Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Honor's Way Published to Amazon

Kindle and Paperback

Honor's Way, the second book in The Saga of Magiskeep is now officially published.

Kindle Version


Monday, October 27, 2014

Still Working on Stretching

Chance is Back in His Shoes

Scott, my farrier said Chance was pretty sore on his bare foot. I'm not too surprised. After all, he was walking around on one high heel and one flat foot for several days. But he is shod again, so I could ride if I COULD ride. I am still working on stretching my muscles so I can ride. Darn if the thigh muscle on my left leg--where I broke my hip--keeps spasming.

Now, mind you, I am not a wimp. Years of bad knees and pain have plagued me. This really hurts when it knots up. I am suspicious my body does not like the metal implants holding me together. If that so, it means this is something I am just going to have to cope with. Right now, as I sit here "computing" the muscle cramps and then....ouch!  Still, it could be related to the stretching I'm doing.

I am riding a barrel in the back yard near the paddock. I haven't put the saddle on it yet, but is certainly does stretch me around much like Chance would. I am also doing stretching exercises my chiropractor suggested. I did swim several times last week and stretched in the pool which was great. I need to get back over there for more water exercises. Wish it weren't 15 miles away.

On the book front. I have just published Honor's Way up to Kindle. The paperback will be ready in a day. I'm just having a little trouble getting the cover the way I want it. Amazon Publishing is great. They get back to me within a day each time I make a change . Once I'm satisfied, the book goes up for sale in a day or so.

Kingdom Beyond the Rim's sales have slowed. So the timing for the next book is just right.

If you are looking for a new read, it'll be on Amazon sooner than later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Look for Nook

Now We Are Published

I got tired of waiting for Lulu to get my book out to Nook, so I published it myself.

It is now available for NOOK readers at Barnes and Noble.
Kingdom Beyond the Rim for NOOK

Meantime, I am still waiting for iBook and Kobo sites. Looks like iBook is a bit more difficult to do on my own, so I may just wait for lulu.

I am both pleased and a bit surprised that the Kindle version is still selling. Again, not thousands, but averaging 20 a day. Not bad at all for a first book.

The second book, Honor's Way is  available for eReader at  It will be available through Amazon Kindle and paperback in another week.  I will be very interested to see how it does.

On the horsey front, I am working on stretching my muscles so I can ride. Meantime, Chance has now lost one of his bar shoes with the pads. I did a search for it yesterday, but I have been teaching since last week, so my time and energy were a bit limited. I hope to have some more daylight time today to so a more thorough search of the pasture and paddocks for it.

The poor kid is walking around in one high heel and one flat foot. I'm sure it must feel strange to him.

I thought I might try another ride this week, but until that shoe is back on, it doesn't look promising. Guess I will just put the saddle on my barrel and stretch instead. At least it's not likely to run away with me. *G*

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EBook Taking Its Time

Available and 'Not'

Kingdom Beyond the Rim is available for eReaders at, but it still is not in wider distribution.

There is some kind of convoluted review process it is going through at the moment. According to the site where I published, it may take 2-4 weeks to show up for Nook, iReader, and other book formats.

As a result, I have already started the ePub publishing of Honor's Way, the second book in The Saga of Magiskeep.  

By the time I publish it for Kindle and paperback, it may be ready to come out for eReaders as well. Timing is all here.

The learning curve for self-publishing is proving very interesting, that's for sure.

In the meantime, to my surprise, Kingdom for Kindle, is still selling. I've run out of friends to buy it, so I guess it's people I don't know at this point. Certainly not NY Times bestseller, but not bad, not bad.

Not bad at all.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Moral Dilemma

What to Do? 

There is now a roadside memorial where the young woman was killed. If you look at the top right of the picture, you can just see my house. In the background, behind the leaves and brush, is the fencing for my front paddock. You can see the burn marks on the tree and surrounding ground. 

There is a floral cross, bouquets, little electric candles and purple ribbon with balloons on the burned tree. 

Eventually, I would like to have the remains of the tree removed. My propery line is perhaps another fifty feet to the left. The tree is at least five feet off the road. Have to wonder had it not been there to stop the car where it would have landed. Likely on my lawn or even through my fence. The ground slopes down from the road bed. 

The blind hill on the road is further up to the left. There is tree on the other side of the road with purple ribbon on it. It's the first tree she hit.

While I understand and respect the family's and friends's needs to mark this spot, how long? And, will it start to attract people here? I've already consulted with the police about the danger. Anyone standing alongside the road in that spot is in danger, and cars parked along the road there are also at risk. The road has no shoulder and there is no place to park nearby--except my driveway.

So far, in the rain today, I have not seen any activity. There may never be any more than perhaps a few close friends. However, Ms. Pappas was a very popular school teacher in North Brunswick. I've since found out she taught sixth grade. I am still a little worried that school children and young teens might start to show up.

If no one does come, all well and good.

But then the rest of the dilemma. How long should the memorial stay there? The balloons and ribbon are pretty ostentatious. The flowers are going to dry up and just kind of lie there. The cross? Who knows?

There is a controversy all over the country about these memorials, and now I find myself in the midst of it. I would just as soon take down the tree and clean up the burned debris so the grass will grow.

As Sandburg would say,
"Shovel them under and let me work—
                                          I am the grass; I cover all."

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Terrible News

Tragic Accident Near My House

Before you panic, my horses and I are fine. We were not involved, although my horses may well have seen everything. The accident happened about 25 feet from the fence of their front paddock.

A car struck a tree on the other side of the road, spun around into one of my trees and then caught fire.  I, thankfully, was at school teaching at the time and not home. Otherwise, I am sure I would have been right there trying desperately to help.

My neighbor heard a huge bang and ran out. When he saw the flames, he got a small fire extinguisher and tried to put the fire out. Then he saw, enveloped in the airbags, the young woman driver. He tried to smash the car window with his fist as the flames started up again.

Meanwhile, my cousins and their contractor who were at my Aunt's house next door ran out. Everyone was frantically dialing 911 for police and fire. Their contractor grabbed the only thing left in the house--the house is for sale-- a bigger fire extinguisher and ran down the road to help.

Again, they could not put out the fire, but they used the extinguisher to smash the car side window. They could not get the door open because the car's battery, along with all kind of engine parts was somewhere strewn on the road. We're not sure what exactly happened, but the woman, who had regained consciousness and was begging for help, died soon after. Then the car was engulfed in flames along with my tree and potentially all the forested area beyond--which would have included my barn.

The fire department arrived too late to save the driver, but did hose down the car and the surrounding trees averting an even worse disaster--if things could be worse.

The woman's husband arrived at some point, speeding down the road. He was a police officer from the next Township over, and she was an elementary school teacher from the same Township.  I think my cousin overheard that he had been talking to her on the cell phone at the time of the crash and heard her screams. He knew she was somewhere on my road and had raced over--again, too late.

Even if someone had gotten the car door open, it would not have mattered since she was horribly pinned in the car. The police told my neighbor there was absolutely nothing he could have done.

My road was closed for at least three hours. Normally, I would have come home during that time, but I had a chiropractor appointment that kept me away until everything was cleared up. I saw the darkened pavement and the damaged tree but thought that perhaps the road department had been by to clear out the drain in that area. It was only when my neighbor rang the doorbell that I found out what had happened.

He didn't know my cousins were at the other house, but they had called me trying to get in touch. They figured I wasn't home, because the didn't see my car. But I guess they left messages on my cell phone--which I didn't have with me at the chiropractor.

Just as well. I don't think I wanted to see any of it, or know about it then. It was bad enough hearing the story afterward.

I slept very badly last night as a consequence and am still upset today. The woman was only 35, with a young son at home and a baby on the way.

The tree where she died is only about 200 feet from my bedroom window. All night, I keep feeling her still there.

I prayed for her and her family and will continue to do so.

There is nothing else to do.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Confessions of a Sore Rider

So, I Sat in the Saddle

It was a beautiful day.

I'd lunged Chance a day or so ago, and he was quiet, well behaved and more sound than he'd been in a long time.

Today, I took the saddle out and decided I mount up for about five minutes.

I did not have anyone here to help, so my plans were minimal. Chance has never done a thing wrong under saddle, so I wasn't worried about him. His only vice is wanting to go out on the trail, so that when we ride near the gate out to the woods, he tends to stop and try to head for it.

No biggie.

Assuming his rider can use her legs to push him on. Also assuming his rider is not in pain in her thigh muscles and both hips. Also assuming that her knees don't hurt.

Assume all you will. None of the above were true. It hurt. My muscles just did not want to work once I was in riding position.

Most curious, as in all the years I have had moderately long layoffs, this has never happened before. My body, after over 50 years of riding knew what it was supposed to do, it simply couldn't do it.

So Chance meandered towards the gate and kind of stood there, waiting for me to tell him what to do. He was a perfect gentleman. I finally managed to wiggle a leg and the bit enough to get him to keep on walking.
Some of my muscle pain/tightness eased up a little, but never enough for me to truly ride. I had Chance trot about ten steps which actually felt better to me as it let my legs stretch a little. But there was no way I could do much more.

Clearly, I am going to have to do some stretching exercises for my thighs and hips before I can ride for more than a few minutes. I have an IGallop machine here and I've put one of my old saddles on it. I can work on myself using that.

Bit of a surprise, as I said. Then again, none of the exercises I did in rehab focused on stretching my legs around a horse. I guess that's all up to me.

It will be interesting.

Just overcame a computer crash of sorts. Suddenly, my keyboard just stopped working. I have no idea why and was in a bit of a panic. Then, I remembered someone's recent post on Facebook about what they did when one of their devices stopped working. System Restore! Fortunately, I was able to access it without my keyboard as my mouse was still working. Set my computer back in time to October 3, and here I am.


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Paperback Published!

Kingdom Beyond the Rim on Amazon

Well, in a few days. I published last night and was messaged that it takes 3-5 business days to show up for sale.

I had to price the book at $19.95 to cover the costs of printing and distribution. I might have gotten it lower if I had decided to just make it available through Amazon, but I chose to let other distributors and bookstores sell it, and that raises the cost. Still, most books in that format with that many pages cost about that much, so it's actually within the market range.

I am considering buying some copies at my author's price, though. I could still sell them myself and make a bit of profit. Especially if they are autographed.

Yeah, that's if anyone wants an autographed copy.

Kindle sales have been pretty good so far. I suspect once everyone who  knows me buys a copy that will stop. I'd like to think word of mouth might spread that it's really a good book, but time will tell.

Meantime, I am waiting for the proof copy of Honor's Way, the second book, and have just set up The Wall Between  to be published as well.

It's actually getting to be quite a fun project now that I have finally figured out how to format the books in Word--I solved my problems--and how to design the covers in Pulblisher. CreateSpace, the Amazon related website I use is fabulous. You get fast feedback on submissions. If you didn't want a proof print copy to look at, you could get a book published in just a bit over 24 hours. Their response time is great. And, they do make adjustments to the book cover if it's needed.

Again, on the horsey front, I lunged Chance for a few minutes today and he looked sound! Not sure if its the bar shoes and wedge pads, but I'm pretty sure I can ride him.

Perhaps the nice weather will drag me away from my computer and out on the trails soon.

Now, should I have someone here when I saddle up for the first time in months?