A Touch of Class

Growing up as a horse lover in Maryland, I never imagined I would win an award like Maryland’s Touch of Class Award someday. The Touch of Class Award honors Maryland horses, individuals, teams, organizations, or events that demonstrate national or international excellence. The Maryland Horse Industry Board honored me and my second book, Believing In Horses, Too, for  our winning entry in the 2019 EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Awards.

The Department of Agriculture’s Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) presented the award at Maryland Horse Council’s Virtual Annual Meeting in Nov. 17, 2020. MHIB Executive Director Ross Peddicord said, “We have so many talented artists in Maryland – writers, artists, filmmakers, photographers, and more – and Valerie is one of them.”

MHIB’s official announcement read, “Valerie Ormond’s second novel, Believing In Horses, Too, won a Gold Medal in the Military Writers Society of America Book Awards; 1st Place in The Authors’ Zone Book Awards; Best Y.A. Fiction in the Stroud Arts Book Festival; Best Book in Juvenile Fiction in the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, and Best Veterans Fiction in the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award. Congratulations!”

Past winners of the Touch of Class award have been world champion Maryland horses, mules, and riders. Disciplines have included dressage, eventing, hunters, jumpers, jousting, steeplechase, polo, mounted shooting, rodeo, driving, pentathlon, polocrosse, endurance, therapy, and racing. Individual winners have been barn owners, facility managers, horse trainers, competitors, breeders, filmmakers, writers, and photographers. Maryland established the prestigious Touch of Class Awards program in September 2011.

The award is personally rewarding to me as I see my Believing In Horses books as a coalescence of my horse, military, research, and writing experiences. The Believing In Horses, Too story is based in Maryland and highlights equine therapies, show competition, rescue horses, veterans, and military families. I appreciate the state of Maryland for supporting me and my work with this remarkable touch of class.

 

 

Help for Homeschoolers!

I want to offer help to parents struggling to homeschool their children, a job most parents are not trained to do. My solution also helps parents fill a void for their horse crazy kids missing their horse activities due to the current COVID19 shutdowns.

Teacher’s Tack for Believing In Horses is available for free here as a PDF file. This teacher’s guide accompanies my book, Believing In Horses, an inspirational story about a strong-willed girl in a military family who commits to saving unwanted horses. My brother, Eddy Ormond, developed learning plans and fun activities, complete with a full homeschooling module to accompany the book. [Read more…]

In the Moment

Pileated Woodpecker

For many us, our worlds have turned upside down in a matter of weeks. COVID-19 has put us in situations we are not used to. Last week, I took a moment to write a poem that came to me, inspired by a pileated woodpecker.

“In the Moment”

Out the window I spy, [Read more…]

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

 

In Memory of Journalist John McNamara

 

John McNamara, July 30, 1962 – June 28, 2018

One year ago today, a gunman opened fire in the Captial Gazette’s newsroom in Annapolis killing five employees, injuring two others, and shocking the region. I had the opportunity to spend time with one of those fallen reporters in 2016, and in John McNamara’s honor, I share his words today.

A passion for writing, riding

By John McNamara

How many little girls grow up scribbling in notebooks, wanting to write and obsessing about horses?

Bowie native Valerie Ormond did. [Read more…]

Veteran Writing Services Celebrates Five Years in Business!

Who would have known that the first scribblings of a horse book would turn into Veteran Writing Services, now a a successful company for five years?

As crazy as it sounds, I woke up one night in October 2009 with an idea for a book sparked by an idea from a friend. My supportive husband understood, and I went to the living room and took down notes until early in the morning for what became the outline of my first book, Believing In Horses. I also fortunately had former bosses [Read more…]