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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 14...

So the other day, I posted about having to add another chapter in order to explain some stuff. Now, as I plow through the 'stuff', I'm finding myself combining one other chapter outline into this added chapter, which now leaves back where I started at.

It's odd how this works sometimes, though I'm not complaining. This particular chapter has allowed me to bring in a pun or two, which always makes me happy.

Now, I'm dealing with an issue which I brought up on the International Wizard of Oz Club (IWOC) forum and to which I received an excellent answer.

In L. Frank Baum's 9th book, Scarecrow of Oz (1915); Chapter 22; The Waterfall, the waterfall near Glinda's castle is described by the Scarecrow as the "Great Waterfall." However, in Tik-Tok of Oz (1914), which was Baum's 8th book, the map of Oz, as reproduced by The Hungry Tiger Press, calls it the Magic Waterfall.

I found this discrepancy very odd and requested some clarification, which Ruth Berman (by way of Eric Gjovaag) was very kind to provide.
It would seem that L. Frank Baum was contemplating using the Magic Waterfall when he completed the map of Oz for Tik-Tok of Oz, but then seems to have had a change of heart and/or direction by the time he completed Scarecrow of Oz.

As such, it would seem that I'm free to call it Magic or Great. I may do both! I've been wanting to connect Oz and the Great Outside by means of the Magic/Great Waterfall and Chittenango Falls in New York State and this provides me a means of doing so.

In addition, my wife had made a wonderful discovery during our trip to these lovely falls back in June and now I gets to use her find as inspiration for a number of things related to the Falls.

I would also mention that when I was writing the Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy, I chose to address another odd map issue from Tik-Tok of Oz. It seems that East and West are reversed in Baum's map of Oz and I came up with what I consider to be an unusual and unique explanation which satisfies both the map's reversal and my own desire to set my work apart from other Oz authors.


I would add my own thanks to Eric and David of the Hungry Tiger Press for making this map available in such great detail and retaining the original reversals. So many maps of Oz tend to change the map rose (legend) so that East and West are located properly, then they put Winkie Country (yellow) on the left and Munchkin Country (blue) on the right.

If L. Frank Baum had wanted it that way, he would have drawn it that way... but he didn't!
This is the map I use as I write in order to maintain continuity and perspective.

For now, I continue work on Chapter 4 and I hope to complete it tonight and began thinking about Chapter 6 of Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings. Ron has sent his contribution and now I must venture forth along that storyline as well. 

So far... so good! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 13...

As you can tell, the pace is still a bit more relaxed, but I did manage to start and complete chapter 3 of The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu. 

In my initial chapter outline, I had planned by now to introduce the entrance into Oz and set up the meeting of new friends. Instead, as is often the case with me, I find the need to add an additional chapter in between outlined chapters in order to explain stuff.

One of my biggest concerns is writing a story that tends to drag on. When I wrote Family of Oz, it turned out to be as long as Magician of Oz and Shadow Demon of Oz combined. I kinda knew Family of Oz would be long, just not that long. However, I wouldn't cut a thing out of it as it turned out to be the exact length it needed to be.

For The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu, my goal is to write a shorter story than Magician of Oz, which comes out at 45,000 words. Now, I just have to figure out how not to overwrite a story and go into too much detail, although it's the details that really make my stories what they are. It's a matter of style and I don;t feel right truncating my style.

We'll see as time goes by. For now, the hero is making his way south and having a good time at it, as am I!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 12...

So, I'm finding the pace of writing to be a bit less hectic than before. Frankly, I like it! I'm finding the pace to be far more enjoyable than the last time, not that I'm complaining. It's just nicer now not being so hectic and frantic!!!!

So yesterday, I took off from just about everything in order to take my 9 year old granddaughter, Adrianna to a Jimmy Buffet concert. Turns out she's a Parrothead! Go figure?

Anyway, we had loads of fun. We sang, we danced, we acted like total Parrotheads and really enjoyed ourselves.
For her, it was her 1st concert. For me, it was my 162nd concert. Adrianna's got a ways to go to catch up with Grandpa!

When the last song was over (2 1/2 hours later!), the lights came up and another song played as a farewell while the crowds dispersed. You may recognize it...

Over the Rainbow

Needless to say, I was both pleased and exhausted. I felt almost alone among the throngs of people as I thought about Princess Ozma and Her Royal Command to me several years ago. It was as if She were calling out to me and I was fairly certain no one else in that crowd of hula skirts, flip-flops and such had ever written of Oz.

It was Serendipity once again and I am humbled by Her Majesty.

Today, I sat down to read my co-authors revised chapter 3 contribution to our newest novel, Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings. I had thought I would think about where to go from here but Her Majesty, Princess Ozma's inspiration and last nights' sign from Her compelled me to face the screen and have a go at it.
2 hours later and my next chapter is done. I do so enjoy writing of the heroes this time. It was almost effortless and I am spent by the effort. Still though, The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu is on my mind and I may just try a little writing tonight.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 11...

Today was a wonderful day for writing of Oz!!!

I was able to sit down and finish up, tweak and otherwise finalize chapter 1, which introduces the first of the two title heroes of this book. I'm very pleased with the fact that I was able to extend my reach beyond my normal comfort zone and write of some very complex and intense subjects.

Now, I find chapter 2 of The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu done and I've managed to complete the introductions of both title heroes. This was a shorter chapter than the first... and far less intense. Although, there is a bit of complexity regarding the early childhood of the hero in this chapter. Overall though, I'm pleased to complete this crucial part which I hope will hook the reader and entice them into reading on...

Perhaps I will read chapter 3 of my other project, Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings. Then, I do believe I'll switch gears and head over to that area of Oz...

So far, so good!!! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 10...

So, I took off yesterday because, with all the waging of War in Libya and the fact that I left the tv on during it (an error in judgement), I felt I couldn't write because experience has shown me that events like that impact my writing in a bad way.

Instead. I went to the auction today and found Oz once more!!!


I've never heard of Thomas L. Tedrow, but it's from 1993, so it's not something new and it's not associated with the Disney movie of a similar name.
Will I read it? Perhaps later, but for now, I never read any Oz but L. Frank Baum when I'm immersed in the Writing Madness of Oz!

Who knows what tonight will bring!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 9...

As is usually the case when I become immersed in the Writing Madness of Oz, I find myself unable to concentrate on anything else. More often than not, I find myself writing at all hours of the day or night and I generally forgo my other activities until I complete the madness.

Last night was no different as I found myself laying in bed and unable to turn off the dialog and storylines running through my brain. So naturally, I got up at about 3am and returned to chapter 1 of T he Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu. 

I  mentioned in my last posting abut the intensity of this opening chapter and as I sat in front of the screen, I felt more was needed in order to completely resolve the matter at hand. Whether I have succeeded or not, I'll leave to others to decide. I'm not sure how others writers attend to matters of intensity as it pertains to their stories, but I do know that I'm not used to writing about this type of situation.
For me, I believe in Love, family, friendship and all that goes with those things. This particular issue and starting point go well beyond those things into a realm very unfamiliar to me. As such, I have struggled with putting down into words those things which  are usually left unsaid.

That having been said, I feel much better now about the direction and overall emotion of this opening chapter. It was important for me to convey a sense of Princess Ozma's Love and compassion in a way that far exceeds what we are normally used to. Me thinks I done did it!!!

I'll probably sit down later this evening and have another go at it. My co-author for Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings tells me that chapter 3 (his next chapter about Wonderland) is ready to send. I should see it tomorrow... and then we'll go from there.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 8...

Last night I sat down to complete chapter 1 of The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu but found the task a bit daunting. Unlike my other books, which I start in the normal way, I chose to go off in a decidely different path this time.

I must confess that the doing of it was far harder than I expected and only tonight was I able to finish chapter 1, which I call The Green Glass Shards.

I'm not sure how it will be received by others, but I have found what showed up on the page to be very rewarding!
I've decided to take on some very intense concepts and sitting down to flesh those concepts out turned out to be very intense in its own way!

However, I have succeeded and now, I look towards my co-authors contribution to our own project, Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings.

As always, I'm curious as to what he has up his sleeve...

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 7...

I once had a mentor named David Cassady who taught me more in 4 years then almost anyone else has in a lifetime, with the exception of my father.
David Cassady was the Director of Education for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis for 45 years. He used to speak of the Serendipity Effect and its uses in education. I embraced this effect and have found it popping up every now and then.

Today was no exception...

I was at the auction when a patron walked up to me and handed me this as a gift...


She had little understanding of why it pleased me so since she thought I wrote only of Oz. Little did she know that I've written of Wonderland just this very year!

Behold the Serendipity Effect in action!!!!

I'll be sitting down tonight and trying my hand at writing chapter 1 of The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu. 

Wish me luck, though if Serendipity has any say about it, I should do just fine!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 6...

In the immortal words of my 2nd favorite animated scientist, Professor Farnsworth...

Good news, everyone!!!! The writing has begun.

It would seem that Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings has won out as the first story to get a start. 

It all started this late afternoon when I was doing some Ebay work. For those of you who may not know me, I'm a part-time teacher in Illinois, which essentially means that I make crap for wages and have no benefits. As such, I do Ebay as a means of supplementing my income. 
So I'm sitting there, listing as usual when the muse appears down the hall. Now, I've never been able to figure out if it's a male or a female, but the damn thing is about a meter tall, dressed in flowing white gowns of iridescent silk and carrying a 4x4. This time, the thing had two of them (one in each hand) and it came running at me full speed. Before I knows it, it whops me upside both sides of my head and now.... I gots to write.


Usually, I tend to write late at night when everyone is asleep. I prefer the silence. Tonight however, my wife Amanda (the creator of the legendary Potato Soup) was away at Bingo and the boys were off doing stuff. So it's early evening, I'm alone, there's no noise and before I know it, Chapter 2 (Princess Ozma's Royal Command) has found its way onto the screen. 


This is a sequel to Of Cabbages, Kings, and Even (Odd) Queens of Wonderland and Oz that I co-wrote with my good friend, Ron Baxley, Jr.. We have a most unusual way of writing which works very well for us. In Of Cabbages, Kings, and Even (Odd) Queens of Wonderland and Oz, I started the process by writing of Wonderland and the Red Queen as the villain in chapter 1. Ron would follow up with chapter 2 and the Land of Oz with its heroes. Back and forth we would go, much like a chess match until the final battle about 20 chapters into it, when we would blend paragraphs. It worked extremely well and produced a lovely story. Now, with Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings, Ron is taking the lead with Wonderland and the villain as his responsibility, while I write of Oz and the heroes. As I mentioned in last nights posting, I had immersed myself in L. Frank Baum's The Magic of Oz (1919) as a starting point from which I would develop my characters. I've selected Scraps, The Patchwork Girl as the heroine of the story and included a number of lesser known creatures as her companions for the journey and what knots.


I've also decided, (or more likely the muse decided for me) to go ahead and attempt to write The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu as well. I've never attempted two at once, so this should prove interesting. Frankly, I feel like it should be no problem... but Time will tell!

 For now, I'll think about The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu and see what appears on the screen.

BTW, in case you're wondering, my favorite animated scientist was Clyde Crashcup, who inspired me to become a scientist. Look him up on YouTube. He's crack me up still to this very day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 5...

Time is such a commodity that when it flies by, grab it for all its worth. Such has been the last day or so!

Anyways, I completed my research from Magic of Oz (1919) by L. Frank Baum and it has inspired me to veer off from my planned trajectory. This happens often when I write... and I haven't even started writing. I consider Magic of Oz to be my favorite for a variety of reasons. In particular is the lovely color plate of Scraps, The Patchwork Girl.


I have been inspired to include her in both The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu, as well as Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings. My good friend, Dennis Anfuso has the most wonderful life-size replica of her that travels with him and Linda whenever they attend anything Oz.

In addition, I'm looking at the Glass Cat and the Lonesome Duck, both of whom play roles in The Magic of Oz. 

Tomorrow, I hope to start on either The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu, or Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings

I wonder who will win out and be the first to see the light of day here in the Great Outside? 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 4...

Technically, I guess, you could say this is actually day 5... but who's counting?

I took a bit of a break yesterday and played some golf, watched some golf, and putted around the house (see a theme here?). I wonder if they play golf in Oz?

Anyways, I did hear Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" on the radio as I was heading for the course.

Today, I sit down with Magic of Oz to do some research for Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings. I had an idea that I think will work and fit nicely into Ron's intro chapter.

As for The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu, I await the muse, who I see is fast approaching off in the distance. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 3...

Today was a most interesting day, from an Oz point of view.

I sat down at noon today under beautiful skies on my side porch and managed to outline the first 4 chapters of The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu. As always, I tend to write up about 6-8 sentences (about a paragraph or so) which generally tell the story of that chapter in sequence. When the time comes, I'll sit down and start with the first sentence and expand on it to explain what the sentence is trying to say. Then, I'll move onto the next sentence and repeat the process. When I've finished that chapter, which I almost always do in a single session, I'll have taken roughly 50-75 words and turned it into about 2000 words. This is how things will go over the next few days until I find the need to outline the next sequence of chapters. I also find that I tend to outline as many chapters as is needed to complete a specific sequence within the storyline. I have found upon occasion that what I've outlined doesn't necessarily fit where the story has been leading up to. This is generally the case later on in the story and not so in the beginning.

So far, I've managed to outline the intro chapter which introduces one of the two the main characters, Aadon Blu and explains how he came to Oz. This particular character is a spin-off from my third book, Family of Oz, in which Aadon Blu is the Caretaker of the Pinwheel Fields. I felt the need to expand his role and explain some things which I felt were necessary. This is a tragic beginning and not the normal way I start a book, but this story is somewhat different than my past work.

Chapter two will introduce Nicholas Pickleless, a pickle farmer who hates pickles. He too is a spin-off from Family of Oz and his whole concept just screamed for inclusion in this story. He will also come in from the Great Outside into Oz. I just loved the whole idea of a pickle farmer who hates pickles and his name was a flash of inspiration I received several years ago when I was still working on Shadow Demon of Oz.

Chapter three will introduce the entrance into Oz, which I have chosen as Chittenango Falls near Chittenango, New York. Near Glinda's red brick palace in the southern Quadling Country is the Great Waterfall, which the Royal Historian, L. Frank Baum wrote of in Scarecrow of Oz (1915). I visited this wonderful marvel of nature last June and my wife made a discovery which inspired me to include both the waterfall and her discovery in the story. What she discovered, I will not say. If you wanna know, you gotta buy the book.

Chapter 4 will unite Aadon Blu and Nicholas Pickleless and set them off on their adventure. At this point, I'm not quite sure what that adventure is, but it does involve Princess Ozma and the Patchwork Girl. I'll know more as I move along. For now, I hope to set down tomorrow and start the actual writing.

On another note, I watched Tom and Jerry and The Wizard of Oz on Cartoon Network tonight and found it to be wonderfully entertaining. It was a bit cheesy, but hey, it's Tom and Jerry. Whad'ya expect?

Over the next few years, there are going to be quite a few Oz movies coming out, the most notable of which is Dorothy of Oz, which was written by Roger Baum, great grandson of L. Frank Baum. All signs point to it being a wonderful adaptation of a fine book.

On a more bummer note, I did receive some disappointing news regarding an Oz project of mine which I had hoped would move forward. It still will, but without the participation of someone very special, whose work I greatly respect. Blame it lawyers, most of whom have no soul!

Such is Life!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 2...

It would seem that I've managed to get myself into a pickle, so to speak! Nicholas Pickleless would be quite amused...

I managed to finish Family of Oz earlier today and started to put together some thoughts for outlining my chapters. In addition, my co-author, Ron Baxley, Jr. had sent me the first chapter for our sequel to Of Cabbages, Kings, and Even (Odd) Queens of Wonderland and Oz, which he is calling; Whether the Sea is Boiling Hot and Whether Pigs Have Wings. I just finished reading it and now I have to start thinking about my part, chapter 2. I'll be writing about Oz this time around, instead of Wonderland, as I did last time.

So now I'm working on two different books about Oz and/or Wonderland. Oh yea, then there's my other project, Tails of Oz, which features a collection of short stories about the animals of Oz who have tails (hence the title). 

It never rains but it pours!!!! 

 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Writing Madness of Oz! Day 1...

I had hoped to read through at least half of Family of Oz last night, but I was only able to read about a third of it today. It's odd sitting down to read ones own work after it has sat around for 6 months or so. Still though, the story holds its own and I am most proud it. I consider Family of Oz to be my best work to date...

Tomorrow, I hope to finish Family of Oz and begin to outline chapters for the new story, The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Madness Begins Anew!!!

With a number of projects now complete and the decks having been cleared, so to speak, I now move on to writing the next book of Oz, which I am calling The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

I thought it might be interesting to take all of you through the process, day by day. I expect to finish in about a month, which seems really fast for most people... but for me, it's just about right. I tend to write that way.

Anyways, tonight, I sit down to read Family of Oz and bring myself back into the Land of Oz. It should take me a day or so, then I'll begin the process of outlining chapters and developing the story.

This should prove interesting....

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Day of the Wiener Dogs!!!

And what a day it was!!!!

Last weekend, I attended the 7th Annual West Virginia Hot Dog festival as a guest and, needless to say, I had a 'Wiener-riffic" time!!!!!!

I was very pleased to have brought along my youngest youngling, Turner Clay Wallace as he had never been to Huntington before and this was his chance to see both the birthplace of his dad, grandfather and great grandfather (whom he is named for), as well as a chance to see the old man (that's me) in action.

It all started at 2am as we left the Land of the Hoosiers and made our way east to the tri-state region of Huntington, West Virginia. By 8am, we had sighted the old iron bridge which crosses over into Huntington.


Moments later, we found ourselves in downtown Huntington and looking for wiener dogs! My boy seemed amazed that I would remember how to get around Huntington, especially since I've only been there a handful of times since 1968. Well frankly, it was easy as Huntington has a very simplistic layout. Still though, it was nice to be back home!

It certainly didn't take much effort to locate all the fun as it was all in Pullman Square, which is now a blocked-off, walking downtown area. It was very lovely to see and I am pleased Huntington did this.


Fortunately, Empire Books, which is where I was scheduled to appear was right on the square and easily accessible.


We walked around Pullman Square and saw a most welcome sight!


Who knew they had a portable wiener stand??? Needless to say, we instantly leaped at the chance to have a Stewart's Original Hot Dog and a mug of Root Beer (no ice as real men don't put ice in their root beer!). Walking around the festival grounds, we saw all manner of things, both expected and not so.

There was Barney Fife's Mayberry RFD car...


Loads of vendors and people... I remember this old water tower that has been around longer than me. I always thought about that old show Petticoat Junction whenever we drove by it way back when...


There were, of course, bouncy things...



And lots of these old clocks throughout downtown. I remember these well and I was pleased to see them survive from my childhood.


Finally, I set up for the day of book signings and such. Being in Empire Books had its advantages as it was air conditioned inside and VERY comfortable. The one disadvantage was less foot traffic, although I'm pleased to see that the trend towards declining sales and a lack of support for independent bookstores didn't seem to affect this fine establishment.Overall, sales were fair, though that wasn't the true reason for my attending this wonderful festival. For me, it was a chance to return home and give back to a community that did well by me in my youth.

Believe or not, I'm actually quite happy in this photo... I just don't look it! I gotta work on that.

When the festivities got going, they really got going. Attendance seemed to be outstanding, despite the stifling temperatures that topped out at over 95 degrees by midday. 


After opening ceremonies and such, along came a variety of contests, most of which I didn't see because I stayed indoors during the heat. There were dog costumes contests, hot dog eating contests, root beer chugging contests, and bun stacking contests.

... and of course, there were wiener dogs...


... and pairs of wiener dogs.... (notice the common theme of tutus here?)


and just when you thought you were out of wiener dogs, there were even more dogs of other varieties!!!


About this time, I made it to the Huntington Public Library for a planned event promoting Youth Literacy in which I did some selected readings from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1899), as well as my own books, Magician of Oz, Shadow Demon of Oz and Family of Oz. I also spoke of how my parents taught me to read using this very library and the Oz books they had at the time.


Given that it was a Saturday with a great festival going on only 2 blocks away, I was pleased with attendance and felt I had made a fine connection with the kids who were there. In particular was a young lady of about 12 who was writing her own book called "The Celtic Knot." I hope she stays true to course and publishes it. It sounded wonderful... and of course, Huntington has a long Scottish history, as does my family.

Returning to the festival, we were just in time for the premier event, the Wiener Dog Races, which they called "The Dachshund Dash."

 On Your Mark...


Get Set...


 GO!!!!!


There were 6 heats of 10 dogs, with a final race deciding the Wiener... er, I mean winner!!!

Afterwards, there was, of course, the Grand Parade, featuring Stewie, the Stewart's Original Hot Dog mascot, the Geico Gecko (I have no clue why he was there) and a clown (once again, not a clue, but I'm glad my son Halley wasn't there as he has a mortal terror of clowns).


... and once again, the dogs were in full force, despite the heat, which was quite impressive!!!


Naturally, my son couldn't resist a photo with Stewie... After all, how often do you get to stand next to a guy in a wiener suit?


Having worn the Billy Bob suit myself when I worked at Showbiz Pizza long ago, I know all too well the agonies that poor soul inside there is going through. I only hope they paid him well!!!

Finally, we met with John Mandt., Jr., the 4th generation owner of Stewart's Original Hot Dogs. I wanted to thank him personally, not only for the invite to the festivities, but also for the wonderful memories those magnificent chili dog samiches from my youth. They were so good, I had to write a chapter in my book, Family of Oz, about them!!!


After packing up at about 3 o'clock, Turner and I headed over to Cabell Huntington Hospital for a visit with the Pediatric Care Unit and a chance to repay an old debt of Karma. Then, we made our way over to the 5th Avenue Stewart's Original Hot Dog stand of my childhood for some more chili dog samiches and root beer. I wound up taking a dozen home, along with a gallon of root beer.


I decided to make one final stop by the old valley past the hills where I grew up and show my son our ancestral home. On the way, he was amazed by the red brick roads of Huntington and begged me to stop while he took a picture. Kids.... Go figure? 
At least now he begins to understand my fascination with Glinda the Good Witch; Ruler of the South Quadling Country, whose Red Brick Palace is found by following the road of red brick. 
Remember the 1939 MGM movie, The Wizard of Oz? When Dorothy starts out on the Yellow Brick Road? Did you ever notice that there is also a Red Brick Road? Where did you think that led to???


Finally, we found my old home, which I'm pleased to say was occupied by a family with 2 kids. The last time I visited many years ago, it was empty and I was sad.


Finally, we made for the Land of the Hoosiers and home. The journey back was madness on many levels and I had to be in Indianapolis the next day for the Brickyard 400. It was quite a weekend.

Overall, I found the 7th Annual West Virginia Hot Dog Festival to be quite the fun time and I was very pleased to be a part of it. I was also glad my son had come along, as well as the fact that I was able to give back a little to the library which had helped me learn to read and to the hospital which had done so much for me and helped make me the man I am today.

I'm especially grateful to John Mandt, Jr. for his understanding of my need to write about his wieners (heh heh... sorry about that. I couldn't help myself) and to Kym York-Blake of Clear Channel Communications in Huntington for her willingness to find me a place in the festival. I loved Empire Books and, as an author, I was most gratifide to see my hometown embracing the independent book stores, which are fast becoming a vanishing breed.

Soon, the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton, Indiana will be in bloom and the Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma will once more be among the citizens of Oz.

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma