Farewell Shanghai

Shanghai 3 Please join me for the final installment of Vic Socotra’s thoughts on one of our Congressional trips to Asia, and a farewell to China.

We wandered down the street and over a couple of blocks. We found the entrance to the subway and went down. It was gleaming and shiny and not at all what I expected. We went down and got to the platform.

The little guy on the subway could have been sixty or he could have been eighty. He could have walked with Mao on the big swing around Chiang Kai Check’s Nationalists, and on to eventual victory in 1948.

He wore a little Mao hat and his gaze was implacable. He was staring at Val’s chest, or he was staring past her chest at me in my trench coat because he was exactly that tall. It was hard to tell. But it was a penetrating gaze, neither friendly nor particularly hostile. It was an intense and unwavering look, like that of a hawk on his prey. I leaned over to Val. [Read more…]

Words of Encouragement

Valerie Ormond Believing In HorsesI opened my LinkedIn messages last week and found a thoughtful, professional recommendation from a colleague about my Navy life, my writing, and Believing in Horses.

I have known this colleague, Joe, for over 20 years. He was one of my senior officers in the Navy. Joe is the kind of guy who asks how you are doing, waits to hear the answer, and truly cares what you have to say. He is a gentleman, a strategic thinker, and a prolific writer. He can be counted on as the guy in a room who will be the first one to stand up and ask a question during that awkward silence while a speaker is waiting for someone to do so. And Joe asks the hard questions everyone else in the audience wants to know the answers to also. I’ve always had great respect for Joe. [Read more…]

Belles of Steel

Jeanette Vaughan

I am humbled today to be named one of AgeView Press’s “Belles of Steel.” The full story is available on author Jeanette Vaughan’s blog.

http://jeanettevaughan.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/belle-of-steel-10-captain-valerie-ormond-usn-ret/

Jeanette is a wonderful writer and recent winner of the Military Writer’s Society of America silver medal for her historical fiction, “Solo Vietnam.”

Thank you, Jeanette, for this honor, and for documenting a piece of my own personal history in such an interesting way. A salute to you!

Jeanette Vaughan Flying SoloJeanette Vaughan Solo Vietnam

 

Setting and Reaching Goals

I saw this quote today which confirmed to me I should go ahead and write the blog post I’d been thinking about.

Cumberland, Md., beginning of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Cumberland, Md., beginning of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Zig Ziglar.

I recently biked the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal towpath – 184.5 miles – over a few days.  I had set a goal for myself years ago that this was something I wanted to do in life.  Last May, while my husband and I were on vacation in Shepherdstown, WV, we biked a portion of the canal on our way to Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland and decided it was time to reach for that C&O Canal goal. [Read more…]

One-Liners

One of my virtual friends, Charlie Bray, began a new series featuring one-liners from novels.

http://theindietribe.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/10-one-liners-from-10-novels-collection-one/

I’m pleased to announce that Charlie chose a one-liner from “Believing In Horses” as one of the top ten in the first collection.

“Ten pairs of eyes in various stages of fear, desperation, and sadness, all watching Sadie, seemingly pleading for her to do something” [Read more…]

For You. For Your Horse. From Love.

Today I’d like to bring you a guest post by Nick McFarland from the United Kingdom who explains to us how he became involved in the horse industry. Nick is the owner of HM Equestrian, a retailer: “For You. For Your Horse.” Please join me in welcoming Nick and hearing his story.

In November 2012, I started HM Equestrian, a business built on a family love of horses. But people frequently ask, how did we get here?

Two of Nick McFarland’s horses. McFarland’s love of animals and his family helped drive his business decision.

Well, I first got into all things equestrian through the love of animals and a desire to spend time with my daughter. As a single father, I wanted a common hobby, so we could have a reason to spend time together.With this in mind, and no previous experience of horse ownership, we went out and bought our first horse…who turned out to be pregnant! So after only five months of horse ownership, our first foal was born. Suffice to say this was a very steep learning curve for the entire family. But those first few months of looking after a foal and his mum taught us a huge amount about horses and the way they think. [Read more…]