Wednesday, August 18, 2021


 Phantom pain following amputation.

I can attest to that reality! After my 2007 amputation of my left leg below the knee, I was so aware that my foot was still there. I often had pain in the "foot," in the same places I had gangrene from the infection due to peripheral artery disease. After about 5 years, an old prosthetist came along who argued with me that there was no such thing as phantom pain and claimed he had worked with a number of military who were amputees. I told him he did not know what he was talking about. I know, and in the earlier days my pain could be intense for a few minutes. In fact, it could wake me from a sound sleep. I learned to move the discomfort to the good leg and foot via my mind to "dissolve it", much in the same way that the military therapy now uses a mirror to show the good leg. The brain is fascinating! After my stroke in 2017, I had a short period of proprioception issues with my right arm--so strange to experience. Biologist Rubert Sheldrake, PhD., has written an interesting article concerning phantom pain from limb loss. My own phantom pain always remind me of the work of researcher Thelma Moss at UCLA in working with Kirlian photography and the human aura and plants, and how the energy aura of a leaf can be seen when the leaf has been cut off. One of my last appointments with my surgeon, when his young resident asked if I was having any pain, I mentioned the phantom pain once in a while and the research of Thelma Moss and he had no idea what I was speaking of. (I hope he further investigated). Sheldrake has written some excellent articles--and my favorites include "psychic pets." 



Sunday, August 15, 2021


As a writer and an artist, I have often wondered where some of my ideas have originated. A few years ago, I sculpted from clay a figure of a woman. It was my first experience working with clay. As I built up and formed the clay, I found that it was almost as if the figure itself took on a life of her own and was guiding me. She is now cast in bronze, but I have to admit I liked her better in the clay form as she seemed more alive and vital. 
I would guess that many people yearn to be more creative. We often feel we do not have creative talent and that only successful painters, musicians, writers, and other artistic people are able to produce artistic works. But within each of us are powers of imagination and creativity waiting to be discovered, unleashed, and shared. It seems that we think too often that creativity has to be some great masterpiece. Creativity encompasses many things. I’ve mentioned the ones often thought of–art, literature, music, invention–but the list is more extensive and possibly not as dramatic. It can be as simple as making a beautiful flower arrangement, cooking a gourmet meal served with elegance, crocheting a pair of baby slippers, decorating a room in your home, landscaping a yard, making a children’s toy from wood. 
Many ordinary acts we do are creative, and we do not always think of them in that way. Our simple accomplishments can bring us a sense of pride and satisfaction. And that satisfaction may not be any less than the satisfaction felt by a great master artist of the past. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Abraham Lincoln and Sculptor Vinnie Ream


The hands of Vinnie Ream, the young sculptor who did a marble bust of Lincoln and then after his death was awarded the commission to sculpt the statute of Lincoln which now stands in the Capitol Rotunda.

Although I had photographed the statue on a visit to the Capitol a few years ago, I did not know the history of the sculptor. And I was surprised to learn it was a very attractive young woman. At the time Lincoln sat for the bust Vinnie Ream sculpted, she was 18 years of age, and then at 23, commissioned to do the Lincoln statue.

Vinnie Reams’ hands left an imprint on history.
She wrote: “Congress appropriated money to erect a marble statue of the martyred President in the Capitol, it never occurred to me, with my youth and my inexperience, to compete for that great honor; but I was induced to place my likeness of him before the committee having the matter under consideration, and, together with many other artists--competitors for this work--I was called before this committee. I shall never forget the fear that fell upon me, as the chairman (the Hon. John H. Rice, of Maine, who had a kind heart, but a very stern manner) looked up through his glasses, from his seat at the head of the table, and questioned and cross-questioned me until I was so frightened that I could hardly reply to his questions: "How long had I been studying art?'' and had I ever made a marble statue?'' My knees trembled and I shook like an aspen, and I had not enough presence of mind even to tell him that I had made the bust from sittings from life. Seeing my dire confusion, and not being able to hear my incoherent replies, he dismissed me with a wave of his hand, and a request to Judge Marshall, of Illinois, to kindly see the young artist home! Once there, in the privacy of my own room, I wept bitter tears that I had been such an idiot as to try to compete with men, and remembering the appearance before that stern committee as a terrible ordeal before unmerciful judges, I promised myself it should be my last experience of that kind."

 "Judge then of my surprise and delight when I learned that, guided by the opinion of Judge David Davis, Senator Trumbull, Marshal Lamon, Sec. O. H. Browning, Judge Dickey, and many others of President Lincoln's old friends, that I had produced the most faithful likeness of him, they had awarded the commission to me-the little western sculptor. The Committee on Mines and Mining tendered me their room in the Capitol, in which to model my statue, because it was next to the room of Judge David Davis, and he could come in daily and aid me with his friendly criticisms. His comfortable chair was kept in readiness. He came daily, and suggesting ‘a little more here--a little on there--more inclining of the bended head--more angularity of the long limbs,’ he aided me in my sacred work by his encouraging words and generous sympathy.”

She wrote this after the unveiling of the Lincoln statue in January, 1871.

“This night when the Lincoln statue was unveiled in the rotunda of the Capitol was the supreme moment of my life. I had known and loved the man! My country had loved him and cherished his memory. In tears the people had parted with him. With shouts of joy and acclamations of affection they had received his image in the marble. Upon the very spot where a few years before they had gathered in sorrow to gaze upon his lifeless body lying there in state while a nation mourned, they had gathered again to unveil his statue. ‘The marble is the resurrection,’ say the old sculptors, and now the dead had arisen to live forever in the hearts of the people whom he loved so well.”

 And I like what she wrote about Washington D.C. and the Capitol, which, of course, she had a special feeling for.

“We have a country the chosen of the earth, rich in the best of gifts and prosperous beyond all expectation. Our lines are cast in pleasant places. Those of us who live in Washington are particularly blessed. The sun has never shone upon a more lovely city. Beautifully situated, with healthful and favoring airs stealing up from the sea, between the picturesque banks of the Potomac, and with beautiful buildings rising on every side.”

 "The grand old Capitol, with its majestic dome, towers above them all--a star by day and a pillar of fire by night. It is truly a picture for the artist always, whether in the sun, the storm, the rain, the mist or the moonlight. The Congressional Library is a never-failing fountain of knowledge. It is receiving now a new impetus and reaching out its arms in every direction. Its growth is so rapid that the Capitol cannot much longer contain it and it must soon build a temple unto itself. A storehouse of treasures is encompassed by the picturesque walls of the Smithsonian and the new museum will eventually become a second Kensington. The portals of art have been thrown wide open by the generous hand of Mr. Corcoran and the nation will preserve with gratitude and affection his noble gift: the Corcoran Art Gallery. We who live here cannot say that we lack advantages.”

"Our country's history and the grand destiny awaiting it, inspire us to action. Our beautiful Capitol will some day lay its proud head low, the grass will grow on our bright avenues and our pictures and statues will crumble into dust, but the recollection of great and good deeds will not die. Where are now the houses and the streets which the illustrious men of the past have inhabited? They have melted away into thin air. They have vanished, but the memory of these great men remains and the heart of youth beats high with aspiration and enthusiasm when listening to the recital of their glowing deeds. Let us all try to do something and do the very best we can. Some can make of themselves great men--all can be good men. Who can say there may not be in this very assemblage some boy who, striving to be good and great, may be revered in story and in song, when the ashes of centuries shall envelope this now fair city."

Vennie Ream lived from 1847-1914.

Copyright 2008 Linda Pendleton.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Don Pendleton on Presenting a Credible World within Your Novel


“Make sure your dialogue is sharp, and real.  If it is not, beef it up until you hear the voices singing.  Be sure those characters talk like real people.

Are you satisfied that you have properly dimensioned each character?  If you have villains in your story make sure you have made them powerful and resourceful, not reduced to the idiot level.  In real life, the bad guys are highly formidable and dangerous individuals.  Real life is full of grim games played by grim people.  So should your fictional world be, if that is the type of story you are presenting.  Do not indulge in some juvenile misunderstanding of the forces that move and shake this world.  Some people are dangerous, not because a gun is in their hand, but because something cold and deadly is in their hearts.  So make sure you are presenting a credible world with the world of your novel.

The paradox of good fiction is that the fictional world must seem more understandable and coherent to the reader than the world in which he lives daily.  So to connect with the readers, the writer had better be in complete charge of the world he creates at the keyboard.  Pointless defiance of real world logic is available all the time on television.  Don't expose your readers to anything but a setting of characters in a logical cause and effect world.”


At Amazon, Print and Kindle

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Chapter Endings: Those Page Turners.


Excerpt from "The Metaphysics of the Novel, The Inner Workings of a Novel and a Novelist" by Don Pendleton.

 It will be those chapter endings that will inspire the reader to turn the page.  How many times have you heard, "I couldn't put the book down.  Before I knew it was three o'clock in the morning!"  So always give some extra thought to where you leave the reader at the chapter end.  Implant in the reader's mind the need to turn the page.  Leave them with suspense or a dramatic moment, or with wonder, and with a caring about what happens on that next page. 

An example of that type of chapter ending is taken from my Joe Copp novel, Copp in Shock.  Copp had suffered a bout of partial amnesia and was at war with his own mind, and with those who would eliminate him. 

 Something dark and scary was whispering at me.  Something almost already known or at least suspected, and maybe too terrible to contemplate.  If so, could I handle the truth, or had it been blotted from my mind as a merciful amnesia to shelter a knowledge too terrible to face?  What kind of guilt, what fearful truth could I be hiding from even my own mind?

Had I crossed the threshold into every good cop's worst nightmare?

And what have I been trying to hide, even from myself?

My God, what could I be guilty of here on this dark side of paradise?

 In Jersey Guns, the seventeenth book of the Executioner Series, I ended Chapter Fifteen with:

 The Beretta was in Bolan's right hand and the silencer was threading itself aboard when he hit that door at full stride.

Everything Mack Bolan had ever been and ever wanted to be was concentrated on that terrible point in Jersey, that awful moment at the end of the turkey chase–at the very doorway to hell.

 Hopefully, with both of these chapter endings, the reader was enticed to turn the page–in Joe Copp's case, to discover what "nightmare" was nagging at his consciousness, and in Bolan's case, to discover what hell awaited him.  But, of course, every chapter you write will not allow for such dramatic endings but try to give your readers a reason to turn the page to the following chapter. 




Saturday, October 10, 2020




The impact that Abraham Lincoln has had on our country for 150 years is quite incredible.   What he stood for and how he got us through very difficult times is so much a part of our rich history, and the ever-evolving desires of most who want freedom and equality for all citizens of our country.  We have come a long way, but still have a ways to go to achieve a true equality for every man, woman, and child.  That is the hope for the future, that it can be achieved. 

Abraham Lincoln will always be known as a Man of the People. 

And we are lucky to have had Lincoln as a part of our history. 

I have put together a collection of famous speeches of Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth President; a collection of various writings about him by those who knew him; and have included a few of his own correspondences. 

As my great-great grandfather, Silas I. Shearer wrote to my great-great grandmother May 6, 1865:  “Well Jane, when I heard the news of the death of Lincoln it appeared to me that I had lost one of my mightiest friends.”

How prophetic my great-great grandfather, Silas was.  

-Linda  Pendleton

January, 2013


 Silas I. Shearer

Iowa Union Soldier

Great-great Grandfather of Linda


Knowing Abraham Lincoln is available at Amazon in print and ebook.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Don Pendleton's Executioner Novels in Audio

Now in audio books, the first three Executioner Novels by Don Pendleton.

Narrated by Shawn Compton, published by Tantor, Available at Audiobooks; Audible, and other retailers. 
Book 4 coming September 29th and Book 5 October 20th. 

Book 4 coming September 29th and Book 5 in mid-October.   


Coming September 29th  Miami Massacre


Coming October 20th  Continental Contract


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Don Pendleton's War Against the Mafia, Now in Audio Book

Just released, Don Pendleton's War Against the Mafia, the first book in The Executioner, Mack Bolan Series, is now in audio.  Narrated by Shawn Compton, published by Tantor Audio.

The first book in the classic vigilante action series from a “writer who spawned a genre” (The New York Times).

Four more Executioner novels coming, August, September, October. 

Available at Amazon, Audible, Audiobooks.  
Also in print and ebooks, published by Open Road Media. 


Friday, May 22, 2020

The METAPHORICAL VIRUSES, by Linda Pendleton

The Metaphorical Viruses, by Linda Pendleton

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
~ Albert Einstein

Dr. Jonas Salk giving his son, Peter, the first polio vaccine

Dr. Jonas Salk, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, and a world-renowned scientist and medical researcher, and developer of the polio vaccine, touched millions of lives.  Today as we are facing another world pandemic, one cannot help but think about the past.  Some of us are old enough to remember the fear of the worldwide epidemic of poliomyelitis during the 1940s and 1950s, and many of us knew someone afflicted.  How well we remember the iron lungs, the braces, the crippled limbs, the hot summers when the virus obtained a foothold, the closed public swimming pools, the fear of houseflies and dirty hands, Sister Kenny and her physical therapy program—but most of all, we remember 1955 and Jonas Salk and his vaccine.

And how thankful we were, not only as children but also as parents who could then ensure protection for our children from this dreaded, acute, infectious disease, the virus particularly invasive of children.  In the early days, before the term polio was coined, it was known as infantile paralysis.  Salk’s research and perfection of the vaccine perhaps saved millions from the crippling and/or fatal effects of the virus. 

In 1960, Dr. Salk founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, and it was there he later researched for a vaccine for HIV and AIDS.  He said if he found a vaccine for HIV, he would test it on himself as he did the polio vaccine.  

In March of 1993, my husband, Don Pendleton, and I had the privilege of hearing seventy-eight-year-old Jonas Salk lecture at the Harvey Mudd College (Claremont Colleges).  Dr. Salk was a recipient of the Wright Prize, given to scientists and engineers who achieve excellence in interdisciplinary work or research.  The doctor spent several days on the Harvey Mudd campus, sharing his experiences and ideas with the students. The topic of his lecture was “AIDS:  The Metaphoric Disease of Our Time.”  After giving us some history on HIV, he told us that “the idea of a cure in the sense of eradication of the virus itself in an already infected individual is highly unlikely,” but went on to say that strategies can be used to “keep the virus-infected cells under control so that the symptom-free period can be prolonged, hopefully for the life of the individual.”

Considering the pandemic situation that mankind was facing at that time, those were hopeful words indeed.  But what I found most fascinating in his lecture was how he correlated the actions of the HIV retrovirus with human behavior and the world problems of our time resulting from our “political behavior.”  He said, “The patterns seen in HIV, are like patterns, in a way, that are seen in humans and human behavior and relationships. The humans, we know, invade, usurp, and destroy, and therefore, metaphorically, I imagine that they have a similar effect on the defense mechanisms.  The humans behave like retrovirus in a way; they produce cancer-like effects and autoimmune-like effects.  The autoimmune-like effects—war—war to protect one’s self, to attack another—that, in turn, self-destruct.  And so by thinking about the human condition and thinking in a way that’s homologous to a biological phenomenon, you begin to recognize that maybe it is useful to consider the use of biological metaphors—the epistemology biology, the epistemology of science, in understanding how nature works—toward an understanding of how the human side of nature works.”

True scientific theories all begin as inspiration.  Through the microscope, Jonas Salk studied the ecosystem of the cell and also retroviruses, which are dependent on a living cell for reproduction—and have the ability to impress their memory on the cell and forever change it.  But Jonas Salk peered beyond the finite into the infinite with a holistic view that sees not only the big picture but many of the infinitesimal forces behind it. 

What I discovered in listening to Jonas Salk’s talk, and greeting him and his wife, Fran├žoise Gilot Salk, afterward, was a kind, warm man, who gave me insight into the common thread through which his genius flowed, and that was the holistic blending of the creative forces of science and artistic expression, touched with love and healing. 

Dr, Jonas Salk refused a patent for his work, stating that this vaccine belonged to the people and that to patent it would be like “patenting the Sun.” 

I wonder what Dr. Jonas Salk would be saying today about the latest pandemic and the patterns existing within the COVID19 virus.  In today’s strained society, and political upheaval, it appears to be a more volatile society than it was in the 1980s.  And we are faced with a novel virus that is extremely contagious and transmittable without symptoms, and that puts others at risk.  What I find somewhat lacking in today’s attitudes is self-responsibility and responsibility for others.  Our current political behavior is such that an absence of leadership and responsibility has enhanced the challenging issues of getting through the pandemic.  We do need a vaccine to get beyond this.  Back to normal?  No, it’s like a death—we may return to a new normal, in time. It will be up to us to build again that way of life that we hope to have.          

Dr. Jonas Salk’s son, Peter Salk, M.D., who decades ago was the first to receive the polio vaccine along with his whole family, is president of the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation in La Jolla, and a Professor and specialist in Infectious Diseases.  This is what he had to say in an interview on the Best of Allegheny Radio Show April 23, 2020, regarding COVID19.  

“We need a vaccine to make us really secure that we’ve got this under control.  We need treatment for people who do get infected.  But I can’t emphasize enough the importance at this moment in time of the social distancing.  That has allowed us to put a lid on things for the moment as long as we continue that, and only to back-off of that in a very careful and measured fashion as the caseload diminishes, as the hospitals move out of the risk of being overwhelmed, when we have the appropriate testing both in terms of who is currently infected, even if you’re not showing symptoms,  and who has already been infected and may have recovered, or not even known they were sick and have antibodies in their blood, having the ability to have enough people to trace contact if someone does come down with the illness, who they have been in contact with, get them quarantined and tested, and so on.  We really need to use all the tools at our disposal, and right now, this social distancing and the ability to develop tracking and testing, those are the key things at this point, until we have the security of a vaccine.”

Let’s hope that this novel coronavirus does not mutate and slow down the search for a vaccine. I agree with Dr. Peter Salk that we do need the security of a vaccine for COVID19.  The ongoing and sad high loss of life worldwide is very regrettable.  In the meantime, we can do our best to take self-responsibility and social distance, and wear our masks. Do others a favor and protect them from you, as they reciprocate.  That is the significance of community and healing.

~Linda Pendleton
May, 2020

©Copyright 2020 by Linda Pendleton


Monday, February 3, 2020

Authors in Discussion of Creative Input From the Other Side

This is an excerpt from an exclusive interview I did with author Richard S. Prather, creator of the Shell Scott Mystery Series.  The interview was in 2006, shortly before Prather died. 

Linda:  Richard, you and I have discussed the Amagical@ aspect of writing when we tap into something beyond ourselves that ends up on our written pages.  My husband, author Don Pendleton, often talked of that happening, and I have experienced it, also, as you have.  I personally find it exciting that we receive creative input from the other side.  I recall a television interview with author Taylor Caldwell, sometime in the late 1950s, and she spoke of Aautomatic writing@ as she sat at her typewriter, aware what she was writing was coming from beyond her, and in some cases, she knew nothing about the subject matter she was writing about.  Her books, wherever they came from, are best-selling, classic novels.  I found that idea fascinating then, and still do.  Doctorow mentioned that Saul Bellow spoke of being a medium whom the book came through.  I believe a lot of artists receive inspirationB(breathing in spirit).  So it may help to be open to the creative flow from beyond us as we create.  So who are our Muses?   Tell me what you=ve experienced in this regard.

Richard:  To borrow your words, Linda, this Acreative input from the other side@ is unquestionably real.  It happens, and it has happened to me many times.  Unfortunately, it took me yearsCdespite numerous hints and nudgings, from Asomewhere@Cto suspect that anything so spooky was possible, and years more to accept that it might actually be happening to me. 

This is a subject I=ve never before discussed publicly, and very rarely privately.  But I do remember well one night when Tina and I were with you and Don at your home in Sedona, and the conversation was about writing and AWhodunit?@  Don asked me if, when writing, I ever had the sense that the ideas, the words, were coming not so much from me as from someone or something else, maybe from somewhere outside of Ame@ (or words to that effect). 

Because the four of us were Apeople of like mind@ (one of Don=s remembered phrases), I overcame my reluctance to speak openly about such a fuzzily-metaphysical subject and said something like:
ADon, sometimes when the work is going really well, I feel like just a secretary taking dictation and I simply keep typing-without-thinking as fast as I can, trying to get it all down on paper while whatever-it-is is still flowing.@

I remember Don, head slightly tilted to one side, smiling, nodding, and saying, AYesYYesY@ 

All four of us knew precisely what I was talking about, even if I didn=t express it precisely.  Because we=d all been-there done-that in our own ways.  We knew it was a gift of some kind, from somewhere else, and we were grateful for it.   

For me, the most prolonged and convincing experience of Aguidance from the other side@ occurred in 1974 or 1975, when Tina and I were living on Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  I had finished plotting a new book and was writing the manuscript of one of my last published titles (The Sure Thing).  That morning I went to the typewriter and the words started flowing and I typed them down as fast as I could because the words kept on flowingCall day long.  That day and that night I worked for 24 hours straight, and wrote 24,000 words (a personal one-day record for me), whichCwith virtually no later revision or Aimprovement@Cbecame 96 pages of the final retyped manuscript.  All of it was just-right the first time, when it came out of meYor wherever it came from.

This happened late in my active writing career.  Curiously, something of similar nature (though unrecognized by me as such at the time) occurred a quarter-century earlier, at the very beginning of my writing years.  In 1950 or 1951, I several times awoke remembering the same (or same kind of) long and vivid dream.  In those dreams I was reading a typed manuscript, page after page of it.  On awakening, details swiftly faded.  I could never remember what the ideas or words were.  All I knew for sure was that what I=d been reading was my own manuscript.  Same yellow second sheets, same pica type, same xxing-out and pen-and-ink corrections.  But I also knew these were pages not yet written. 

How in hell could I be reading pages typed by me for a manuscript I hadn=t written yet?  I knew not; didn=t have a clue. 

After those first two getting-started years (=50 & =51, at Holly Cliffs in Laguna, near the sea) this never happened again.  But that it happened at allCand it didCis remarkable enough.

Way back then, I just considered the Aimpossible@ occurrence a fascinating curiosity and didn=t think much about it.  Certainly I didn=t think enough about it.  Because ICweCshouldn=t be surprised when this sort of thing happens, but when it doesn=t.

The world is much different today from what it was Away back then.@  We=re told that Earth=s frequency is increasing, that our own vibes are changing, that all of Earth (including us) is moving into a higher or more Aspiritual@ vibration.  Whether we believe this or not (I believe it), all we have to do is look around us to become aware of the enormous amount of information, words andCsometimesCwisdom from Athe other side@ being channeled right now from somewhere to here.

My complete exclusive interview is available at Kindle. As it turned out, this was Richard S. Prather’s last interview.

~Linda Pendleton