Grand Old Mare


All decked out for a parade

This month, as hectic as it has been, has had three bright spots.

A friend and her daughter were walking around the pasture. The old mare ambled up, sniffed us and stayed for pats. She was in such a calm mood that I sent daughter for a halter and lead rope. We boosted her onto the old mare’s back – then we walked around the pasture talking.

While we walked the old gelding fell into step. The young mare got a bit huffy, I chased her off until she lost the attitude. Eventually, she fell into step with us. The parade went up and down the pasture before we ended up in the round pen. The old gelding came in, I chased the young mare out.

We gave daughter a second lead rope, she ‘rode’ the old mare around and had a great time.

It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. They’ve been back, we put daughter in a saddle this time. The old mare was simply wonderful.

This is the same horse who, at three, was a notorious bucker. She came to me because nobody wanted her. She’s still tricky and has made me eat my share of dirt – but she loves kids, and always has. It always amuses me to see her be a perfect horse.

Today we tossed a young boy (maybe 8 years old) on her back and did pretty much the same thing. Amazing to see her play nanny, no saddle, only a halter and lead ropes. She puts her head down and steps carefully, walking gently so he can stay on. He wanted to make her run, I told him he’d have to take lessons first.

When it was over, he led her into the barn, she literally kept an eye on him. I remember the spirited young mare who threw everyone who rode her and give her a big hug.

The mare is 5 foot at the shoulder, weighs 1100 lbs, the kid weighs maybe 40 lbs and barely reaches her chest. The look of wonder on his face was priceless. I know how he feels, to have an animal so large and strong obey you makes you feel strong and powerful. 

He is fearless, so when he let the horses out, he walked along with them. My herd is well-mannered, his grandmother and my sister were worried about the horses hurting him. I knew they wouldn’t. 

The young mare hasn’t been ridden in a long time – but she’s seen her mother with the kids. She’s jealous of the attention. She let herself be caught the other day (they couldn’t tell her from her mother) so she could get brushed and petted. They say horses learn from example. I think I’ll use this to my advantage.

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Crack Up – Bye Bike


M109 RMy husband wrecked his motorcycle. The white one in my avatar. I don’t have photos of the wreck – but he’s got 5 broken ribs.

That will tell you how hard he hit the ground.

The person who caused the crash was on a cell phone. So, of course “I didn’t see him” was their first response.

We’ve all done it – that phone rings or we think of someone we NEED to talk to – and travel time is wasted time in our ‘multi-tasking’ society. But that doesn’t make it right, or legal, nor should it get someone off the hook for nearly killing another person.

I’ve seen guys driving down the freeway with newspapers on the steering wheel. People text – TEXT – while driving and wonder why there are laws  going on the books to make it all illegal.

My old phone was a ‘flip to answer’ but my id10t phone requires a ritual of actions to answer. (It’s supposed to be a smart phone, but it sucks.)

Then there is the ‘season’ issue. November is not the usual season to ride motorcycles, so people don’t look for them. That doesn’t justify the accident.

If my husband hadn’t been wearing a helmet, he’d be dead. If he hadn’t been wearing a leather jacket he’d be torn to shreds.

This is the third time he’s put a bike down since we’ve been together. The first time was a horrendous crash – no helmet – that left him with debilitating injuries. The second time, I was on the bike and we slid into the ditch from a complete stop. That hurt, but it was nothing like the accident in front of us.

This summer he had a series of close calls. I got spooked and stopped riding with him. I had one crash on my own motorcycle back in – never mind the year – my ‘wasted youth.’

My nerves are shot. I need a nice, quiet winter to regroup. I’ve had 8 major stressors this year. My instinct is to hole up for the winter and not leave the farm. No such luck, of course, but the desire to take it very slow and easy is a healthy response to stress.

I sure as hell won’t be answering my cell while I’m driving.

The Agent Debate – A Nail in the Coffin


Daryl Sedore shares his painful experience with the underbelly of the publishing industry.  Only it wasn’t the underbelly – the people involved were pretty well mainstream. It was a one-day-wonder. Very exciting while it lasted.

Ever since my friend Mary W. Walters got flamed for expressing her concern over the role of agents in the publishing industry – here – I’ve been watching the blogosphere debate over the ‘current state’ of the publishing industry.

What I’ve learned reminds me more of Hollywood’s ‘chew-em-up-then-spit-em-out’ attitude towards female actors. Oh yes, it’s a wolf-eat-sheep world. The wolves are wearing sheep skins and it’s up to us to figure it out.

I don’t want to be fleeced – I know that it could happen to me. I work at educating myself so that it will be more difficult to fleece me all the time.

I think it is time to put the publishing industry in the same cesspool with the movie industry and the music industry.  “Agents” and “Talent Scouts” are brothers-in-fur; assume that ‘I think your book has potential’ means ‘I’ve got a meat-market that needs fresh meat.’

Indie publishing is not ‘the way’ to escape the preditors. Amazon is not a rescuing angel out to ‘save’ writers. It is in their best interest to create a vast number of e-books, many not available in print, which can be purchased instantly with the Kindle. The 70% royalty ensures the majority of that product will be priced between $3 & $10.

The same goes for the other Indie friendly e-book markets. They have freed themselves of having to create or market products. The writer’s do all the work – and are awarded higher-than-industry-average rewards. It works for all of us. Just don’t forget that those ‘writer-friendly’ wolves are just looking at larger numbers than a couple hundred writers. There are millions of readers out there.

Back to Sedore’s story – He’s pulled it from his blog. Dean Wesley Smith pulled the story from his blog as well.

Why? Because they got drowned in hate mail. 

Still, hundreds of people read those blogs for the short time they were up. It was in the end, alas, merely a tempest in a teapot. So this round went to the wolves and wolf-groupies.

But the book remains – Publishing Exposed by Daryl Sedore.