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. This timeless tale 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 are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

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

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Moody Blues... in Oz?

Now there's a odd title....

The Royal Liaison of Oz found himself attending a Moody Blues concert in Indianapolis last night and had an amazing time. This is the 10th time I have seen this fine group and is my 150th concert overall.

While sitting in the lawn waiting for the show, I found myself discussing stuff with several fine folks sitting next to me. Like myself, they had attended the Moody Blues show in Noblesville, Indiana back in '95 and recalled vividly the vicious storm that blew through halfway through the show, resulting in a tornado nearby and an amazing show following the storm 20 minutes later. The gentleman mentioned that they were lucky not to have ended up in Oz after that experience. That of course led to an extended conversation regarding Magician of Oz and my experiences writing about the Land of Oz.

No sooner had that conversation concluded when the show began. The band performed at White River State Park, which is an outdoor venue. With a beautiful waxing moon overhead, the Moody Blues played a wonderful 2 hour set, including a fabulous (as always) rendition of "Nights in White Satin", including the lovely poem at the end.

"Breathe deep the gathering gloom..." is a classic line from that ending but what really was amazing was when Graham Edge (the drummer) spoke the following line while pointing up at the moon; "Cold-hearted orb that rules the night. Removes the colors from our sight. Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right... and which is an illusion."

Prophetic words from a fine artist. How true were his words about our decisions regarding visions of truth and illusion and the choices we make.

So often I am criticized for my belief in Oz and our role in that magical land. Kids today look to the world around us and confront reality in all its cruelty. Yet, when it comes to Oz and all it represents, they more often than not choose to suspend the reality of now and here in favor of Oz. Like kids of old, in the days of Baum, they seek out hope and promise in the pages and reality of a world not quite normal. They seek out the truths, the friendships, the values inherent in Glinda's Red Brick Palace, or Nick Chopper's Place, in the Council of Trees or the vision of Polychrome and her new friend, Oz the Magnificent.

Since the release of Magician of Oz on the Summer Solstice, I have come to understand the wisdom of our youth and their desire to dream of other lands and better times. They know not the elements of grammar and context. They care not for nitpicking and harping over trivial matters from books of old. For them, Potato Soup is more than just a meal. It is a way of seeing that which is familiar and warm in their hearts. They don't care if the Wizard is around or not. For them, truth, honesty, loyalty and friendship are values that they long for and accept willingly, irregardless of who teaches the lesson or who learns said lesson.

Today's child is far more wise the we are and the future seems to be in fine hands.

The wisdom of Princess Ozma exceeds that which we can fathom and I am humbled by her choice of gifts and Royal Liaisons.

Vita est Bonus!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Monday, August 24, 2009

The 70th Anniversary of MGM's The Wizard of Oz

It was a mere 70 years ago today, August 25, 1939 when MGM released its newest and most sensational movie; The Wizard of Oz.



Much hype and hoopla surrounded the premier and from the moment the MGM lion roared, audiences were captivated by the magical land of Oz written about only 39 years before by the celebrated children's author, Lyman Frank Baum.



Since that time, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has taken on many forms and incantations.

Rather than expand on Baum's contributions to children's literature or various facts and lore surrounding the movie, I would choose to focus on how MGM's The Wizard of Oz affected my life and eventually lead to my becoming the Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma and writing Magician of Oz; the first of a three volume story about a young magician named Jamie Diggs and his adventures at home in Indiana and abroad in the Land of Oz.



It should be noted that although MGM's The Wizard of Oz was released in theaters on this date in 1939, it didn't hit the television machine until 1956, then began its incredible yearly showing in 1959, the year before I was born. Therefore, there has never been a year where I did not know of The Wizard of Oz in movie form. While I'm certain that I watched the movie as an infant, my earliest memories of Oz are of my parents reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; by L. Frank Baum (1900) to me as a young child.
I recall my father acting out the scenes while my mother would do the sound effects. One particular scene that often frightened me was when the Tin Woodman took up his sharp axe against the Fighting Trees of the Great Forest of the Quadling Country. Of course he defeated them easily, but my parents made it into quite the horrific scene of carnage and much spilling of sap. In MGM's The Wizard of Oz, I would always get a bit scared when Dorothy and the Scarecrow encountered the animated Apple Trees of the Great Forest. Even to this very day, I sometimes wonder when I walk about in the woods near our home if the trees are watching me, waiting for the right moment to attack and conquer.



Of course now, as a father of five children and grandfather of ten, it is now my job to entertain the kids. With my own children, I would emulate my parents to such a degree that my mom once came in on one of my reading performances and was momentarily stunned at the resemblance between our readings. And much like myself, the battle of the fighting trees was one of the highlights of the show and I made it nearly as violent as my parents did. I also liked doing odd voices for some of the characters and my grandkids find my Yoda voice to be the perfect choice for the voice of the Nome King.



As I have grown older and somewhat wiser (and that is a bit subjective), I have found the the Land of Oz has begun to play a growing role in my life. Every semester, I finish up my lab course in Weather & Climate by doing the Dark Side of Oz thing for my students. We examine the weather in Kansas, including the tornado and the weather in Oz. They get a big kick out of it and I find its a nice way to end what I hope has been a fun class for them.



Over the last 2 years, I have found that Oz has taken over in a number of ways, including my work on fulfilling Princess Ozma's command to spread the word of Oz and tell the story of Jamie Diggs through the story of Magician of Oz. As a result, I have immersed myself in the world of publishing and marketing of the printed word.

Early on in the process, I made a choice to go with the option of self-publishing my work as opposed to the traditional publishing process. This choice was made easier by the cowardice of traditional publishing firms and literary agents who are quite afraid to take an occasional chance on new authors. In addition, today's economic climate has driven the traditional publishing process into near bankruptcy as new methods and processes take over. New authors are finding new avenues for their work and the Internet machine has supplanted the role of news media in the print and broadcast format in promoting their work.

Now, as I look forward to volumes two and three; Shadow Demon of Oz and Family of Oz and their eventual release into the Great Outside, I wonder what will become of MGM's The Wizard of Oz over the next 70 years. How will it evolve into our culture beyond what it has already done? What will my great grandchildren think of the Wizard, Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, Tinman and the Cowardly Lion?



Will they feel as we do today about this wonderful classic? Will they experience it in ways we can not yet predict or even imagine? Will the timeless words of Lyman Frank Baum still resonate with the children of the future?

So many questions and no answers... at least not yet!

Long Live Oz!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gauisus Natalis Princess Ozma!!!

Today, August 21, 2009 is Princess Ozma's birthday and is one of only five holidays celebrated in Oz. The other four are the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox, Summer and Winter Solstice. Magician of Oz loves the Summer Solstice best of all!

According to some, Princess Ozma is well over one hundred years old while others claim she is only one hundred years old. This is due to the Royal Historian's acknowledgment of her birthday in Road to Oz (1909) such that there are some who say that since she was in Oz prior to Road to Oz, she must be more than one hundred years old while others claim that she is only one hundred years old due to it only being mentioned in 1909.

Hmmm. What a quandary!

I tried asking her once and... well, let's just say that you should never ask a lady her age!

Anyway, the first appearance of the crescent Moon following New Moon coincides with sunset on the eve of Her Majesty's birthday.
As such, being the astronomer I am, I have tried to establish a new record for the earliest sighting of the very thin crescent Moon following the New Moon in honor of Princess Ozma's day of celebration and as my gift to her!
Lunar orbital geometry allows for the possibility of approaching the 15.5 hour record mark for the earliest sighting this particular lunar cycle.
I have tried this 14 times before over the last 25 years but have yet to break the record.

It's harder than you think....



Tonight was no different but I did get within 8 minutes of the record. That is the closest I have ever got, by well over 15 minutes!!!


Life is good and so is Oz
Why do you ask?
Why not?
... Because!

Gauisus Natalis Princess Ozma!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Newest Citizen of Oz!

The Mrs. and Magician of Oz are extremely proud to announce the arrival of our newest grandchild (#12), Ivy Jade. One more and we'll have a bakers' dozen!
At 3.3735 kilos (7 pounds, 7 ounces), 55.88 centimeters (22 inches) long, she is cute as a button (of course!) and ready for Love!!! BTW, the lovely woman holding the amazing bundle of Joy is the Mrs. (Amanda), creator of the legendary Potato Soup as read about in Magician of Oz.



We have but one question for all of you reading this. As this is our first grandchild since my return from Oz, we are trying to determine if she is a Munchkin, a Quadling, a Winkie or a Gillikin. Or perhaps she is a citizen of Emerald City...?
Is there a sign or some sort of mark we could look for to help us decide which country of Oz she comes from?

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
magicianofoz (Twitter id)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Diggs Family Car

I was browsing the Internet Machine today and ran across an old film about the Chevy Corvair. This happens to be the family car of the Diggs family featured in Magician of Oz.



I was very pleased and now I share it with you. It's about 6 1/3 minutes long and well worth the watch. Its amazing how different we thought back then. I love the music! Just click on The Old Family Corvair!

The Old Family Corvair!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
magicianofoz (Twitter id)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Celestial Magician!

The following article was culled from Space.com. I found it interesting that they used a magical metaphor. I have had the pleasure of seeing this sight twice before!

Saturn's Rings to Disappear Tuesday
By Robert Roy Britt
Editorial Director
posted: 10 August 2009
09:01 am ET

In a celestial feat any magician would appreciate, Saturn will make its wide but thin ring system disappear from our view Aug. 11.


Saturn's rings, loaded with ice and mud, boulders and tiny moons, is 170,000 miles wide. But the shimmering setup is only about 30 feet thick. The rings harbor 35 trillion-trillion tons of ice, dust and rock, scientists estimate.
The rings shine because they reflect sunlight. But every 15 years, the rings turn edge-on to the sun and reflect almost no sunlight.

"The light reflecting off this extremely narrow band is so small that for all intents and purposes the rings simply vanish," explained Linda Spilker, deputy project scientist for the Cassini Saturn mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Mysterious rings

The rings remain a bit of a mystery. Scientists are not sure when or how they formed, though likely a collision of other objects was involved.

Saturn's equator is tilted relative to its orbit around the sun by 27 degrees – similar to the 23-degree tilt of the Earth. As Saturn circles the sun, first one hemisphere and then the other is tilted sunward. This causes seasons on Saturn, just as Earth's tilt causes seasons on our planet.

While Earth goes around the sun once every 365 days or so, Saturn's annual orbit takes 29.7 years. So every 15 years, the attitude shift puts the gas giant planet's equator, and its ring plane, directly in line with sunlight. Scientists call it an equinox, and this one marks the arrival of spring to the giant planet's northern hemisphere. (On Earth, equinoxes occur in March and September.)

"Whenever equinox occurs on Saturn, sunlight will hit Saturn's thin rings, the ring plane, edge-on," Spilker said.

Galileo puzzled

Galileo Galilei was the first to notice the rings and their then-mysterious transformation in the 17th century. Through one of the first telescopes, which he built himself, Galileo discovered Saturn's rings. He didn't know what they were, though, since all he could see were two lobes attached to the planet like ears. He entered the newfound setup in his notebook as a tiny drawing, mid-sentence, to serve as a noun.

By December 1612, Galileo had studied the phenomenon for more than two years, and the lobes (he thought they might be moons) were getting thinner. Then they disappeared.

"I do not know what to say in a case so surprising, so unlooked for and so novel," he wrote in a letter.

Dutch mathematician Christiaan Huygens, using a better telescope, figured out what the rings were in 1655.

"Galileo had every right to be mystified by the rings," Spilker said. "While we know how Saturn pulls off its ring-plane crossing illusion, we are still fascinated and mystified by Saturn's rings, and equinox is a great time for us to learn more."

Up-close view

The edge-on setup casts shadows across the rings in a unique way that can reveal moonlets and other structures otherwise not visible.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has a front-row seat to the event.

Cassini is watching for topographic features – perhaps some tiny moons or warps in the rings, and it has already spotted some mystery features in the days leading up to the equinox. In one new image, an object seems to have punched through one of the rings, dragging material with it to leave a visible scar. The craft's near-infrared and ultraviolet instruments will be on the hunt for signs of seasonal change on the planet.

"We are not sure what we will find," Spilker said. "Like any great magician, Saturn never fails to impress."

Magician of Oz and Princess Ozma are pleased.

Carpe Noctum!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
magicianofoz (Twitter id)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Magician of Oz at the Crossroads of America



On Friday, August 7th, 2009, Magician of Oz had his first book signing at Book Nation Bookstore in downtown Terre Haute, Indiana. Book Nation Bookstore is located just west of the intersection of Wabash Avenue (US 40) and 7th Street (Old US 41). This location is historically known as the Crossroads of America



Overall, Magician of Oz considers his first ever book signing event to be a qualified success. The event lasted 2 hours and just over a dozen books were sold and signed.



Next month, Magician of Oz heads off to the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute, Indiana for his next book signing event as part of the monthly "Author Accolades" program.
In addition, there will be another event hosted by The Children's Museum of Indianapolis sometime in September or October, depending on stuff.



As the 70th anniversary of MGM's The Wizard of Oz approaches on August 24th, Magician of Oz looks cautiously towards the future as book sales and visibility increase.

Par Ardua Ad Alta!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
magicianofoz (Twitter id)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Life's a beach... but not in Oz!

It was recently asked within the Oz community the following question:

What IS the difference between The Deadly Desert, The Impassable Desert, The Great Sandy Waste and The Shifting Sands?

As I understand it, the large expanse of sand surrounding the Land of Oz is comprised mostly of Silica, a common component of nearly every sandy region on Earth and in Oz. The obvious difference being the magical properties inherent in the sands surrounding Oz.

This was done primarily to isolate and protect the Land of Oz from the Great Outside, which of course means US!



The only other perceptible difference is the very slight tinge, if you will, of the color of sand in each region.

For example, The Great Sandy Waste, the only sandy region I have personally witnessed has a very slight reddish tinge to it.

It was explained to me by Glinda that the sands are tinged red due to the presence of naturally occurring Rubies, which are found in great abundance in the South; Quadling Country and are ground down by the natural erosion process found in Oz. These processes are identical to those in the Great Outside.



She went on to mention that in the East; Munchkin Country, where the Shifting Sands lie, the region is tinted a very light blue due to the presence of Celestine, a pale blue sulfate mineral found in scattered occurrences with gypsum or rock salt.



Salt is another mineral found in great abundance in the sands surrounding the Land of Oz and are the primary mineral responsible, due largely to the magical transformation by Queen Lurline (possibly as I neglected to ask Glinda) for the almost instantaneous dessication and destruction of any living creature which touches the sands.



Glinda went on to point out that in the West; Winkie Country, where the Deadly Desert lies, the sands take on a distinctive yellow tint, owing to the abundance of eroded Sulfur.



In the North; Gillikin Country where lies the Impassable Desert, the sands have a slight, yet distinct purplish tint owing to the presence of Amethyst.



Overall, the effectiveness of the sands surrounding the Land of Oz cannot be overstated, irregardless of their respective names.



Carpe Sandalium!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
magicianofoz (Twitter id)