Hitting it Big at Borders

Book signing for Believing In Horses by Valerie Ormond on July 16, 2011

Book signing for Believing In Horses at Borders, Annapolis, Md. on July 16th, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

July 16th, will mark a new “first” in the Believing In Horses experience – a book signing at a major bookstore, Borders, in Annapolis, Md. To some, this may not seem to be such a big deal. After all, Believing In Horses is a BOOK, and Borders is a BOOK store, so why should people stop what they are doing to read this post? Let me explain.
Remember the story The Little Engine That Could, about the small engine that pulls a train over the mountain while repeating its motto: “I-think-I-can”? Or maybe for horse lovers, remember Seabiscuit, the scrawny colt no one believed in who overcame all odds to become a world-famous racehorse? Well, getting a book from a small press like J.B. Max Publishing into a large bookstore like Borders represents a similar feat.
You see, large bookstores like to deal with big publishers and major distributors; it’s much easier than working with the less known. However, I’ve found once again, decent people exist who provide chances for the little guys like me. I asked, and the Sales Manager at Borders, Annapolis, welcomed me, as a local author, with enthusiasm and professionalism. Maybe he felt me telegraphing, “I-think-I-can” in my request. [Read more…]

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…]

Fun First Events

Since the official release of Believing In Horses on March 21st, I discovered that book events are fun.  My clever and talented brother developed a talk show format for presentations in schools, “Books Alive with Reed Moore,” which gets kids participating and interested in the subject.  Reed Moore (also known as the Believing In Horses EdUCator) made the kids laugh, think, and unable to wait to ask questions.  Even those who appeared disinterested at first couldn’t help but be motivated by Reed Moore’s energy!  Tremendous audiences at Harmony Hills Elementary School, Silver Spring, MD, and Tracey’s Elementary School, Tracy’s Landing, MD, read aloud, played along with the activities, and asked thoughtful questions.  Parents and teachers groaned at some of the campy jokes, but something in common happened across the rooms no matter the age:  sparks.

Eddy Ormond and Valerie Ormond at Books Alive with Reed Moore

Eddy Ormond (left) and Valerie Ormond speak to students at Tracey’s Elementary School as part of the “Books Alive with Reed Moore” Tour.

Author Kathi Appelt, mentioned in my last blog, recommends writing like your fingers are “on fire.”  Author Valerie Sherwood encourages writing about what genuinely interests you so words “catch fire” with readers.  I’m sure if I searched, I’d find many other fiery writing quotes, but I think you get the point.  However, I discovered it is one thing to hear and read others’ advice, and quite another to see that sparkle in people’s eyes in person when a book comes alive.  [Read more…]

Just Add Magic

 

 

Just Add Magic

Abracadabra–it’s official:  I AM a writer.  I learned this, among other things, while attending my first all-day writing conference, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia Region Spring Conference.  Over 190 attendees included beginner and experienced writers, illustrators, editors, agents, and more.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to make some new acquaintances, including Cindy Callaghan, author of Just Add Magic, which seemed an appropriate image for this blog, for reasons you’ll understand if you read to the end (not fair, I know!).

Since I don’t think anyone wants to hear my play-by-play description of the conference, I’m going to report a short takeaway from each speaker I saw.  (Due to breakout sessions, I could not see/hear all speakers).  My highlights may not be the same as someone else’s, but that’s part of the beauty of conferences – the ability to listen for the messages applicable to you. [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 Art of Photography

Lucky Southern Maryland Horse Association Show 2010

I appreciate the art of photography, which is one of the reasons I chose this form of “illustration” for  my novel, Believing In Horses.  Besides the fact that the story is modern and photographic images are intertwined in the plot, I truly value what it takes to capture a good photograph.  I studied photography in high school, college, and at the Defense Information School and understand the supposed qualities of good pictures.  I also know that I can’t take a good picture to save my life, which may help explain why I appreciate the art form so much.I love the picture here, whether it follows all the conventions of the “rule of thirds,” contrast, or not.  This picture, to me, tells a story.  The position of the horse’s head, the slightly tattered barn door, the garment bag peeking out from behind the last ribbons — they all tell us something about that exact moment in time.  I happen to know the story, which makes it easier, but I would hope that even the casual observer could view this photo and feel like it meant something. [Read more…]