March 30, 2012

Book Signing Reminder

Just a reminder:  I will be signing my books at the TACK SALE and BOOK SIGNING at Riding with HEART tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farm at 639 County Road 513 Pittstown NJ.

 The open house will provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about equine assisted programs at Riding with HEART. There will be demonstrations of hippotherapy and equine assisted learning as well as the opportunity to take sample lessons throughout the day.
 Michelle Labriola, certified John Lyons instructor of natural horsemanship, will be giving a live training demonstration from 11:30 a.m. to12:30 p.m. She has recently moved from Saratoga, N.Y. and is now basing her training business out the farm. She will be teaching riding lessons this spring to both children and adults with an emphasis on safety.

The tack sale will run throughout the open house with great deals on new and used tack, riding attire and barn supplies. Light refreshments will be served.
 Riding with HEART is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for physically and cognitively challenged adults, children and their families and to provide opportunities for youth development through our diversified equine assisted programs.
 The organization’s next group of programs begins April 9.
 Visit or call 908-735-5912 for more information, to learn about volunteer opportunities or to make a donation.

March 25, 2012

Observation and Writing

This is where my theological training and my writing intersect.  Without the ability to observe I wouldn't be able to write.

On The Spot Equanimity "An on-the-spot equanimity practice is to walk down the street with the intention of staying as awake as possible to whomever we meet. This is training in being emotionally honest with ourselves and becoming more available to others. As we pass people we simply notice whether we open up or shut down. We notice if we feel attraction, aversion, or indifference, without adding anything extra like self-judgment. We might feel compassion toward someone who looks depressed, or cheered up by someone who's smiling to himself. We might feel fear and aversion for another person without even knowing why. Noticing where we open up and where we shut down-without praise or blame-is the basis of our practice. Practicing this way for even one block of a city street can be an eye-opener.”  Comfortable with Uncertainty

March 23, 2012

I'll give you wait...

So yesterday I write about waiting for inspiration, the state I was in at the moment.  Today Adelaide won't shut up in my head.  Perhaps that is a way to deal with writer's block?

March 22, 2012


Some writers use helpers to trigger an end to what they refer to as their block, they read books that give them writing suggestions or work their way through lists of writing assignments.  I prefer to wait.

Writer's block is the bane of most writer's existance.  It sneaks up unexpectedly and suddenly you find yourself cleaning the bathroom instead of typing away.  Now, anyone knows that cleaning the bathroom is the last thing you want to do but sometimes it's preferable to sitting in front of a screen or with pen in hand and just staring.

I prefer to think of writer's block, though, in terms of the growing season. (Yeah, I know, I've lived in a rural county too long.)  Everyone, no matter what their profession, has the fertile summer, the time when ideas come shooting out of your ears and you can't implement them fast enough.  But we also have times when the beer and the Yankees take over and we sit, like mindless blobs in front of the television with no productive time in sight.

Instead of trying to force productivity during those times, I liken them to the winter.  Oh, I know, winter is so bleak.  But we can't force it to become spring.  Nature doesn't run on our timetable.  We have to wait it out.  Even though we can't see what is happening below the surface there are seeds germinating.  We impatient humans just have to wait.

So until the words come, I will write in my blog, sit in front of my spinning wheel as the fiber turns to yarn, watch the Yankees and clean the bathroom.  Something is germinating.  I just have to wait.

March 18, 2012

Quote of the day

"I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

Joan Didion

March 5, 2012

It is all about Free market and Change

Okay I said I was going into hibernation but I have to respond to Sandra’s comment on my post of March 1st.

Just so you all understand where I am coming from in the first place, I publish my paper books using Amazon owned CreateSpace and I publish them as ebooks on Kindle and on Barnes and Noble’s Nook.  Barnes and Noble also carries my paper books.  In my March 1st post I was not referring to a decision to publish on Kindle but just to use one of the publishing plans it is offering to its authors.  I already publish and will continue to do so on Kindle.

To me, the whole discussion centers around free markets and change.  When I wanted to publish my first book I wrote over 100 letters to agents and to traditional publishers asking them to publish my book.  Many politely refused, some didn’t even reply.  It was a heart wrenching experience but I accepted it as reflective of what is going on right now in the publishing industry.  Traditional publishers are becoming more and more exclusive in their selections as the sales of paper books gives way to the use of reading devices.  It’s called progress.

Yes, progress in a free market economy can be brutal.  Yet, just as Amazon in the form of Kindle is refusing to list some publishers, so independent books stores do not carry some publishers.  And for the same reason!  The publishers will not give either Amazon or the Indies enough margin to make it worthwhile for them.  Horrors!  Amazon and Indies in the same boat. 

But it is true.  For an Indie book store to survive these days it must trim its cost of doing business.  In the same way any merchant operates on the back of its’ margin so does Amazon.  In the case of the Kindle books that Amazon recently rejected it is wholly possible that Amazon did not feel the price point at which the publisher wanted to place their works was an acceptable profit point for Amazon.  The Indie store doesn’t always have the same clout as Amazon but this war with the traditionals might be something that eventually benefits the Indie book store.

As for me as an author.  I had no clout with the traditional publisher.  To be fair using the same logic as above, they felt as if they would not make money on the novel of a untried author.  It is their prerogative.  BUT.  I wanted to publish.  Amazon said, come in, make yourself at home.  Oh you may only sell a few copies?  Well we’ll let you give it a try.  No agent or traditional author said that to me and my local Indie bookstore was even less helpful.

It’s about the free market and change.  I will go where I can accomplish what I want to and if someone wants to give me a chance then I will be grateful to them.  I may not accept every offer they make me (after all we don’t buy every new fangled gadget on the market) but I will take advantage of things that forward my dream for me.  Bring it on Amazon.  We all need change, whether we like it or not.

March 1, 2012

Do I or Don't I? Kindle Exclusive

There has been alot of buzz lately surrounding the new Kindle exclusive offering.  I've been mulling it over.  Basically it allows you to put your kindle book out there free for a max of 5 days a month and then publicize it.  It requires you to delist your book from any other ebook source.  I don't think its for me but here are two blog posts which discuss the pros and cons.