The Frog Blog

J.R. Sparlin discusses things

Friday, December 29, 2017

How Cold Is It?

#ItsSoCold I took my pet penguin for a walk.

#ItsSoCold my hashtag froze.

#ItsSoCold my snowman is glad he's so fat.

#ItsSoCold my snowman quit.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

Friday, October 20, 2017

Jaleth and the Dragons at SCBWI Bookstop!

The SCBWI Bookstop is a place where Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators can showcase books published this year. I have a page for my e-novelette, Jaleth and the Dragons. I tried to have fun with this page -- there is a silly picture of me with a dinosaur! Please stop by! While you're there, have a look at the other great books by traditionally and independently published authors!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Jaleth and the Dragons, Now on Nook!

Finally have my e-novelette, Jaleth and the Dragons, available on Nook as well! It's just in time, because I will be participating in the SCBWI Bookstop next week (more details to come) and I wanted it available on Kindle and Nook before then. ☺

Friday, August 4, 2017

Jaleth and the Dragons, Now on Kindle!

Last year I had a short story, "Jaleth and the Dragons," published in an online magazine. I decided recently to publish it as a stand-alone Kindle title. It is about 40 pages long in print, so you could call it a short story, long story, novellette, or novella. I plan to release it on Nook as well, but probably not in paperback as it's not very long. If you'd like to see it, here's the link! Jaleth and the Dragons on Kindle

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Court Wizard, Still Available at Watermark Books

The Court Wizard will continue to be available at Watermark Books for at least another 90 days!

When the old apothecary’s shop blows up in mysterious circumstances, Winnifred brings him home to her aunt’s to take care of him. But when Galen wakes up, he tells her he must flee their country of Sedonia, and she must flee with him. Winnifred finds herself on a ship bound for Fortress-on-Sea, where they meet a handsome stranger, Beldon. Slowly, listening at doors and demanding answers, Winnifred learns the secret of her true destiny, and must decide whether to embrace it.

Winner of the Clare Vanderpool Work of Promise Scholarship, awarded by the Kansas chapter of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators 

 "Overall, Winnifred's tale has all the hallmarks of a fun coming-of-age adventure story. She's refreshingly less a damsel in distress and more an emerging leader as she grows up. I'd recommend The Court Wizard to any pre-teen interested in medieval fantasy novels." -- Renaissance Magazine

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." -- The First Amendment

Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Court Wizard Reviewed in Renaissance Magazine!

The Court Wizard received a very lovely review in Issue 108 of Renaissance Magazine! This is a magazine available at Barnes and Noble and other brick-and-mortar stores, so it's very exciting. 

Here's an excerpt from the review by Jessica Titterington: "Overall, Winnifred's tale has all the hallmarks of a fun coming-of-age adventure story. She's refreshingly less a damsel in distress and more an emerging leader as she grows up. I'd recommend "The Court Wizard" to any pre-teen interested in medieval fantasy novels."

Friday, February 3, 2017

The New Colossus

"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus (inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty)
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Photo credit Elcobbola

Sunday, January 29, 2017


The Book of Sir Thomas More by William Shakespeare, Act II, Scene 4:

You’ll put down strangers, 
Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses, 
And lead the majesty of law in lyam
To slip him like a hound; alas, alas, say now the King, 
As he is clement if th’offender mourn, 
Should so much come too short of your great trespass 
As but to banish you: whither would you go? 
What country, by the nature of your error, 
Should give you harbour? Go you to France or Flanders, 
To any German province, Spain or Portugal, 
Nay, anywhere that not adheres to England, 
Why, you must needs be strangers, would you be pleas’d 
To find a nation of such barbarous temper 
That breaking out in hideous violence 
Would not afford you an abode on earth. 
Whet their detested knives against your throats, 
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God 
Owed not nor made not you, not that the elements 
Were not all appropriate to your comforts, 
But charter’d unto them? What would you think 
To be us’d thus? This is the strangers’ case 
And this your mountainish inhumanity.  

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Sunday, January 8, 2017