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…]

It’s Not Just a Job

NWVSB

When I joined the military, the Navy’s recruiting slogan was “It’s not just a job; it’s an adventure.” I lived that adventure for 25 years and experienced more than I ever imagined. And now, the adventure continues.

A few months ago I received an e-mail from a former “shipmate,” Linda Maloney, asking if I was interested in becoming a member of a new speakers bureau comprised of female veterans. Linda and I had served together in Air Wing ELEVEN onboard the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72). We were among the first women deployed on combatant aircraft carriers. Being the first at anything presents challenges, and both challenges and deployments create special bonds. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

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.

On Editing

I haven’t blogged in a while – guilty. Not even going to talk excuses like holidays or travel. Nope, no excuse, but a reason: PRIORITY. My PRIORITY has been editing. But I thought I would take a short break from editing to share some thoughts on my recent editing project.

I’m editing my Work In Progress (WIP), Believing In Horses, Too, a sequel to my first novel, Believing In Horses. When I wrote my first book, I edited along the way (and of course, re-edited, re-edited with editors, re-edited again, etc.). I spent more time choosing the exact words during the first draft, rewriting each chapter until I got what I wanted. This time, I followed Stephen King’s approach. From his classic, On Writing:

Editing

“On Writing” also includes great editing advice

With the door shut, downloading what’s in my head directly to the page, I write as fast as I can and still remain comfortable….If I write rapidly, putting down my story exactly as it comes to mind, only looking back to check the names of my characters and the relevant parts of their back stories, I find that I can keep up with my original enthusiasm and at the same time outrun the self-doubt that’s always waiting to settle in. [Read more…]