up so as not to block the use of the regular tables. They set up games they have brought with them, and are soon immersed in that activity. Some bring their own drinks.

Last week I wandered about taking pictures in this wonderful place. When I went outside, I noticed this couple visiting in the balmy Lake Havasu night. “May I take your picture?” I asked.

“Sure,” they said, and turned to pose.

“No, just ignore me,” I instructed them. For I wanted you to see another unstaged scene from an evening in a bookstore, an evening available at no charge. Free. A gift.


Click here to read my devotional blog.

America Arizona Bible Books/Library Children Christianity/Religion Culture Family


A couple of hours ago in the library checkout line, I stood behind a cheerful looking group consisting of two fairly young, attractive women, with five well-dressed children–children ranging from 5 or 6 to 10 years old, I would say. The women were conversing as I joined the line.

“Well, did you get remarried,” said one lady to the other.

“Uhh, no. I didn’t. But we have two kids together.”She waved a hand toward a couple of the youngsters.

“Same with me. We have three. I’ll never get married again.”

It made me sad.

It made me sad because of the children. It made me sad because of their daddies. It made me sad because of their mommies. It made me sad because of their pappys and of their grannys. It made me sad because of our country. It made me sad because of our world. It made me sad because of God’s Word.

America Books/Library Writing

Book Style

Yesterday was its 50th birthday, and although I’ve been an acquaintance for many years, I didn’t light one candle or bake a single cupcake. For one reason, I was traveling to Tucson; another reason is that I didn’t know about the birthday until this morning, as I read Thursday’s edition of USA Today,

I’m referring to the birthday of a book, a slim book named The Elements of Style, that was written by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White and 514b109m2pl_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa240_sh20_ou01_published 50 years ago. New York editor David Remnick calls it, “The little book that never goes out of style.”

Many years ago, I chanced on a copy of this paperback in a thrift store, knew right away it was a valuable tool for such as I, and have since then bought and given away many copies. At my home in Crestline, I have two or three of the thin volumes scattered here and there where I do my writing.

Spend a 10 dollar bill on this book which is dedicated to concise and clear writing. You will thank me.

America Books/Library Children My Home Photography

Book Tales

Earlier today when I read this story, I was reminded of some of my childhood experiences with the public library. I related this one in my book Road Tales.

We were avid readers, although we kids had few books of our own. Every week or so, we went to the main library, the one over on Central St. near the middle of town. I recall the library as having wide marble steps leading to the entrance, with stone lions on either side positioned in a reclining mode, their paws stretched out in front of them. The library building has changed quite a bit, and I have been away from Springfield for many years. Recently, I mentioned those library lions to someone who also was familiar with the library building, and she said the library never had any lions. I definitely remember it as having lions. But she persisted and thought maybe I was thinking of a house on 1810002112_2e6b28e89aBenton St. that was close by and that did have stone lions out front. I don’t know. Some day I’m going to check it out. Anyway, we went to the library, lioned or not, and loaded our arms with books. We also paid fines, for somehow we neglected to return the books when they were due. Once, I lost a book and was scared of the library for a while, that is, until I got the money together to pay for the mysteriously vanished tome. I don’t know if I thought the librarian would send a policeman to my door or that someone would snatch me off the bus one Saturday in order to extract the price of that book. What a relief when I had paid the debt and again could stride up the central steps and check out more books.

Now, take a look here. Talk about angst resulting from an overdue library book…say 145 years overdue…or even worse, a stolen book.

RICHMOND, Va. —  Washington and Lee University has a missing library book back on its shelves — nearly 145 years after it was stolen by a Union soldier during the Civil War.

The 1842 book, the first volume of W.F.P. Napier’s four-volume “History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France From the Year 1807 to the Year 1814,” 0_61_041509_bookwas returned recently by a friend of one of the soldier’s descendants to the Lexington school’s Leyburn Library.

Mistakenly thinking he was at adjoining Virginia Military Institute, soldier C.S. Gates pilfered the book on June 11, 1864, from the library of what was then Washington College, university officials said this week. The theft took place when Army of West Virginia Gen. David Hunter’s troops raided the area and looted the college’s buildings. No other details about Gates were available from the university.

A note Gates inscribed in the book reads: “This book was taken from the Military Institute at Lexington Virginia in June 1864 when General Hunter was on his Lynchburg raid. The Institution was burned by the order of Gen. Hunter. The remains of Gen. Stonewall Jackson rest in the cemetery at this place.”

Okay, now, any of you who have overdue books…or heaven forbid stolen ones…or borrowed for many years now…march right over to the library, or knock on your friend’s door, and clear your soul of that heavy burden. 🙂

America Books/Library Life Photography Writing

A Typewriter Stand for Carl Sandburg

I enjoy reading books that describe the writing process of well-known authors, or not so well-known ones for that matter. I haven’t bought any, nor checked out any at the library lately, but over the years, I have read such books and find them fascinating. I like to see early drafts with lined out sentences, scribbled over words, and I find it especially interesting if the author explains his reasoning for the changes he makes.

It intrigues me to know whether such writers use pen and paper or typewriter or, now, computer: the hours they keep, their writing spot, whether they need solitude or have the ability to write in the midst of a crowd of people. How do they edit? Can they edit their own work, or must someone else do that for them? Do they ever suffer from writer’s block, and if so, how do they rid themselves of that dreaded malady?

A few days ago, I was reading a very old Southern Living magazine, in which was an article about Carl Sandburg and that pictured the outside of his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Also pictured was his cluttered office where he worked. Absolutely amazing was his typewriter stand: an orange crate. At this time in his life, Carl Sandburg was a successful, beloved poet who had been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes. Yet, in his office was a wooden box on which sat his black typewriter. I love it!

Southern Living says he “was happiest when surrounded by the rural quiet of a farm. For his last 22 years, Sandburg found that peace at Connemara…”

“If I live to a majestic old age becoming the owner of a farm, I shall sit under apple trees in the summer.” Carl Sandburg”

I’d like to hear about your writing techniques. Any of you have your computer on an orange crate?


My devotional blog is here.

Books/Library California Children Home Lake Havasu Life Photography Uncategorized

Some Books I Know

That I can recall, the first episode of my life concerning books is when I was three years old, and I suspect I wouldn’t remember that except for the dead horse that lay near the gate. It was gray. We had gone to visit friends who lived in the country around Springfield, and the sight of that huge animal must have shocked me, so that it forms my earliest memory. (I was surprised to read somewhere a few days ago that a gentleman has faint memories of his birth, and when I mentioned that fact to Andrew he spoke of knowing someone who has a similar memory…an interesting topic for another time.)

Anyway, there was the amazing dead horse near the gate of our friend’s home, and later in the day, I crawled under their front porch–a high porch–and there I found an old book. I hauled it out, and of our hosts who were sitting with my parents on the porch, I asked if I could have the book. My dad protested, and there followed the first course in social graces that I can recall, “Shirley, you don’t ask people to give you things.”

I couldn’t read at three, I know that, but what has developed into an enthusiasm and attachment to the printed page must have begun early in my life…and continues…and around me at all times are lots of books. Usually books bring me pleasure, but through the years they have also been sources of grief, such as times when I turned them in late at the library and must pay a fine.

“Once, I lost a book and was scared of the library for a while, that is, until I got the money together to pay for the mysteriously vanished tome. I don’t know if I thought the librarian would send a policeman to my door or that someone would snatch me off the bus one Saturday in order to extract the price of that book. What a relief when I had paid the debt and again could stride up the central steps and check out more books.” From my book, Road Tales.

My favorite childhood book was The Boxcar Children, and I cannot tell you how many times I read that account of a family of orphans who settled into a boxcar to live. The illustrations were vivid black and white cuts, but I suspect I would have seen them had there been no pictures, for in my mind, they were alive. I walked with them as they prowled about a dump to get dishes and pots and pans, and as sickness befell them. Many years ago, when we were still pastoring in Rialto, I found and bought an old copy of that book, but alas, I took it to our school there, and somehow it never returned home. That saddens me, for I wish I had that copy back.

My second favorite was actually a group of books, biographies of great Americans: scientists, inventors, social workers. I have three old ones at home in Crestline, and one day I will take a picture and show them to you. I loved those books, and as I write here I remember learning of Jane Addams through that series. I even recall the opening pages that told of her being a small girl sweeping the porch and the wind kept blowing leaves to the spot she had cleared. You may know she formed the Hull House in Chicago.

A few weeks ago I saw in a thrift store a sign that read: All Books 10 cents each. My heart thumped, my hands were eager, but my mind put the skids on my plans to fill a basket: Remember, you live in a motor home. Okay, okay, I snarled at the sensible section of my brain, and came home with just a small stack.

Some years back, I made an attempt at counting the books in our home, and came up with a number around 3000. We probably don’t have that many now, for I’ve earnestly tried to downsize lots of things. When we first moved into our Rialto home, we had beautiful library shelves built in what was designed to be the living room, but which we called the “piano room,” for in there we had a grand piano, a couch, a desk, and hundreds of books. When Jerry retired from pastoring, we put our things in storage for four years and traveled extensively in our motor home. After that, we purchased our Crestline home, which didn’t have enough shelves for our books, but we’ve installed shelves since then. From the time we took our things from storage, I’ve been culling our books, but I must confess there are still boxes of them in the basement.

Why then did I come from the thrift store with these?