Measuring Success

How do you measure success as a writer?

Novel Publicity posed this as one of its author Facebook page questions last week.  I’ve considered this question regularly, and need to come back to it when I get off track.  I SHOULD develop a writing mantra along the lines of “Success equals creating something meaningful.”  Okay, need to work on the mantra, but I think you get my point.

Forces must have realized I needed to think about it, as I came across Charlotte Carter’s blog entry, Win Vs. Compete.  Her final question:  “Where do you fit on the competitiveness scale?” I’m very proud of my military background and heritage.  However, spending 25-years in competitive organizations among extremely competitive people drove a competitive edge into me that I don’t think was there by nature.  And now, as a writer, it’s time to focus on what I want as part of the process and in the end, not what someone else has defined for me as success. [Read more…]

Believing In Reading

Senator Reilly, Read Across America

Senator Ed Reilly donating Believing In Horses for each elementary school in his district in honor of Read Across America Day

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Dr. Seuss (I Can Read with My Eyes Shut)

Today marked the 14th anniversary of Read Across America Day, and this year, I got to be part of the celebration!

Maryland State Senator Edward R. Reilly (R-District 33, Anne Arundel County), selected my novel, Believing In Horses, as his book donation for each of the 24 elementary schools in his district. Senator Reilly invited me to the State House in Annapolis to deliver the books with him during the Maryland State Education Association’s celebration of Read Across America.

The National Education Association’s (NEA’s) Read Across America Day, which falls on or around Dr. Seuss’s birthday annually, is the nation’s largest reading event. Senator Reilly and I will each be visiting schools to read and discuss Believing In Horses in a continuing celebration of Read Across America throughout the year. [Read more…]

The Story Behind the Music

Thanking the band

Valerie and Gaelic Storm’s Jessi Burns

I mentioned in my last blog that there was a story behind the music in the Believing In Horses book trailer, and here it is.

I LOVE Gaelic Storm’s music. If you’ve seen the book trailer, you’ve heard their music. If you haven’t seen/heard the trailer, click here, and you’re in for a musical treat.  Gaelic Storm is perhaps most famous for being the “band” in steerage in the movie Titanic. Their use of traditional Irish instruments including bagpipes, fiddle, and Irish drums combined with an upbeat rock flavor and lots of spirit make for a foot-stomping, heart-pounding sound like no other. When thinking about music to accompany my book trailer, the choice was easy:  it HAD to be Gaelic Storm. [Read more…]

Endurance

“Endurance” seems an appropriate topic today, in celebration of the 33 Chilean miners rescued, following their 69 days trapped underground.

In horse parlance, the Endurance discipline tests the stamina of horse and rider as they race to compete a long course; at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) it was a 100 mile course. When my husband, Jaime, and I volunteered to support the WEG, we were pleased that our second assignment would be supporting the endurance competition. We both had great interest in the sport and admiration for the athletes, even though we hadn’t participated in endurance riding – yet. Hey, the senior member of the U.S. team, Jan Worthington, competed in the Games at age 70. Talk about hope and endurance! [Read more…]

Wowed at the World Equestrian Games

I am one of those fortunate women whose husband also enjoys horses. Okay – don’t hate me for that.   But because of this shared interest, we get to do a lot of things together that many of my other horse friends don’t share as couples. When we found out the World Equestrian Games (WEG) would be held in the U.S. for the first time ever in Kentucky, it was an easy decision that we would attend. I had to be a bit more convincing when I suggested we volunteer to support the Games. After a year’s coordination with the volunteer staff, we received our assignments as Horse Inspection Stewards, scheduled to support Reining, Endurance, and Dressage. [Read more…]