Christmas Heroes

Christmas brings back my last happy memories with my father. Growing up as “Daddy’s little girl,” it was no family secret that we shared a special bond. Dad served in the Navy in my early years, and I enjoyed hearing sea stories and exotic tales of places he visited. One time he brought home from a Navy cruise a three-foot-tall wooden table shaped like a monkey, which my brother and I named “Baboo.” My mother hated it. Mom’s detest for this furniture-creature among our early Colonial style décor made Baboo that much funnier to me, at six-years-old, and my way more mature older brother at seven. Dad’s sense of humor never stopped, and to this day when I think of him, I see twinkling blue eyes, shiny round cheeks, and a grin that made his entire face smile — just like that last Christmas.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Edward J. Ormond, U.S. Navy

Lieutenant Junior Grade Edward J. Ormond, U.S. Navy

Whether consciously or not, I followed in my father’s footsteps and joined the Navy.  Fiercely proud, my dad visited me at every duty station he could. And when I came home, Dad always wanted me to stop by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter Home, Omaha Beach Chapter Number 7, in Bowie, MD, to show me off to his friends and colleagues in the local veterans’ organizations. Every Christmas, the DAV held a holiday party for the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. Each year, one of the big highlights of the event for the Charlotte Hall residents was the belly dancer. [Read more...]

Fun With Freedom U.S.A. Tour

 

Billy meets Freedom at Loftmar Stables, Bowie, Md.

Sometimes we just have to have fun. Last week, all the way from Vancouver, Canada, Freedom the “Spokes-character” for Voice For The Horse Foundation Children’s International Writing Competition made his first U.S. stop in Bowie, Md. I’ve been fortunate to work as a volunteer helping coordinate the Voice For The Horse annual writing competition for the past three years and serving as a judge.

I had the honor of being the first to host Freedom Flat Stanley to help promote the horse-themed children’s writing competition. We began the tour at Loftmar Stables ,where our Maryland horses welcomed him. [Read more...]

Writing “Do’s” and “Don’ts”

Storyweaving

As part of a Storyweaving Writer’s Workshop, I chose the following quote from a list:

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
-W. Somerset Maugham

I was then told to write the three rules of writing “dos” that work for me, and the three don’ts (in 15 minutes). So, here goes.

WHAT WORKS [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...]

Making A Difference, One Horse, Or Human, at a Time

Hello readers, I was a finalist in Angelea Walkup’s HorseGirlTV Guest Bloggers competition!  Please see the guest post at http://www.horsegirltv.com/making-a-difference-one-horse-or-human-at-a-time/.  Thanks, Angelea, and Team HorseGirlTV for inviting me to stop by.

Creating Your Story Mountain

    I like to share, particularly when I’ve invested time at a conference and gained information of potential value to others. So, read on, and consider having saved yourselves several hundred dollars and a few hours of your lives. In your chairs, I’ll bring you highlights of a lecture and exercise during the American Horse Publications’ 2012 Seminar in Williamsburg, VA.

Jody Jaffe and John Muncie’s dynamic “Better Story Crafting” session at the annual seminar provided tips I thought worthy of repeating.

As career journalists and writing professors, including workshops through their company, The Comma Factory, Jody and John’s discussion focused on the journalistic side. But as reflected in the couple’s own words in the conference program, “Good writing is good writing, regardless of the subject.” I believe the tips I’ve pulled out below apply to all writing, whether it be a blog post, fiction, journalism, or even a personal journal. I tend to like visuals, and points I can easily remember, which may explain why I connected so well with the workshop’s main point:

When writing a story, you are developing a mountain your reader is climbing. [Read more...]