Sunday, November 26, 2017

Horsin' Around

It's been a warm winter so far here. Although I would prefer snow, I'll take advantage of what God gives us.

In this case, I've had more opportunities to play with my horse, including riding. I wish I had a picture of it, but maybe another time, I'll get that. We cantered today without Buddy getting upset like he did on our previous attempts. (Long story short--he was cowboy broke when I bought him two years ago, which meant pushed fast and not allowed to learn at his pace. I've been retraining him to be relaxed and willing rather than scared into doing what I want.)

Today, I also had a coach at the fence who got me back into canter. I can't thank her enough. It's been four years since I rode a canter and I was apprehensive, especially since I still consider Buddy in the learning stage and not yet seasoned. The coaching was needed to push me out of my comfort zone, and I knew if something did happen that someone would be there.

Buddy will be five next year, and my goal is to have him comfortable enough under saddle to introduce the big spooky bovines. In other words, I want to start working him on cows. He has the conformation and the moves to make the cows move. The dressage training is just the start of turning him into an everything horse like I had growing up, but even better than them.

After our session giving both of us new confidence, Buddy decided my hood from the vest under my jacket was a fun chew toy.

Buddy and his friend, Ian
(pasturemate, owned by the person who coached us today) 

My Buddy
November 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

Old vs. New

I'm running an experiment of two covers for Awakening...a modification of the old cover (new series name) versus the new cover that it was re-released with last month.

Which do you feel is better for a contemporary/alternate world epic fantasy:


I've made both available online and will be using the old cover for the paperback version. I have the right to use the modified old cover for paperback, but I don't have those rights for the new cover; so, one way or another, the old cover will be used.

I'm afraid the new cover may turn off some people, which is truly disappointing. On an alternate world without our Earth history and the associated racism, skin color shouldn't matter.  Both ebooks are only 99c (USD), but one is generic while the other is character-specific.

Which one do you prefer?

Friday, November 17, 2017

the #metoo phenomenon

We've been surrounded in the news about stories of sexual misconduct and abuse of power. One pebble started an avalanche.

Unfortunately, there are many people who are asking "Why now?" or, even worse, "So what?" Others are saying they're tired of hearing it.

So am I, but not for the same reasons.

Having this linger in the news, to be confronted by it over and over and over brings up unwanted memories of my own #metoo history. I had put the repeated sexual molestation behind me, as I'm sure many of these women did, abandoning hope of ever regaining that control and having justice against those who made us feel ashamed of ourselves or fearful of being powerless or made an outcast. I had moved on.

However, being bombarded with this is like a constant irritant on old scars, rubbing them raw into bleeding again. I believe this is part of the reason we're seeing the explosion of accusations.

The other part is that the bravery of one victim and seeing them believed and accepted as legitimate in their suffering empowers others, like myself, to come forward. (I don't owe any explanations here, except to those who matter.)

Unless you've never experienced the emotions of being a victim of such abuse, you really have no right to judge. I'm tired of people judging. As a victim, you cycle through feeling alone, helpless, ashamed, and violated. It lingers with you, even when you think you've moved past it. The only power a victim has to really recover is to gain power over their abuser by seeing justice served. In my case, that will never happen.

I did, however, regain some of my power when, years after I got out of the situation, my parents believed me. It took my husband--then boyfriend--listening to give me that much courage. And when my parents believed me--and I never thought they would, which was why I didn't tell them sooner (part of what you feel as a victim)--I gained a new strength. Unfortunately, I still had to live with seeing the abuser on occasion; I avoided him when possible until he passed away.

You can deny all you want and say there's no proof; there rarely is, except for the invisible scars. We wear masks to cover those scars. Despite the irritant that this has been to me, this needs to stay in the public awareness to discourage the disgusting behavior of predators and prevent further injuries.