Learning Partners

Following is a guest post I provided to the Lollipops and Books Blog  recently, that I wanted to share with my readers here.

Teacher's Tack for Believing In Horses

The product of an author and an educator working together as a team

One of the unexpected joys in writing Believing In Horses came from my brother, Eddy Ormond. A career educator, Eddy developed a keen interest in my book from the start and stayed involved during the writing process. Even as a non-horse person, he accompanied me on my research visits to barns, horse rescues, and even a live horse auction. My brother provided valuable input to me, as a writer, from spending years with fourth and fifth graders, knowing what they would like and maybe not like. It was a wonderful journey for both of us that I thought would end at the book’s publication. But I was wrong.I have read many Middle Grade and Young Adult novels, and frequently wondered, “Do these kids ever go to school?” Besides that fact, I felt compelled to have a teacher in my novel passionate about his profession and making a difference in the lives of children. [Read more…]

Horses and Writers

Valerie Ormond and Color Me Lucky - a writer and a horse with much in common

Valerie Ormond consults her horse, Color Me Lucky, on the similarity between horses and writers.

I spend the majority of my time riding horses or writing stories.  Since I know so many equine authors, it dawned on me there might be some kind of connection between horses and writers.  In honor of World Animal Day, here’s a few ways I considered that horses are like writers (or writers are like horses):

  1.  Horses know riders get better with more time in the saddle; writers know writers get better with more time in the chair.
  2.  Not all horses ride the same; not all writers think the same.
  3.  Horses flee; writers procrastinate.
  4.  Horses mirror the soul; writers mirror the soul.
  5.  Horses CAN be led to water; writers CAN be led to write. [Read more…]

A Real Good Story


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I last posted about “Keeping It Real” in writing and mentioned how some people responded to my book, Believing In Horses, turning fiction into reality. Last week, some local children made a significant donation to local rescues in their “Kids Can Do BIG Things, Too!” campaign. Please welcome my guest blogger, Kristy Alvarez, founder of Desire Ministries and the leader of this campaign, who tells the story in her words. 

As many of you know, or may not know, through Desire Ministries, we have been running an after-school Horse Club program since 2006.  We meet with the students of Cornerstone Christian Academy on a weekly basis so that the students who participate can learn the basics of horseback riding and horsemanship at Loftmar Stables in Bowie, Md.

[Read more…]

Critiquing Guidelines via Edie Hemingway

I blogged recently about the value of receiving critiques as a writer. I then fortunately received the following guidelines from co-Regional Advisor of the Maryland-Delaware-West Virginia Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Edie Hemingway, on giving critiques. Edie graciously agreed to let me share these tips in my blog as a follow-up to my last post.

In Edie’s words, “I put these together when I started teaching my own workshops, based on my experiences ‘workshopping’ during my MFA program at Spalding University. I’ll also be using them for the online course I’m teaching this summer for McDaniel College’s graduate certificate program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.”

Edie Hemingway is the author of Road to Tater Hill
(Delacorte Press and Yearling paperback), winner of a 2009 Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and besides writing, teaches several writing workshops. If you’d like to find out more about her and her programs, she can be reached at
http://www.ediehemingway.com

This is a great list for those who belong to a critique group or plan on joining one. As Edie suggests, these are also useful during the revision process.

[Read more…]

The New Short Story – Guest Post by Edward H. Carpenter

Today I’m featuring a guest post by Edward H. Carpenter, on the re-emergence of the short story in literature. Ed and I became friends via Goodreads due to our military connection. I rarely see a military uniform in an author’s profile photo, so when I saw the Marine green, the Navy blue in me had to say “hi.” Here is a little about Ed and what influences his writing, in his own words:

“Well, I’m one of 12 children, a career military officer, a small business owner, and an athlete. I’ve flown planes and jumped out of them, served in war zones and looked into the empty sockets of skulls in a mass grave. I’ve lived in Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia, and traveled to more countries than I can list, but not nearly enough.

[Read more…]