The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. These timeless tales of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz and Even More Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

Nomes of Oz is a wonderful adventure for anyone who loves the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: The First Witches of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Heavenlee Howl of the New Moon

     The Wabash Valley of Indiana cordially invites everyone within the path of totality during the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024, from Mexico, across America and into Canada, to participate in a celebration of the lives of our children and grandchildren who have passed beyond the veil and joined with Heaven by becoming a part of The Heavenlee Howl Of The New Moon.
    In times past, Mankind has marveled at the beauty of the heavens and has often found voice in their admiration by howling at the full moon.     Like the wolves of Mother Nature, who often howl at the full moon as a celebration of their wolfness, people across time and distance have chosen to celebrate their connection with the heavens by giving voice to their feelings of joy, worship and even sadness and sending it skyward towards our celestial neighbor Luna, or the moon, as it commonly known.
    On April 8th, 2024, the moon will pass in front of the sun, causing a shadow to pass across the surface of the earth. For those within the path of the moon's shadow, or Luna Umbra, (as it is known in Latin), it can be a life-changing experience.
    It is also a time, when the moon is directly in front of the sun, that the moon will be in its New Moon phase. Normally, the moon cannot be seen during the New Moon phase, but during a total solar eclipse, the New Moon can be seen, although the human eye can only percieve it as a black disc.
    Now, the Wabash Valley of Indiana invites everyone along the path of the moon's shadow to participate in The Heavenlee Howl Of The New Moon by remembering a beloved child or grandchild who has passed away far sooner than they were meant to by turning your gaze skyward during totality.
    At this time of darkness, we encourage you to howl in memory of that child, and for all children who have left us too soon. Celebrate the Love you still feel for them with a long and vigorous howl. Pierce the darkness with your voice and summon the light with your howl. Gather your friends together and share your howl with them, or even total strangers and encourage all to join with you in the howling.
    This is a singular time to celebrate the memories of our beloved children and grandchildren who are no longer with us. We won't get another opportunity like this for nearly four hundred years, so don't let the Luna Umbra pass you by in silence. Let your Love howl across the skies so that our loved ones in Heaven can hear us.
Any and all inquiries may be directed to
Per ardua ad alta!


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Camera Lens Solar Filter Tutorial

 In preparing for the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse on April 8th, 2024, I found it necessary to construct a solar filter for my 650-1300mm telephoto/zoom lens. What follows here is a simple tutorial for making one using easily avail;able materials and tools.

First thing you'll need are some supplies, including a sheet of Mylar solar filter material (I recommend Thousand Oaks Optical), an empty Quaker Oats container, duct tape, a razor knife, scissors (not pictured), a black and silver Sharpie, a small piece of cardboard and an Olive Garden soup-to-go container (not pictured).

Begin by placing the camera lens you wanna filter onto the Mylar sheet and mark out a circle using a black Sharpie.

Next, remove the plastic lid from the Quaker Oats container.

Invert the lid and place it onto the small sheet of cardboard. Then, using the razor knife, carefully cut about 1/4" inside the black circle until you have cut out a complete circle.

Discard the plastic circle and retain the ring you have now created.

Using the black Sharpie, mark short black lines extending from the black circle inwards until you have the following example.

Now, use your razor knife to cut along those line, making sure not to extend your cut beyond the black line. 

Replace the plastic ring back onto the Quaker Oats container and tape the ring to the container using the duct tape (I didn't have the classic gray tape, so I used this odd cactus design duct tape). Be certain to insure that the tape does not extend above the top of the ring. Make sure the tape goes all the way around the container. This is important for the next step and for a later surprise.

Now, place the container on its side and, using the razor knife, cut through the paper container along the tape line. Go slowly and carefully, insuring you have a clean, straight cut. When completed, you should have a ring with attached lid roughly the width of the tape.

 Place the ring, lid side down, onto a corner of the sheet of Mylar filter material, making sure to give yourself about 1/2" an inch gap between the ring and the edge of the sheet.

Using the black Sharpie, mark out the outline of the ring onto the Mylar sheet.

Using a pair of scissors (be certain not to run with them), cut out a square about 1/2" an inch beyond the black circle. Store the remaining Mylar material for later use.

Now, make sure the Mylar sheet's silvery side is face up, towards you. Using the scissors once more, cut small lengths of duct tape and attach them to the sheet as shown below.

Turn the taped sheet over so the black side is facing you and the sticky side of tape is also facing you (very important). Now, place the Quaker Oats ring/lid assembly down onto the black side and, using the silver Sharpie, mark the outline of the assembly onto the sheet, making sure to leave a 1/2" gap between the ring assembly and the edge of the sheet. This will serve as a guide as you secure the taped edges to the paper ring assembly.

Now, holding the ring assembly in place with the palm of your hand, lift one taped edge up onto the paper ring until it sticks.

Repeat with the other side.

Now, do the same with the remaining sides until you have something resembling the photo below. Don't worry if there is a wrinkle or two. It won't matter.

Fold each corner into itself, much like wrapping a Christmas present and tape each folded corner down until it looks like this.

You now have a completed solar filter assembly.

Time to attach it to your camera lens. 

Grasping the filter assembly by the side (try not to touch the Mylar sheet in order to avoid scratches), slowly slide onto the lens about halfway down the length of the filter assembly.

Once done, your camera set-up should look like this.

Once completed, you're gonna wanna store the filter assembly in a container until eclipse time. I found that an Olive Garden soup-to-go bowl was an ideal container to use for this purpose. This is why I suggested not cutting the paper container longer than the length of the duct tape.

Congratulations! You now have a solar eclipse filter for your camera lens that can also be used later for other solar work. Good luck!!!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Return to Chesterton Oz: Wizard of Oz Days 2021 Part 2

Well, it's been just over a week since Amanda and I returned from the Land of Oz; specifically the Wizard of Oz Days in Chesterton, Indiana. The glow of Oz is just now abating as we reflect on a fabulous weekend as Oz returns to it's familiar surroundings.

For those of you who were unaware, Chesterton used to play host to the second longest running Wizard of Oz Festival. That is, until the last festival in 2012. Since then, many of us have longed for its return... and thanks to the tireless efforts of jack Bishop, Oz has returned to Chesterton and by all accounts, it was long overdue and very well recieved.

In my previous post, I spoke of the Friday night event; The Emerald City Gala and how well it went. As Guest Auctioneer, I had a particularly good time, as did my wife Amanda, who had never seen me do my stuff before.

The following morning (Saturday), we arrived early and were soon set up to "flog our wares", to borrow a Harry Potter'ism.

We had a very nice location with excellent exposure and spent a good part of the day talking to Wizard of Oz fans and sharing our family-friendly vision of Oz. 

Alongside us were numerous vendors;


And a variety of some of the most talented artists I've ever had the pleasure of knowing

This young man is Joe Shipbaugh and he does stunning artwork about the Land of Oz. He does some really impressive recreations of W.W. Denslow's illustrations from the 1900 Wizard of Oz book.

Rick Ewigleben is another stunning srtist who's artwork is highly valued for Wizard of Oz event posters. We still have a wonderful piece of artwork he did of Margarette Pelligrini, former Munchkin in the movie, that hangs in our front room. It was even signed by her and dedicated to Amanda's legendary potato soup.

Another amazing artist who was stationed right next to us was Tim Wolak, who has created hand-carved full-sized figures of numerous characters from the Wizard of Oz movie and tours with them, offering fans photo opportunities.

That is one stylin' jacket he's wearing!

Micheal Siewert was one of the featured guest, presenting a program on his friendship[ with Munchkin Margarette Pelligrini. Like most everyone I mention here, I met him at the 2010 Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival and I have found him to be a wonderful person to be around. Always full of life and happy, he never fails to induce joy in everyone he meets.

Walter Kreuger, famed Oz collector (his collection is huuuuuuuuge!) was there as well, discussing his collection as part of the main program both Saturday and Sunday.

Victoria Calamito, Oz historian and amazing singer was all over the place, bringing smiles and a song to the festivities.

As part of the main program, Tom Hutchinson of Big Dog Ink made a Zoom appearance to talk about his graphic novels about Oz. His work is really good and he does very well bringing Oz to an entirely new audience. 

Sitting alongside Victoria during this Zoom call was Ryan Jay, noted TV personality and Oz historian, who served as Master of Ceremonies and overall Host. He did a fabulous job... and Toto too!

The highlight of the entire weekend was the appearance of Emma Ridley, who played princess Ozma in the 1985 Disney film, Return to Oz. She was radiant, spell-binding and a true Disney Princess! She spoke of her experiences while filming the movie and the audiences were captivated.

Of the two days, Saturday saw slightly better attendance, despite the minor rain showers in the early afternoon. After the day's madness, Amanda and I found a bingo hall in the next town over; Hobart. I even hit $125, so it was a great day.

The next day, Sunday was a repeat of Saturday with a little less attendance, though that is very common at every Oz festival we attend. Nonetheless, sales did well and we enjoyed visiting with good friends.

We were even lucky enough to make some new friends. This young couple sat with us during the Emerald City Gala and had a booth across from us. They have developed and are marketing a new card gane called Home from Oz. I tried it and it was a fun, easy game that anyone can play. They were a very pleasant couple who gives me hope that the future may be in good hands.

Sadly, I almost never ventured outside as we were busy. Still though, I regret missing Stephen's Puppets marionette show about The Wizard of Oz. I first met Bob Wall's at Chesterton performing the show. He was the "puppet dude." He has since retired (well earned I might add) and I was hoping to see the new guy. I'm sorry I missed it. I heard good things about it from patrons. 

 Like any good Oz festival, it had to come to an end and did so with a rousing appearance by the Spirit of Oz Character Troupe. They always excel in bring the spirit of Oz to every event they perform at. This was no exception and they left the audience pleading for more. 

Overall, Amanda and I felt this was a great return to Oz of the Chesterton Oz Festival, now known as the Wizard of Oz Days. Our sincere gratitude goes out to Jack Bishop and all his volunteers (especially Karen Owen Armstrong) for allowing us to be a part of the fun. We had a great time and look forward to next year, especially for me as Guest Auctioneer.

With the pandemic now in remission, it looks like Oz is busting out all over!

James & Amanda Wallace

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Return to Chesterton Oz: Wizard of Oz Days 2021 Part 1

 Well, it's been a few months since my last posting and time has kept me very busy. Nonetheless, Amanda and I were able to attend our first Wizard of Oz Festival since last year, and as luck would have it, it's the return of the Chesterton Oz Festival. In addition, Amanda was able to premier her first solo work as an Oz author; The Twin Witches of Oz.


For those of you who were unaware, the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival had been the second longest running Oz festival, running from 1982 through 2012. When it was shut down down, the outcry from Oz fans was stupendous and though it took 9 years, the festival has returned, thanks to the tireless efforts of Jack Bishop. He was a man on a mission and we can report that his mission was a tremendous success.

As Guest Authors, Amanda and I were thrilled to be invited to attend the return of Oz to Chesterton and I was especially pleased to serve as Guest Auctioneer for the Friday evening Emerald City Gala.

After a three hour drive from home, we arrived in Chesterton and made our way to the Duneland Falls Banquet & Meeting Center. It was an impressive venue and would soon prove to be a great choice.

We walked around to scope out the venue and were very pleased with the very Oz feeling all around us.

Friday evening was the official start of the festival and began with the Emerald City Gala, which featured a catered dinner, special Ozzy guests, a live Oz music concert, Oz in Chesterton retrospective, live Oz collectible auction and more.

The evening began with a fine meal, then a special appearance by the “Spirit of Oz,” Wizard of Oz Characters, who started out the gala with a greeting and a song. 

Next was the introduction of the festival's Grand Host, TV film critic/Oz historian Ryan Jay with his puppy Toto too. Apparently, a certain wicked witch wanted a word with Ryan.

I can report that Ryan Jay was phenomenal as the host of both the Emerald City Gala and the festival overall.

What followed next was a wonderful presentation by Michael Siewert (friend of munchkin Margaret Pellegrini),

then a stunning performance of Oz music by Tori Calamito (The Oz Vlog). Wowsers, can that woman sing!

Wally Kreuger (Oz Collectors United) then gave an informal talk about his overwhelming collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia. 

Then came the biggest star of all, Emma Ridley, who portrayed "Ozma" from Disney's 1985 movie, Return to Oz.She was radiant as always and the audience just couldn't get enough of her.

Following her appearance was the live Oz collectible auction, which featured loads of unique and wonderful one-of-a-kind Oz collectables. 

Now, as Guest Auctioneer, it was my time to shine... and from all accounts, I performed my duties very well. I was also assisted by Wally Kreuger, who provided detailed information for each Oz item up for bid. I am truly grateful for his help and his friendship. he is a true joy to be around, as are every other person I encountered at the festival.

About halfway through the auction, we took a break for some Zoom presentations that folks in attendance found very entertaining. I, for one, appreciated the break as "my lungs were aching for air!" By the end of the auction, my voice was nearly done... and so was I.

Overall, the Emerald City Gala was a huge success and a fabulous way to begin the return of the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival, now known as the Wizard of Oz Day. 

My next blog posting will focus on the weekend's activities and the great time had by all.