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Our 2017 Arts & Crafts Show Schedule

Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Events | Comments Off on Our 2017 Arts & Crafts Show Schedule

Our 2017 Arts & Crafts Show Schedule

  COMING ARTS & CRAFTS SHOWS, 2017         Norman & Lynn Reed   JUNE 10-11           YWCA Riverside Art Fest      Bay City, MI 17-18           Pentwater Spring Fest            Pentwater, MI 24-25          Art on the Beach                      Oscoda, MI  (Pending) JULY 1                  Sugar Springs Arts & Crafts  Gladwin, MI 2                  National Cherry Fest              Traverse City, MI 7-8               Lowell River Walk                 Lowell, MI 15                Mears Arts & Crafts Fair       Mears, MI  (Pending) 29-31           Bay Harbor Arts                       Bay Harbor, MI AUGUST 5                  Art in the Park                         Holland, MI 5                  Art in the Park                         Lake Odessa, MI 12-13           Shelby Township Art Fair      Shelby C.T., MI 18-19-          Danish Festival                        Greenville, MI SEPTEMBER 2-3               All Crafts Fair                          South Haven, MI 9                  Silver Lake Apple Fest            Silver Lake, MI 23-24          Fall Festival                              Pentwater, MI OCTOBER 7                  Davison High School               Davison, MI 14                St. Mark’s Arts & Crafts        Kentwood, MI 28-29           Buy Michigan                           Jackson, MI (pending) NOVEMBER 11                 Byron Center Fine Arts          Byron Center, MI (Pending) 18                Schoolhouse Arts & Crafts    East Grand Rapids, MI (pending) 24-25          Chesaning Arts & Crafts       Chesaning, MI DECEMBER 2-3               MI St. Holiday A & C             East Lansing, MI (pending) 2-3               Christmas at Wings               Kalamazoo, MI (pending) NOTE: We believe the (pendings) will be approved, however, we will update the list...

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update on Our Activities for 2017

Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Blog, Events, General | Comments Off on update on Our Activities for 2017

update on Our Activities for 2017

Hello, everyone. We have been absent from our website far too long and apologize for that. Life does get busy and 2016 was a challenging year; however, we have renewed energy and are starting 2017 with high hopes for our two books: The Black Angel of the Lord and, coming soon, Nubia Dances with the Gods. Also, as many of you know, we design and craft draped-hypertufa planters and make them available to you at the various Arts and Crafts shows throughout the year. Pictures of our planters will be posted soon. The list of shows (coming in next the post) is our proposed schedule for 2017. We invite you to come see us at the show nearest you. Also, you are always invited to stop in at our work site in Zeeland to see our inventory of planters. Just give us a call: 619-889-7199 or 616-772-1350, or contact us via email: normanandlynnreed@gmail.com Thank you and best hopes for you and yours. Norman & Lynn  ...

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Learning the Publishing World

Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Learning the Publishing World

When I announced to my wife that we were going to write a book, the look on her face shouted “Are you out of your mind?” Our careers were both more technical than liberal arts. Much of the writing process was new to us. Certainly, working on a project together was extremely difficult considering all the discussion and compromise required to gain agreement on issues ranging from the story elements and character development to the wording used to describe a thirst, or one’s anger, or a woman’s hair style for example. And when Lynn was diagnosed with cancer, the writing became tenfold more difficult. By the time we finished writing our novel, The Black Angel of the Lord, I thought the hard part was over. We had reached the peak and only needed to climb down the other side. Right? Well, no. Getting it published was also a challenge due largely to our ignorance of the process, but our wonderful editor and publishing agent encouraged and guided us along the way. They are special people. Once the book arrived on the market, it sold quite well and received many positive responses. We reveled in the pleasure of seeing the rooms fill as people arrived at our first few speaking engagements. I felt proud and thought success lay at our feet. However, over several months of speaking in various venues, fewer and fewer people were in attendance; still, we readily accepted the honor to speak at a nearby library. This time, when we looked out into our audience our eyes found only three people: two were friends from the publishing company, and, in the front row, sat the third person, an older lady who had braved the cold temperature (8°) to attend our presentation, apparently eager to hear our story. What do we do? My wife sings in a chorale and when they have no idea how many people will come to hear them sing, the director says, “If a hundred people attend the concert, we sing our best for them, and if one person comes, we sing our best for him/her.” That’s right, and we gave the best presentation we had for that one dear lady who sat and listened to every word we spoke. Afterward, this woman approached us and said “Thank you. I did not miss a word. You work so well together and my mind never wandered.” She had asked a few questions at the end of our presentation which clearly showed her interest and we expected she would buy our book, but she did not, and everyone said goodnight. It became obvious that interest was waning in our presentations and book sales. One person in attendance, no books sold. Was the cold reality of how tough it is to have a successful book on the scene now slapping us in the face? As we packed up our display, I remembered a passage in our book when Ramtouses and the thousands of warriors he led on a march to war reached a point while crossing the desert where their supplies were spent and they are near death. The situation seemed hopeless. Ramtouses recalled how their confidence had soared in the beginning of the march but now, exhausted and dehydrated, desperation settled over them, threatening their existence....

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Speaking Engagement in Grand Haven, MI

Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Blog, Events | 0 comments

Speaking Engagement in Grand Haven, MI

February 26, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Come, bear witness as Norman & Lynn Reed share their inspirational story of how they conceived and wrote The Black Angel of the Lord.   Loutit District Library 407 Columbus Ave. Grand Haven, MI 49417

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The Assyrian Cavalry’s Rise to Prominence, Part 2

Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The Assyrian Cavalry’s Rise to Prominence, Part 2

As cream rises to the top, the Assyrian cavalry rose to the top of their military echelon in battle. The horsemen’s esteem soared as they trampled triumphantly over all who opposed them; they became the pride of Assyria and the nation gloated over their continued success. However, after a surprising, humiliating defeat at the hands of the Babylonian cavalry, the Assyrians feared their stranglehold over the entire territory was now in jeopardy. King Sargon II was furious and during the battle debriefing he vowed to assemble a new and magnificent cavalry, one that would never know defeat. Trusting no one with the challenge, he personally took on the task to build his new cavalry. Upon the conclusion of the debriefing meeting, Sargon II immediately began organizing a regiment devoted to rounding up herds of wild horses. The finest horses were sought after and the search did not end at the Assyrian borders. Raids were designed to steal horses from outlying provinces such as Urartu, Phrygia, and Northern Babylonia. The tribute paid by vassal countries now included their finest horses; all area nations became victims of the Assyrian roundups. King Sargon II reasoned that the cavalry had always been at the core of the army; their history went back to Assyria’s first rise to power. To recapture that status, Sargon demanded that his men and horses train from sunup to sundown in an effort to become the best. The long spears received new designs and renamed lances. Some were made from hard wood with a sharp metal head embedded at the end and could easily be dislodged from its victim. Other spears, made totally of metal, penetrated most body armor when thrust from a high speeding horse. In addition to improved weaponry, new light-weight fabric armor now covered the horses. As the cavalry training continued and the new designs of weapons and protection passed expectations, the king grew increasingly pleased with his new cavalry. Assyria had other pressing matters beside their cavalry. The Northern provinces fought continuously against each other over border disputes. As overseer of the entire region, Assyrian duties included keeping peace between rival provinces. Urartu agreed to give 500 timbers and many men for labor to Emperor Sargon II to help build his new palace at Dur Sharrukin. When their neighbors, the Cimmerians, raided the Urartuan countryside and King Midas of Urartu could not force them out, he sent a request to Assyria for support, in accordance with the treaty between Assyria and its many provinces. The treaty promised Assyrian aid to the provinces against invaders. For an unknown reason, King Sargon II never gave assistance to Urartu and that failure utterly outraged King Midas, especially after learning of Sargon’s raids into Urartu to round up hundreds of horses within his borders without negotiation. So, when a report came to the Assyrian king that Urartu went about assembling a large army, he assumed the worst and thought that King Midas might be planning an attack on Assyria. Sargon II looked at the situation developing in the north as an opportunity to test his hand-made prized cavalry in battle, with himself leading the match. The fact of the matter was that Urartu prepared for military action against the Cimmerians, not Assyria. The Urartuans held a bitter hatred for...

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The Assyrian Cavalry’s Rise to Prominence, Part 1

Posted by on December 13, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

The Assyrian Cavalry’s Rise to Prominence, Part 1

Extensive investigation is required when writing an historical novel and we devoted countless hours striving to make our narration of the events taking place in The Black Angel of the Lord as accurate as possible. To save the story from becoming a history lesson, large portions of historical details had to be omitted from the final draft of the book. Too much information can also cause a drifting away from the story line and no one wants that. However, we think our readers might find some of the investigation most interesting so we incorporated some of that research into informative blogs. Assyrian dominated what we now call the Middle East during much of the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.E. One of the most important factors in their success was their understanding of how to maintain a superior cavalry. Such capabilities are comparable to the U.S.A. supremacy over the skies today. Around 708 B.C.E., the Assyrians found themselves in a situation where their cavalry’s superiority was seriously challenged. The king of Babylonia, Merodach-baladan, was exiled due to his revolt against Assyrian control. Still, he continued his rebellious behavior from exile, rebutting Assyrian authority and demanding that his country should be second to no other. The hostility between the two nations escalated and led to war. Sargon II, King of Assyria, called for a council meeting with his military leaders. He selected his son, Prince Sennacherib, and his son’s high ranking officer companion, Holofernes, over all other military officers to march the Assyrian army into Babylonia and stamp out all civil unrest by whatever means necessary. Not every general at the meeting approved of the king’s decision; nevertheless, they supported his choice. King Sargon’s motivation in selecting Sennacherib and Holofernes to lead the army was to provide his favorite son an opportunity to gain the recognition needed for a future king, with a trusted and highly skilled new leader of military men at his side. While the Assyrian army confidently prepared for war with Babylonia, the self-proclaimed Babylonian king, Merodach-baladan attempted to unite the Babylonian states against Assyria, but failed. He was at a huge disadvantage primarily because forty percent of the combined Babylonian states called for neutrality with Assyria. Merodach-baladan knew a strong cavalry could dictate the outcome of a battle and, through a valiant effort of negotiation, he was able to persuade the neutral states to relinquish their cavalry riders for a handsome payment. The neutral states left the decision to the horsemen: ride with Merodach-baladan for pay, or stay neutral. Overwhelmingly, the decision was to join the exiled king.  Merodach-baladan, now convinced that he had the upper hand with his newly-rebuilt cavalry called ‘the men of iron,’ eagerly marched to meet their adversary. When the two armies met, the Babylonia cavalry galloped forward across a muddy field with horses heavily protected by fabric armor. Upon seeing their approach, the Assyrians brought up their cavalry to meet their adversary. The two mighty cavalry forces clashed between the two armies. A vast majority of the Babylonian horsemen were armed with long iron spears while the weapon of choice for more than half of the Assyrian cavalry was the sword. The highly trained Babylonian ‘men of iron’ were able to take out many of the Assyrian horsemen before they could reach...

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Survival Skills and Faith Work to Build Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Survival Skills and Faith Work to Build Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Excavating a tunnel through solid limestone to channel water between two points presents a daunting enterprise, especially when the tools used to relentlessly chip away the hard limestone come from a civilization dating back to 700 B.C.E. Two digging teams, starting at opposite ends of the proposed tunnel site must meet somewhere in the middle, obtaining a low-grade slope to ensure a continuous water flow from beginning to end. To further complicate the task, the work is carried out deep in the earth with minimal lighting from oil lamps and where oxygen levels are decreased. Not a simple matter. Yet that is exactly the dilemma pushed upon the small nation of Judah as they faced an inevitable siege upon their city of Jerusalem by the mighty Assyrian army. The landscape in most areas around the Holy Land is limestone. Jerusalem was built on a sloping surface protruding from a massive limestone hill. On the western slope and separated from the city by several hundred feet lies the Gihon Spring, an area where water is pushed up from deep within the earth, providing a water source outside the city’s surrounding fortification. The vast majority of this rising water exits at the spring, however, through the years, water created more weak spots in the limestone around the Gihon Spring. These cracks extend all the way to the city of Jerusalem. The same water pressure breaks up the limestone rock even further in these cracks before reaching the surface where they form sink holes or wet beds under crushed rock piles. These wet stops scattered over the top of the limestone are called karsts. The people of Judah knew of karst formation and realized water in the fissures below the surface found its way from the Gihon Spring to these spots and even to the Pool of Siloam inside the city walls of Jerusalem. To greatly increase the water flow during the expected Assyrian siege, they needed to build a tunnel connecting the spring and the Pool of Siloam,. Since the siege was eminent and time critical, the tunnel had to be excavated by two teams starting at each end to divide the distance and provide twice as much space for the digging process. Modern day archeologists have discovered the tunnel length to be 533 meters long, in an “S” shaped curve with a gentle downward slope of approximately 2 meters from beginning to end. As the crow flies, the distance from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam is only 325 meters, so why not dig the tunnel in a straight line? The “S” shape tells modern day scholars a great deal about the tunnel construction and the important role karsts played in the excavation. Knowledge of where water had risen to the surface proved invaluable to the Judean engineers. Following the cracks in the limestone as indicated by the karsts on the surface, made the labor much easier and faster for the tunnel diggers below. We believe that the enterprise was accomplished by directing the two excavating teams below in this manner. The hammering on the hard limestone deep beneath the earth could be heard by engineers above at the karst sites. The selection of particular karsts provided their road map, or tunnel path. This guided the two excavating...

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We Are Speaking at The Commons of Evergreen

Posted by on October 8, 2014 in General | 0 comments

We Are Speaking at The Commons of Evergreen

Norman & Lynn Reed, authors of The Black Angel of the Lord are speaking about their novel and the life lessons learned during the writing process. The message is intended to encourage others to keep alive the pursuit of their own dreams and goals. Thursday, October 16, 1:00 p.m. The Commons of Evergreen 482 State Street, Holland, MI  

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Whom Am I Fighting

Posted by on September 12, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Whom Am I Fighting

The primary result of fighting, as in war, is the loss of human life with devastating and irreversible outcomes, altering the future for generations to come. Homo sapiens have migrated to all parts of the earth. With the passing of thousands of years, the isolation between the various groups of humanity gave birth to different cultures exhibiting independent behaviors, belief systems, and even the development of dissimilar physical features. With communication between them near to or completely nil, there existed minimal or no influence upon each other, resulting in growing divergences between the developing nations. There are three major reasons why people fight: theft or greed, intolerance, and religious zeal. Fighting often occurs when one group takes something of value from another group; fighting can also be the result of one people’s strong intolerance of another people due to their physical differences such as nose, eyes, or skin color. And finally, faith and belief systems by which lives are conducted frequently prove to be catalysts for aggression, leading to war, when misinterpreted or absolutely refused the right to exist by another group with a differing belief system. Our book, The Black Angel of the Lord, involves all three motives for fighting among men. First, the powerful nation of Assyria believes they have the right to dominate and control other nations, taking what they deem is rightfully theirs. Second, the Nubians, who live in a land stricken with drought, become vulnerable to manipulation and are eager to accept the idea that a strange and treacherous people, who look unlike themselves, caused the drought and the deaths of their loved ones. And third, the Hebrew people believe so strongly in their one true God that nothing will alter their faith. As the three realms meet, a tremendous battle ensues. Thousands of lives are lost. A nation’s faith is challenged, and the consequences will determine the path of history. That was 2700 years ago and yet, we continue to fight wars to this very day. . If we took time to communicate, to understand other people and their beliefs, would we still be fighting? Is there no alternative to...

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Talk of the Town

Posted by on August 28, 2014 in General | 0 comments

Hello! We are guests on the Talk of the Town Show Friday morning, the 29th, at 9:30 on WHTC 1450 AM radio, talking about our book The Black Angel of the Lord. It is a call-in show, so if you have a question for us, please make a call to the station at 616-395-1450.

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