Monthly Archives: March 2015

Do NOT Let Them Win…with Thanks to Anna Blake

When you were younger…heck maybe even last week…did someone tell you, you just weren’t enough? Maybe not thin enough, or pretty enough, or young enough, or clever enough? Not necessarily in a shaming way, but “for your own good”

Anna Blake has written something so profound, I really want you to take a look. Yes, it’s about riding horses. But it’s also about being true to yourself, and not listening to people who want to ‘help’ by tearing you down:

TIPS FOR A FAT RIDER talks about being aware of your entire self, not just one aspect, whether it’s weight, hair, complexion or anything else that makes you feel ‘less.’

Let yourself stand out

Let yourself stand out

How often have we hesitated taking on a new project, or maybe going to a conference, until we’re enough? Maybe until we’ve lost enough weight, or we can afford that wicked new wardrobe? We let ourselves worry so much about how we look, we stop ourselves.

We do the same in our writing. We write and rewrite and edit over and over because we are so sure our words are just not good enough. Of course we want to send out our very best but at some point we need to say ENOUGH and just send our book out into the world.

I’m guilty of this on both ends of the question, not always having the confidence I should and also being automatically judgmental. Not a pretty picture either way. I’m working on that as we speak.

It’s been a gloomy few days here in New Mexico. Some rain to make up for the gray but I gotta say my solar batteries are running low!

low lying clouds on South Mountain...bet those people were feeling gloomy!

low lying clouds on South Mountain…bet those people were feeling gloomy!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Treats for Man and Beast, and a Bit of Politics

The rain started fairly early today and has continued, soft and unrelenting. No Agility with Fire Dragon since that practice area is outdoors. So I baked a bit, read a bit, did club work, and finished the final polish on A Question of Honor.

Here’s a photo of someone else’s treats

It’s been a while since I shared recipes, and I thought it would be fun to offer something for noshing this weekend. A few days ago I made liver/turmeric treats for the ‘lukis.’ I was sure I took a picture but…not finding it anywhere. Rats. I had a great (okay, probably a bit pathetic) joke about how the dog treats looked like the brownies I was planning to make. Wait, I found a picture of someone else’s…wow they cut much nicer than I do.

The liver treats are a couple pounds of raw liver, 1/2 cup Organic turmeric, 1/2 cup coconute or olive oil, and 1/5 tsp fresh ground pepper. Toss it all in a food processor. When all the lumps are gone, pour out on a tray, bake in a 350 F oven until done. Cut up. Store in refrigerator and freezer. These are a fairly sure way to get turmeric into the fussiest dog.

here's my brownies

here’s my brownies

Now, brownies…low carb and relatively healthy! They call these MIRACLE BROWNIES and that’s pretty accurate if you’ve been looking for an uber chocolate cakey dessert. Theirs look pretty good Chocolate brownie with nuts on plate, close-up - Tony Hutchings/Photographer's Choice/Getty Imagesactually much prettier than mine since I forgot myself editing and, well…I’m just gonna put a tiny picture up.

Yeah, kinda well done. But they ARE super chocolate which sometimes I just want, ya know? If you look at the recipe, I only used a cup total of Erithrytol so they’re not near as sweet as a lot of people might like to eat.  You can make your own adjustments.

In amongst this I added my support to those attempting to guide animal legislation through the New Mexico state legislature. This particular bill showed up and was the recipient of a strong push, which always makes one suspicious. There is a possibility (certainty) of unintended consequences when bills are produced and pushed without a lot of thought.Fortunately we have some brilliant people who understand how this process works and they are able to expend much effort to make the rest of us understand and help where possible, if only contact legislators via e-mail and by phone. None of us want to see any animals suffer but too many of the bills written to protect animals do the opposite.

003EDITING TO ADD: THE BROWNIES ARE MUCH MUCH MORE WONDERFUL THE NEXT DAY!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Stuff of Our Dreams

I read and write Romance. Obviously I enjoy the genre. But some of the tropes can really bother me. You know the ones I mean…the perfect woman who doesn’t know how gorgeous she is and the wealthy, young, hard bodied, sex all the time hero. The fantasy lives of romance characters. Fun reads. But once in a while I want to read about the not quite perfect people who find each other.  But…that’s not the way it’s written. Is it?

I found this Carly Simon song I think I heard a few times long ago. And I’m so very happy to find it again to share with you because…well, it’s just too perfect. And I found the lyrics so we can enjoy it even more. Because some of us didn’t find and marry the perfect man, only the man who was perfect for us.

And ya know I’m getting wired up to revisit those not so perfect people I’ve been writing about. It’s been a bit too long.

THE LYRICS

Take a look around now
Change the direction

At the beginning of the journey

Perfect for Each Other

Adjust the tuning
Try a new translation
Don’t look at your man in the same old way
Take a new picture
Just because you don’t see shooting stars
Doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect
can’t you see…

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of
It’s the slow and steady fire
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of
It’s your heart and soul’s desire
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of

So what’s this about your best friend?
She’s got a brand new shiny boy
And they’re moving out to Malibu
To play with all his pretty toys
And you feel closed in by the same four walls
The same old conversation
With the same old guy you’ve know for years
But use your imagination

And you will see….

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of
It’s the slow and steady fire
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of
It’s your heart and soul’s desire
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of

What if the Prince on the horse in your fairytale
Is right here in disguise
And what if the stars you’ve been reaching so high for
Are shining in his eyes

Don’t look at yourself in the same old way
Take another picture
Shoot the stars off in your own backyard
Don’t look any further
And you will see
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of….

From: CARLY SIMON LYRICS

Sit back, put your feet up and let’s just enjoy!

003

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Passages and Passings…How many?

So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
So near is God to man,
When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
The youth replies, I can.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I first saw this poem when I was preparing my high school junior year poetry assignment. I was choosing poems related to “Courage” although some of them seemed chosen as a lament against sending off young men to fight wars for old men. That was such a long time ago…and I feel even more strongly today.
I guess I’m in a contemplative mood because I’m show chair (manager) for the next two Saluki Nationals (our big show for the year.) Not quite sure what prompted me to put in an application…yikes! The chair is involved in pretty much everything to do with the show, which includes what goes into the catalog. One page is dedicated to Saluki people we lost since the last show. That damned list just gets longer and longer.
Recent losses of public people have caused such personal grief. I went looking for a specific song, and found this version
The significance of this version? From the You Tube page:
***
This version was recorded in memory of the Dunblane Massacre 13 March 1996, were 16 children and one adult got killed.
A new verse was written, and the children choir who sing the chorus are brothers and sisters of the victims.
The song was released 9 December 1996, and it reached number 1. The proceeds went to charities for children.
New verse;
Lord these guns have caused too much pain
This town will never be the same
So for the bairns of Dunblane
We ask please never again***
Sadly we can’t do much about the people we lose to illness or accident. But how long are we going to keep throwing people in harm’s way? And how long will we keep hurting each other?  I used Peter Paul and Mary a few blogs ago. And I found Bob Dylan, with his own interpretation.
“How many deaths will it take…??”

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sunday,..Music to Love By

It’s late Saturday night. I’m noodling around looking for sentimental music to share for Sunday. Remember this one? What deeply emotional lyrics. And remember this singer?

“I want to see your face in every kind of light…”

Oh yeah, that one gets me every time. Are those kind of men around today? Of course they are. And I don’t mean just those songwriters. Going back a bit further…same singer, different song

Then again, not all men are so exemplary. When they’re not, we have singers like Carly Simon to take them down a peg or two

And again…Carly Simon, singing about marriage and relationships

Sitting back, sipping at my coffee. Come join me?

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Paying it Forward…to Martha Doster

Martha's Body Bueno

Martha doesn’t know I’m writing this but if anyone deserves recognition for the way they live their lives and affect the people around them, it’s Martha Doster.  I met Martha in 2008. She had closed her iconic personal happiness store in Albuquerque and taken her business on line. Since then she has worked unceasingly to help others. She encourages small businesses, works with women’s organizations, supports local vendor gatherings, and shares her knowledge of scents and lotions with anyone who needs help. For this last she does get paid!

MARTMarthasplaceHA’S BODY BUENO is why my skin is decent and my hair is healthy even though my beauty routine is more ‘get ‘er done’ than taking meticulous care. I’ll get to her wonderful products in a minute. First I’d like to tell you about this very special woman.

As I said, Martha helps others before she helps herself. She keeps loose change and small bills readily available for those on street corners and stop lights who old up signs asking for help. She’s pointed out they might not all be legitimate but the ones who are deserve help. She recycles, oh my does she recycle, helping the planet as much as the people.

No matter how busy or tired she  might be, Martha makes hospital visits with sick friends, picks up meals for shut ins, and as much as possible attends gatherings that mark the events in her friends’ lives.

Massage Candles - with Hemp & Soy

Massage Candles

If you check out the website you’ll find hand made lotions, creams, and oils which can be scented to your personal preference or left completely unscented. Multiple selections in shampoos, conditioners, body washes can leave you feeling fresh and clean no matter how dusty you got pulling weeds or playing with the dogs.

There is also a discreet selection of ADULT TOYS AND GIFTS for your pleasure or to stimulate the imagination when writing those delicate scenes.

From the website: Our mission statement says it all -we want to make you feel good, smell yummy, and save the earth!

When (if) I grow up, I want to be like Martha!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Reaching Out to Touch…#MFRWAuthor

SUSAN TAYLOR’S BLOG today got me to thinking. About effective advertising, and songs with an impact.

Oh, I took that suggestion to heart. My phone bills were astronomical. Then along came cell phones, and I almost had to take a second job to pay that bill!

But there’s another side. The side that says take that chance, reach out to someone you love, someone you don’t care for, someone you don’t even know.

Susan is one of the people I met through the Your Turn Challenge, inspired by SETH GODIN

If you’re not following Seth’s blog yet, you really need to check him out. He’s about marketing, production, and doing your very best no matter what.

And take a minute to reach out. Over the phone, face to face. It can make a difference to someone.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Step into the Abyss #MFRWAuthor

Okay, it’s Indiana Jones (and isn’t Harrison Ford young??) But it does illustrate the concept of having some faith in yourself.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you look for You Tube videos concerning stepping into the abyss, you’ll find a wide range of choices. Several have to do with the space station, and have a caption:

Every second boy wants to become a cosmonaut. The profession seems romantic and dangerous.

Sorry, that’s a digression. I was amused at the idea that only a boy wants to be a cosmonaut. Seriously? Since my days of reading Andre Norton I was torn between training horses and exploring space. Neither one of which was practical but hey a girl can dream.

The point I think I’m making is, nothing in life is guaranteed. All we can do is use the gifts we’re given as best we can.
Bulbs planted will come up. Recipes attempted will be edible. And I will eventually adjust to the time change.

Eventually we'll wake up...honest

Eventually we’ll wake up…honest

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Setting the Scene…A Question of Honor #MFRWAuthor

I’m about to send back edits on my next book, and then have discussions with the cover designer. Since the book is set on a ranch in northern New Mexico, I’m offering some of my pictures as background.

Do you prefer

MOUNTAINS

011005

The Road to Willow Springs

ROADS

009

SUNSETS

019

005

SUNRISES

OR JUST CLOUDS

New Mexico Storm Clouds

006

Actually I wanted to share some pretty pictures. And LOOK no dogs!

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Faking Your Way to Success

A year or so ago, I found this TED talk from 2012. I remind myself to go back and rewatch as often as possible.

Today this phrase jumped out: “Women feel chronically less important than men” Looks like some of us need to break ourselves out of this state of being.

And  THIS CHART a visual reminder of body language.

Even if I wasn’t born or raised to succeed in something I could ask myself: What does a successful person in this field do? Even more to the point: How does a successful person act/speak/behave? Hasn’t helped with my housekeeping but it has more than once pulled me out of a deep abyss.
Then I found out, more often than not, these successful people were faking it right along with me.

Like ANNA BLAKE a successful horse trainer, Dressage rider, rescue organizer. Just as doubt ridden as the rest of us but moving forward every day.

Step by step, arms in the air. We’re all in this together and together we will succeed.

7 Comments

Filed under Promotion, Romance Writing