Tuesday, July 30, 2013

E-books or Printed version

I found a way to self-publish AND create both e-books and a printed version of my short story The Horse That Haunts Dreams.

So the question to all my horses friends.
Please post if you would prefer e-book or real book format. 
I originally planned on just doing e-books, because I wasn't sure about getting the books into print.  however it appears that printing the books is possible with a program through Amazon.com

If you would leave me a message here and let me know which format you would prefer, it would help me decide to work on a printed version as well as an e-book version.  

Also please post which e-book format you prefer. Kindle or Nook or something else. 

Thanks.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Poetry- Oh those prairie dogs!


For those of you who live in New Mexico you might have remembered news reports about the Virgin Fire near Jemez in June of 2003.  I used to work as a wildland firefigher and I was there during my first year of firefighting. Our camp was setup in a pasture that contained a large prairie dog town. All the heavy equipment caused cave-ins of the prairie dog burrows and dead prairie dogs started showing up on the surface. This poem was inspired by true events that followed the discovery of the dead prairie dogs. 

Oh those prairie dogs

Oh those prairie dogs, how they do conspire
to create panic and wreak havoc
with all the folks
On the Virgin fire

Prairie dogs in fire camp
are moving slow.
Oh no! What to do
because they just won't go!

Prairie dogs in camp,
they have no fear
They don't run
When humans are near.

They must have the plague,
or Monkey Pox!
We MUST move camp before
we all get knocked out of our socks.

Hurry up! We have to move the camp!
You'll be taking down and
setting up that tent again
by headlamp.

Oops! We forgot.
names and numbers
of those in camp
we have not got.

Now it's hurry up and wait
the lines grow long
as our records
we up date.

At our new camp
we finally arrive.
At least to the fire
we now have a shorter drive.

The plague scare is now history
No need to worry.
The cause of the problem
is no longer a mystery.

Sorry we got you all pissed
for a few little Prairie dogs
that just got squished!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Horse Who Haunts Dreams.

For those of you who read the first two chapters here on the blog, the rest of my short story is almost ready for publication.  I'm looking for volunteer proof readers to help me check for errors and such in the story. If you are interested, be warned, there is a very sad part that took me quite a while to write. 

Leave me a message if you are interested. Thanks.  


Sunday, March 17, 2013

The good and the bad

Well today was an interesting day. It started out bad when we were hauling the horses out for a trail ride at a friend's house

First we blew a tire on the horse trailer on the Interstate(Bad). Then we broke the jack we were using to change the tire(bad). 
We had to call a friend to come rescue us(good.
Then our friend got a ticket on the way home(bad).
We finally got back on our way and got to our destination just fine (good). 
We set out to ride, but it was really windy (bad)and the horses acted up a little bit(bad).
But finally they settled down just fine and we had a wonderful rest of the ride(good).
Then we had a late lunch and chatted with friends(good)and headed home.

When we got home, the Corned Beef in the crock pot was almost ready and all we had to do was fix up the cabbage, carrots and potatos
(GOOD, REALLY good) 
and we ended the day watching the Celtic Thunder and Celtic Woman
Performances on PBS.(REALLY REALLY GOOD!)

I guess the Luck of the Irish stuck with us today and made up for the bad with a bunch of good!
      

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Second Chapter of The Horse Who Haunts Dreams

See Chapter 1

Hobo spent his first few months with us in the quarantine pen. In those days it was well known that any horse that went through the auction was going to get sick. Strangles was common place and the vaccine hadn’t been created yet. The best thing to do was to put them in quarantine and let things run their course. As Hobo became ill and then recovered from the strangles I was there, feeding him, brushing him and bonding with him. Technically he was still not my horse. He was still Bill’s $60.00 sale barn colt and he could still be snatched away from me for a price.
After a couple months in quarantine, Hobo had sufficiently recovered from strangles. He was no longer contagious and was halter broke well enough to go out with the “big” horses. I loved it when Hobo was out in the front acre with the big horses because I could see him from the bus when going to and from school. I also had a special whistle that Hobo would answer to and come over to me. I loved to get off the bus and whistle just to hear him reply. One day after school I didn’t see him as the bus pulled to a stop. When I got off and whistled that special tune, he didn’t answer. My Hobo was gone! I thought he could have been stolen or worse Bill sold him and took him away from me. I went to check the pasture and worse fears began to develop. Blood! So much blood! Blood in the feed tub, blood on the ground blood in the water tank, blood everywhere. Oh my God this is much worse that being stolen or sold! My mind raced, I think now that he’s dead and they hauled him off without letting me say goodbye!
Just then my mom drives in the yard. She sees me there staring at the blood. She comes out to the pasture and tells me what happened. Hobo got his halter caught on a part of the feed tub and got spooked or something according to the neighbor. He pulled and thrashed and slammed his head against a steel bar on the feed tub. Mom said he wasn’t dead yet but we had to go to the vet and see what they say. The vet’s office isn’t far, but to me it seems to take forever. We don’t know how bad it is. We don’t know if he will live or die. I think, “He can’t die! I can’t lose him yet.”
Yea I know what some people are thinking by now, NEVER EVER leave a halter on a horse without supervision. I know that now and I learned my lesson the hard way. Then I was still a beginner horse owner, a na├»ve teenager, and I was told by my mom that it was safe to leave the halter on. Now it’s a lesson for everyone else. If you must leave a halter on a horse for any reason, make sure there is nothing for that horse to catch the halter on.
The news at the vet is better than I had hoped. He’s crushed his cheek bone, but it can be repaired with surgery. His jaw is fine and he can still eat. He doesn’t have to die, but the surgery is going to cost a lot of money. Mom tells the vet that we have to go home and discuss this and she’ll call later to tell them what we decide. Hobo’s short life is in our hands. We have basically had to decide to keep him or kill him. Worse he’s still not my horse so I don’t the final say in what happens so we have to wait and see what Bill wants to do.
At home again in the “family meeting” that will decide Hobo’s fate, mom again points out how much the surgery will cost. Bill thinks we should put him to sleep because it will cost less than the surgery. I argue for Hobo’s life. I tell them that I can treat the wound, I can take care of him and that I want to keep him. Bill finally tells me “He’s not even worth a dollar to me now that he’s all messed up, he should be put to sleep.” That makes me so mad I could scream but it also gives me an idea. I run from the kitchen into my room and finally find enough coins to make up a dollar. I rush back to the kitchen and slam that dollar’s worth of change onto the table in front of Bill and yell “Here is your Damned dollar! He’s mine now and I say he lives!” Stunned for a minute, Bill finally agrees that Hobo is now mine, but my mom brings back up the cost of the vet bill. We agreed I would have to help pay for it. I would have to get a job after school or on weekends to earn the money to pay back the Vet bill.
Just like that, Hobo became my horse! Mom took me back to the vet the next day when we went to pick him up so the vet could instruct me on how to care for his wound. He had is face bandaged with vet wrap just below his eyes. The vet instructed me how to flush his wound out every day a solution of iodine and saline that the vet mixed especially for this treatment. Every day I had to unwrap his face, squirt 60-120 ml of the Iodine solution into the wound to flush it and then rewrap his face.
Back home again Hobo had to go back into the quarantine pen behind the house so he would be away from the big horses and so I could tend to his wound. Because of all the wrapping and unwrapping of his wound, most of the time I worked around Hobo without the halter on his head. The halter kept getting in the way of the wraps and so I would just talk to Hobo to help keep him calm. That is when I came up with his first nickname. I started calling him Boo-Boo as I worked with him. My mom on the other hand started calling him “ALPO”. Yep just like the dog food, because according to her he wasn’t good enough for anything but dog food.
Our quarantine pen was really the yard area of our old chicken coop. It was bigger than a normal horse stall, but really not big enough for a young horse to stretch his legs. Once his wound was re-bandaged, most days I would then take my little Boo-Boo for a walk around the house. Our house sat on the back acre of a 2-acre parcel. Behind the house were the chicken coop/quarantine pen and our well house and the back portion of the circle driveway. The acre in front of the house was the portion where my dad and I had built the horse barn and fenced in to keep the horses. The circle driveway was like a mini racetrack around the house.
Most days, I would take my Boo-Boo for his walks around and around the house. I really did not know then that I was training him. I did not know anything about training a horse other than what I’d read about in books and most of that was fiction. I got my horse training advice from great works of fiction such as Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion Series, or any one of Marguerite Henry’s books. My mom and Bill taught me a few things, but mainly it was just the books and me working with Hobo.
It didn’t take long before I was laying the lead rope over Hobo’s neck and walking with him by my side. Sometimes I’d have to grab a hunk of mane or put my hand under his chin to lead him forward, but often he’d follow me with nothing physically connecting us. When I wasn’t leading him around the house, I’d sit in his pen and read or talk to him. He got comfortable with me being around and eventually would let me walk up to him while he was lying down. I could pet him all over while he was down on the ground. He even let me lie down beside him and use his neck as a pillow.
That was pretty much how we spent our first two years together. I’d walk around on cloud nine with my little Boo-Boo at my side and then listen to my mom make jokes about Alpo and dog food. Well one of these days he’d show her up and make her eat her words.

Monday, February 4, 2013

GRRR Blogger is making me mad

Anyone else been having trouble logging into blogger? I've had to change my password EVERY day for the last week because Blogger seems to decide not to accept my last password. I'm getting really ticked off now.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I'm writing a book check out chapter 1

 Posted below is the first chapter of a short story I'm writing about my old horse Hobo. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you thing. Thanks.


For as long as I can remember, I was addicted to horses. I was only 3 or 4 years old standing on the front lawn of our new house when I remember the lost of our first horse. Dolly was standing there in front of me beautiful, shiny black with a white star with her new owner riding her instead of me. I don’t remember that we owned her. I don’t remember ever riding her. I only remember that she had been sold and that we wouldn’t be seeing her again. I remember the loss of a horse from my life.
From that day forward, I made it my mission to bring another horse back into my life. I begged and pleaded for another horse and when that didn’t work I demanded one. Every special occasion I saw as an opportunity to express my desire to own a horse. Every holiday or event associated with a figurehead was used in my attempt to gain a horse. My family heard things like “Mom do you thing Father Time can get me a horse for new Years?” or “Maybe Cupid will get me a horse for Valentine’s Day”. I called out St. Patrick, and The Easter Bunny and Santa of course but I also called on Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin and even good Old Uncle Sam.
I got horse toys, horse books, and other horse related items, but I still didn’t get what I really wanted. I never got my own real, live breathing horse I don’t know of a day that went by when the word horse didn’t enter my daily life. If there ever was a day what I didn’t speak, thing or dream about a horse it was a rare day indeed.
Every time I asked for a horse Mom and Dad would tell me that we couldn’t keep a horse because we lived in town. So I changed my daily question from “When can we get another horse?” to “When are we going to move to the country so we can get another horse?”
It took years of harassing and questioning but finally they relented and we moved to the country. Now we could get a horse as soon as we built a barn and put up fencing. Therefore, as you can guess, I went to badgering my parents about when we would build the barn and put up that fence. I helped my dad build the barn with scrap wooden siding he pulled off some old house that was torn down.
The barn was finally finished and the fence complete so we drove over to Texas to pick up our new horse. Ginger was a pretty bay with a crooked strip down her face and two white socks. She was never just mine though; she was always “our” horse, the whole family’s horse. Ginger was given to us by a family friend. His kids and grand kids had outgrown her and she needed a new family to love. Ginger was special and she could sense a person’s balance and riding abilities. She would only go as fast as she thought a person was able to handle. No amount of kicking coaxing or prodding would get her out of the pace she was sure was right for that person. She taught me a lot about riding and horses in general, but still she wasn’t all mine. There was still a horse out there that would be for me alone.
Ginger saw me through some tough times like my parent’s divorce and my mom’s short but abusive second marriage. She was a good horse friend and someone to talk to about all the problems of a typical teenager’s life, but she never completely captured my entire heart.
Years passed and a few more horses were added to our family but it wasn’t until I was in High School that I completely lost my heart to any horse. When he stepped off that rickety old stock trailer in the summer after my sophomore year it all changed because my heart was claimed. He was here, the horse that was supposed to be mine!
My mom’s new boyfriend Bill had just bought him at the local horse auction for $60.00. He was still a baby, recently weaned and we guessed him to be about six months old. He was a beautiful bay dun with 4 perfectly matched black legs and a perfect oval star on his forehead. In those days, the differences between Dun and Buckskin weren’t widely known so I thought of him as buckskin for many years. He had a reddish shine mixed in with the yellow of his coat and his baby coat almost looked pink in certain lights.
Bill said that my younger sister and I could name him but we couldn’t agree on a name. We finally decided to pull a name from a hat. I don’t remember the name we pulled from the hat, but it wasn’t the right name. I had read the book “ Mustang Wild Spirit of the West” by Marguerite Henry and Robert Lougheed, and I knew I wanted a horse just like Wild Horse Annie’s Hobo; A buckskin with black points. Now he was here in my back yard. I knew his name would be Hobo even as I wrote out a list of names and put them in the hat. Even if I pulled another name from the hat I knew it wouldn’t stick. He just HAD to be named Hobo and he just had to be mine!
After the farce of drawing names from the hat and after a fight with my sister, we finally settled on his rightful name Hobo. I didn’t know it then, but this was the horse with a bond strong enough to haunt my dreams 23 in the future.