Winning Veteran Writing Awards in 2019

I am happy to close out the year announcing two prestigious military and veteran writing award winnings in 2019. The Military Writer’s Society of America presented me the President’s Award for exceptionally meritorious contributions to the organization at its annual membership conference in Albuquerque, NM. And in December at the Kentucky Horse Park, the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival awarded my latest book, Believing In Horses, Too, its Winnie Award for Best Veteran Fiction.

President of the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Bob Doerr wrote to me, “Winning the President’s Award requires a lot from a member. It requires dedication, initiative, and hard work. As you know, winning awards is great, but our organization’s primary goal is to be of some benefit to our veterans and their families. I know that is also something close to your heart.

I have volunteered with MWSA since 2013, helping lead veteran writing workshops, assisting with conference planning, and serving as a book awards judge. I also spearheaded MWSA’s Ambassador Program to expand veteran writing workshops from a small cadre to a group of volunteers across the country conducting free veteran writing workshops in their regions.

Regarding the Winnie Award for Best Veteran Fiction, the award means so much to me because the EQUUS Literary Awards recognized my book for its support for veterans and their families. Our military, veterans, and their families often face situations people are unaware of. I had hoped to bring that aspect of military life out through this story.

As a 25-year Navy veteran, the spouse of a veteran, and the daughter of a veteran, I used my experiences to write the fictional Believing In Horses, Too. The book tells a story about a young girl in a military family who matures through her experiences with horses, people, and equine therapy.

Thank you to MWSA and the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival for your valuable support and recognition this year. And a happy “cheers” to all in 2020!

Equestrian Author Spotlight: Meet Valerie Ormond

Thank you to Carly Kade Creative for this wonderful interview and sharing my story with her many readers and followers. Here is Carly’s beautiful post, and please take a look at some of the great equestrian authors she has featured since starting this series in 2016. I’m honored to be in their company! #authorsunite

In this 40th Equestrian Author Spotlight, I talk with fellow equine author Valerie Ormond. Of course, we discuss the best topics on earth — writing, books and horses! In the interview, horse book lovers will meet the horse that inspired her to write horse books with an important message. She says, “I believe self-doubt is the single biggest obstacle to people achieving success. One does not have to be rich, famous, brilliant, or beautiful to be successful. It takes belief, and determination, to make a difference.” I couldn’t agree more. Happy reading!

https://www.carlykadecreative.com/blog/equestrian-author-spotlight-meet-valerie-ormond

 

Standing Ovation for Military Writers

Thank you to Ovation Riding for their “Standing Ovation” for Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) and author Robin Hutton and I for our upcoming contributions to the Albuquerque veterans’ writing workshop. I’m thrilled to meet Robin in person in a few days having followed the Sergeant Reckless story for years and having lived in Korea. Her newest book, War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of WWII, tells amazing tales, too, in a riveting look at what our animal heroes did for us all. Here is the link for the full story, and so glad to be part of this team!

Returning Freedom to Those Who Fought for Ours

In honor of the final day of Veterans Month, I share a story I wrote that appeared in the Inside the Gate magazine last month.

Veteran patients from Walter Reed Medical Center didn’t know horses would help them. Gold Star Mothers didn’t realize how equine relationships would evolve. And military families weren’t aware of local horse facilities and the joy they would bring their children. Horses Help Heroes marched in and made a difference. [Read more…]

A Lucky Call to Serve

So excited to share this story featured in the beautiful Sidelines magazine. I had the opportunity to write this story about inspiring young Jessica Groen, her road to the U.S. Air Force Academy, and her special connection with our horse, Lucky. (Click above for full story.)

Lucky also happens to be a central character in books Believing In Horses and Believing In Horses, Too and has appeared in this blog frequently over the years.

Thank you to the Groen family and the Sidelines editorial staff for helping tell this story.

Benefits of Horseback Riding


Please welcome guest blogger Mike Shortridge –  all the way from Australia!

Horseback riding is an enjoyable pastime for all ages and can be a fun hobby. But it also comes with amazing benefits including offering good exercise and helping to strengthen your muscles.

A ride provides significant exercise, but also offers benefits including improved balance, coordination, and even a meditative effect, helping riders forget about everyday stresses for the duration of the ride.

We caught up with Russ from horseseller.com.au and asked for his top ten ways in which horseback riding can benefit your overall health. Here they are. [Read more…]