Friday, August 26, 2011

The Girl Who Remembered Horses

I am thrilled to announce that my novel THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES was just accepted for publication by Musa Publishing for their brand new YA imprint.

Publication date is scheduled for November 11th, 2011 as an e-book, with paper book some time in the future.

Of all the novels I've written, this one is probably dearest to my heart. It was inspired by a college research project on women and their obsession with horses, as well as the changing status of horses today as we become a more urban society.

THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES is set in the future, in a time when almost no one remembers horses or their connection to humans. But one girl has recurring dreams of riding astride on magnificent beasts that run like the wind. Labeled a foolish dreamer, can she possibly convince her clan of the ancient bond between horses and humans before the horses are slaughtered for meat?

I'll be working soon on edits, and I'll keep you posted when I get cover art, but I am really excited for all of you to read this book. Hope you love it as much as I do!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Old Dog, New Dog

You may remember earlier this summer we added a new black pup to our collection of animals. Part border collie/australian shepherd/or lab, Penny's heritage is anybody's guess. Her energy level is off-the-charts, and we are still working on a few things in the behavior department, but so far she knows how to sit, stay, come and she is learning heel and down. She is turning into a good dog, a great walking partner, and mostly a good companion for our older dog, Homer, who seemed a little depressed and lonely in his golden years.

But not anymore. Now he has someone to wrestle with -

Tussle with -

play tug-of-war with -

play "my stick, my stick" with -

play tug-of-war even MORE fiercely

And just generally hang out with.

Homer looks happy with his new buddy, don't you think?

Have you successfully added another young (or new) dog to your menagerie?
How has is worked out for you?

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Book Club!

I'm excited. I'm starting a Book Club! I love to read, and I want to meet more people that like to read, so I'm starting an actual physical meet-in-someone's house book club!

We are starting small, with just a few members, and we're going to make up the rules so they fit us. But I have a few questions, and if anyone has been part of a book club, feel free to chime in and help us out!

  • What's the best way to pick books to read and share? Should we pick a book that a member has read and recommended - or choose one that no one has read yet? Should we vote on what we'd like to read, or should everyone get a chance to choose a book? Should we make a list ahead of time, say three-six months in advance, or decide each month what the next book shall be?
  • What is a good number for the group? So far, we are starting with 3-4, but I'm sure that number will grow as people hear about us, and some will drop in and out, show up or not. Should we try for 8, or 10, or 12 people?
  • How should we decide what to talk about? Does everyone bring one question they'd like to discuss? Or should the person who chooses the book develop a list of questions to discuss?
  • Is it important to keep everyone on track, and talking about The Book? Or is veering off into other discussions part of the fun of the group?
I have never been part of a Book Club before, and I don't know how it's going to go, but I can hardly wait!

Have you been part of a Book Club?
If you have any helpful hints or ideas, feel free to share them in the comments.
I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Bucket List

I was walking with my friend a couple days ago, and she asked me "What's on your Bucket List of things to do?

When you are young, the entire world is on your bucket list, because it's all there to be explored, enjoyed and learned about. But as you get older - you start sorting out things in your head that are still actually Do-able.

When I was younger, I always wanted to ride (horseback) the entire Pacific Crest trail from Mexico to Canada. Alas, it didn't happen, and at one point it started sounding like way more than I wanted to tackle, and I fondly crossed it off my list.

But what about now?

Well - off the top of my head, when my friend asked me, here's what I answered:

  • Meet the great race mare Zenyatta in person. Right now, she is carrying her first foal, so I'm sure public access will be limited. But maybe someday when she is older there will be a place where her fans and loving admirers can actually meet her and kiss her sweet nose. I hope I can be one of them.
  • Attend the Kentucky Derby. I always watch this on television, where I get a very good view, and I'm sure it's a logistical and traffic nightmare to actually go in person, but still - just to say I've been there - yeah, I'd like to do that.
  • And after coming home and thinking about this some more, I'd like to make a trip to Ohio someday and visit the grave of my great-great grandfather, who died from wounds suffered at Gettysburg where he fought for the Union. He was a prolific writer (hmm, runs in the genes?) and we have many actual letters describing his experiences.
So that is my Bucket List. What's on yours??

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How Walking in the Woods is like Writing a Manuscript

Sometimes Starting a New Manuscript is like taking a Walk in the Woods. You find a new path that looks interesting, and you boldly begin.

But before too long, you find your self trapped in dense plot problems which you didn't anticipate,

so you take some time and think things over.

After you get a better perspective on your situation, you decide to have a little faith in yourself and just press on through, even if it means going blindly on, trusting the process, and forging your way through the undergrowth.

And when you get to the muddy middle, you wonder if you will ever find your way home, or if you should just give up on the whole idea entirely . . .

But because you have courage, and heart, you keep going that extra mile, even though the way is challenging and finally . . .

with any luck, you spot it. The way out of the forest. The path to the finish. The trail that leads you home.

And at this point you are very proud, because you did not give up, you found your way through the forest of your wildest doubts, the plot tangles in the middle of your manuscript, and you are indeed, Almost Home.

Good luck to all of you starting a new trail, muddling through the middle, or forging your way to the end - with thanks to my models: good dogs and pathfinders Homer and Penny.