E-Shell: Seashells of the Caribbean work 1

Today as I begin to get ready to go diving in Curacao in a couple of weeks, I pulled up my manuscript of the E-shells of the Caribbean that I have been putting off finishing while I worked on marketing my Civil War book, “Rough Enough.”  Can’t let the old classification stuff get rusty! Boy it’s amazing how quickly the list of things to still complete seems to multiply every time I take one last look through the book.  Of course part of this is because as an interactive smart-book, which allows you to jump back and forth and from one key to another, it is beginning to be a morass of little buttons or highlights that all have to work properly in order for the book to be as completely useful  to the biologist, collector, malacologist or week-end explorer, as it can possibly be. It’s a challenge and I think I may float a draft in a couple of weeks just before I head for the Caribbean and then see if there are any glitches picked up by a select group of users. Then I can do repairs and get it online for the world.

Below you can see the underside of a great West Indian Top Shell showing the deep umbilicus and the typical black or deep brown blotches so typical of this shell. Note the pretty red dots; they are encrusting coral and not a part of the shell itself.  This particular shell used to be a major food item on many of the islands in the Caribbean. These top shells has been cleaned out by over zealous hunters in many places and so are now rare on some islands, but giant piles of shells (middens) can be found where these shells were harvested for the meat. This particular shell came from a heap on the West coast of Aruba in the Netherlands Antilles. My largest shell of this type came from the South West beaches of Barbados where it had been thrown high up by a storm.

Shell Retakes-18

Review: The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story – by Elliott West

Review: The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story – by Elliott West
Here is a long but very well researched look at the whole concept of the Nez Perce War: giving and overview of first contacts with whites, congenial relations, willingness to work to solve problems followed by a gradual betrayal by the US government and their officials to the point where a peaceful people are literally driven into a war. <br /><br />Spend a good week or so reading this book. Take it slowly, get out a map and follow the campaign, check out the sizes of the reservations and the way land was literally scalped from the tribe and then follow the movements of the last bands of resistors who went with Joseph on his epic attempt to find a new home where his people could live peacefully.<br /><br />Read the statements of the two sides and realize that these political conversations of two parties of people viewing the world through different colored lenses of experience and tradition make human communication a morass of misunderstandings is so real today as we move from our own tribal world into the world of nation-state and globalism.  <br /><br />I will cherish this book as I have know the story since childhood but never before taken it to the depths that Elliott West presents so thoughtfully and eloquently. I wish I had read this before I wrote my own book, “Rough Enough” as it certainly would have featured as one of my references.
<a href=”http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/17209090-richard-mcbee”>View all my reviews</a>

What Books is Rick McBee working on now?

I have had several close contacts ask me when the next book is coming out now that they have read “Rough Enough.” 

When I’m not up to my ears in skiing, diving, orienteering and trying to keep up on the Civil War scene, I’m working on three other books at the moment.  I’ve listed these below and as soon as I figure out how to open up labels on this site and make it a web page (I don’t suppose any of you are ever challenged by computer work? Hmm.), I’ll have a tag for each so you can follow along with chapter and verse.  Back to the books.  Three of them separated in genre and interest:

1. “Following the Blue Bucket” will be the next section of Richard Clow’s Life taking him from the gold mining fields of Deadwood, SD. across Wyoming by wagon with his wife and young daughter, Cora into Idaho where they settle outside Montpelier, ID. and set up a sheep ranch, the CBR ranch. When the ranch goes bust they move on to Granite, Oregon and mine gold again and make enough to then move on to the Willamette Valley where they farm successfully until about 1905 when the move to Mapleton, OR and run the Mapleton Hotel and mail boat on the Siuslaw River near Florence, OR.  Due out late in 2014. It may have to be closer to historical fiction than straight history because of the scarcity of information in some places coupled with his run-ins with several historical characters that are rumored in the family and probable but so far undocumented.
2. “Sendero Rojo: The Path of Blood” due out late 2013 or early 2014 is an historical fiction on the South American Drug Wars based on some fifty references which I collected in Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela while working in those countries for 17 years.  It follows a young woman and her fiance as they are separated by a kidnapping high in the Andes. Maria struggles to survive on the streets and in the slums of Lima Peru while Huascar fights for life as a slave in a drug manufacturing camp deep in a hidden valley of the upper Amazon river. Escaping, Huascar succeeds in crossing the Andes to rescue Maria from poverty in Lima and bring her back to their home area of Huaraz in the mountains.
3. “E-Shell: Seashells of the Caribbean” due out mid 2013 is an interactive computer guide to identifying over 200 seashells of the Caribbean from the coasts of Florida to the shores of Venezuela. Based on over 13 years of collecting and identifying shells from the Caribbean, this book is unique in having lots of smart items to jump from  seashell keys to pages with their photos and descriptions. The macro-photography brings the seashells up right in front of your eye with arrows to key identification points, whether it is a giant conch from Panama or a minute purple janthina shell from the shores of Curacao.

I hope you’ll enjoy following these books as I move forward in my writing.

New Review for “Rough Enough” comes out on “Salient Points!”

I was ever so pleased to see Allen Mesch’s great review of my Civil and Indian War book, “Rough Enough” on his own fabulous blog site, “Salient Points (http://salient-points.blogspot.com/2013/03/rough-enough-by-richard-h-mcbee-jr.html),  Allen prides himself in keeping up to date on Civil War affairs on LinkedIn and through a lot of reading. As a historian, I value his words and writing a lot. I hope you will check out his site and also visit the Civil War Courier site for other great information on the Civil War. Copies of my book are available in bookstores everywhere and at:

Photos of John Sherwin Clow, wife and son: Older Brother to Richard Clow


Right hand photo is John Sherwin Clow, 1836 – 1909 and left hand photo is his wife, Celinda Warren Burnap Clow holding their son, Fredrick Redman Clow. This is the son who was born in 1863 just before John enlisted in the Union Army (1864) to fight with Sherman’s troops in the March to the Sea.

Personalities Related to Richard Clow: John Sherwin Clow 1836-1909

John Sherwin (nickname “Sher”) Clow was born a full 11 years before Richard Clow in Nova Scotia, Canada where the family lived until 1853.  John probably got the nicknam of “Sher” due to the fact that he had the same first name as his father, John Stevenet Clow.  Consequently when Sher moved to the USA to homestead in Minnesota, he used this moniker and even enlisted in the Union forces, 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment in order to fight with Sherman’s troops across the South.

John Sherwin was married to Celinda Warren Burnap Clow prior to enlistment and had a daughter, Carrie Bertha in 1862, who died at the age of 2 months and a son, Fredrick Redman Clow in 1863. After the war he had another three children.  Only two children survived to the time of his death in 1909.

There is a book written about John Sherwin Clow by Catherine Ann Clow and published in 1977, but it is out of print and I have tried in vain to find a copy to purchase as it would have been a God-send to have this information for my own book, “Rough Enough” on his brother, Richard Clow.

Richard Clow corresponded with enough family during the Civil War to keep track of his brother John to a degree in hopes that they would meet up in the field.  This unfortunately did not happen until after the end of the war at the Grand Review.  Richard writes an excellent descriptive letter of this meeting.  I’d like to see a screen writer get into the mood of this and I’m sure it would make great pics.

I have one picture of John Sherwin Clow and another of his wife and first or second baby, but as you will have discerned by now it is not on this blog because I can’t find my original jpg. file to download it.  I’ll have to get back to the scanner and you’ll see this pic sometime down the road.

Opening a “GoodReads” Ad for “Rough Enough”

Today was another first for the old man!  I actually created and opened up an ad on “GoodReads” for my Civil and Indian War Book, “Rough Enough.”  One of the things that really amazed me was how specific some of the targeting can get for the audience of readers.  Not only can you pick up the genres that are most closely related to your book, History, nonfiction, Biography, War, etc…, but you can also pick authors who have written books in the similar area to your so that you get to the people who already have their heads where your book is! Wow! I just went down through my bibliography and typed in names of those Civil War, Frontier and Mining authors whose works had helped me write my own book. Lo and behold… their titles popped up and a quick click added them to the list.  Now I’m going to do what my PR man, Jeff said to do with my Amazon site.  That is: check the rank of my book this evening and then every day for the duration of the ad and see if there is any jump in the sales on Amazon.  This of course is only one indicator, but along with the data from “GoodReads”, I should at least have some idea of whether the book is even being noticed.  The computer world never ceases to amaze me!

Personalities related to Richard Clow – Lucia Shepardson, Author

Personalities related to Richard Clow - Lucia Shepardson, Author

Lucia Shepardson was one of Richard Clow’s nieces. She is shown in a photo with the aging Richard Clow about 1920 when they travelled together through the Black Hills.
Lucia was an amateur entomologist and in 1914 wrote a brief book (see photo) called “The Butterfly Trees.” The books was revised and republished in 1939 in Monterey, California through Herald Printers and Publishers. She documents a different Monarch Butterfly migration than that described in Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Flight Behavior.”
Lucia’s migration was believed to begin in British Columbia and migrate down the Pacific coast. The migration is documented as passing through a gap in the Siskiyou mountains in late September, taking two the three days to pass that point. Then they continue on down the California coast reaching Pacific Grove and Monterey Bay in mid-October. Here they overwinter, literally coating the trees in some places.
Lucia points out that the butterflies can miss a year, either not arriving, or abandoning the coast due to human disruptions. This means that none of their offspring has been to the Monterey Peninsula, yet following the break of a year, they still return to that same section of the coast. She concludes that this phenomenon is still a mystery to man, and shows another of the wonders of nature and instinct.

Personalities related to Richard Clow: Sir George J. Clow, Capt. R.N., C.B. (1853 – 192?)

Personalities related to Richard Clow: Sir George J. Clow, Capt. R.N., C.B. (1853 - 192?)

Captain George J. Clow, first cousin of Richard Headley Clow, was both a full Captain in the British Royal Navy, as well as being the Paymaster-in-Chief to the Royal Navy. He first joined the Royal Navy in 1870 and rose through the ranks as had his father, David F. Clow II. He was awarded the honor of being knighted as a Companion of the Bath by the king for his exceptional and outstanding service to the Crown during WW1. The Knights of the Order of the Bath was instituted by Henry the IV. It was allowed to lapse until 1725 when King George the I revived it. According to the Book of Statutes the original number in the Order was limited to the reigning sovereign plus 37 Knights Companions. The size of the Order was greatly increased in 1815 and again in 1847 when it was actually opened to civilians.
George J. Clow’s extraordinary career of being assigned to over 44 different Royal Navy Ships is cataloged in the Naval Historical Collectors and Research Association which describes a large paperweight engraved with all of Sir George’s postings and includes his investure into the Order of the Bath at Buckingham Palace on 12 July, 1919. His final military promotion to Paymaster- Rear-Admiral came in 1923 at the age of 70 years, four years after he had been retired from active service and awarded a pension.

Personalities Related to Richard Clow: Capt, David F. Clow II, R.N., (1802 – 1885)

Captain David F. Clow II was the first son of the elder David F. Clow. He was also a career British Royal Navy man and famously was a member of the combined British and French forces that took the Chinese city of Canton in 1857 during the second Opium War.    The attack began on Dec. 27, 1857 and actually the Chinese surrendered on January 1, 1858, so in the history books showing years it looks like a protracted war. Admiral Seymour was the commander of the three ship fleet that took the city and extracted concessions from the Chinese to allow more free trade.

David F. Clow II married Nancy Frazier and they had four children.  One of these, the elder son, George J. Clow will be featured tomorrow with a photo.


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