Wednesday, March 28, 2018

About my social media

It's finally happened. I came to my senses. After years of wanting to make a change, but succumbing to the siren song of a few connected readers, I said good bye to Facebook and my author page.

I said farewell to Twitter months ago.

It wasn't a hard decision. This was something that I felt needed to be done for some time. I've been needing to simplify my life. Besides, I've been enjoying sharing pictures on instagram far more and wanted to cut down my accounts to those that I find most useful. Just as I deleted my MySpace account many years ago, so too have Twitter and Facebook lost their luster and been tossed into the rubbish bin.

Social media has changed our world, and not for the better. I grew up without social media in a time when people actually called each other on the phone or spoke. (Yes--you know that hole in your face? That actually can make words and express meaning more so than words hastily typed on a computer screen, and you are more likely to think carefully about what comes out of it.) I lived most of my life with the contact of others in-person, not through a computer screen.

There is a deprivation of culture in our technological society. It stems from the evils of social media and the inadequacies of instant access and short statements without the explanations for full context to form thoughtful replies. It also steals time and makes us lazy. What little good can come from connecting with others too far away to contact in person can be easily overwhelmed by the unconscious comparisons to others and being too quick to judge.

I've been seeking to get back to a healthier lifestyle, one in which I speak to my closest friends and family rather than wait to see what they post online for all the world. I want less of the stress that those forms of social media bring and certainly less of the toxic atmosphere they can fuel.

Most of all, I want to enjoy life without the attachment to my computer. I'll carry a phone with instagram, but my phone is mostly a device for actually speaking to people, not for ignoring my surroundings and the beauty of this world that we will too soon leave behind. When my time comes, I don't want to look back and realize how much I missed. At least in sharing pictures, I am showing the life that is offline.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Horsing around with my little Buddy

I've been going out to see my boy regularly all winter, although I haven't ridden him since late October or early November. With all the snow and ice we've had on the ground, he's been enjoying time in the arena, where he doesn't have to worry about slipping. Today he was a little more reserved than he has been but still enjoyed stretching his legs.

Two months ago, I started supplementing him with Vitamin E and then Smartgut and Aloe Vera pellets from Smartpak and he's really blossomed for me and has been feeling especially good. The pressure points indicating ulcers are much less touchy, in fact hardly at all anymore, and his stools are always formed and he doesn't poop all the time like he used to. It's made a world of difference for him.

At one point in the video, I comment about him looking sore going one direction. He's usually the opposite, but he could have some muscle soreness from bad footing (deep snow) in the pasture or from his habit of being tight in his poll and jaw, which I also work out with a little massage and myofascial release when I take off his halter. He could also need chiropractic work, but these little issues tend to work out themselves with him by the next time I see him. No worries.

I can't wait to start riding again, but in the meantime, I bring him in to stretch his legs on some solid footing and then do some in-hand lateral and natural horsemanship work. We'll start lunging soon under saddle and getting back to work.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Kindle ebook giveaway

Sign up beginning on March 7 (Wednesday) on Goodreads to win a copy of Awakening (The Luriel Cycle, Book 1) for your kindle. Since I can't make the price free, this is the next best thing (except that I have to pay to give copies away).

To get a free copy from any other retailer, visit or click on the link below this page's banner for "The Luriel Cycle".

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Books and cats

Books and cats, and books and cats, and...

That was my attempt at playing on this post and turning it into beat boxing.

Not happening, huh?

Never mind, then. I'll get to the point.

I've been working hard to finish Eternal, the third of The Luriel Cycle trilogy. I finished the first draft of Enlightenment last fall, did major edits at that time, and then began writing Eternal. When I'm done with this first draft, I'll go back to Enlightenment and make the final edits. I hope to release Enlightenment in June of this year with Eternal following up in August or September.

Then...I don't know what I'll do. Maybe go back to one of my other works. I'm surprised by the requests I've had recently for a sequel to Legend of the White Dragon. However, I really want to return to my characters on the fictional world of Derandria. I could also return to more Starfire stories, or I could start something totally new. I'm not sure where my muse will take me. I live in the moment of whatever story idea grabs me when I'm available to write it.

Until then, I'm enjoying the lessons of the Shadow Realm with Lilly and the other characters of The Luriel Cycle stories. The drama is done and she's been on the run to reach Darrac, making new allies and confronting old enemies.

I am hoping to finish the first draft of Eternal by tax day. With my part-time job, family responsibilities, animals to care for, and taking care of myself, writing doesn't always happen at the pace I'd like.

When I'm writing, I usually end up with a cat or two on and/or next to me. Many of my pictures end up on my instagram account @melanienilles_author, but not always ...

I almost never get anything done when this big boy crawls
onto my lap and makes himself comfortable!

Love snuggling with Jack,
our other big boy,
although he looks small at this angle.

Jack, in a box

Hubby and I with all four cats 

Three cats on me!