Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Planning for Disaster

We don’t get a lot of natural disasters in Upstate New York. Well, we get snow storms. All. The. Time. (In winter, obviously. Which is Thanksgiving to Mother’s Day.)

We do get severe thunderstorms and flood warnings in the summer. Sometimes even a tornado that does very isolated damage and doesn’t last long. Mostly they are EF0, but history says we’ve had EF1s before.

One night this week we had a tornado warning. We chose the “better safe than sorry” route and did go to the basement. It was almost 10:00 at night, so we reasoned that we wouldn’t see it coming if we had one. (And it did happen just down the road from us. More or less destroyed a small cemetery and transplanted a couple of barn silos. Uprooted massive trees, threw little trees across the street, and moved headstones. And that’s an EF0, the weakest kind.)

It made me think, as I grabbed my laptop and the notes for my current writing project, that I really should have all my writing stuff in a to-go case of some kind. Even if we don’t have frequent major tornadoes, and the hurricanes we get are mostly burned out into some rain and a bit of wind, there’s still the possibility that we might need to escape to the basement or leave the house completely. The creek behind our house has never overflowed enough to reach us, but it could. A tornado has never hit our neighborhood, but one could, as we just learned. And fire is always a real possibility. We could lose power in a snowstorm and have to journey to a friend’s house.

You just never know when you’ll need to grab the important stuff in a hurry. It would be good not to forget something in the heat of the moment, either. It’s always good to be prepared.

So I’m going to invest in something very soon. Maybe even just a suitcase. Something that will hold all my notes for my various projects, and my laptop. Something I can grab and go.

Today in History

American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza. (photo from Liberty Unyielding via Google images)

I wanted to hold off on making a post until tonight for one reason: my topic was dependent on a horse race.

I like history and I like horses. The Triple Crown is very interesting to me. It’s the biggest test in American horse racing, and very few horses have won it in nearly 100 years. It’s also relevant to my writing because, in my Anderson Stables series, the star equine is an ex-racehorse, and there are several other off-track thoroughbreds throughout the series. That’s why I decided to talk about it a little bit.

I’ve never really followed horse racing exactly. Like many people, I’m sure, I only really tune in for the Triple Crown every year. The first race is the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. A couple weeks later is the Preakness Stakes, then the Belmont Stakes on the first Saturday in June.

It’s not easy for one horse to win all three races. They are different lengths, the longest being the Belmont at a mile and a half. And they are pretty close together. It’s easy for a horse to win the Derby then lose one – or both – of the next two races. Before today only 11 horses had won it: Sir Barton in 1919 (though it wasn’t really called the Triple Crown until the 30s), Gallant Fox in 1930, Omaha in 1935, War Admiral in 1937, Whirlaway in 1941, Count Fleet in 1943, Assault in 1946, Citation in 1948, Secretariat in 1973, Seattle Slew in 1977, and Affirmed in 1978.

And now, American Pharoah in 2015. (And yes, that is how you spell it.)

It was amazing to see history happen right in front of me. It’s the first Triple Crown win of my lifetime. That’s pretty incredible.

Even if no one else thinks so. I’m excited.

I need to write about it…

And if you want to watch it, the New York Racing Association put the video up on Youtube.

Waiting Game

885I struggled to think of a post to write for this week. I have no news to share and I finished rambling on about my research trip.

So I guess I give a random rambling post. The idea is for you to get to know me, right?

Life is kind of a waiting game in so many ways at the moment.

I submitted the third Anderson Stables book a couple of weeks ago. No guarantees that it’ll be accepted, and it still stresses me out.

I’m on the hunt for a new job and waiting for phone calls is a little depressing.

My pony Alec (pictured) is currently doing a trial with the local equine therapy place. Hopefully they like him and want to lease him for a while.

I’m trying to distract myself from all this by writing a fantasy novel. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it published at some point. Then I’ll have that submission waiting game, too.

Ugh, I’m Sorry!

635I’ve been so busy getting the third book in the series ready for submission (and it’s still not) that I completely forgot to schedule a post for this past Saturday! Count me as a failure already.

(Though I admit it, I was also watching the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event all weekend, too. Lots of super impressive off-track thoroughbreds competed, so it was definitely relevant to my writing.)

I think I’ll start telling you about my research trip as an apology. I can break that into a few posts and cover my butt for this week!

So, in January I went to Wellington, Florida to watch one weekend of the Winter Equestrian Festival. It’s a 12-week-long show that takes place there every year. I went because this is where about 98% of the third book takes place. I wanted a feel for the atmosphere and the layout of the place. It was, by far, one of the best experiences I’ve had.636

Leaving cold New York was wonderful. I was really worried about getting there at first, since it was the end of January and my layover was in Newark, New Jersey. But getting there was good. (Getting home was not, but that’s a story for another post.) I’ve never flown into Newark before, so I was impressed to see New York City and the Statue of Liberty from the air. That was pretty cool.

And when we landed in Miami and I could see palm trees? That was super exciting. Especially when the weather was perfect. This was only the second time I had been to Florida. The first time was when I went to Disney for the first time last year. And it was only my third time flying anywhere, period. Flying by myself this time wasn’t exactly fun, but it wasn’t too bad. I met a friend of mine down there, though, and we had so much fun that we talked about making it an annual thing.

How much fun? Stay tuned for Part Two!

Point of View Struggles

108Lately I’ve been pretty frustrated with writing this series. Mainly because I feel weirdly terrible about only telling the story from Vince’s point of view. I feel like I’m neglecting Dustin and his side of the story, even though it’s told through Vince’s point of view. I feel like a mother playing favorites with her children, and I don’t like it.

The problem is that it doesn’t seem right to add a second point of view halfway through the series. And I doubt I’d be able to publish second editions of the first two books to fix the issue.

But I am going to try to fix the issue to the best of my ability.

That’s what many (though not all) of the coming “free reads” will be. I need to tell this story from both points of view somehow. This seems like my best option.

Stay tuned!

Sometimes Creativity Fights Habit


And sometimes I have a writing buddy.

I’ve noticed that I go through weird phases with my writing habits.

Sometimes I’ll go for several days wanting to do my writing on my main computer, which is a desktop at a standing desk.

Other times I want to sit on my bed with my laptop to write, which is all I usually use that computer for.

I even have days where I want to get whole scenes written using the app on my iPhone called iA Writer, which lets me save documents to my Dropbox. I don’t know why I like this option so much because it involves extra work. I have to copy and paste from one document to my main manuscript document. It must be the convenience of using my phone.

Sometimes I like listening to the playlist I have for my current project, and sometimes I’d rather have the background noise of the TV or a loud box fan. Or nothing at all.

And sometimes I don’t want to write until night, while other times I want to write all day.

It’s kind of odd how my brain never wants me to work the same way all the time. Maybe the mild disorder is part of the creative process?